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azcycle 10-07-2011 01:04 PM

Bringing my r65 Back to Life...
For those few of you over on the r65 forum, this will be a repeat story, but I figured there would be enough Old School interest (and knowledge/advice) that it warranted it's own topic here on ADV. Especially since it was a local ADVer (KiC) who lent me his moto-trailer without even knowing me.

It has been 371 days since I heard the heart-sinking grinding/buzzing sound (accompanied with noticeable lack of GO!) that told me my r65 suffered from stripped input splines (I assume). Buying a new home and the money/renovations that has needed has put my r65 repair on the back-burner. Two days ago, I was happy to finally see a check come in the mail from one of my website design freelance projects. That check, along with the wife's "You should use that money to get the bmw fixed..." (what a great wife!) has now enabled me to have the transmission rebuilt by a local beemer expert who comes highly recommended for airheads. I'm also convinced there will be many "while I'm there..." type of side-projects so I've put aside enough cash (I hope!) to cover the list of what I want to do. I hope to have it all complete and back on the road by November 15th, which will be the 2-year anniversary of my father-in-law passing, from whom I inherited the r65.

Other than the transmission repair, I intend to get my fingers dirty and knuckles skinned by doing the work myself. Here is what I intend to do:
  • Have transmission rebuilt fresh.
  • Install new clutch (I assume it will be toast from the spline strip?) We'll see...
  • Replace Oil Pump cover gasket.
  • Replace main seal.
  • Replace oil pan gasket and clean/maybe paint oil pan.
  • Clean/rebuild carbs (I'm sure they need it, now).
  • Clean/paint valve covers and replace leaking gaskets.
  • Replace Oil Pressure sender unit.
  • Lube final drive splines.
  • Check/Replace Oil Breather Valve with Reed-style if needed. (And figure out why oil is weeping from the starter motor cavity.
  • Replace cracking rubber brake lines/replace with stainless steel.
  • Replace fuse block with new blade-style fuses.
  • Buy/install new speedometer - Vapor probably - along with finding a way to attractively mount the ignition key/cylinder.
I know you airheads have done many of these procedures, so maybe this will be a boring thread for you. But I'm new to airheads and would like to document as I bumble my way through it, hopefully without too many problems. I have all the specialty tools, downloaded many "how to" articles, read (and took pain-reliever to help the eye strain from) Snowbum's site, have the Clymer manual, know the pitfalls to avoid ... and just have to START. But I hope you'll chime in as I post up photos and document my progress for the greater good. I plan on starting teardown this weekend.

Part of why I'm starting this post NOW is to help keep me motivated... don't want to keep you FF's waiting. A couple to whet your appetite:

Before that fateful day, after I had just completed putting on some new rubber:

And..... she's done:

danedg 10-07-2011 01:48 PM

Put some nice "peanut" valve covers on her!
That's one of the best lookin' 65's I've seen.
Yes, and do all the rest of that stuff too!:deal

supershaft 10-07-2011 03:46 PM

IMO, peanut valve covers don't look right with head fins that have been squared off like all the head fins that came with the /7 valve covers. Check it out: /5 and /6 head fins and maybe even the cylinder fins are more rounded to match the peanut valve cover.

Plus the /7 covers sure do protect your engine more in a spill.

I would only replace that stuff it was leaking. Valve cover gaskets leaking? Be careful! The head's valve cover gasket surface warps a lot and causes the valve cover gaskets to leak. Sometimes new gaskets just leak more until you get the surface machined.

Cable junction boxes are almost always filled with grit. Clean them and seal them with electric wire insulating shrink tube. It works perfectly for almost forever!

azcycle 10-07-2011 04:03 PM

I've been tempted by the peanut covers, especially since my FIL made the r65 look like older airheads with the pinstriping, older-style front fender, etc. I even have the original rear fender that was painted gloss black and pinstriped. but the lower edge was destroyed when my FIL changed it into a bit of a scrambler with knobby tires. The knobs tore up the fender. Someday I intend to paint the replacement fender black and pinstripe to match what my FIL had.

But only slightly tempted. I've heard the peanuts aren't nearly as robust AND I guess I'm one of the few that actually like the look of the more modern, square covers.

supershaft 10-07-2011 04:42 PM

I think the square covers look just fine myself. I like the peanut covers too but I don't see myself running them on anything but /5's and /6's. Square covers on those bikes would look out of place for their rounder head fins a bit more IMO than peanut covers on heads with squared off fins but . . . . I like that part left as they came I guess.

azcycle 10-08-2011 05:46 PM

I was perusing Ebay yesterday, wondering if anything interesting would turn up. I found a set of stock, original mufflers for the r65 and, tempted, clicked through to the auction. To my surprise, the seller lived right here in Tucson, and the auction said he was parting out a 1983 r65 and had many other parts. I emailed him and through a couple back and forth Ebay messages, he invited me out to his place today to take a look at what I wanted.

