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The BMW R65LS

20/09/2019

As I said at the beginning of these ramblings, buying the Bullet was originally a stop gap until I got the BMW up and running again. I had estimated it would take two years but it was bit quicker and only took 14 months. It is now running.

Many years ago I had a series of Triumphs and Nortons and these required constant work just to keep on the road. I bought the BMW in 1993 and was a revelation. It was everything a British twin should have been, reliable, oil tight, easy to work on, but you hardly ever had to.

For example

  • It didn't leak oil all over the place like my Triumph T100
  • It didn't crack the head like my Triumph T110
  • The swinging arm pin didn't seize and wear the frame like my Triumph T110
  • It didn't seize up like my Norton 500
  • It didn't lose all handling when the swing arms shims rusted through after a few weeks from new, like my Norton Commando
  • The pistons have lasted longer than 14,000 miles before disintegrating and distributing pieces all over the engine, like my Norton Commando.
  • I didn't take a whole day to change the spark plugs like my Honda Deauville (ok not British)

But in 2002 I had an accident on it in and buckled both wheels.  They were very expensive to replace so I pushed the boat out and bought a Honda Deauville.  The BMW sat neglected in my garage in Scotland.  In 2007 due to personal circumstances I stopped riding and the Honda joined the BMW to rust away in my garage.

Life goes on and in 2017 both bikes were taken into the back of a long wheelbase van with all of my worldly goods and transported to Cornwall. 

Actually, after 15 years sat in the garage, the BMW started with the aid of jumper leads and a car battery and I rode it into the van. Not so the Honda.

After getting settled in Cornwall I got the Honda running after spending a whole day changing the 4 spark plugs (all defective).  I put it back together and sold it.

Then I started on restoring the BMW.  It looked like a long project and I really was keen to get back in the saddle. Hence the purchase of the Bullet.

The BMW is now running, and although I really like the Bullet, the BM is like an old friend.  We have been through a lot together and travelled many thousands of miles.

My BMW R65LS


 BMW R65LS


 So the Bullet will be up for sale soon. 

I will miss it, (or her - the previous owner called her Rosy!) but I can't really justify two bikes and the garage is just too cramped. I hope she goes to a good home.

Update:-  26-09-19
I put an advert for The Bullet on Gumtree yesterday afternoon. I gave her a wash then started her up to make sure everything was OK.
There was a rattle!
I found a bolt missing that holds the chain guard on.  I found another (not that easy -as it's a BSC thread). I fixed her up and took her for a ride to check everything was OK. It was. 
But that short ride was making me think twice about losing her.
I took the advert down this morning.

It's probably not a good time to sell a bike anyway as winter is approaching, and maybe I should ride about on it a bit more before I make the decision
What is it about some bikes? 
I've had quite a number but have only been attached to a few and regret selling them.
The ones I remember with affection  are quite diverse:-
A Lambretta LD
A Triumph T110 based Triton
A Honda H100
My BMW R65LS which I still have.

The ones I was happy to move on from are also diverse:-
A Lambretta GT200
A Triumph T100
A  Matchless 500 single
A Norton 88 (I made the Triton out of this)
A Triumph T110 (the other bit of the Triton)
A Honda 450
A Kawasaki KLR 600
A Honda Deauville.

The Bullet is definitely in the first camp..

Why do I want more than 1 bike???????
A motorcycle used to be my only means of transport. I managed with only one for most of the time, and I did a big yearly mileage
Now it's a hobby and my mileage is much lower. So why do I need an extra bike.
It will take up my time servicing it and cleaning it and take up room in my fairly small garage.

Decisions Decisions.....

Update 02-04-2020
I traded in the Bullet for a Himalayan.

On the very day before I was due to collect the Himalayan I thought I would take a ride on my BMW. It started on one cylinder, then stopped and would not start again.
Now it had been starting on one cylinder for a while, then the other one would chime in. I assumed it was a carburetor problem, probably with the choke.

Investigation showed the coil was the issue.  The primary resistance was low, about 0.3 ohms - it should be 0.7-1 ohms.

A replacement (£145) got it working again. It started immediately on both cylinders, so I think the coil has been on the way out for a while.  It's the third coil on the bike.  The original grey coil, which is known to fail, gave up the ghost about twenty years ago.  The second one lasted longer in time but about the same distance - about 20,000 miles

Anyway it is operational now.

 I still have two bikes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
For how long?  Riding is on hold due to Covid19.  In the long run it will be either the BMW or the Himalayan.  Time will tell.

Update 21-05-2020
The BMW still was not starting well. As an experiment I replaced the HT leads and the plug caps (I guess the ones I took off were the originals from 1984).  It then started and ran well, although vibration  seems a bit high when cold, and I can hear the cam chain rattling. These facts may be related.
But, despite this I  have decided I prefer the BMW over the Himalayan for the type of riding I do.

I have ordered a cam chain kit and I will soon be down to one bike and it will be the BMW.

So why am I now selling my Himalayan and keeping the BMW?

In reality, the only advantages of the Himmie over the BMW is it's capability for off-road riding and better petrol consumption. I don't ride off road if I can help it, and I don't ride enough so that consumption is important.

The BM's advantage are

  1. More comfortable
  2. More powerful
  3. Lower seat
  4. Lower centre of gravity
  5. Simpler design
  6. Easy available spares
  7. Longevity
  8. More in built storage capacity
  9. Fitted QD panniers, each of which can hold a helmet.
  10. I really like it.

 

BMW THE BULLET
Biting it
Two Months In
Seven Months in
Ten Months in
One Year in
The Electrics
Ignition Timing
Points Saver
The toolkit
Useful Links
Gallery
Issues

Points waterproofing
Manifold leak

And finally

The BMW
BMW finalising

AND SO
Bullet Traded in

THE HIMALAYAN

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