Deus Ex Machina’s ‘Drover’s Dog’ is the perfect surf bike


Do you have a surfing adventure in mind? Never be separated from your board again by combining your two favourite cultures — bike and surf. Australian custom motorcycle and fashion brand Deus Ex Machina bring both Bondi cool and characteristic Aussie humour to the many custom designs that have emerged from their workshop in Sydney.

If you’re a lover of all things motorcycles, your quest is over, make your first destination ‘The Motorcycle: Design, Art, Desire‘ exhibition, a world–exclusive showing of 150 years of extraordinary motorcycle design — only in Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) until 26 April 2021, you might also win your dream surfboard, check out our Deus competition.

Get tickets to ‘The Motorcycle’ exhibition

‘The Motorcycle: Design, Art, Desire’, Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), Brisbane / Photograph: Natasha Harth © QAGOMA

Deus Ex Machina ‘The Salt Machine’ surfboard

When you visit ‘The Motorcycle‘ exhibition, enter your details in our competition for a chance to win this custom surfboard, ‘The Salt Machine’, created by Paul McNeil for Deus Ex Machina, 2020. Built by Nick Stranger.

Deus Ex Machina ‘The Drover’s Dog’ 2009

Deus Ex Machina was founded in 2006 by Dare Jennings (founder of iconic Australian art–surf brand Mambo) and creative designer Carby Tuckwell, and focuses on the crossover of vintage surf and custom motorcycle culture with fashion, food and even boutique vinyl records.

Jennings says: ‘We started with the motorbikes we’d seen in Japan — the essential element of which was that it was young guys referencing vintage things but in a very contemporary way… If you want to boil it down, that’s what we were getting excited about.’ With its surfboard rack, The Drover’s Dog is for those who love both board and bike.

‘The Drover’s Dog’ is based on a Yamaha SR400, and has a surfboard attached. The motorcycle’s brilliant engineering is evident in its stripped-down frame, low-slung exhaust pipe with a shorty muffler, huge Brembo front disc and tank graphics — designed for the rider who is cool, and wants to stay that way.

AUSTRALIAN CONNECTION: Read about our local history

DELVE DEEPER: Browse the LIST OF MOTORCYCLES in the exhibition: From humble origins to cutting-edge prototypes

RELATED: Read more about the bikes in ‘THE MOTORCYCLE’ exhibition

The Drover’s Dog 2009 / Collection: Joseph Mildren/Deus Ex Machina, Sydney / Image courtesy: Deus Ex Machina


Country: Australia
Power: 35 hp
Engine: 399 cc SOHC 2-valve single
Designers: Dare Jennings and Carby Tuckwell
Production: Custom

Interesting Facts

  • The moniker of this stripped-back bike — ‘the Drover’s Dog’ — is Australian slang for a ‘skinny, hard-working bloke’ and for the working dogs on outback sheep farms.
  • Deus ex machina is Latin for ‘god from the machine’, and originally described a plot device used in Greek and Roman theatre to resolve a seemingly hopeless situation.
  • Deus Ex Machina is a self-described ‘living brand’ encompassing ‘temples of culture’ (flagship stores) originating in Sydney, and expanding to Cape Town, Bali, Venice Beach, Madrid, Los Angeles, Ibiza and other locations on any self-respecting globe-trotting surfer’s itinerary.
  • ‘The Sea Biscuit’ surfboard was customised by Dain Thomas and Paul McNeil (Rebuilt by Nick Stranger and Paul McNeil in 2020)

Buy: ‘The Motorcycle’ publication

With over 320 pages and 400 colour illustrations, The Motorcycle: Design, Art, Desire showcases 100 superb examples of motorcycle design from the late 19th century to the present day and beyond to the technological innovations of the future. Beautifully illustrated with newly commissioned photography and archival ephemera, this visually arresting survey of the motorcycle’s influence in realms as diverse as film, fashion, sport, advertising, and technology will prove compulsive reading to design lovers and motorcycle fans alike. Available at the QAGOMA Store and online

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Show off your ride with #MotorcycleGOMA #QAGOMA


  1. Hi there.
    I visited the motorbike gallery today and would like to inquire about how to enter the draw for the Duessurfbord competition.