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Old 07-18-2010, 08:09 AM   #16
Gnarly Adventurer
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Location: Ohio
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I like the styling.
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Old 07-18-2010, 05:58 PM   #17
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Location: New Yorkistan
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I had one back in 1990 when I was in the Air Force. I loved that thing. It was my first proper street bike. I was 19 at the time. Ended up high siding it pretty good which ended that love affair. Still have a soft spot for them though.
Thanks for starting this thread. Look forward to reading "pertinent" things others have to say.
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Old 07-19-2010, 07:20 PM   #18
Newfie Rider
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Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Newfoundland Twin of Rose Bowl
Oddometer: 688
Cool2 My Turbo

Have posted here...

But will enlighten y'all on my project!

Last fall after rebuilding my R1150GS, which I thought would take me all winter, when in fact took me one month

here is the build thread near bottom of page....

I decided that I needed another "SHED" project!

Searched the local classifieds and ran across a Seca Turbo for sale locally. Yeah to me!

$200 later I came home with this...

It had these many kms on it..

WOW what a find I figured...
After trying to get the bloody thing started, no luck, I began disassembling it to restore. Then I found some gremlins.

Frame completely bent, front rim bent, fairings cracked and repaired. Oh shit, what am I into.

Through a friend, he mentioned that a Yamaha dealer not far away had one in boxes. So I called the owner, he said, yup! got one at my house running, have not used it for a few years, but not in great shape. He said, in keeping in the spirit of the turbos, and keeping them on the road, he said I could have it... ( not a great picture) but here is the bike during disassembly. Free to me

So I started tearing down the two bikes, picking out the best of the parts, painted the bike, got her running, only now waiting on my 2 tires, then registration and insurance (oh yeah, ordered new rear signal light, not here yet) and I have taken her out for a few test runs...seems to be working good, a little sputtering on the highway (not sure of the condition of the fuel pump)

After these were taken, I installed the painted oil cover and rear reflector under license plate, pics coming soon...

So her it is in her glory (note: wasn't fussy on the primer grey paint Yamaha used, so opted for the FJ1100 style paint scheme) Also note, the tires in the pics below are the original tires when bike was purchased new.

So after the recent rebuild, I have a bunch of parts left over that I will keep in case I decide to sell the bike , and throw in for the new owner...
Newfoundland weather CaR1200GSWms
R1200GSW, R1150GS Sold, DR750S BIG, Seca 650 Turbo, BMW 325i Convertible (sold), Porsche 944 , sold), Triumph TR-7 (sold), Land Rover Discovery, BMW X5
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Old 07-19-2010, 08:34 PM   #19
Healing nicely
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Joined: Nov 2005
Location: Discount City@US 129
Oddometer: 435
I have one I will be putting back on the road soon (since I totaled my my Hayabusa, it may be all I can afford to have since the medical bills are starting to surpass the price of a new sports car) I had 2 when my garage burned to the ground a few years back. I do like that red and white paint job, but prefer the stock paint, just for originality. Too many have been painted (because the body work is usually cracked or broken) I had one that had been fixed and painted white. Didn't look too bad, just like the stock look. The turbo oil lines are not the issue, it's the check valve at the block that goes bad and lets oil seep past the seals into the turbo. I don't know if anyone is making those yet, there was talk of it on the org. These turbos also need a good cooling down period after a ride because of the small size and air/oil cooling. The power up kit was just a washer and different waste gate spring. You can block the vacuum that runs to the waste gate because there is a pop-off valve in the surge tank that will open at 15psi (the surge tank is between the air box and the carbs. It has a reed valve that closes as the bike builds boost because it's fed from the turbo into the tank) Very early 1982 models were sold without the boost kit. Look in the end of the right side exhaust pipe to see if the washer has been welded into the exit (it holds more pressure on the waste gate ) The US models only read 85 MPH on the speedo with a warning area starting at 55! (Ahh, the 80's) Most turbo bikes are low miles. They do not like to sit and when they do things start going south. After getting the bugs worked out of mine, I road it forever. If taken care of, they can go as many miles as a new bike. The Yamaha was a little more fickle. You can upgrade the springs and shocks (stock is air on the back/air oil front) The air forks are good for killing seals (fork seals;) Tires are another issue as they don't make much (performance)in those sizes. Fuel pumps can go out, the check valves and petcocks go bad and then all your fuel ends up in the pan. Strainers in the tank are no longer available. you can do a small inline filter, but it's tight. It's almost impossible to remove the inside float bowls on the bike with the stock phillips screws (those are the ones that will leak) If your battery dies, you have to remove the entire left side bodywork and it's still a tight squeeze (you need to add a pigtail to the battery incase you need to jump start it because of the post loctions in the frame)You can go to and find out about all the issues. The Seca was basically a low compression 650 with a turbo and funky bodywork added. I always liked the turbo stuff, but couldn't afford the insurance on them when new. (The Seca was around $4399 and the Honda was $4999 in 1982 dollars) The Secas can be found cheap, with low miles but usually in rough or abused condition but not always. Windshields are usually cloudy or yellow and no one makes them. The custom ones people have had made are not very good so I've been told. The handling is not great even with new springs and a fork brace, but it never was even new. Brakes are not much too, but adding braided lines and good pads helps, it's just not a "2 finger" set up. I believe the 650 weighs more than my Hayabusa did and had less than half the HP. Still a fun classic,if you can deal with the little quirks. I have some spares I have collected and there is always stuff on ebay. Just remember, it's a 28 year old turbo bike!
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:43 PM   #20
Newfie Rider
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Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Newfoundland Twin of Rose Bowl
Oddometer: 688
For Sale

