1990 Honda PC800 Pacific Coast from Canada

Summary:

Stock, it's a good ride, when modified properly, it's a GREAT ride

Faults:

As soon as I started driving the bike, I noticed that the clutch was slipping in higher gears when I was at Wide Open Throttle (W.O.T.). I bought a set of aftermarket clutch springs, but they didn't fit right, so I made some spacers on a lathe and put them under the springs to increase plate pressure. It worked perfectly.

I had to replace the speedometer cable this year. It was binding on the opening through the front fender. Easy to replace. Can be done without removing the bodywork if you are careful.

So far the bike has been very reliable. It has never let me down on the road.

General Comments:

When I picked out the model I had some firm objectives:

1. Good two up seating. The wife loves to go.

2. Good cargo capacity for extended trips. Enough for long weekends.

3. Windshield and fairing for weather protection.

4. Reasonable power. As an experienced rider, I wanted some spirit on the back roads and easy highway passing.

5. Less weight and better handling than a Gold Wing. I found the Wing was a pig around town and back road driving was boring.

There were other contenders: The Kawasaki Concours and the Honda ST1100. But the Pacific Coast had the TRUNK. Once you have seen it, and had it, you can't go back.

I have fixed some things that have improved the bike immeasurably and I invite all Pacific Coast owners to consider these improvements:

1. The stock engine power is OK, but power starts falling off at about 5,500 RPM. I modified the air intake, carburetor jetting and exhaust muffler with outstanding results. The bike now pulls hard to redline in all gears and can keep pace with sportbikes in the same size engine class. The difference is truly amazing. For detailed information, review my posts and drawings at http://pc800.co.uk/cgi-bin/mwf/forum_show.pl

2. I spent considerable time researching better tires for the bike. I finally settled on Michelin tires. The front tire is a Road II 120/70 and the rear is a Commander 140/90. The difference has to be tried to be appreciated. The steering is crisp and confidence inspiring. Handling is like a sport bike and the braking is awesome. The ride is smoother. The tires are wearing extremely well. I'll get at least 3 seasons out of them. Maybe more...

3. Purchase a set of Hagon rear shocks. They are adjustable and have good damping. I recommend the middle setting.

4. I found the bike prone to some headshake at about 160 km/hr. I made two spacers 32mm in diameter and 19mm thick and placed them on top of the fork springs to increase the fork rake. Combined with new fork oil (10wBelRay) the front end was completely stable at all speeds and the smooth ride was even better.

5. I bought and installed a new headlight bulb with better specifications. White color, low beam at 55W, but the high beam is 100W. MUCH better. Also, I installed high wattage bulbs in the fairing signal sockets and they show up better in the daytime.

6. Seating. After a short time the seat is uncomfortable. For driver and passenger. The economical fix is to buy an automotive seat pad with a gel core and insert a thin (10mm thick) foam pad on top. Now you are good for hours. I also made a custom back rest for the passenger that is 100mm higher and 20mm thicker than stock and the wife loves it. She says it's like riding on the Wing.

7. Buy or make a pair of handlebar risers that raise the bars 19mm. When you tighten down the bars, pull the grips towards you a bit so that you don't have to reach so far. Greatly decreases back fatigue. If you do this, you will have to add a short extension on the head of the ignition keys so that they will reach into the molded plastic aperture.

That's some of the improvements I have made so far and I'm pleased with the results. With a few changes that don't cost a lot, you can make your good Pacific Coast into a great ride. I love the bike. I'm happy enough that I'm really not interested in a different bike, even though the new models look appealing. However, if I win the lottery, a new BMW 4 cylinder may sit beside the Coaster. Or a Yamaha V-Max. Sigh.. So many bikes and so little cash.

RS, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th November, 2016

1998 Honda PC800 Pacific Coast from United States of America

Faults:

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