review of the week - BMW R65 650cc (1981) user Judith posted this review of an '81 BMW R65 650cc...

"I am very familiar with this bike as I have owned mine for 25 years (since 1983). It is one of very few BMW models which are comfortable for a short person (I am 5'1") without modification, as the seat is relatively narrow as well as being a reasonable height. Sadly, although light for its size, the bike is still a bit too heavy for me to wheel about easily.

The weight is not a problem once it is moving, and I have really enjoyed riding it. The riding position is comfortable but it only scores 4 out of 5 because it has no windscreen or fairing.

I did not like the soft BMW front suspension but am happy with a thicker grade of fork oil.

Braking is OK but there is no ABS (possibly not yet invented in 1980). The original stainless front discs warped and I replaced them with cast iron discs. Unfortunately these rust, so the wheel tends to stick if parked in the wet. Nothing that can't be fixed with a well-aimed kick!

Mpg varies from about 70 on a long trip down to about 50 for local use. My engine has not (yet) been converted to run on unleaded petrol but seems OK with high octane unleaded and a lead substitute additive. Top speed is about 105mph, with good acceleration all the way up. More than adequate for British roads in my opinion.

The bike used to be very reliable but is not quite so good now it is getting older. It has not yet needed any big repairs and routine servicing is an easy DIY task. Some parts of the frame have rusted quite noticeably. Stainless steel exhausts have lasted a very long time, and the original push-rod tubes rusted away and have been replaced with stainless steel ones.

There have been one or two problems with the electrics due to corrosion and/or fatigue. The rear stop light switch tends to corrode very quickly, but lasts about 10 times longer if you dismantle it (carefully drill out the rivets) and pack it with grease. Spare parts are easy to obtain by mail order from specialist dealers, or from your local BMW bike dealer if you have one. The only thing I have been unable to get is an exact match for the paint.

Overall, this bike has served me very well for commuting and the occasional longer trip, but I don't use it regularly any more so have decided to sell. Hopefully it will go to someone who will give it the attention it deserves."

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