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Differential UBVRI photometry of the double-lined BY Dra system HD 80715 (K3 V + K3 V) obtained in December 1987 is presented. The star is found to be a variable with a full amplitude of 0.06 mag in V and a period similar or equal to the orbital period of 3.804 days. The mechanism of the variability is interpreted as rotational modulation due to dark starspots. In an attempt to detect chromospheric activity, high-resolution CCD spectra were obtained at Ca II H and K and at Fe I 6430 A and Ca I 6439 A, the photospheric lines normally used for Doppler imaging. HD 80715 shows double H and K emission features at a constant flux level for each component.