Bmw Motorcycles

Top 3 BMW R65 Café Racer Builds

Top 3 BMW R65 Café Racer Builds

The BMW R65 is an ideal choice if you love to customize. This motorcycle is lightweight, offers smooth handling, and has stable steering thanks to its sturdy triple clamp. Perfect for twisty roads, the BMW R65's frame, suspension, and the engine can be customized to build a stylish café racer.

1. The Original BMW R65

The BMW R65 was launched in 1978 as a light touring bike. Though built with the same sized frame as bigger BMW R models, this motorcycle looks shorter because of its smaller swingarm, sub-frame, and front forks.

The BMW R65 is powered by a 649 cc four-stroke, two-cylinder boxer engine capable of producing a torque of 45 Nm at 6,000 rpm and horsepower of 26.42 hp at 5,500 rpm. This motorcycle is fitted with a five-speed gearbox, can attain a top speed of 91 mph, has a wet weight of 205 kg, and has a fuel capacity of 5.81 gals.

The BMW R65 has a comfortable riding position, a longer wheel travel suspension, and excellent tires. This model is a motorcycle with a simple design that can easily be customized into a café racer.

2. BMW R65 at First Glance

BMW R65 at First Glance
Photo Credit: @curbsideclassic

3. Top Three BMW R65 Café Racer Builds

3.1. The BMW R65 Café Racer Build by Gasoline Workshop for Cam Elkins

The BMW R65 Café Racer Build by Gasoline Workshop for Cam Elkins
Photo Credit: @bikeexif

This café racer was built by the Gasoline Workshop for Cam Elkins. Elkins makes short films known as Stories of Bike that cover the experiences of riders and their custom-made motorcycles. Cam Elkins was so attracted to custom-made motorcycles that he decided to get one for himself. He selected the 1986 BMW R65 as a base model.

The first time Elkins visited the Gasoline Workshop was when he was filming a short movie about Sean Taylor and Jason Leppa’s custom project. When Elkins decided to get his café racer, he went to the Gasoline Workshop for its services.

When constructing the BMW R65 Café Rider, the engineers at the Gasoline Workshop dismantled the engine assembly and washed off any dirt. The drivetrain was rebuilt with new gaskets, seals, and bearings.

The BMW R65 Café Racer Build by Gasoline Workshop for Cam Elkins
Photo Credit: @bikeexif

To improve the air intake system, new jets and a DNA filter were installed. A custom two-into-two exhaust system was installed with a small classic silencer on the left side of the café racer. To give the café racer an aggressive stance, the front suspensions are lowered by 40 mm and the rear suspensions are lifted by 50 mm by introducing a new custom shock.

The BMW R65 Café Racer Build by Gasoline Workshop for Cam Elkins
Photo Credit: @bikeexif

The classic black headlight and control unit came from the Purpose Built Moto, which improved the vehicle’s retro aesthetics. The cockpit includes clip-on bars with switches and controls. The side mirrors are bar-mounted and the speedometer was supplied by Motogadget. The fuel tank is painted in a subtle matte grey and a deep royal blue. This café racer built by Gasoline Workshop was given the name, “The Keeper.”

3.2. The BMW R65 Café Racer by Ed Turner

The BMW R65 Café Racer by Ed Turner
Photo Credit: @bikeexif

Ed Turner, or Karl Renoult, derived his name from the phrase “head turner.” Turner’s latest custom café racer used the 1979 BMW R65 as a base and it was designed for a client who wanted the cafe racer design to be unique. This café racer is a naked motorcycle with a small fuel tank and seat. The only stock parts that were left unchanged included the boxer engine and BMW roundels. The client who ordered this cafe racer wanted it to have fat tires, but this did not seem possible due to the swingarm not having enough space to install fat tires. This forced Turner to redesign the swingarm with a mono-shock design.

Many of the new parts used came from the BMW R1150. The café racer was fitted with BMW R1150’s 17-inch wheels and Dunlop Sportmax tires. The new calipers, dual disc brakes, and upside-down forks came from the Kawasaki Z1000.

Turner’s café racer also received a modified BMW nose fairing, Honda CB400’s tail, and a custom seat. He also designed a new exhaust system to give this café racer a stylish look. It had two exhaust pipes along each side of the boxer engine with small mufflers on both ends that were placed towards the tail below the seat.

The BMW R65 Café Racer by Ed Turner
Photo Credit: @bikeexif

The vehicle had a single Xenon headlight and two tail lights. Rather than using the stock fuel tank, Turner designed a new aluminum fuel tank.

3.3. The BMW R65 Café Racer Build by CRO Motorcycles Known as Valkyrie

The BMW R65 Café Racer Build by CRO Motorcycles Known as Valkyrie
Photo Credit: @autoevolution

Building a custom motorcycle like a café racer has become a favorite pastime among builders who are passionate about showing off their creativity. Most café racers are speedy vehicles that travel over short distances, but they are uncomfortable due to their aggressive riding position and low-mounted handlebars. However, there are custom café racers that are built with comfort in mind. An example of a comfy café racer is the Valkyrie BMW R65 built by CRO Motorcycles.

To build the Valkyrie, a 1981 BMW R65 was used as the base. This café racer had nimble handling and greatly reduced weight to the original BMW R65.

The components used to build this café racer came from many different models including Suzuki, Yamaha, and Honda, and the Beemers suspension was provided by Showa.

It took almost 2.5 months to build the Valkyrie. The Suzuki GSXR disc brakes and Yamaha R1 calipers were fitted in the front end. A rectangular headlight was fitted to match the lines of the Honda Nighthawk fuel tank. The clip-on bars gave this café racer an aggressive riding style. A rigid sub-frame was designed so a Showa mono-shock could be attached. The custom footrests and seat ensure the café racer has good ergonomics. The Valkyrie was painted in a red and silver color scheme.

4. Takeaway

The BMW R65 has good customization options necessary to build a stylish café racer. The café racers designed by the Gasoline Workshop, Ed Turner, and CRO Motorcycles are top-class designs that prove the BMW R65 an ideal base model. The original BMW R65 has a more traditional look and a bigger frame. But it can be transformed into a lightweight café racer with better handling and stability.

With a few modifications, these café racers can also be used for light touring. If you want your café racer to carry the luggage while you go on a trip, Viking Bags has different LUGGAGE options available that include SADDLEBAGS, TAIL BAGS, and TANK BAGS. These luggage options will also make your café racers look cool.

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