It was 1994, I was looking for a cheap lightweight tourer. I liked the Yamaha XJ900F, but not the riding position. Then I came across a Yamaha XJ750 Seca. An American import, 1982, with 10,000 miles on the clock.
The slightly pulled back bars, the big shapely petrol tank, the ‘funky’ instrument panel and the shaft drive and the glistening red paint work, all at a price I could afford. The dealer said -"change the oil every 4000 miles and you will not have to touch anything else for 10,000 miles"
He lied! After 7000 miles and a trip that took in the then cobbled roads of Portugal, one of the fork oil seals gave up the ghost!
I fitted a screen and Givi panniers and did five European tours on the bike. It cruised happily at 80/90 mph, it never failed to give less than 45 mpg.
With 25000 miles on the clock the original exhaust system finally rusted through. I fitted a 4 into 1 system - £135.00. This improved the throttle response and sharpened up the acceleration but at the expense of the lower end torque, that made the bike so ‘user friendly’. It would still trickle along at 30 mph in top and pull away without any sign of snatch from the final drive.
There is little to say about the gearbox and final drive except they were slick and smooth.
At 26000 miles the odometer gave up. The worm gear in the speedo had worn out. Subsequent investigation at various breakers yards, suggested that it was a common fault.
I fitted a Sigma cycle computer, this not only recorded my mileage and speed but had a number of other functions that added to the fun.
For the MOT in 1999, I took it to the local Yamaha dealer. It failed! One of the front wheel bearings was rusty and the steering was starting to develop a very slight ‘notch’ in the straight ahead position. So new wheel bearings and a new head race was called for £30.00! This bike was starting to cost me money!
In 1997, I had bought another bike, so the XJ was only doing about 3/4000 miles a year. Then in 1999, I bought a further bike, so the XJ was now only doing about 1/2000 miles a year.
In September 2000, my younger son decided to go to University in Southampton as a mature student. He was looking for a bike to commute the 160 mile round trip from Uckfield to Southampton, 4/5 days a week. I had just put a new, larger screen on the XJ, as I was using it as a winter bike. I suggested he borrow it for a month, whilst he looked for a more suitable bike, with better weather protection..
A year later, having put a further 32,000 miles on the bike he finally found a GTR1000 he liked!
The XJ750 Seca has now done some 64,000 miles. It still has the original clutch and has never even had the tappets looked at! The carbs have been checked a couple of times, and only a very slight adjustment was need to the balance. The Avon tyres last about 11/12,000 miles. It has been totally reliable and the only things that need watching is to make sure you wash the break callipers regularly and to ‘re-seat’ the fuses occasionally.
The bike is now sitting, all still very shinny in my sons garage. I haven’t got room for it at the moment, as I missed the bike so much, I bought another one - I got rid of the Virago 1100, I had bought in 1997, even my grandchildren reckon I am not old enought for a Virago yet!