Better with boost: 1982 YAMAHA XJ650LJ SECA TURBO


To my knowledge, we have not yet posted the likes of a Yamaha Seca Turbo on the pages of CSBFS (although we have posted this Honda CX500T and this Kawasaki GPz750 Turbo). That is a shame, as these are really great riding bikes that deserve some attention. The least-loved of all of the factory turbo bikes, the Seca is a fine sport touring bike with a little added torque, thanks to the turbo boost. The fairing design is 1980s futuristic, the base engine is 1970s air-cooled technology, and the overall package provided a workable, reliable motorcycle.

This particular gem is very clean. It sports nearly 23,000 miles on the clock, which is a testament to the reliability of these Yamahas. Part of the secret of the longevity of these Secas is the fact that boost is really set quite low by turbo standards. As such, the engine is not overly stressed and thus tends to last a long time. The downside, of course, is that perfomance is commensurate with boost: more boost equals more power and a shorter engine life. In the Seca Turbo, boost levels were kept relatively low, making this the least potent of all the factory turbo bikes. However it will also last. For a rider with this many miles, the bike certainly looks to be in great shape.

From the seller:
I just got back from a 35 mile ride on this great bike. It starts, runs, and drives very good with everything in working order. Low mileage two owner original that is in excellent condition, with less than 800 miles per year driven. New Battery & front tire last year.

Everything works, and the bike needs nothing, other than a new rear tire. There is some minor checking on the windscreen, but it is not bad enough to replace. A few minor scratches that are common for a 29 year old bike, but this bike is remarkably clean. Fantastic condition!

For those looking to get into the collectable bikes of the 1980s, the factory Turbo bikes represent a good starting place. They are all very rare – as no Turbo bike sold very well back in the day – and they are all very affordable. Parts are still available for some of the bikes (in this case, the Seca Turbo shares some pieces with other Seca models), and most dealership mechanics will find the basics familiar.

I found the image below on a website (see picture for attribution), which chronicles the importance of the Seca Turbo: This was the cover shot of Cycle magazine’s August 1982 edition, highlighting the significance of the model’s release, and the performance it offered.

This auction is on right now, and the price of entry is tiny for a rare, unique machine. The current bid at time of this post is only $510, and this is a no reserve auction. That’s right folks – somebody is going home with this beauty, and probably for a song!

For more information and pictures, . Good luck!