6th Sep 2010, 11:25

With windshield, and bags, riding this bike on a windy day was like a near death experience. You'd think with the raked out front end, it would have wanted to track fairly straight on the open road. Not so. It was a handful, and trust me when we got to the twisting mountain roads, cornering this thing was like a crapshoot, even at low speeds. With the oversized front tire, parking lots were also a hell of a lot of work. The only thing I can say that I was impressed by was that V-4 750 engine.

If you're in the market for an entry level cruiser, or want something lightweight for your wife to ride with you, either pass this one up, or get her some really great life insurance.

20th Mar 2011, 20:53

My Magna tracks great in the wind, & I live near the Altamont Pass with the windmills. I have a CEE Bailey windshield; not as big as most & I am only 5'7" @ 170lbs. I don't have bags, but do want to get a set of LeatherLyke Traditionals.

22nd Mar 2011, 06:28

Try a different windshield, I have a Memphis Shades windscreen, and have gone 120 MPH with no wobble or scary handling, Also try putting the rear shocks on full damping. It made a great difference on my bike, from when it was set on its softest setting, Good luck!!!

6th Aug 2011, 15:59

I have a 94 with 43k miles. It idles smooth below 1k after warm up. Had it re-jetted, removed baffles, pulls good below 3 grand for sneaking in or out. K&N air filters, larger jets and no baffles greatly improved performance with synchronizing the 4 carbs. They must be on the money. Need a lot of open road if the 9k shift point is used in all gears. Get a crotch rocket guy to tune it; a cruiser guys won't have a clue.

16th Oct 2011, 01:37

I have had 47 bikes, 2 of them new HDs, and my 95 Magna is the best for the dollar. I purchased my Honda for $1800, and put 1000 in it. If you want a smooth, fast, comfortable cruiser, the Magna is it. I have had a Kawasaki 750LTD, a Yamaha 600 Radian, a GS1000L Suzuki, and a Honda 650 Cruiser, and the Magna rates above them.

27th Apr 2012, 03:43

Just purchased a 1998 750 Magna with 9100 miles on it. Can't wait until the weekend to take it out for a long ride.

27th Dec 2014, 18:03

Near death experience?

I'm going to guess you have little to no experience with motorcycles. Or perhaps you've only ridden either large heavy bikes with no power, or small "crotch rockets" with better brakes and more modern suspensions (including radial tires).

I've been riding for close to 50 years and this is my second Magna (it's a '94 gen 3). My other Magna was an '82 (first gen).

While I think the Magna would have been better with a rear disk brake, I still find the drum adequate (you just need to know how to use the brakes). It was a long time and many bikes before I even had a disk brake on a bike... I had old Hondas and mostly British bikes (Triumph, BSA and Norton - when the 800 Norton was the biggest and baddest bike around... and no disk brakes).

I find the balance of the gen 3 Magna incredibly good for a cruiser. If you think it wasn't stable, you've obviously never ridden a Harley or for that matter, any 700-2000 cc cruiser. The Magna handles better than any power-cruiser I've ever rode.

My son has a brand new Kawasaki Ninja 600, which is faster than the Magna, but not at the lower end.

A comment about the Magna not being able to keep up with the VTX 1800 and the Valkyrie... They are all right around the same as far as acceleration and time in the quarter mile. The larger displacement bikes will cross the finish line at a higher speed and then pull away from the Magna, but for that first 440 yards, they are virtually all going to run in a dead heat. The Valkyrie had double the displacement of the Magna and the VTX 1800 has even more (no real substitute for size, plus the VTX has fuel injection).

The Magna however (the 3rd gen) has a chain drive, which gives it an edge in performance (one thing I feel is an improvement over the shaft drive of my '82 gen 1 Magna - YMMV). You will NEVER see a shaft drive on a sport bike!

You talk about the Magna having a long rake - as if it's a chopper - it's very far from that, and in fact is more like a standard bike than many so called "cruisers" (which is why I'm guessing your experience is on small bikes - maybe scooters?).

Maybe I've been lucky in that I've never had the "power surge" issues I've read about in some gen 3 Magna, but as has been said, getting the carbs synced is the cure and should be permanent (assuming the bike is otherwise well maintained - which requires very little other than oil changes - and if not ridden in the winter, then starting the bike up occasionally, and making sure to keep the gas tank filled to prevent condensation, which will end up messing up the carbs with water and dirty gas).

Read the Wikipedia article about the Magna - it's reliable enough that some older woman (a grandmother) rode around the world on a Magna without a support team. That is putting faith in the bike's reliability!

As for the rear tire being large... seriously? It's as standard as I can imagine - a 150/80/15 is a large wide tire? And up front a 120/80/17 is a skinny tire? In what universe?

The Magna isn't the best handling bike in the world, but among cruisers, even after being discontinued for over a decade and basically unchanged for over 20 years, it's among the best handling cruisers still - same with its usable power. It's not going to keep up with a liter sport bike with over twice the horsepower, but aside from the Harley V-Rod, it will walk away from any V-Twin I can think of.

Like other Magna fans, I'm hoping that a 4th generation Magna will become a reality. The VFR1200 engine in a cruiser frame seems almost too obvious. And yes, it would be "de-tuned" to get more torque and less horsepower (no one needs a bike to run at red line in high gear on the street... who needs to go over 80 MPH, let alone 180 MPH?)

Lastly, you said you rode the Magna and had a "near death experience" - but how many times did you ride a Magna?

I've NEVER heard anyone say the Magna wasn't rock-steady on the road in any sane riding conditions.

Check out v4musclebike.com and get an idea of what owners think of their bikes. Riding any bike one time means nothing.

Peace, D.

23rd Apr 2016, 02:20

Well said sir.

14th May 2016, 02:50

I've owned many Magnas from 1984, 1985, 1987, 1994, 1995, 1987 (Super Magna) 1997, 2001 in 700-750cc (a few V65s also) and enjoyed every single one of them.

The 3rd generation Magna has its shortcomings. They went to a cable clutch, drum rear brake, single brake rotor up front, chain drive (maintenance, when all the other earlier Magnas were shaft drive). The good is none of that really effects the bike.

It's got a longer frame so it fits taller riders better. No fuel gauge. Seat isn't the most comfortable and not much room for a passenger, but none of them offered much of that anyway.

It's a low dollar bike and V4 reliability. Nice torque curve on any V4 Honda. Really peppy near the redline like most 4 cylinder bikes. It has more of a cruiser feel to it. Not a fan of the chain, but the rest of the bike is more dependable than the previous models.

So many questioned the oil system on the 1st and 2nd gen bikes. No one complains about premature lube failure on the valve train on the 3rd gen.