Easy rider: Kingston Custom and BMW Motorrad unveil stunning art deco influenced custom BMW R 18

Kingston Custom has unveiled a customised BMW R 18, in collaboration with BMW Motorrad, and we’re already clearing a space for it in our Batcave. Spirit of Passion by Kingston Custom is the creation of Dirk Oehlerking. 

The obvious eye-catcher is the Kingston fairing. The bodywork is finished in handmade Kingston design, as are the handlebars and mudguard. The BMW R 18 exhaust has been modified by Oehlerking in Kingston Roadster style, while his saddle is drawn from the range of universal accessories. The turn indicators have been replaced with Kellermann indicators and the LED front headlight is now integrated in the fairing. The original paintwork and lines have been adopted for the fairing and wing, with the addition of some details in Kingston style. The wheel suspension and fuel tank are original. The design as a whole embraces classic art deco style to dramatic effect.

Thanks to its extremely conversion-friendly architecture, the BMW R 18 is lends itself to extreme customising, but Oehlerking refrained from a complete rebuild of the R 18. “The BMW R 18 is so perfect that I left the technology as it is. The frame is 100 per cent original and so sophisticated that nothing should be changed here,” says Oehlerking. 

The bodywork is finished in handmade Kingston design, as are the handlebars and mudguard…

Motorbike racer and designer Dirk Oehlerking says the design process begins long before the first screws are applied or sketches are made. “I put a lot of thought into it beforehand. My motorbikes always convey soul, charm and character. They’re outstanding specimens, so they require great care and attention. I have a constant stream of images running past my mind’s eye when it comes to deciding what style I want to focus on. Once I’ve made that choice, I start with a sketch in pencil and Tipp-Ex. Then I keep going until I know in my heart of hearts: that’s precisely it!”

Oehlerking has customised more than a dozen BMW machines, but says redesigning the R 18 was a novel undertaking. “This project is probably the most impressive of my entire career. It means a lot to me – if not everything at this moment. The trust that BMW Motorrad has placed in me once again is hugely important to me. I’m very grateful for that.”

BMW Motorrad is a sister brand to BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce.

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