It’s Magna time! – Honda V65 Magna from 1983

This morning, my wife is dropping me off at the barn and I get to ride my 1983 V65 Magna home. It’s a red letter day!

Normally, by now, I would have the motorcycles home from storage out at the farm. This year, we have been blessed with cold weather most of the spring and we have been very busy with other things.

A little history: When I was in High School in 1983 the Honda V65 Magna was introduced to the world and it was every motorcycle loving 17 year old’s dream bike. I was no exception. Although at the time, I had now way of affording a brand new motorcycle. I was still riding my 1973 Yamaha RD 200 Electric and my Dad’s Honda CB450. Over the years I have had a few other bikes such as a Yamaha 400 Special, Yamaha 650 Special and a couple of dirt bikes. Flash forward to 2004. A friend of mine was buying a Honda VTX 1800C and needed to get rid of his “old bike”. I asked him what kind of bike was it ( I never saw him ride a motorcycle before that ). He said it was an Old Honda Magna and he wanted $xxxx for it. I said I would take a look at it. When I pulled into his driveway I about S*** my pants! It was my dream bike. At that point it was 21 years old and had 25,000 miles on it. It had been layed down but was repaired and ran good. I bought it on the spot.

Since then, I have put about 6000 miles on it and added a few things. A windsheild, an old fart’s backrest and GPS. This year I’m going to add a camera mount so I can do some videos using my flip camera.

Here is a 1983 TV AD for this bike:

The V65 Magna was the fastest production motorcycle from 1983-1986 when they quit making them. It has 120hp and only weighs like 450lbs. They say the top speed is somewhere in the 150mph range. I’ve never had the guts to go that fast.. Maybe someday on a track, but I doubt it. The acceleration is incredible. 0-55 can be done in about 35 feet and 3 seconds. It’s CRAZY fast.. All while getting 45mpg! I’m kind of a slow rider so I never get crazy on it, but it’s nice to know the power is there when needed (or wanted)

This is my motorcycle last fall.

So, I look forward to putting a few miles on it today and then get it cleaned up and ready for the motorcycle season here in Michigan (however short it is)

21 thoughts on “It’s Magna time! – Honda V65 Magna from 1983”

  1. I have a 83 v45 magna and would like to rig up a video camera mount for my flip camera I see you mentioned doing something similar, could you post some photos of your rig?

  2. Mike, I too have a V65. Mine is an 84 model. I have really enjoyed the bike and will most likely keep it even if I add another one to the stall. Tell me about the old fart backrest you added. I too need one but can’t afford the KG Slider. Where did you buy? Thanks abd keep enjoying the V65.

    Madison, MS

  3. I own a 1985 v45 700cc Magna. Its my first bike, and I’ve ridden it for 4 years now.

    Another correction I’d like to make to your article.

    The V65 Magna was the fastest bike from 1983-1984 only. When the VMAX hit the stage in 1985, it took the record for the fastest bike in the quarter mile.

    IMHO, the V65 Magna still rocks to this day as it is fuel efficient, good drag bike, faster than most bikes (except modern day sportbikes (CBR 600/1000, GIXXER 600/1000, Kawa etc.. and modern day power cruisers (VMAX, Triumph Rocket 3, etc..)

    The v65 Magna was rated at 4.2 seconds in 0-60 while my V45 Magna is rated at 4.6 seconds in the quarter mile. Although the thought of owning a 65 Magna would be cool, I’ll probably be pursing a newer VFR for my next steed.

    Great Story btw!

  4. Mike,I too as a teenager wanted the v45 or v65 real bad.Got a 83 v45 when I was in the airforce. This spring a friend bought a new Harley and I asked what are you doing with that v65? He said its yours if you want to buy it.I said sold before I new what he wanted for it. He gave me a great deal.Come to find out it only had 7450 miles on it . Thats super low for a 85 model.I liked the v45 but that v65 just is unreal. Talk about a power band. I also have a short riding being up in northwestern Minnesota. Thanks for the good story.

  5. I’ve seen hp numbers for the V65 anywhere from 106 to 119, so I’m guessing 110 is about right. Top speed is 170 mph, give or take a couple. Dry weight is 584-591 depending on year, so curb weight (with gas, oil, antifreeze) is probably about 615 or 620.

    One thing is certain though…they are wickedly fast and wildly wonderful machines. I’ll never part with mine.

  6. Well i did it. I have always wanted one of these Honda’s, so when i found an 83 V45 in the paper i drove 2 hours to get it. I was not disappointed. But now i need some help. I am looking for a factory back rest so my wife will not feel like she is sliding off when i hit the gas. hahaha. Please help me if you can, TJ 1983 VF750C

  7. I found a person that has them manufactured new, for the V65, sells them for the same price a used one normally goes for.

