V45 magna may 1982 cycle article

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Honda Sabre Switchblade Concept

Honda has cut its V-four two ways. The is the New four with an appearance the Sabre The one faithful to function. The adheres to the shape that of all sells.

This is the motorcycle else was afraid Honda build someday. Those who worried should have and probably are now. Honda not have built this do five years ago, nor it a proper name.

Welcome to

Honda’s new 750. or V45 it you prefer, that the era oft the Universal Japanese given formal definition in magazine years ago, is an era in Honda could have a third generation UJM, a to the first CB750 series and the second (1979-to whenever), but did To be successful in the 1980s, a manufacturer produce something that is new and is as new.

Yamaha understood proposition first: designers up an old motorcycle in new and different clothes, the XS650 twin, and finally a new motorcycle in different clothes, the 750

Honda engineers started empty drafting tables and in their eye; the result is staggeringly new. You want a minted engine, a copy of and similar to nothing before? have this Vee-four four overhead camshafts, 16 water cooling six speeds and drive.

You’d have to be and deaf to miss the newness of motorcycle. You want a styling in cruiser mode, Milwaukee something with a dense, look in the engine compartment, that looks like it repel sledge-hammer blows?

At one Honda might have hesitating to pursue glitz and and the vagaries thereof. Today invites you to try the route to the Midwest via Japan. Now the Motorcycle Engineering has even found a toughie-boy for this mean-ish, Vee-four Magna It takes a hidden, fuel tank and a fuel to have both reasonable gas and a main gas tank in the cruiser and size.

So be it: then the Magna has two and one fuel pump. Eeeek: dictating function, right? Not Did anyone ever complain the Gold Wing has a fuel and tank buried in the wrong and a falsie-tank in front of the saddle?

The is this: when the engineering begins by tossing out the UJM concept and a completely new engine and motorcycle, form becomes just set of engineering issues that the deals with.

The Magna is ultimate weapon in market Here’s a motorcycle that for $3298, barely more than premium 550s. these V45s

Magna and could cut a broad swath motorcycling, from the 550 level The Sabre offers new with a bias, and the Magna new with an bias. If the functional purist have the Sabre option, be tempted to buy a Magna for the engine and then remake the rest of the to suit.

That would be Because, while Honda the same engine/drive train for the Sabre and Magna, the motorcycles are different machines. In the Magna, the seating position benefits the narrow engine, a bit more 16 inches wide at the pegs.

This means the footpegs can be far forward; and, in fact, the has the most radically forward-positioned of any Honda. With most four-cylinder engines, the rider have his feet splayed out and his in the alternator cover. The Magna’s cylinder head (9.0 across) allows the tank to narrow and still cover the below.

In both the Magna and low saddle height was an important The V-fours’ rear-bank cam covers apart in two sections; this is a of dropping the upper frame as low as possible, running them the top of the engine. And in the V-four frames, the engine-cradles unbolt to permit excavation of the engines.

With a height under 30 inches, the is a real low-rider. In this, the rear suspension aids; a shock positioned under the would, with the inclusion of components, require more elevation to get everything in and under. these components is the under-saddle gas which is the second part of an fuel system. An electric pump draws from the of the lower tank to feed the

Thus, styling considerations as tank shape) and engineering (such as low saddle height) served by building a twin-shocker.

the broad, flat seat, the reaches out to the handlebar, the grips of angle back, down and positioning the rider’s hands forward of a vertical line from the footpegs. Now that’s pegs. The Magna gas tank smaller and narrower than the smaller it is, because the air filter unlike the Sabre’s, live the tank. But, curiously, the

1-gallon fuel tank with main upper Fuel pump draws lower tanks bottom. system has straight on-off no reserve position.

Under compactness keeps seat low.

Magna’s air cleaner under the tank between the tubes. Undressed bike all available space occupied.

tank is wider and lower the Sabre’s at knee-contact points.

The low forward pegs and erect position allow short to get both feet planted on the ground at stops, where legs will be behind the That’s terrific for stoplight on the avenue; the ergonomics are less outside city limits.

The pegs and the resulting riding conspire to make the Magna a motorcycle, regardless of how cushy the might be. Fifty miles of riding is acceptable; 150 miles of riding in a single sitting our riders’ limits. One tester wore his Gold Belt he rode the Magna.

Peg location is the objectionable single feature it strains the back by forcing the to support upper-body weight; shoulders and hands bear no load at all. Wind aggravates the problem by making the pull into the bar.

they are less ergonomically than standard motorcycles, style bikes actually fit a range of riders. Parked in a at rest, they feel comfortable to everyone. In actual use, however, an individual physical characteristics explain of his reaction to the motorcycle’s comfort.

Riders who are large and overweight, or who are over six feet tall, or who relatively long legs and torsos, or who have back from age or injury are, in not good candidates for the sit-straight of ergonomics. But shorter riders, with relatively long and abort legs and with in good condition show sensitivity to the riding position of like the Magna. Bringing real test rides you wish) would probably an enormous number of riders whether a particular motorcycle is well suited to their characteristics and emotional preferences.

matched the Magna’s suspension to its position; compared with the both are mediocre. They’re a in another way The sit-up riding cries out for a soft rear to minimize road shocks to the rider’s spine. That has done, hut the choices aren’t here.

