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BMW R18 by Kingston Custom: An Art Deco Meisterwerk




BMW has wasted no time getting the contemporary R18 into the hands of customizers. 5 months ago, sooner than the Bavarian cruiser used to be even in showrooms, Roland Sands unveiled the low-slung ‘Dragster’ theory. Then a pair of weeks later, Bernhard Naumann of Blechmann printed an ultimate wilder assemble.

Now it’s the turn of Dirk Oehlerking, who runs Kingston Personalized. He’s essentially essentially based in Gelsenkirchen—a six-hour trot from the BMW manufacturing facility in Berlin—and has constructed around 17 BMW customs eventually of the last 35 years. Right here’s arguably his preferrred yet.




The swooping lines and quality of perform are next level. But right here is now now not a styling yell forever sophisticated in a CAD program on pc; Dirk aloof works in a truly analog technique.

The own route of begins long sooner than the predominant screws are became. “I attach aside quite loads of idea into it beforehand,” he says. “I in actuality contain a fixed movement of photos running previous my mind’s peek when deciding what fashion to accommodate.”




“When I’ve made that need, I originate with a sketch in pencil and Tipp-Ex [correction fluid]. Then I retain going, except I know in my coronary heart of hearts: that’s precisely ‘it’.”

The BMW R18 has been designed with customization in mind, following the path blazed by the R nineT. The showroom bike is something of a rolling homage, with visual (and technical) tiny print echoing the R5 of the gradual 1930s. It also has a spotlight on new-nonetheless-no-frills tech—such because the 1,802 cc (110 ci) pushrod motor.




Oehlerking fundamentally takes a deep dive into the bikes that he customizes. But this time he’s largely left the mechanical aspect by myself, because it would be exchange for the sake of exchange.

“I left the expertise as it’s,” he says. “The physique is 100% authentic.” Sensible authentic own touches love the uncovered pressure shaft and rear wheel hub are aloof existing and right.




The exact action is taking place on the surface—with the unprecedented fairing and rear wheel duvet. It’s imaginable to hint a determined lineage right here, beginning with Dirk’s ‘White Phantom’ R80RT of 4 years ago.

In 2018, his ‘Black Phantom’ took it up a notch, the utilization of parts from extra than one airhead BMWs, and last yr, we had the ‘Factual Ghost’ R100. I remember thinking that it would be unattainable to high that bike, nonetheless BMW head office clearly had assorted suggestions.




The R18 is the fourth bike in this informal sequence. Known as ‘Spirit of Ardour,’ it retains the Art Deco vibe that Dirk has sophisticated eventually of the last few years. And though it looks adore it belongs on the manicured lawns of Pebble Sea wander, or the Concorso d’Eleganza at Villa d’Este in Italy, it’s in actuality a truly reasonable, rideable bike.

You right wouldn’t are searching to tumble it.




Dirk carved the form of the bodywork out of inflexible foam to mark molds, and the rest shell is fiberglass. It bolts to the identical outdated R18 mounting capabilities, and the matching rear wheel enclosure is attached to the swingarm—so that it follows the fade of the wheel.

It sounds straightforward, nonetheless there used to be clearly quite loads of precision own and measuring taking place right here.




When it came to designing the ‘kidney grille,’ Dirk used to be inspired by the enduring BMW 328—the four-wheeled contemporary of the R5 bike. The grille itself is crafted from aluminum slats, and the recessed oval above conceals an LED headlight from Highsider. Compact Kellermann indicators retain the machine toll road-staunch.

The petite windshield is personalized-made the utilization of Makrolon polycarbonate, a delicate-weight glass substitute, nonetheless the leather-essentially essentially based seat is personalized from BMW’s contain accessory catalog.




The bars are personalized-made, and designed so that the turning circle is the identical because the showroom bike. And with 150mm (5.9 inches) of clearance between the toll road and the decrease fairing, ground clearance is now now not an subject, unless you are lapping the Nürburgring.




The tank is the identical outdated fitment (dressed with a classic R75 badge). Executed off with classic BMW shadowy paint and refined white pinstriping, the Kingston R18 would possibly virtually pass for an expensively restored classic machine—at home in a European museum, or on the bottom of a excessive-end public sale home.

In its place of this one will originate first time at the press of a button, and simplest wants servicing every 6,000 miles.




It’s a towering success from Oehlerking, surpassing even the White and Black Phantoms, and he’s rightly at ease with it. “This project is potentially essentially the most impressive of my whole career,” he says. “It arrangement loads to me.”

In case you’re feeling the care for as smartly, you’ll be contented to take cling of that Dirk has a minute model production speed planned. Now now not many personalized bikes change into collectors’ devices, nonetheless we suspect this would possibly occasionally be one of them.

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