I spent most of last Saturday at Australia’s top custom shop, Deus Ex Machina, as one of the judges of the inaugural “Boundless Enthusiasm Bike Build-Off.” There were over thirty bikes in the yard, with chrome and paintwork glinting under the unseasonably hot sun. Before the judging officially started, I wandered around incognito and checked out the bikes. Four machines immediately jumped out at me, and of those four, just one appeared to meet the primary judging criteria: “Making the most with the least”. That bike was Much Much Go, built by industrial designer Nick Eterovic. And by the end of the day, Nick had won not only the First Prize, but also the People’s Choice award.
“When the call-out for the competition came, I found out a little late,” said Nick after the show. “But a friend offered me a 1979 Honda CB250T to work with. It was basically a frame and wheels (and a few cobwebs). I had 55 days to build it, but my vision for the bike didn’t take long to form. I’d had a few ideas floating around for a long time—I wanted it to be a nod to Japanese customization, but at the same time, I didn’t want it to be like any bike I’d seen before.”
Nick chopped the back of the frame off and mounted shorter suspension struts to drop the bike about 175mm (six inches) at the rear. “This naturally rotated the frame and raked out the front end, but it wasn’t enough, I wanted a more balanced look with the motor sitting equally between the wheels. To achieve this I cut a wedge out from the neck and raked the forks out further.” Nick reshaped the dented tank, mounted the bars under the top bridge, set the footpegs back to the pillion position, and made his own brake and gear linkages.
It was the exhaust that immediately caught my eye when I first saw Much Much Go. “I wanted the exhaust and intake to sit high, with all the tubing gathered in and around the motor in one continuous form,” said Nick. “So I bought some straight lengths and three 180 degree bends … It’s standard automotive exhaust tubing painted with 3M white aerosol exhaust paint.”
In being true to the Deus brief of “making the most with the least”, the only money Nick spent went on carburetors (stock), a chain, throttle, clutch lever, suspension, battery, exhaust tubing and paint. That came to AU$735 in total. “The rest was time, hard work and plenty of late nights. Luckily I had lots of good advice and a helping hand when I needed it.” Nick took home a full toolset from sponsors Snap-On, and a pair of Vitesse Moto boots are on their way to him as well. Good work, fella.
PS: Head over to Hell For Leather for a full gallery of all the bikes in the competition.