1990 Honda PC800 Pacific Coast
Excellent bike for its intended purpose
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.
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.
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.