Honda PC800 - Pacific Coast riders - opinions and pics please

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by The PacRat, Apr 18, 2008.

  1. The PacRat

    The PacRat I'm that other guy

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    I'd like to hear from (and see) some opinions and pics on the overall performance of the PC800. It's the bike I'm kinda thinking about buying (down the road). I like the unconventional look and I hear that they are one of Honda's BEST.

    SO? Whaddya think? (let's see them too)
    #1
  2. bart800

    bart800 Adventurer

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    Mar 2, 2007
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    93
    I bought it to ride, not practice my polishing skills, I love that line from one of our members. I ride mine year round. Missed 6 days this winter due to black ice. My driveway looks like the hills in San Francisco. Backing it out of the garage, i slid and down we went on our side now the tupper ware is scratched. Other than that never crashed or dropped. It is great and dependable. Starts and runs like an electric motor. It is very quiet when compared to most bikes, which is nice on a long ride. You change oil and add gas. Runs on regular and real world give 45 to 50 mpg. Comfortable, great weather protection especially in heavy rain. I have the stock screen and it works well for me. I am the second owner, it is an '89 and was what I could afford at the time. I'd rather be riding than not. Turns out I really like the bike,especially the trunk.

    Pet peeve: The stator is not strong enough to support heated grips and extra lighting. I checked with Honda and they advised strongly against trying to adapt a higher rated unit from a ST.

    Wish it had a little more braking power and stronger accelleration, but overall it is hard to beat. When I ride the Sea to Sky highway with my buds, they always have me in their mirrors. They have GS's, Ducati 999, Various Honda's and me with my 800. Looks like a scooter on steroids,but can run hard. When your tires are good it works well, if rear is 60% worn, the backend becomes lively in the rain and eventually in the dry as well. I switched to ME880's and found them much better than the Dunlops. Especially the front design does not follow the road groves like the Dunlop.

    I recently purchased an ST1100 which will replace the 800 so that I can have warm hands, I am thinking that I will miss the 800 a ton for its practicality and benign attitude. Gas and go. Mine will be for sale later this year probably in June.
    #2
  3. SVDon

    SVDon Adventurer

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    I had a PC800 for a couple years, actually bought it for the wife as her first bike. I was riding ST1100's at the time. I did a couple really long trips with it, 800+ mile days no problem. Things are pretty bulletproof and low maintenance, and they're holding their value well.

    Hydraulic lifters a big plus, no valve checks. Good low-end grunt, nice low center of gravity. Tipover wings prevent most plastic damage in low-speed crashes. Ladies love the biiiigggg trunk.

    If you buy one, be aware the stators need replacing usually at between 50-70K miles or so, but it's easy to do and fairly cheap. Put a datel meter on it to monitor voltage.

    We ran heated grips and an electric vest on it at the same time with no problems, but aux lighting in addition to those would no doubt drive the alternator into overload.

    Nice bike, good dependable, fun. I miss it.
    #3
  4. bart800

    bart800 Adventurer

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    So you used both heated grips and an electric vest. Did you have any stator problems or was it just normal wear and tear that caused replacement. The Honda service people were really against adding these farkles.
    #4
  5. JamesG

    JamesG Rabid Poster

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    Its the minivan of motorcycles. Extremely competent and practical but still gets no respect because of its non-sporty looks and reputation.
    #5
  6. bart800

    bart800 Adventurer

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    Having considered since posting, It probably would not be a bad bike to do the Iron Butt on. Comfortable,dependable,and good weather protection. Just the need for extra lighting. Any thoughts.
    #6
  7. The PacRat

    The PacRat I'm that other guy

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    Sounds like me...

    I guess I should get one! :lol3
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  8. JamesG

    JamesG Rabid Poster

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    Its an ideal bike for doing the IBR. I'm sure a few of them have done it over the years.
    #8
  9. Tifighter

    Tifighter thread killer

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    Pig pile.

    Are high miles anything to be concerned with on the PC? I see them for sale sometimes, but they always have 60k-ish miles on them. Does it matter? What would you expect to pay for one?
    #9
  10. JamesG

    JamesG Rabid Poster

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    Well maintained, most Japanese bikes will last literally forever. As I understand it, sub 100K miles is considered low mileage to the PC world.

    The only problem with buying a high mileage bike (esp. a Honda) is that its maintiance history is unknown. Did a PO forget to change the oil for a few tens of thousands of miles? Did he let valve train checks and service slid longer than it should?
    #10
  11. Concho

    Concho Adventurer

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    Pretty much what he said....:D I bought mine off eBay, a 97 with 5K miles.
    I rode it for 3 years with just tires, oil and fluid changes which I did myself.
    I sold it for more than I paid for it and only because I had the urge for a cruiser.
    I never had any stator problems as I didn't install any electrical accessories,
    so I can't comment on that.
    I also recommend ME880 tires due to their tread pattern and high mileage
    characteristics. There is a group on the Yahoo Groups devoted to PC800's
    where you can get a ton of information, as well, technical help if needed.

