Honda Pacific Coast

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Honda PC800
1989 Honda Pacific Coast, Pearl White over Ocean Gray with accessory tall windshield
ManufacturerHonda
Also calledHonda Pacific Coast
Production1989–1998
Predecessornone
Successornone
Types of motorcycleTouring
Engine800cc V-Twin
Transmission (mechanics)5-speed
DimensionsLength 84.8 inch Width 30.7 inch
Seat height30.1 inch
Weight584.2 lb (265.0 kg) (Dry weight (motorcycle)), 640 lb (290 kg) (Wet weight (motorcycle))
Fuel capacity4.2 US gallon (15.9 litre)
RelatedHonda Deauville, ST1100 & ST1300

Named after California's Pacific Coast Highway (California), the Honda PC800 Pacific Coast is a touring motorcycle manufactured in Japan by Honda between 1989 and 1998. Over 14,000 were sold [1] in North America, Europe and Japan, with a three-year hiatus between two production runs. The bike is noted for a single integrated trunk straddling the rear wheel, full bodywork, and distinctive two-tone paint.

Like the later Honda Goldwing [2] and Rune [3] , the Pacific Coast had been conceived and designed by Honda Research America specifically for the US market [4] [5]. Though the later Goldwing GL1800 incorporates integral trunks, other subsequent Honda touring and sport touring motorcycles — namely the Deauville, ST1100 and ST1300 — abandoned the wheel-straddling trunk concept.

According to one registry of PC800 owners [6] the motorcycles themselves are now — more than ten years after end of production — scattered worldwide. Internet discussion groups in the US, France, Germany, Italy, UK, Holland, Norway and Japan [7], continue to support the motorcycle, and PC800 owners from around the world continue to gather annually to ride the Pacific Coast Highway [8].

Contents

An unorthodox motorcycle


According to a 1998 Motorcycle.org article, "when the PC debuted, it was considered a radical bike." [9] The PC800 departed convention with its integral trunk, extensive bodywork and marketing aimed at the "white-collar professional" [10]:

Marketing

Honda's marketing of the Pacific Coast took a cerebral approach:
In addition to naming the PC800 after an important American highway, Honda reinforced the association between the motorcycle and other notable highways of the world; advertising Copy (written) from the 1994 Pacific Coast brochure highlighted the famed Amalfi Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway, along with, of course, the Pacific Coast Highway (California) [8].
Similarly, the name of the lower body color for 1996 model (see table below) made subtle reference to another notable motorcycling destination, the scenic Karakorum Highway, the highest international highway in the world.

"For some people, a road is more than just a strip of pavement connecting where they are with where they want to be. It's the reason for leaving home in the first place. The Amalfi Drive in Italy is a road like that. The Blue Ridge Parkway is too.

And so is Highway 1 in California, that magical ribbon of blacktop that snakes along the very edge of the continent. The place this motorcycle is named for. The Pacific Coast."


—Honda Pacific Coast Motorcycle brochure, copyright American Honda Motor Co., Inc.[8]

In contrast to motorcycling advertising that emphasized rebellion or exaggerated masculinity, a 1989 30-second introductory television commercial for the PC800 depicted a couple awakening at a stylish waterfront home. She is seen running on the beach, he is seen showering, lifting his Rolex-like wrist watch from the bedside table, fixing coffee -- all with a Honda PC800 next to a grand piano in their elegant living room, the waves crashing visibly beyond. The commercial ended with a single shot of the motorcycle at a very calm (i.e., pacific) shoreline carrying the voiceover: "Introducing the Pacific Coast, from Honda. It is the beginning of a new day."
Nevertheless, sales remained sleepy for the entire two-part production run, averaging under 1400 sales per year over ten years.
See also: 1989 Honda Pacific Coast TV commercial
See also: Article on motorcycle advertising

Trunk

Unlike other motorcycles that offer detachable side or top cases for storage, the PC800 has an integral waterproof trunk under the Pillion (passenger seat). The passenger seat is attached to a single trunk lid that hinges upward to reveal two storage areas that straddle the rear wheel — with sufficient capacity to carry "two full-face helmets and two medium-sized gym bags" [9] or "two grocery bags" [11] or "four plastic bags full of groceries, along with a small bag of dog food." [9] The trunk lid is held up by a hydraulic strut and is controlled by a release mechanism under the lockable fuel filler door.
See also: 1998 Motorcycle.org article, for photo of open trunk

Bodywork

Like other motorcycles with full bodywork such as the BMW K1200GT and Victory Motorcycles, the PC800's plastic bodywork conceals almost the entirity of the motorcycle's mechanical underpinnings — in the manner of a Scooter (motorcycle). While routine oil changes do not require panel removal [11] the PC800 Owners manual calls for removal and replacement of four panels (two each side) for servicing the spark plugs and seven panels for servicing the battery.
The design of the bodywork includes three vents (visible in the photo above) on each side of the bike to cool the mechanicals: a pair of forward vents on the wheel cowling, a lower vent on each side for the transmission, and two larger vents to accommodate the engine's cooling system.
In contrast to other motorcycles with full bodywork, the PC800's trunk occupies the full unbroken width of the bike's tailend while the front wheel carries an unusual cowling — which reverted to a Fender (vehicle) in 97-98 model years. For the entire production run, the visual bulk of the bodywork was mitigated by a lower-body accent color.
Nuvola apps kview.png External images
Searchtool.svg Pacific Coast: Rear trunk, open
Searchtool.svg Pacific Coast: Rear view
Searchtool.svg Pacific Coast: Dashboard

