93 Seca II, My salvation

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Renegade
Lookin' Around
Lookin' Around
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:36 am
Region:: NJ - New Jersey
Motorcycles:: 1993 Yamaha XJ600S
Location: Cape May

Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:31 pm

Hello again folks; what a week what a week. This post is less of a build post, what whats a build thread without a review. Well, there is some wrenching talk to have, but mostly a review.

I belive I mentioned earlier that I was planning a trip to the DC area, and had every intention of taking Mercy here instead of my car. So for several days I was taking the bike out, running her hard, testing and checking, and just making sure that everything was good. My trip was slated to begin on Friday and wouldn't you know, I ran into an issue on the Monday. While on a ride (luckily a short one), the vibrations of the bike finished killing, what I can only assume were the already beat-up, threads of the hole for the shifter. While pulling into my sister's driveway, the bolt and arm fell right off the rearset. Luckily I was only 3 miles away and had only been going at a crawl, so I was able to grab the bolt, jam it back in and ride home, holding the bolt in with the side of my foot. Oh how I hate limping things around, but at least I have become accustomed to it. (ask me about limping my sister's car home with a messed up connection to her Ignition Control Module sometime...that was fun...and sketchy as hell)

So i got home, hopped on eBay, ordered a new(to me) rearset that was supposed to be arriving on Thursday. HOPEFULLY arriving on Thursday and planning to leave Friday first thing in the morning? Tight....so i came up with a backup plan. Luckily the shifters on the older bikes bolted directly to the rod and are the exact same size. Only catch is having to move your foot forward to shift, instead of my normal riding with my toe under the shifter and flip, flip, flip. But it worked...in case.

Yes, this is the type of person I am, and this is how dedicated I was to taking the bike over the car. Also because the car needed a new cam seal, also stated to arrive Thursday..but that's a different story for a different place.

After riding like this for a couple days I had no problem and as luck would have it: the package arrived a day early! Quick: sand it, paint it to match the other side, switch the footpeg over to the ones i had put on the bike, a fresh bolt and fresh threadlock, and we are good to go! And of course some riding to make sure it was all good. Also, fun little thing: after riding with the need to move my foot forward to shift, I got used to it enough to start riding with the suggested position of the ball of your foot on the footpeg, instead of the crook of your foot. Final checks on Thursday, everything is adjusted properly, fluids are all good, tire pressure is all good, top of the tank and throw in some Seafoam for a good hard blowout on what would be the hardest and longest ride I have taken with the bike. Rock and roll!

Friday morning comes, I take the 3mile cruise to work to get my paycheck, and one last check that all is right, and head out. Now the trip from my door to my grandmother's house in Bethesda, MD is exactly 201 miles by the route I go. Its faster backroads (50mph mostly) from the southernmost tip of NJ to the Delaware Memorial Bridge, then down 95 where (unless traffic is bad) speed averages around 75mph all the way down to DC. For those of you who don't know, Bethesda is a stone's throw away from the DC border and Northern Virginia.

The first leg of the trip (about 30 miles) are a lot of twists and cures that are normally taken at about 50-60, and its a great test for the handling. With the new suspension set-up and new stance, she handled it like a dream. I have no problem at all carving my way through that road. And of course she had no issue with all the long straight-aways and the up and down speed limits on the rest of the way to the bridge, so it was onto highway...REAL highway, not like the Garden State Parkway which down near me is a joke of a highway.

BTW, if you don't have EZ-Pass and you know you have tolls coming up and you have a windscreen still, get a big binder clip and clip it to your windscreen with toll money on the underside of the screen, away from the wind. It works wonders..though I doubt I was the first to think of it and I'm sure its been said here before.

