You in all probability wouldn’t assume that new riders on the lookout for an affordable and unintimidating starter bike would have a lot in widespread with budget-minded veterans who neither want nor need the expense and complexity of recent fashions. However the necessities of each usually appear to converge round middleweights from the mid-1990s. On the middle of this specific Venn diagram is Yamaha’s Seca II, a motorcycle whose modest specs belie its versatility, and whose used worth is such a cut price you nearly can’t afford to not purchase one.
The Seca’s 599cc engine has twin overhead cams, two valves per cylinder, 4 28mm Mikuni carbs and a six-speed gearbox. There’s little in that checklist to make a sportbike rider’s coronary heart beat sooner, however that wasn’t what Yamaha was after. With 61 horsepower on faucet, the 452-pound Seca is adequate to introduce novice riders to the heady joys of acceleration whereas maintaining the transportation-focused ones from changing into hood ornaments on the freeway.
What the Seca lacks in sheer pleasure it makes up for in practicality, normally as a backup to your hot-blooded sportbike or your elephantine tourer. The Seca received’t take up a lot of your weekends with upkeep or restore; the understressed engine routinely sends the odometer previous the 50,000-mile mark with little greater than common oil modifications and the occasional chain service. Some high-mile engines sound like they’ve a greenback’s price of unfastened change within the crankcase, however synching the carbs and adjusting the valves normally clears it up.
One very massive crimson flag is that if the starter spins with out turning over the engine. A stripped loafer gear is likely to be the trigger, and it’s not a simple repair–the crankcases need to be cut up to get at it. Leaky valve-cover and clutch-cover gaskets are widespread however simply mounted.
The Seca’s chassis mimics the engine’s no-big-deal philosophy. The tubular-steel body has a 38mm non-adjustable entrance fork, a single rear shock with preload adjustment, a 320mm single disc brake and a 245mm rear. Forged wheels are shod with a 110/80-17 entrance tire and 130/70-18 rear. The seat is 30.three inches off the deck and, whereas not truly constructed for touring, is tolerable for one or two riders on day rides. Mileage is usually within the 45-55 mpg vary, relying on the way you load the bike and the way arduous you flog it.
The fairing does a good job of blunting the wind. However like all plastic components, and particularly these on older bikes, it’s costly to interchange, so look intently for cracks across the mounting factors and the windscreen, and be ready to decrease your provide considerably relying on what you discover. Additionally examine the gasoline petcock for leaks. Defective ones let fuel drain into the engine, resulting in the aforementioned starter loafer gear dropping its tooth because it strains towards flooded cylinders.
The Seca’s repute for reliability is typically its downfall, as house owners neglect vital chores in favor of extra street time. Verify used examples for leaks, unfastened steering-head bearings and crash injury. Shine a lightweight within the tank and search for rust brought on by water within the fuel. The Seca is notoriously cold-blooded, but when it might probably’t be ridden cleanly off the choke after 10 minutes one thing’s up. E-book costs vary from slightly below a grand for a 1992 mannequin to $1,300 for a ’98.
Yamaha XJ600 Seca II
A strong and dependable middleweight that received’t hold you up late at night time within the storage. A learner bike price maintaining.
All of the aptitude of vanilla ice cream. Will get you there with little fuss, and fewer pleasure.
Closing drive: Chain
Moist Weight: 452 lbs.
Gas capability: four.6 gals.
Seat Peak: 30.three in.