PC800 Mods and First Impressions

The PC800 is legally on the road! The seller came through promptly with his part of making the title corrections late last week, when I got it insured and registered, and as expected it aced inspection yesterday. My girlfriend does, in fact, fit on the back comfortably in a real world situation. I took her on the same loop around the Wachusett Reservoir that put her feet to sleep previously, and she had no trouble this time. She also likes the backrest on the Givi top trunk. We’re up for trying a longer ride together at some point, weather permitting. The PC800 handles a passenger better than the Silverwing did. Many people complain that the PC800 is underpowered for two-up riding, but I don’t know what they’re talking about. I intentionally punched it up a couple of steep hills with her on the back, and I had no trouble accelerating, without downshifting, without even inducing my minor clutch slip issue.

Speaking of which, it seems to nearly go away when the oil is hot. This makes me consider the suggestion I got on the IPCRC email list that the ultimate cure may be as simple as an oil change. The previous owner ran Amsoil, which is a really good synthetic. I could swear I saw some receipts for this in the paperwork I received with the bike, but I haven’t been able to find them. I’m curious about the particular type of oil that was used. If it was not the recommended weight, or if it’s synthetic oil intended for automotive use instead of a motorcycle, that alone could be the issue.

I also installed my GPS on the PC800, which is a rather important step for me since I use it so much both for long trips and just cruising around locally. The protected area on the PC800 is a lot smaller than the Silverwing’s large fairing, but I managed to find a location for it out of the weather and in even easier reach than on the Silverwing. I’ll write about the details in a separate post for ease of reference from elsewhere on the internet.

One more addition I ordered was the AdMoreLighting Givi E52 kit, which will add some nice LED tail, brake, and turn signal lights to my trunk. This will be a nice compliment to my driving light in front, making me far more visible from behind, and from either side, as the lights wrap around from the back to the sides of the top trunk. They’ll be wired in with the stock lights and have a built-in controller. Best of all, since the top trunk is so high these lights will be at the same height as the eyes of most drivers, rather than down below like the stock lights, so they’ll be extremely visible. I’m not going to go crazy with lighting on this bike, but this kit seems well worth it. It’s not cheap, but safety is important to me, and I put this mod into that category.

I think this PC800 is exactly the kind of bike I’ve been looking for. I’ve put a few hundred miles on it since getting it on the road. It’s comfortable to ride for at least a couple of hours at a time. I presume it will continue to be comfortable for longer rides. It’s also fun. It’s true that power corrupts, and it didn’t take long for me to be comfortable enough with the bike to see just how quickly it can get up to speed. This is why I will never own a sport bike – I’ll be too tempted to see how well it performs, and likely run out of riding skill really fast! But the PC800 performs well enough for me. The handling is precise, the brakes good, and the power more than adequate while not scary or overwhelming. The bike is a lot more solid than I’m used to. Granted, coming from a long, “distinguished” line of early 80s UJMs that are around thirty years old now, anything of this bike’s quality and half the age will feel a good deal more fresh. At this point, I couldn’t be happier with my upgrade.

I’m actively trying to sell the Silverwing now. I’ve posted it up on Craigslist, the CX/GL500 forum, and even AdvRider. So far I’ve been offered tools and half my asking price, both of which I’ve declined. One guy offered to buy the stereo pod separately, which I’d be willing to consider if the bike’s buyer is as uninterested in having it as I was. All in all, it’s the wrong time of year to sell a motorcycle, and I know that. I’m just hoping to send it to a new home before winter hits so that I don’t have to try to store two bikes over the winter. Though just today I got a kind offer from an old friend in Keene, NH to store one bike at his garage if I need to – and by garage, I mean the auto mechanic shop he owns. If it comes to that, I’ll take the Silverwing up there – by trailer or under its own power, I’m not sure yet – and also give him the opportunity to sell it for me if he’s able. That’s probably my best option if I can’t sell it myself. Then I can put it up for sale again in the spring – at a higher price, of course.

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