So i crossed the bridge, paid the toll, and took off....REALLY stretching the gears out, just because. 0-80 in real fast, and that's where we stayed for most of the ride down. NO. PROBLEM. AT. ALL. I'm proud to say that the bike handled it like it was just a trip to store. I didn't push her too hard, I'm not too crazy (though I thought about it), but even at that speed, she still had plenty more to give. And yes, i will admit, i did the kinda immature thing and once I got to the Baltimore harbor tunnel I did give her a few extra revs so i could hear her scream. I need to record that...such a nice exhaust note.

Once I got down there it was mostly local riding, not much different than I do at home. Though i did take her on a nice long cruise through Rock Creek Park. I highly suggest doing it if you are in the area ever; its so nice: low speed cruising, twists and turns through the wood...so relaxing and fun. So nice in fact that when I first got a motorcycle and learned to ride, I made it my goal to ride to DC and cruise through it..goal achieved on both bikes I have owned.

Going down was an absolute blast! And every riding around there was great. The suspension really sucks up every bump and bounce for a nice ride, the changed stance gave me a more aggressive riding position but it was never uncomfortable, and despite seeming fairly heavy the bike maneuvers so nice and easy. The power delivery was fantastic for getting up to speed and out of the way (seriously those DC drivers LUNATICS), and cruising along at any speed is just smooth and easy. I am beyond pleased with this bike. Truly in love. Oh and the fact that I got 62.6 mpg on the highway didn't hurt one bit. Oh yeah, I made sure to do the math.

Overall, it was like a dream come true. And since there are actually shops there (we dont really have any around me for like 70 miles or so), i got to visit some, do some shopping and finally got real riding gloves, and Mercy got a lot of attention. i don't care if it sounds egotistical of me, but hearing that people are really digging what I did to her is WAY COOL.

I did run into a bit of a problem though... While cruising around, my rectifier got really hot, and on a really nasty bump, one of the relays (not sure yet what it is but its not the turnsignal) fell against the mounting plate, got hot and...well....I kinda had a small fire. Yes, fire, like real flames. Luckily I was in a parking garage when smoke turned to flame and was easily able to put it out with only damage being done to the rectifier's connector plastics. But I think its safe to say, that thing is fried...pun partially intended. The bike continued to run....but with one small issue...the battery drains. On a fully charged (and tested battery) I can get 3 starts from it, but the bike will run for as long as you go...until you turn it off.

Also lucky for me, I have a spare rectifier...but not lucky for me, I didn't bring it with me on my trip. Its always something on these trips for me, i swear... But thankfully, my sister and her bf were also making the trip, with his car of course, and with a jumpstart at stopping points, I made it home safe and sound. Tomorrow I will see about charging the battery and swapping out the rectifier and I should be back to all good status.

Now I know this has been a long post, and if you made it through; good for you.
The take away from it all is:
I took a nice trip, with a healthy beating on the bike, and she loved it all. I got used to the suspension changes: no more sketchy feeling, and if I didn't absolutely love this bike, I sure do now! And I would take the trip all over again. WAY TOTALLY AWESOME
Renegade
My YouTube
"In the day we sweat out on the streets of an runaway American dream,
At night we ride through mansions of glory in suicide machines..."
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TonyKZ1
XJ Enthusiast
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Posts: 873
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:15 pm
Region:: Missouri, U.S.A.
Motorcycles:: 1997 Yamaha XJ600s Seca II
Location: Marble Hill, MO. U.S.A.
United States of America

Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:08 am

Wow, thanks for the ride report! Glad you made it home safe and sound.
1997 Yamaha Seca II - mostly stock, Racetech upgraded forks, FZ6R rear shock, Oxford Adventure Style Heated Grips, Barkbusters Blizzard Cold Weather Handguards, a Scottoiler vSystem chain oiler. My Mileage Tracker Page.
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Renegade
Lookin' Around
Lookin' Around
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:36 am
Region:: NJ - New Jersey
Motorcycles:: 1993 Yamaha XJ600S
Location: Cape May

Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:06 pm

Thanks Tony. Sorry its taken so long to get back to all this...but life happens. Plus I have been riding A LOT
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So as I said last time, the rectifier got umm......crispy shall we say?
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Yeah...that connector is melted too. So as it turned out I had to cut the connector off, find one from an old harness and wire it in. No big deal, but if you ever have this same issue, dear lord, CUT AND CONNECT EACH WIRE AT A TIME! 3 white wires....what genius did that? Either way, maybe 20 minutes of work and I was good to go.

