It was in 1982 when BMW attempted to upgrade the image of the BMW R65. And Hans Muth was responsible for the looks that made the slim boxer an absolute top seller. That was the same Hans who was hired to transform the perfect, but so boring, Suzuki four-cylinder into the razor-sharply styled Katanas. Those were not salesmen either, but they did wonders for Suzuki's image.
It must not have been due to the looks
The BMW had to become an affordable, sporty motorcycle when there were enough young people who had decided that motorcycling was fun. The BMW R65 LS had a sharp, wind-splitting profile. The protection that that windshield gave, opinions were divided on that. It was more like a 'design thingy'. Nothing wrong with that, by the way, because the design was the approach. Still, BMW was pleased to announce that the tub reduced the lift at the front by 30%.
Too modern for old skool enthusiasts
Old Skool BMW drivers thought the tub looked something like Star Trooper-like from Star Wars. The buddy styling was taken over by later BMWs. The BMW was not as confrontational as the Katanas, but BMW's clientele was just about as keen on wild changes as the global crowd of Harley drivers and the elders of an Article 31 community. So there were quite a few BMW drivers who turned away from the LS in horror. The LS was available in the colors Hennarot and Polaris. Many parts that were chrome-plated on 'normal' BMWs were black on the LS.
Technically, the LS was identical to the regular BMW R65
The short stroke boxer with a bore x stroke of 82 x 61,5 mm, a compression of 8,2: 1 built narrower because of its shorter stroke and offered space for larger valves due to its larger bore. So far everything was pretty good. The entire bicycle part was also identical to the BMW R65. The only functional difference was the fact that the sportiness of the BMW R65 LS was emphasized by the extra brake disc in the front wheel. And with that double disc with Brembo claws, the BMW still has a couple of great anchors on board.
The 650 cc twin was of course not a Bahnburner
With his active forward-facing sitting position, he was very sporty. On the other hand, the moderate knee angle made long journeys possible, just like the tank capacity. The MS has a preference for smooth trotting on secondary roads. The fact that this BMW has not become a top seller is evident from the total production. Because BMW is a German brand, those production figures are known right up to the last made engine. Where the Italians would happily report "between the 4.000 and 10.000 units", the seriously looking Germans inform us that 6.389 BMW LSsen were made. And we know from the market that significantly fewer of them survived in good condition than, for example, the R90Ss.
René Rooke is a perfectionist. He says it himself. But a perfectionist with sparkles in his eyes with a flexible mind. Moreover, he is a man with a lot of motor experience. A while ago he thought that a lighter engine suited him better in his current phase of life. He did research and research and found, with his mild preference for BMWs, that his next engine should be a BMW R65 LS. Finding such a machine was not that easy.
An ex lesson engine
This LS came to him after he was employed as a 'driving motor for women' by a driving school owner. He had not had an easy life. And he didn't look. Moreover, René found Polaris blue silver a color of nothing. Technically, the engine also turned out to be less fresh than hoped. René is still aware that he, the famous in Boxerkringen, bumped into Jan Gol. What also pleased him was the enthusiastic help of the Hobbyist to get fresh exhaust bends.
The LS was supposed to be henna rot, but René was unhappy about the black area at the bottom of the tank. That was omitted. The side covers also became 'Hennarot' because there is no dispute about taste. The henna red snout must actually be white lettered. But those stickers are no longer available. The blue stickers belong on the Polaris, but look great. René didn't like white wheels and of course the BMW got modern brake lines.
And the steering damper? That's a joke
Furthermore, some bolts and screws have been replaced by stainless steel copies and René has done monk work by cutting tiny BMW emblems and filing out ... BMW paper clips. The result is a very fresh, super-fine and meanwhile quite rare BMW R65 LS that can be made 'factory original' with minimal effort.
Why the BMW R65 LS was not a success?
That of course remains unclear. But the indication is that he looked too fierce for the BMW drivers and that he had too little power for the sporty target group. And he was on the prize.