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Hey guys and girls,

I am a new rider with very little riding, mechanical, etc. experience. My parents always owned motorcycles, and I have always wanted a motorcycle since I was a kid. I'm going to buy my first bike next week! I am super excited and have already made a deal with the guy for $1100. The bike is a 1982 Yamaha XJ650r Seca! At first I wanted a 2003+ sv650, but due to my need to be different and lack of money, I decided to start a build project with a cheaper older bike. This bike is in great condition aesthetically and performance wise so I plan on riding it and getting used to it before I start buying a bunch of mods and upgrades for it. I am glad I found a forum that is dedicated to the same hobby/passion that I have recently discovered. I look forward to getting some great advice from you guys, and hope to be able to lend advice to other newbies after my learning experiences. Here's a pic of my bike....

IMG_0200.jpg
 

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I like the old XJ's. Pretty tough motors but after 30 years there will be a lot of other things on the bike that need attention and will keep you busy.

You want to join this place if you haven't already:


XJBikes.com ? News
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I already registered at xjbikes.com with the same user name. I am ready for a new challenge and I realize that this old bike will take some wrenching and routine maintenance. Bring it on!!;)
 

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No worries - just as long as you are aware of what may lay ahead of you.

You'd be amazed at the number of noobs we get here thinking they can turn their $100 CL find into a turn-key rider with $100 of parts from DCC and a case of PBR.

By the way - is your bike titled /registered / on the road?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes i do understand that alot of noobs buy cheap and cruddy bikes and expect to have a beautiful classy bike with only putting bolt on parts that cost $10 here and there. Thats not me. I paid $1100 for a beautiful, great condition 1982 xj650 seca (see pic above) and it is titled, registered, and street legal. I recently dropped over $500 on riding gear (safety first). Like is said i want to get some miles under my butt before i start changing the bike. I may do a few quick fixes here and there (bent levers, broken signal cover, etc.) but nothing to extreme.


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It is a nice looking bike. I couldn't really picture changing it much. I'd fix all problem areas, shine her up, and ride her with a smile.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks! In my opinion (for what that's worth) it already is a beautiful bike, but I would like to make it more one of a kind. One day it will have... slim and trim bratstyle seat similar to that of a thruxton, bar end mirrors, clip-ons or clubmans, rearsets, new/different exhaust, wrapped exhaust, better brakes and suspension, custom side panels that are flush with that triangle in the frame, maybe new headlight, smaller gauge(s), maybe spoke wheels (black), and possibly a few other things that I can't think off right off.
 

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Thanks! In my opinion (for what that's worth) it already is a beautiful bike, but I would like to make it more one of a kind. One day it will have... slim and trim bratstyle seat similar to that of a thruxton, bar end mirrors, clip-ons or clubmans, rearsets, new/different exhaust, wrapped exhaust, better brakes and suspension, custom side panels that are flush with that triangle in the frame, maybe new headlight, smaller gauge(s), maybe spoke wheels (black), and possibly a few other things that I can't think off right off.
lets see-no, maybe, clipons (only w/ rearsets), yes, 4-1, hell no,hell yes, why?, why?, why?, no...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Haha. I think the seat is pretty ugly and bulky. Thruxton seat is very similar to the style that is on the bike now, but it is thinner and just looks better in my opinion. That new seat will compliment the gas tank more. Plus I need to be able to ride 2 up (lady friend). Was the "hell no" to the better brakes and suspension? If so why? I wouldn't do anything crazy like put a R1 fork on it or anything. I probably won't get a new headlight and gauges. Spoke wheels look a bit more classy IMO. Just a personal preference, but it would be one of the last things that I would do, and maybe I would change my mind by then. Those curvy rims are a signature to that bike so I may keep them. Also what was the "hell yes" for? The custom side panels?
 

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how about what compliments your ass more? you think those people with "brat" seats actually ride those bikes? no, they wobble from local coffee shop to local bar or sit inside aforementioned coffee shop.

Here is what you do....ride the thing. Figure out what you enjoy about riding motorcycles. If all you are thinking about is the looks of the bike then you aren't into motorcycles, you are into fashion design.

In the meantime try to do a little research about seca race bikes. I think Kenessex races one in vintage events and I think they were raced when new.
 

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this is actually brat style:

http://bratstyle.com/

no kidding this is where the term comes from - this one shop in japan.