    Try: http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/ipcrc/ ,
    also there is a for sale webpage devoted to PC's at:
    http://www.directcon.net/lcshepp/PC800BuySell.html
    if you want to see what's for sale and current pricing.

    My old one, below, and go for it, they're great bikes!

    [​IMG]
    #11
  12. SVDon

    SVDon Adventurer

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    I bought the PC with about 70K miles on it, and the stator was gone shortly afterwards. They're widely known to not last much longer than 50K to 70K miles so I figured it was age and use.

    I based my comments on using both a vest and heated grips on the new stator/battery combination and the fact that Datel readings are good with both of those running. However, I wouldn't want to add any more high-wattage stuff in addition to those. I'm figuring you probably have about 125 watts spare while cruising at speed. Turn off high beams will give you a little more spare. It's pretty easy to monitor and figure, put in a digital voltmeter and just make sure it stays above about 12.8v, if it doesn't, turn something off.

    Even on my '98 ST1100 abs, if I turned on my high beams, my 110 watt Piaa's, my electric vest, my grip heaters, and my J&M radio at the same time, I'd get into a low voltage situation in a big hurry, like within 3 or 4 miles.

    With the PC, you could probably get away with some 55 watt driving lights if you didn't run them at the same time as your electrics.

    YMMV, but you don't need to have cold hands on a PC800. :D
    #12
  13. Oilhed

    Oilhed MarkF

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    I agree. I also think a Suzuki 650 Burger would be great for the Iron Butt. Now that would be a kick in the pants if either bike won, since neither gets the respect of a "real" motorcycle.
    #13
  14. bluesman

    bluesman Long timer

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    Or you can run HID light (35 watt running and more light than 55 watt halogen), LED indicators and rear light (that's another 20 watt for grabs, just replace conventional bulbs with LED bulbs) and change clocks backlight bulbs to LED. Cheap, more reliable than bulbs and overall another 40-50 watts free.
    #14
  15. wavetrain75

    wavetrain75 Adventurer

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    I've had a 'Coast for about 2 years, they are a very odd duck but may be one of the most underrated bikes of all time, very reliable, very nimble and very comfortable in all kinds of riding conditions. My brother rides a BMW R1100RTP and had to admit that he was having a hard time keeping up when we are on the mountain twisties. It's good in traffic and long days on the interstate.

    100,000 miles on a 'Coast is common for someone who takes care of it, 200,000 is not unheard of. The '89 had a weak stator but this was fixed on all following years, putting out about 320-340 watts. Seems to me that leaves about 120 watts to run your extra stuff. Calculate what you farkles you want and their current draw and run them accordingly. An aftermarket voltmeter will allow you to keep an eye on your battery.

    'Coasts are great bikes, smooth and comfortable, I've had 3 gallons of milk and three bags of groceries in the trunk with room to spare. Change the oil once in while and it will run forever.

    There's another 'Coast post from a few days ago you may want to look at as well.
    #15
  16. The PacRat

    The PacRat I'm that other guy

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    Thanks for all the replies. I'm not one to plug in a lot of "stuff" so the extra power thing isn't a problem. I just want something that I can get on and go without having to spend a lot of time wrenching or farkling. I also like the option of being able to pick up "stuff" along the way and having a place to stow it away for the trip home. I was never a fan of carrying a backpack or trying to strap groceries to the seat.
    #16
  17. hardtarge

    hardtarge Adventurer

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    Minnesota YEAAAA
    Previously covered buy PC800 would be a good choice

    You can still by parts for them don't require that much in maintance but!! Be prepaird to do your own wrenching the shops will not want to work on a PC800 do to the fact there is a lot of body work that must be treated with care

    Also be prepaird for limited tire choices either K555 or ME880 neither are bad.

    Don't be too worried about the stator It will run your gear just as well as any other bike don't expect add 200Watts of extra load 120 ehh thats about max

    Get a voltage meter!! Sorry almost manditory farkle bike uses a fuel pump best to know you're about to be in trouble instead of buuuuruuurr dead on teh side of the road.

    anywas good read if you have time the bike will take abuse read the story of "Crack"
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=265019
    #17
  18. pcstarship

    pcstarship R. Couey

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  19. Bravosarah

    Bravosarah Curiously Addicted

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    I have a 1990 PC800 and love it. I will be doing an Iron Butt ride on it this summer I will post a RR and add the link in this thread too.

    I take a lot of the plastic covers off before taking my PC to the mechanics, not because he has ever refused the work, but because I don't want to pay for 'shop time' when they are just removing and adding the plastic. It also gives me the chance to clean the insides.

    my bike.JPG
    My bike
    #19
  20. wavetrain75

    wavetrain75 Adventurer

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    I just my 'Coast back together with a list of upgrades - tapered head bearings, progressive fork springs, driving lights, heated grips, power socket, Audiovox cruise control. This bike continues to amaze me, smooth, comfortable and nimble. A little weird looking, but a great bike.

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