Munich/Gelsenkirchen: Custom bikes have long been an expression of personality and individuality in the motorcycling world. And when the customizer in question is Dirk Oehlerking, you can be sure that the end result will be nothing short of spectacular. BMW Motorrad recently revealed its latest custom marvel, the R 18 The Crown, designed by Oehlerking to commemorate 100 years of BMW Motorrad’s dedication to the craft.
Oehlerking is no stranger to the customizing spotlight. With his Kingston Custom customizing forge, he has a history of producing masterpieces, with the R 18 Spirit of Passion serving as a testament to his streamlined style. The Crown, however, is a bold evolution. As Oehlerking states, “It is the essence of my creations to date.” Having dedicated three decades to crafting unique and eclectic motorcycles in the Ruhr region, his profound passion for industrial culture and craftsmanship has consistently shaped his works.
The R 18 The Crown began as a brand-new BMW R18, which was meticulously stripped down. Oehlerking’s design process involves using hard foam and cardboard to craft the motorcycle’s lines and aesthetics. He sought to design a bike that was “powerful, elegant, and fast combined with an innovative look”. This innovative look wasn’t just about aesthetics—it required significant technical adaptations. Among the standout changes is a newly constructed front wheel suspension, built as a double-sided swinging arm with a central suspension strut.
The body of this artistic machine boasts of an 8-litre fuel tank and other components made from hand-driven, 2 mm thick aluminium sheet metal. While the engine and rear suspension remain unaltered from the original R18, the two stainless steel exhaust manifolds are entirely handcrafted.
Oehlerking didn’t stop at just structural changes. He seamlessly integrated various standard components like the headlight, instrument panel, switch units, and footrest system into the R 18 The Crown’s concept. Moreover, there are several complementary additions like the clutch and handbrake fittings from Magura, the rear mudguard and brackets courtesy of Wunderkind, and a saddle made from aluminium sheet metal draped in genuine leather.
A touch of sophistication was added to this beauty with a Champagne Platinum paint finish, radiant with hints of mother-of-pearl. And as a fitting tribute to BMW, the emblem on this centennial creation is delicately adorned with a petite crown.
With the BMW Motorrad Days having taken place last month, from 7 to 9 July 2023, the BMW R 18 The Crown made its grand debut. The Berlin event, marking the iconic 100-year journey of BMW Motorrad, provided fans, custom bike enthusiasts, and onlookers an opportunity to witness this marvel up close. This unveiling has amplified the legacy of the brand and showcased the epitome of craft, design, and innovation it embodies.
Details regarding acquisition or ownership of this limited masterpiece have not been provided. However, considering its unique attributes and the reputation of both BMW and Oehlerking, it is bound to be a coveted piece in the motorcycling world.
Source: BMW Group