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Old 06-25-2012, 06:32 PM   #1
boney OP
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Just acquired an R65

I'm new to the air heads but not to motorcycles or wrenching in general.

For the second time since we've been married, Mrs. Boney decided she wanted her own bike. This time she did it right and took the MSF course first. She's an old bike and car nut but since we're on a budget I watched craigslist for a reasonably priced bike that she'd like.

Along came a survivor 1981 R65. It's got 48,000 miles and spent most of it's time riding around San Francisco and being kept under a cover outside. I say it's a survivor because generally nothing lasts that long in SF. This picture does it a lot of justice. The paint is scratched and pitted with the pin stripes mostly worn off. The wheels and engine case have a nice patina. Side covers are missing etc.

On the other side, it runs well, pulls nicely, and idles evenly. The transmission shifts well and feels good when putting it through the gears. All the controls seem pretty good and generally is going to require a little bit of work but not a lot.

It's maybe not the best first* bike but it makes her happy.



I'm poking through the "tips and tricks" thread... Also I have some notes that maybe ya'll could help me out with:

It definitely has ATE dual calipers but not the under the tank reservoir setup. Instead it has the rectangular reservoir on the bars. That came later than 1981 yes?

The brake lever moves about half it's travel to the bars then gets pretty solid. After riding it a bit today I've changed my mind from thinking that they had a wooden feeling, but still think they could have better feel. I think the travel is just movement of the pads- they appear to be pulling away from the disc slightly instead of slightly dragging like disc brakes should. I suppose a rebuild is in order. And maybe some new stainless lines.

The handlebars are pretty low. Maybe lower than Mrs. Boney might ultimately like, and they're super narrow. Perhaps they've been cut- it seems that's a common mod in the mission. They're 27" from end to end. Did BMW ever make any that narrow? Also, what are my best best for finding a set with a little more rise and width? Don't ask me what the rise is on this set, I haven't pulled the plastic cover off to look.

I know BMW made a little wedge shaped fairing for the R65... is there anything else out there like a little fly screen that will fit over the big plastic instrument panel?

Speaking of which... the speedo only goes up to about 45. It sounds maybe like something is clicking in there. I don't know if it's still putting miles on accurately, but I'll be able to find out when I map out a loop I rode in Google Maps later... It's probably just the speedo cable, right? (fingers crossed.)

If I pull the neutral switch I'd better be ready to plug the hole so I don't lose all the oil, right?

Clymers or Haynes?

What else?
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Old 06-25-2012, 07:42 PM   #2
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The R65 bikes never had the under the tank MC.
The first two years used a 2 cable control with a round Reservoir. The res is not detachable on these.
In 8/80 (81 model year) which I assume yours is, they changed to rectangular MC with a single into 2 cable setup for the throttle. The rez is replaceable.
There were a large list of changes done for your 2cnd generation R65 bikes. Be glad you chose a later one.
And Congrats, they are way cool machines. I have na 84 I'm going to resurrect one of these years. It's also from the Bay area. actually all of my stable are from the Bay area.
Enjoy
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:19 PM   #3
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I picked up an R65 a few weeks back, I ride it every day.
I just sold a Thruxton and had a Dart Flyscreen I took and fitted to the BMW, keeps a bit of the blast off at motorway speeds and also the rain.
http://www.dartflyscreens.com/
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:54 PM   #4
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Confirmed; The odo puts the correct number of miles on, even though the needle never rises above 45-ish.

The cam gears in the throttle are pretty worn- any idea where to get some?
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Old 06-25-2012, 10:24 PM   #5
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Mine had worn gears on the throttle tube, the gears were fine, was going to buy from motobins but one came up locally. There are different types as I had another one of an earlier bike and it would not fit.
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Old 06-25-2012, 10:38 PM   #6
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Do you have a more clear shot of the brakes? They don't look like the ones you were describing as being on there.

As for brake feel, the first thing I'd do would be to clean up the whole system.
Make sure the caliper pistons are free and moving as they should.
Then I'd drain, flush, refill and bleed the system. Also make sure that the fluid is returning to the master cylinder.
Then I'd clean the rotors and give the pads a light sanding using 200-400 grit paper on a piece of glass just a couple of swirls is all that's needed to break any kind of glaze that might be on the pad. I use water to keep down the dust.
Some older brake pads still have nasty stuff in them.

Bars are out there. I put G/S bars on my R80ST which came with RS bars on it (Low and narrow like yours)
But they were expensive. Trouble is BMW bars are like 22mm rather then the much much more common 7/8" size.

There's a wide variety of bars for BMW's but your wife might like the stock R65 bars (and I think they were also the stock ST bars as well)

The flyscreen for the R65 and ST is a decent job, but it came unpainted, so you would have to have it paint matched, or find one that someone else had paint matched.

National Screens makes a decent simply windscreen that's somewhere between a flyscreen and a small windshield.
It fits on my R80ST with the G/S bar but didn't fit on the bike when I had the narrow bars on it.
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Old 06-26-2012, 02:31 AM   #7
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Like Squish says, flush, bleed and do maintenance on your brakes as the first step. You may or may not need new parts. You DO need good brakes.

