CB700S vs Seca 900

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by elementalg20, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. elementalg20

    elementalg20 Been here awhile

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    Both of these have popped up locally. The CB is $1200 and the Seca is $1700(both asking prices). Both are supposed to be in good order, seca looks better in pictures but who knows.

    I've read up on the CB's over the years and know a bit about them but the seca is a fairly big unknown for me. It's only a year older(83 vs 84). Both are supposed to run and ride properly.

    Will the Yamaha likely be as reliable, or should I go with the honda? Both seem to both fit the same niche, sporty old UJM's.

    Always had a thing for th cb700's but this seca is pulling on heart strings, admittedly it'd pull harder if the prices were the same.
    #1
  2. thumpism

    thumpism Been here awhile

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    I'm more of a Yamaha guy so would likely choose the Seca 900. It's much rarer than the Honda in the States but I believe it was sold for a decade or longer in Europe as the Diversion so I would not worry about the reliability. No actual experience with either specific bike.
    #2
  3. sjc56

    sjc56 Long timer

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    If I remember the reviews where pretty good for it. I wanted one back then and still think it is a cool bike.
    #3
  4. squish

    squish Out of the office.

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    The yamaha was a rare bike, and IIRC that was right in the middle of the government bailing out Harley with a massive tariff on all imported bikes over 700cc, so when it was new the Seca was much more expensive then the Nighthawk.

    I'm not a big fan of the CB700SC, I'd take the Seca, but I'd be leery of with it being a one year bike and a rare one at that.
    #4
  5. Tosh Togo

    Tosh Togo Long timer

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    As previously mentioned, the XJ900 was marketed elsewhere for most of a decade. The version that we got was a max bore&stroke 750, so it was actually an 850. Later versions, ie: the ones we didn't see stateside, were closer to a full 900ccs.

    I can find any XJ/Seca hard part with a quick trip to the Oz or U.K. branches of EBay, but these bikes rarely need hard parts, unless you toss 'em down the road. :1drink

    Aside from normal fluid maintenance*, all you'll ever need are tires and brake pads. All the XJ shafties are that way, and as long as the fluids are kept fresh, the only real engine maintenace will be an infrequent valve adjustment.

    *Engine oil changes are easy, and the shaft drive just needs an occasional straightforward (no voodoo or special procedures) lubricant change.

    Comfortable, large fuel tank, great mid-range, and NO engine/drivetrain quirks of any sort. :freaky
    #5
  6. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Transient

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    I had a CB700s and it was the easiest bike to maintain I've ever had.

    Hydraulic clutch, brakes, lifters, and a drive shaft. Basically, all you had to do was change your oil, which was in the frame.

    Good looking bike, nice riding bike too, although the 16" front wheel made for some weird very low speed turn in.
    #6
  7. johns

    johns Been here awhile

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    I believe the Seca was just called XJ900N or F here (Naked or Fairing?). I've got a 1992 XJ900F since christmas 2011 :) . Already an old bike so I had to take care of some things (headstock bearings, replaced the wireing because the previous owner messed it up), but it's been reliable since I took care of that this summer. No oil use, about 5l/100km fuel consumption.

    Still, old bikes, old handling, old brakes. But I wouldn't mind traveling on it and I probably will do that next year

    The diversion is afaik called Seca-2 in the states. These have the more forward leaning engine. The earlier XJ's have more power, including the 600 (FJ in the states?)

    Edit: weakest point (of the both the eigthies XJ/seca and the nineties diversion/seca-2): rusting fueltank on the lowest part near the seat. Making sure that there won't be water left behind is the best cure I guess, so clean it out once a year or use a coating.
    #7
  8. ctune80

    ctune80 Been here awhile

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    Get the Seca, for all of the reasons above. Great bikes! Not a racer, but a very competent sport tourer,
    Not many of them around, a one year, great looking, somewhat collectible bike here in the US.


    I have seen a few of the Hondas with Hydraulic lifters develop problems when the miles went up.
    It may have been maintenance related or owner neglect but I've seen it on more than a couple bikes.
    #8
  9. thumpism

    thumpism Been here awhile

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    The Seca II (or 2) was a 600 introduced in the early '90s and sold for a few years here. The original Seca series introduced a decade earlier included the 550, the 650, the 750 and the 900 (AKA Diversion), all UJMs. The V-twin XV920R bikes were often erroneously called the Seca 920 but that bike never had a name, only the alphanumeric handle.
    #9
  10. HapHazard

    HapHazard Waiting for Gudenov

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    A friend of mine had a Seca 900. I thought that both the handling and power were unimpressive (Compared to my 82 GS750).
    Put me down for the Honda.
    #10
  11. squish

    squish Out of the office.

