Don’t forget the Seca II
November 24, 2008 at 6:32 pm #2375sideshow06Participant
When I first got my motorcycle license I visited this site and found it a great resource. I read the reviews and based on the information I gathered here along with some input from my friends who already ride, I decided to look for a Suzuki GS500 or SV650 as my first bike. I kept my eye on craigslist and found that even a used SV650 was out of my price range and the GS500 was rarely posted in good condition. However I did keep stumbling across the same bike over and over with lots of people suggesting it would make a good beginner bike… the Yamaha XJ600 Seca II.
I read the limited reviews online and found them mostly favorable, and when I saw a good deal on a 1993 Seca II in my town I bought it. I have to say it makes a great beginner motorcycle. It is a 600cc bike, but it isn’t too powerful for a beginner in my opinion. Granted, I’ve been a cautious driver and definitely took it slow the first few times out. But even as I’ve gotten better at riding, the Seca II never makes me feel uncomfortable. At the same time I’m not finding that I’m outgrowing the bike and wishing I’d chosen something more powerful. I think the Seca II will keep me happy for the next few years until I’m ready for something nicer and newer – and I suppose by then perhaps something more powerful.
Anyway, this site doesn’t even mention the Yamaha XJ600 Seca II, also known as the Diversion in Europe. I haven’t driven the other bikes on this site to make a true comparison, but for a moderately careful beginner I think the Seca II has the right balance between a safe entry-level bike, and intermediate level power that you can grow into. I recommend those looking on this site to look into it and consider the Seca II as a good used beginner bike.November 25, 2008 at 1:29 am #15002MattParticipant
The Seca II isn’t talked about on this page because it is too old for most people to find. And beyond even finding one, maintaining an old bike can be a lot of trouble. If you are mechanically inclined and have access to spare parts, an old bike is a great way to go, but for joe average, I would NOT recommend an older bike. I owned a 1984 Interceptor, and it was destroyed by a shop technician who wasn’t familiar with bikes that old. One Honda dealership asked me NOT to bring the bike to them since they didn’t have any mechanics with any experience on bikes that old.
The Seca II isn’t that old, and it doesn’t have the issues that made the VF500F such a pain to work on, but, if nothing else, parts are limited.
So, why recommend it when a Ninja 500 or GS500 can be found more easily, but have current dealer support?
(The Seca II competed pretty much head to head with these and the Bandit 600 – despite being a 600, it is not like a current 600cc sport bike).
Glad to hear you are enjoying your new ride. I *almost* got a Seca II as my first bike, but it was sold out from under me
“The two seconds between ‘Oh S**!’ and the crash isn’t a lot of practice time.”November 25, 2008 at 3:23 am #15005sideshow06Participant
I get what you’re saying. The Seca II isn’t still in production. It was discontinued in 1998. But for those visiting this site looking for suggestions on affordable used bikes I would strongly recommend the Seca II. I see LOTS of them on craigslist, many of them in great condition.
I do agree that SOME parts are hard to find… I’m still looking for the stock Yamaha luggage rack that goes on the back fender, but I’ve had no trouble replacing a broken turn signal and fuel line with stock parts. Corbin still makes seats for it. I do know mechanics in my area that won’t work on bikes older than 2000, but I found two that will.
Yes, there are some added challenges with an older used bike, but the money you save makes it worth it for beginners buying a first bike that they plan to replace once they learn more about what they really want through riding experience. I don’t think I’ll outgrow the power of the Seca, but I’ll probably eventually want a newer, nicer bike with more amenities and choices for modifying.December 5, 2008 at 3:08 pm #15166AlexGuest
I bought mine (96′ – black) two years ago almost and love it. It was/is my first big bike, engine is bullet proof as long as you take care of the bike. I have 32K miles on it, and most of the guys from the seca forum have 50K+. I have used it as a learning and commuter, all I used this season was the seca to get around (Hartford, CT – Boston, MA) twice a week. The only issue I had with it was the voltage regulator at 30K, which was $38 and 15 minutes of my time to change. Check the forum there is a great community and people out there solving/helping out with problems.
The seca is a seriously overlooked bike, Yamaha just brought it back this year as the FZ6R – which is fuel injected now.December 11, 2008 at 9:46 pm #15243BenParticipant
Haha, the main reason I haven’t reviewed the seca II is…. because its ugly! Haha, sorry to say it, but I really hate the look of that bike so I’ve left it on the back burner. I think if you tear off the front fairings and make it a street fighter it looks really great, but stock it is just too old school. It is a great bike though, really beginner friendly, probably even more so than the sv. Most of them are also a bit old though and I try and tell people to avoid motorcycles that are older than a decade. When bikes get old you have to start worrying about rust, gaskets, fuel lines, brake lines etc…
I might try and swing a review of that bike though. It is a really great beginner ride.
~Best Beginner Motorcycles Admin
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