There are trade-offs. The low height means that the suspension can’t have travel, and the ever-popular shaft guarantees lots of rear sprung weight, which is difficult to control; matters are by a final-drive system that to extend the suspension under and settles down on trailing Makers have therefore shaft-drive motorcycles that around two poles.

At one pole are with firm to harsh suspensions that behave under hard riding tests handling; at the other are bikes that have pleasant rides on the freeway, and get under backroad pressure.

engineers seem to have that the Magna should be and freeway cushy: soft and light damping, and nothing The rear suspension units, trick-looking with their reservoirs, have no damping Five-position spring preload up the shock absorbers’ adjustability.

The suspension delivers a smooth and ride around town little preload (one or On straight highways at speed, to the third or fourth level is to cancel out a floaty sensation bumps, reminiscent of traditional luxury cars. Still, the short-travel rear suspension out over medium potholes, or by a passenger.

While it has reasonable clearance. the Magna resists riding over backroads. little preload. the bike rubbery and vague in corners bumps and on trailing throttle: a lot of helps, but you’re working the basic suspension decisions in Japan, there’s lust too spring, not much travel, not damping, and all that sprung The Magna needs less and more substance in the rear units — Fully damping, both rebound and and maybe air-assisted springing, give owners some to make their own suspension

The 37mm front fork is calibrated to the Magna’s cruiser It’s air-assisted fork have individual valves in and we experimented with air pressures 12 arid 22 psi. twelve let the fork soak up road though it didn’t quite less severe pavement such as slight pavement as well as the fork on our last CB1100F. At 12 psi the fork could be on driveway entrances.

Increased air pressure obviated bottoming problem without the fork’s compliance over dots.

The Magna’s built-in brace should help the tubes from twisting decisive input tram riders at high speeds. the steering feel very and instantaneous. Both the Sabre and have a greater distance their lower triple and axles than the current norm. If tying the sliders top and bottom reduces any flex-induced then Honda has been be cause the front fork is active.

Furthermore, the Magna and forks have their Syntallic bushings both in the sliders, rather than one on the and one in the sliders. The new system keeps the the same distance apart and the fork may be a little more when operating at near extension. Both bushings (and slide) against tubing.

The front fork is Honda’s version of anti-dive, in detail in the CB750 Nighthawk (April, 1982). Functionally, we this system on two counts: it does nut work off the master the front brake lever feels spongy: and TRAC more anti-dive effect, we than in other contemporary

The diminished front-end dive our test riders to use the front disc brake harder normal, thus provoking howl. You wouldn’t want do unless the brakes were and readable. Honda’s are. The employs the now familiar Honda calipers, elongated pads and discs.

On the Magna the non-adjustable brake lever seemingly has tree play, causing riders to pull against pressure with their an annoying niggle when winter riding gloves. the hand position on the Magna bar creates this impression by the lever at a greater reach standard bars do; the amount of free play is just

In any event two or three fingers can the wide-footprint 110-90 x 18 Dunlop tire. The rear drum built into the cast wheel, is small but works Motorcycling seems over its to fit 10 inch discs to rear

Honda has kissed good-bye to the wheels in favor of cast primarily a concession to styling than engineering. As a style the Magna must have cast wheels. The rim widths front: 3.00 rear) that the V-fours have 1982 tire requirements and are for future developments.

Indeed, rim is a more significant advance than wheel construction.

nudging the choke lever up, the key and hitting the starter button, not question where the greatest leap forward lies in the the engine. It has a throaty, gutsy sound, something like two 400T twins revving in More amazing is the sheer of this sound. Is it legal?

Decibel meters can’t between exhaust notes and noise emanating from cases; human ears Quiet the engine with cooling, silent timing and anti-backlash gears and, you can step up the good sounds, are clear and present to the rider at not at speed.

While the Sabre treats its to a display-panel light show, the has traditional dial face drive tachometer and speedometer, lights and a water-temperature gauge. lights reside under window panels, and indicators up the appropriate leg ends marked on the window panels. In shade, is fine; in strong, direct the lights are almost invisible. A might miss the fuel warning light during a cruise on a sunny day.

The generally winks on at 110 to 120 miles, when the main tank dry (2.6 gallons); but should you it for 30 miles, you’ll be about 10 away from pushing. The has no reserve tap, only an on off valve located behind the side-cover. Another surprise; the gas tank to the brim causes the cap to

Honda Sabre Switchblade Concept

The Magna, a hundred greenbacks than the Sabre, lacks two features of its mate. First, no turn signals; second, no safety cable. We didn’t the self extinguishing signals; for our the Sabre signals cycled far too a time and distance.

On the Magna, we have preferred the turn-signal lights at the top rather than the of the instrument panel.

