This custom BMW is a mishmash of Art Deco and Turtle Power

This custom BMW R75/5 was inspired by the Leatherback turtle, after its builder El Solitario and a friend got drunk and hid in the grass on a Costa Rican beach to watch as the goliath reptile prepared to hatch its eggs…

Prized Baula

Dubbed the ‘Baula’ (the Leatherback’s Spanish moniker), this custom 1960s BMW vaguely resembles the turtle after which it’s named – take those cylinder heads, for example, which mimic a pair of flippers. It’s also got an air of Art Deco about it too, taking inspiration from the famous Henderson scooter (which is soon to be displayed in the North Carolina Museum of Art), as well as a set of cues from the 1939 TT-winning BMW Rennsport. And we’re sure we’ve seen those vertical exhausts on a Jaguar E-type before – though horizontally, of course. Despite the variety of influences, it boasts remarkable visual cohesion. The bike was built by the folks at El Solitario MC three years ago, who duly took it to the beach to see if it coped with the sand as well as the real ‘Baula’. 

Photos: KT Fender

You can find a selection of BMW Motorcycles listed for sale in the Classic Driver Market.