Custom motorcycle builders in the USA and UK have relatively few restrictions on what they can and cannot do. Then you have countries like Taiwan and Germany, which force builders to abide by draconian regulations.
German bikes require approval from the TÜV authority—which ensures a high quality of work, but also adds complications for the builder. (And is one reason that the new wave custom scene in Germany has lagged behind other countries.) But there are a handful of German builders who are able to work within the restrictions, and get their bikes road-legal. One of those builders is Dirk Oehlerking, the founder of Kingston Custom and creator of this surprisingly radical BMW R75/6.
Oehlerking is an accomplished mechanic with a long history of wrenching on and racing bikes. (He was a German national enduro champion in 1985). He’s been operating Kingston Custom since 2010, creating a stream of mild-to-wild customs across several genres.
This R75/6 is a new approach for Oehlerking, though. “I wanted to build an old-school BMW with character,” he says, “using elements of the bobber and Brat styles.” Inspiration started with the tank, which comes from a 50 cc Yamaha ‘Mokick’ and adds an unusually svelte touch for a vintage BMW. The original front fender has been swapped to the rear.
Oehlerking has stripped down and completely rebuilt the motor, finishing it off with glass bead blasting for a factory-fresh finish. It’s now hooked up to a Norton-inspired exhaust system with a reverse cone muffler. The wheels are also bead blasted, and have been fitted with new Metzeler rubber—19” at the front, and 18” at the back.
In keeping with the low, bobber-style stance, the R75’s forks have been shortened by 88mm (3½ inches). The back end is suspended by a pair of authentic Sachs Hydro Cross shocks, a type popular with vintage dirtbike riders. The battery is now hidden next to the transmission in a custom made box, and the foot controls are aluminum.
It’s one of the more unusual customs we’ve seen lately, with an original style and high-quality fabrication. For an insight into Oehlerking’s work and his background, check out this recent interview on Bubblevisor.