Now that it’s 2023, which means 1998 was 25 years in the past and the Honda PC800, in its final yr of manufacturing, is thus honest recreation for this week’s sacred Church of MO. The extra all these years pile up, the extra a few of us dig sensible gadgets like scooters. So why not an enormous scooter like this one? Alas, the PC might have simply been forward of its time in 1998. Whereas we had been busy salivating over new Yamaha R1s and Ducati 998s, calling the Pacific Coast the world’s most sensible bike might have been probably the most backhanded of compliments. Then once more, the PC did get pleasure from a stable, decade-long run starting in 1989, and there are many properly preserved ones nonetheless on the highway.
Born To Be Delicate
Mar. 05, 1998
Pictures by Billy Bartels
Honda’s Pacific Coast 800 is the station wagon of bikes, which isn’t essentially a foul factor, it’s simply not trendy right now. Our adrenaline-junkie, Mountain Dew head-rush tradition has changed smart and sensible with quick and aggressive as objects of want.
Simply as greater, extra highly effective sport utility automobiles have changed the household wagon because the household and cargo hauler-of-choice, quicker, extra highly effective mounts like Honda’s ST1100 in addition to new aggressive race-bred sport tourers like Ducati’s ST2 and Honda’s new VFR Interceptor have despatched bikes just like the Concours and the Enterprise into digital retirement. Though quick and sporty doesn’t at all times imply success in America (word the shocking demise of Kawasaki’s GPZ 1100 and Yamaha’s GTS 1000), throughout
practicality isn’t what most Individuals search for in bikes.
The Pacific Coast may be the world’s top bike, falling on Honda’s evolutionary chain between the Helix and the ST1100. Snug ergonomics. Wonderful climate safety. Actual-world, virtually automobile-like energy supply. An enormous, seen car-like rear tail-light. And, in fact, the trunk. The trunk guidelines. It could actually comfortably carry 4 plastic luggage filled with groceries, together with a small bag of pet food. It could actually match two full-sized helmets and two medium-sized health club luggage. It’s watertight. We rode the PC 800 through two pre-El Nino Southern California monsoons with none water leaking into the trunk. And in contrast to facet luggage, stuff doesn’t need to fall out if you open it.
The PC 800 may be too smart. When the PC debuted, it was thought-about a radical bike — the world’s first bike fully hermetically sealed inside an envelope of plastic. In actual fact, the PC 800 appears ashamed of its bike lineage. What this bike actually needs to be is a automobile, all the way in which all the way down to the automobile-like instrument panel and the textured PVC that covers the handlebars. Shhhhh: Hear intently and you’ll hear it whisper “I want I had been an Accord. I want I had been an Accord.”
It didn’t promote properly at first, however through the years it has developed a following. The aesthetics are maybe probably the most controversial factor on this in any other case pleasant, although Milquetoast bike. Our personal unscientific survey revealed that individuals who don’t like bikes just like the appears to be like of this bike. My mother, as an example. Your mother most likely, too.
A yuppie wanna-be stockbroker buddy, who’s spouse wouldn’t invite us to a cotillion of ageing, preppy, former sorority-girls if we confirmed up on bikes, completely beloved the Pacific Coast. They each did.
“That is the nicest bike you’ve ever had,” mentioned Wifey. “However you continue to can’t come to the cotillion.”
Onerous core bikers had a special take.
“It’s appears to be like like a port-o-pottie on wheels,” sniffed one staffer.
“It appears to be like like a scooter on steroids,” mentioned one other. “And this cotillion sucks. Lets go over to the rubbish dump and break issues.” Cool.
The PC 800 is snug and the climate and wind safety are superb. But it surely’s a porky bike, weighing in at 640 kilos moist. Nonetheless, it handles properly in gradual corners with a great turning radius and at straightaway speeds the comfortable suspension soaks up the bumps; quicker corners really feel mushy.
The rear suspension provides four-way spring preload, however the 41mm entrance fork is non-adjustable. We did discover it to be comparatively flickable, however due to its lengthy wheelbase it most popular to face up. Like a Weeble, it wobbled nevertheless it didn’t fall down.
The brakes, two twin-piston entrance discs and a drum on the rear, are very common. Fade was non-existent, however then there isn’t an overabundance of stopping energy, so there’s not a lot there to fade. The entrance rotors are designed in such a approach so that the majority disc locks is not going to match. The engine is a 45-degree V-Twin, and apart from displacement it’s basically the identical engine as discovered on the Shadow ACE and the ACE 750. As with Gold Wings, the PC 800 comes with hydraulic valve adjusters for straightforward upkeep. The engine is just not significantly sturdy, and it has a really slim powerband — from roughly 4500 to 6500 rpms.
Whereas the engine feels as if it needs to discover the higher limits of the rpm vary, the rev limiter kicks in at simply after 7000. With a scarcity of each excessive finish and low vary energy, shifts are frequent, up and down. Prime velocity as indicated was near 105 mph. We needed to place it on the dyno, however we couldn’t determine get to the plugs with out disassembling the bodywork.
The Pacific Coast 800 fills a market area of interest presently unoccupied within the U.S. — the smart city commuter. It could be an choice for an older entry stage rider or the occasional weekend tourer unable or unwilling to fork over $12,000 USD for an ST1100. Onerous-core bikers, like everybody else on MO’s workers, will nonetheless sniff and make jokes, and the PC 800 actually ain’t a intercourse magnet, you’re simply not going to look bad-assed and funky on a Pacific Coast.
However when this reviewer was given the selection of using cross city to the health club on a sizzling new sportbike or the PC 800, he at all times selected the Pacific Coast. It’s snug, has good climate safety and it has a trunk. Should you’re searching for a real-world commuter and also you count on to be hauling greater than can slot in a tank bag, then give the PC 800 a thought.
Mannequin: 1998 Pacific Coast 800
Worth: $8699 USD
Engine: liquid cooled 45 diploma V-twin
Bore x stroke: 79.5mm x 80.6mm
Carburetion: Two 46mm diaphragm-type CV
Transmission: 5 velocity, shaft drive
Wheelbase: 61.2 inches (1554.5mm)
Seat top: 30.1 inches (764.5mm)
Gas capability: 4.2 gallons (15.9L)
Claimed dry weight: 584.2 lbs (218.0kg)
Measured moist weight: 640.0 lbs (238.8kg)