The Magna grew in stature for me during this test. It’s odd, but I had never taken that much notice of Honda’s V-4 before this. It was nice enough to ride, worked nearly flawlessly, and except for the fact that it has a chain, had no noticeable shortcomings.
Maybe I was distracted by other newer bikes (which is almost anything) on the other occasions we tested it. Certainly the V-Max was a bigger attention-getter when it and the Magna showed up for our musclebikes issue. I expected the Magna to place respectably in this group, but I wasn’t prepared to like it so much at the end of a day of romping around the same little triangle of demanding roads. However, somewhere on the second leg of its lap, having experienced most of the other bikes on the same loop, it became very clear that I was having a lot of fun and feeling -pretty damn confident too. Some of the appeal is the engine which—for my money—is the best sport-cruising powerplant around, delivering plenty of acceleration, crisp shifting, a wide (3000 to 9700 rpm) powerband and light flywheels. (Will somebody explain to me what’s the fascination with lots of flywheel mass?) The chassis isn’t flawless, but I can work with the brakes and replace the tires. It is also a great ride when you are traveling, commuting or simply trolling. So it gets my vote.