Several comments on our recent Just Do It post suggested a reader’s rides category for The Kneeslider. Starting today, we have our first, Jon Fife’s nicely modified Yamaha XJ900 Seca and it’s a great example of taking a bike that suits you well, buying parts and pieces inexpensively, adding lots of labor and your own ideas to come up with just what you wanted all along. Considering that some folks are being a little more careful about buying bikes these days, it points out how well a used motorcycle can offer everything you need, not to mention, you get a unique ride you don’t see everywhere you go.
Jon once owned a 1982 Yamaha 650 Turbo Seca. He liked it a lot but eventually sold it and moved up to a larger bike, a 1993 FJ 1200. He liked the power and everything else but missed the more upright seating position of the Seca. He remembered Yamaha had once planned a 900 Seca with the same fairing used on the 650, but it was never built, instead it came with a little bikini fairing not to Jon’s liking. Obvious answer, get an old 900 and install the 650 fairing, … obvious until you find out all of the dimensions are different. And that is where Jon’s long project, of restoring the 900 and modifying the fairing, creating a mounting system and building the bike he really wanted, began.
The finished product, Jon’s little bit of “sport touring heaven,” as he calls it, is pretty nice, it actually looks like a factory installation. Nice work Jon!
As more buyers find a new bike a little beyond their reach, this route makes a lot of sense. Look a little closer at the bike you already own or buy something used and see what it needs to make it perfect for you, then shop around a bit, add a few pieces, remove what you don’t need and enjoy.
Link: Prototype 900 turbo