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Display Mesage #93965

Why buy a PC800 - long
Written by lcshepp on 6/10/2010 at 04:41 am

Hi Douglas,

> What reasons did you all have for buying a PC and what keeps you
> coming back for more?

I fell in love with the looks of the bike. I think it is one of the
most beautiful production motorcycles ever built. I thought so then and
I think so now. I think the bike is just plain gorgeous.

When, in 1988, I saw the Honda TV commercial for the PC, I almost spun
my head off my neck doing a doubletake: WHAT WAS THAT?

Contacted a dealer I knew and asked about it. He told me it was a
Pacific Coast and that he had one.

I went down and road tested it and didn't like it. Too much vibration.
That plus the $8645 list price (or thereabouts) was too rich for my blood.

So, no PC for me in 1988...

When the '94 was introduced at a lower price, I got interested again and
decided to double check on the "vibration" thing.

I went to a Sacramento dealer (Carmichael Honda) and rode a used '89 and
found it to be smooth as silk; not sure what was wrong with the first
one but there sure was no vibration in the bike.

That dealer told me no one was discounting anything and that the new '94
model would be about $8000 out the door.

I had never been a comparison shopper but I decided to try another
dealer. I called the Honda dealer in Auburn and the first thing the
salesman said was that they were discounting everything. Hmmm...

I said, "talk to me." He asked what I wanted and I told him a Pacific
Coast. He told me to hang on and after a minute or two he came back and
said he could get one, it would take 3 days and the out the door price
would be $6800. I told him he had just sold a bike. Three days later,
I rode out on my new '94 PC.

I bought the bike in September 1993, the month before I quit smoking. I
had to finance it and figured to use my cigarette money to make the
payments. I had been spending $172 per month for cigarettes and filters
and the payment on the PC was $177. So the bike actually cost me $5 per
month and my health improved on top of it... :-)

I had a 1972 CB750 that I loved. Had had it since I bought it new in
1972. I was going to ride it on weekends and commute on the PC. Much
to my surprise, the PC handled better than the 750 and, although the 750
had a lot more horsepower, the PC could do just well on twisty roads by
virtue of the superior handling. I loved the PC so much I stopped
riding the CB and ended up selling it.

In 1999, after 138,000 miles, I slipped in a tight right hand corner
(had Metzelers mounted at the time) and went down with the bike. The
bike and I were sliding along the road. I was on my back and my right
hand was on the handgrip still. The bike was sliding on the crashbars
because my hand on the handlebars was causing it to be balanced. I
thought to myself that I was supposed to let go of the bike so I did. I
regretted it. Had I not let go, I would have slid maybe 10 feet farther
than I slid anyway and I would have ridden the bike home. As it was,
when I let go of the handlebar, the bike tipped, the wheels touched, the
bike righted itself and, because it was sideways in the road, flipped
over and took out the whole left side of the bike. I jumped up, ran
over to the bike, picked it up and couldn't move it. A Harley rider
came around the corner, saw me, pulled over and came and helped me drag
the bike off the road. The fairing subframe was bent badly enough that
I couldn't move the handlebars. I got towed to my mechanic's place and
left the bike for him to work on it.

I lasted 2 days without my beloved PC and couldn't stand it. Got on the
internet and found a good looking '89 for sale. It was a San Jose (150
miles away) phone number but it turned out the guy lived just 3 miles
down the road from me. I went over, looked at the bike, started it,
turned it off and bought it. I planned to sell it when my '94 was finished.

About the time I got the '94 back, I started thinking about all the
miles I already had on it. I decided that if I kept the '89, I could
alternate them and spread out the mileage and maintenance. (Oh, oh,
folks, he's hooked.)

In 2001, I decided that if 2 was good, 3 might be even better. The
Dutch PC800 buy/sell page (for the whole world) had imploded so I
decided to start one myself. I was the first listing - want to buy a
clean '90 (I love the Candy Red). I announced the buy/sell page on the
list and David Bond sent me an ad for the '90 that he wanted to sell. I
took one look at the photo and called him. His bike never made it to
the buy/sell page... In November, I flew to Baltimore and got a ride to
New Jersey from Brian Soloway. We stayed at David's house in
Livingston. Spent half the night installing a Clearview shield,
Throttlemeister, a hookup for Widder electric gear and some other stuff
I can't even remember now for the trip back. Got about 4 hours of sleep
and, the next morning, started for California. Had a 5 gallon can of
gas in a duffle bag on the passenger seat and it was a good thing; ran
out of gas 3 times the first day. I forgot about the headwind I would
encounter which knocked the dickens out of the mileage. Riding at 75 to
90mph didn't help either... I took I80 back to California on that trip.

Anyhow, that's how I ended up with 3 PCs.

I was going to stop there because I have never been a big fan of the
"tomato red" (my name for it) PCs. Then my buddy Tom Humphrey sent me a
picture of a '96 PC with a Hannigan sidecar installed on it. Tom asked
if "it called to me." About a week later, I wrote him back and said,
"it not only called to me; I just bought it." It was just too unique a
rig for me to pass up and the Hannigan sidecar matches the style of the
bike so well it looks to me like they were made for each other. The
price I paid for it ($6000) wasn't too bad either. The first owner had
over $12,000 in the bike and it didn't have many miles on it.

Israel picked up the bike (which was in Baltimore, Maryland) for me and
took it to his house in Salisbury. The poor PC, it turned out, had not
been sitting for 2 weeks as the son of the former owner claimed but more
like 14 months. It was green with mold and mildew. Iz said it stunk so
bad there was no way he was going to put it in his garage. I didn't
blame him. Between that time and the time I arrived in Baltimore, the
guy had all but restored the bike. I said, "Jeez, Iz, I asked you to
store it; NOT restore it!" Bless his heart, the bike looked like new.
No green, no mildew, etc. I forget how many cans/bottles of Lysol and
Fabreze the poor guy had to use but the stink finally stopped. The rig
was gorgeous. A whole bunch of those neat PCing folks came over to Iz'
house and Iz and they rode with me for the first few hours on the trip
back. Steve Johnsen went all the way to Pennsylvania with me as I
recall. I took I70 back to California on that trip. A little variety,
you know.

And that, folks, is how I ended up with 4 PCs. And I couldn't bear to
part with any of them...

That's my story and I'm sticking to it... :-)


Leland Sheppard
Placerville, California, USA

...Life is good on the Pacific Coast...

'94 Pacific Coast, "Black Beauty", 211,500 miles
'89 Pacific Coast, "Shadow Dancer", 118,300 miles
'90 Pacific Coast, "Red Baron", 105,850 miles
'96 Pacific Coast/SuperSport sidecar, "Handsome Hannigan", 31,150 miles
'02 Ural Patrol, "Boris Blueanov", 15,250 kilometers
'89 GB500, "Little Bugger", 13,692 miles
'02 GL1800, "Copper", 55,675, '07 Aspen Classic, "Copper's Camper", 1,545 miles
iPCRC #72; IBA #10582; AMA #481368

Mother of all PC800 Web Site Lists:

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