Posts by Category: Yamaha

Yamaha March 23, 2018 posted by

Me Too: 1982 Yamaha Seca 650 Turbo

While technically the 1979 Kawasaki Z1R TC was the first factory turbocharged motorcycle, that was more of a partnership and sales tool to move Z1R units - not a full production motorcycle. It was Honda who fired the first real salvo when it came to fully integrated factory turbos, with the intent that turbo power would become the future of motorcycling. The remainder of the Big Four jumped into the technology cauldron immediately, anxious not to be left behind. In the case of Yamaha, this reeked of a "me too" effort; the XJ650LJ had the necessary elements of a turbocharger and zoomy futuristic styling, but little else was new or noteworthy. Like all the factory turbos of the 1980s, the Seca quickly fell by the wayside as an expensive novelty. The world did not vote with their wallets, and all the manufacturers discovered that they already had better bikes of the normally aspirated variety on the showroom floor. The cost and complexities of turbo power did not immediately add up to the promise of a better future. Three decades later, bike such as this 1982 Yamaha Seca 650 Turbo remain rare and relatively unloved.

1982 Yamaha Seca 650 Turbo for sale on eBay

When it comes to approaches, Yamaha took no real risk in designing the Turbo variant of the Seca. Utilizing the existing Seca platform (four cylinder, air cooled, two valves, carbs), Yamaha engineers fitted a tiny 39mm Mitsubishi turbo behind the engine and below the tranny, just ahead of the rear wheel. This was nice from an overall packaging stance, but the long exhaust primaries to feed the turbine create some degree of dreaded turbo lag. The interesting exhaust piping doesn't end there; while the Seca has two mufflers, only the left pipe is normally in operation. The sole function of the right muffler is to vent gasses once the wastegate fully opens. And unlike Honda, which stuffed their turbo bikes full of computers and electronic hardware to manage the fuel injection and engine functions, Yamaha utilized blow-through carburetors and eliminated much of the computerized complexity. Air cooling maintains simplicity and helps to keep weight down, although The Seca Turbo weighs in some 65 pounds more than the normally aspirated XJ650 on which it is based. Air-assisted suspension provides a nice level of adjustability, but the rest of the package (including the brakes - and yes, that is a drum on the rear) is pure XJ650 Seca. With only about 7 PSI of boost available before the wastegate shuts the party down, the Seca remains one of the more mild factory Turbo bikes to ride.

From the seller:
1982 Yamaha Seca 650 TURBO
This motorcycle has been in a climate controlled museum for the last 10+ Years. There is no sun fading - It's a time capsule.
Comes with both Keys.

My Master Mechanic & I Un-Mothballed recently, Installed a new battery, Changed the Engine Oil & Filter, Flushed the Carbs & Fuel System (Which had been Drained and Oil Fogged) and 1/2 filled the gas tank with NON-Ethanol Premium Fuel. After a little cranking it came to life - but in checking everything out from sitting in a display mode for so long we noticed the turbo waste gate was partially stuck open - so - we removed the turbo. Instead of just cleaning everything up and putting it back together - we sent the turbo unit to G-Pop (see picture of the receipt) and had the Turbo totally Rebuilt - Cleaned - Balanced & Blue Printed before reinstalling it. I do not sell motorcycles out of my museum that do not operate mechanically correct for the new owners. The reserve will reflect this upgrade to the unit but is worth it for the service it will provide to the new owner.

More from the seller:
There are no fuel leaks. It idles with the choke off. It Revs & Restarts fine. If the plan of the new owner is to ride the bike - I'd recommend a general check over due to the time the bike has been idle. We haven’t driven it other than around the parking lot due to the age of the tires. If it goes back into another collection the tires won’t matter. It the new owner wants to drive it on the street etc. he’ll get to pick the tires of his choice. The bike is titled & licensed in Oregon.