I've been putting a lot of mile on her in the last few weeks, riding helps me thing, helps me get out of my own head when things are too....messy, and overall helps me feel better. (I know I said it earlier in this thread...the whole reason and what the lettering around the gascap means...etc etc...) Things have been great, though the more I ride, the harder I'm unintentionally pushing myself... I really have to watch out or Im gonna get a damn ticket.

Then the other day I went to get gas, got about 1/2 a mile away from the gas station and POP! Suddenly she is popping and sounds odd and I have almost no power. So I pull over and look and what do I find?
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Well now....that sucks. Luckily the threads were still in the head, and I was only about 2 miles from home. I limped the bike home, used a screwdriver to unscrew the threads and replaced the plug. Actually I replaced all 4. I can honestly say that I have never seen this happen before in my life:
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But again, a quick trip to AutoZone for new plugs, a few minutes to gap and install; and I was back on the road, good as new.

I have 2 more projects on this bike that I want to do, a couple Im thinking about maybe doing...though its a way off kind of though, if I even do them at all, so I finally sat down with my folder of receipts and tallied everything up. I did not include normal maintenance in my calculations unless it was something I upgraded or had to be replaced because of long time sitting inthe P.O.'s garden. Ex: I didnt include an oil change, but I included the battery that hadnt been touched in 2 years. I also did not include fluids, chemicals(you're welcome PB Blaster, for all my money), and I had to ballpark the cost of paint. I keep parts receipts, not stuff like chemicals, so this is a CLOSE ball park. I did include buying the bike ($400) and the $60 charge for changing the color on the title.

Grand total (so far) for this build: $1,538.97

Parts I used that are listed for other model bikes that needed very little, if any, modification:
Flush Mount Turn Signals (4): '13-'16 R1/R6
Chain Adjusters with Spools: '13-'16 R3
Fairing Mounted Mirrors: '08-'12 R6
Steering Damper: '98-'01 R1
Tank Grips: CRB600/1000 Dont know the year
Rear Shock: '97 FZR600

And now, if you will allow; its time to brag a tiny bit.
Neverland Motor had a give-away photo contest on FB for October. I thought why not, and entered a photo of Mercy. I was one of 10 2nd prize winners. The prize might have only been a T-shirt, but it still made me feel really special to get recognition for my bike/build, especially in a sea of new R1s,R6s, CBRs, Gixxers, and Ninjas. (First prize were adjustable levers, but I already have a set from them on my bike, so Im not too upset).

One thing I am considering...and i will ask you all your opinion...is going ahead and modifying/ building an integrated turn signal/tail/brake light setup? Currently the tail/brakelight is the only filament bulb left on the bike, and earlier tonight I almost got side-swiped by a dumbass who didn't notice my turn signal...so maybe REALLY make it REALLY noticeable when I'm to turn? I know it still wont stop morons.... Thoughts?
Renegade
My YouTube
"In the day we sweat out on the streets of an runaway American dream,
At night we ride through mansions of glory in suicide machines..."
User avatar
Renegade
Lookin' Around
Lookin' Around
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:36 am
Region:: NJ - New Jersey
Motorcycles:: 1993 Yamaha XJ600S
Location: Cape May

Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:24 pm

Well now folks, its been a while. The weather has been shit, the moths in my wallet have been starving, and life has been...well a rollercoaster with no safety harness.