However, like everything in america the morons take a term and literally misuse it into a smoldering hole in the ground before abandoning it for the next shiny object. "brat" has come to be known as basically a thin plank of a seat. Whenever a newbie uses that term, that is what is assumed. Also, I have yet to see a "brat style" seat done well outside of the actual bratstyle shop in japan. If you look closely at the pics, you'll notice how entrenched bratstyle is in japanese chopper culture. nothing to do with racers, or awesome bikes. So again...using it as an american is like waving the idiot flag for all the world to see. don't be that guy.

it wasn't lost on me that you were going to ride the bike for a year. but what you like now isn't what you are going to like in a year. stop making those kind of plans and just enjoy the thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
As I have already said twice in above posts... I WILL RIDE THE BIKE STOCK FOR AWHILE BEFORE I DECIDE TO CHANGE ANYTHING! I think the thruxton seat would be pretty darn comfy since it is the stock seat that comes on a much nicer and more expensive british bike. I don't plan on getting those 1" seats like you may be thinking of, Geeto. Maybe I shouldn't have used the word "brat". It seems to be a touchy subject with cafe guys. Anyways, thanks for the advice. I am a guy who does his research, and then does more research before going through with anything. I will check out some of the seca race bikes you are referring to. Also, I thought I should mention... we have very long, snowy winters in Montana. This means I will have a lot of time when I can't ride but will still want to be around my bike. I can use this time do some wrenching and upgrades (aesthetically and performance wise). So, while its not "ALL I'M THINKING ABOUT", yes I will be thinking about the looks of my bike, just as most people do.

Edit: sorry for the double post. I didn't think it saved it so i typed it out again in a slightly different version.
 

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Thanks for the "brat" history. I didn't realize that. You are right about the misuse of the term. After watching some youtube vids and looking up custom versions of my bike, that is a term that many people used to describe and label their bikes as. I won't use it again, since thats not really the style im going for.
 

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Thanks! In my opinion (for what that's worth) it already is a beautiful bike, but I would like to make it more one of a kind. One day it will have... slim and trim bratstyle seat similar to that of a thruxton, bar end mirrors, clip-ons or clubmans, rearsets, new/different exhaust, wrapped exhaust, better brakes and suspension, custom side panels that are flush with that triangle in the frame, maybe new headlight, smaller gauge(s), maybe spoke wheels (black), and possibly a few other things that I can't think off right off.
ok let me be more clear in my answers.. seat- no, barend morrors- maybe (get ones that give you a view), clipons (yes w/ rearsets), clubmans are cheap and look it. exhaust- yes (a good 4-1). wrapped exhaust- hell no (you just got a new exhaust , why would it need wrap), panels- why, headlight- why, smaller gauges- why, and the big one spoke wheels- isnt your bike shaft drive? where you gonna get a spoked hub? that fits/works,
 

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thanks for the clarification. ok so i probably won't wrap the exhaust (just thought it looked cool but after more reading its not worth it). probably won't replace headlight or gauges, but i would like some custom side panels. Probably won't change the rims due to a lot of work and shopping for hard to find parts. Definitely getting a new seat though and cleaning up the back end a bit. I would like to figure out someway to remount turn signals too so they don't stick out so far. I would like to get one of those old style race fairings too.. block some wind and looks cool
 

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I've gone through so much time and thought about the direction I'd like to take with my CB build. I've spent a lot of time here, soaking up as much knowledge as I can. So far, I think getting the bike running and sticking to mods that are simply performance driven is the best idea. As much as I love the style of the old Cafe Racers, I have the feeling that I will end up with a bike that is fairly close to it's original design and I won't want to change it. Then again, I may want to change the entire riding profile. I'll see when I get there. Guys like us are lucky, because we have a wealth of knowledge here and it's given (albeit sometimes sarcastically...lol) because of experience.
 

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I've gone through so much time and thought about the direction I'd like to take with my CB build. I've spent a lot of time here, soaking up as much knowledge as I can. So far, I think getting the bike running and sticking to mods that are simply performance driven is the best idea. As much as I love the style of the old Cafe Racers, I have the feeling that I will end up with a bike that is fairly close to it's original design and I won't want to change it. Then again, I may want to change the entire riding profile. I'll see when I get there. Guys like us are lucky, because we have a wealth of knowledge here and it's given (albeit sometimes sarcastically...lol) because of experience.
i agree.
 
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