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The Black Phantom: Kingston takes a leap into the dark

The Black Phantom: Kingston Custom takes a leap into the dark with a classic BMW motorcycle
There are one hit wonders, and then there’s Dirk Oehlerking. The German custom builder can’t put a foot wrong, churning out hit after hit from his Kingstom Custom garage.

There’s one Kingston classic BMW in particular that really left a mark on the scene: an R80RT with intriguing bodywork, dubbed ‘White Phantom.’ Dirk has now followed it up with an even more impressive, broodier sibling, just to prove that he can; meet ‘Black Phantom.’

The Black Phantom: Kingston Custom takes a leap into the dark with a classic BMW motorcycle
The idea was sparked when BMW staffers Ola Stenegärd (now at Indian), Christian Pingitzer and Roland Stocker told Dirk it would be impossible to improve upon the White Phantom’s design.

“I never intended to top the White Phantom,” he says. “I just wanted to provide the bike with a companion—a sibling. White and Black, two that belong together, like Yin and Yang. Phantoms that appear from nowhere, that take your breath away, and then disappear again.”

The Black Phantom: Kingston Custom takes a leap into the dark with a classic BMW motorcycle
There’s a clear stylistic connection between the two BMWs—but they’re actually very different machines. Dirk took a fresh approach with the Black edition, setting some very specific goals in the process.

For starters, he set out to build it without any elaborate frame mods—so that meant no cutting, grinding or welding. He also decided to stick to BMW parts wherever possible, and to limit the use of high-end tech.

The Black Phantom: Kingston Custom takes a leap into the dark with a classic BMW motorcycle
Since Dirk’s wrenched on countless classic BMWs, he’s amassed a collection of leftover parts. Every BMW component on the Black Phantom was salvaged from his own workshop, and dates between 1951 and 1979.

The rolling chassis is an unmolested BMW R75 frame, mated to an R80/7 final drive and R80RT shocks. BMW R100RS forks have been grafted on up front, and modified with a skinny external springer system. (They’re also sporting the fork brace from an R75/7).

The Black Phantom: Kingston Custom takes a leap into the dark with a classic BMW motorcycle
There’s a 21” front wheel, borrowed from an R80G/S, and an 18” rear wheel, taken from an R75/6. Tires are from Shinco (front) and Metzeler (rear). The twin brake discs are off an R100RS.

Powering the Black Phantom is the air-cooled boxer motor from a BMW R75. It’s hooked up to a five-speed R80/7 transmission (to match the final drive). The carbs are Bing 32s, but you’d need to lift up the seat to identify them: they’ve been relocated, and are now connected to the heads via custom tubing. Elongated Hoske silencers add an extra dose of class.

The Black Phantom: Kingston Custom takes a leap into the dark with a classic BMW motorcycle
But it’s the hand-formed bodywork that steals the show. Unlike the White Phantom, the Black Phantom’s shell extends all the way to the back, enclosing the rear wheel. It’s all been shaped from 2 mm thick aluminum, and it’s loaded with little details from front to back.

Up front, there’s a cutout for the engine, and a pair of beautifully crafted ducts. On the sides you’ll notice a pair of mesh-covered intakes, and you can even spot a Magura choke lever mounted on the right side. Unscrew a single brass fastener, and the leather seat flips up to reveal the carbs and battery.

The Black Phantom: Kingston Custom takes a leap into the dark with a classic BMW motorcycle
There are more hidden gems behind the rear number boards. Both of them are hinged, and open up to reveal leather tool pouches.

Opening the left side also gives you access to the fuel cap. The actual fuel tank is a one-off aluminum unit, mounted low down and good for 15 liters. Dirk’s installed a new fuel pump to get the gas where it needs to be.

The Black Phantom: Kingston Custom takes a leap into the dark with a classic BMW motorcycle
The Black Phantom’s finishing kit is a mix of more Beemer parts, and a few choice aftermarket goodies. The foot pegs and controls, brake light switch, handlebars and ignition are all from various boxers. The clutch and brake levers are universal aftermarket numbers, and there’s a pair of Motogadget bar-end turn signals.

Dirk turned to MMB to create Black Phantom’s very own set of custom dials. Up top, you’ll find a speedo, tacho, oil pressure gauge and voltmeter. On the sides, there’s a pair of original R51 roundels, backed by LED rings. As for that tiny screen above the headlight—it’s a yellow replacement goggle lens.

The Black Phantom: Kingston Custom takes a leap into the dark with a classic BMW motorcycle
The livery is as timeless as it gets: black, with gold pin striping and brass details throughout. The whole package feels like an art deco concept dragged from the Bavarian marque’s archives. But it’s actually the product of one man’s imagination—and his blood, sweat and tears.

Dirk’s just unveiled Black Phantom at the Wheels and Waves festival in Biarritz—in front of Ola Stenegärd and a host of other industry luminaries. Hopefully they’ll tell him he can’t build a third Phantom—just so we can see what he produces.

Kingston Custom | Facebook | Images by Ben Ott

The Black Phantom: Kingston Custom takes a leap into the dark with a classic BMW motorcycle

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