After much deliberation on the bike, I have decided to sell it to pursue another project.

A great deal of work , time, and money went into this build. Someone will end up with a nice bike...

The link with info listed here...
Newfoundland weather CaR1200GSWms
R1200GSW, R1150GS Sold, DR750S BIG, Seca 650 Turbo, BMW 325i Convertible (sold), Porsche 944 , sold), Triumph TR-7 (sold), Land Rover Discovery, BMW X5
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Old 10-15-2010, 10:20 PM   #21
Joined: Oct 2010
Oddometer: 3
I have owned three of these and said I wouldn't buy another after the first one because it was dated and I had to have the newest and fastest. That was when I was real young and real dumb. Well when I was stationed in Maine I bought another one. Fixed it up nicely, then I bought another one while stationed in New Mexico. A lot of what I know and have done was due to trial and error initially, but I have found some great info on this site:

Here is my .02 cents:

They are great for touring at or above the speed limit. The ride is nice and they handle okay stock. They don't brake for $h!T though! If you are going to keep this bike, may I suggest some things to make her a keeper?

These things I suggest are only after you get her tuned up and running right under boost. That means, carbs cleaned/rebuilt, plugs, upgrade to better coils and wires too. If she is not running right under boost after all of this, go to step 4. Ah do step 4 anyway while she's apart.

1) Swap the entire front for a later model Yamaha or Suzuki. The forks on these bikes are spaghetti noodles and the brakes are the size of DVDs. I opted for a late model FJ1200 front end on my 2nd Seca Turbo. It offers better handle bar position and it has 41mm tubes with better damping, better brakes if it is after 1986 and it is a near drop in because the steering head pin is the same, just the bearing cups are different. Check out for stem/bearing sizes then go to for steering head bearings and look under details and you will see what bikes your bearings fit. The ohio cafe racers site has the best swap info I have found to date. I found this info on

