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Footloose – 1983 BMW R65LS

BMW's R65 was introduced as a junior model to the R90 and an update to the R60.  Hans Muth was enlisted to style the LS, with his signature triangular fairing and orangey-red bodywork with enigmatic white alloys.  This one has been hidden away and revived a couple of times, with an extraordinary 4,629 miles and show-bike condition.

1983 BMW R65LS for sale on eBay

Not really much new mechanically, with the moderately oversquare two-valve twin pushing just 50 hp through the automotive dry clutch, 5-speed, and of course shaft drive.  Conventional forks and dual rear shocks are traditional, though black exhausts and dual front disks note a sporting intention.  Fairing, tank and side covers are trim, accented with black details and bare aluminum castings.

Every bike of this age will have some stories to tell, and for this example, most involve long periods in the garage and an occasional return to service.  Expected white wheels are unpainted on this one, perhaps an update to the color scheme as the model was halfway through its life-span in 1983.  So clean it's displayed with mirrors underneath, the deep sump sparkling.  Sacrilegious though it would be to replace them, the faded rondelles are a distraction.  From the eBay auction:

The bike has given 45-55 mpg for the last year’s fuel economy at altitude.  The finish on the original paint that draws eyes and comments wherever I go.  The paint ...THE PAINT... this Hennarot Red is so perfect you’ll have to put on sunglasses from the shine , just never exposed to the elements or left in the sun !  This bike has only 4627 original miles on it and is in a perfect state of tune.  In the last 100 miles I’ve adjusted the valves, balanced the carbs , this puppy just purrs like a sewing machine, not a wisp of oil leakage anywhere !  The original Continental tires still have great tread left on them and can probably go another 3000 miles before replacement , or leave it in it’s Concours shape and bring it to Pebble Beach now !  This LS has great handling with a glassy ride in the 60’s and 70’s mph , a 5.5 gallon tank gives plenty of range.

Never really compared to leading supersports of the day, R65LS was a nice handling gentle-person's machine.  The scale of the R65LS suited smaller riders, and the weight was less than other Beemers.  Engineering and build quality was of course for the long haul.  Muth's design was a flash in the pan for BMW but has held up well.  Even for a gorgeous example, the owner has named a serious starting bid and it will be interesting to see how it goes...

-donn

5 Comments

  • It’s no Katana but I dig the funky fairing! Kudos to BMW for breaking out of their typical staid styling on this one. Not my cup of kolsch overall but I’m glad it exists.

  • These bikes are fantastic. Always thought they were great/loved their look, particularly in Henna red with white rims. Many may complain they are slow/can’t get out of their own way; that misses the point woth this bike. A motorcycle doesn’t have to be crazy fast to be fun. I putt around our neighborhood on a ‘56 Mondial 160 2 stroke Sport Lusso – that is a blast, in its own right – just riding it!

  • In a previous ebay auction the seller had a $34,000 price. I thought the price was a mistake and should be $3,400, so I emailed him. Nope, the $34,000 was correct. I guess $11,900 is getting closer, but still to high for me. GLWTS

  • 34K last time? Wow, I guess folks think they can just make numbers up out of thin air. Maybe to the right Baby Boomer it’s worth 11.9

    It is a beautiful bike but I would think it best sold at auction to reach the small (I am assuming) market for this bike in this shape.

  • The bike looks nice because at least part of the bodywork was painted. The side covers on the LS came black from the factory with blue decals, if I recall correctly. I do not recall any LS look that red. The color was almost as orange as red. The fairing is minimal but work surprisingly well.

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