DAVIN (xdavinx) wrote in bike_shop,

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new to community and bikes in general

howdy doody from upstate ny. i see at least one familiar face from the lj garage forum, fourgotten, which is cool. anyway, i just bought my first bike yesterday for a whopping $400 dollars. i have never even been on a street bike, i rode motocross in recreation but that was almost 12 years ago. i have worked on a lot of cars but i decided i wanted to take the time out and tear down a bike with no real knowledge whatsoever, using mostly a clymer honda service manual.

the 400 dollar bike is a 1983 shaft-drive Honda V45 Magna 750. did i pick something a little harder to work on? maybe so. i don't expect to have a bike until next riding season anyway if i had saved up and bought something for a few thousand dollars. i want to be able to take the time and do a great job and i think $400 is a great starting investment to help me learn about bikes.

when i went to look at the bike i actually expected it to be in worse shape than it really is. it hasn't been started in over a year, so i realize the carbs will have to be worked over. i also did some research on common problems with this specific bike and i found a few things: a cam issue, cam chain tensioners, an oil pressure issue at idle (can be fixed with aftermarket oil pump), and that's all i can seem to find. beyond the fact that the bike is 26 years old and i will have to deal with 26 year old fuel lines and electrical wiring, etc., this doesn't seem to be too bad. seeing as how i plan on tearing it down anyway none of this is really too horrifying.

i don't know if the bike starts due to a lack of battery. the way i came to this bike is weird. guy got it from a neighbor, it was her husbands and he basically got it for free, he died and no one in the family wanted it so she just gave it to him, title and all. he pulled the battery, because he didn't expect to ride it since he had a bike and two other project bikes he was working on. they used to ride together until the guy got hurt at work. he knew that he bought the bike new and did regular maint. on it. i have the purchase receipt for the bike with the original owners address on it and he isn't lying, it's right down the street.

so i checked what i could. no grease rings on the forks that would indicate that they were leaking, no foul gas smell from the tank or any reservoirs. tires need replacing do to dry rotting, not a suprise, wheels didn't have any cracks or bends when i spun them. the paint was in great shape and the chrome and aluminum wasn't too bad, some pitting and a little rust.

so basically what i want to ask is should i even bother trying to get it to run before i tear it down? from a diagnostic standpoint i suppose it would be beneficial to listen to it run, but if i plan on dumping $1000 in parts, a lot of elbow grease and a ton of man hours into it over the next year, is it really worth it?

i'm going to get the bike next weekend because it won't fit into the bed on my s10, so i'm just getting ready for it's arrival, prepping my garage and trying to relocate things from a vehicle standpoint to a smaller bike format. thinking about picking up a bike stand before the week is out.

thanks for reading if you did, sorry it was so long!
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V4 Honda Forum
SabMagFAQ wiki

I wouldn't recommend a complete tear-down at all. Clean the carbs. Replace all the fluids. Pull the plugs and pour a wee bit of oil down into the cylinders. Replace the plugs. You might consider adjusting the valve lash, but that's a royal PITA. Seriously. Besides, it's a $400 bike--do you really care if the cams eat themselves?

SabMags will let you crank the engine without the ignition, just put the kill switch to off. Cranking without trying to start gets the oil moving around and primes the carbs. The headlight will cut out when you crank the starter. That's normal.

Then try to fire her up. If it runs, don't fuck with it.

Spend that $1000 parts budget on good riding gear. Check out New Enough. And take the MSF course and get your license. The two things that get motorcyclists killed the most are alcohol and ignorance.
that was my second idea and the part about cranking the engine is a great thing that i would have never known. thanks for the great ideas.

the cam issue and the oil problem are the things that bother me still. it would require a few special tools for the cams so i think i will stay away from that, but the oil pump issue can help prevent the wear. the problem is that at low rpm there isnt enough oil, and i also read i should install a manual switch for the radiator fan to keep the engine from being hot. i might spend the $120 on the pump and install the switch.

the msf course was a condition of me being able to get the bike, i don't drink and i drive a class a cdl, so worrying about what other people are doing around me is already my priority.
The manual over-ride switch for the radiator fan is not needed to keep the bike cool. The manual by-pass switch is for people too cheap to replace a failed fanstat switch. (So, yes, I had one on my 700 Sabre, "The Leper.")

And the oil pump is not the source of the oil-starvation issues. The stock pump works fine, it's the oil passages that are funky. If you want more oil to the valve train, you need to added additional tubing to pump more oil to the valves. See the FAQ.

yeah i was reading about the lines. they come in a prepared kit but it costs 350 dollars from holeshot. i was thinking about following one of the tutorials on crafting one. i will look into the fanstat switch after i get it running. thank you.


June 1 2009, 16:07:33 UTC 8 years ago Edited:  June 1 2009, 16:08:08 UTC

You can use a thermoswitch with a lower temp range to start your fan at a cooler temp, if you feel it neccessary... otherwise, if yours works, don't put in a manual switch... hell... it'll cost more in time and work to do that then to replace the thermoswitch...

Listen to pi3832... He knows his stuff...

Welcome to the ranks of the SabMag owners... I'm one, as well, with two '82 V45 Sabres and an '85 V45 Magna....
thanks for the welcome and the help, i'll probably be annoying the hell out of you for a few weeks with questions on here haha.