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Old 05-13-2007, 10:19 PM   #1
JimVonBaden OP
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New Bikes, and Old Memories

For the last several years I have been dreaming about a bike I owned when I was young and thin.

I loved this bike, but it was taken to that junkyard in the sky way to prematurely when a drunk hit me from behind. I was not seriously hurt, and I was still enamored of my baby, and maybe that is why I never stopped wanting another one.

About 9 months ago I started looking for one in decent shape. I searched the web, and scoured E-bay, and missed out on several for various reasons.

Finally, last weekend I found one on E-bay, and won it at a reasonable price.

When I was 22 I was riding a new Honda Shadow 500, and thought life was good. Then I met a guy in my military unit with a new 82 Yamaha Seca Turbo 650. One ride and I was hooked. I immediately traded in my cruiser for the hottest sport bike around at the time. I got a great deal on a leftover 82 in 83, and got $1500 off.

They were all over the magazines, and had a seriously futuristic look. For a single guy in Panama City Florida, there was no better bike.

I took it to two Bike Weeks in Daytona, and put many thousands of miles on it. Hell, I didn't even own a car for a year of riding it. It was an incredible bike, and what a rush to ride.

But all things come to an end, and this one came far to early.

So I promised myself another one day, but life, family, and other things conspired to stop me. That is, until, last weekend!

Unfortunately it was near Columbus Ohio, and I was in upstate New York all week.

Fortunately Tina worked her butt off, and arranged to borrow Ray's (Raysuf) truck. (What a guy, he lends me his truck for the weekend, and allows me to put nearly 1000 miles on it. Thanks RAY!!!!)

Anyhow, the plan was to fly home on Friday afternoon, jump in the truck, and drive to Ohio, 450 miles, then get a hotel and pick up the bike in the morning.

Of course, as is usually the case, weather and broken planes resulted in my missing my connection by only 5 minutes, and them my rescheduled flight was 3 hours delayed. I didn't get into DC until after 8 PM.

Interestingly, as I was waiting for my flights, I picked up a Cycle World magazine, and can you imagine my surprise when inside the pages was a note about the cover 25 years ago and my Seca Turbo listed right there. Very bizarre, and very cool! I actually had/have that magazine still from way back then.

More irony, the $1500 I saved from my original new Turbo, I spent for this old one exactly.

We decided to scrap the idea of leaving that night, and instead leave at 5 AM Saturday.

Fortunately the roads were clear, and the weather cooperated, and we made the 450 miles in just 6 hours. Ray's truck got 23mpg even. Not bad.

What was bad, was his truck threw the power steering belt a couple miles from our destination. Let me tell you, that truck is a total pig without a power steering belt. We limped in and picked up the bike from the owner. A very nice guy with several other bikes.

Bonus! He had already changed the plugs, oil, FD oil, and put new brake pads on it.

The bad part was he lived half a mile down a rough dirt road, so I didn't get a chance to test ride it. I was not comfortable doing it on a bike with no front brake, leaky fork seals had contaminated the brake pads, especially on an unfamiliar bike on rough roads.

So we loaded it up on Ray's truck, paid the man, and drove off to find an auto parts store. Fortunately there was one a few miles away, and we got a new belt for cheap. Took longer to get the clerk to look it up than it did to change it.

Side note, Ray's truck had a squealing belt, and a brake failure indicator (but good brakes) when we picked it up, so Tina had her coworker take it over for repairs. They added some fluid, and changed the belt, with the wrong belt. So it lasted 420 miles and came off in chunks. We figured fixing these things was the very least we could do for Ray for lending us his truck.

Anyhow, we decided to haul butt home. We stopped a few hours later and took these shots:







I was tempted to throw on a helmet and ride like this for a while!


We arrived home at 10:30, tired, but happy to be home.

The next day we drove over to Coleman's and used their ramp to unload the bike, then I rode it home.



My first ride.

Memories flashed back, and the rush as the turbo kicks in is as impressive as ever, despite many "faster" bikes I have owned since then.

It runs great, and only needs fork seals now that I cleaned up the brake pads and rotors.



It looks great from 5 feet. Not bad up close either.





How can you go wrong with only 8500 miles on it? I added 50 today, but was cautious since I was using a "borrowed" plate. :oops:



Since I had it out, I figured a stable shot was in order.

The Turbo, 80 BMW R65, 05 BMW R1200GS, and an 05 BMW R1200ST (technically my GF's bike).

