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.
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