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bonesteel
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New Member - New (old) Bike
06/10/18 at 21:14:14
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Hello All,

After a long search and contemplation I have purchased a 1979 R65. It's had a life in Vermont and in a storage shop in NJ and has about 10K miles on the clock. The last 4 years it's only been ridden twice, so I've had my local dealer pick it up and swap out all the fluids/lube and have general look at it. It does run and seems to be in great shape. I'm really looking forward to spending some real time on it.

I've had dirt bikes and a smaller street bike but currently spend most my riding on a Vespa GTS 250. The R65 will be allow me to explore more rides outside my local NJ town. I'm looking forward to riding and working on the bike and am also happy to find this resource online.

Cheers,

Jon Bonesteel
Montclair, NJ, USA
  

1979 BMW R65
2007 Vespa GTS 250
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Tony Smith
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Re: New Member - New (old) Bike
Reply #1 - 06/10/18 at 21:37:10
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Welcome.

The natives are (mostly) friendly.

photos are a requirement.

in case you didn't get that, post photos of your bike.
  

1978 R100RS| 1984 R65 | 1984 XT350 | 1992 KLE500 | 2002 R1150GSA
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bonesteel
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Re: New Member - New (old) Bike
Reply #2 - 06/10/18 at 21:46:03
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Here it is - Top is off the tank as this was while I was waiting on the seller to get the gas can to fill it up.

It's been nice and warm with about 75 exotic cars for the past 4 years, so it's time to break out.
  

IMG_3074.jpg ( 872 KB | 11 Downloads )
IMG_3074.jpg

1979 BMW R65
2007 Vespa GTS 250
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Tony Smith
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Re: New Member - New (old) Bike
Reply #3 - 06/10/18 at 22:47:43
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A very nice 79 edition R65 that one.

Be aware when ordering parts that some things are unique to the 1979/80 model and changed thereafter.

A non-exhaustive list is:

carbs- flat top Bings on 79/80 and domed thereafter

Seat ducktail (and storage unit under it)

Side stand - if you need a new bush order from the /7 catalogue as the R65 part will not fit.

You may have a tacho with a mysterious yellow LED that flashes briefly when starting with a somewhat depleted battery. There is a whole saga behind what this is and a now departed member "Rev Light" took his name from it. It's an over-rev warning  by the way, not surprisingly it was deleted in later models as it was unlikely to be seen "in the heat of battle".

Ignition, you have "points in a can" unique to the 79/80 R65s, later models have the same "bean can" but it has a hall effect transistor arrangement in it, not points.

Because of the above you model uses two seperate ignition coils very much different to the later models. - You can upgrade the entire ignition system to the later standard, or fit something like a Boyer system to your existing arrangement (my wife's R65/80 has a boyer unit with total reliability since it was fitted circa 1991.

If ever your bike develops the fault of only being willing to start if you pull in the clutch lever then you have suffered the dreaded diode failure. A suitable replacement diode costs 10c, but knowing where to find the blasted thing in the wiring harness is the trick, depending on the source of your wiring diagram it may or may not be shown.

You have "iron" bores and later model have silicon carbide bores - this is only relevant when buying rings, If the rings suitable for iron bore engines ever becomes NLA, the rings from an R75 will fit, my memory telsl me to check/adjust end gaps, but that may be because I used an oversized set of R75 rings, the R75 and R65 share the same bore.

Your model has slightly different pistons, I don't think this is a biggie as I have 79/80 pistons in my 84 edition (but with late model heads) and it lost a merest amount of compression, if you were to fit late model pistons you would gain an equally irrelevant amount of compression.

You will probably have small valve heads, these lead to the rather anaemic performance of early R65s, they are also more prone to the dread dropped valve than the later ones (which also drop valves if not maintained, they just take longer and more abuse to do it). If you find your heads in need of refurbishment, I would hunt a later model set and enjoy the near 10hp increase.

