Honda Magna

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Magna V45 VF750C (1982-1986)

The first generation 1982 Honda V45 Magna was available in either Candy Maroon or Candy Imperial Blue.[1] The headlight and fenders are chrome. The front disc brakes have straight grooves, dual piston calipers, and TRAC anti-dive. The speedometer reads 80 mph. The redline is 10K rpm. The engine is a 748 cc DOHC 16-valve liquid-cooled 90 degree V-4 linked to a 6-speed transmission with a hydraulically actuated wet-plate clutch and shaft drive. Compression is high, and the stroke is short.

A milestone in the evolution of motorcycles, the V45's performance is comparable to that of Valkyries and Honda's 1800cc V-twin cruisers. However, its mix of performance, reliability, and refinement was overshadowed by the more powerful 1098cc "V65" Magna in 1983. Honda notoriously emphasized the speed of this bike. This era produced the very fast V-Max by Yamaha. Suzuki also joined in on the v-four cruiser trend with the Madura, mostly noted for having hydraulic valve lifters, as opposed to Honda's DOHC set-up, which was prone to premature wear of the cams.

The 1983 V45 Magna was available in one of two colors and the headlight, instruments, and fenders were chrome. The gas tank and side covers were the basic color (maroon or black). The front disc brake grooves were curved. The speedometer had a 150 mph (240 km/h) limit. The engine was a 748 cc DOHC 4-valve liquid-cooled V-4 linked to a 6-speed transmission and a shaft drive. (1983 starting SN JH2RC071*DM100011)

The US government imposed tariff rate hikes for foreign-built motorcycles in order to combat their rise in sales in North America, and to aid the domestic motorcycle manufacturers, namely Harley-Davidson. So for 1984 Honda responded by reducing the engine size for the 750s, and the Magna became the VF700C in the USA. Colours available for 1984 were either black or Candy Andromeda red.


[2] From Cycle World May 1982

New List Price: $3295

Engine: Water-cooled dohc 90 degree V-Four

Bore x Stroke: 70 x 48.6mm

Displacement: 748cc

Compression: 10.5 to 1

Carburetion: (4) 32mm Keihin CV

Air Filter: Pleated Paper

Ignition: Transistorized Electronic

Claimed Power: 80.3 bhp @ 9500rpm

Claimed Torque: 46.2 lb ft @ 8000rpm

Lubrication: Wel Sump

Oil Capacity: 3.2qt

Fuel Capacity: 3.7 gal.

Starter: Electric

Electrical Power: 300w Alternator

Battery: 12v 18ah

Headlight: 45/65w Halogen

Transmission: 6 speed

Primary Drive: Straight-cut Gear

Clutch: Multi-plate wet

Final Drive: Shaft (3.18) For 1982-83 and 85-86 (3.40) for 1984

Gear Ratios;

6th 4.92

5th 5.89

4th 7.05

3rd 8.48

2nd 10.63

1st 15.06


Front: Telescopic anti-dive

Travel: 5.5in

Rear: Swing Arm

Travel: 3.9in


Front: 110/90-18

Rear: 130/90-16


Front: Dual 10.8in disc

Rear: 6.25in Drum

Brake Swept Area: 161sq. in

Brake Loading: 4.2lb /sq. in

Wheelbase: 60.6 in

Rake/Trail: 30 /4.1in

Handlebar Width: 29in

Seat Height: 30in

Seat Width: 11in

Foot-peg Height: 12in

Ground Clearance: 6.5in

GVWR: 890lb

Load Capacity: 372lb


[3] From Cycle World May 1982

Test weight W/half tank Fuel: 518lb

Standing 1/4 mile: 12.08sec @ 108.82mph

Top Speed 1/2 mile: 122mph

Fuel Consumption: 46m pg

Range (to Reserve) 120miles


0-30mph 1.8sec

0-40mph 2.7sec

0-50mph 3.6sec

0-60mph 4.6sec

0-70mph 5.5sec

0-80mph 6.6sec

0-90mph 7.8sec

0-100mph 9.6sec

Top Gear Acceleration:

40-60mph 4.8sec

60-80mph 5.5sec

Speedometer Error

30mph indicated 28mph

60mph indicated 57mph

Braking Distance:

From 30mph 27ft

From 60mph 125ft

Engine RPM @ 60mph 4082RMP

Magna V30 VF500C (1984-1985)

1984 Honda Magna V30

The Honda VF500 is one of Honda's second generation V4 motorcycle engines produced in a series of motorcycles designated with VF and VFR initials. For 1984-1986, Honda produced the 498 cm3, V4 DOHC VF500 for the VF500C Magna V30 and its sister bike, the VF500F. This engine is an evolution of Honda's original domestic market 400cc engine, originally deemed too small and underpowered for certain markets - notably the United States and Europe. Focusing on adding power and versatility to its motorcycle offerings, Honda bored the original 400cc motor and improved its power and performance. The engine is almost entirely identical to the version in the Interceptor VF500F sport bike, and while Honda sold the VF500C Magna in the United States, it advertised it as the "most powerful midsize custom in the world".[4]