Here is a You-Tube Link from the seller showing a walk around of the motorcycle and starting and running the unit:

This particular Seca 650 Turbo is coming out of a private museum. It has a few more miles on it that what would be expected from a museum example, but then again we should just be happy some of these odd bikes have been preserved. Overall this bike looks great for its age. The Alpinestars sticker and newer Yamaha logo on the right side of the lower chin fairing are flagrant non-stock items, but providing that these are not hiding some damage then no harm, no foul. The sticking wastegate is a normal issue for any turbo bike - regular usage alleviates these types of recurring problems. And regular riding is exactly what these bikes were designed for, turbo lag and all. Riders will find that the performance is not quite up to the hype, but even today these bikes offer a fun rush once the boost builds to its max. Heavier than contemporary 1100cc machines with performance nipping at the heels of the 750s of the day, the promise of a boosted future was put on hold after the 1983 model year (all 1984 examples are hold over units from '83). This bike appears to be in decent condition, is clean and presents well. Located in Oregon, check it out here. You don't see too many of these Seca Turbos any longer, so act quickly if you are interested. Good Luck!!

MI

Me Too: 1982 Yamaha Seca 650 Turbo
Yamaha March 18, 2018 posted by

Wild Kingdom – 1974 Yamaha TZ750

No less a rider than Giacomo Agostini abdicated his dynasty at MV Agusta when Yamaha introduced the 4-cylinder 2-stroke 700cc racebike. He won the 1974 Daytona 200 with it, and its 750cc progeny went on to a 12-year run on the beach.  This newly restored example has matching numbers and a nicely documented race history.

1974 Yamaha TZ750 for sale on eBay

As ever, specs for a race machine are a liar's poker affair.  The engine had a nasty tone even at idle and was good for 140hp at full song.  The frame was a twin downtube arrangement and the swingarm was all new, spread at the rear wheel but converging at the bottom pivot and top where the shock mounted, the Monocross went on to bigger and better.  Initially a pair of RD350 race engines joined at the hip, the TZ750 was more purpose-built, water cooled though the crankcase bristles with fins.  Expansion chambers mostly taking the path of least resistance - except for the left which wound around and through the frame.  Triple hydraulic disk brakes provided the retro-force.

The owner has treated this TZ750 to a rare level of restoration, both mechanically and cosmetically.  Just part of the eBay auction's comments :

This bike has The Holy Trinity for the most discerning collectors and enthusiasts: Provenance, Rarity and Condition! What you see here is the culmination of a 10 year, no cost spared, meticulous frame-off restoration. The resto was done on a complete, running, period correct, and 'as raced' TZ from the 1970's. Amazingly, during the bike's campaign both here and abroad, it appears to have never been crashed or blown-up. The exact Factory paint scheme and colors were precisely replicated from Factory original. The Shipping Invoice (see pic, courtesy of NATS Forum) shows #159 being a genuine 1st batch racer. There were a total of 219 TZ750A's built;  few remain today.

Rather too specialized for a hobbyist, exercising the TZ-750 will take commitment.  Maintenance hours will be more numerous than "flight" hours.  But this race veteran is sorted and shouldn't bring too many surprises.  As the owner states:

The bike was built to run, but assembled primarily for display and ease of cleaning.

Successful to the point of domination, the TZ-750 will likely be invited back to any event it attends.  The fairing's well-drawn lines are sure easy on the eyes.  Mechanically, it's better than new - improvements to the exhaust system made and impossibly light brake disks, with blank livery as shipped.  Likely never to turn another hot lap, the velvet ropes beckon.  But once photographed, the years of racing history are in the books, and the soundtrack from a demonstration lap or two is all that's missing...

-donn

Wild Kingdom – 1974 Yamaha TZ750
Yamaha March 15, 2018 posted by

Racetrack Refugee: 1998 Yamaha R7/R1 for Sale

Yamaha's R7 was among the last in a long line of machines from the Age of Homologation Specials, where the manufacturers competing in AMA and World Superbike racing created limited runs of insanely expensive bikes that looked like production models, but were chock full of trick bits like adjustable steering heads and exotic engine internals. For the most part, these were based on pretty common machines from each manufacturer's lineup. But in situations where nothing in the manufacturer's stable really matched their needs, companies sometimes whipped up a bike whose whole production run was designed to allow the bike to compete in a variety of racing classes. By the late 1990s, the 750cc class was pretty much on its way out as a viable category for streetbikes, but that didn't stop Yamaha from introducing their very trick and hideously expensive YZF-R7. How trick? Well the frame was claimed to have been based on Yamaha's 500 Grand Prix machine. Just 50 were imported to the US out of 500 built in total. And how expensive? Well, the R7 was $32,000 late-nineties dollars, and that was before you included the race kit that actually made it fast.

