In 1984-1986 I was the 2'nd owner of a nice and low mileage VF750S '83 that I liked a lot. During that time I thought about if not the great motor from the VF1100C [V65 Magna} (a model name I wasn't aware of at that time yet) wouldn't arrive soon in the "S" (Sabre) chasse. In my mind that had to be the ultimate bike.
By a possibility I saw a picture of a bike that looked a lot like mine in the American bike magazine, Cycle Guide, January 1984. The only major difference I saw from my VF750 was that it was called V65 Sabre(?) and that it had a rear disc brake.
I took the magazine to my local Honda dealer whom I knew quite well, to tell him that I found out that
there is a newer models of the VF750 than the '83 which was the last sold in Sweden. The guy (Dan) looked at the picture and
At the fall 1986 I sold my VF750 since I was fully convinced that I wanted a V65 Sabre. By a friend of
mine I got an address to a Honda dealer in New York - Honda of Minneola. I called them and asked if they could sell me a V65
Sabre? The answer was sad:
Later I got another address in New York by the same friend - CamRod Motors. At CamRod I got in touch which one of their sellers - John Flynn. This person is worth all honor he can get for his great helpfulness (he even took his time with me at his off time).
He also told me that all the V65 Sabre's was sold out but they expected a last delivery of new Sabre's
soon and if I wanted he could reserve one for me. This was a question I didn't hesitate a second to answer yes on.
Since this was my dream bike I was fully convinced that it should get a personal touch and also that I could allow it to costs some. That the bike had high bars and no faring I didn't see as any major problem since I already had the picture clear what it should look like.
The first change was to replace the bars since I've never liked high bars and get the feeling of loss
of contact with the bike with high bars.
A luggage rack was also something that was somewhat hard to find. Hondaline racks for the Sabre were no longer available and the last thing I wanted was a big and ugly universal rack. In the same bike magazine, Cycle Guide, were I first saw the V65 Sabre, I found an add for custom made racks of the brand GSM Sport Racks. The company had however moved out long ago, but by a lot of research I finally found them at something called Summit Industries. It's BTW the same concern that manufacturers Jardine exhaust systems.
The next step was to fix saddle bags, but as already said I didn't want a big and ugly rack. The solution was fix and tight home made top fitting made of stainless flat steel that was bended and drilled to fit into the GSM racks fittings, the stock turn signals fittings and the license plate holder. To this steel that got a black powder coating I fitted new Kawasaki ZXR turn signals (looks a lot like Honda's but much smaller) further back and tighter than stock and thru that behind/inside the bags when they are mounted on the bike. The bag fittings them self are also home made with welded nuts so they are almost as easy to remove as the bags them self's.
Some accessories and parts was bought from CamRod Motors and John Flynn who was so helpful so I almost
felt sorry from him ;-)
At this delivery I also got the Yoshimura Slip-on's #V65SO which I later modified with Competition baffles. When I asked if I would need to rejet the carburetors I got the answer that I sent enough money so he would include some jets, which showed up as a whole box of jets, needles springs, drills and instructions. This was called Dynojet and something I at the time had never heard about before. Since the jetting recommended was very different from stock I didn't dare to mount it and asked a friend who works as a bike mechanic. He just said: "Mount the kit, this is the latest high performance goodies from the States!"
Since I still was unsure I called Dynojet in the USA. The person a talked to gave me a basic lesson in carburetor jetting, the air/gas condition and convinced me that if I want the bike to run good I should definitely mount it. The result was as good as it can be expected with both clearly better throttle response as well as some more power.
Talking about high performance goodies. In the American bike magazine, Motorcyclist, May 1984, I found an add from Russ Collins - RC Engineering. When I contacted them I found out that they didn't work with motorcycles anymore, and they didn't know if and who had taking over the production of bike high performance parts. Later and thanks to Sabmag I found out that Dave Dodge - DRP who showed him self to be a former general manager at RC Engineering had taken over the operations of producing and selling high performance jobs and parts for the Honda V4's (more about that further down).
Since I wanted a sports faring was both the Hondaline, Pichler and similar fairings not interesting. After looking around for some time by German Keim and French Chaplot I finally found a very nice looking faring at Italian Motoplast which is almost a copy of the faring from the Honda CB1100R but made as a half-faring and with dual 5¾" headlights. That it wasn't going to be easy to make it fit the Sabre was obviously. So where do you find someone to do the job, when you don't have enough knowledge in casting fiberglass and welding fitting by your self?