I liked the FJ1200 swap because of the updated speedo and tach, plus the other gauges that come with it or you can just reuse yours. I also like the fact that it's a Yamaha piece. I almost went Suzuki Katana 1200 front though. they seem to be a nice fit also. If a whole front end swap is not in the cards, I do agree with the previous posters that Galfer steel braided brake lines are a big help, but I would suggest using 1985/86 MAxim X dual piston calipers and some performance brake pads. The Maxim X calipers bolt directly to our forks. On the 2nd Seca, the FJ1200 front wheel was a 17" tri spoke unit that was an exact match to the Seca 900 18" rear wheel with disc brakes that I had from a donor bike. If you can find a donor 900 (good luck) grab the rear wheel and brake assembly. The rear swingarm won't work unless you do some grinding on it and it will only allow a 130 size tire to fit it. If you look at our Seca and then look at other Secas you will see ours is indented on the drive axle side. (All three of mine have had this anyway) I have a 140 series on mine. With a cut out of the drive shaft area and move the spacer washer from the right side under the drive assembly, I will have room for a 150, maybe? Oh yeah the 1st and 3rd Secas have the 18" Vision front wheel on them. The Turbo and Vision wheels are identical, the Turbo ran a 19 and the Vision an 18", both are only 2.15" wide though, where the Seca 900 and Fj11/1200 wheels are 2.75" allowing for more tire contact patch.

2) I added longer shocks to the back of mine of the one I ride now. The stockers are 12.5 eye to eye. I added 14" shocks off of a Honda ????? I think? The 14" shocks are too high. Handles great with the added rake and will carry a nice big load and not bottom. 13-13.5" should be about perfect. I am looking into adding a Virago mono shock to my latest Turbo.

3.) The bottom end is lazy on these bikes, mainly due to the restrictive air filter box that filters air for the reed valves in the surge box and the turbo inlet. I took my box off and added a cone filter to the surge box inlet on the back side and one directly to the turbo inlet. Boost picked up much quicker and felt more torque earlier. You could and this is just throwing it out there as I have not done this yet! You could remove the reed valve/surge valve plate and add a custom reed valve setup. Will breath better on the bottom, but you will lose the safety of the blow off valve. It opens at 15psi to prevent over boost. Running a good boost gauge and boost controller is in your best interest at this point. The stock gauge doesn't tell you what psi you are at, just whether you are boosting or not.

4) If your bike is running good but falls on its face under boost, get rid of the old gas cap. get a new automotive type and drill a hole in it so it can breath. Also add an automotive type fuel filter, not a gigantic one, but one that has 3/8 in/out and one you can see through. Believe me this is two of the easiest mods/fixes to a myriad of fuel gremlins you may encounter. If the gas cap trick doesn't work, check your fuel pressure regulator and see if it is rising 1 psi per 1 lb of boost pressure. There are a couple of auto types with adapters that you can adjust fuel press to your liking, especially if you are raising the boost up. If the gas cap, fuel filter and pressure regulator are all operating right, then the last culprit would be low pump output. Remember the pump is 28 yrs old, it should be putting out at least 25psi at idle. If not get another one. By the way the part number is no longer carried so with some ingenuity and it being all I had anyway I ran a Bosch inline from a Ford truck. You can find them in good working order on most any Ford truck on the frame rail or a Volvo just forward of the gas tank in the filter housing. It is a bit bigger than the stock unit but works flawlessly under boost. They flow 155lph @ 45psi at idle on a stock Ford fpr (28psi on the Seca FPR) and can handle up to 95psi. These Bosch units are good for 500 hp when two are plumbed in series on a fuel injected turbo 2.3 running 22psi of boost. So they will be more than capable of handling fueling for the Seca turbo.

There are other things you can do to bring out even more performance in these bikes. If interested in some of what I have planned for my latest Seca Turbo or you have some ideas swimming around, please hit me up and let me know. This is a forgotten sport bike and there are ways to make her more of a desirable sport tourer than she already is. Donor bikes are getting cheaper, ideas are getting better and these bikes are waiting for some attention.
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Old 10-16-2010, 12:55 AM   #22
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Joined: May 2010
Location: nunyabidness
Oddometer: 132
My dad and his brother both had one, my dads was grey and my uncles was yellow.

My dad still has both bikes. Story goes my uncle wrecked his, borrowed my dads and then wrecked that one too, so now my old man owns both.

This was the first street bike i rode for my first solo ride with my dad one sunday morning when i was 15. I didnt get my motorcycle license until i was 17. Im pretty sure i dropped it that day too.

Pretty sure it has 100,000+ miles on it.

