Total Motorcycle – 1982 Yamaha XJ 650 R Seca, Maxim, 1980-1986

19 Apr 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Total Motorcycle – 1982 Yamaha XJ 650 R Seca, Maxim, 1980-1986
Yamaha XJ 750 Seca

Fuel Milage (avg): 49mpg – Weight (full): 503lbs

Third Stage: Modifications Stock vs. Mod XJ650 Comparo – Stainless steel brake lines, KN stage 3 jet kit, Individual KN pod filters, small windshild. (photos soon)

Fourth Stage: Repaint and fix up. New PPG poly red paint job and decals. (this winter)

My Bike’s History

Just picked this one up on Saturday, June 29th, 2002. Gave her a full tune up and replaced the 4 spark plugs and spark plug caps. Also changed the motor oil and filter (Wix) as well as the shaft drive oil (80w90). New rear tire as well (Cheng Shin 120/90-18 Marquis) recommend by the mechanic.

The cheng-shin is a great tire so far with no complaints (3,000km) in fact I’ll most likely get another one when it wears out next year.

I’ve purchased a small windshield for the front of the bike and some Pro Grip gel grips to replace the standard grips.I find them both very nice additions to the Seca.

Currently, I’m changing the motor oil (motormaster motorcycle 20w50) and shaft drive oil (80w90) every 1,500km and replace the oil filter (Wix or UAP/NAPA brand) on every 3,000km. Note on the Wix oil filter, you really have to try this brand, it finished #1 on construction and design on the net from 20+ ones. I just took it out after 3,000km and it still looks like it could easily do another 2,000km. The old oil looked in really good shape considering being in there for that long.

Very few foreign deposits in the oil as well thanks to the filter. You can get them in Canada at UAP/NAPA dealers for cheaper than a FRAM filter (which finished near last in quality). Turns out that WIX makes the NAPA oil filter as well.

Two up on the highway works out great so far, the seat is JUST long enough for 2 full sized adults and the power is great for passing still. I do a lot of 400km+ rides in and around Calgary, Alberta, Canada and find the seating position comfortable enough to go 4 hours and still not be that sore. On the highway, the engine purrs along at 4,500rpm at 100km/h and 5,000rpm at 110km/h in top (5th) gear.

Fuel milage so far has been in 3,000km: 181 liters, 5.869 L/100Km – 47.934 MPG fuel economy. I use regular (87 octane in Canada) gasoline all the time from any petrol station along the way.

UPDATE: Friday the 13th of April, 2007: After almost 5 years of owning Hope I sold it today to a new owner, Jay for $2200. I’ve maintained it the best I could for the years I owned her and she has been a wonderful motorcycle and a shining example of a very fine 1980’s UJM. Powerful, easy to ride, lots of range, comfortable and a low maintenaince shaft drive to boot.

In in the end I added upgrades like individual KN pod air filters, A DynoJet Stage III jet ket, Progressive suspension springs, new PPG showroom paint job and stainless steel braided brake lines amoung the numerous other new parts to keep her in better than 1982 shape. She has been all over with me on trips and never let me down.

I’m sad to see her go, but glad she will be going to a good new home and a caring ner owner.

Sold to purchase the next bike in my life, a 2007 Suzuki V-Strom 650 (DL650). I choose this model because I really enjoy the comfort, versitility and practicality of the standard motorcycle. I also enjoy good fuel miliage and riding distance before needing to fill up.

Some of the 2 things I wanted to try was fuel injection (for those cold morning starts) and a V-Twin engine for low down torque.

First Photos: When I got the bike

The day I got the bike (below photos)

The following photos are of my actual bike the day I got her. (Wash, wax, polish and shine came later).

Second Stage: After a few weeks of prep, polish, and wax.

I love doing this to a bike you just bought. Use the right stuff (polish, wax etc) and it will make a HUGE difference in appearance! Tip: Always do this to your bike BEFORE you sell it, you’ll get more for it.

Third Stage: Modifications Comparo – Stock Vs. Modified

I found that I like adding upgrades to a motorcycle. I find that I’m the type who enjoys adding more practical things to a bike, rather than chome and leather do-dads, everyone is different and it is a way to personalize your bike. This season (2003) I’ve added Stainless steel brake lines (mix of Russle and Goodrich), a KN stage 3 jet kit, Individual KN pod filters and small windshild.

