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My new R65, and some questions for Airheads?

Jim VonBaden

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Jim VonBaden

As some of you know I am pretty handy with the oilheads, and have some experience with K-bikes, but virtually none on airheads past setting the valves and TB sync.


I recently purchased a 1980 R65 in pretty good shape for $1500, and have it in my head to turn it into a cafe racer looking bike. I have a good start, but need some advice on a few things.



In decent shape, and running pretty well.



I got this little fairing, and plan on either chopping the front and rear fenders, or buying a new front and chopping the rear fender to make them much smaller.


I also plan on LED tail lights and turn signals, new aluminum foot pegs and a custom seat.


Finally I plan on painting it a new color, most likely metalic purple with emerald green accents. Yeah, I know, but I think it will look cool!


Like I said, the bike is solid, but needs a little work.


So, here are a few starter questions:


* What are some good sources for airhead parts, both new and used?


* Will an 85 R65 seat fit on the 80 R65 with mods, or if not, what options do I have?


* The bike has stock points, and I would like to change it to electronic ignition, what options do I have?


* At about 4200 RPM in 4th and 5th gear it has a hesitation, but not in any other gear. Any ideas?


I am open to all suggestions and comments, (what did I just say? :shock: ) and am hoping for some good advice.


If you know me, I am a bike nut, and will likely be posting here a lot, especially with updates on my progress.


Thanks for any help you can give me! ooo.gif


Jim cool.gif

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Paul Mihalka

Couple of answers/comments: A '85 R65 is a completely different bike from a '80 R65. It is built on the same frame/engine base as the R80/R100 bikes that went on to 1995. So the seat from a '85 will not fit the '80.

Points: BMW went to electronic ignition in '82. They changed from a old (from /5) points system to a more modern one at one time, kind of intermediate between old points and electronics, in '80 or '81. If you take off the front engine cover and right away you see the points in the open, it is the old system. If you see a round can with a cover, and you see the points when you take the cover off, you have the newer system. If you have the new system, I would leave it alone. It is reliable, easy to work on, easy to adjust ignition timing. The after-market electronic ignitions, I remember Boyer and Dyna, were not very reliable.

Have you been in touch with the airheads website? If I know you, you probably have already a 100 posts there grin.gif

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Jim VonBaden

Thanks Paul, I figured as much about the points.


Just a few posts, so far! grin.gif


Jim cool.gif

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I had the very same model and year, yet you have the new style air filter box and non flat-top carbs. Maybe it was a '79.


My R65 had the dual disc set-up and braking was excellent (hell, I needed it for the 10 years that bike spent in the Alps). See pic...


BMW R65.jpg


I bought it in 1994 as the third owner. The original owner installed electronic ignition made my Luminition. It was made in England...amazingly, it was reliable. I could switch to points/condensor within 15 minutes if it did fail; nice to have a back-up.


I'd check the wheel bearings.


Tie your side covers together. They have a tendency to disappear.


A fun bike, but a bit low on power and torque when you're used to a stable of GSes. It is a rever.


The BMW original bikini fairing pictured will be for sale in July if anybody is looking for one.

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A few years back I restored a 71 R60. I got a lot of help from re-psycle.com They are in Ohio and usually had a good supply of old parts ready to ship. Hope this helps

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