The Honda Super Cub Firefly Motorcycle by Deus ex Machina


the ‘firefly’ is a customized honda ‘super cub’ motorcycle from deus ex machina’s japan-based workshop. built by director of motorcycle operations, matthew roberts, he takes inspiration from the small capacity gp and tt bikes of the 1950’s and ’60’s. it begins with a 1961 honda motorcycle, strips it back to the essentials and creates this striking silhouette with a custom frame and monocoque body.

all images © deus ex machina

the honda ‘cub’ may be the best selling vehicle in internal combustion history, with seventy million plus worldwide, but deus ex machina’s ‘firefly’ certainly is one of a kind. every nut, bolt, bush and bearing, from engine components to front suspension internals, have been re-engineered, re-designed or improved from decades-old factory blue-prints. fifty-year-old engines require as much art as science to coax a reliable power increase, so local engine guru ted’s special, who’s work graces honda’s own race collection hall, handled tuning the petite engine into a race series with a 20% capacity increase.

removing the body reveals a new fuel cell, battery, coil and electrics laid out along a slender modified back bone. polished and trued original ‘C105’ hubs now sport japanese alloy rims, custom spokes and 2.75 x 17 rubber shoe-horned to seamlessly fit inside the narrow forks, and rear fender. bespoke and hand-made refinements decorate the ‘firefly’s’ form, including its alloy top bridge, rear set foot controls, fully adjustable alloy race shocks, externally mounted front fork rebound unit, and stop light. the ‘firefly’ has long, low lines, running uninterrupted from the headlight to the tail. the rider’s seat is an indentation — a spartan tuck-roll offering in ‘oxblood’ red leather, stitched by local upholstery master miauchi-san.