    Give him a call and see if it’ll fit the V45

    His name is Keith Lee .
    Smart Cycle Parts

    I bought both the backrest and the small luggage rack that goes behind it.
    Exactly the same as the factory one on a friends V65
    Am very satisfied

  8. I have a 85 vmax that eats v65’s in the 1/4 mile( on a track)
    the v65 is a fast cruiser. but the vmax is a true hotrod.
    ride safe and enjoy whatever you ride

  9. I bought a new V65 Magna in 1984. It was my second bike. I was in the Air Force and was 21 years old. I only weighed about 160 so that bike really snapped my head back when I twisted the throttle. I still remember the words of a motorcycle mag writter (Cycle World?), He said “In the arena of stop light warfare, this is the Doomsday Machine. I do recall that in 85 the VMax came out and was a hair faster. The VMax did not eat a V65 in the quarter mile. Lol Woody. You should know that a skilled rider makes quite a difference on the drag strip. You might just be a much better rider Woody. I had a hell of a time beating my friend off the line and he was riding a 83 Honda Interceptor (750). He was just better off the line. I rode my V65 accross the country in the summer of 84 and it was a slice of freedom that I will never forget. No bills, no mortgage, no car or bike payment, no kids, just freedom and the open road. The bike rode like a cadilac even in the rocky mountains going up hill. I passed a LOT of Harley riders struggling with thier old 70s bikes. I parked that bike in my parents garage and went overseas for the next 3 years. I only rode it for less than 90 days. It was a rare piece of my youth and it makes me feel funny every time I see one still on the road.

  10. i just bought my 6th v65. This one has too much play in the drive line. I followed the play to the shaft that runs through the back of the engine by removing the rear wheel etc. etc. etc. I was told that further research would require removing the engine. Chickened out at that point and suspect the solution may be on the other side of the engine in the cluch area. Help…

  11. The VMax is truly a fast bike. But if you’ve ever taken one one a little ride and got on it a little, you will notice that 60 miles is about the MAX distance before needing gas. Thats even a little far… with my v65, I can go 120 miles. Thats a little more realistic for a cruiser. Check out for yourself the size of a vmax gas tank. Its a beautiful bike, but kinna impractical to ride very far.

  12. Interestingly, while the Vmax is known for the 10.8 1/4 mile and Wikipedia lists the V-65 Magna as 11.2, Wikipedia still claims that Guiness gives the title to the V-65 Magna for 85-89.
    ok, so I’ve had both. An ’88 Vmax, which I sold for some dumb reason, and an 84 V-65 Magna, which I still ride. The difference between to 2 comes down to rider. There are very comparable in 1/4 mile performance. Personally, I think the Vmax wins in the looks category but the Magna wins in the scary category because you sit so much taller on it and mine feels a little squirly in high speed corners.
    I think they both have power plants that exceed their frame and suspension.

  13. Dan, I need to correct you on one of the numbers. I had a 84′ V65 Magna. The bike was tested in a bunch of the bike mags. and it would hit 0-60 in 3.2 seconds not 4.2. The bike is not that slow. I would bet that most people that ride one (unless they have raced bikes and weigh 160 lbs) may get closer to the 4.2. Can’t say much about the top speed, the fastest I’ve been on it was 135-140 mph. Its a little hard to see the speedo going that fast. I wish I still had the bike but I had to sell it to pay for College. Bummer!

  14. I also own an 83 V-65. I am the original owner and the bike has 28,ooo miles on it. Been on a couple long road trips with it and absolutely love the bike. When I saw the Cycle World ad I had to have one, at the time I was riding a 650 Maxim which was also a great bike but nothing compared to the V-65 at the time. I also think I will keep it forever.

  15. Both the V max and the V 65 magna are incredible bikes. When I was in high school I had a V65 and never lost a race! I also took it to college and had a blast! I had a great time on that bike! I do recall that the V65 was the first production bike to break into the 10 second 1/4 mile. I believe it was about 10.8 seconds which at the time was a little faster than the V max. I now own a 2003 v max which I enjoy. I can get about 120 miles out of a tank of fuel which is not bad. Comparing the two, the power is very close but I think the v max edges out the V65. As far as the comfort V65 hands down! The pegs are too high on the V max! It’s like a crotch rocket! By the way is there a kit to lower those pegs? As far as looks I think the V max takes it! Overall…well, I had the time of my life on that V65!!!!

  16. I have read alot about these bikes. I love them!!!!! I bought mine to clean and resale but after putting a few miles on it i cant part with it. My first bike was a VTX1800. I thought it was going to be hard to find another bike ( cruzer ) to compare in thrills of excelleration that i could afford in this time of economic disaster until i stumbled upon my 85 magna. Best 1500 I have ever spent. I wanted the v-max and almost bought one until the deal fell through but after riding this bike it would be and has always been a very close comparison. I have desecrated some of todays crotch rockets from stoplights on this bike and i usally get about 145 miles before my gas light comes on. However is does have a curb appell of a huffy with a flat tire that is rusted out but i enjoy the looks of what the h#ll is that??? The other is when you talk to some of the older bikers ( I’m 31 ) and they remember the old days and tell stories about all the bikes that they outran on it or being beat by it. I wish Honda would bring back the V4. With todays advanced fuel injection and engineering one could only imagine what it would be like.

  17. hey mike im also from michigan and just bought a v65 this last spring its the 83 and I love it. ride with friends that have harleys and hyabusas and let me tell you that its fun tryin to keep up with the busa I have had my v65 up to 150 and that was a rush but its hard to hold on. peace out and ride safe.

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