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Old 05-01-2011, 05:59 PM   #1
bmwhacker OP
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BMW R65 - Pros? Cons?

I recently sold my long loved R75/5 and ended up with a 1982 R65 as part of the transaction. My first instinct was to sell it off but after riding it I wasn't so sure I wanted it to go away. It seems to be pretty nimble and should be a good "around town" ride.
I've only ridden it 20 miles or so as I haven't had a chance to look things over better. (lube levels, plugs, etc. etc.)

The bike needs a little TLC but overall looks / rides pretty good. I noticed some weepage from a fork seal and there is a small leak underneath somewhere.
The seat is from another planet but is actually pretty comfortable.



My buddy (BMW Mechanic / Guru) says to stay away from the R65's but I don't know why his opinion is negative. It appears to have a lot in common with the R80ST's which are fairly popular.... And it is a fun little bike to ride...for the 20 miles I've put on it around the neighborhood anyway.


I see they sell fairly cheaply, from $1400.00 - $2000.00 for a nice one.
Obviously they are not a "sought after" BMW model.
I knew someone who had a R65LS and they really liked the LS Model. Other than the fairing I don't know if there is much difference.

So does anyone around here have experiences / opinions about these machines?

I also wondered if the transmissions were interchangable with the 1970 - 1979 BMW's?

Opinions?....
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Old 05-01-2011, 06:02 PM   #2
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I dig my LS for scooting around town-not as clean as that one, no issues with mine really except I need to replace a pushrod seal.
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Old 05-01-2011, 06:09 PM   #3
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I've owned a small-frame 1981 and a big frame 1986. The 1986 was one of the best bikes I've ever had.....it did everything well.
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Old 05-01-2011, 06:10 PM   #4
Wirespokes
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Transmissions are all the same.

I believe the R65s got a bad rep from getting lugged - that tears them up. They need to be revved - as all boxers should be, but the R65 more so since it's a short rod motor. Don't make them work at lower RPMs.

The only difference between the LS and the others is the bodywork, wheels, and exhaust with a bit different shape. They also had dual discs, but the rest could have them too as an option.
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Old 05-01-2011, 06:13 PM   #5
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Nothing really wrong with them. The biggest difference from all the other models is the shorter stroke, which some people think makes them vibrate more.

The earlier models were slugs, I'd stay away from the '79-80 models, I understand the later ones have more poke.

BTW, headlight assy, fuel tank, front fork,and alot of other parts are not interchangable with the R80ST. I know 'cause when I rebuilt my wife's R80ST after tossing it off a cliff, R65 parts were more plentiful. And they didn't fit
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Old 05-01-2011, 06:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norton73 View Post
Nothing really wrong with them. The biggest difference from all the other models is the shorter stroke, which some people think makes them vibrate more.

The earlier models were slugs, I'd stay away from the '79-80 models, I understand the later ones have more poke.

BTW, headlight assy, fuel tank, front fork,and alot of other parts are not interchangable with the R80ST. I know 'cause when I rebuilt my wife's R80ST after tossing it off a cliff, R65 parts were more plentiful. And they didn't fit
My Brother has a 1984 ST (bought new...17k miles and collecting dust) and from appearances they look similar.
I was told that the R65 was its' own model with unique parts. Hence the transmission compatibility question. (I have a few 70's spare transmissions laying around.)
Since I won't be able to retire from its' sale, maybe I'll keep it and ride it.
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Old 05-01-2011, 07:42 PM   #7
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R65s rock.
They have their own place in the BMW world.
LSs are cool as hell.
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Old 05-01-2011, 10:24 PM   #8
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If this alleged guru disses an R65, I'd re-think my shrine. I've been all over the Western states on one and I guess I was too stupid to realize how miserable I was? It will cruise 70-75 ALL day. No problems.

It could use better shocks and fork springs though. I put gaiters on mine and never had to replace a fork seal again.
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Old 05-01-2011, 10:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wirespokes View Post
Transmissions are all the same.

I believe the R65s got a bad rep from getting lugged - that tears them up. They need to be revved - as all boxers should be, but the R65 more so since it's a short rod motor. Don't make them work at lower RPMs.

