Mrs Willi's 1996 Honda Magna
Winter Project Diary

Today is a real sad day for me. Willi and I placed the magna (aka Yellow Beast) up on the bike stand for the winter project to begin. It's going to be a long time before I get to ride her again...
This evening I started removing all of the accessories (saddlebags, fork bag, windshield/bag, flags, seat (viberider), chrome caps, etc and boxed them up for a long winters nap. We then drained the remaining fuel, took off the tank and have it air drying outside to avoid the fumes. Then off came the old rear fender, tail light and turn signals. Willi and I then looked at the rear fender frame to see if it would fit, after a few attempts at different ideas, we decided we would have to have a custom frame welded. In the mean time, we lined up the fender and struts, then drilled the holes. The fender is now temporarily bolted in place to determine exactly where the license plate and brake/running light should go. Tomorrow is another day.

Tearing Her Down

Sizing the Fender

Rear View

Side View

The last two days have been spent on the rear fender. First we lined up where the new license plate and tail light should go, carefully marked the spots and cut them out. Then there came a lot of careful sanding to finish off the edges. The lens on the light wasn't thick enough to lay flush with the curve of the fender, but luckily I had bought 3/8" lens material which we made double thick and cut to shape. After epoxying in the lens, lots more sanding, but the finished product is great! We had also epoxied in flat head bolts and a 3 LED strip of light for the license plate. Since the top sits back further, the sides of the plate cut out had to be built out at an angle with bondo...and more sanding followed.
New Rear View


Tonight was focused on the front fender. First we had to disconnect the speedo cable and brake line (draining the fluid) before removing the original fender and putting the new fender on. Looking at the new fender, we weren't crazy about the flatness of the top and started drawing lines for a curve. After cutting and doing a little sanding, the front now matches the curve of the wheel better.


Left Side

Right Side
The last couple of days have been spent on installing the Cobra Side Panels. These are discontinued items, which are hard to find, but luckily I spotted a brand new set on eBay. However, I was sadly disappointed in the quality of the product. The left side fit perfect, but the right side rubbed the exhaust pipes and the shape of the body was way off from the left side. One of the mounting pegs also came off when they were put on and then taken off the first time. So we took off the other mounting peg, put both pegs on the bike and held the panel in many different positions until we found the best fit. A bit of sanding here and there, some plastic weld on the pegs and the panel was put in place to dry. Of course everyone said you can't use a Corbin or Mustang seat with these panels. Never, say never! Off came the upholstery,out came the roto tool, a little more sanding and the Mustang now fits perfect as well. However, I will probably end up taking it in to be reupholstered during the winter. FYI, the frame for the rear fender also came in as well and fits to a tee too. The only thing I'm waiting on now are the hard saddlebags.

12/14/01 3 a.m.
The last item I have been waiting for is the new hard bags. They arrived as I was out of town with only a couple of days left to finish before we were scheduled to take everything to the painter. So I get home Thursday night and within an hour Willi and I are attacking placement, recessed light design and installation. Man on the Moon...How's that for something unique? :)

Now I'm off to print out all of my Pegasus pictures for Ed and I to review for the paint job!

Rear of New Bags/Fender

Having got to bed at 5 a.m. this morning and off early with all parts to be painted...I'm really dragging here, got huge bags under my eyes, etc. But finally getting this phase out the door is worth it.

Here Willi and I made it to Ed Webster's house in Stanardsville, VA. I've talked to Ed a few times on the phone, but he turned out to be one of the nicest people face to face.

Paint Shop 1

Paint Shop 2

Paint Shop 3

Paint Shop 4
Ed has done a number of bike and misc projects. His shop is full of pictures from completed jobs. If you are looking for a painter, I highly recommend him. Check out his site at Webster-Designs. You must use Internet Explorer to view all of the site!

Once we left Ed's, we continued on to Dave Dodge's home in Huntersville, NC to drop off Willi's 88 Super. Check out Willi's page at Willi's 88 Super Magna Page.


Naked Magna
The past few days I have been spending more time online to get information for the other miscellaneous tasks shown below:
  • Windshield Etching - Has been shipped to
  • Upholstery - Hmmm, the local guy won't touch it. I've got about 7 links to bike upholstering sites and contacting them one by one. Let's see Leather, Ostrich, Snake or Alligator? (This was NOT in the budget!)
  • Chrome Plating - We still have to create the rear strut template for the welder so he can make a custom piece to act as strut and hide space between rear fender and the hard bags. Sending the parts out has to wait till this is done. So far we've taken off the wheels, rotor, cooling fins, caliper, lower forks, rear brake drum...what else am I missing that needs chromed? I still have time to think here. Am looking for an excellent (but reasonable chromer), while trying to remember how I took that caliper apart. This may be like doing a 1000 piece puzzle. In the mean time, the magna sits naked!

I shipped my windshield to Steve at on the 24th. I talked to him (and his wife) on the phone a couple of times. He's a real nice guy. He worked on the windshield right away and sent me a couple of pics to approve before shipping it back. Then he added a wizard for me. I am really pleased and highly recommend him. My pic is on the right, I'll try to get a better one.

