Yamaha Seca 650 Turbo thread!

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by Michelangelo, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. Michelangelo

    Michelangelo 2 wheel rider...anytime..

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    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.

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    #1
  2. welder

    welder Long timer

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    No offense, but I always thought the Yamaha's were the ugliest of the turbos. That fairing looks like something from battlestar galactica.
    #2
  3. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    Once again, I miss the days when the sportiest of machines had center stands, not to mention reasonable passenger accommodations as compared to the whore perches of today.
    #3
  4. garrett the nerd

    garrett the nerd Sprocket Protector

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    I'll admit to being ill-informed about these bikes; I'll throw out a few questions and try to avoid sounding too dumb.

    Air cooled? Turbo looks to be under the chin fairing? low enough pressure to avoid a blow off valve and an intercooler?
    #4
  5. Yamadavidson

    Yamadavidson Been here awhile

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    There are lots of other bike I would consider before any of the 80s turbo bikes, none of them were very good. I think the GN85 Suzuki was about the best but they all suffered from turbo lag and excessive weight for their engine size. As far as two up unless you are both kind of small you will be crowded on any of them. If your after an older bike to tour on go find a Kawi concours, goldwing or Guzzi and you will be much happier.
    #5
  6. bisbonian

    bisbonian Long timer

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    Air/Oil cooled.

    Turbo is behind the engine about under the swingarm pivot, the right side "exhaust" pipe comes right off of it.

    No intercooler but the right pipe is the relief valve for the turbo.

    I had one of these for close to 15 years.
    #6
  7. Michelangelo

    Michelangelo 2 wheel rider...anytime..

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    Again, if you do not own or have something positive to contribute about these bikes. Please do not post. I would like to keep this thread related to fans and enthusiasts of the Seca Turbo who are wanting to contribute.
    #7
  8. Mike Butt

    Mike Butt Agent Provocateur

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    Make sure if your buy one that it has the "Power-Up" kit already installed. Otherwise a CX500T will spank your ass.
    #8
  9. MODNROD

    MODNROD Decisions, decisions

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    A mate had one in the 80's, one of 2 bikes in town that could do in my rattley, leaky, smashed-up-cases Honda K on te ragged edge.

    He popped the motor within 5000km (he was a complete loony tho), so he dropped a XJ900 motor in there and mucked around with that set-up with the turbo bits.........and voila! HOLY CRAP BATMAN!!!!!

    Spinning up on boost in most gears, no suspension, shite brakes, flexy frame, all over the highway under power, bloody good fun! From memory when they were new, they were strong little buggers, bit like the XS1100's, but cooler.

    Bit like the '87 Vmax I have now. Guess I missed the "good-old-days".
    #9
  10. Josephvman

    Josephvman I'm the Decider

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    Styled by Hans Muth, who also did the original Suzuki Katana, and BMW R100RS and R65LS, among others. You can see similarities in all of those bikes.
    #10
  11. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    I still have one, for sale.

    They are very fun and reliable bikes. Mine only has 9600 miles on it.

    I would not, however, consider it a very good distance touring bike. Lots of fun for day trips though.

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    5'8" and 230 pounds for reference.

    Jim :brow
    #11
  12. andoulli

    andoulli CAJUN

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    Kawasaki ZX750 turbo is the only one that made real power, right at 110 hp. Virtually the same top speed as a GPZ1100.
    #12
  13. XT_Driftwood

    XT_Driftwood Been here awhile

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    +1

    I bought my GPZ Turbo new in '86. Still got it, little over 8k on it now. I'd post a pic but the only one's I have are on film from the 80's and 90's.

    It's fast but handles like crap. The Yam Turbo's handled better but weren't anywhere near as fast. The only bike in my little one-horse town that could spank me back in a drag race back then was a V-max.

    All the turbo's look dated now.
    #13
  14. andoulli

    andoulli CAJUN

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    The engine side covers on my bike said GPZ, but the cover of the owners manual said ZX750 Turbo. Times were a changin. The battery had a probe in one of the cells that would activate a light on the dash when battery fluid would get low. Loved the digital turbo boost gauge. The bottom end and cylinders came from a GPZ 750, the head from a KZ 650. The compression ratio off boost was 8 to 1, very low, to prevent pre-detonation on boost.
    #14
  15. ColinDoyle

    ColinDoyle Been here awhile

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    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 :evil) 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:

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    :eek1 :rofl

    On a positive note, we did not experience any final drive failures. :lol3
    #15
  16. lucas123

    lucas123 Been here awhile

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    I like the styling.

    Attached Files:

    #16
  17. RiotPat

    RiotPat Long timer

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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.
    #17
  18. Newfie Rider

    Newfie Rider Been here awhile

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    Have posted here...
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=229939&page=3

    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
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    here is the build thread near bottom of page....
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?p=11600794#post11600794

    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...
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    It had these many kms on it..
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    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:clap
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    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.

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    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...
    #18
  19. slime

    slime Healing nicely

    Joined:
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    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 turbomotorcycles.org 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!
    #19
  20. Newfie Rider

    Newfie Rider Been here awhile

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    #20