Cycle 1983,  Honda V65 Magna
By SabMag Scandinavia,, 2005

This figure, combined with the V65's rake and trail of 30.3 degrees and 4.1 inches, suggests the Magna might be cumbersome and slow steering. Not true. Around town and in 'parking lots the V65 handles just fine.

The VF1100 feels distinctly long and unmistakably big, yet it requires only average steering effort through the handlebar. The 31.6 inch high seat is not especially low, but the Honda still feels fairly agile for an 1100. Honda engineers have done much to keep the weight low in the bike-the basic engine design, of course, is instrumental. her features such as the small under saddle gas tank contribute as well. Actually, styling trimmed the main tank's volume, and the V65's under tank airbox and filter also steal space from he main tank. The under seat tank and it's fuel pump were the answer.

Following Special styling, the rider's portion of the two tiered seat is wide and well padded, although the steep step confines the pilot's space. While most riders will find it adequate for in town trolling, passengers get shortchanged; their pegs are too high, and the narrow, firm rear portion of the seat has the comfort of a bird cage bar.

Once the rider enthrones himself in the saddle, the pullback handlebar and the forward mounted footpegs define his position. The pegs aren't as radical as the VT750C Shadow's, and that's good for comfort and control ' Given the V65's eyeball flattening acceleration, a riding position mimicking a tipped back rocking chair would be dangerous. The forward mounted pegs are convenient if you're paddling the V65 around a parking lot, and while the bar has two way adjustability, it has, too much pullback to please our staff.

Although the riding position may be a strong selling point on the showroom floor and a viable stance for stoplight to stoplight warfare, the bike's ergonomics offer the rider very little support, at freeway speeds. Arm, back and stomach muscles must position him against the windstream. This sort of onboard isometrics is no sweat for short hops. After 30 minutes though especially if you're riding at supra legal speeds you'll feel as though you've been working overtime at your Nautilus club.
Although long legged riders can use the passenger pegs for, a brief change in position, the reach back leaves their legs nearly folded double in the process. Shorter riders can't reach the rear pegs at all. For them, a radical forward crouch proves most effective, though it places their torsos at an awkward angle and their faces mere inches from the handlebar. Short of changing the bar/seat/peg relationships, the best remedy is to ride in half hour spurts.

In a somewhat surprising move, Honda equipped the VF1100 with suspension components based for sport riding. The up and down torque reaction of shaft driven bikes forces manufacturers to make trade offs when selecting rear suspension components. Typically, light spring and damping rates provide a soft, cushy ride at the expense of backroad handling, while a taut, well damped rear suspension makes fast riding easier and steadier at the expense of slow cruising

The 1100 head incorporates many of the 750
V four design concepts: the 38 degree included valve angle is the same and the combustion chamber is shaped to concentrate most of the fuel charge near the centrally located spark plug holes to promote rapid flame travel. Each cam lobe actuates a pair of valves via a forked follower equipped with screw type adjusters.

comfort. Adjustable shock damping and air adjustable springing usually provide an effective, albeit expensive, compromise that gives a rider latitude in setting his bike up for specific tasks.

The Magna's rear shocks have state of the art adjustability: two way adjustable compression damping and four way adjustable rebound damping.
The springing is not air adjustable, and Honda engineers selected spring rates that are decidedly stiff. Our heavier (185 pound) testers found the rear end firm, but acceptably soft for freeway cruising when the springs were set at minimum preload.
Lighter testers found the ride stiff and harsh, and the riding position tends to exacerbate this assessment.
The reclining riding position centers most of the rider's weight back toward the tailbone, and every bump and seam in the road transfers a sharp jolt directly to the rider's spine.

For backroad riding, Honda's choice of sporting shocks pays off handsomely. Set up stiffly, the VF's suspension damps well over all types of road surfaces, from fast sweepers to slow, knotty corners; however, the air adjustable fork flexes perceptibly when winding through unusually bumpy sweepers. The Magna's triple disc brakes offer excellent feel and stopping power, and the anti dive valving effectively preserves ground clearance during simultaneous braking and turning. The 1100 offers a good amount of ground clearance, and the stiff rear end does a good job of controlling the shaft drive's up and down motions. The stylishly wide tires put a big patch of rubber on the road.

Stored from by SabMag Scandinavia
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