I got the very lucky opportunity to ride another XJ650R Seca recently that was stock and kept that way by its original owner. The silver paint still looked great even though it’s never seen polish and wax!

This test ride gave me the opportunity to compaire the two (Stock vs. modified) bikes back to back. Here are some of my impressions:


The stock XJ650R’s engine feels weak in lower RPM’s (the bane of In-line 4’s lack of torque in low RPMs) and there isn’t a lot of pull below 4,000rpm. From 4,000-6,000rpm you get a good shot of acceleration, from 6-7,000rpm the acceleration again isn’t there and from 7,000+ you better hang on. So the seca engine is smooth all the way, but it just likes to squirt power out in weird ways.

The modded XJ650R engine feels very strong and that is responsible by the KN Stage 3 jet kit. Gone is the squirty power band, and it is replaced by a hold on powerband that is smooth acceleration all the way without any noticeable deal zones. Another big improvment was from idle to 4,000rpm, the thottle was much more responsive, and there was acceleration and torque. ( KN Products:

Stage 3 Jet Kit w/ Filter: 23-9021)

fortunately (or unfortunately depending on how you look at it), the KN Stage 3 jet kit installation requires removal of the stock air box and boots. This allows the carbs to each get their own individual KN pod filter as well as the crankcase getting its own filter as well. This is a very practical step to increase horsepower and torque as well as decrease weight.


The stock XJ650R was still equiped with front factory brake lines (rubber) and there isn’t a way to say it nicely, but they do not have the best feel or power to them. The front brakes are a dual disc setup and I’m glad for that, the original design is a good one. Using the brakes in soft or hard stops, you can feel the rubber brake lines swell and give a distant spongy feeling.

Braking power is adaqute for one or two up but nothing more.

The moddified XJ650R with stainless steel brake lines from Russle and Goodrich feel much more (x3?) powerful, and can even lock up the front wheel when used too agressively. There was no question what brakes you’d want in case of an emergency stop.

The stainless steel brake lines not only looked really good on the Seca over the rubber black ones but preformed better all around as well.


The stock XJ650R was still equiped with a factory handlebar. It is lower and less angled (more straight) and because of this it makes the bike feel more sporty. Your weight is more on your hands but nicely distrituted as well.

This would be a good handlebar for more sport oriented riding.

The modified XJ650R handlebar is a little higher and just a little more angled (more curved) than the stock handlebar. I call it a modified one because it is unclear if this is an aftermarket handlebar or it was a stock option as well. The handle bar puts less weight on the hands and while you are still in a sport riding position, it is more likely more comfortable for sport touring.

Handlebars are very subjective to the rider and really not one is better than the other, it is what you are more comfortable with and used to using.


It is amazing that there is really only 2 major modifications (and 2 minor) from the stock bike to the modified one, but it noticeably makes a big improvement all around.

Fourth Stage: Repaint and fix up.

I can’t wait for it to be done this winter. All the plastic and metal primer, base coat paint and showroom clear coat has been purchased. I decided to go with a top of the line brand (PPG) because it will look the best.

It will be painted PPG poly red with decals (haven’t decided what ones to use yet). PPG poly red is like the sample below.

2006 riding season:

Looking good out there!

3 Reds in a Row. Looks great next to the new Ducati and Honda VTR.

Experiences running a KN Performance Stage 3 jet kit on the XJ

I figure that it must be uncommon if not rare to install a KN Performance Stage 3 jet kit on the XJ650, but I needed new needles anyways and the Kit was the best way to go, so I bought it and got it installed, setup and tuned professionally.

The KN Stage 3 Jet Kit, in case you are not familiar with it, KN says: STAGE THREE KITS Intended for motorcycles with stock or mildly tuned engines using KN individual clamp-on air filters and an aftermarket pipe. In most cases power increases of 10 – 15 % can be achieved. My kit came with 2 different sized jets 112 and 120, as well as new needles (with 5 positions, stock Yamaha ones are NON adjustable!), instructions with photos as well as 4 individual KN filters and a KN crankcase filter, they even had a hat in the box!