Features


Honda outfitted the Pacific Coast as a "low-maintenance motorcycle for daily use" [10] aimed primarily toward first-time motorcycle owners. Riding position is standard or neutral, instrumentation is "automobile-like" [9], switches and controls are large and clearly marked, self-canceling turn signals were included (until MY1997) along with a seat height of 30.1" and an integrated fairing and windshield. 1989 and 1990 models offered an optional AM/FM radio.

Engine

  • 800cc liquid-cooled twin-cylinder engine.
  • 45 degree V-twin engine design, for a low center of gravity and cornering clearance.
  • (2) 34.2mm Keihin carburators
  • dual-pin crankshaft design with a rubber-mounted engine.
  • Dual spark-plug cylinder heads and three-valve-per-cylinder technology
  • Maintenance-free hydraulic valve adjuster system.
  • Maintenance-free, automatic cam-chain tensioners.
  • Maintenance-free hydraulic clutch.
  • Digital electronic ignition.
  • Bore x stroke: 79.5mm x 80.6mm
  • power: 56ps/6500rpm
  • Torque: 6.7/5500rpm

Chassis

  • steel frame for low engine placement.
  • 42mm front fork with dual Syntallic bushings.
  • Rear suspension, adjustable four-way spring preload.
  • dual front disc brakes with twin-piston calipers.
  • Torque Reactive Anti-dive Control (TRAC).
  • shaft drive is virtually maintenance-free.
  • cast alloy wheels.
  • two-into-one exhaust system.
  • Ground clearance 7.0 in.
  • GVWR 988 lb.
  • Load capacity (tank full) 357 lb.

Dimensions

  • Overall height: 1360 mm
  • Overall length: 2285 mm
  • Overall width: 910 mm
  • Wheelbase: 1554.5 mm
  • Seat height: 764.5 mm
  • Fuel capacity: 16 L
  • Claimed dry weight: 584.2 lbs (218.0kg)
  • Measured wet weight: 640.0 lbs (238.8kg)
  • Front tyre dimensions: 120/80-17
  • Rear tyre dimensions: 140/80-15
"Body By Tupperware" decal on a 1989 PC800.

Other features

  • Lockable storage trunk with hidden release-latch.
  • Breakaway-type rearview mirrors.
  • Halogen headlight.
  • Centerstand.
  • Fuel and coolant temperature gauges.
  • Maintenance-free 12-volt battery.
  • Ignition switch/fork lock for added security.

Accessories

The following Hondaline accessories were offered for the PC800:

  • Audio System: Kenwood AM/FM radio with 15 watt per channel power booster, 5 station presets, AM/FM selector and two waterproof speakers. (see chart below for Model year availability.)
  • Helmet headset adaptor for the Audio System.
  • Front Mud Guard.
  • Scuff Pad Set, seven piece clear plastic set, applied to protect scuff areas.
  • Trim Kit, four rubber-like self-adhesive strips to fit on the plastic covers that fit over the 4 bumpers.
  • Larger Windscreen.
  • Front Nose Mask.
  • Body Cover. (fabric motorcycle cover)
  • Trunk Light.
  • Top spoiler and lower spoiler.
  • Backrest.
  • Trunk Mats.
  • Inner Trunk Mats.

Production data


The table below outlines production figures, factory paint colors and production notes.

The table uses serial numbers as a basis for estimating production [1]: Official US production bikes carry serial number in the RC340 range, California models carry RC341 numbers, Japanese models carry RC341(J) numbers, and Canadian and European models carried RC342 serial numbers.

Model yearProduction [1] Body color~trim colorNotes
MY19896,602Pearl White~Ocean Gray All years: fender is upper body color
MY1989 562Silver~Dark Grey Japan model S/N RC341(J)
MY19903,739Candy Apple Red~Griffen Gray light blue option, France and Italy
MY1991-- -- model year not offered
MY1992 -- -- model year not offered
MY1993 -- -- model year not offered
MY19941,193Black-Z~Griffen Grayradio option no longer offered
MY19951,009Black-Z~Griffen Gray --
MY19961,070Magna Red~Karakorum Highway Gray MY96-98: no clearcoat above, MY97-98: no clearcoat below, lower color moulded in, not painted.
MY1997713 Magna Red~matte blackSelf-canceling turn signals discontinued. Front wheel Cowling reverted to fender, minor cosmetic, cost-cutting changes
MY1998510 (approx) Magna Red~matte black --


References



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