Honda PC800 - Pacific Coast riders - opinions and pics please

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

  1. procycle

    procycle Long timer

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    Those plastic nuts just unscrew out of the carb bodies. My aging memory says they have a hex on them for a wrench.
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  2. spuh

    spuh Been here awhile

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    Thanks, maybe my aging eyes don't quite see the hex part; looks like a knurled plastic nut right next to the carb body. There could easily be a hex section external to that. Next challenge might be how to get a wrench in there. crowfoot? I take it the cable just pulls out after unscrewing the plastic nuts? Nothing to unhook / nothing is going to jump out after unscrewing?
  3. Zooker

    Zooker Adventurer

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    No Pardon necessary!

    The knurled collars are metal... I used a very thin standard screwdriver to loosen the collars by fitting the screwdriver head into on of the groves and then pushing downward in such a way that the collar moves counter-clockwise. They are threaded normally - there is a pin inside each (one on each carb) that is used to allow extra fuel to enter during 'choke'. Nothing will spring out at you, although you want them to remain clean. Once you get the collars to untighten slightly, you should be able to use your finger(s) to complete the removal. These were 'buggers' for me when reinstalling as they have to be seated just right with very little space to maneuver my thick clumsy fingers!

    Take care - Zooker
  4. Zooker

    Zooker Adventurer

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    I just re-read my post above, with the Helix pics - wow... stream of consciousness... SO SORRY!

    I believe I know what 'headshake' is... when you let go of your handlebars at various speeds, they swivel back and forth. I can let go of my handlebars at any speed... even at 85 mph... no swivel... they are steady - I tested it the other day after I reinstalled the brake disk covers. I am not a word-smith... I will try my best to describe what happens.

    Have you ever...

    - been on a bike and enter a turn, and the bike does a bit of a wobble - it turns, but it's not smooth - not headshake... the whole bike seems to waffle back and forth just a bit. I had an 89 Kawasaki 454 LTD (beautiful bike) that did that sometimes... That experience is the closest thing that I can point to communicate what happens. It's like the whole bike waffles back and forth from side to side - but I induce it. It could happen if I'm traveling highway at 80 or above and I go to pass a semi - the wind buffetting can make my bike do this, or I hit a bump at that speed and I'm turning slightly. I hit the rear brake - never the front... and It smooths out.

    I need to fix this if I intend to sell it. I rarely travel at this speed, so it's a parameter that has been easy to live with.

    Could switching to rebuilt (original '89 springs) '89 forks, my bike is a '90, do this in some way?

    IMScott, you got me thinking about my forks and the switch I made a year or so ago. My mechanic - he's a guru... literally, been working on bikes for 50 years... said balancing wouldn't make my bike waffle. Out of balance tires would want to make the tire jump up or down... not side to side.

    I truly appreciate you folks - Zooker
  5. 22Doggs

    22Doggs n00b

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    I had something like that.
    lt was swing arm wear.
    now I check that on used bikes.
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  6. Ever Onward

    Ever Onward Older,Wiser, Smarter

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    Assuming nothing wrong or loose in the swingarm pivot, headstock , wheel bearings rear shocks or otherwise, its possible its the tires. Doubtfull the fork switch is your issue.

    Honda VFR's of that era are notorious for headshake with worn or mismatched tires. Its also VERY possible its that "Darkside" square section tire. Never a good idea on any motorcycle.

    Fresh high quality MOTORCYCLE tires work fine on motorcycles.

    Watch the car tire carcass twist and squirm, and shake in this vid. Car tires are not designed to be rolled on their side for cornering. The carcass is built different than motorcycle tires.

    The two DO NOT interchange.


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  7. GlennR

    GlennR Chasin' my tail

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    New tires reduced the headshake on my bike.
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  8. RedRocket

    RedRocket Yeah! I want Cheesy Poofs

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    Watching him drag pegs doesn’t do much for your argument.

    Ever the slow motion video of a formula 1 car?
    I’d say every tire shimmies to some extent.
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  9. procycle

    procycle Long timer

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    Poor handling bikes can still drag pegs. It's more fun to ride something that actually handles well.
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  10. Ever Onward

    Ever Onward Older,Wiser, Smarter

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    Exactly !

    Just because you can.......dosn't mean you should.

    Last time I watched a motorcycle road race, seemed everybody was using motorcycle tires that were designed for motorcycles.....Gee, I wonder why ? :imaposer
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  11. Ever Onward

    Ever Onward Older,Wiser, Smarter

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    When I worked as a Honda tech at the dealership, if a guy brought in a VFR that had headshake under decelleration, you first checked for play or problems in the headstock and swingarm.

    If nothing found you advised a new front tire even if it was only half worn. 9 outta 10 times that solved it.
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  12. Zooker

    Zooker Adventurer

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    I have new tires... only about 2k miles on them... I don't have headshake... it's like the bike goes into a flicking type of movement.

    Thank you all for your help. The fella buying the bike is not concerned.

