Spirit of Passion – by Kingston Custom
Dirk Oehlerking lends the BMW R 18 his inimitable signature to the second R18 gem in the “SoulFuel” series, a collaboration between BMW Motorrad and selected customisers. Previously, a sensation was also caused by an R 18 conversion created by Bernhard Naumann – also known as “Blechmann”.
Oehlerking’s ‘Kingston Custom’ is well-known for its extreme customising and 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!
“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 bike has still been transformed into an unmistakable Kingston Custom conversion though. The bodywork is hand made by Kingston design though, as are the bars and mud-guard.
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 wheels, suspension and fuel tank are original.
A native of Hanover, Oehlerking already has his own tradition of customising BMW machines. Around 17 of the brand’s own creations are his, including the “Black Phantom” and its sibling bike, the “White Phantom”. The two models defined completely new standards in the industry at the time. Yet redesigning the R 18 was a novel undertaking for Oehlerking.
“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.”