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BMW R65 reviews

4.3
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Reliability
4.0
Overall quality
4.3
Performance
4.0
Comfort
4.0

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4 ratings and reviews

Voted most helpful review

CJ

Cape Town, South Africa

Reviewed on 2009-04-14

Motorcycle reviewed1980 BMW R65

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5.0
My first road bike: bought R65 in 2008 in good condition. Rear brakes were bad though, cost a bundle to get right. I've done mostly short trips of 140km on highways and it behaved very well. Very solid at 120km/h. A bit unstable at 160km/h (100 mph), though, so watch out. Bad points: Wish it had a bit more power, and was lighter in weight. Not for inner city commuting. Would be perfect for medium-distance touring and commuting. Good points: Starts easily in winter. After 28 years, still happy to run at 140km/h (87mph).
Reliability
4.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
4.0
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Voted most helpful review

Phil Owens

Bawley Point, Australia

Reviewed on 2003-09-01

Motorcycle reviewed1979 BMW R65

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4.0
Bought this 1984 R65 10 months ago and have since travelled 12,000 km from Adelaide to Brisbane and Canberra and Sydney and NSW south coast and Canberra and Brisbane and back to southern NSW ... you get the idea. I love it. The 110 km/h freeways (e.g. Hume Highway) are not it's favourite roads, but few Australian roads are up to this standard (i.e. US interstate standard). The little beemer just eats up the standard Australian highways and loves the minor country roads. It has now seen plenty of them. I have carried enormous amounts of gear on it ... the bags and the rack are excellent. Replaced the original shocks with Ikon's (used to be called Koni), repaired a couple of electrical faults, restored the steering head and front fork seals, plus a new rear tyre (Metzler) and added a Givi windsheild/screen (helps in the rain). The R65 does not handle quite as well as my previous bike, a 1984 MotoGuzzi V50 Monza, few bikes do, but the extra 150 cc makes up for that when touring. I have read some reviews that criticise the R65 as a tourer but I have no complaints. Last big ride back from Queensland (three weeks ago) covered 1300 km on the last day, starting at 7 am and finishing at 10 pm. I was tired but not exhausted. OK maybe I was mad, but I had deadlines I could not control. I trust the handling implicitly. It is no match for the modern sports bikes or the modern tourers in acceleration or top speed (I have not gone over 140 km/h), but I doubt that many of them will be running like this when they are almost 20 years old with over 80,000 km on the clock. I really hope that this is my last bike. I am 52 years old so maybe that will be possible. A charming little tourer.
Reliability
4.0
Quality
4.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
4.0
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Voted most helpful review

Scott

Jamestown, North Carolina

Reviewed on 2001-06-25

Motorcycle reviewed1980 BMW R65

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4.0
After riding on the dirt for 10+ years I got away from riding. In February, my wife bought me a 1980 BMW R65 for a almost nothing. After getting the bike in shape to ride, I have put over 2000 miles on it in the last 3 months. Although it is not a hot rod (reason it gets 4 stars), it has plenty of power to out accelerate most cars and two up doesn't seem to hurt it any. My bike had the original Krauser hard bags that are very roomy and tough. The R65 has a short wheelbase which makes it a blast in the twisties. Handling is predictable and smooth and the boxer engine gets lots of attention when I stop at local bike shops. I had originally planned to upgrade soon, but the unique style and easy availability of parts has made me decide to keep it even if I do upgrade in the future. I plan to do lots of motorcycle camping with this bike and the stock seat is fairly comfortable for long rides. Just keep it on the back roads. The windblast on the highway will keep you bouncing in the lane.
Reliability
4.0
Quality
4.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
4.0
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Voted most helpful review

Mike

New Jersey

Reviewed on 2000-05-10

Motorcycle reviewed1979 BMW R65

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4.0
This was the first completely redesigned beamer since the /2's ("slash two's") were retired in the early 1960's. BMW designed the model as a midweight sporty type bike when the superbikes (>750 cc's) replaced the smaller /6's. Most of the line, which included a 450 and an interesting dual sport, were not imported into the US. (I'd love to get my hands on the latter.) The bikes couldn't compete in a niche dominated by cheaper, and quicker, Japanese bikes. After a few years, BMW retired the mark. The bike's forte is twisty back roads where its short wheelbase provides quick handling and nice cornering. Unlike previous boxers (flat twins), it is a short stroke with a high revving engine and a more peaky power curve. These features limit its suitablity for highway cruising since the short wheelbase make it tiring to fight the buffeting you get from winds and slip streams. Like all the boxer twins, the bike is comfortable (not too tall and with a broad saddle). The engine is smooth, but unlike previous beamers, the transmission is relatively smooth having lost the famous BMW "clunk." (I no longer get stares from motorists at traffic lights who look like they expect to see transmission parts and oil scattered underneath the bike.) BMWs age well since the quality of design and workmanship is very high, and parts are readily available. If you're looking for a used beamer that handles the twisties better than the long tour, one that looks more Italic than Teutonic, the R65's can be had much more cheaply than the other, more collectable, BMW models.
Reliability
4.0
Quality
4.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
4.0
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