Anyone with taste understands that the BMW R18's double-loop frame, pear-drop tank, open-running driveshaft, and curvy chrome exhaust make for an objectively beautiful bike. Dirk Oehlerking of Kingston Custom has made the German cruiser even more striking in his "Spirit of Passion" one-off.
According to BMW Motorrad, the design was inspired by Art Deco, which makes sense give how much the R18's overall shape was altered.
The standout component is an enormous Kingston fairing/mudguard (complete with a take on BMW's iconic kidney grille), painted black and striped with white contour lines. The barbell-like handlebars, which appear to be shorter than stock, were also hand-crafted by the racer, designer and craftsman.
Oehlerking also reworked the pipes in a Kingston Roadster design, while the turn indicators have been replaced with Kellerman lights. The LED front headlight is also integrated into the fairing.
“I put a lot of thought into it beforehand. My motorbikes always convey soul, charm and character," Oehlerking said in a statement. "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 also deemed the R18's core tech "perfect," so he didn't modify the frame or the 1,802cc "Big Boxer" two-cylinder, which sends 91 horsepower and 116 pound-feet of torque through a six-speed gear box equipped with an anti-hopping single-disc clutch.
Having customized 17 other BMW motorcycles, Oehlerking is no stranger to the Berlin-based brand's machines. But the Spirit of Passion is his favorite so far.
"This project is probably the most impressive of my entire career. It means a lot to me – if not everything at this moment," Oehlerking said. "The trust that BMW Motorrad has placed in me once again is hugely important to me. I’m very grateful for that.”