Just one problem: from the factory, the R7 made just 106hp, which didn't really provide the performance the looks or pricetag promised. The solution? Just pony up for the race kit that activated a second, dormant test of injectors and replaced the airbox for a revised part that unleashed a more appropriate 162hp but also gave racebike-like reliability. The biggest limitation of the R7 was that engine, and unleashing the full potential could be tricky and expensive, so owners that wanted to use their bikes on the road sometimes switched out the 749cc engine for the 998cc unit from the R1, which seems to have been done in this particular case. I'm under the impression that this was a relatively simple swap and, although it could be considered sacrilege, actually had several benefits: it gave very similar maximum power to the original engine, but with far more midrange, and it also meant the original engine could be saved to preserve the bike's value for future collectors. That appears to have been done here, although the seller's description does leave me with some questions.

This R7/R1 hybrid appears to have been built to a high standard by Graves Yamaha, so I'm sure they knew what they were doing and I've no doubt the bike is very special. But it would really help if the owner was clearer about what he has: he calls the powerplant a "OWO1 1000 superbike motor" but the OW01 was 749cc, although the five-valve inline four was related to both the R7 and the 998cc R1 units. The OW02 engine was supposedly based on that earlier engine and has the same displacement to conform to class limitations, but I'm not sure it can simply be punched out to a full 1000cc.

More likely, it has a later R1 engine, which was, as stated above, the simpler, much more reliable way to get the fully-unleashed R7's 162hp without all the explode-y engine drama. Maybe it's a full-factory superbike R1 unit? The seller also mentions the "half R7 and half R1 frame" which would require some very serious surgery if true. And which halves were used? Front and back? Left and right? Maybe it's the R7 Deltabox with the R1 subframe? It's also listed as a 1998 model, but I was under the impression that the bike was sold in 1999 and 2000.

From the original eBay listing: 1998 Yamaha R7/R1 for Sale

This bike was built in house built by factory Graves race team and was one of Chuck Graves personal bikes. It might be one of only two left, this bike has every goodie you could imagine on it: Brembo brakes, Ohlins forks and rear shock, superbike radiator and tank, swing arm, custom half R7 frame and half R1 frame, Yamaha OWO1 1000 superbike motor, rear Brembo brakes, thumb brake, brake lines, rearsets, Akro pipe, after market wheels, chain sprocket kit, offset triple clamps. This bike new with the race kit harness was $43,000 and only 32 came to the US that year, it is a very limited production bike, to rebuild this bike in today's time would cost over $100k plus the 1000 donor bike for parts, this bike looks like it just rolled off the race truck.

All-in-all, this modified R7 is a very cool machine, with plenty of very trick bits plainly visible, but I'd definitely want some answers to my questions before bidding on this one. Many, many questions, but worth asking, considering it is a Yamaha R7, after all. I'd especially want to know if the original motor is included, as a good chunk of the bike's value is wrapped up in its originality, and while this might be an amazing machine and a true track-day weapon, all those modifications likely hurt the collector value. As always, if you have any insight into the bike, please feel free to fire away in the comments!

-tad

Racetrack Refugee: 1998 Yamaha R7/R1 for Sale
Yamaha March 14, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: 1989 Yamaha FZR1000 for Sale

Update 3.14.2018: Turns out this one sold faster than we could post it. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

A modern literbike is a relatively peaky beast: chasing horsepower without increasing displacement means ever-higher revs are required, and a six-speed box makes sense. It's telling that bikes like today's Featured Listing Yamaha's FZR1000, one of the cutting-edgy-ist sportbikes of its day, made do with just five and could still be considered fast now. Six-speed gearboxes had become the norm for motorcycles by the late 1980s, unless you were looking at cruisers, touring machines, or big-bore sportbikes. Why? Well, narrow, peaky powerbands require more gears to effectively exploit and the big-inch engines of the aforementioned six-speed exceptions had enough flexibility and torque to make them window-dressing: an extra gear just wasn't needed.