This standard motorcycle was introduced as a balanced bike that was just as enjoyable yet easier to ride in town than its larger Magna siblings, with good power and a broad torque band. Thanks to its V4 design, power in the 500 engine is not peaky and ample torque can be found throughout the rev band, and the six speed transmission ratio was unique to this bike versus the ratio on the VF500F.[5] The engine produced between 64-68 horsepower, and combined with its low weight and low center of gravity, the bike was lauded by critics as an easy to ride and entertaining motorcycle.[5]

The Magna had no shaft drive like its larger siblings, but a traditional chain drive.[5] As well, unlike the larger displacement V-four motors, the VF500 did not suffer from the oil cooling issues of the larger V-four motors (the larger dispacement engines would not send sufficient oil to the cam lobes under 3,000 rpm, causing premature wear), yet the VF500 was still phased out as Honda reworked its technical designs for all its VF motors and cut down on its number of competing models in the market to keep from cannibalizing its sales. Today the bikes have a small but loyal following for their great handling and reliability.


  • 1984 retail MSRP: $2,598 (USA Dollars)
  • Honda specified 64 horsepower
  • Max torque is 31.7 at 10,500 rpm
  • Standing-start quarter mile - 12.9 sec at 103 mph
  • 0-60 in 3.9 seconds
  • 60-0 in 120.6 feet
  • Fuel economy - 45.3 mpg
  • Cruising range (main /reserve) - 113/41 miles


  • Four-stroke, 90 degree V4 (V-four)
  • Liquid cooled, dual overhead chain drive camshafts
  • 32mm CV Carburetors
  • Four valves per cylinder
  • Bore and stroke - 60x44 mm
  • Compression ratio 11.0:1
  • Oil capacity 3.2 quarts
  • 12,000 rpm redline
  • Six-speed transmission, wet clutch
  • Automatic cam-chain tensioners
  • Self-adjusting hydraulic clutch


  • Double downtube, full cradle, with swingarm
  • Front suspension is leading axle, air adjustable fork, 37mm tubes, 6.3 inches of travel
  • Rear suspension is dual shock absorbers, 4.3 inches of travel
  • Comcast wheels
  • Wheelbase is 59 inches
  • Front wheel is 18 inches
  • Rake and trail - 35.1 and 4.4
  • Front brake is hydraulic, single disc, twin piston caliper
  • Available colors were black and dark red
  • Saddle is 29-20 inches from the ground
  • Ground clearance is 5.6 inches
  • Fuel capacity main/reserve is 2.5/0.9 gallons
  • Curb weight is 439 pounds


  • Power source is three-phase AC generator
  • Solid state voltage regulator charge control
  • Headlight high/low is 60/55 watts, halogen
  • Tailights/stop is 8/27 watts
  • Battery is 12V 12AH


  • Speedometer
  • Odometer
  • Trip meter
  • Tachometer (redline starts at 11,500)
  • Coolant temperature gauge
  • Warning light for low fuel
  • Warning light for low oil pressure
  • Warning for taillight out
  • Neutral gear indicator
  • High beam indicator
  • Turn signals

Optional Equipment

  • Windshield
  • Luggage rack
  • Engine guard
  • Sissy bar and optional pouch
  • Soft leather saddlebags
  • Cover

Changes by year

  • Two colors were available each year: Candy Andromeda Red and Black in 1984, and Candy Wineberry Red and Black in 1985
  • The "HONDA" fuel tank logo was straight in 1984, and curved up in 1985

Facts from Cycle Magazine, July 1984[5]

The 1984 California serial number began JH2PC1317EM000004 while the rest of the United States models began JH2PC1300EM000028. In 1985, the serial number began JH2PC1306FM100001.

"Super" Magna VF700 and VF750C (1987-1988)

1987 Honda Super Magna, Canadian-export model

Various mechanical and cosmetic changes were introduced over the years, but the basic core of the Magna remained the same. However, for the two years the 2G Magna was produced, it was dubbed the Super Magna. In 1987, the 700 cc engine produced 80 bhp (60 kW) @ 9500 rpm, with torque being 46 ft·lbf (62 N·m) @ 7500 rpm. In 1988, the Magna grew back to its original size of 748 cc.

On similar fashion the Magna V-four has done the old 750-700-750 two-step. 1982: the 70 x 48.6mm Magna 750 debuts. Quick cuts, 1984: the 70 x 45.4mm 700 (699) arrives. Revival, 1988: back to the original stroke and 748cc displacement. The Magna V-four has endured through the first and second generations of the VF and VFR Interceptors - both come and gone by 1988. Like the original 750 Sabre and VF 750, this 750 Magna engine uses a 360-degree crankshaft and chain-driven double-overhead camshafts. Thus, the VF750C unit is technologically quite different from Honda’s last V-four sport bike engine, the VFR750 Interceptor, which had gear-driven overhead cams and a 180-degree crankshaft.

