Friday, July 31

A history of the great Deus war, 2007-2009

Thinking about Sydney got me thinking about Sydney's most renowned custom bike store, Deus ex Machina.

I recently found some entries on an Australian bike forum discussing my 'feud' with the store, which was news to me.

So here's the story, from the horse's mouth, once and for all. It's probably not of interest to anyone except me and the other guy involved, but if you like amusing spats, read on.

First, I should explain to you (if you haven't met me) that I'm no businessman and I don't possess very smoothy-smooth social skills. I speak my mind, I bear grudges, I'm emotionally retarded in some ways, and this doesn't endear me to a lot of people (I've managed to get myself into fights, thrown off forums, and into hot water with my most valued advertiser, amongst other things).

Anyway, one of these people I'm not endeared to is the store manager at Deus (or at least he was in early 2007). I was trying to get the magazine into outlets that I thought reflected what I was trying to do and what I was into. I loved the style of the Deus store in Sydney (like a warehouse space filled with vintage surfboards, cool bikes, nice posters) so approached them to stock the mag.

I offered to send them samples of the first issue, but the guy I spoke to told me that they stocked DicE magazine "which covers that stuff", and wasn't interested in my explanation that GK was pretty different to Matt & Dean's mag.

So, no dice. (Sorry.)

Later in the year, when the mag was starting to get some positive press and feedback (and sales!) I was surprised to hear from the same guy at Deus, suggesting they stock the mag after all. Now, someone with the future of their magazine and their own livelihood in mind would have been delighted by this about-face, and would have gone into the store to share a latte and discuss terms.

But, you've guessed it, I (pretty politely) told him to piss off.

(Did I mention I'm not a businessman?)

So that's it. No feud.

I love their Jap-inspired bikes, their design sense, their website, their style. I don't like their prices and I don't have any affinity with the kind of people who wear their t-shirts, but they make money in an unforgiving industry, so hats off to them.

Check the stylish bastards out here, if you haven't already.


Anonymous said...

Well said. I agree with your summation of the store - very cool, stylish, lovely and all that...but really not in my realm of existence.

I mustn't be a businessman either because I have no idea how they make money (assuming they do). Maybe it's a labour of love. Overheads must be huge there. If there's any profit to be made I suspect it's from the types who buy expensive t-shirts and $1000 jackets.

Perhaps when I'm a partner in a law firm, sitting on $400k a year, and I don't have time to build my own bikes or wear out my own leather jacket, I'll go shopping there. Perhaps that is their market? But really, is it that difficult to look for a nice old Triumph on ebay for a reasonable price? Are people that stupid that you sit a bike in a showroom and it adds 10k to the price???

- Wasko

matt@machine said...

i think i prefer the previous in winter...cause when i rode the commando this morning it was -2 and my fingers were falling heres to sydney in winter men...

Anonymous said...

Deus is a cool shop.
It is an expensive shop and yes they sell lots of bikes and clothes, they've hit a niche market...retro tossers who can hardly ride but buy $20,000 triumph thruxtons because it looks cool when they ride through bondi or manly.
Most of the guys who work there are really cool though.