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Kingston Customs and BMW Motorrad unveil Art Deco-inspired R 18

motor1 logo motor1 19/01/2021 Janaki Jitchotvisut

a motorcycle parked on the side of a road: Kingston Customs BMW R 18 Spirit of Passion - Right Side © Motor1.com Copyright Kingston Customs BMW R 18 Spirit of Passion - Right Side

It's not a Batcycle, but it's close.

If you love the BMW R 18, but deep in your heart you wish it was much more streamlined and art deco in appearance, we have some good news for you. Kingston Custom is a custom shop run by Dirk Oehlerking, who collaborated with BMW Motorrad to bring the world an art deco dream come true.  

It’s called the Spirit of Passion, and features one of Kingston’s unmistakable handmade fairings. While Oehlerking said he left much of the R 18 underneath intact, he also took pains to preserve and continue the paintwork and lines found in the base bike. Instead of wiping the slate clean and building an entirely new structure, Oehlerking opted to expand upon design ideas that BMW had already started with its original plans. 

“The BMW R 18 is so perfect that I left the technology as it is. The frame is 100 percent original and so sophisticated that nothing should be changed here,” Oehlerking said in a statement. Other elements he integrated into this custom expansion of the R 18 include a saddle from the accessories catalogue, Kellermann indicators, and an LED headlight that is now integrated into that swooping front fairing. Oehlerking also created a completely original front wheel and tank for this project.  

Kingston Customs BMW R 18 Spirit of Passion - Right Side Front Angle © Motor1.com UK Kingston Customs BMW R 18 Spirit of Passion - Right Side Front Angle a close up of a motorcycle: Kingston Customs BMW R 18 Spirit of Passion - Right Rear Closeup © Motor1.com UK Kingston Customs BMW R 18 Spirit of Passion - Right Rear Closeup

Typically, most road-going motorcycles aren’t streamlined to the degree that the Spirit of Passion is. Then again, isn’t the point of any good custom to be anything but typical? This design is sure to be a conversation piece at any and all shows it attends in the future, once shows are a thing again. 

Dirk Oehlerking and Kingston Customs have a long history of BMW custom creations in their past, with 17 custom bikes created in collaboration so far. Back in 2018, the Kingston Custom White Phantom touched down during a special exhibition of custom motorcycles at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California. Oehlerking has been hard at work customising bikes for over 35 years, and says he always starts a new design with pencil sketches and a handy bottle of correction fluid at the ready. 

More customs:

Source: BMW Motorrad

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