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Thread: What bike for a new rider?

  1. #1
    Registered User Bullfrog's Avatar
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    What bike for a new rider?

    Well, my wife finally got her license after 30 years of riding pillion! We have found an '81 R65 with 33k on it in pretty good shape. (new seals all around, wheel bearings, top end job and drive serviced) It is owned by one of my mechanics who's trading up to a K100RS he fell in love with. AND...an 84 R80 with similar story owned by the Service Mgr. who wants a K75S instead.
    The R65 is posted at $3075 bike/tax/title/li. The R80 is $3200 not incl. ttl.
    She is inseam challenged but both bikes allow her to be flat footed off the stand.

    I'm looking for various opinions to help us make the decision. They both need paint and coosmetics but I think that's it initially.

    Thanks for the forthcoming advice.

    dave
    Bullfrog

    2007 R1200GS-adv Mad Max
    1976 R75/6 Black Beauty (Actually, it's my wifes' first bike)

  2. #2
    Registered User PHMARVIN's Avatar
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    Hi, Dave,
    Harriet (wife) bought a (new) '81 R65 while I was working in Spain and kept it for 3 years and almost 20k miles. She was sorry she did it. She had sat on an R45 (same bike with different cylinders) and had thought it "fit", but she was never really comfortable on it. Make SURE your wife is comfortable on whichever bike you decide to buy.

    The R65 has a different frame, forks, engine, instruments, etc. than most BMW's. Parts are still available, yes, but there is more "stuff", both OEM and aftermarket, available for the R80/100 bikes from '81-'84. There may be an issue of valve seat recession (or valve deformation) with either the R65 or R80, but it is not as prevalent as with the R100 models from '81-'84. Tom Cutter, Oak, Matt Parkhouse, Ted Porter, etc. can give you better advice than I can on this topic. If you wanted one, the S, RS and RT fairings will go right onto the R80; not so the R65. If you want to do it, 1000cc cylinders and pistons will fit onto the R80 engine. The only ones which will fit onto the R65 engine are 450cc or 650cc, and the 450cc stuff was never imported into the USA. Seats, shocks, are different, etc. Not that this is bad, but in MY opinion, the R65 is much more an orphan than the R80. My advice, assuming your wife is comfortable on it, would be the R80. Best of luck whichever you choose.
    Ride Safe,
    Phil Marvin - El Paso, TX
    '94 K75A/3
    '95 K75RTP

  3. #3
    Registered User Bullfrog's Avatar
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    Phil,
    As of now, she felt a bit more comfortable with the R80. I don't really want to push her but I'd rather she got the R80 myself. When she's not looking, heh-heh, I can take it for a spin. I fit better on the R80

    Thanks,
    Dave
    Bullfrog

    2007 R1200GS-adv Mad Max
    1976 R75/6 Black Beauty (Actually, it's my wifes' first bike)

  4. #4
    BUBBAZANETTI
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    Quote Originally Posted by PHMarvin
    There may be an issue of valve seat recession (or valve deformation) with either the R65 or R80, but it is not as prevalent as with the R100 models from '81-'84

    i always heard the opposite, that the 1000 cc bikes were much more prone to damaged and worn exhaust valves due to having to dissapate much more heat from a similarly sized head/fins (as the 650 and 800 cc bikes)

    here is a good article about it:

    http://www.airheads.org/content/view/207/49/

    not that it's a deal breaker, but my 84 R100 had pretty bad exhaust valves........

  5. #5
    Littleleroy38
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    I think that an R-80 is better suited to what is facing you on today's road nets given the increased traffic and decreased civility that has occurred in the last 15 years. Cagers treat bikers as if they were gnats. Horsepower can be your friend in certain situations.

  6. #6
    On the Road LARRYLARRY75's Avatar
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    She is inseam challenged but both bikes allow her to be flat footed off the stand.