    I will have to report on my thoughts/experiences comparing the NT700 and ole' reliable (PC) in a few months.

    Zooker
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  13. spuh

    spuh Been here awhile

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    Thanks @procycle and @ zooker, the choke/cold enricheners came out easily. I plucked the carb assembly from the mounting rubbers then put a 10mm open wrench to 'em. Couldn't get a wrench on them with the carbs in situ and couldn't budge them with a drift and little hammer; once free to move the carbs, it took almost no force to free those collars. Hope all goes as easily at reinstall.:-)
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  14. Zooker

    Zooker Adventurer

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    Reinstall is not bad... it can be tricky getting the intial thread to initiate. I must say, I never attempted the disassembly as you did. Maybe it's reversal will prove quite easy!

    Zooker
  15. Zooker

    Zooker Adventurer

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    Anyone have any experience with the 2006 era Bmw R1200RT? Get's about the same fuel economy as the NT700... not crazy about the final drive and clutch horror stories...

    Zooker
  16. spuh

    spuh Been here awhile

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    @Zooker, I'm thinking of reinstalling the choke thingies first then reattaching the carbs. Getting them back into their rubber sleevies may be the tricky part.
  17. Zooker

    Zooker Adventurer

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    Good luck... iirc, there should be plenty of slack to do that. However, I reattached them after the carbs were back in their 'nest'.

    Report back on how difficult that was... I wish you the best!

    Zooker
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  18. IMaScot

    IMaScot Everything can be Stolen.

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    OK. I'll bite. I'll answer in the order you presented.
    1/ I'm 60 years old. Unlike many of today's over-educated twits, I liked to work, and learn, when I was young. I started when I was 11 years old working after school and on weekends when my father was in charge of building prisons for a multinational company. Welding, fitting, body work, electromechanicl hookups, troubleshooting, etc. It was great. I had spending money and learned early. How many 11 year olds have you seen lately wielding a oxy /acyt cutting outfit or welding in the field? That day has pretty well gone sir. An aside: Do you know that many school disctricts have stopped teaching students how to read and write longhand? These kids will not be able to read written records from our past. Think about that for a minute. Anyway.....
    2/ I was not clear. My fault. Blame it on the rum. I meant trail. Reducing trail will improve cornering at the expense of high speed stability. Increase your trail (and rake) and your high speed stability will improve. Adding the shims to the front fork springs increases your trail. Trail can also be altered by adjusting the suspension and / or changing tire sizes.
    3/The needle jets on a PC800 can be adjusted. See previous posts. I had to raise mine apx 0.12" to achieve the correct AFR for power. You can raise the needles apx 0.030" without modifications, but you will need more, so you have to carefully snip the plastic top cap washer pin about 1/2 off and trim the needle top spring by apx 40%. The shims will now fit in under the needle jet head plate. It works fine.
    4/ Spring rate (ride) is not the issue. Stability is the issue. Adding the shims increases trail, and raises the bike 19mm on the front. This increases stability. And increases the amount of suspension travel during normal driving. The difference is simply amazing. Try it. Better stability and a much nicer road ride. It's a nuisance to install the shims because you have to take off all the front end panels. But it's worth it. While you are there, consider changing out your fork oil and steering head bearings. I replaced both. Oil was Belray 10W. Bearings were ALLBALLS tapered roller bearings. Much superior to the original ball bearings.
    5/ Progressive Springs: I can't comment about that because I haven't tried them. And I don't know the spring specifcations. But I do know that $10 worth of two shims on the springs delivers excellent results dirt cheap.
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  19. IMaScot

    IMaScot Everything can be Stolen.

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    As you say. As the bike was decelerating, the forks would be compressed. Rake and trail would be reduced and head shake would result. Installing a new tire would raise the front end slightly, and increase the rake. Ergo, the head shake would only appear at much higher speeds. The VFR is as agile as fighter jet, because they are both inherently slightly unstable. Small changes in geometry can make a big difference in handling. There's a good chance that a set of fork shims or " progressive springs" would have provided a long term solution. But the driver may have felt the difference in the corners.
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  20. IMaScot

    IMaScot Everything can be Stolen.

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    I'm here anyway, so I'll speak my piece about motorcycle tires. Like it or hate it, it's what I believe:
    The only thing that separates you from disaster is your tires. You rely on your tires for steering, braking, and handling. Wet weather confidence. Ever slide into a ditch at 50 mph? Your tires are the only thing that keeps you alive on a motorcycle. Why would you cheat on that? Motorcycle tires have tons of technology in them. Rubber compounds, tread design, tire curvature, bead locks. The list goes on.
    I want good motorcycle tires. No "dark side " for me. Would not even think about it. Car tires are not designed for motorcycles.
    You own a PC800? My front tire suggestion is a Michelin Road 4. I have been using a Michelin Commander II on the rear with good results, but I'm thinking of trying a new Marathon 880 tire later this summer. It's a little smaller and may suit my gearing better.
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