1994 Honda VF750C Magna
Can't decide between a bullet bike or a cruiser? Pick up a third generation Magna
No failures. Some of the very early 94 Magna's had a slight knocking sound at idle when the bike was leaned to the side, including mine. This is caused by the cams shifting to the side, and the end of the cam shaft rubbing on the journal at either end of the cam shaft. It is corrected by removing the journals and drilling two small holes in the journal to allow more oil to lubricate the end of the cam shaft. Search for the Honda service bulletin for instructions. I did this myself. As far as I know this wasn't a wear issue, just a fix for a mildly annoying noise.
Some of the early bikes also had a lean spot in the lower revs which would cause the bike to surge slightly. This is easily corrected by purchasing four plastic shims from Dave Dodge Racing for about $5 and slipping them over the end of the needle on the diaphragm. Completely fixed the problem without doing a full re-jet of the carbs.
My first real street bike was a 74 CB750 that I resurrected after sitting for nearly 20 years. After about three years I sold it and bought an 82 V45 that I got for a steal at $550. Three years later I had a guy offer me $1700 for it. I had been considering upgrading to a third generation Magna, so I took the money. About two weeks later I found the 94 that I only paid $2700 for. I could sell it today for $3500.
These bikes are fantastic. Not perfect, but you won't find a better combination of power, handling, reliability, and looks in another bike.
I'm quite short at 5'5" and the low seat height is great. Taller riders complain about the ergonomics and often switch to forward controls. The seat is a little too soft for long rides, but still better than my 82, and better than most. The Corbin seats are fantastic (they feel hard at first but don't let that fool you) but pricey. The stock Corbin's also push me too far back to reach the bars comfortably. However if you really want a Corbin and are willing to go to the expense, I hear you can go to the factory in California and they will custom fit a seat for you.
My yellow Magna gets lots of comments from other riders. In spite of what my wife said after I brought it home, even guys are impressed by the color (nobody knocks Corvette Yellow, do they!). The only addition I've made is adding a small Hondaline sport windshield. Something slightly larger would do better preventing my head from being buffeted above about 60 mph.
These bikes are well built, as trouble-free as you'll find, and require little maintenance. I consistently get 45 mpg around town. I would buy another in a heartbeat.
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 17th June, 2008
19th Apr 2013, 23:50
I was looking at your post, and what drew my attention was the seat. I have been looking for a seat, because I am 6' & the factory seat is just too small. I find myself wanting to stretch my legs, but forward controls may be the ticket.
Also I have that little knock at idle when the kick stand is down. It's good to know it's not a rod knock.
Also I had the same carb issue. I'll have to look into that. Well I learned a lot from your post.