Turbocharged motorcycle: a custom Yamaha Seca

Yamaha Seca turbo custom motorcycle
I guess you could call this motorcycle a ‘real world’ custom. It’s Jon Fife’s Yamaha XJ650/900 Turbo Seca prototype, and it comes from a desire to create the perfect sport tourer. It’s a story of painstaking upgrades and modifications over the years, and the quality of the work is up to factory standard.

The starting point for this Yamaha Seca will be familiar to riders beyond the first flush of youth: the need for a long-distance steed with good ergonomics. After selling his old Seca 650 and then wrestling with an FJ1200, Fife recalls: “Riding something more comfortable became a pressing need. My back problems were getting worse and even driving a car was painful. I pulled out all my old research on the 1983 Seca 900 and liked what I was rereading, except for its butt ugly bikini fairing.”

Fife set out on a journey to create his ‘perfect 10’ bike, marrying parts from the the 650 and 900 Seca models. It was an unexpectedly tortuous journey, but as he notes: “There’s something to be said for creating your own perfect 10. Today, Yamaha, Honda, Kawasaki all make far superior sport tourers. But in 1995, when I was looking for the best bike, it didn’t exist.”

If you ever find yourself touring the roads of Washington state, keep an eye on your mirrors.

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