By a possibility I meet a guy at a bike-meet who had built a very special faring based on just the
CB1100R (rebuilt to unrecognizable) for his BMW K100RS. It came clear that he (Mats) and a friend of his (Mike) had a small
business MM Dresser where they made special jobs with both fiberglass
and welding. I showed the picture from Motoplast:
I got a mounting bracket from Keim who has a good system from Hella. Quick screws I got from a Swedish company. The bike was parked in MM Dresser's garage past the winter and the job started. During the winter it came up various ideas how to improve the faring. For example they suggested to use their rebuilt top part instead of the real CB1100R part since it's both wider so the dual headlights would fit better as well as it has a more modern edgy look.
The Suspension on the V65 Sabre is quite soft as stock (probably made for American highways at 55 MPH at ;-)
To find a fitting Öhlins shock I contacted Öhlins north of Stockholm. Yes, they could build me a shock if I just provided them with the linkage measurements and the stock shock absorber so they had something to go on. Basically the shock is for the VF1000F Interceptor but it's longer and harder set to fit the V65 Sabre. Thanks to that the shock is longer there was enough space for a dividing piston inside the housing.
The Yoshimura Slip-on's and the Dynojet kit are already mentioned. The Yoshimura mufflers came with standard baffles which in my opinion are too restrictive. So new competition baffles was ordered from Yoshimura's Swedish agent BoOve Motor. The crankcase ventilation was also opened to give the bike the best breath possible.
Unfortunately there is no K&N airfilter available for the till V65 Sabre
(Doug Hathaway in Denver, Colorado have later come up with a solution)
and I thought for some time over a possibility how to replace the quite restrictive stock foam airfilter. The solution came
up when I first saw a Jama Sport Airfilter for cars that are made from a kind of porous foam like material that looks a lot
like the foam fronts found on some stereo speakers. The stock filter was taken out, washed and taken to the stereo speaker
kit shop Hi-Fi Kit Electronic:
Since it's quite slim I figured that I can use two layers to get a better filtration effect and I also have two as spare. Some thin spray foam airfilter oil on top and the filtration effect improves even more since dust and stuff sticks in the sticky oil.
It also looks like I probably won't need the spare filters since they seem to stand both gas, oil and degreaser, and so far it has worked fine for over 10 years. I guess there is a good chance this more open airfilter that was installed after the Dynorun can have given maybe a few extra HP.
To improve the motors breathing even more and to get rid of the big and heavy collector box I ordered
a MAC Tri-Y 4 into 2 into 1 (#001-2301/001-2701
[Magna/Sabre]) that according to MAC should be the same and fit. It didn't however fit and had to be sent back. Instead
I ordered a Hindle 4 into 1 which did fit but A) it was so low under the
motor so the fairings lowers couldn't be used, and B) the muffler was so high up at the back so the right side saddle bag
couldn't be used. So it was taken off after one season and in the meantime the stock pipes and the Yoshimura mufflers had to
2000-2001 a cylinder head renovation and high performance job was made by Dave Dodge - DRP. This included Stage II head porting, Stage II Webcam cams, valve and seat competition job and new valve guides. Also an Oil Mod kit was mounted at this time (Stage II has later been upgraded to Stage III by Dave Dodge). Sadly there was a number of difficulties and bad circumstances before everything worked as supposed to again.
All these difficulties and troubles took a lot of time since parts had to be sent back and force to the USA, due to that there was sadly not much riding the first three years. At first in 2004 the bike was in condition to be fully ridden again despite that the cams still where bad. They where replaced for the season 2006 by Megacycle 151-00 Hardface cams and rockers After that runs the bikes without problems.
In Marsh 2005 was a new full header 4 into 2 into 1 exhaust system manufactured in stainless steel by URM Racing in Sundsvall 400 km north of Stockholm where I live. The exhaust system is entirely replaced, also the rear down pipes are replaced and all the primary header pipes are now 5 mm. larger in diameter than stock, now 40 mm. to 35 mm. earlier. To get access for the replacement and the rear down pipes the swing arm had to be removed. As for muffler is a MAC megaphone used but with a special manufactured 2" full length baffle since MAC's baffles flow are too restrictive.
Later it has come clear that also the special made baffle is too restrictive and makes at the same time a yell and metallic sound since the volume of a megaphone with a large diameter baffle gets too small. Because of that the muffler was replaced in 2009 with a special made canister style muffler in aluminum with end caps and and adapter in billet and baffle from Ray Simons
Since the header system runs very tight to the bike, the new mufflers inlet hole had to be made eccentric to run clear of the swing arm. A db-killer was manufactured a little later by a friend for occasions when I want or need to run quiet. It turned out that it was effective beyond expectation and makes the bike almost run quieter than stock.
Beside the increased power, I have also noticed a strong decreased fuel consumption, from about 0,8-0,9 l/10 km to about 0,6-0,65 l/10 km.