    Dave, without knowing how "inseam challenged" your wife is I can say I am also of the same ilk - 29 1/2" - and I ride a '78 R80/7 (at least until it died today but that's another tale) I've only owned it for a few months and although I love riding it I've discovered it's a fairly heavy bike, especially when loaded for trips. I'm heading to Alaska this coming summer and as such I've been experimenting with various load arrangements to see how handling might be affected. The result is I've decided to ride one of my other bikes, an Aprilia Pegaso which is a dual-purpose bike. It's a bit taller in the saddle but the handling is superior and it has the advantage of prevaling technology. If it is possible for her to at least sit on several other bikees she might be well advised to do so. Take into consideration as many extreme situations as you can, if she'll never haul anything other than light items it may not matter much. Luck.

  7. #7
    Registered User barryg's Avatar
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    Six of one, 1/2 dozen of the other. Both are good bikes. If their both in the same condition, I would pick the 800. It has a little more power and more of the typical BMW add ons fit it.

  8. #8
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    I understand that the 80 is at hand, but no one should think an R80 is "smaller" than an R100--they're the exact same bike save for the cylinders/pistons.

    The R80 engine is smoother, but that's the end of its advantages compared to an R100.

    There can be a lot of psychology here, and the R65 LOOKS smaller (and is) and that can be very important. "Keeping up" could elicit a "who cares--you slow down."
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  9. #9
    Registered User Bullfrog's Avatar
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    This is pretty good advice, folks. As to the valves, both of the bikes have new seats and springs - a big plus! Diane will be carrying some items but I'll have the lions share of the camping gear on my RT. She actually felt a bit more comfortable putting the R80 on and off the stands. I've also got feelers out in the Austin, TX area for any R-/6, /7 or final years of airhead production as it was noted that they are all pretty much the same in physical dimensions.
    Reading the comments, she has opted out of the R65.

    Larry, I was sorry to hear of your drive problem on the R80. At least you don't have all that body work to remove just to see stuff like my RT. You do get used to it though.

    Dave
    Bullfrog

    2007 R1200GS-adv Mad Max
    1976 R75/6 Black Beauty (Actually, it's my wifes' first bike)

  10. #10
    Registered User boxerkuh's Avatar
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    Thumbs up R80

    Since I have a R80, I will favor it. It is the same size as the R100, the only difference is the cyclinder size, the internals and the carbs. The R80 still has a ton of parts available, new and used and you can interchange with other bikes. The R65 is smaller, less powerful and parts are not interchangeable with other BMW's. You can only install other R65 or R45 parts on it. I would judge it on the way she feels on each bike, taking it off the centerstand, putting it on the sidestand and the centerstand and riding it around the neighborhood. It is subjective... It sounds like both bikes are in great shape and you have no worries when it comes to that department.... Good luck, let us know what you decide (or what your wife decides).
    Keep the rubber side down!!
    1986 R 80 RS
    1992 R 100 R
    BMW MOA Life member; Ironbutt Member; Airhead Member

  11. #11
    I've had both - the R65 then and the R80 now. I liked the R65, and it fit me better [inseam 27], but as I remember, it had an annoying little buzz in the footpegs and handgrips in 5th gear, between 55 and 65, making me want to go slower or faster; not always a good mind-set. The R80 is a smoother running bike all around, and has been easier to maintain. This R80 runs so well. it's the only bike I have not wanted to get rid of.

  12. #12
    Loading the Bike a306892's Avatar
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    Dude....Hayabusa.

  13. #13
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    A long time ago I was faced with that same choice. An R65 that I already knew and an R80 that Paul had found and restored. I couldn't decided so we put both bikes up for sale and I let another buyer decide.

    He bought the R65 so I kept the R80. I had no idea what a difference that power would make in passing more safely. With the R65 I was always pushing to pass. With the R80 it was a dream. For that reason alone, I'd suggest the R80.

    Voni
    sMiling

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  14. #14
    Retired and proud of it MOTORMAN's Avatar
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    If she fits on both bikes go with the higher power. Having more horses and torque is better than having less when you need it.

  15. #15
    Registered User Bullfrog's Avatar
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    Well, now it may be moot. She found a R75/6 stock, 33,xxxmiles, one owner and BLACK w/ white pinstripes. She is in LOVE
    I guess that about does it, then.

    Dave
    Bullfrog

    2007 R1200GS-adv Mad Max
    1976 R75/6 Black Beauty (Actually, it's my wifes' first bike)

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