Motorcycle News - Split Personality: A two-tone Bultaco Alpina racer
Mark ‘Makr’ Atkinson has played at both ends of the spectrum. His BMW concept with designer Mehmet Doruk Erdem broke the internet last year. Now he’s hit back with something completely different: a schizophrenic Bultaco Alpina-based racer, painted in contrasting colors on each side.
He once told us he typically builds a new race engine each winter—from scratch, starting with a big billet of solid aluminum. He didn’t quite have to go to that extreme on the Bultaco, but he still had his work cut out.
“Even though I have exercised my competitive edge in land speed racing, I mostly love going around corners on motorcycles,” Mark tells us. “I built this Bultaco road race TSS-kinda-replica as a fun project. And it really is a reflection, at the core, of what I like to see in all motorcycles; small displacement, light weight, and the proper amount of strokes.”
“So I machined an o-ring groove around the main case and primary cover, so it wouldn’t leak and I wouldn’t have to take it apart again. The rest went back together as it should.” Thanks to copious amounts of elbow grease, the engine now looks brand new. Mark fitted a flat slide carb that he found in a box, adding a curved intake to help it clear the frame.
“I love the work that went into them.”
The tubed aluminum frame is all Mark’s handiwork, following a design he’s been sitting on for a few years. It includes a machined rear engine mount that incorporates the swing arm pivot, and ties into the upper main frame tube.
A set of unspecified Suzuki forks do duty up front. Mark tells us that the head angle is set up pretty steep, with not much trail. “But it handles okay. It’s skittish, but at a couple hundred pounds it would be, no matter what.”
Other than the motor, the rear hub’s the only piece of the original Bultaco Alpina left. It’s now laced to a raised lip Borrani rim via a set of Buchanan’s stainless spokes. The Avon Roadrider it’s wearing was dug out of a stack of random tires that Mark has amassed.
Everything’s finished in a lustrous black and red finish, split by a polished section. Mark did the paint in a DIY paint booth in the corner of the shop. The seat’s covered in the same hide as his ‘Alpha’ BMW build, and it’s been done by the same guy--Eli Scarbeary.
There’s probably a ton of detail we’re missing, but the overall package has us hooked regardless. Mark’s Alpina looks tight, perfectly balanced and well judged from any angle. It’s a sign of a builder at the top of his game—but Mark’s nowhere near done learning, or experimenting.
“I only build bikes because they interest me and challenge me to learn new skills. I am working next on an all-carbon fiber electric motorcycle with crazy steering, and then I think I will build an airplane.”
“After thirty years of building stuff I am excited every day for the next interesting thing. I may run out of time before I build all the things in my head!”
Mark would like to thank David Tagg at Wrights Motorcycles for the wheel help, Misa Macias and Jhony Mendoza for paint correction, and all the massive talent at Luxe Auto Spa.
via Bike EXIF http://www.bikeexif.com
June 27, 2018 at 12:05PM