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    I loathed the handling of the nighthawk, that 16 front wheel, the weight and the length made it a bike that wasn't very fun to ride.

    As for the seca

    The only thing I'd worry about is the electrical components but that's true of all bikes of this age.

    But it wasn't the fastest or for that matter even close to the fastest bike back when it was new.
    #11
  12. astroguy

    astroguy Adventurer

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    I've owned both the '82 550 Seca and '82 650 Seca.
    Both were very reliabe. The 650 had shaft drive and I believe that the 900 does. I've had two bmw K bikes with shaft drive problems but the Seca never showed any issues and shaft drive although heavy and complicated can be very very nice.
    I'd go with the Seca 900 myself. I do recall both Secas I had , the frames were a bit springy though.
    #12
  13. MODNROD

    MODNROD Decisions, decisions

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    I've had most of the UJMs over the years.
    The XJs are very smooth, good mid-range, just an overall nice bike.
    If you like cruisy bikes with a bit of punch and touring ability, the XJs are perfect. Check the tank for rust, the shaft for clunks, and especially make sure it doesn't jump out of 2nd on power, otherwise you're good for another 10 years.

    If you want it to go, get a Kwak or a Zook.
    #13
  14. MacMcMacmac

    MacMcMacmac Idiots Avant!

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    My 900 would top out at 135mph or so. None of the dreaded speed wobble ever made itself known. Hard to say now what parts availability is like. I had to pop for a new tank since mine was rusted out at the aforementioned back lower section. $800 straight from Yamaha. What a lovely sight! I resurrected one in 2000 that had been sitting since 1987. First time I ever cleaned carbs. The motor was locked up, but coasting down a ramp and popping the clutch solved that. I ran it like a red-headed stepchild and nothing ever broke, despite the cocoa coloured oil that came out of it. I loved that bike. I never saw more than one other on the road and it was beat. Hard to kill an XJ drivetrain. Not a real hot-rod by any means, but sort of a quiet, dignified bike, like a Beemer, or a smaller FJ1200. The same bike was sold in Canada and Australia for a few years with a 750 motor, called an XJ750RL.
    #14
  15. Blacknblue

    Blacknblue "I'm outa' here."

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    I have an '84 Nighthawk and a fair amount of NOS parts are still available online. Mine has an aftermarket
    sissybar and rear rack combo that allows me to carry baggage and tie into the sissybar. The low pipes
    make it easy to use soft saddlebags. It rides well it city traffic, cruising the highways and handles well on
    twisty roads.

    The shaft drive is a great asset when riding in dirty conditions.

    I use it as a sport tourer and it does really well in hot weather with its oil radiator.

    I'm not even thinking of getting another bike. I keep mine original and have ridden it as far south as
    Santa Barbara, north to Crater Lake several times, and to the Grand Canyon once.

    Off the pavement it handles fairly well for a heavy street bike--I can stand up on the pegs.

    The old school seat and handlebar configuration allows me to lean forward, sit straight up. or
    lean back which makes long day rides fully loaded (525 miles) doable.

    It's a fun bike to ride and very reliable. Once the revs get up, it has enough power to get into
    or out of trouble.

    I love this bike and would buy it again but mine was garaged by a guy who kept the battery tenderd
    and had a cover on it. I paid $1300 and I've put about 17,000 miles on it so far--it has 33,000. now.
    #15
  16. concours

    concours WFO for 41 years

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    which ever one hasn't been left out in the rain, :eek1 and/or repaired by a cave man :norton
    #16
  17. McJamie

    McJamie STROMINATOR

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    I had a CB 750SC.
    Buy the Yamaha.
    It's only a bit heavier, makes a lot more power, has a much bigger fuel tank, and has 18" wheels instead of 16". Much easier to find tires for it now a days. I always found the 16" wheels a little less stable. Rear disc brake on the Yamaha too. If I remember right, I think the handlebars were adjustable too. Will carry a passenger/luggage better too. The big selling feature with the Honda is the hydraulic valve adjusters, but back when they were new, we saw quite a few that would self destruct if run too hard.

    Having said all that, get whichever one is the most original and in the best shape.
    #17