You have an ATE near copy of a Brembo FO8 brake caliper. The ATE calipers are fine and dandy, but they require a different pad to the Brembos and if/when they require rebuild you will inevitably be buying new pistons for it as ATE made a less than stella decision on what to make their pistons out of. The good news is that Brembo FO8s will bolt right up and will cost you  brand new about what a new pair of pistons and a rebuild kit will cost for the ATE. If you stick with the ATE (my wife has) then be warned that when oyu say ATE brakes to a BMW parts seller, they immediately think of the "swinging caliper" brakes fitted to /6 and /7  bikes, The only part those have in common with yours is the bleed nipple.

Your clutch pack and clutch disc is unique to the 79/80 R65, from 1981 the desing of the flywheel and clutch was altered and all airheads share the new flywheel and clutch. This change required a change to the input shaft of the gear box so retrofitting the later flywheel and clutch is non-trivial.

The final drive housing is shared with the /7, 1981 on has the later housing, the ratios are the same however. Your model also has a "unique" means of coupling the gear lever to the gearbox - a piece of bent wire disguised by a rubber cover. You can buy an adjustable rose joint from your local engineering/bearing shop, it is a 30 minute job to swap over and your gear lever height then becomes adjustable - while you are there the bush that the footpeg mounted gear lever turns on will be flogged out because BMW under spec'd it - strips cut from aluminium drink cans will take up the slop until you get around to takign it all to a machine shop and have a new bronze bush made up and inserted.

There are more differences, I'll leave them for others, but congratulations you own a fascinating little bike that will provide you with astounding service and only requires minimal but regular maintenance to do so.



  

1978 R100RS| 1984 R65 | 1984 XT350 | 1992 KLE500 | 2002 R1150GSA
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bonesteel
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Re: New Member - New (old) Bike
Reply #4 - 06/11/18 at 06:59:27
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Wow, thank you Tony for taking the time to detail this. I'll need some time to settle in with the bike and understand its nuances, but this list will get me started. The one thing I've ordered up is a full set of LED bulbs for the lights, figure that's an easy start.

I'm hoping to get up to speed quickly and look forward to contributing here.

Thanks,

Jon
  

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2007 Vespa GTS 250
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Tony Smith
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Re: New Member - New (old) Bike
Reply #5 - 06/11/18 at 07:14:04
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oh, one more model difference I forgot, and this one bit me on the bum so I should have remembered it.

The fuel tank from the 81-85 model will fit any twin shock R65. But the tank form the 79/80 will not fit on the post 81 models.

The reason is the brackets for the electrical system welded to the main frame spine.
  

1978 R100RS| 1984 R65 | 1984 XT350 | 1992 KLE500 | 2002 R1150GSA
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Bob_Roller
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Re: New Member - New (old) Bike
Reply #6 - 06/11/18 at 14:01:47
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Welcome Jon !!
You mentioned replacing the existing lights with LED's .
If you were planning on replacing the instrument cluster lighting, the red GEN light, needs a resistor added to the circuit if you replace the bulb with an LED .
Believe it or not, if that light doesn't work the charging system won't work either .
  

'81 R65
'82 R65 LS  
'84 R65 LS
'87 Moto Guzzi V65 Lario
'02 R1150R
Riding all year long since 1993 .
I'll give up my R65, when they pry my cold dead hands from the handlebars !!!!!
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bonesteel
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Re: New Member - New (old) Bike
Reply #7 - 06/11/18 at 14:16:06
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Wow, that's pretty nuts that the charging system is so sensitive that it would need that there, but good to know. I'm actually just doing the turn signals, headlamp, tail lamp, and brake lights. SuperBright LEDs has me all set up.

Thanks again, Jon
  

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2007 Vespa GTS 250
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Tony Smith
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Re: New Member - New (old) Bike
Reply #8 - 06/11/18 at 16:23:39
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bonesteel wrote on 06/11/18 at 14:16:06:
Wow, that's pretty nuts that the charging system is so sensitive that it would need that there


Actually it is more a case in insensitivity rather than sensitivity. You see the current to initially power up the coil inside the alternator rotor to make it magnetic and therefore allow the alternator to produce its 280watts of electrical goodness passed through the warning light on the dash. It is a quite small current, but if it isn't there then the alternator doesn't do its thing. An LED just cannot sink enough current without the aid of a resistor. I know you aren't planning to change this bulb, but if you did I suspect that the prepackaged resistors designed for LED blinkers would do the trick.


