Custom BMW R 18 with art deco vibes from builder Dirk Oehlerking

“Spirit of Passion” project by BMW Motorrad and Kingston Custom

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For 2021, BMW Motorrad jumped back into the cruiser motorcycle game with its glossy new 1802cc R 18 — backed by the German’s most powerful boxer engine on a production BMW bike. Now, the team at Kingston Custom, led by renowned bike-builder Dirk Oehlerking, gives the big boxer a stylish retro makeover based on classic art deco styling. Dubbed the “Spirit of Passion” and the second custom R 18 in the “SoulFuel” series kicked off by Roland Sands, Oehlerking managed to keep much of this R 18’s features unchanged while still pulling off an unmistakable Kingston Custom conversion. While the fuel tank, suspension, the bike’s tech, and frame stayed intact, the most obvious alteration is that massive fairing which proved to be the shop’s biggest challenge. As Oehlerking puts it, “The BMW R 18 is so perfect that I left the technology as it is. The frame is 100 % original and so sophisticated that nothing should be changed here.” Aside from the long sleek and sloping look the custom fairing sports an LED headlight, Kellermann turn signals, and paintwork and lines from the original. Other notable updates include a saddle comprised of various accessories, a modified exhaust, and the bodywork, handlebars and mudguard all finished in handmade Kingston design. The R 18 — and its predecessors like the R 5 and this gorgeous R 25 — is known as a no frills motorcycle built for purists, with a very conversion-friendly architecture. Known for his over-the-top customizing, Dirk Oehlerking certainly stuck with this mandate on this one. 

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