Fun in the Sun with Deus Ex Machina Indonesia
Dustin Humphrey interviewed by Richard O'Shea
For seven years now Deus Ex Machina Indonesia has been hosting a four-day Moto, Surf, Art, Music Festival, by the name of Deus Slidetoberfest. This year’s festival was bigger, better and definitely more pickled than anything they’d done in the past. We asked Dustin Humphrey, International Media Director and President of Deus Ex Machina Indonesia a few questions to get the good oil on everything that went down and why.
What is Slidetoberfest?
It’s a celebration of all the things that are near and dear to us. Family, friends, moto, surf, art and of course music. It’s about mixing all those bits together and making them taste like something inordinate. There really isn’t another event around like this one.
Where did the idea first come from?
Slidetoberfest actually is our birthday celebration. It marks the opening of the Temple of Enthusiasm here in Bali seven years ago. It was born out of an inkling of inviting people to come and share in what it is we do here. Whether it be going for a surf or riding bikes along the beach. Things we do on a weekly, and daily basis. We have the Deus Gallery here and are presenting art shows throughout the year, this just gives us the perfect opportunity to get an international artist, usually someone who we know and respect, and give him or her exposure to our friends here in Bali. And music, well… not only do we love it, but you just can’t have a party without it can you?
For the first few years the day events consisted of just the surf and the MX. In those days, as it is still today, we were doing the MX on small bore bikes, mainly VMX, and I love the fact that these two core events are still integral in the festival that we put on today.
A few years back we added a Flat Track Beach event we’d have to run at low tide. This year we stepped up our game and actually built a small, but proper, Flat Track in our parking lot.
We also added a fourth day this year with a light hearted enduro style event called the Swank Rally. It’s something our Italian friends thought up. Of course, ours had a thoroughly Indonesian flavour to it. 1.7 miles through stunning tropical forests, along magnificent beaches, before swinging them through a few rivers and inclines until riders ended back from where they started from.
What was really cool about this event is that riders were racing against the clock and not each other, with the fastest time being the winner.
We customized four brand new Honda CRF 250 Rally’s. Two were in the vein of VMX, another scrambler and the last had a touch of the enduro about it. Theoretically, this gave everyone a pretty equal paying field from which to compete.
What was your favorite event at this year's Slidetoberfest?
Besides the great times and the incredible vibes, we got to enjoy all weekend long. The Flat Track Event would have to be, hands down, my favorite.
Together, with our family in California and Italy, we’d been playing around for a while with Flat Track both here and when we’re away. Slidetoberfest provided us with the perfect vehicle within which to drop an event like this. As far as we know, we are the first Flat Track in Indonesia.
So, was this a ‘Run what ya brung’ type of event?
No, with over 70 people preregistered for the event months out we made a conscious decision to build some actual flat track bikes. Not only that, if we’d allowed the nobbies onto the limestone topped surface, they would have made very short work of the track in under twenty laps.
Only two months before the event we went out and bought, five brand new Kawasaki KLX 150s. Changed the rake, gearing and subframes. Added custom made tanks, seat & tail combos. Wide bars, new exhausts and dropped the front brake off.
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150cc? That doesn’t seem very fast.
We only had so much space in which to build the track so it was quite small and 150 was more than enough power to get your slide on, especially because they were so light and nimble. Not to take anything away from the Hooligan races, but how often do you see those guys using the full power of their bikes? I’d rather go fast on a slow bike, than slow on a fast bike!
A four day festival with a different event every day and night, it must have been a tremendous amount of work for you.
No, not for me. I just come up with the wacky ideas and the amazing team of people we have at the Temple of Enthusiasm take the ball and run with it. During the event, I get to kick back and throw shakas while the machine that is Deus Indonesia really kicks in. From the managers who hardly got a wink of sleep over the entire time, to the Workshop Boys who built ten bikes and repaired countless others, to the media team who shot hours of video and took thousands of photos, to the retail staff and of course the restaurant and bar staff who kept our blood sugar levels up there. This is a team effort and we have a great team.
Are there winners and losers from the weekend?
I didn’t hear one complaint all weekend long so if that is our litmus test, then there were no losers. We did have a few big crashes but nothing too serious. That is a win in itself.
As for winners, there are of course winners. We have them for each of the four events and then we run a Supercross type scoring system across the lot, allocating 1-25 points to contestants in each event. By day four we can come up with an overall winner for the weekend. For the third time in a row it was Forrest Minchton, and for the girls if was Abbie Lengui.
You had a girls class?
Yeah of course we had girls, why wouldn’t we? We had kids, older guys… Local guys, internationals. People come from all over. Slidetober, always was and always will be inclusive rather than exclusive it is a fundamental component and central to the remarkable occasion we all got to share in.