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1982 xj650 seca Cafe parts question?

Discussion in 'XJ Modifications' started by Skaramunga, Aug 5, 2016.

  1. Skaramunga

    Skaramunga New Member

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    so I'm still just learning about this seca as time goes on. It's my third season riding this pup as a daily commuter. I got it sort of in the process of a cafe style conversion. So I assume you guys have seen much more in regard to the xjs being converted to a cafe. So here are the questions:

    I'm in Maine so we have like ZERO custom motorcycle guys around here. Are there any online sources for cafe style seats available for the seca model specifically. Wondering if any of you have gone through someone that can make them to drop in. I've found that most universal seats just don't have the similar measurements.

    Also curious if you have any recommendations on gauges. Looking for some small ones that are pretty classy if you have any suggestions that would be cool.
     
  2. k-moe

    k-moe Pie, Bacon, Bourbon. Moderator Premium Member

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    DYI or nothing. Do a google search with site:xjbikes.com after your keywords and you'll see plenty of threads about the topic.

    BTW you have one of the rarer U.S. model XJs, so please no frame-cutting. Do nothing that can't be undone later. The 650 Seca is beginning to tug on the heartstrings of those who either wanted one, or had one when new. Heartstrings will eventually translate into good money for a restored example. Even parts-bike examples will be worth saving.
     
  3. MattiThundrrr

    MattiThundrrr Not a guru

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    Yeah, I'd trade in my 750 for a 650 in a flash. Round headlight, small gages, me likey!
     
