Designed in homage to the R5, the BMW Motorrad is somewhat suited to customisation and dressing up, as shown by the BMW Motorrad R18 “Spirit of Passion” by Kingston Custom. In this case, Spirit of Passion is the brainchild of Kingston Custom principal Dirk Oehlerking, and follows previous custom designs in the R18 series, R18 Dragster by Roland Sands and the Blechmann R18 by Bernhard Naumann.
Oehlerking, commissioned by BMW Motorrad as part of its “SoulFuel” custom motorcycle series, left the R18’s frame untouched, saying, “the frame is 100 % original and so sophisticated that nothing should be changed here.” However, the installation of a throwback from the 1950s, a streamliner or “dustbin” fairing, gives Spirit of Passion a look not seen since the days of motorcycle racing in over six decades.
The Art Deco look of the fairing with the trademark BMW kidney grille integrates an LED front headlight and Kellermann indicators with the exhaust modified by Oehlerking, and an aftermarket saddle fitted. The fairing is finished in the same shade of black os the original R18, along with the pinstriping.
Carrying the largest opposed-twin made by BMW Motorrad, the R18’s engine displaces 1,802 cc and produces 91 hp at 4,750 rpm and 152 Nm peak torque at 3,000 rpm. Designed for low-end grunt, the R18 delivers 150 Nm of torque from 2,000 to 4,000 rpm, making a gearbox seem almost superfluous.
An exposed shaft drive delivers power to the rear wheel, mimicking the design of the original R5. In Malaysia, the 2020 BMW Motorrad R18 is priced at RM149,500, on-the-road without insurance.
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