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Thread: newer R65?

  1. #1
    Rally Rat MarkF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003

    newer R65?

    What year did the R65 switch to a mono rear shock? Is that the same time that the side covers changed shape? I like the looks of the newer R65. Can you tell me more about the differences from earlier R65s, such as frame, tranny, etc.?


  2. #2
    Blocking the slow lane
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Edwardsville, IL
    I have an 1986 R65. I think these bikes were sold in the US from 1985 thru 1987. My Airhead knowledge is pretty limited, but I can tell you what's different between my 1981 R65 and my "new" one.

    The engine and tranny are pretty much the same as the earlier R65's, the changes mostly being in the updates that the whole Airhead lineup got as the years went by. So its got a 280w alternator, the latest valve seat tech, different airbox, etc.

    The chassis is R80/100, so its a full-size bike with 18" wheels front and rear. The forks are externally similar to the K model of the time, and the bikes got a single front disc and drum rear brake. They handle great....I imagine there's a little flex somewhere, but when I got the bike from Paper it already had a Works Performance shock and some sort of aftermarket fork springs, giving it mostly limitless ground clearance. It will dart along in the twisties as fast as I dare to go.

    I like these bikes because in addition to the full-size chassis, the bike gets the same gearing as the R80/100, and only turns 4000rpm at 65-70mph. Compared to the hyper-gearing of the earlier R65, this makes it a relaxing cruiser on the highway, and even loaded down with camping gear and a heavy rider, its a pleasant traveling bike.
    Jon Diaz
    BMW K75/K12GT
    BMWMOA Ambassador

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