On twisting roads as well as around town, the 1100 requires only a moderate amount of steering effort. Nice. However, when you're busting along hard on curvy roads, the Magna feels disconcertingly vague through the handlebar. Several factors may contribute to this feeling.
First, the V65's seat and controls push the rider's weight more rearward than on a sporting bike. On a sport bike a frisky riding pilot naturally moves himself even more forward than normal, applies weight to the bars, and rides with the balls of his feet on the pegs. It's an active riding position. In fast going the Magna's more passive position does little for rider confidence. Our staffers didn't like the bar - we felt as if we were steering the V65 with a tiller.
Second, the V65's percentage of weight distribution (dry and unladen) is 45 front/55 rear (the CB1100 F's is 49 front/51 rear), and it's reasonable to assume that the V65 rider would bias that distribution even more toward the rear - though what makes the front tire stick in corners is more complex than where the weight is.
Third, the V65 engine punches so hard out of corners that the front end naturally will feel light under acceleration.
And there's nothing like horsepower to quicken up the steering of any bike. In more practical terms, you'll have to go riding with your friends and their full sporting 1100s only once to decide you won't clean up on them when the roads get twisty.
The Magna's brute torque and mile wide power spread make the bike a joy to ride. With a little deft clutch work, the VF will idle away from a dead stop, even carrying two riders, without so much as a blip of the throttle. That's low end torque! Still, the engine revs readily up to redline, and it's all too easy to send the tach needle deep into
the red zone because the bike runs so smoothly. When you cruise the 1100 in freeway traffic, everybody else seems to be poking along, clogging the road at a snail's pace. But a quick glance at the instruments explains the situation; thanks to the tall gearing, strong engine and smooth ride you're cruising at 80 mph or more.
Riders must make a conscious effort to observe the legal limit. Passing in top gear is effortless, but if you want to swoop by cars with authority, dropping down to fifth or even fourth delivers passes in an eye blink or two.
We paid for our right handed excesses with mediocre mileage results. Steady cruising netted figures in the Iow 40 mpg range, but our average fuel consumption rate worked out to an un-spectacular 36.1 mpg. The low fuel warning indicator, which lights up when only 0.8 gallon remains in the 4.5 gallon tank, usually winked on after about 135 miles, giving the rider about 30 miles to find a gas station; the Magna has no reserve capacity. ..
Our Magna started easily on chilly mornings, and the handlebar mounted choke lever is conveniently located for
left hand adjustment. The Honda runs happily after minimal warm up and carburets well, hot or cold, under all engine conditions .
The hydraulic clutch actuating setup eliminates any