The first full-blown custom build to come out of the Emporium of Postmodern Activities, The American is not so much a statement as it is a well-crafted argument.
It’s an argument against the Sturm und Drang of the Global Financial Crisis, against the notion that the U.S. doesn’t make things anymore, against the naysayers who have turned their backs on American creativity and workmanship. What began as a personal project for US Motorcycle Design Director, Michael Woolaway (aka Woolie), The American was conceived at the beginning of the Great Recession. Woolie’s goal was to take the most famous American-made, mile-dirt-track chassis called the C&J Low Boy (the winning-most, mile-dirt-track chassis ever built) and convert it into a street legal café racer, using as many American parts as he could (hence the name, The American).
Following strict Deus protocol, the C&J frame spent its first days on the table at Dr. John’s down in Anaheim making sure it was dead straight. Then the motor was built up with a Harley Sportster five-speed lower end, bob-weight-balanced crank performance rods, forged J&E high compression pistons, and Edelbrock big valve cylinder heads. Suspension up front came courtesy of Buell, with triple clamps hand-made at Durelle racing. Our good friend, Pierre, at Works Perfomance Products, hand built the rear shocks. Sun Rims from Buchanan’s, knock-off hubs and brake hangers from A&A Racing, and speedo and electronics by Motogadget assisted in bringing the race inspired vision into clearer focus.
The bike. Is incredible. The nicest Woolie’s ever ridden. “It’s a Deus concept through and through,” he says, “taking inspiration from shapes of the past and building them into tools with modern-day, practical purpose.” It doesn’t hurt that it’s heartbreakingly gorgeous, either. The American is proof positive that amazing things are happening here in the old US of A. Or at least they are at Deus Ex Machina.