There are almost a gazillion little things to look at on a 30 year old new-to-you bike. All fluids, the oil filter o-ring, the speedo cable boot at the transmission for startses.

Wonky speedo? Fellow inmate Wirespokes is a speedo wiz.

You're off to a good start reading up on the bike here. Read this site, too:

http://largiader.com/ a well-written cornucopia.
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:39 AM   #8
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Looks like you have a great bike there. Needs a little sorting, but most 31 year old bikes usually do. I think someone has put lower bars on it. The stock ones should be higher and a bit wider. As others have said, you should do a complete flush of the brake system. I would replace the stock hydraulic lines with braided stainless. The Speedo problem may be something very simple. Not that hard to open it up and have a look. Do a thorough cleaning of all the old grease and make certain that all gears are connecting correctly. Inmate Anton has lots of info on fixing speedos. I did mine easily with a lot of patience.

You can find LOTS of good info on the R65 at http://www.bmwr65.org/ Good bunch of people on there with lots of specific knowledge on these fine beasts.
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:41 AM   #9
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Great looking machine there. I am sure she will love it!
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Old 06-26-2012, 06:58 PM   #10
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I had an 81 and loved it. Didn't realize just how much till after I'd sold it.

So a couple years ago I got another one - an 83LS. Wonderful bikes! I'll warn you - if you don't stay off of it, you'll be buying a second one for yourself.

I can't see that the cable would have anything to do with being unable to indicate past 45. There's got to be something wrong inside, at the very least, something blocking needle movement. If it's making noises, I'd disconnect the cable until it gets repaired. Parts are expensive and NLA new, so don't take a chance on wrecking anything in there!

But it is possible the cable is in need of lube badly and oscillating in the housing, and that's where the noise is originating, but I doubt it.
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Old 06-27-2012, 06:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wirespokes View Post
I had an 81 and loved it. Didn't realize just how much till after I'd sold it.

So a couple years ago I got another one - an 83LS. Wonderful bikes! I'll warn you - if you don't stay off of it, you'll be buying a second one for yourself.

I can't see that the cable would have anything to do with being unable to indicate past 45. There's got to be something wrong inside, at the very least, something blocking needle movement. If it's making noises, I'd disconnect the cable until it gets repaired. Parts are expensive and NLA new, so don't take a chance on wrecking anything in there!

But it is possible the cable is in need of lube badly and oscillating in the housing, and that's where the noise is originating, but I doubt it.


Today I was under the speedo cover. Aside from snapping off the little plastic hook that holds a turn signal indicator's light in (super extra brittle) it all looks crusty- like a bike that was stored outside under a cover.

When I tried to unhook the speedo cable (above) the plastic threaded attachment spun, not the barrel on the end of the cable. Rather than messing with it and damaging something, I just buttoned it all back up. When I look closely, it's possible that the cable is cross-threaded onto the bottom of the speedo. I may have to grab the plastic threads with something so I can unhook the cable.

Any words of wisdom?
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Old 06-27-2012, 06:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boney View Post

Any words of wisdom?
wirespokes is your man

he makes a brass piece to replace the plastic one, its likely junk, and going to break, pretty common

looks like the cable needs some penetrating oil and a clean and lube, but the speedo head isnt going to survive taking it off.
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Old 06-27-2012, 07:22 PM   #13
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I have a fix for the GS that always breaks off, but not the R65, which is different. If you grab the threaded part above the cable you should be able to then unscrew it. That plastic part is retained from spinning in the housing by three small slivers of plastic, which have, no doubt, sheared off.

But the cable doesn't thread all the way on, so grabbing the stub close to the housing shouldn't hurt the function any.

The other option is to cut off the cable - not a bad thing if you think it's bad.

Hopefully the speedo isn't as crusty on the inside as outside!
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Old 06-27-2012, 08:15 PM   #14
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Had that exact same problem on a 1980 R65 a few years ago. Soaked the threads with some ATF and let it sit for a few days. Then got my needle nose vice grips to grip the plastic barrel without pinching it too badly and used another set of vice grips on the speedo cable housing and slowly worked it back and forth til it would unscrew. I replaced the speedo cable as it was junk. the plastic barrel actually survived well enough to re-use. The Speedo was real jumpy so I took it apart and cleaned everything really well. Got some really light grease and dabbed it everywhere there originally was grease. Took the time to dissasmble as much as possible and cleaned the face and glass as well. Fixed the odometer as it was not turning. It has worked fine ever since. While you are in there, you might as well clean and regreas the tach and replace all the lights, just to be on the safe side.

I wish I had not sold that R65. But, I wish I never sold a lot of the bikes I have had over the years.
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Old 06-27-2012, 09:09 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by squish View Post
Do you have a more clear shot of the brakes? They don't look like the ones you were describing as being on there.


And as a side note, I measured the handlebars today and they're the standard "euro bars" dimensions- made by Magura.

boney screwed with this post 06-27-2012 at 09:22 PM
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