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Old 5 Nov 2008
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bmw r65 gs

hello there im planing a rtw trip now and im still deciding on a motorbike! i have seen some bmw r65 gs and they look quite robust! has anyone got any experience with them or knows a reason why there not that good or something thanx very much
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Old 5 Nov 2008
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The R65G/S is more or less the same bike as the R80G/S. So what you read about the R80G/S is also valid for the R65G/S.
For inspiration try to get a copy of this book: GlobeRiders® - 10 Years on 2 Wheels: Overview and check what Grant wrote about his bike.

I would say it’s one of the most solid “adventure-bikes” ever built, other people will deny it.
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Old 5 Nov 2008
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A company in the uk had a few low mileage R65GS's, ex- Swedish Army, for sale last year and I considered one but people say they're really underpowered compared to the R80GS. Maybe it's possible to add bigger pots for a power upgrade if the 65 is a good price.

I searched on UKGSer.com and ADVrider.com for info.
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Old 6 Nov 2008
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The R65 has shorter stroke then R80/R100 and normally it is lowered geared, so it feels rather snappy (compared to R80/100).
But there are a lot of versions and are tuned down (esp for the army).

If the power is a problem there are different solutions, and you can rebuild it to 1070ccm, but it will be expencive.

Edit: You can rebuild it to 1150 :-)
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Old 6 Nov 2008
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Check the valvestem diameter.
I have been told that R45-65 have 7mm stems and that these are too weak. The recommendations I got were - "change to R80-100 valves". My books does not cover R45-65, so I have not been able to verify or falsify these claims.

I have tested hi-flow valves and strongly recommend these over stock - "simulates" higher lift.
However - I have not found any good hi-flow exhaust valves. As inletvalves you can use Manley, BugPack (which I have used). dalhems world wide mail order, race parts, personal safety equipment,VW,mini cooper,electronics, bilstyling
Hi-flow vales will give you about 1 gearshift more power under 3000-2500rpm and hardly any noticable difference in higer revs (>4000). Hi-flow valves also enhances idle stability and enables lower idle rpm.
Drive Safely,

Last edited by dc lindberg; 6 Nov 2008 at 12:46.
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Old 30 Nov 2008
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Cool R65 G/s

My research suggests that at least some if not all of the R65 G/S's were restricted to 27 hp to qualify for a beginner (is this Europe, or UK rules???). In my experience with a standard R65, the stock hp is barely enough to be safe on the highway, not 2 up. I wouldn't want to deal with a restricted one! As mentioned above, the R65 motor, along with the R45 was a short stroke design which produced it's power further up the RPM range then the standard engine used in all the other models. As such, it is not possible to simply change the heads, barrels, and pistons to gain displacement. unless cheap, or you are interested in the uniqueness of this model, I'd stick to the other GS's.
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Old 30 Nov 2008
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I had a r65 -not a gs this was back in 1979 to 82 - travelled to Morrocco and various parts of Europe back then on my first trips abroad on it and it never let me down and I found it not to bad, the engine power was about 40 /45 hp if i recall right. which in the early 80s was very acceptable power thesedays people all seem to need 100 horses for some reason - The r45 were restricted for the german market though. The r45/65 do have weaknesses in the valve stems as do the bigger models and its recommended to change them about 50000 miles at latest. I was however quick tochange the r 65 for an r 80 (not gs at that time) I think however the bigger models -r80gs is a better built bike and the torque / power although low far better suited to the heavy build of the bmw machines.

Last edited by adventure950; 1 Dec 2008 at 12:27.
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Old 1 Dec 2008
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We've had a pair of R65s since the early 1980s. One is a 1979 the other an 82. Great little bikes, solo or two up and loaded up with touring gear. Always been reliable, even after sitting for about 2 years, new battery, oil change and they fired up.

Fitted Metzler universal tyre on the back for dirt road travel. Light enough to float over a creek with two air beds.

Easy to fix. I did a wheel bearing on a New Years Eve and just swapped over the swingarm bearing for the wheel bearing, braced the swingarm and wobbled away.

Fit a sump guard is about all you need to do to add protection.

Not sure you even need a GS, we've toured some pretty hard roads in Australia - Birdsville Track in the mid 80s, plus a heap of dirt roads.
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Old 1 Dec 2008
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The R65LS produced 50 HP, the same as the 80G/S. It is possible to tune the R65G/S for the same power output but it will mean that you will have to change the cam, cylinder heads and the jetting in the carbs. This motor is very exiting to drive on the open road but as been mentioned here the short stroke motor likes to rev, it really start to pick up at around 6000rpm and the max torque is a lot less than for the G/S. It cruises very comfortable at around a 150km/h but when it is heavily loaded or on big uphills it will start to fall back and for slow technical riding it might need higher revs to get over obstacles and through tick sand etc.
You might find that the detuned motor could have better low down torque than that of the 50HP motor from the LS and some later models.

For any upgrade to a larger capacity you will have to replace all the engine parts including the crank case and crank. It is best to find a bigger motor from an 800 or 1000cc bike but you will also have to look at the final drive ratio.
I recommend to rather use it like it is and prepare myself for a slow ride with limited luggage, or find the motor of a 800 or 1000 model and buy a new final drive from Motobins with the 37/11 tooth ratio.
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Old 22 Dec 2008
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Most R65GSs were only 27HP, maximum hp for a German restricted licence at the time, there were some produced with 50hp, (for the Dutch army?)

The 27hp model has only 26mm carbs amongst the other differences to the 'normal' 50hp R65, and so to increase the hp of a 27hp one, would require new carbs as well as the other modifications mentioned .
The R65GS has the same dimensions as the earlier R80g/s, and might be a little cramped 2-up.
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Old 7 Mar 2009
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hey thanx for all of the replies helped a lot i have settled on a r80gs now!! more parts and goodies for it but thank you all for the replies you helped a lot.
If you read this i be gratefull if anyone would know anything about ferrys around caribbean i havent really found too much so far!1 especialy ferrys to cuba i am interested in from south or central america!!1 thank you
great site
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Old 8 Mar 2009
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Originally Posted by Gionatill View Post
hello there im planing a rtw trip now and im still deciding on a motorbike! i have seen some bmw r65 gs and they look quite robust! has anyone got any experience with them or knows a reason why there not that good or something thanx very much
imo it does not make any sense to look for a R65GS for a rtw.
the only reason could be to be the first one who tried..

there are plenty of R80/100GSs available for such a purpose, so why would you try to hike rtw on one leg?

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