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1980 BMW R65
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, new member here.
I was recently gifted this 1980 BMW R65 from a friend (with title that I am currently changing over) and I am seeking advice on restoring it to running order, with the hope of modifying it in the near future. I am new to motorcycles and only know basic car maintenance, but I am eager to learn.

The friend said it was running as of last year, when he and his friend would occasionally trade off taking it out on the road. I know it needs a few things to get it back in good shape:

Battery- might just need a recharge, but is about two years old and may need to be replaced

Brakes- friend said the master cylinder probably needs replaced

Tank- something was dropped on the tank at some point. Friend does paintless dent repair and didn't think it could be/is worth fixing without stripping the paint (and matching it to the rest would be difficult). He said he inspected the inside and never noticed rust in the fuel filter, so it's probably good to run, but looks ugly. I plan to replace it in the future when I begin modifying it.

Carbs- recently (as of last year when it was running) cleaned, friend said he would help me redo them if I wanted

Exhaust- friend said something was wrong with the headers (bent or cracked or some such) and the mufflers wouldn't slip on properly, so the owner before him welded them. I have another friend willing to help me clean up and reweld them better. I would prefer to have them decently fixed, as I plan to ride these for a while, possibly keep them in the final build, but I can consider replacing.

Any advice in beginning this project would be appreciated. I have a pdf of the service manual, and I am planning on getting a repair manual (Haynes) before I begin stripping and cleaning it. If anyone is around the DFW area and knows a reputable mechanic, that would be appreciated too. I can upload more photos if desired, sorry for the cramped mess. This was a surprise gift and I don't currently have a garage.

Thanks in advance. I am eager to join the club.

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That's a nice looking bike.
Do you have your motorcycle license yet?

I highly recommend you get it running before you start taking it apart.... which begs the question, what makes you feel it needs to be stripped down?

A good physical print manual will help a lot with servicing it.
 

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1980 BMW R65
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's a nice looking bike.
Do you have your motorcycle license yet?

I highly recommend you get it running before you start taking it apart.... which begs the question, what makes you feel it needs to be stripped down?

A good physical print manual will help a lot with servicing it.
I am taking the course next week, then getting my license.
My friend suggested it, as it sat outside for the year-ish that it wasn't running. I haven't seen any major rust anywhere, but I thought that may be a good way to inspect it and see what all it needs. Might be overkill though
 

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you shouldn't need to worry about stripping the bike apart any time soon. You have enough work on your hands going through the service manual and getting everything up to snuff maintenance and safety wise.

There's a common trope here where new guys dis-assemble their bikes completely and then wind up selling them as a box of parts because they've gotten in over their heads.
 
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1980 BMW R65
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for catching me before I did the same. I thought too that it would help me know the ins and outs of the whole bike, but I'll start by just reviewing the manual.
 

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The best way is to get the bike safe and running well... after that you can ride it for a while and identify individual parts you want to improve; rear shocks, front fork springs/brace, riding position etc. Doing it like that will maximize the time you spend on the road vs in the garage.
 

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As CaTac said, this is what happens when someone buys a bike, has dreams of building a bad ass cafe racer and decides to strip it down before ever getting it running. Someone like me gets a good deal on a pile o parts and builds it instead.....
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It looks pretty good. 11,000 miles on a beemer is barely broken in. Spend your time and money on the mechanics of it, a great bike to ride should be the objective. A bike you love to ride is always pretty, whereas many of the "builds" that look flashy are garbage motorcycles.

Change the oil, get it running. Electrical working. Cables? Rebuild brake systems, new fluids and lines. Rebuild forks, new seals and oil. New tires. Get it properly roadworthy then ride it until you know it.

That dent will clean up pretty well. An hour in the hands of a good body shop and they will work most of it out, without having to paint. Painting is the expensive part of getting a tank fixed.

I always liked the classic look with the 1/4 fairing.
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