Great thread, thanks for bringing back a great memory!
To gild refined gold, to paint the lily, to throw a perfume on the violet, is just fucking silly.
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Old 10-17-2010, 12:17 AM   #23
Beastly Adventurer
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Joined: May 2006
Location: Japan
Oddometer: 1,470
Originally Posted by Michelangelo
I did a search and didn't find anything so I thought I'd start one for the Turbo Yamaha's only. Please no Kawis, CX's or Suzis. Let's keep this for the Yamaha Turbo guys-current or past ownership.

Pics, write-ups, experiences.
I'm not a current owner but with 6 bikes in the garage, I've found that none of them are suited for longer touring. With that, I'm considering a 650 Turbo for some 2-up with my wife.

Although I like bikes in this category for nostalgia if anything else, I'm not sure why you want to get it for 'longer distance touring,' ...especially 2-up, as it is REALLY NOT suited for that. I suppose you are using that angle to get approval from your wife...whatever works for you.

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Old 10-17-2010, 08:45 AM   #24
J. Thompson #5150
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Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Des Moines, IA
Oddometer: 213
Originally Posted by ColinDoyle
A friend of mine picked up a turbo Seca a couple of years ago and we toyed around with it a bit. Almost as soon as he procured it, the seals in the turbo started leaking. He had it rebuilt, we reinstalled it (and built a sweet screamer pipe ) and it ran fine for another couple hundred miles before the oil burning began again. I don't think Yamaha did their research when they designed the oil drain line on the turbo:

On a positive note, we did not experience any final drive failures.
Doesn't look like they did, no. Even with the small amount of pressure from the turbo, oil doesn't like running uphill.
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Old 10-19-2010, 04:15 AM   #25
Joined: Oct 2010
Oddometer: 3
The Seca turbo bikes are fit with a special oil scavenging port in the oil pump to pull the oil from the turbo. My check valve was stuck open on mine so I ran a wildwood one-way check valve.

The bike as whole does great for two up touring. The first SECA was ridden all over the Carolinas and into GA several times with a passenger and no complaints about ride quality. While stationed in Maine the second Seca was blasted up and down northern I95 that leads up to Canada and south to Boston, with plenty of trips to Lake Winnipesaukee, NH, again loaded with passenger and saddlebags. The wife and I rode my last one down from Ft Collins, CO (just north east of Denver) to Albuquerque, NM where I was stationed. The ride is nice and the bike does very well with two up because the seat is long and wide for comfortable touring with a passenger. The shocks are a hurdle getting adjusted for optimum ride quality with a load, but they do their job once adjusted to your liking. The fairing does an excellent job of dispersing the wind up and around you and your passenger. The fairing compartments are a huge help with storage and you also have enough dash and fairing to install a radio with little mods. The '82 tank is 1 gallon smaller than the '83, so an '83 tank is a desirable upgrade for long haul touring, unless you like stopping for gas more often. It's also, "Run what you brung" thing. If this is what he wants and can afford, by all means go for it. Again, I've had three and each one has been a reliable steed in every respect. I know we'll hear, "Buy a bike more suited.", well this one is with little work. What long haul tourer on here is good to go right out of the box? I bet there are mods and upgrades to every bike on here for one reason or another. Why not mod this one too?
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Old 10-19-2010, 04:25 AM   #26
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Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
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[quote=Newfie Rider]

top top effort!!!!!

"We are not at home to Mr Reasonable" - Sam Vimes

NZ Touring pics:Brass Monkey 2009:Kiwi Sun:Tiki-touring: Daytrips in NZ
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Old 10-19-2010, 04:55 AM   #27
Joined: Oct 2010
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I agree, the Red/White Turbo is a beauty!!!!! As I have owned both a GPZ turbo and the three Seca turbos, I found this article that some of the naysayers may be interested in reading. There was no way i would long haul the GPZ due to it's agressive stance, but these Secas are so user friendly. check this article out:
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:04 PM   #28
Joined: Jun 2006
Oddometer: 58
All I have to say to the people that say they're ugly and slow and yada-yada-yada... You probably never owned one. There's nothing like a turbo kicking in at 6500rpm to wake you the hell up! Yeah, a heavy bike. Yeah, old tech, yeah carbs... But until you sit on it and see how damn comfortable it is, then I suggest you just don't comment on what you don't know.

