This stunning cafe racer started life as a 1982 BMW R65, and is brought to us courtesy of the talented craftsmen at Curiosity Moto. Founded by Mark Phillips in London, Curiosity Moto is known for its amazing custom BMW builds, as well as excellent mechanical works and servicing of classic BMW machines. For this particular build, the goal was rather simple: modernize the R65 and turn it into a sporty, lightweight machine ideal for daily riding.
True to its roots, the R65 first came into the scene in 1978, and was BMW's answer to the then-booming mid-size motorcycle segment. It was indeed one of the more popular middleweights in BMW's roster, and today, more than 40 years later, it remains a highly sought-after model, both by purists who restore these machines to their original condition, and custom builders who use the bike as a means to unleash their creative potential. The R65 sat in the middle of BMW's R range of boxer-powered street bikes, above the 450cc R45 and the heavyweight 1,000cc R100.
Back then, the R65 was pretty impressive in terms of performance, capable of propelling itself from zero to 60 in just a hair under six seconds. With a top speed of 109 miles per hour, it was surely fast for its time—a lot faster than other middleweight street bikes in the '70s. As such, Curiosity Moto's execution of this custom build is rather apt, as it not only puts on display the R65's most defining features, but also does so in a way that gives the bike an athletic and agile stance.
As you can see, this custom R65 keeps things simple. No fancy bodywork, no striking colors, just elegant, barebones beauty. The folks at Curiosity Moto worked hard to strip it of any unnecessary weight. They even went as far as modernizing the bike a bit, with a new Anti-Gravity lithium battery. A new wiring loom was constructed with new charging components, too, and a trick Moto Gadget Mini speedometer takes the place the bulbous analog gauge cluster.
Moving to the rear of the bike, the exposed subframe is finished in a sleek silver, and a bespoke leather-upholstered, cafe-racer seat keeps things looking tight and compact. Up front, a muscular stance is accentuated by a larger fuel tank sourced from a BMW R80RT. This was then finished in gloss black, and adorned with vintage BMW graphics, for that classic, period-correct aesthetic. Curiosity Moto's custom BMW R65 recently changed hands in auction, ultimately selling for £10,688, or the equivalent of $14,523 USD.