Back to the bike parts...we found quite a wide gap between the rear fender and hard bags when mounted. Part of the problem was the strut, then sissy bar mount and then hard bag mount all together were so thick. I decided we needed one custom mount, which would also hide the space between bags and rear fender. We made a template out of cardboard and a metal strip which will act as the strut, contain a sissy bar mount and area to mount the hard bags (wish I had taken a picture). We then took this to RBM Machine Corp and they expect to have a pair of matching mounts completed by January 11th.

I also called around to find someone to chrome the above, as well as the rear brake drum, cooling fins, caliper, wheels, rotor allen bolts, lower forks, misc bolts and polish the rotor. We found who said bring it on in. They were recommended by a friend who was very pleased with their work. I plan on dropping everything off on the 12th with a 4 to 6 week turn around (don't have to pay for shipping). The plan is coming together!!

Now all I have to do is find an upholsterer!

We have made much progress this past week! I found an upholsterer at and shipped my mustang seat, back rest, tank bib and windshield bag to him. I also bought 2 pieces of matte blue alligator skin from . Eddie there is going to ship them directly to the upholsterer. Everything will be done in white vinyl and studs, with alligator in the center of the driver/passenger seat and back rest and the other pieces trimmed in alligator.

Rob at also finished making the custom strut mounts to hide the gap between fender and bags. They are pictured to the right.

Everything is ready to take to the chromer tomorrow! Yeah Haw!!!

OK, I'm almost at a stand still until the seat and other parts come back from the chromers! So what do you do when you get BORED? You go shopping!!

I've been searching the net for little odds and ends to enhance the appearance of the completed project. Everything from the Turn Signal Visors on down was just added to the Winter Plan page!...Everything had better get back soon so I can get the bike together and start riding again!!

2/16/02 - Took all wheel and fork stuff up to the dealer to put back together. Will pick up on the 23rd!

YES! We picked up my chrome today and I am so pleased with the results. I called Loudoun Motorsports and ordered new Metzler tires, rear wheel Flange bearing (already got other parts I need to put everything back together) and a new gasket for inside the drive sprocket area. I spent the day cleaning up the bike (all that yucky grease buildup in the drive sprocket area) and then reinstalling the cooling fins and stock chrome tops. Caution, I broke one of the bolts on top by tightening it too much (one more thing to order). Installed new spark plugs while the radiator was off, installed the steel braided cable on the bottom radiator hose, then put the radiator back on. Also pieced the caliper back together (small challenge). We will get the wheels back together this week and take them to the dealer next Saturday to have the tires mounted and the forks put back together.

Can you believe this...I was working from home yesterday on a conference call when UPS pulls up. I'm in the middle of my updates and can't answer the door. Soooo, I had to wait for them to return today with my seat, sissy bar pad, tank bib and windshield bag. White vinyl and blue alligator! All-Nu Upholstery did a great job, considering the mustang seat is not the easiest to work with.

I asked them to add studs only as I have my own accents I want to put on it. Got these neat little pewter pegasus and wizard pins on eBay, but I'm not going to put them on till everything is installed to get the best positioning. I have a chrome panel for the back of the sissy bar that the wizard on the right is going to be installed on!

We had the wheels and forks put back together and the new Metzlers installed at Loudoun Motorsports in Leesburg, VA. Picked them up today and they did a GREAT scratches at all!

Picked up the newly painted parts today. I'm really pleased! Willi says this is going to be a sissy bike, but if that is what it takes to keep him off it! :) I put the bags back together and also placed chrome edge trim around most of the pieces. The pics are a bit dark, but I'll get new ones when the bike is back together and sitting in the sun again!
Helmet Sides

Helmet Back
Front Fender Front

Front Fender Back
Left Tank Side

Right Tank Side
Left Bag

Right Bag
Left Side Panel

Right Side Panel

I have been working till very early in the morning all week to get the Magna back together and ready to roll! Today is the day, the only thing I still have to get is the neck panels back that I sent out to be chromed. After nearly 3 months, I got to take her out for a ride today (then it rained on me...), after I got back and had her cleaned up again it was getting pretty dark outside, but here are some of the first almost complete bike shots! I'll get more when the sun shines again...

And more pictures in the sun...

05/5/02 I haven't updated this page in quite some time as I have been too busy riding. I only had a couple of additional items added since my last update.

1. Installed the Dave Dodge Shim/Jet kit. If you have not done this to your Magna, you are doing a dis-service to yourself and the bike. Shim upgrades should be done on all stock bikes and the Jet upgrade should be done on all bikes with aftermarket pipes. Truly makes a positive difference in response on the low and and gets rid of the flat spot between 4-5000 RPM. Check out for more information.
2. I installed a VTX headlight...looks great and is brighter. Goes right on the stock mount and plugs right in.
3. I had a pin striper add "Mrs Willi to each side of my tank and in front of my helmet.

07/23/02 - Air Horns
These horns are the Econo line, which differs from the Premium package in that the air hose is not stainless steel and they were $70.00 cheaper. I'm glad I didn't go SS, as the hose was 5 inches too short for the place I wanted to install them (top engine mount going back to the air compressor, which I placed in the tool storage area under the seat). It cost a mere $2.76 to get a new hose in the right length. I then placed a chrome wire wrap over the hose. You can see it in some of the pics below.

Chrome Corner Econo Air Horns

Rally Cost $99.95

That's it, I'm done! I hope I have been able to help some of you with ideas to make your Great Machine stand out in a crowd.