Nitroracer Dork
2/3/09 10:08 p.m.

A few days ago my Dad let me know someone he works with wants to get rid of an older bike they have at their house. I heard a mention about it again today so I want to find out whether its a worthy bike or a pile of problems. Machine in question is a 1986 Honda Magna V45 with about 6,500 miles on the clock. Price will be under a grand and I do believe it runs.

This wouldn't be my first bike, but would be my first strictly for the street. So I've got the basic idea of how to ride I just haven't very often. Mechanical work is no biggie either.

bluej HalfDork
2/3/09 10:57 p.m.

my challenge car has it's bigger brothers heart. v65

oiling issues with the cams, but I think they resolved it by then.

more info:

Mazdax605 Reader
2/4/09 5:42 a.m.

I can't help specifically,but my friend used to own a same vintage V45 Sabre which was the Magna's sportier brother (I think). It was stone reliable for him,and I wish I had boought it from him when he was selling it. I remember him talking about the cam oiling issues,but I don't think he experienced them. The Sabre was a very cool bike,and had a nice fairing,and gauge cluster,plus it was quick. I think the V45 refers to the cubic inches of the motor instead of cc's like most bikes. Good luck with the bike.


914Driver Dork
2/4/09 6:13 a.m.

I had one years ago; bought it for $800, cleaned it up (mostly carbs), put JC Whitney turn-out exhaust on it and sold it four years later for $800.

750cc V-4 shaft drive. You'll hear a lot about "shaft jacking" but I never saw any problem with it. Mine was drop dead reliable, not hard to look at and pretty quick. Actually one night I got a panic call from my wife and had to ride from Albany, NY to Canada; the .75:1 overdrive top gear was very nice to have.

Some info:


Xceler8x HalfDork
2/4/09 9:03 a.m.

Oiling problems in the top end. Keep the machine above 4500 and it's a non-issue. Also, the SabMag guys have figured out a work around. I can't remember if they have rectifier issues like the other V4's did.

I owned one years ago. It's a heavy bastard. Very comfortable for one or two up. The rev's stay low if you use the double overdrive. 5th gear is a .75 reduction and 6th gear is a .45 if I remember correctly. Air suspension in the front forks. At the top of the forks are chrome caps that will unscrew. It should also have an anti-dive front brake. When you hit the front brakes the caliper shifts back a hair and increases the fork spring rate. The shaft drive will jack a bit. It's the shaft trying to climb up the gear when you accelerate. It's hardly noticeable to me. The shaft drive on my bike was anvil reliable. No lubing, no adjusting. The carbs are a b!tch to work on as they're nested in the V of the motor. I would listen to the thing run. If it runs well the carbs should be ok. If it sat for any length of time they may be gummed up. Also, the cycle will probably need fork seals. I had to rebuild the front caliper on mine. It wasn't hard at all.

Sounds like a good deal if the bike is a runner.

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
2/4/09 9:17 a.m.

I considered buying one while I was in Colorado. The V45 Magna I was looking at was an early one and had the cam oiling issue. The shop I spoke with could've fixed the problem for $800 or so, but I passed on the bike.

The cam problem was intermittent, and sounded like something lose in the valvetrain. It would appear, and disappear without notice. I had the bike for a few weeks, and loved it.

Plenty of power, looks like a Japanese Harley, and the V4 makes a nice baritone wail.

I have a VFR Interceptor 500 now (same V4 design), and have had no issues with the drivetrain.

Nice bike, I wish I would've paid the extra $800 and brought it home.

foxtrapper SuperDork
2/4/09 12:15 p.m.

I had one. Bought it from a friend, and between the two of us we put something like 100k miles on it. Very reliable.

The oil issue was resolved long ago in production, and all the early models were recalled and had the oiling fixed.

The main cam issue is because it's only 3/4 supported on its bearings, with that 1/4 section exposed. When you go to adjust the valves you pry these dirty multi-piece valve covers up and over, dropping crud onto the bearing surfaces of the cam. It gets carried over to the soft aluminum of the head, and embeds.

The secondary cam issue is the screaming the engine can do. Wrapped up it tends to fling the oil off the cam lobes, and runs them effectively dry. Used to see it all the time in the shop. Guys that flogged their Magnas (and Sabres, and Intercepters) would have wiped out cam lobe tips. Guys that didn't wrap them up high all the time didn't have this damage.

Electricals were dead nuts reliable.

Neat anti-dive front suspension.

Tiny fuel tank. No range.

Horribly cramped carburetors. Trying to get them back in after you take them out will make you cry.

Suspension and chassis are nothing special. Generic 80's UJM cruiser shaftie.

Cooling system works fine, and cooks you well. It's a darn hot bike to ride in the summer.

Responds very well to air box modification and the dynojet stage I kit.

therex SuperDork
2/5/09 9:08 a.m.
foxtrapper wrote: Horribly cramped carburetors. Trying to get them back in after you take them out will make you cry.


I sort of had a VFR for a while, and the carbs were seriously out to get me.

alex Reader
2/5/09 9:34 a.m.
therex wrote:
foxtrapper wrote: Horribly cramped carburetors. Trying to get them back in after you take them out will make you cry.


I sort of had a VFR for a while, and the carbs were seriously out to get me.

Thirded. I'm glad I'll never have to work on these carbs again. Cramped, impossible to install/remove, and the linkage is a nightmarish puzzle.

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