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khill
khill's picture
 Offline
new mexico
Joined: 08/15/2006
Posts: 80

Hi,

I am considering buying a R 65 and I was wondering if there are
any "best" years for that model. Is this bike to old to use daily
if I find one in great condition and approx. 20K miles on it? Also
what was the last year this model was produced?

Thanks

Kirk Hill

Darryl.Richman
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 Offline
VBMWMO #6285
Surf City, USA (Santa Cruz, CA)
Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 2183
R 65 best model years

The R65 was produced in three eras from 1979 through 1987.

The 1979 and 1980 models had iron sleeved cylinders and points ignition. From '81 through '84, they had electronic ignition and Nikasil plated cylinders. A visual clue between these two eras was the seat upholstery; the early ones had brown vinyl and were ribbed, while the later ones had a black, flat cover. Also, the tail cowl was steeper on the earlier bikes.

Included in these bikes were the R45 models, a 450cc twin, the smallest twin BMW has made, which was only sold in Europe and was intended to get in under a cheaper licensing/insurance limit. Also, from '82-'84, there was the R65LS, which was the same bike but with Y spoke cast wheels (vs. the snowflake wheels on the regular bikes), a distinctive cowling around the headlight, and flat black exhaust headers and mufflers.

All of these earlier bikes had their own frames, gas tanks, and much else; not very many parts cross to the bigger bikes.

In 1985, when BMW introduced the Monolever single sided swingarm frame, the R65 was rationalized into the production with the R80s. These bikes are exactly the same as the R80 bikes except for the changes necessary to get the smaller displacement.

The earlier R65s gained a bit of a reputation because of a vibration node that occured at about 4200 rpm, and at the time there was a homebrew "fix" that involved replacing the front motor spacer with a modified GM rubber motor mount.

I owned an '81 R65, and I put about 55k miles on it, riding it all over LA, southern California, and on several longer vacations. I never knew it wasn't supposed to be a very good bike, and enjoyed the heck out of it! Wink It would top out right at about 100mph, and it handled very nicely. I never noticed the vibration until it was pointed out to me, and then I just rode through it, which is what I had been doing before then also. I suppose the single front disk wasn't too strong either, but again, I didn't know it, so it was fine for me.

After my R65 was wrecked in an accident, I bought an '85 R80, with the Monolever frame. That was a very nice handling bike, and I'd expect that would carry over to the R65. However, it weighed more, and that could have had an effect on overall performance.

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VBMWMO Webmaster,--Darryl Richman
http://darryl.crafty-fox.com

khill
khill's picture
 Offline
new mexico
Joined: 08/15/2006
Posts: 80
R 65 best model years

Thanks very much Darryl. I sort of gave up on the R65 when I found
out our only local BMW mech is leaving the area. Today he just told me
of another very good independent bmw guy who he would highly recommend so the search is back on for a nice and decent r65.

Thanks again,

Kirk

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