Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Honda PC800 is named for one of the world’s greatest roads—California’s legendary Pacific Coast Highway. Let’s see if this rare touring bike’s price means that its buyer would be the one taken for a ride.
You know, in this world there are cat people and there are dog people. I happen to like them both, but when it comes to cars, I’ve long been a cat—or catalytic converter kind of guy. I just so happen to like clean air and marvel at the fact that today we can have vastly lower emissions out of our cars without a significant hit to performance, all owed to these magical little devices.
It seems that many of you agree, and that’s why the removal of the cats on yesterday’s 2000 BMW M5 made it seem... well, less desirable. The catalytic converter extraction was done along with the adoption of a custom exhaust and was likely undertaken to eke out the last few ponies trapped by their presence. Their absence wasn’t enough to sway the votes in light of a $9,500 price tag however, especially in the face of a number of other, expensive updates that were claimed to have been undertaken on the car. In the end, it won a fairly decisive 62 percent Nice Price win.
Honda has long been a pretty savvy company. Whether it was offering the answer to the gas crisis in the original Civic, or elevating the humble lawn mower to aspirational status, the Japanese marque has stitched together a rich tapestry of successes.
That’s why their occasional missteps stick out more than those of other, less venerated companies. Today’s 1995 Honda PC 800 Pacific Coast is one such misstep, and boy is it an interesting one.
The PC 800 debuted in 1989. In much the same route that Ford took with its infamous Edsel brand, the bike was designed to fit a niche that in hindsight didn’t really exist. That was a bike for middle class, middle aged suburbanites who were new to motorcycling. Yeah, if you haven’t taken up two wheels by the time your mid-life crisis hits, you’re likely not going to be interested in something that looks like a glorified scooter.
That was kind of the PC 800’s shtick: the bike was constructed to be almost automobile-like in its presentation. That meant full bodywork, an actual trunk under the back pillion, and car-like gauges and switches. Hell, it even has a cooling fan for its radiator.
That bodywork is perhaps the bike’s defining feature. Well, that and its Pacific Coast name. That conjures up visions of cutting through Big Sur on winding Highway 1 chasing the majestic Californa condors in and out of the early morning fog while just catching the sound of the waves crashing on the rocks below. Who wouldn’t find that appealing?
Well, it seems quite a few wouldn’t on these particular bikes as the PC 800 only managed a meager 1,400 sales per year here in the U.S. over the course of its 8-year model run. That actually was two split model runs since Honda suspended sales from ’91 through ’93 in an attempt to lower bloated inventories.
This one hails from ’95 and hence the second half of that run. It presents in Black over Griffen Grey in the model’s traditional two-tone color scheme. Beneath those full body panels beats a heart, not of gold, but of an 800cc 45° V-twin. The 3-valve per cylinder engine is water-cooled and features two into one exhaust. Power output was factory rated at 46 horsepower and those are routed through a five-speed manual gearbox and Cardan shaft, again all new-rider friendly specs.
The bike has a fairly substantial 45K on the clock but doesn’t seem to show those miles. There’s no obvious peppering on the generous windscreen or mirror fairings, nor on the Akira-esque front fender. The two-up saddle looks to be in ass-ready shape as well, and the bike shows no indication of having ever been laid down.
The ad notes new tires and a battery, and claims the bike to be both “maintained and stored” and “ready to ride.”
Would you want to however? I mean, these bikes, while reasonably competent by today’s standards are still of another era. And they weren’t all that popular in that era to begin with. There were just over 1,000 sold in 1995 making this a fairly rare machine. It’s also a pretty versatile bike—that lockable rear-tire straddling trunk can hold a pair of helmets or maybe even a pony keg.
The question of course is whether it’s worth your time and more importantly, your $2,500. That’s the asking. It isn’t a lot, but honestly could buy you a number of other bikes or even a reasonably livable car for that much. And who doesn’t like cars?
What do you think, is this PC 800 worth that $2,500 asking? Or, at that much is this a Pacific Coast that’s going to need a detour?
Seattle, WA Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.
H/T to FauxShizzle for the hookup!
Help me out with NPOCP. Hit me up at email@example.com and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.