I helped the mechanic out (learning you know) as much as I could and watched a lot, here are my observations:

-It can be installed without the help of a mechanic, but I don’t suggest it. Too much tuning, adjusting, setup, sync’ing the carbs and all.

-You HAVE to remove the air box, air box boots, air box hoses, filter.

Yamaha XJ 750 Seca

-You need to customize a little the side panels so they fit better next to the outside individual air filters. You just need to shave the sides a little (you can’t notice the change when its done)

-Need to do quite a bit of carb work, adjusting the butterfly valves, needle, air/fuel mixture screws etc.

-Need to test ride the bike quite a few times in different throttle, speed and gear positions to make sure everything is setup for maximum power and torque from the kit.

After it was all done (1.5 days), I have to say that the power curve of the XJ650R Seca is very strong all the way up to redline. The torque from the engine is VERY noticeably higher. It also cures the low-mid range lack of power!

From 2,000rpm the bike pulls like it did without the kit at 6,000rpm. No more low RPM weak

acceleration. ) I haven’t full tested the horsepower aspect of the bike, I have been up to 90km/h and but haven’t went on the highway just yet since I just got the bike back last night.

The individual filters make the whole bike just a little louder with a very sweet growl out of them the closer you get to wide open throttle (WOW). LOVE the sound, I’ll have to tape it.

Overall: Highly recommended. More torque, more acceleration, less weight, new great engine sound. I’m sold.

Hope that helps anyone out there. )

Personal review of my own 1982 XJ650RJ Seca

When looking for my 3rd/4th bike I wanted something reliable, powerful, able to take 2 up and touring. My mechanic told me to find one of these bikes. He recommended this bike to me because out of the 100’s of bikes he gets a year to fix up in his shop, he gets in very few of these if any at all and they only come in for routine maintenance rather than more major repairs or rebuilds.

My last 2 bikes a 80′ Honda CB400T Hawk and a 78′ Suzuki GS550 helped me get here by understanding what I wanted in a bike. The standard naked bike suits me best and that’s what I went looking for.

Luckily, I did find a very nice condition and well taken care of 1982 Yamaha XJ650RJ Seca. So far I have put on 3,000+ km’s and look forward to many 1,000’s more. I do about 50/50 touring and city travel and in both situations is has enough power to get out of trouble and to be able to handle 2 up riding.

With over 73 hp on tap and a generous amount of torque I can wiz up long hills 2up and keep accelerating without much trouble.

Handling is super with very neutral steering and its ability to both corner hard and remain highly stable at speed is a boon. Fuel mileage is favorable and my average (both city and hwy) is 5.869 L/100Km – 47.934 MPG.

On the highway, the bike shows its power in this area. 5th gear at 100km/h is 4,400rpm and is vibration free and smooth. 120km/h is 5,200 and just a touch of vibration is creeping into the bars but is no where near uncomfortable.

Seating position is upright and is very comfortable, in fact after 200km I don’t need a rest stop and only after 5 hours on the bike do I need to stretch my legs (6’4 tall). Passing is good with a nice pickup a 6,000+rpm from 120km/h and you have the quick ability to pass anything in the way and picking up an additional 40km/h only takes 2-3 seconds.

So far after 3,000km on the bike I’ve had no major repair work done on anything. In fact the only repair job was to replace a fault 20A fuse! Other than gas and 2 oil and filter jobs on the bike (every 1,500km) the bike so far is proving its reliability in the field.

The biggest concern for riders of the Seca was its brakes. I find the 2 piston double front disc brakes good and with 2 up it is satisfactory. This winter I will try to improve the braking by adding stainless steel brake hoses, softer pads and a front fork spring job.

Since the bike has not drained any cash in maintenance this year I will be getting the valves and carbs done, replacing the cup-and-cone steering-head bearings with tapered-roller bearings and maybe add a fork brace as well.

The bike is a blast of fun to ride and to live with. I can only highly recommend this Yamaha Seca XJ650R to anyone looking for a fun bike to own.



Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Total Motorcycle Website


Oil filters. WIX 24934 $9.27cdn (at UAP/NAPA) (Application Chart )

Purolator $X.XXcdn (Application Chart)

Yamaha XJ 750 Seca
Yamaha XJ 750 Seca
Yamaha XJ 750 Seca
Yamaha XJ 750 Seca
Yamaha XJ 750 Seca

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