What’s the ugliest motorcycle you can think of? For me, it has always been the Honda Pacific Coast. A v-twin tourer wrapped entirely in plastic, the PC800 seemed to take on the appearance of a glorified scooter. It even had a trunk. Not a top box-esque storage area like the modern Goldwings, but an honest to God ass-end trunk. Absolutely hideous.
It was produced in 1989 and 1990 and again from 1994 to 1998, selling roughly 14,000 units worldwide during its total seven year run. It was neither quick, nor terribly efficient, nor especially pleasing to the eye. But, what the Pacific Coast lacked in pizzazz, it made up for in its role as a relatively straight forward, low maintenance, everyday tourer. And that trunk? It was large enough for two full face helmets.
I’ve written about a number of cult bikes in my posts here on Clunker Nation, but none has such a fervent following as the Pacific Coast. Sure, there are approximately twelve people who are into them, but they are positively rabid about their bikes. The PC tends to be a love-it-or-hate-it motorcycle, and, unfortunately for the Pacific Coast’s sales and longevity, most people hated it.
That there is a webpage acting entirely as a registry for buying and selling PC800s is a testament to the faithfulness of its (very few) followers. (You’ll find it at http://www.pc800buysell.org/ if you’re interested.) That there are, at present, forty seven for sale ads and only seven wanted ads is indicative of its overall popularity—then and now.
But, as much as I and some (okay, many) others balk at the PC800—and, it really does take a special heap of self-assuredness to be seen astride one in public—credit must be given to their riders. Many of PC800s I have come across in my various travels are bikes that have been places. Not Deals Gap or Pikes Peak or Alice’s, but serious places like Alaska and Nunavut and Guatemala. Places most latte-sipping “adventure” bike riders will never venture.
I salute these fervid enthusiasts and their ugly motorcycles. Ride with pride, sirs.