custom revolution



From Gelsenkirchen, Germany


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What you first notice about the “White Phantom” is the bodywork: a white parallelogram with curved ends arcing in consonance with the wheels. The cylinder heads protrude, as do the footrests and shifters, plus short runs of exhaust and intake pipe. That’s it; the mechanical heart of the beast is hidden beneath a clean shell. And what a beast within! The 800cc motor has a turbocharger tucked tightly into the frame, feeding unfiltered air from a bellmouth on one side, and spewing unmuffled exhaust gases from a short stack on the other. The turbo feeds twin Bing carbs via a large plenum chamber, also located under the bodywork. It’s a wicked setup, because the turbo spins on exhaust gases, generating tremendous heat while delivering its power boost. Oehlerking mitigated that heat with exotic F1 insulation between the bodywork and the engine to keep both motor and rider from cooking.

Access to the motor is a party trick: the whole upper section of the bodywork is hinged near the headstock and can be lifted in one piece like an auto’s hood. It’s not just a sheet metal cover, but includes the rear fender, the quilted leather seat, the fuel tank beneath it (the only place it would fit!), and the gauges. It’s a simple thing, to lift a body panel, but in the case of the “White Phantom” it generates a small thrill; who can recall a motorcycle so equipped? Where did these bodywork ideas come from? Oehlerking says he “experimented like the old school, with cardboard, building cutouts, which I rejected then tried again. Suddenly, a very elegant shape emerged, which touched me and totally carried me away.”

The “White Phantom” has been featured in PipeBurn, CafeRacers, and BikeShed.

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