Drove up there this morning and was blown away. I wish I had taken photos of his home, but didn't want to come across creepy. But the guy knew his BMW and had pretty much any and every make. I saw r50's, r69s's, a couple r90's, and hundreds of parts hanging everywhere. Bikes from basket-case all the way to fully restored. Just gorgeous. It truly was a treasure chest of vintage airheads. Guy was a fount of knowledge and really helped cement my confidence in what I am about to undertake with the r65. Also turns out that the guy knew my father-in-law and said "John was a f**king mad scientist with a welder." Yep, that was my FIL. :freaky He invited me to a weekly vintage bike night at one of the local micro-breweries, gave me his business card and said that he'd be glad to help me anytime. So what started out as a possible muffler score turned into much more, including a local mentor.

Anyway, so I scored this for $300.Exterior could be in better shape but it shifts through all gears smoothly, no looseness...

... and the splines are in great shape:

So now I have TWO transmissions. I'll drop this new chunk 'o metal in and get her up and riding right away, cheap-like. What funds were going to JUST rebuilding my transmission will now cover everything... including new clutch. In the meantime, I can save up a bit and get the original tranny fixed.

Oh, I also picked this up for $100, in near-perfect condition. I know it wasn't on my original list but my original front rim has a good sized ding in it and is a tiny bit out-of-round, which I think causes the slight wobble/bump at 45mph. Too bad the rubber is dry-rotted/cracked because it has some good tread on it.

So here she sits, awaiting my wrenches. Tomorrow I dive in:

Wirespokes 10-08-2011 11:20 PM

Hope the guy's name isn't Bill. If it's the same person I'm thinking of, I'd be careful!

Looks line a nice wheel you scored there - not a bad price at all! Ya done good on the trans also.

DaveBall 10-09-2011 07:55 AM

Is that wheel an 18 or 19 inch? If a 19, then it is the one of the factory recall and it is not considered safe as it does not have the added webbing at the hub.

Otherwise, sounds like you scored some good kit.

azcycle 10-09-2011 08:01 AM


Originally Posted by DaveBall (Post 17034824)
Is that wheel an 18 or 19 inch? If a 19, then it is the one of the factory recall and it is not considered safe as it does not have the added webbing at the hub.

Otherwise, sounds like you scored some good kit.

I knew about the recall, but it is a stock 18" for the r65. Looks like it was painted in the past as it's flaking a bit here and there but even with that it's in better shape than my original front rim.

Wirespokes 10-09-2011 08:04 AM

The early R65 18" snowflakes didn't have the webbing, but weren't recalled. And for the record, the 19" were probably just fine except for a very few that developed a few cracks near the hub, but didn't fall apart or break in two. I've gotten bikes with them still mounted and running fine twenty plus years later. My brother replaced the one on his RS that had over 100K and it wasn't cracked or falling apart in any way.

azcycle 10-10-2011 09:35 AM

I spent most of yesterday cleaning/organizing my garage (I REALLY need a workbench and shelving) and wrestling with an old stump whose roots were pushing up the bricks of our backyard patio. I did manage to get 5-minutes into r65 "teardown" mode... removed the gas tank, carbs, battery/battery tray. Not worthy of any photos.


Originally Posted by Wirespokes (Post 17033668)
Hope the guy's name isn't Bill. If it's the same person I'm thinking of, I'd be careful!

Guy's name WAS Bill. Should I be concerned?

Wirespokes 10-10-2011 04:48 PM

If it's the same Bill L. I've had dealings with, I would! He sold me some wheels, one of which was tweaked pretty badly, and when I asked for my money back he claimed I just had buyer's remorse. When I convinced the ibmwr admin the rim really was in bad shape (several pix), Bill continued to be nasty with me, refused to communicate or take responsibility, and was banned from using ibmwr. Far as I know, he's still banned.

azcycle 10-10-2011 06:29 PM

Ah. Well I think that is the guy. I certainly looked over all the bits and pieces that I bought and they're in good shape but will be more aware of any future deals.

Wirespokes 10-10-2011 07:35 PM

Sounds like you did all right - and on a personal basis where you get to see the parts that's one thing, but I wouldn't trust him farther than that. I certainly wouldn't expect my money back if something wasn't as claimed. :D ...considering what happened to me.

azcycle 10-12-2011 12:58 PM

That really suck, wirespokes. Sorry you had such a bad experience. :cry

Not much to update on my teardown progress. Managed to get the airbox off last night, and I think I found why the starter cavity weep-holes were, well.... weepy. The breather valve hose wasn't actually connected to the airbox, so it was just venting oily air right into the starter cavity. Also noticed the "air induction system" had been removed. That threw me for a loop for a bit, while looking through my Clymer manual... until I researched and found that some folks do that intentionally. The reed valve looks like it's in good shape, though I'll probably replace the breather tube just for good measure... seems a bit petrified.

I plan on pulling the starter once I get the transmission out, and cleaning everything thoroughly. I've not had any issues with the starter, but do you think it would be wise to get it apart and lube it all up?

I'm ordering some Speigler stainless brake lines today. Once I get into the clutch area and see what I need, I'll be ordering some more stuff.

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