1998 Honda PC800 Pacific Coast


Clutch fluid leak from master cylinder at banjo bolt.

Starter would not work after shutting down by engaging side stand (fixed with new battery).

Occasional backfire, likely due to dirty carburetor.

Broken tabs on ABS bodywork.

General Comments:

I became intrigued about the PC 800 by reading reviews from rabid owners of this cult bike. Although I rode regularly many years ago, my most recent experience was on a Vespa 200 GT. I became addicted to its cargo carrying ability, and was looking for a motorcycle that excelled in that department. The PC is the hands down champion.

I was looking for a late model with the conventional sport fender in front rather than the Star Wars spats, which I don't like. I found a '98 about 100 miles away and purchased it without a test ride because the owner was confidence inspiring and I was intimidated by the bike's heft.

That turned out to be no problem, as the PC feels well balanced and nimble at anything above a walk. It can be dropped at a stop light if your feet aren't well planted; after all, it's over 600 lbs., wet, but it's fairly easy to "walk it back up" if you have learned the proper technique.

The engineering is pretty faultless. This bike is as easy to live with as a Honda Civic, and with the huge trunk, just as useful. When I park it at my destination, it swallows my jacket and full face helmet, and when I shut the lid and walk off in my "civvies", no one knows I came on a bike.

It will cruise at 75 nicely on the highway, but there are more comfortable bikes for that, with longer wheelbases, lower revs and room to stretch out. Two lanes are its forte, and it's smooth as silk on the straights, and loves corners because much of its weight is carried low. 52-57 hp is the range of figures I have found, but, really, it's got plenty for the sport-touring rider who normally goes solo. I fill mine up every 180 miles. If I break down and clean the carb, it may do better, as well as lose the occasional backfire, but it's very smooth even now.

I have thought about moving up to a Honda ST1100, but my research suggests it will be at the penalty of less secure handling on the twisties. Plus, I would miss that trunk SO much.

It needs a good battery to overcome the relatively weak charging system, and I went nuts with an Odyssey with 300 cranking amps. It works great and starts every time and easily. I don't have any accessories on mine, but if you do, you need to be sure you have an upgraded rectifier.

Plus, you can't beat the value. Clean machines are just about at the bottom of the pricing structure... why pay 6 grand for a Deauville when you can get a Pacific Coast for less than $2500?

In sum, this is a great bike. It does what bikes were designed to do, get you and lots of stuff there without fuss and in a pleasurable manner, unconcerned with its own machismo. You can't ride one without liking it.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th October, 2016

1990 Honda PC800 Pacific Coast


Excellent bike for its intended purpose



General Comments:

This bike is excellent at almost everything, even though it doesn't reign supreme at anything. It's easy to find sportier sport tourers or more dedicated touring bikes.

At 57 years young, it's my favorite choice for everything from around town, to touring short or long distances.

Not the ungainly behemoth I found in a Gold Wing, yet not the compromising ride position I found this aging body can't tolerate any longer from a sport tourer. The best balanced lightest 600+ lb bike I've ever felt.

Fast enough and smoother over bumps than any of the 30 bikes I've previously owned. It won't win any races, but then I don't do that any longer. Just the same, it handles very well. Good enough to be very entertaining in the mountains without a scare.

Dependable as a hammer.

It's fun to frequent the boards. I find no issues of transmission problems or splines, internal engine, fuel injection surging or off idle abruptness. In fact the lack of inherent mechanical problems is what drew me to the PC800 to begin with.

Not completely without problems.

At 20 to 30 years old, I do find age related posts pertaining to electrics, regulators, fuel pumps, vacuum diaphragms weeping gaskets and other things that wear out with age. It's refreshing to read that most questions are tire choices, windshield preferences, preferred oil, and what or where to farkle next.

High mileage bikes are of little concern.

Previous owners are being a bit neurotic about the little maintenance required to keep it in good shape.. Most followed the maintenance schedule to a T and brought it to the dealer.

I consider myself a motorcyclist and I'm attracted to people who love to ride for the sheer enjoyment of riding and travel. Maybe not originally, but today this bike attracts that type. A great knowledgeable helpful community that has come to appreciate this bike's many virtues.

The only drawback is, on this bike I'll never be able to fantasize I'm doing the Dakar Rally, I'm part of a proud loud bike gang or I'm on my way to the race track for track day. I'm OK with that. It's why they make so many different style bikes, and I plan to own one of each someday.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd May, 2015

26th Jul 2015, 10:50

I have recently had to replace my original 25 year old rectifier/regulator. It's easy to get to - held onto the frame by two screws and a plug for the wiring.

Better newer replacements have fins to help dissipate heat more efficiently, rather than relying on contact with the frame only. If you plan on getting a PC, check for fins on the R/R. Easy to see as it is behind the removable left vent and has a 5 wire plug attached to it.

Gas mileage:

I forgot to address this in the review.

I ride rather economically as my age or this bike doesn't encourage jack rabbit starts and is not real comfortable above 80 mph. Up to that, it's absolutely fine, as is above for passing purposes only, but for me 75-80 is the sweet spot. I'm guessing 580 lb is just heavy enough for stability on the x-ways, yet light for a touring bike.

I average 55 MPG when mixed riding highway and country roads. At this rate the rather small 4.2 gal tank is fine so long as I keep her tire pressures correct and the occasional Sea Foam or Tech-tron additive is doing its job protecting the carbs from the nasty gas they sell today...

Most if not all PC800s have a terribly inaccurate gas gauge. It will read empty after only 2 1/2 gallons have been used. Therefore I reset the trip meter at each fill up and know I'm safe for the next 200 miles ignoring the gas gauge.

The seat:

It seems to be really comfy for the first two hours only. I thought it was due to its age, but I recently talked to a guy that had bought one new in 1990, who agreed that his was good for the same 2 hours. I have an Air Hawk air pad for longer trips that takes care of it. The bike has a 30" seat height, so an additional 1" is acceptable.

People still either admire or poke fun at this bike.

With water cooling, shaft drive, hydraulic lifters that never need servicing, a hydraulic clutch that never needs adjustment, and a V twin engine that is engineered for torque, it's wonderfully easy to use.

It seems that age related things are all that require maintenance.

I'm still glad I own her.

27th Aug 2015, 01:30

Thank you for an (I believe) objective review of the Honda PC 800.

I must admit, I should have done a more 'in-depth' search on this bike before buying one. However, I'm itching to ride, so after lots of going through the cycle trader, Craigslist, and other boards' ads, I bought one (I could afford!).

It's a 1990 with 24k miles (I was told were original). In South Florida advertised for $1700... I counter offered and got it for $1400.

After reading your post/review, I feel much better about my purchase; I mean, I'm not second guessing my decision.

14th Feb 2016, 16:04

You got an excellent deal and you will eventually fall madly in love with the beast. Be careful with the panels. The tabs break easily. 2 stage epoxy does not work. Neither does super glue or Rapidfix. Plastic weld does.