BMW Motorrad pulled the covers off its new BMW R 18 “Spirit of Passion” custom motorcycle by Kingston Custom, the second R 18 build in the “Soulfuel” collaborative series. Built by custom bike designer and fellow German Dirk Oehlerking, the “Spirit of Passion” uses Art Deco design elements from BMW Motorrad’s storied past.
Despite its radical departure from the R 18 cruiser’s appearance, the “Spirit of Passion” is not as heavily modified as one might think. The chassis is completely original, as are many other components, and therein lies the brilliance of Oehlerking’s build. The elegant handmade Kingston dustbin fairing and wing incorporate the R 18’s classic lines and pin striping, which were prominently featured on BMW motorcycles of yesteryear like the iconic BMW R 5.
To achieve his goals, Oehlerking updated a handful of parts, namely the handlebar, fender, saddle and exhaust. The stock LED headlight is faultlessly integrated, while Kellermann provided the inconspicuous indicators.
Speaking on the overall design, Oehlerking said, “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!”
With 35 years of experience, Kingston Custom owner Dirk Oehlerking is no stranger to the German custom motorcycle scene. BMW Motorrad felt he was a perfect candidate to showcase the customizable nature of the R 18 platform.
“This project is probably the most impressive of my entire career,” said Oehlerking. “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.”
BMW Motorrad’s Soulfuel collection has helped highlight custom builders from around the world. We anticipate more R 18 custom builds to be unveiled by the Bavarian-based brand, but for now, feast your eyes on the “Spirit of Passion.”