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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not sure if this is the correct section for this, if not I'm sorry.

I'm considering a few older sport touring bikes. Would like some opinions and pro's and con's on them. I've ridden MC's before, but never had my license or owned one, so whichever one I get will be my first bike. I'm going to take the course and get my license in the spring. I want something that rides fairly good and that I'll be able to ride double with when I have more experience.

Of all the MC's I've ridden, I liked the Yamaha FJ1200 the best. The FJ is probably more bike then I need at this point and I'm not sure how it would be to for longer double riding.

So I'm interested in the Honda Pacific Coast 800, Honda ST1100 and Kawasaki Concours ZG1000. Any thoughts or opinions on these MC's?


Thanks, NYH1.
 

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The ST and the Connie C10 are among the grand-daddies of the genre and are well established – if memory serves, the PC800 was sometimes dubbed as a super-scooter when it first came out, but clearly found a niche’ market. The ST and the C10 are both well known, large fuel capacity (both over 7 gallons – which can make them seem top heavy when fully loaded), both are shafties of course -- and either will scoot if you crank on `em… don’t know the ST all that well except it has a reputation for being bullet proof… the C10 has a wide support group and many OEM as well as mod parts are readily available, and you can often get them for a very modest outlay if you are patient in your shopping… These bikes all tend toward the touring side of the spectrum, compared to many contemporary sport tourers like the C14 or the FJR1300 (let alone the H2 SX-SE) which are more on the sport side…

Had a C10 for a few months and enjoyed it very much – excellent weather protection (better than its C14 younger sister which I now have). Rides nicely, can carve a corner or two, but you won’t mistake it for a ZX10R (etc.). C10 has a reputation for being buzzy – didn’t notice it on mine particularly (about the same as the C14), but the engine is solidly mounted as are the bars – some sort of a throttle lock is just about standard for either the ST or the C10 if you’re planning on extended riding… Either the ST or the C10 will generally go well above 100K miles with the usual care and neither has a reputation for being quirky – only issue on all three you propose is that you’ll probably need to become your own mechanic some of the time, as many shops have never seen one… but here also, support groups help bunches…

BTW: both the modern FJ1300 as well as the ST1300 did very well in the recent Iron Butt rally (Wendy C. won on the FJR1300), so the trend continues -- if you plan to ride lots of miles with a bit of speed, hard to argue against any of your proposed bikes... all pretty well known.
 

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BTW2 – I wouldn’t consider any of the bike you propose to be true beginner bikes – but not because their performance is likely to get away from a disciplined individual… they are all fairly heavy (they look like sport bikes but often weigh within a hundred or so pounds of a full tourer) and the weight is often carried higher than on a full touring bike with their lower seat heights… in these traditional sport tourers, the bikes are often dropped at very low, parking-lot speeds rather than when carving canyons… once in motion, they are designed to lighten up considerably with good agility – which the rider needs to remember is just a façade, because at very low speeds they can be a handful if one thinks they can just flick them around… Overall, however, they tend to be torquey, very well-mannered bikes
 

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Wot DC said.
The heavy bikes can be a prick to ride, even for an experienced rider. I can give you several easy ways to drop one. They are not forgiving, especially for low speed maneuvering.
 

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I had a Kawa Concours 1000 (actually 997cc) several years ago and it was an outstanding bike. BUT, it is definitely not a starter bike. It is heavy, and with its very large gas tank, quite top heavy when full of fuel, at stops and at slow speeds. Once moving the weight disappears, but when starting out from a stop, or coming to a stop it takes a good amount of experience to safely handle this bike. It is quite fast, and easily could get you into trouble quickly. Sport touring bikes are not the place to start, in my opinion as a rider with 35 years experience and as a former MSF Instructor that taught the basic course for 10 years. An older standard, like a Honda Nighthawk 250 would be the perfect starter bike. Or possibly a mid size or small cruiser like the Honda Shadow. Bikes stop depreciating after they are several years old if they are decently maintained. You could buy an older 250 and likely sell it for what you paid after using it for a season or two, and then moving up to a bigger and more powerful motorcycle.
 

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I had a new 1989 PC800 and wished I still had it. Fantastic touring mount, absolutely easy to maintain and economical to operate.:smile_big:

I had a new 2003 Concours 1000 and I wish I'd never sold it.:plain: Wonderful but too TOP HEAVY.:smile:

I had a new 2014 CTX1300D that wasn't exactly an ST1100 or 1300 but it shared 90% of the platform. The ST was very top heavy and HOT:surprise: Their owners for the most part loved them though.

Only you can decide which type and model is best for you BUTT and this is a big BUTT, all older Carb bikes are prone to their carb's plugging up for various reasons and can be very costly to fix if you can't do it yourself.:surprise:

Welcome to the Forum:grin:

Sam:nerd:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I had a new 1989 PC800 and wished I still had it. Fantastic touring mount, absolutely easy to maintain and economical to operate.:smile_big:

I had a new 2003 Concours 1000 and I wish I'd never sold it.:plain: Wonderful but too TOP HEAVY.:smile:

I had a new 2014 CTX1300D that wasn't exactly an ST1100 or 1300 but it shared 90% of the platform. The ST was very top heavy and HOT:surprise: Their owners for the most part loved them though.