  

1978 R100RS| 1984 R65 | 1984 XT350 | 1992 KLE500 | 2002 R1150GSA
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Justin B.
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Re: New Member - New (old) Bike
Reply #9 - 06/11/18 at 20:58:16
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I think the Lucas charging in the MGBs I had was the same way.
  

Justin B.

2004 BMW R1150RT
1981 R100RT - Summer bike, NEKKID!!!
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Tony Smith
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Re: New Member - New (old) Bike
Reply #10 - 06/11/18 at 21:52:23
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Justin B. wrote on 06/11/18 at 20:58:16:
I think the Lucas charging in the MGBs I had was the same way.


Two words that cause me to twitch involuntarily - "Lucas" and "MGB".
  

1978 R100RS| 1984 R65 | 1984 XT350 | 1992 KLE500 | 2002 R1150GSA
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skippyc
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Re: New Member - New (old) Bike
Reply #11 - 06/11/18 at 22:07:41
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Tony Smith wrote on 06/11/18 at 21:52:23:
Two words that cause me to twitch involuntarily - "Lucas" and "MGB"

That exactly what i am helping a mate with at the moment and to make it more fun the PO tried to fix a few broblems without knowing what he was doing.
  
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Justin B.
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Re: New Member - New (old) Bike
Reply #12 - 06/12/18 at 21:07:31
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Tony, I've had two MGBGTs and after I got finished going through them with a fine tooth comb they were actually pretty reliable.  I liked being able to tune the shocks by using different oil (like forks) and both had working AC!  Not sure if it was factory or dealer installed at some point but the vents looked factory.
  

Justin B.

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1981 R100RT - Summer bike, NEKKID!!!
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orforester
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Re: New Member - New (old) Bike
Reply #13 - 06/12/18 at 21:11:40
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Tony can you do a write-up on a 1982R65LS like you did above?  That was great!!
  

Bob
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Tony Smith
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Re: New Member - New (old) Bike
Reply #14 - 06/13/18 at 15:49:19
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Justin B. wrote on 06/12/18 at 21:07:31:
I've had two MGBGTs and after I got finished going through them with a fine tooth comb they were actually pretty reliable.  I liked being able to tune the shocks by using different oil (like forks) .


I never owned an MGB, but I had a girlfriend who had one, 40 years on and I can't recall her face but I remember that car and the bizarre things that used to go wrong with it, usually when I had much better things to do - like having sex with its owner.

For my part I owned a Sunbeam Alpine and Tiger. The Alpine was almost manageable and to be honest aside from aged electrics and a mechanical abomination called a "Laycock De-Normanville Overdrive" it was pretty reliable. Of course, being young when the opportunity to "upgrade" to a Tiger presented itself I didn't hesitate. Same brakes as the Alpine, same fleixible chassis but capable of reaching "warp factor 10" in straight lines courtesy of the V8. I acquired the Tiger as a non-running, rust infested hulk and transferred all the parts that were different to the Alpine.

Many years later I was chuffed to discover that the Rootes group adopted the same low-tech method at the factory that I used to provide clearance at the firewall for the rear of the 289. Stand on the valence panel and wield a sledge hammer until sufficient clearance was achieved.
My memory fails but I assume that the MGB has strut front suspension? The Sunbeam  had another item from the catalogue of English mechanical depravity - Armstrong lever action shock absorbers. There was nothing I could do to keep oil in the blasted things and they were a constant source of frustration.

To give you an idea how frightening the Sumbean chassis was - if you parked on level ground, three wheels on the ground and one with a 1/2" piece of timber under it and then walked away for half an hour, when you returned you could not open the doors. At least MGBs were better than that (I know because I tried it out).

Lucas electrics have their own "features" of which there is no need to canvass here. Smiths were capable of making fine automotive instruments. BUT they made them is three "qualities" - "racing" (obvious where these went), "quality" (fitted to RR, Jag and anyone else prepared to pay for them) and "budget" - which were made to a price and of a quality that Smiths were barely comfortable with putting their name on. Guess which standard the Rootes group bought?


  

1978 R100RS| 1984 R65 | 1984 XT350 | 1992 KLE500 | 2002 R1150GSA
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