I have to admit, the modern bikes are faster, have better brakes, handle better, and are more comfortable. BUT, I bet I put a LOT of miles on the Turbo. What a fun little bike, and awesome for WV weekends!

Jim

JimVonBaden screwed with this post 05-20-2008 at 11:24 AM
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Old 05-13-2007, 10:26 PM   #2
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I saw one in the Mission, S.F. on Thursday or Friday. I read about a guy who made one into a 900 using Seca 900 parts. He said it was fast. Looks like you got a good deal.
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Old 05-13-2007, 10:50 PM   #3
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IIRC, those bikes needed fork seals from the factory-practically a comsumable item.

Very cool bike though, I test rode one and loved that turbo rush of lust. The handling was '80's spooky, but maybe it was those fork seals.
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Old 05-20-2008, 11:17 AM   #4
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Most all of the dozen bikes I have owned were very reliable, but my 82 Yamaha Xj650LJ Seca Turbo had a nasty habbit of puking gas through the carbs, into the crankcase vent and into the oil. Not unusual to find a half a gallon of gas in the oil.
A little update...

You get in the habit of checking under the petcock for gas, and looking to make sure the oil sight glass is not full, indicating gas intrusion.

A glutton for punishment, I have also owned 5 BMWs , I purchassed another Turbo last year with only 8500 miles on it. It ran great for 50 miles, then puked gas into the oil again.

None the less, a carb rebuild, the pressurized carbs are the only factory turbo system like it, oil change twice, and 1000 miles later it runs like a dream.




I have also changed the original tires for Pirelli Sport Demons, added Speigler SS brake lines, new fork seals, and fuel filter. But hey, it's a 26 year old bike, and I love to ride it, so maintenance is the price.

I also let my brother use it to practice on when learning to ride.


But I am not dumb, I used some old plastics from a wreck, and added frame sliders. Fortunately in 800 miles he did not drop it once. He saved that for a week after he got his own bike, a 750 Nighthawk!

Point of my rambling is, just because they are a pain to maintain, doesn't mean you have to throw it away!

Jim

PS Of the 3000 total Yamaha Turbos made it is estimated that less than 1000 are left, and less than 500 running. I currently own 2 and have direct experience with 4 wrecked ones.
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Old 02-04-2009, 12:37 PM   #5
bisbonian
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Yes I know this is an ancient thread.

The deal with the fuel getting into the oil is a direct result of the little spring-loaded check valve that sits between the carbs. The little o-ring in there gets nasty quite quickly, hardens up, and stops sealing which allows the pressurized gas to flow through.

I used to replace this o-ring virtually every Spring (when I ended up needing to clean the carbs anyway)
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Old 02-04-2009, 01:04 PM   #6
JimVonBaden OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bisbonian
Yes I know this is an ancient thread.

The deal with the fuel getting into the oil is a direct result of the little spring-loaded check valve that sits between the carbs. The little o-ring in there gets nasty quite quickly, hardens up, and stops sealing which allows the pressurized gas to flow through.

I used to replace this o-ring virtually every Spring (when I ended up needing to clean the carbs anyway)
Do you have a picture, or a link to this? I am tired of changing the oil every time I forget to turn off the petcock!

Thanks,

Jim
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Old 02-04-2009, 02:12 PM   #7
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I'm sorry but I don't. I sold my Turbo a few years ago and all the manuals, etc that went with it. Basically if you follow the fuel hose from the pump to where it enters the common rail for the carburetors you'll see a little metal valve that just has an inlet and an outlet with a short length of hose connecting it to the carbs. 3 screws hold it together. If you undo the screws you'll find an aluminum piston with an o-ring on one end and a spring on the other. The o-ring is what get's screwed up; I've made the mistake of installing an o-ring that's too small and it leaks a lot; I used to have an large o-ring assortment so I just grabbed the next size up and it worked fine, not sure of the size though.

I purchased a new valve at one time before I learned about the whole o-ring thing and it worked until the next Spring, that's when I took it apart and figured it out. If I still have the old valve housing at home I'll take a pic and post it up, at least you'll know what you're looking for.
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Old 02-04-2009, 03:41 PM   #8
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Congrats Jim, really cool bike! The Seca didn't happen to be styled by Hans Muth (sp?) did it? I think he styled your R65, and for some reason it's sticking in my head that he did the Seca Turbo as well. In looking at them side-by-side in your picture you I can see some similarities.

