For Sale: BMW R65 inspired by the most successful rally car of all time…
When a string of accidents spelled the end of Group B rallying in 1986, the carmakers focused on the production class, Group A, which required 5000 models for homologation. Lancia transformed their four-door, front-wheel drive Delta HF sedan into an AWD, turbocharged monster that dominated the World Rally Championship. Clad in Martini Racing livery, the Delta won the constructors’ championship six years in a row, from 1987-1992, making it the winningest car in WRC history. Says Petrolicious:
“Delta HF Integrale is a name synonymous with the pop of a champagne bottle and the tallest step on the WRC podium.”
Enter Ezio Covelli of Magnum Opus Custom Bikes. As a boy in his hometown in Southern Italy, Ezio saw a street-legal version of the Lancia Delta HF — probably one of the homologation specials, wearing Martini livery with a tuned engine and aggressive suspension. Says Ezio:
“The stance of that thing on the road was absolutely unbelievable, one of the most desired cars of that period…”
That sight certainly left an impression, as Ezio recently decided to build a tribute to the 80s World Rally cars — and the Lancia Delta HF Integrale, in particular. His platform was a 1983 BMW R65LS — a bike designed by none other than Hans Muth, the man behind the original Suzuki Katana. The sharp, angular edges of the oh-so-80s Katana could be seen in the R65LS, with its distinctive love-or-hate it nosecone.
Ezio has managed to retain some of the sharp-edged flash of the original LS. But the most striking feature of this BMW street tracker has to the aggressive stance, so reminiscent of the Lancia Delta rally monsters with their high hatchback spoilers, fat wheel wells, and low predatory noses. Below, we get the full story on this rally-inspired build.
BMW R65LS Tracker: In the Builder’s Words
My name is Ezio Covelli and I’m the owner and builder at Magnum Opus Custom Bikes.
The bike used for this project is a 1983 BMW R65-LS. This build is a tribute to the 80s WRC cars and in particular the Lancia Delta HF Integrale, which dominated that era.
I remember seeing that car back in the day in my hometown in southern Italy. The owner had put on the Martini decals and made a few mods including lowering the suspension, tweaking the motor, and an exhaust system. The stance of that thing on the road was absolutely unbelievable, one of the most desired cars of that period I remember.
When I picked this bike I knew that the OEM look had to be changed quite a bit. To be completely honest, the R65-LS wasn’t exactly a beauty contest winner even in the 80s when it first rolled out of the factory. I understand that some may disagree with this statement. So, off I went with a frame up rebuild.
Upgraded the OEM fuel management with Mikuni carburetors, replaced the gas tank, lowered suspensions, made a custom subframe, seat and a new tail.
The wiring has been reduced and customized, a super compact GPS speedometer installed, custom front plate with double LED mini headlights, end bar blinkers, 3D designed and printed side covers finishing with symmetrical knobby tires.
The whole build was very challenging one from a design and assembly standpoint.
The end result matches my initial idea of this project and overall I think the lines of the bike flow together very well.
This bike is FOR SALE. For info contact me through the following channels:
- Web: www.magnumopuscustombikes.com
- Instagram: @magnumopuscustombikes
- Facebook: @MagnumOpusCustomBikes