Considering that Yamaha's FZR1000 makes just 20 more claimed horses and weighs nearly 40 pounds more than a modern R6, you might think that these old-school machines would be no match for even a much smaller machine from today. But it's the 79 ft-lbs of torque from the FZR that makes it so effective: a modern literbike like the BMW S1000RR makes just a few more foot-pounds. So how did they do it? Well the GSX-R1100 obviously benefited from a few more cubes, but the smaller 1002cc FZR1000 combined Yamaha's five-valve Genesis head with their EXUP or "Exhaust Ultimate Power" valve to provide both low-end torque and high-end power.

Five-valve heads have pretty much disappeared these days, the theoretical advantages proving insufficient to outweigh the additional complexity required, but EXUP-style exhaust valves are ubiquitous, now that Yamaha's patents have expired, allowing other manufacturers to take advantage. By the late 1980s, servo-operated "power valves" were common on two-strokes, but this was the very first use of the technology in a four-stroke, and the result was a very flexible engine with a 170mph top speed.

Introduced in 1987, the 1989 redesign seen here looked similar, but included updates to the frame and engine: the original had a 989cc engine bumped to 1002cc and rotated backwards in the Deltabox frame for a shorter wheelbase. Later, the bike adopted a single headlight design to help modernize it, but you can't go wrong with a pair of big, round lamps. As you'd expect, performance and in particular handling improved throughout the bike's lifespan, but this particular model strikes a nice balance between classic superbike styling and the better performance and handling of the redesigned bike. I happen to prefer the looks of the earlier machines: the single-headlight version does look pretty sharp, but it just doesn't have the old-school round-lamp charm.

From the Seller: 1989 Yamaha FZR1000 for Sale

For being 28 years old the bike looks and runs awesome! It has less than 18k original miles, has never been dropped and has only a few minor cracks around the fairing mounting areas from the tightening of the bolts, which is normal for these older more brittle plastics (see near bolts in pics attached).

The 1989 version, crowned the "Bike of the Decade" by Cycle World, had 0-60 acceleration of 2.9 seconds, and a top speed of over 167 mph. I purchased one of these brand new in Miami Fl in 1989. I got on it and rode that bike all the way the Newline Vermont, 1460 miles in two days. It was a amazing adventure and the bike never missed a beat ripping off 700+ mile days with ease. This is truly a sports cruiser rather than a rep-racer R1. This particular dual headlight model was only produced one year, Yamaha went to the single (ugly) headlight in 1990. Anyway buy this unit, gas it up and head to for the opposite coast! We can deliver this bike anywhere in the United States for $500 enclosed and insured.

A few notes about the bike:

  • The bike was owned by 1 famous owner from new until when I bought it three years ago. It was a famous biker from the publishing world who collects bikes (Forbes magazine) and the bike was in Palm Beach all of its life until I got it. I have a copy of the title with his info on it that I can provide.
  • The bike was purchased from him for $4,500 and needed some TLC.
  • The bike had extensive work done to get the bike all up to modern running equipment. I spent over $4,500... All well documented (will provide) at Fast by Ferracci.
  • I also had a GPR slip-on imported from Italy (over $500) and it sounds awesome!
  • The carbs were also completely rebuilt, last summer 2016, and has all new gaskets - the engine runs amazingly well!
  • We over $9,500 invested in the bike. Went way overboard in its preparation. My loss, your happy smiles!

This does seem to be the version collectors will want, and in just a few years you may be kicking yourself for not taking advantage of the seller's $5,500 asking price. There are some minor cosmetic imperfections, small cracks and the like, but these are clearly documented and not unexpected on a Japanese bike from the 1980s: paint and finish were generally of a lower standard than on European bikes and they often age poorly, even when well-maintained and sparingly used. Luckily, the major servicing headaches have been taken care of and the bike is reportedly mechanically sound, meaning that this should be a great candidate for a rolling restoration, since collectors will likely want to replace that lighter, but non-original exhaust can and take care of the blemishes.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1989 Yamaha FZR1000 for Sale
Yamaha March 13, 2018 posted by

The beginning: 1998 Yamaha YZF-R1

After lagging slightly behind throughout the '90s with a host of beautiful-but-dated or comfortable and fast-but-heavy steeds, Yamaha came out of its corner swinging in '98 with the all-new R1. It was covered in decals advertising age-old Yamaha marketing terms like Genesis and Ex-Up, but the new machine was a beast the way the CBR900RR had been five years earlier.

