BMW K75 Alpha Landspeeder
Imagined by Mehmet Doruk Erdem and brought to life by the hands of Mark Atkinson, the Alpha is quite possibly the most elegant custom motorcycle that has ever been built. It started as a 3D concept and it was simply too beautiful to remain only so.
Photography by Rich Patch.
Mehmet Doruk Erdem based the styling of this motorcycle on the apex predator of the water; a great white shark. Featuring clean lines, it manages to look aggressive without accentuating corners. It has a clean, smooth surface on the front; resembling a shark. The rear is open and exposed; it is the brute part of the design. It is the driving power of the predator, much like the tail of the shark.
The concept design was getting quite a lot of attention and that's when Mark first laid eyes on it. It was a beautiful concept that intrigued him; how could you possibly bring this machine to life? He already had a wrecked BMW K75 in his shop that he quickly fixed and got it to work. Mark tried to contact Mehmet multiple times; without any answer. He was so passionate about the design itself, that he decided to build it anyway.
Mark started off by building the chassis and even in the early stages of the project it started to look stunning. Mark worked on each and every problem as they surfaced; making sure that everything worked perfectly. Soon as he reached the body fabrication stage; he stepped off as he didn't feel comfortable building someone else's design. In a last effort, he contacted Mehmet again. This time there was an answer. Mehmet explained that he was contacted many times before to bring the bike to reality; with no success. Mark had already began building the bike, so they started collaborating together to make the best out of the Alpha.
They shared 3D designs and each day's progress together, taking care of every little detail. Mark had to go through piles of information to create the plug for the mold of the body. He used eight gallons of filler, finishing the plug and ending up with a perfectly symmetrical and balanced mold. He then rebuilt and created new seals, finishing them in a new coat of paint. To create the front body, Mark went with a rather unusual choice; basalt. Basalt is lava rock that is extruded into thread and weaved together in a cloth. It offers strength and is not as brittle as carbon fiber. He vacuum bagged the whole body and covered it in epoxy resin. Under the nosepiece lays a patented center hub steering setup that uses tiny hydraulic cylinders. The motorcycle comes complete with lights, turn signals and a horn. While it is unpractical and not user friendly, it remains a functioning work of art.
Donor bike BMW K75
Engine displacement 750cc
Aspiration GT-15 Turbocharger
Weight 505 lbs.
Materials Carbon fiber, aluminium, basalt
Frame Custom designed frame