The Super's cams are also line-bored (a feature first seen in the Euro 1985 VF1000F & F-II, and 85/86 VF1000R, 1986 VF500F, 1986 VF700C Magna), which greatly reduced the premature cam wear that plagued the earlier models, together with changed oil ducts.

The 1987 V45 Magna was available in either Candy Wave Blue or Candy Bourgogne Red (1988 dropped Blue in favor of Black). For 1987, the fake airbox covers were wrinkle black with a "Magna" emblem. The fake airbox emblem changes to "V45" for the 1988 model.

The 1987 Super Magna had a silver, grey & black Honda "wing" tank decal, while the 1988 model had a silver "MAGNA" tank decal.

The exhaust system was now an upswept 4-into-4 set of pipes, truly unique in the cruiser world. Although the exhaust pipes were a beautiful sight, they were not friendly to the use of saddlebags as they were too high. The rear wheel was a solid aluminum disc. The chin fairing was unfinished black plastic for the 87, and color-matched for the 88. The second generation was also the first to have the lower seat height of a mere 27.8 inches (706 mm), more than 4 inches (102 mm) lower than its predecessor. A total of 16,000 units were built for the 1987 model year, while only 3500 were built for 1988. (1987 starting SN JH2RC280*JA100001)


  • Engine: DOHC 4 valve 90 degree V-four
  • Displacement: 700 cc and 748 cc
  • Transmission: 6 speed
  • Wet weight: 529 lb (240 kg)
  • Seat height: 27.8 in (706 mm)
  • Final Drive: Shaft
  • Cooling: Liquid
  • Brakes: Single disc front, drum rear

Magna 750 (1994-2003)

1999 Honda Magna

The 'Power Cruisers' category that had been occupied by the Kawasaki Eliminator and the Yamaha V-Max, (as well as the 1980s Magnas), was bolstered in 1993 with the Magna 750. As an early release 1994 model, Honda sought to capture the market for powerful cruisers by lifting the engine from the VFR750 and slotting it in a cruiser chassis. The engine itself was beautified by the addition of chrome and some extra fins, and by the chromed 4 into 4 exhaust. The seat was kept very low, at 28 inches, with the passenger seat being detachable. The all new frame was complemented by 41 mm forks, dual shocks, and a single disc on the front. A drum brake was used on the rear. A few internal changes were made to the VFR engine for use in the Magna, including a different crankshaft, a 5 speed transmission and chain driven cams. Smaller carbs were also utilized. The changes resulted in a stronger mid-range pull, and a very broad band of power.

The design of the 3rd generation Magna remained relatively unchanged over its lifetime. The tank decal was changed in 1995, and a miniature fairing was available on 1995 and 1996 Deluxe models. The only practical way to tell the year of a Magna from a distance is by its paint scheme, but even that is not a given since only a few colours were rotated through use. The most distinctive paint scheme was a "scalloped" design found on mid-late 1990s models.

2004 saw the demise of the Magna, along with other Honda stablemates such as the V-Twin Shadow ACE and Shadow Spirit, as well as the 6-cylinder Valkyrie. All these bikes have a strong following in their respective categories, and their current owners are saddened at the huge loss. However, just as the Magna was discontinued for a number of years between the 2nd and 3rd generations, it is rumored that there is a 4th generation Magna waiting in the wings that would satisfy enthusiasts' desires. One possible configuration includes dual-disc brakes up front, a single rear disc brake, extended range between refueling stops, a better stock seat, and updated styling. It has been suggested that the current iteration of the VFR800 with VTEC would make an ideal candidate, while other adherents would like to see the return of the V65 in Magna guise.


  • Engine Type: 748 cc liquid-cooled 90° V-4
  • Bore and Stroke: 70 by 48.6 mm
  • Compression Ratio: 10.8:1
  • MAX POWER[PS/rpm]: 72 PS / 9500 rpm
  • Valve Train: DOHC; 4 valves per cylinder
  • Carburetion: Four 34 mm CV
  • Ignition: Solid-state digital
  • Transmission: 5-speed
  • Final Drive: O-ring-sealed chain
  • Front Suspension: 41 mm cartridge fork; 150 mm? travel
  • Rear Suspension: Dual shocks with 5-way spring preload adjustability; 3.9 inches (100 mm) travel
  • Front Brake: 2-piston caliper, 12.4 in (315 mm) disc
  • Rear Brake: Single-leading-shoe drum
  • Front Tire: 120/80-17 tubeless
  • Rear Tire: 150/80-15 tubeless
  • Wheelbase: 65.0 inches (1.65 m)
  • Rake/trail: 32°/5.2 in (132 mm)
  • Seat Height: 28.0 inches (711 mm)
  • Dry Weight: 505 pounds (229 kg)
  • Wet weight: 539 lb (244 kg)
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.6 gallons (13.62 litres), including 0.8 gallon reserve
  • Oil Capacity: 3.3 Quarts (3.1 Liters)
  • Quarter mile (402 m) acceleration: 12.71 s, 102.9 mph (165.6 km/h)
  • 200 yard (183 m) top-gear acceleration from 50 mph (80 km/h), terminal speed: 73.0 mph (117 km/h)


External links