1998 Yamaha R1 for sale on eBay

With the gearbox slammed on top of the output shaft, the R1 had a tiny wheelbase, weighed nothing and made in the neighborhood of 140 horsepower. There were few superlatives at the time to do it justice, and the line it spawned continues to set the benchmark for sportbikes.

This 1998 Yamaha R1 wears the distinct red-and-white livery, which I much prefer over the blue and silver that was also on offer. It is clean enough to eat your dinner off of, and has turned in just shy of 10,000 miles.

From the eBay listing:

1998 Yamaha YZF-R1

Quite possibly the most sought after collectible production Japanese Sport Bike of the last 25 years. No sportbike collection is complete without one and they are becoming very hard to find.

This is a wonderful example of a one owner 1998 Yamaha R1 in the coveted Red & White. Is it perfect? No. Is it super clean and probably the nicest one for sale in the country today? Yes.

A true 9993 miles, runs like new and everything works perfectly. This R1 has spent its whole life in an air conditioned garage.

The R1 has a couple of period correct mods that include an under tail eliminator and flush mount turn signals. The bike could easily be reconfigured to completely stock as the parts are all still available from Yamaha for around $300.

The amazing thing is that it still has its factory exhaust, windscreen, levers and the paint and decals are in exceptionally fresh condition. The only blem is a small crack in the paint on the tank that just appeared when it was about two years old.

As the magazines of the time dubbed it “Twitchy Bitch” it of course has an Ohlins steering damper.

Now for a couple of very cool and rare bits. Along with the R1 comes the original dealer large vinyl showroom marketing poster, original brochure and a genuine Yamaha accessory seat cowl. As a Yamaha dealer for the better part of twenty years, I had never seen another poster or brochure.

This is a “no reserve” auction and the bike will sell.

Bid strong as this may be the last best chance to add this to your sportbike collection.

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to email or call.

Happy Bidding!

Jason

It will not be long before these beasts start seeing their values climb, much the same way slab-side Gixxers have of late. This one is offered with no reserve, and yet is north of $5,000 with a healthy chunk of time left in the auction. We'd jump on this one while the jumping is good.

The beginning: 1998 Yamaha YZF-R1
Yamaha March 11, 2018 posted by

All chassis: 1992 Yamaha TZR250R 3XV4

This 1992 Yamaha TZR250R 3XV4 is the last of a bunch in our buddy Gary's extensive collection of grey-market machines. He's right up front that this one looks good in a parking space, but shows its age up close. He notes that it has its fair share of scratches and cracks, and says that it looks like the tank has been repainted.

Be that as it may, the bike has had a mechanical once-over and is low mileage, which makes it a good candidate for just about anything. It would be easy enough to restore to showroom, or it could be ridden without a lot of worry.

And what a ride. The TZRs upheld Yamaha's long-standing reputation for sweet-handling steeds. The brakes are good, the bikes are light, and corner speeds can get hairy very quickly, provided you keep the revs up. Unfortunately, uncorked TZRs are rare beasts, as it takes more than a pipe and a jet kit to extract more than about 40 horsepower.

From the eBay listing:

Up for auction to the highest bidder with NO RESERVE is a 1992 Yamaha TZR250R 3XV4 with 15,214 kilometers (9,454 miles). Bike looks very nice and has great curb appeal but has scratches, scrapes and a crack in the upper left fairing. Appears the tank has been professionally resprayed. This bike would make a great candidate for restoration since it has such low miles. All fairings are 100% genuine OEM factory Yamaha. Bike is completely stock except for hand grips. Bike runs excellent and was just serviced with new tires, carbs cleaned, new battery, new fork seals and new engine fluids. This TZR has so much potential. Fairings are nice. There are no dents in the gas tank and the windscreen is very clear. Bike is solid. This is the last TZR250R I have. My collection is almost gone. Bike comes with Utah state title and is titled as a street bike for road use. $200 deposit due immeadiatly after auctions end thru PayPal. Remaining balance due within 5 business days by check, bank wire or cash in person. Please text 801-358-6537 for more photos and questions.

There's no buy-it-now set for this bike, so the auction will run its full course. Jump in early and stay in late to get your best shot at this little beast.

All chassis: 1992 Yamaha TZR250R 3XV4