The Seca 750 Motorcycle

1984 Yamah Seca 750 This is not so much an innovation as a project to repair a tool for the purposes of travelling. Behold: The 1984 Yamaha Seca 750. I picked this up early in summer '06, after completing Illinois' motorcycle training class. I highly recommend anyone who wants to buy a bike take the state offered classes. It offers a discount on insurance as well as making sure you actually know how to use the bike. Important rule: Brake correctly, and use the front brakes!

Zaid and I On the left in the picture is Zaid. He happened to be driving through town during the time that I was looking for someone to help pick the bike up. We went over to the guy's house and I tried to drive it off. The bike had some mechanical troubles that required the replacing of sparkplugs and the rebuilding of carburetors. The initial pickup experience allowed Zaid to tape a pretty funny video, care of his sexy camera. To Eye of the Tiger, it depicts me driving off, and then having the engine stop, and then again, and again. The video is not available online quite yet, and may not ever be. We'll see.

Carburetor bodies
	for the yamaha. Before setting off on the roadtrip, I had to fix the rough running of the bike. Part of this was due to bad sparkplugs, and the rest was due to the carburetors. Letting anything sit with fuel in it for any length of time is a bad idea. The light components of the fuel evaporate off, leaving the rust-looking powder. It's not rust, but what motorheads call "varnish". I spent a fair amount of time scrubbing and cleaning this stuff out. It gets in all the little nooks and crannies of the carbs, which makes rough running and everything else. After running my Seca a bit, one of the float valves got stuck open, meaning that fuel ran straight through the carbs and onto the floor when the petcock was opened. Removing these from the bike was an interesting effort. The old carb boots needed to be replaced as well. The old ones had holes in them and were rusted to the block, which means at one point I was drilling and tapping the cylinder casting while squatting on a milk crate. It was "old school shade-tree mechanic."

Carburetor wee adjusty bits
	for the yamaha. All the bits out of the carbs are depicted in the previous picture. Each carburetor has about a dozen parts, and there are four individual carbs one for each of the four cylinders. I took it all apart, gave it all a good scrubbing and then put it together. The work for this project was all done in my apartment. I actually went and bought a fire extinguisher and kept it near by, since working with gasoline filled float bowls is probably a violation of fire code. I also was working on the bike in my then employer's parking lot, to the chagrin of the building's operations staff. I finally get it fixed just before an important early morning client visit. I had been given an ultimatum to get it out of there by the morning, or the building management people were going to have it towed. So I re-installed the carburetors in the middle of the night after riding my bicycle to work.

The last known
	resting spot of the Seca. The total journey with this bike lasted only about 800 miles before I had a problem that I chose not to fix. When I was approaching beautiful Fargo, North Dakota, the front fork seals really went in a nasty way, and I ended up with oil running all over the shop. I didn't repair them in advance, as I lacked the tools to properly dissasemble the front forks of a bike with anti-dive stuff linked into the braking system, and the previous owner said that he had had them replaced fairly recently. I finally limped into University Motors Inc, with a mostly flat front tire, a relatively empty gas tank, looking for help. Jack Toring and his buddies offered to fix the thing right quick for a reasonable amount of money, but at this point I decided that I didn't want to spend any more money on the Seca, especially with the long, lonely and mostly up hill drive across Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho still ahead. One of Jack's shop mechanics bought it off me, and I went the rest of the way on the train. Eventually I would like to get another motorcycle, using the knowledge gained from this one to choose a more appropriate bike for me. Those people that go 1000 miles in a day, even on a nice bike, really do have asses made of steel.