The great white shark in the motorcycle custom scene
The project is the vision of a high-tech industrial designer from Istanbul, called Mehmet Doruk Erdem that designed it two years ago. The man that made it happen, Mark Atkinson, is an old-school motorcycle builder from Utah. The result, BMW Alpha, is a one of a kind custom build machine that left us speechless at the very first sight.
Mehmet Doruk Erdem was inspired by the land speed racers, and for the Alpha, he wanted to design a powerful and beautiful bike at the same time. He took his inspiration from the great white shark shaping the front cowl according to a shark’s lines.
If you look at the body of a shark, you can see that it’s clean and perfect. But inside, it’s so complicated. So Alpha’s front end is clean and smooth, while the back is the powerful and ugly side—symbolizing the tail of the great white.”
“The rear has to show where the power comes from, whereas the front is about aerodynamics. There is no connection between those two styles. The rider must be the connection between beauty and the beast.
The creator Mark Atkinson became a fan of Mehmet’s work and took Alpha as a winter project. The base ground for the project was a wrecked BMW K75 that he hauled to work. After 16 months of intense labor and great attention to details, Alpha was ready. He built every part of the project by himself, did all the welding, machining and even the paint job.
In the end, I have every piece modeled, so I can modify it if I need to. I often redo parts over and over, until they are just right. I let the bike organically find its own way: That took years to understand. Bikes have their own personalities, you just have to let them out.
The nose was inspired by the BMW 328 Mille Miglia kidney looking inserts so; he reproduced them for the Alpha. Mark made it as rideable as possible adding up a center hub steering that uses hydraulic cylinders for activation. Remarkably, Alpha could be made street legal as it features lights, turn signals, and even a horn.
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