Honda VF700C Magna: 1987 Rider Magazine

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Honda V-Twin Magna

Retrospective: Honda VF700C 1987

Clement Salvadori

22, 2007

(This Retrospective appeared in the August 2007 of Rider .)

STORY and photography BY SALVADORI

If it succeeds the first make it even better—that have been Soichiro motto.

When Honda the Magna for the 1987 model it did a heckuva job, turning a distracted-looking cruiser into facsimile of a stoplight dragster.

sells, the company realized a bit and the Go-Bot (recalling those from Tonka) aspect of the generation of Magnas could be improved upon. Give the a little flow, smooth out the integrate the whole design…which was and with flourish.

Hark to when the Japanese began out “cruiser” models in the mid-1970s; Americans doubted that any stylist had even been The Honda folk thought the key should be a stepped saddle, rear tire, lower height, slightly extended smaller gas tank and high-rise It ended up with some curious motorcycles by traditional but the buying public ate them up, down the cash.

Which, in the case of the 1982 VF750C Magna, meant For that you got a mildly futuristic with a small, steeply 2.6-gallon gas tank, which served to cover the airbox and air The tank was so small that felt the need to put a second tank under the saddle, a fuel pump. Obviously it had not a good hard look at popular Sportster, with the “peanut” tank.

There was no on the petcock, just a warning when the fuel level sufficiently.

The footpegs, by company were way far forward, the farthest on a Honda. And the four-into-two exhaust was also unusually loud. The kicked-out front fork, 37mm tubes and a 30-degree gave over 5 inches of which could easily be up when clamping down on the two discs with two-piston

A slightly reduced-in-diameter 16-inch wheel, protected by a 130/90 and a pair of short shocks 3.9 inches of play, helped the seat down to 30  inches the asphalt. The front wheel was a 18-incher, same as on the sibling model, the VF750S—S for Standard? for the Magna was barely over 5 inches.

The motor of this Great little play on words as loosely translates as Great—was a DOHC 90-degree 748cc a brand-new design on which had bet not the entire farm, but at least the 40 acres. The side panels had V45 writ large, a nod to the American use of inches—45ci equals 750 cubic

This was the 65 horsepower (at the wheel) of the bike, turning 12-second times at well over a 100 which could effortlessly off most of the cruiser competition, Harley’s highly touted XLX Sportster to Kawasaki’s four-cylinder 750 and Yamaha’s V-twin Viragos. was an exceptional engine, but it would Honda much financial over the next few years; it well in the moderately tuned and Sabre models, but developed oiling problems in the 75-horsepower That  problem was fixed, as my Ozark friend says, a dog a bad name, might as well him.”

For the 1983 model year introduced another Go-Bottish the V-twin VT750 Shadow, was well received by the buying This was when Honda and were in furious competition and out many new models—some good, ill-advised. In 1984 Harley got the to support its dumping suit and the 750s all became 700s.

The complied by reducing the … of cylinder 3.2 mm, for a displacement of 699cc or cubic inches, but minor to the cylinder heads kept the at about the same. And the V45 emblem from sight.

Honda V-Twin Magna

However, the motorcycle market was going and Honda’s VF series was not the grand the company had expected; it decided to the Sabre, but keep a revised as well as a revised Interceptor. marketing fellows, having at the success of the company’s V-twin decided that the Magna and the were competing with other, so the Magna would get the styling revision—and turn that street-going, dragster-styled Since the tariff was still on in it would still use the 700.

On this second-generation Magna the cradle frame remained much the same, but the underseat gas was tossed and an attractive 3.4-gallon tank was settled on. To give it stretched look the steering-head was increased to 35 degrees, with the tubes enlarged to 39mm so would be less likely to travel was now a shade over 6

This helped lengthen the to 66 inches, which is not exactly in the tight and twisty stuff, but on the open road. The twin at the rear were very improved, offering a tenth of an more wheel travel—now 4 inches. Pothole-absorbing suppleness was not an here; you wanted to look low and you paid the price.

Which, in dollar terms, was

Bigger news was the wheels. The wheel, still with a brake, was a lowly 15 inches a fattish 150/80 tire, but it had an cover plate pressed on, it look like a very solid cast wheel. the front wheel went the route, with a 19-inch and a 100/90 tire as well a disc with twin-piston

But the most intriguing aspect was with big side panels and mufflers. The panels had rather vents carefully molded in, for the heat from the rear to escape, and while some complained about the panels’ others thought they the machine a more aerodynamic along by the new bellypan.

Of greater/Magna were the mufflers on the four-into-four two biggish cans on each providing a pleasant staccato could intrude into the ears. With the proliferation of Honda wanted to make that the passing world that four cylinders at work here.

In 1987 the tariff was dropped, and for no real changes were except for the VF’s … returned to its original 48.6mm, capacity to 748cc. And quarter-mile were now in the high 11s. The had risen to $4,500, a 12 percent Flat market, high = no buyers.

The Magna disappeared 1988, as leftovers were for garage-sale prices.

However, a phoenix, it reappeared in 1994.

Honda V-Twin Magna
Honda V-Twin Magna
Honda V-Twin Magna
Honda V-Twin Magna
Honda V-Twin Magna
Honda V-Twin Magna


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