I've raced mine beside modern 1000cc bikes like Ducati's and R1's on the backroads out here and kept up repsectfully on straights, and right on their heels in corners. Keep the turbo running coming out of the turns and you will leave them behind you. Many of my friends just look at me with disbelief after a day's riding. I look at them and say, 'Yeah, she's old, and she's STOCK too! What's YOUR excuse?!'

On one particular day I took a 30mph country backroad twisty at 80mph... with a passenger! It gripped and came out of the turn pullling the front tire off the ground about a foot till I let up. Slow? Since when is 135-140mph slow for a 650??? My 2003 FZ-1 would only do 150-155mph...

So chalk it up to superior aerodynamics of the Turbo for such a heavy bike to get up that fast. Honda's and Kaw's Turbo aerodynamics SUCKED. Like riding a naked street bike.

The only bike similar in the 'pull' respect is my 2006 Honda Interceptor when it also kicks in its four vavles at 6400rpm. I'd say it has about half the seat of the pants pull of the Yamaha turbo though.

I've owned two 1982's. Both pristine condition. I should have never sold my first one. It was the best one of the two. These bikes are all day comfy on the stock saddle. Great for touring. No, it's not a dual sport, but on the open road it's just a very competent bike. I got 55mpg on mine. That means well over 200 miles range per tank, even on the 1982 which had one less gallon capacity than the 1983, the later are hard to find these days.

Yeah, I loved that bike. I'd buy another just for the ear to ear shit eating grin it delivers.

By the way, for anyone that owns one, Dunlop makes the best replacement tires for that bike, and it's a matching set, not two different models front and rear.

I've noticed that everyone that repaints their Turbo always goes with whatever color scheme they like. While that red and white is nice, there's a reason he didn't repaint it stock. There's no release of that paint code! But a good paint shop can reproduce it pretty faithfully. I know. I had a few panels redone and you can't tell. People that rebuild them also gripe that they couldn't find the striping kit. They're available through aftermarlet, so that's no excuse.

Btw, in Europe they had this same bike as a 750 with fuel injection, sans (without) turbo.
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Old 03-17-2011, 12:55 PM   #29
Mr. Canoehead
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Location: Calgary, Too far to the mountains and too cold
Oddometer: 1,820
I remember lusting after these bikes when they were new. I bought a new leftover 1981 Seca 750 in 1983 for about $2500 Cdn as my first bike and could have bought a 1981 Seca 900 or an XS1100 for $3000. They were still trying to get $5k for the turbo, though.

Within 2 years NOS Yamaha, Honda and Kawasaki turbos were going for $3k out the door and the power up kit was retrofitted to all the bikes in the showroom. By then, the interceptors were out (and the GSX-R's were coming) and all the turbo bikes were boat anchors on the showroom floor.

Thanks for keeping the memories alive, guys.

BTW, if you love old bikes, check out Mitch Boehm's new mag Motoretro. Mitch is a great writer and is working hard to keep the stories alive. No affiliation, just love the mag and old bikes.
2006 FJR1300A, 2005 GS1150 Adventure, 2002 DR650 SE, a fortune in Farkles.

"No matter how many [internet] opinions you line up, you can't vote nonsense into truth"- Kevin Cameron
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Old 03-17-2011, 01:38 PM   #30
Lets Ride
Joined: May 2003
Location: Spencer,Iowa
Oddometer: 63
Put 60,000 mi. on mine

In 1986 I bought an '82 Seca Turbo w/2400 mi.I test rode it and when the boost kicked in I knew I had to have it.I bought it for $1600.The dealership had one in the crate for $2200.In 1998 I sold it for $1000 w/62,000 mi on it.It cost me .01 a mile to own it.No major problems,it was hard on batteries. I think being enclosed behind the bodywork catching all the heat from the engine was the culprit.The cam chain was at the end of its adjustment and was getting a little noisy toward the end.
That was back when I was young,I couldn't do it now..............Jerry
'13 R1200 GS LC
'07 DL650 ABS
89 Transalp For Sale
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