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The BMW Alpha: From Concept To Reality

Mark Atkinson Brings Our Favorite BMW Concept To Life: The BMW Alpha

Updated August 18, 2018

Do you remember the awesome BMW Alpha concept design from Mehmet Doruk Erdem? Well, it seems like our favorite designer has decided to turn one of his dreams into a reality with the help of Mark Atkinson (known as Makr online). If you’re familiar with Mark Atkinson, you’ll know that he’s a bit of a veteran on the salt flats, and thanks to some unexpected downtime, he decided to work on something very, very different instead.

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After seeing some of Mehmet’s sketches being shared online, and thanks to the poor conditions of the salt flats, Mark had some time on his hands. Instead of putting some unnecessary final touches on his salt racer, he decided to turn one of Mehmet’s cool concepts into a very real, and very functional motorcycle. Mark reached out to Mehmet, but after suffering from a few no-replies, Mark decided to work on the chassis… Unhappy without receiving the nod from Mehmet, the project stalled. But after they managed to get in contact…they decided to bring the project to life. Why didn’t Mehmet respond? Well, too many people have volunteered to turn his vision into reality in the past, and he’d been disappointed before. Mark, however, was deadly serious…and this is the result.

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The BMW Alpha is built around a shaft driven K75 Triple, with a few minor engine modifications but for all the wonderful engine bits and pieces, it’s the rolling chassis and bodywork that really steals the show. As a machinist by trade, Mark was able to fabricate pretty much everything else from scratch. The chassis is a bespoke piece, as are the hand machined aluminum linkages, the incredible center hub pivot, and the bellcrank-actuated steering system. And then there’s the monolithic style dustbin fairing at the front, shaped in the trademark Memet Erdem style.

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We’re not really too clued in on the details that surround this build – but we do have some great pictures and a couple of videos of the thing. Whenever we’ve shared Mehmet’s designs in the past, they’ve always received a fantastic reaction. But for all of those fantastic reactions, we do see a few people who like to state the obvious “it’s not a real bike though” kind of thing. Well, this is for them, really. Because here you can see a very real bike, that actually works. It’s still very much a piece of rolling art rather than a practical, day to day ride – but that wasn’t the end goal of the project.

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There’s nothing quite like seeing a master fabricator getting stuck into a wild and ambitious project, and there’s nothing quite like seeing one of your favorite designer’s concepts being turned into a real, tangible thing. And it’s exactly that reason that makes this build so fascinating. Well done to you Mark, and a big thank you to Mehmet for having such ambitious designs. Great job. The world needs more stories like this!

BMW Alpha 9

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Joe Appleton
About Joe Appleton

I’ve done a bit of work here and there in the industry – I’ve even ridden a few bikes for actual money but what it comes down to is this: I ride bikes, build bikes and occasionally crash ‘em too. I like what I like but that certainly doesn’t make my opinion any more valid than yours…

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