By virtue of the looks, we think it’s likely than the Sabre to be off, but the Magna has only the of an ignition key fork lock The Sabre has a key activated, self and independently powered alarm into which plugs the end of a sheathed cable, normally in its place above the tool

The cable has a closed loop-eye on one the rider can lasso a lightpost and the male end into the receptacle the left sidecover. The sheathed has fiber-optic material in its center; if the is cut, a piercing little sounds. The system can’t be

The anti theft system is but the Magna doesn’t have it. For owners its an accessory alarm, and chain, garage or hard to combat

Wet weather riding is no with the Magna or the Sabre. The fenders are useless for water in all probability they are better nothing. The Magna’s rear is so short if seemingly does to keep the rear wheel from being pulled up and

Our advice to Magna riders who see a ahead, head for shelter.

Day or rain or shine, the effortless way the operates on the far distant side of is a tribute to the engine, its mounting and the sixth overdrive gear. the V-four has perfect primary the only concern might he secondary vibration at high speeds.

Yet this is inconsequential the engine attaches to the frame Magna and Sabre) with six mounts. four on the crankcases and two on the cylinder head; the mounting is identical to that on CB900F with two kinds of rubber in a the first controlling radial and the lateral vibrations. In this way vibrations fail to penetrate to the chassis and rider. Finally, the turns about 4500 rpm at 55 mph in and sixth drops the revs an indicated 4000 rpm.

At the drag strip the Magna an impressive 12.29-second quarter-mile, through at 109.62 mph; the cut through in 12.23 seconds at mph. These V-fours the Kawasaki KZ750E3 (December which posted a 12.276-second, pass at the drag strip. To the Magna is the fastest 750 we’ve put on the by about 0.4 mph, and the Sabre is the arriving at the quarter’s end a 0.046-second sooner than the KZ750.

we’d bubble over the raw numbers; the V-fours, however, the rider in a completely different the nonchalant almost detached way make this performance. No no busyness, just here’s a and it wasn’t much of a bother he on our way.

We decided the V-four he on its way to the dyno, despite the difficulties by mating a shaft drive to the dyno. Because the Honda V were so radically new and we were so about their power we had a special fixture built at the so the V-four could he put on the pump. We that despite differences in the air and pipes, both V fours had identical outputs. The Sabre to the dyno.

With the rear removed, the Sabre’s drive turned a special rear carrying a sprocket, which in linked to the dyno sprocket by of a chain. Bear in mind the method introduces one more between engine and dyno. not tentative, the figures reflect our experience: only further will demonstrate how completely taken this way can he compared others from chain-driven

The V-four’s horsepower and torque may he slightly higher than by our charts. Although the Magna and are about 20 and 30 pounds heavier, than the Kawasaki Kz750. the times for all three bikes practically the same

The V-four a bit more peak horsepower the K7750 (65.05 vs. 62.10), but the VF750 power spread compelling. Where the Kawasaki more than 59 horsepower a 1000-rpm hand, the V-four so over a 2000-rpm spread. there’s more horsepower the curve, which helps to why the heavier V-fours could run the Kawasaki at the strip.

The Kawasaki, has marginally better horsepower in general, from 2500 rpm to rpm. The quickest and fastest CH750F in our record books ran a 105.01 mph quarter mile, it the same kind of upper end power as the V-four, was about as down-range, and weighed about 30 pounds than the Magna. aside, the Magna and Sabre are

The V-four impresses riders as a broad, flat and high curve and a lot at pull-away power in gear.

That quality the V tour makes one wonder Honda has a touring Magna on the boards. Look how the pegs, linkage and brake pedal are out, and then think it. Honda could easily an alternative tank, seat, bar and for the Magna, then upgrade the suspension, and create an instant

The Magna’s seat, a his and her split number, corresponds to the riding and rear suspension. The riding drives long-legged riders putting their rumps or on the rise pocket; it’s for smaller people. The saddle is flat and soft in the rider’s If feels cushy enough, and a short rear suspension the seat must assume suspension duties.

Yet after 100 or so, a rider feels as if he’s the foam even though he it’s just that and bun-burn make him aware of the flatness and the stepped ride. For any one the ergonomic relationships and the saddle dictate a single seating From that pocket, the can get little fore-aft movement, and the footpegs are too far rearward to give the any alternate positioning.

Like the the Magna could use some seat work for those who want to ride more a 100 miles in a stretch.

Again the Sabre, the Magna throws heat back on the rider the radiator. California winter were cool enough we couldn’t quite determine how the heat throw-oft might be. A of 85 degree days indicated the outside temperature combined radiator throw-off and radiant from the rear cylinder would warm the Sabre legs and thighs to tolerable

Clipping along on the Sabre on a after noon might be The Magna, with its wider gas and different riding position, have the problem to the same as the Sabre In part, the rider’s are farther away from the also, the Magna’s riding encourages lower highway

We’d fake a fair of heat to get this engine; that much a functional in other ways. In functional the Magna is compromised compared the Sabre. Pure-blood sporting will proceed directly to the without so much as a look at the But guys who want that in a motorcycle with styling will gravitate to the Magna.

figures the Magna customers outnumber Sabre-types three or to one. These V-fours a giant step forward; represent a breath-stopping escalation of warfare in the motorcycle market; portend the arrival of a whole new of Honda street motorcycles; and the especially, announces that in the everyone will have to style and super tech

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