BMW Unveils The Crown, A Custom R 18 Celebrating 100 Years Of BMW Motorrad

10 months, 1 week ago - 13 July 2023, rideapart
BMW Unveils The Crown, A Custom R 18 Celebrating 100 Years Of BMW Motorrad
Hand-formed metal bodywork transforms the R 18 into something completely out of this world.

Think back to the beginning of 2021. In January that year, Kingston Custom showed off its first BMW R 18 custom, the Spirit of Passion. Featuring an unmistakable art deco aesthetic, the streamlined design from frequent BMW collaborator Dirk Oehlerking represented an expansion of the R 18 and its infinite world of design possibilities.

Fast-forward to July 2023, and BMW Motorrad is celebrating its 100th anniversary. From July 7 through 9, the Motorrad held its annual BMW Motorrad Days festival in Berlin, but this year was of course extra special. If you're BMW, can you think of a better way to celebrate than asking Oehlerking to come up with another custom R 18 creation to represent the past, present, and future of the brand in tangible visual form?

Enter the latest creation from Kingston Custom, called The Crown. While it has nothing to do with the British royal family, it's something that Oehlerking described in a statement as "the essence of my creations to date." A crowning achievement, made with Oehlerking's painstakingly handcrafted aluminum sheet metal, sealed with a fittingly regal Champagne Platinum finish.

"I started with a new BMW R18 which I then stripped down. As always, I worked with hard foam and cardboard to create the shape, the lines and the design. The aim was for it to look powerful, elegant and fast combined with an innovative look," he said.

Unlike the process with the Spirit of Passion, Oehlerking found himself needing to significantly alter the underlying R 18 structure in order to realize his vision in the construction of The Crown. Out went the standard front end of the R 18, and in came a double-sided swingarm setup with a central suspension strut in its place. 

The fuel tank, body panels, and stainless steel exhaust manifolds were all made completely by hand. At the same time, the headlight, instrument cluster, switchgear, footrests, engine, and other components were retained from the BMW factory and integrated completely into the overall composition of The Crown. 

The end result gives you champagne, lobster, and luxury, and seems a fitting tribute to the 100th anniversary of BMW Motorrad. While The Crown premiered at BMW Motorrad Days 2023, it will undoubtedly make further public appearances at additional shows down the road. 

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