The only difference between the LS and the others is the bodywork, wheels, and exhaust with a bit different shape. They also had dual discs, but the rest could have them too as an option.
The R65 is not a short rod motor. It has almost the exact rod length ratio as a R100. I believe a R100 RLR is 1.91:1 and a R65 is 1.92:1 which is a RCH LONGER rod in relationship with the stroke. The R65 has a shorter stroke but, again, the stroke to bore ratio is EXACTLY the same as a R100's at 1.33:1. As far as the "stroke" being relative is concerned, it is the same "stroke" as a R100.

IMO, R65's lug just as well as any R100 minus a lot of the torque a R100 gets from its larger displacement. IMO, no engine should be lugged.

I have heard the same crap about R65's being bad motors. I worked at one dealership and a couple of the old mechanics were telling me they throw rods. I said no more than any other airhead and they said they had never seen a 247 throw a rod. Literally the next week a R100 came in with the rod sticking through the case! I laughed.

They got revamped ports in '81 and the new much better clutch like all the other bikes got that same year. The pre'81 R65/45's have a clutch unique to the models.
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Old 05-01-2011, 10:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Ernie View Post
If this alleged guru disses an R65, I'd re-think my shrine. I've been all over the Western states on one and I guess I was too stupid to realize how miserable I was? It will cruise 70-75 ALL day. No problems.

It could use better shocks and fork springs though. I put gaiters on mine and never had to replace a fork seal again.

I tend to disagree with the "gurus" opinion also.
I took the bike out this evening for a ride. The little feller is pretty quick on its' feet. Great braking for a single disc. I like the seating position and the bike fits me well. This is the newest BMW I've owned....and the first with a factory disc brake.
I'm leaving the state for a couple of months so took it over to a storage unit I rented. Waiting for the security gate the left carb started dumping gas on the ground / exhaust so I'll be doing a little carb work when I get back. I ran the carbs dry and pulled the ground cable. The short ride I took leads me to believe that this one is a keeper for the time being.
When I originally got it home I found that the signal lights / brake lights weren't working. Expecting the worse, I found that the front brake light switch was missing and the wires had shorted against the handlebars, blowing the fuses. Taped the wires and now all is well. I'll install a new front brake light switch when I get to it. Don't really need it since the rear switch works and I typically don't brake with only the front brake.


The cheap-o after market fairing will stay. It looks like it belongs there
.

Brand new "Brown" side stand. The PO told me he would send me the removed center stand but hasn't yet. I'll probably never see it. At least he left the complete tool kit in the tray.
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Old 05-01-2011, 10:49 PM   #11
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+1!

I'd love to own an R65 and an LS is THE ONE!

My Buddie Jim Post put huge miles on an LS, pulling a trailer and two up with his girlfriend. I guess he finally wore it out but for anyone to say that something is inherently wrong with those bikes, just doesn't appreciate em for what they are.

I'm still hoping to find an affordable Pearl White LS, before the masses figure out how good they are!
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Old 05-01-2011, 10:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Ernie View Post
If this alleged guru disses an R65, I'd re-think my shrine. I've been all over the Western states on one and I guess I was too stupid to realize how miserable I was? It will cruise 70-75 ALL day. No problems.

It could use better shocks and fork springs though. I put gaiters on mine and never had to replace a fork seal again.
I use to cruise mine 90mph ALL day no problem! All the fork springs need is 1/2" more preload. The shocks need to turn in to Koni's.
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Old 05-02-2011, 06:25 AM   #13
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See my sig?

Mine's neither pretty nor super-fast, but it's been a great bike.

With the usual electrical upgrades, it's perfect for me.
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Old 05-02-2011, 08:53 AM   #14
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R65 and R45 are on the same platform. R65's are much, much epically better than an R45.

We never got the R45 in the US, though maybe a couple snuck in. The few I saw were pretty, well, basic. Flimsy looking too.

Jeff Brody rode a R65 around the US for years. Still has it, I think, even after it was stolen a couple times...
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Old 05-02-2011, 09:50 AM   #15
supershaft
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The usual electrical upgrades? Right now I have two airheads with over 100,000 miles. They both have their original diode boards. They both could have their original brushes (I just changed one set LONG before it was needed). I did have a rotor in one give up at about 60,000 miles. Personally, I have never seen a stator go bad in any airhead. I have changed the B+ wires in both of them and have my own grounding setup.

The R45 looks flimsy? It's the SAME bike with a smaller bore.
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