  4. DenCon509

    DenCon509 Member

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    Long story, not short:
    My first (bought new - zero miles - in '84) Seca 650 was killed by a hit-and-run driver (rear-ended) 20 years ago. Back then, there was a plethora of speed parts available for my bike and I built it to WMRRA Baby Dino (vintage) specs for roadracing; It was nothing short of awesome (yes, well sorted), even for a shaftie.
    Fast forward to October 2016, my 22-year-old son talks me into getting back into riding (so I can join him on rides :D ). I find another Seca 650 which I snag for a fair price; pretty much original, I have a nice platform to build. Yes, I really like this model.
    Reality check - what? speed bits for this bike no longer available? Time to get creative...
    I'm in the same boat here in central Washington - it's horses, Timothy hay and off-roading, not custom roadsport bikes. I settle down to the challenge of recreating my old race bike in this one. Challenge accepted. Without local resources (nearest are in Seattle, 2 hours away), I'll source from the cornucopia of customizing - the Internet, although the former Yamaha shop in town are helpful with OE stuff.
    Here's my Seca 650 plan:
    1. Low-hanging fruit: Ergonomics
      1. Lower ride height (see pix), took almost 2" out of the forward part, left the rest alone. I spent a lot of time getting the cutdown point just right to leave me some room to move around on the seat and managing slope to prevent sliding into the tank (soprano braking syndrome). I used a fine-tooth carpenter saw to make the finish cuts (don't forget to bevel the edges). I tried to re-use the old aftermarket seat cover, but my staple gun is too wimpy to penetrate the plastic seat pan; so I took it to a local auto upholstery shop to have it recovered for $120 (nice). Note: I did this with my first Seca; I had a powerful-enough staple gun then, and the still-new stock cover fit the new shape pretty well with only a couple of small wrinkles.
      2. Gotta get out of the wind, I found some new clubman bars at a local thrift store (yes, a thrift store) to replace my not-quite-straight originals. I have found the hand position way too far forward and too wide - I prefer the '70s Superbike hand position, so I'll shop around. I might too old for clip-ons. I do like the 26" width of originals, but the big pullback is murder on my wrists and they have too much rise. I might end up with something like the Emgo Superbike bars with a couple of inches lopped off each end.
        So far, the riding position feels a little cramped (I expect some relief when I change handlebars again); I'm saving up for some rearsets (Raask still make them). I used to drag the pegs in corners; with rearsets, I only touched the mufflers :eek: .
      3. Adjust brake & clutch levers for the easiest reach without having to move my wrists.
      4. With better bars, I'll likely use bar-end mirrors (I'm trying on a pair today). I can live without looking at my shoulders (and little else) the stockers provided.
    2. Life-preserving stuff: Handling/Braking/Visibility
      1. Progressive fork springs are a given, coming up - try different fork oils (I think I used 10W before).
      2. Fork brace - there are a couple of options out there. Leave the original steel fender in place - it acts as a brace too.
      3. Shocks are still an unknown - I can't afford Öhlins and I think Progressives are too close to OE performance; the search continues. I miss the S&Ws I had on my first Seca; I want to get race-biased shocks that work inverted.
      4. My front brakes already have Green Stuff pads in them, but they feel a little too bitey; I think upgraded fork springs/shocks will help a lot with this.
      5. Adjust rear brake to work when/how it's supposed to - you'd be surprised at the importance of this. I like a little play to allow me to tap the brake light before engaging the brake shoes (check 'em!).
      6. Balance tires/wheels (yeah, it does make a difference).
      7. Install brighter LED lighting (see electrics)
      8. Don't wear dark clothing or helmets
      9. Drive paranoid - everybody else is out to get you!
    3. Go faster?: Engine 20160807_130357.jpg 20160723_174843.jpg 20160807_131250.jpg
      • I don't see much benefit in trying to make more power than Yamaha's engineers designed into this machine. If you must have more power in your Seca 650, put a 750 in it.
      1. Adjust valves, cam chain tensioner.
      2. Sync/tune carbs.
      3. Remove mechanical tach bits (reduce internal drag), install proper sealed plug in cam cover.
      4. I'm thinking of strategically drilling out the air filter box to improve breathing.
      5. What I will not do (little to no evidence of benefits):
        • Install POD (individual) filters.
        • Install 4-into-1 exhaust system.
        • Powder coat engine (this traps heat - not good); there is paint specifically designed for engines that has better heat transfer properties.
    4. FM (effin' magic): Electrics
      1. I installed a Sylvania Zevo LED 1157R for my brake light. I had to carefully shave off the shoulders (where the base meets the rest) to get it to fit inside the swedged-to-bulb base reflector, running light brightness is same as original, but the brake light is BRIGHT!
      2. Install LED turn signals with correct electronic (load-agnostic) flasher unit. What I really want is rectangular turn signals on shorter stalks with LED lamps (if I can find decent ones) inside. Rectangular ones are more European looking than the dorky round Yamaha ones and those EBay, etc units aren't worth their weight in mummified cat turds.
      3. I tried 80W/100W H-4 headlight bulbs in my (wonderful) 9" headlight, but they didn't help that much and amperage draw is hard on the charging system - wasn't worth the tradeoff. Good ol' standard halogens are fine.
      4. There is no shortage of options for the creative engineering type.
    20160723_174843.jpg 20160807_131250.jpg 20160723_174843.jpg 20160807_131250.jpg 20160807_130357.jpg
     
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  5. k-moe

    k-moe Pie, Bacon, Bourbon. Moderator Premium Member

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    I"m not entirely sure if they still do, but Racetech makes (made) cartridge emulators for the 650 forks.
     
  6. DenCon509

    DenCon509 Member

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    Update:
    I ended up with CB400F bars, which gave me the hand position I want. They're a bit low; the choke lever touches the tank. I have some Superbike bars on another bike I think I'll try for a little more tank clearance.
    I found an LED H4 bulb that fits (snugly) inside the bucket with no mods - big lighting improvement!
    These LED turn signals are tiny, with commensurate light output, but tuck in nicely.
    I'm now looking for good rearsets. Raask still make them for the Seca 650, but they may not the same as what I had on my original Seca.
     
  7. 50gary

    50gary Active Member

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    Race Tech Emulators and Race Tech springs will transform your old tech damper rod forks, I've used them on four bikes thus far and they work. Mike's XS sells a cheaper version of the emulators.
    I have also currently installed Race Tech springs (1.0 kg/mm) in my XS 750 Maxim which I've converted to USD R1 forks.
    Cheers, 50gary
     

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