Mark “Makr” Atkinson has felt the “need for speed” since he was a small child, first attending Speed Week at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1971 with his family. He went on to become a custom builder of race components and cars before eventually finding his true love: motorcycles.
Check out more of Makr’s story below.
Self-taught in fabricating, welding and painting, Atkinson’s talent and experience have produced some of the most unique and sought-after builds on two wheels. Below are some of his builds that headline articles, reside in museums and can also be seen in the video above.
Atkinson’s most famous build started as a computer rendering his father posted on Facebook. After contacting the Turkish designer, Mehmet Doruk Erdem, with no response, Atkinson decided he needed to build the bike.
He envisioned traditional classic style with go-fast streamliner lines. Based on the BMW K75 Triple, an elegant rolling chassis highlights the Alpha, with components fabricated from scratch by Atkinson.
Seeing electric bikes as an opportunity to push the limits of design (while not having to work around a gas tank), Atkinson decided to think outside the tank.
“What would I build if I had no preconceived idea of how a motorcycle is supposed to look?”Mark Atkinson
Using an FIM record-holding motor inside a unique aluminum X frame, this one-of-a-kind bike was named “Racer X” after its unique shape.
Atkinson takes to the Bonneville Salt Flats in a mid-70s Yamaha RD 400 that he built from scratch. Atkinson manufactures the entire engine himself, minus the stock case he must use to fulfill class rules.
In 2013 he built his first assembly and broke a world record in that same run. On his third revision of the engine, Atkinson set out in September 2019 to once again attempt a land-speed record. Unfortunately rain forced the cancelation of Speed Week, forcing him to wait another year to defy the clock.