Between your new 'old' bike, and the CBX thread, I'm starting to get interesting in older 80's japanese superbikes, like one of those, an early CBR or VFR. This is not a good sign for me!
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Old 02-05-2009, 04:40 AM   #9
JimVonBaden OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bisbonian
I'm sorry but I don't. I sold my Turbo a few years ago and all the manuals, etc that went with it. Basically if you follow the fuel hose from the pump to where it enters the common rail for the carburetors you'll see a little metal valve that just has an inlet and an outlet with a short length of hose connecting it to the carbs. 3 screws hold it together. If you undo the screws you'll find an aluminum piston with an o-ring on one end and a spring on the other. The o-ring is what get's screwed up; I've made the mistake of installing an o-ring that's too small and it leaks a lot; I used to have an large o-ring assortment so I just grabbed the next size up and it worked fine, not sure of the size though.

I purchased a new valve at one time before I learned about the whole o-ring thing and it worked until the next Spring, that's when I took it apart and figured it out. If I still have the old valve housing at home I'll take a pic and post it up, at least you'll know what you're looking for.
Thanks a lot, I actually have a couple sets of carbs and hoses for them, and I bet I can figure it out from your description. I'll see what I can find and maybe I will have "swapable" valves for the bike!

I appreciate your help, as I am about to get it ready for spring. I ride my GS in winter.

BTW I love Bisbee! I have been there many times! Cool little town!

Jim
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Old 02-05-2009, 04:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph Maniaci
Congrats Jim, really cool bike! The Seca didn't happen to be styled by Hans Muth (sp?) did it? I think he styled your R65, and for some reason it's sticking in my head that he did the Seca Turbo as well. In looking at them side-by-side in your picture you I can see some similarities.

Between your new 'old' bike, and the CBX thread, I'm starting to get interesting in older 80's japanese superbikes, like one of those, an early CBR or VFR. This is not a good sign for me!
You know, I am not sure, but I bet I can find out. I too noticed the similarities between the two, and now you have gotten my interest up.

I love the old bikes for the very different feel, kind of nostalgic, that they have. The brakes are weakm the power low, the handling "exciting", but they sure are fun!

Jim
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Old 03-07-2009, 02:37 PM   #11
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Just wanted to send a message of thanks to those who posted about the carb solutions in #5 and #7 above. I just bought an '82 Seca 650 Turbo in white, and it was puking gas. I'm just ready to reassemble the bike after replacing the o-ring in the pressure check valve. The old one seems a little hard, but not that bad. Hope this fixes my problem.

- Paul
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Old 03-07-2009, 04:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbagley
Just wanted to send a message of thanks to those who posted about the carb solutions in #5 and #7 above. I just bought an '82 Seca 650 Turbo in white, and it was puking gas. I'm just ready to reassemble the bike after replacing the o-ring in the pressure check valve. The old one seems a little hard, but not that bad. Hope this fixes my problem.

- Paul
Hope it works for ya!
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Old 03-08-2009, 06:12 PM   #13
JimVonBaden OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbagley
Just wanted to send a message of thanks to those who posted about the carb solutions in #5 and #7 above. I just bought an '82 Seca 650 Turbo in white, and it was puking gas. I'm just ready to reassemble the bike after replacing the o-ring in the pressure check valve. The old one seems a little hard, but not that bad. Hope this fixes my problem.

- Paul
Hey Paul,

Congrats on the new bike. Let me know if you need any specific parts. I have two of them for parts, along with my runner.

Jim
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Old 06-29-2009, 10:52 PM   #14
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Any questions about any of the XJ series bikes can probably be answered here http://xjbikes.com/Forums.html brilliant resource for XJ's.Very friendly and knowledgeable bunch.
Hope this helps
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Old 06-30-2009, 08:21 AM   #15
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I've got a 1981 Yamaha RD350LC sitting in a shed that I haven't looked at for 5 years. It was bought in Canada and raced in lightweight production as a bit of a cheater since it pre-dated the RZ350 by a couple of years. I bought it for $1 and campaigned it for a couple of years in the mid-80s. I then converted back to a streetbike and managed to get a title for it (that I can't find...) and rode it for a couple more years. It's pretty rough. Has been crashed many times. Still straight though. Not sure what, if anything, I could do with it as parts are non-existent (in the USA, at least). It could be a cool resto if I could figure out how to get the engine rebuilt.

Stock pic. Mine is not this pretty...
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