Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe R65 is described by its seller as a franken-bike, comprised of multiple years and models into one combined airhead runner. Let’s see if that just makes it more bike for your money.
Back in the Eighties Chevrolet’s ads claimed that they were the ‘Heartbeat of America.’ Cars like the C4 Corvette and bitchin’ Camaro of the era certainly cold have gotten your heart racing, however yesterday’s eighties-tactic 1988 Chevy Celebrity Eurosport VR simply flatlined at its twelve grand asking price. It fell - like a rock - in an overwhelming 92% Crack Pipe loss. Well, at least we still have baseball, hot dogs and apple pie.
While it was not found to be particularly attractive, or appealing, or likely to be engaging on the road, one thing yesterday’s Chevy did have going for it was an incomprehensibly long model name. Another was that it was all-original. Today’s 1979 BMW R65 is all original, it’s just that all its parts weren’t originally found on just this one bike.
In fact, while the seller and his ad position the bike as a 1979, the frame - where the VIN typically sits - is from an R75/5 and in fact that’s how the bike is tagged. I’m using ’79 here like the ad does, just to prevent mass confusion and possibly rioting. Still, understand that this bike is in fact like conjoined twins that don’t share a birthday.
Along with the frame, the front forks hail from that’72 R75/5. Attached to those is a wire wheel with an equally old-school drum brake, while in back you get a mismatched cast alloy wheel. The tank, the seat, and the tailpiece are all ’79 bits, as is apparently the 648-cc 248/1-series boxer engine.
The bike’s color combo is black and blue, with black paint over all both the bodywork and the engine, and bluing on the twin chrome pipes. That may indicate that the bike is running too lean, or that it’s been ridden in traffic a lot. Or maybe it’s just cheap-ass chrome. The mind races.
Wherever it’s been it’s done 30,000 miles along the way. Or at least parts of it have. The ad notes a ‘major service done by a good mechanic’ just 2,000 of those miles ago, and that the bike runs great.
On the downside, the ad says that the handlebars are bent. Dufuq caused that? Replacement bars are included in the sale, but you’d probably want to check and make sure the bike tracks true and doesn’t run like a crab down the road.
While you’re monkeying around with those handlebars maybe you could figure out why the tach doesn’t work.
I’ve always loved BMW’s Airheads. I like the classic look of the bikes, the sound they make, and the easy way they ride. This is not the best example of the breed, and if you’re used to how a modern bike works - actual brakes, competent shocks, etc. - then any of this era might seem... well, under-developed.
If however, you’re just looking for a Sunday rider, and aren’t seeking to break the bank doing so, then these are wonderful options. We’ll need to decide however just how wonderful this one is at $1,500 however.
That does seem a pittance for a running R-series, even the little one, and that raises a lot of questions. Is there something the ad is not disclosing? Is the melding of old and older just too wonky?
What do you think, does this R65/75, as presented in its ad, seem like a good deal at $1,500? Or, is this a bike that’s priced to pass?
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