SOLD FOR $16,500 ON 2/21/22

Now I have a similar R65LS hibernating right next to me, bought new back in 1984. Heads have never been off and compression is still good, transmission’s never been apart, but the odometer quit at 69k miles so I installed a cheap hour meter and ran up over 1000 hours before it died. So I’ve ridden at least 100K miles with pretty much nothing but oil, filter, spark plug, and tire changes. I figure my LS is worth about $2000…

Granted, it’s covered about 100k miles more than the auctioned garage queens 7k or so, and it can’t claim $10k in repair and restoration bills because mine simply hasn’t broken and restoring a $2k bike isn’t a money making proposition, and I gotta wear it out first anyway. And while some of the work on the auctioned bike like new tires, brake pads, etc. makes sense, a lot of it my bike and the auction queen probably too never needed- The near thousand dollars worth of high power alternator and ignition upgrades is nice, but other than a couple jumps and bump starts my R65LS’ original components are doing the job just fine. Then there’s the kit with the big bore pistons and cylinders to push the displacement from 650 to 860 cc., a dubious improvement given the LS’ smallish intake and exhaust tracks, and the “peashooter” exhaust isn’t helping any. Don’t even let me get started on the color- The LS came in a mesmerizing henna red and a superb silver, too bad they trashed it with a sick yellow they probably got on sale. Here’s the link for more of the modder’s bragging: https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1982-bmw-r65ls-custom/

But what really torques me is what these inflated auction prices are doing to the affordability of BMW “Airhead” motorcycles- For a “poverty rider” the airheads are one of the most economical motorcycles and vehicles to run. For the last couple decades a good running airhead could be had for $2k to $5k and that modest price got you a durable engine and drivetrain with a vast ecosystem of parts and advice. The smallest airheads, the R65 and R65LS, were often the best value with their small engines holding prices down while under stressing the drivetrain. I bought one of the LS’ big brothers, an R80ST with 67k miles, for $2200 and it’s given me a reliable 44k more miles since.

But when the airhead price of admission rises over $10,000, loving riders are replaced with investors whose only riding might be a slow 1st gear trundle to position the poor bike for the concours. Airheads were made to ride, and the highest and best use of an airhead is happily rolling out the miles and years!