Friday, July 12, 2013

Hello Magnus, my old friend. (V4 repair and revival)

I'll admit it. I let a bike I love sit for way too long. I never used to understand how someone could let a motorcycle sit and go to pasture before, but here I am with a bike that was in need of major repair. It was still drivable, but then the brakes started feeling very wooden, and to top it off the fork seal puked oil all over my rotors. So out of sheer frustration, I just let the bike sit for almost two years.

Now, it's not like I wasn't riding. I had a CB750 Nighthawk that I brought back from the grave, and I was working on my big CX500/650 Cafe/Adventure/Scrambler project. I finished the CX, sold the nighthawk, and finally, my eye fell to my 1984 Honda V65 Magna, sitting in the corner of the garage, dusty and lonely. Almost 80,000 miles on the clocks, but on her second motor. The original motor I broke second gear after 36,000 miles. Well, really more like 32,000, but I kept riding it another 4000 miles, skipping second gear. I put a nice 14,000 mile motor in her, and rode it until two years ago.

Removed bodywork and exhaust. Carbs, radiator, and rear
wheel still have to come off before the motor can be removed
At just a hair under 80k on the clocks, 2nd gear failed again. I was being careful and didn't abuse the bike at all. I suppose I should be happy, the motor lasted 58,000 miles before second gear started popping out. Well, now I've acquired yet another motor. I'm not sure if the transmission is even good in this thing, nor do i know the mileage. But the cams are perfect and the motor is very clean, so I'm hoping for a good transmission too.

I could repair the original motor. But, 2nd gear is no longer made by Honda. I'd have to buy a used transmission for $150-$200 off of eBay, and hope 2nd gear isn't trashed. Then I'd have to have the transmission undercut, for another $300. I paid $350 for this motor, and last weekend I dropped the old motor out and bolted the new one in.

It's never that easy with a bike that's been sitting though. The carbs were full of green goo, and I had to rebuild them. The Kerker exhaust system has a couple of dents from where I tried to ride over a curb, and they need to be pulled out to restore performance. (Or I need to buy a new exhaust system). The muffler I installed really killed my power and my gas mileage, so I need to replace that as well. I removed the heat shield between the radiator and the carbs, because I was sick of removing the radiator if I needed access to the carbs -- bad idea, as that caused a vapor lock condition on a hot day.  So i had to buy a new shield off of eBay, paint it, and install it.

Big ole dent in the header for the #2 cylinder
This header has seen better days
I've swapped over most of the chrome covers from the old engine to the new, and I need to swap over my Kevlar clutch, my good starter gear, and my oil pressure gauge. I replaced a spark plug wire that was pinched and damaged as well.

I have new brakes on the way -- new master cylinders and new pads. Lots of little modifications are on the way to make this even more of a cafe bike. So even though the new engine is in, the valves are adjusted, and the carbs and radiator are back on, there's still a very long way to go (and lots of parts to buy) before I can even start her up again. Still, that day will be here pretty soon.

New motor installed, carbs, radiator, and wheel back on.
Need to swap clutch parts and then I can button up the motor

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