When we last left the saga of Mercy, I had replaced the rectifier after it...well caught fire. Turns out the replacement had a fault and didn't regulate voltage. Have you ever had a battery getting 19+ volts? Ever have the smell of boiling battery acid burned into your nose from a 40 mile ride? Oh yeah...that was fun. So i had to get another Rectifier/Regulator and a new battery. It worked out though because the battery that had been in the bike when I bought was the wrong one. Of course during the build I replaced said battery with a matching one... Then was told that the battery was too big and trying to charge it would stress my charging system... not sure how true that might be, but now I have the correct battery in the bike, so I worry less.

I must admit, I have really enjoyed doing this build thread, and getting the feedback like I have. Maybe its partly because I'm not used to getting positive feedback on my projects, but either way I found myself being motivated by this thread to keep going and keep pushing. One of my personal goals in life has always been to have awesome, unique vehicles and the motivation deffintily helped me get moving along more towards that. So I took this all, and decided to start a YouTube channel, for my work. Both on my motorcycle and my car. You can find the link to my channel in my signature.

Now why do I tell you this, on a build thread? Well because if you were so inclined, you could go to my channel and see videos that I made about the projects that I'm about to discuss.

By now, you might now that I am not one to do something on a vehicle just because its "the thing to do", I need a good reason to do it. So I was skeptical about replacing my fully functioning brake lines with steel ones. After a little research though, learning the benefits of their performance, as well as the longevity of steel lines over rubber, I bit the bullet. I didnt expect to find lines for this model, so I broke out the tape measure, measured the lines, and searched the internet. For less than $30, I picked up red, steel braided brake lines from eBay, and slapped them on.
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They were very easy to install, and WOW they make a difference. The brakes seem to grab harder, slowing me down faster and over all feel crisper. I do warn you though, if you do this, be careful on your first test ride. I wasn't fully sure what to expect, and I locked my back brakes the first time I hit them.

The next thing I decided to do was something that had bothered me about motorcycles for a while. On my XS400, I have a glovebox (storage compartment, whatever) under the seat with a door that opened to the rear, rather than taking the seat off to access it. I hated going into it if I stopped somewhere dark. Now I have to take off the seat so there is more light...but still, if its really dark, I can't really see anything in it. Im sure this sounds like a first world problem, but hey, I like to make my life as easy as possible. So, I installed an LED light for the glovebox
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Now I didnt want to just install a light, obviously, I had to put a switch on it or it would run all the time. I have seem bikers do a similar thing with their saddlebags; install a light and a switch, when they go into the bag they hit the switch now there is light. They finish looking and hit the switch again adn the light goes off until next time. Well....I can be an idiot. And i can be in a rush. And i can be an idiot in a rush. I freely admit to all of these. So the last thing I wanted was to hit the switch, turn on the light, and then close everything up...forgetting to hit the switch again. The solution to this hypothetical dilemma was in my car.

Now Im not sure how modern cars all do it, but I know that my older car (and most older cars), have a ground interrupting pressure switch in the door jam for the courtesy(dome) light. When the door is closed, the button is pressed down and the circuit is interrupted so there is no power draw. Open the door and the button is released, circuit is connected until the door is closed. Luckily, I have been working on old school Volvos for a LONG time now and have a few of these switches just laying around. All I had to do was drill holes to mount one and wire it up.
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I couldnt mount it on the cross bar under the seat because of the cable release and the peg to square the seat, but the over hang from the tab for bolting on the grab bar was perfectly placed. One hole for the switch, one for the mounting bolt, wire it up; that's rock'n'roll. Now, every time I lift the seat, the LED in the glovebox lights up, I can see, and when I put the seat back on, the light goes off. And before you ask, I did add a connector so i can disconnect the whole system if Im working on the bike for a while with the seat off.

Now I move onto the next project, which will take some time to do, and Im not ready for it quite yet... but I will say this: Clip-ons are happening, and Im about to radically change the bike
Renegade
My YouTube
"In the day we sweat out on the streets of an runaway American dream,
At night we ride through mansions of glory in suicide machines..."
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