It would be impossible to see next to us the BMW R 18 that the motorcycle designer and craftsman Dirk Oehlerking (Hannover, Germany, 1963) has just customized and not be magnetized by the impressive spectacularity of its design.

In fact, one imagines at his command a wealthy marquis with a passion for the Art Deco style or Batman driving at full speed through the streets of a night Gotham in the 50s of the last century. In any case, no mortal without a succulent checking account, because this transformation commissioned by BMW Motorrad itself must be anything but cheap.

The transformation carried out by Oehlerking is based on a BMW R 18, a model that was released last year but which is inspired by the historic BMW R 5 to focus on the essentials of motorcycles a pure design, without elements superfluous. And the internal changes that it has had to make have been minimal.

The BMW R 18 is so perfect that I left the technology as it is. The chassis is 100% original and so sophisticated that nothing should be changed acknowledges the designer while BMW Motorrad agrees that this model is predestined for customization because its architecture can be transformed so easily.

The biggest challenge for the Spirit of Passion

as the original creation has been called, has been developing the fairing, huge and full of personality. Its shapes look like a conch shell and in its lower part, it includes the two typical BMW kidneys, in this case making a nod to such emblematic models as the 328 from 1936. On these kidneys, the current feature of a headlight with Led technology is concealed by being embedded in the fairing, and the entire structure has the two fine lines painted in continuity with those of the fuel tank.

This fuel tank is the original, the same as the suspensions. The seat has been taken from the range of universal accessories of the German firm, and at the rear, an impressive fender has been incorporated that covers almost the entire wheel and that sports a vertical spoiler.

Oehlerking has been transforming motorcycles for more than 35 years under his peculiar and artistic vision of art. His way of approaching each job does not begin with the first sketches made by hand but before.

I have thought a lot in advance.

My motorcycles always transmit soul, charm, and character. They are exceptional examples, so they require a lot of care and attention. I have a constant stream of images running through my mind when it comes to deciding which style I want to focus on. Once I’ve made that decision, I start with a pencil sketch and Tipp-Ex. Then I continue until I say to myself in the background of my heart: Is this exactly.

Oehlerking has already created 17 motorcycles for BMW, including two models that marked a before and after in motorcycle customization the Black Phantom and the White Phantom. But the designer himself acknowledges that this time the challenge was no less: This project is probably the most impressive of my entire career.

It means a lot to me, if not everything right now. The trust that BMW Motorrad has placed in me once again is extremely important to me. I am very grateful for it.