DMOL Up yours copper DMOL2  (4)

Legendary American journalist Hunter S. Thompson, father of “gonzo” journalism – a journalistic style that blurs the barriers between fiction and non-fiction – loved guns, drugs, alcohol and motorcycles in equal measure. His reporting on American politics, his 1967 novel on the Hell’s Angels, his essay on the air-cooled Ducati V-twin “The song of the sausage creature“, earned him a reputation many have tried to emulate, but few have matched.

Thompson died from an alleged self-inflicted gunshot wound in 2005 – alleged because Thompson was a big fan of conspiracy theories and considering his work, some of those theories might have been true. Although Thompson may have shuffled off this mortal coil, his memory is commemorated by, and lives on in, the Death Machines of London DMOL2 custom called “Up yours copper”.

Based on a 2007 Triumph Thruxton 900 parallel-twin engine, Up yours copper reflects Thompson’s philosophy on life, motorcycles and a poor demeanor towards law enforcement in general. With the tagline “a proper gobby Thruxton”, the DMOL2 caused the builders a lot of pain in bringing it to life.

DMOL Up yours copper DMOL2  (7)

This included incidents like dropped fuel tanks, snapped drill bits, broken lathes and spilled blood, but we would consider this to be fairly typical for anything involving Thompson or his name. A new rear-end was fitted to the de-lugged, weld cleaned and modified frame, finished in a dark shade of Beluga Black.

The engine was also extensively modified, with a gas-flowed cylinder head and re-mapped fuel injection to work in tandem with the custom ceramic-coated exhaust that exits under the seat cowl. The exhaust actually exits through the rear-light cluster, and it took 11 attempts to get the right balance between the exhaust gas exiting or melting the light housing.

Details abound throughout the DMOL2, including the copper-plated 19-inch and 17-inch wheels laced with black-anodised spokes and nipples. The front brake is a Fontana four-leading shoe drum-brake assembly that looks like a racetrack refugee – from the sixties. The rear shocks are Hagon units with a 20 mm extension over stock, while the frton fork features re-valved internals with Progressive Suspension fork springs.

Another touch is the use of a magneto switch from a Supermarine Spitfire Mk 1. Yes, that Spitfire. One magneto switch switches on the bike, while the other energises the starter. Custom-made velocity stacks pull air into the EFI throttle bodies, and the battery lives in a custom housing between the machined-aluminium footpegs.

The brushed aluminum light cowl houses a 7-inch military-specification LED headlamp, as well as the custom-made speedometer which is machined out of brass, with the numbers etched using micro-lithogrpahy – a process more commonly found in manufacturing printed circuit boards for electronics.

Calling for special mention is the seat, which is hand-carved from American walnut by Ben Heeney of Ian Dunn Woodwork and Design. Made out of seventeen parts in order to maintain a consistent grain pattern within the highly complex compound curves of the rider’s form, DMOL claims the seat is, despite appearances, exceedingly comfortable.

DMOL Up yours copper DMOL2  (3)

The crowning touch on the DMOL2 are the words “Faster, faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death” etched around the fuel-filler cap. These words are, of course, Thompson’s, and taken from his novel, Hell’s Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs.

Designed and built in England, Up yours copper stands as an example of the motorcycle as working art. Death Machines of London has not released any information on how much this build cost, but invites enquiries on its website.

What do you think? A beautiful example of motorcycle art and worthy of a place in your garage, or supreme waste of money and time? Leave us a comment with your thoughts and opinions below.