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New Rides, and Old Memories!

Jim VonBaden

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Jim VonBaden

For the last several years I have been dreaming about a bike I owned when I was young and thin.


I loved this bike, but it was taken to that junkyard in the sky way to prematurely when a drunk hit me from behind. I was not seriously hurt, and I was still enamored of my baby, and maybe that is why I never stopped wanting another one.


About 9 months ago I started looking for one in decent shape. I searched the web, and scoured E-bay, and missed out on several for various reasons.


Finally, last weekend I found one on E-bay, and won it at a reasonable price.


When I was 22 I was riding a new Honda Shadow 500, and thought life was good. Then I met a guy in my military unit with a new 82 Yamaha Seca Turbo 650. One ride and I was hooked. I immediately traded in my cruiser for the hottest sport bike around at the time. I got a great deal on a leftover 82 in 83, and got $1500 off.


They were all over the magazines, and had a seriously futuristic look. For a single guy in Panama City Florida, there was no better bike.


I took it to two Bike Weeks in Daytona, and put many thousands of miles on it. Hell, I didn't even own a car for a year of riding it. It was an incredible bike, and what a rush to ride.


But all things come to an end, and this one came far to early.


So I promised myself another one day, but life, family, and other things conspired to stop me. That is, until, last weekend!


Unfortunately it was near Columbus Ohio, and I was in upstate New York all week.


Fortunately Tina worked her butt off, and arranged to borrow Ray's (Raysuf) truck. (What a guy, he lends me his truck for the weekend, and allows me to put nearly 1000 miles on it. Thanks RAY!!!!)


Anyhow, the plan was to fly home on Friday afternoon, jump in the truck, and drive to Ohio, 450 miles, then get a hotel and pick up the bike in the morning.


Of course, as is usually the case, weather and broken planes resulted in my missing my connection by only 5 minutes, and them my rescheduled flight was 3 hours delayed. I didn't get into DC until after 8 PM.


Interestingly, as I was waiting for my flights, I picked up a Cycle World magazine, and can you imagine my surprise when inside the pages was a note about the cover 25 years ago and my Seca Turbo listed right there. Very bizarre, and very cool! I actually had/have that magazine still from way back then.


More irony, the $1500 I saved from my original new Turbo, I spent for this old one exactly.


We decided to scrap the idea of leaving that night, and instead leave at 5 AM Saturday.


Fortunately the roads were clear, and the weather cooperated, and we made the 450 miles in just 6 hours. Ray's truck got 23mpg even. Not bad.


What was bad, was his truck threw the power steering belt a couple miles from our destination. Let me tell you, that truck is a total pig without a power steering belt. We limped in and picked up the bike from the owner. A very nice guy with several other bikes.


Bonus! He had already changed the plugs, oil, FD oil, and put new brake pads on it.


The bad part was he lived half a mile down a rough dirt road, so I didn't get a chance to test ride it. I was not comfortable doing it on a bike with no front brake, leaky fork seals had contaminated the brake pads, especially on an unfamiliar bike on rough roads.


So we loaded it up on Ray's truck, paid the man, and drove off to find an auto parts store. Fortunately there was one a few miles away, and we got a new belt for cheap. Took longer to get the clerk to look it up than it did to change it.


Side note, Ray's truck had a squealing belt, and a brake failure indicator (but good brakes) when we picked it up, so Tina had her coworker take it over for repairs. They added some fluid, and changed the belt, with the wrong belt. So it lasted 40020 miles and came off in chunks. We figured fixing these things was the very least we could do for Ray for lending us his truck.


Anyhow, we decided to haul butt home. We stopped a few hours later and took these shots:








I was tempted to throw on a helmet and ride like this for a while! :lol:


We arrived home at 10:30, tired, but happy to be home.


The next day we drove over to Coleman's and used their ramp to unload the bike, then I rode it home.




My first ride.


Memories flashed back, and the rush as the turbo kicks in is as impressive as ever, despite many "faster" bikes I have owned since then.


It runs great, and only needs fork seals now that I cleaned up the brake pads and rotors.




It looks great from 5 feet. Not bad up close either.






How can you go wrong with only 8500 miles on it? I added 50 today, but was cautious since I was using a "borrowed" plate. blush.gifops:




Since I had it out, I figured a stable shot was in order.


The Turbo, 80 BMW R65, 05 BMW R1200GS, and an 05 BMW R1200ST (technically my GF's bike).


I have to admit, the modern bikes are faster, have better brakes, handle better, and are more comfortable. BUT, I bet I put a LOT of miles on the Turbo. What a fun little bike, and awesome for WV weekends!


Jim cool.gif

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What a nice story. thumbsup.gif I had the chance to get a BMW K100 a few weeks ago that was turbo'ed by RB Racing (someplace I have been looking at very closely for some time) but decided at the last minute to let it pass. bncry.gif Now I wish I had been a little more aggressive and gotten it (even though I am in Ca and it was in NY.) frown.gif I may wind up putting one of their kits on my K12RS.. cause everyone knows K12RSs are so slow. tongue.gif That Turbo rush can't be beat. clap.gif Congratulations on a great looking machine and may you have many happy miles of smiles on it. wave.gif

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For what it is worth, I had a truly strange interaction with RV Turbo back in 2000 or 2001. I was browsing their site and sent them an email, in which I casually mentioned that their buttons were clearly taken directly from the apple website, and that apple had been cracking down on folks who were doing that (this was shortly after they previewed the new look and feel of OS X, so everyone was copying it). I suggested that they might want to make minor changes before they get a call from apple. It wasn't a big deal, and I certainly wasn't making threats, but the reaction of the owner of RB Turbo was extraordinary.


He sent me an amazing, irate email in which he threatened to call my boss and inform him that I was surfing the internet during work hours (as if he didn't know!) if I didn't back off. We exchanged a couple more emails in which I attempted to explain how my comments were intended, but he flatly denied using the OS X buttons (when any look at the apple website could see he was lying), and made repeated threats that he was going to get me fired. I wound up supplying him with the names and phone numbers of the folks I worked for, all the way up to the CEO. At the time, apple were our biggest customer, so there was no question that, even if they cared that I was surfing motorcycling websites during my day (which was frequently 12-16 hours long, but both CEO and CTO were avid motorcyclists and riding buddies), they would be glad of my attempt to defend our largest customer from copyright infringement. So far as I know, he never called anyone, but it was truly a bizarro exchange. The guy was on the offensive from our very first email. I sure as hell would never do business with them after that experience. Your mileage may vary.


Hah! I just checked, and they are STILL using the apple buttons! Check the bottom of the page.





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Jim VonBaden
Cool thumbsup.gif

Your riding portfolio has come around full circle.


Thanks Eric!


I am very much enjoying my new bike. It is fun to ride, light (feeling), and though the brakes and suspension are old school, it handles pretty well, and is just fun! I guess that is what counts anyhow! thumbsup.gif


Jim cool.gif

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