Honda builds a motorcycle mean enough for those guys who are tough enough to dip your heart out with a wooden spoon.
Don't be deceived. The 1100 Magna is not just another Special. Writing off the V65 as simply another boulevard parade float is like calling a 10 inch switchblade a pocket knife. It's true, but misses the point entirely. The term "Special" suggests highly styled motorcycles that go limp wristed when it's time to perform. But the V65 is a urban streetfighter through and through, a bike that can kick almost anything flat in a stoplight to stoplight brawl.
What makes this Special so special? In a word, the engine.
If you talk horsepower, the Magna speaks your language. Its horsepower translates directly into an immediate gut wrenching rush unmatched by any other production'. street machine. To a man, the cycle staff raved about the engine. With its wonderfully potent and flexible powerplant, this big four is a strong and willing worker that hums along happily at 1500 rpm or sings fortissimo at the 10,000 rpm redline. The best part of the V65 is a mid range punch that would do justice to Larry Holmes. Whack the throttle open at 5000 rpm in first gear and the front wheel claws for the sky while the Magna catapults forward.
These antics are interesting enough when you're mounted on an open class motocrosser but when a 589 pound motorcycle with a wheelbase of nearly 63 inches takes off like a carrier based F-14, it gets your full attention.
Honda built the V65 engine with technology carried over from the V45, but the big Magna has all new hardware,.
it shares no parts with the 750s. Though the designs are virtually identical, everything has been scaled to 1100cc specs.
The V65 benefits from Honda's extremely compact Vee engine design; at 17.4 inches, the 1100's engine is barely an inch wider than the narrow 750 V four. The Magna's 90 degree Vee angla sets the two front cylinders low and nearly horizontal, while the rear cylinders stand almost vertical. This right angle configuration produces perfect primary balance, and a short stroke limits secondary imbalances.