Only you can decide which type and model is best for you BUTT and this is a big BUTT, all older Carb bikes are prone to their carb's plugging up for various reasons and can be very costly to fix if you can't do it yourself.:surprise:

Welcome to the Forum:grin:

Sam:nerd:
Is the PC800 less top heavy and easier to ride then the Concours 1000/ST1100?

Thanks, NYH1.
 

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Take a look at an older BMW F 800 GT or ST. Both are sport tourers capable of two-up long distance. They weigh significantly less than the bikes you listed. Center of gravity is lower because the gas tank is under the seat, which makes handling a little easier.

In my view, something smaller would be a better option as a first bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Take a look at an older BMW F 800 GT or ST. Both are sport tourers capable of two-up long distance. They weigh significantly less than the bikes you listed. Center of gravity is lower because the gas tank is under the seat, which makes handling a little easier.

In my view, something smaller would be a better option as a first bike.
I've seen some nice looking BMW's (Triumph and Ducati as well). However, we don't have any BMW dealers in my area. So I'm more then likely going to stick with the Japanese brands.

I believe the Honda PC800 has the gas tank really low as well. That's why I asked Porky if the PC800 less top heavy and easier to ride then the Concours 1000/ST1100?

NYH1.
 

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Good luck finding a Honda PC800 in decent condition. They stopped making them in 1998, so the newest one would be 21 years old. Personally I would never even consider a bike that old as my primary ride.
 
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NYH1, the PC800 has the gas tank under the seat area to afford a low center of gravity.

There are people that keep their PC's immaculate and like new and I wouldn't be afraid to buy one as my only bike:

Shaft drive, water cooled, 800cc, V-twin with Hydraulic lifters, electronic ignition and the oil and filter is super easy to get to so all maintenance is very easy.

I remember a memorable trip I took from Hemet, CA up HWY 395, on the brand new 1989 Honda PC, to Mammoth lakes resort, 350 miles away. I left early and cruised at mostly 60 to 70 mph all the time and got 55 mpg and arrived refreshed at the resorts Hotel. Soaked in the hot tub, ate a huge Pizza and a large bottle of DR. Pepper and slept soundly. Rode back the next day at mostly 80 mph and got 50 mpg and loved the bike and the trip. 395 from start to finish is a famous touring road. All of my stuff for the trip was stuffed inside the back trunk and kept very clean.:grin: Ergonomics all the way around was fantastic. The bike itself was designed explicitly to keep the rider clean from road grime, rain etc and it did. The quality of the PC800 was easily as classy as the new Goldwings at the time.:grin:

I traded it in in 1991 for a new Harley Davidson Electra Glide really because everybody I rode with bought new HD's to start doing the Yearly Sturgis rides and also to ride to the 4 corners rally. Southern California is lets face it, owned by HARLEY DAVIDSON:smile_big:

Get the PC800 and enjoy:wink2: It will always be worth a premium price and is collectible :wink2:

Sam:nerd:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
NYH1, the PC800 has the gas tank under the seat area to afford a low center of gravity.

There are people that keep their PC's immaculate and like new and I wouldn't be afraid to buy one as my only bike:

Shaft drive, water cooled, 800cc, V-twin with Hydraulic lifters, electronic ignition and the oil and filter is super easy to get to so all maintenance is very easy.

I remember a memorable trip I took from Hemet, CA up HWY 395, on the brand new 1989 Honda PC, to Mammoth lakes resort, 350 miles away. I left early and cruised at mostly 60 to 70 mph all the time and got 55 mpg and arrived refreshed at the resorts Hotel. Soaked in the hot tub, ate a huge Pizza and a large bottle of DR. Pepper and slept soundly. Rode back the next day at mostly 80 mph and got 50 mpg and loved the bike and the trip. 395 from start to finish is a famous touring road. All of my stuff for the trip was stuffed inside the back trunk and kept very clean.:grin: Ergonomics all the way around was fantastic. The bike itself was designed explicitly to keep the rider clean from road grime, rain etc and it did. The quality of the PC800 was easily as classy as the new Goldwings at the time.:grin:

I traded it in in 1991 for a new Harley Davidson Electra Glide really because everybody I rode with bought new HD's to start doing the Yearly Sturgis rides and also to ride to the 4 corners rally. Southern California is lets face it, owned by HARLEY DAVIDSON:smile_big:

Get the PC800 and enjoy:wink2: It will always be worth a premium price and is collectible :wink2:

Sam:nerd:
Thanks, NYH1.
 

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My 96 Triumph Trophy 900 would be considered a sport tourer. It looks and runs like new. It is so good, I will sell my 006 Suzuki SV1000S. It is a better bike. The Suzuki handles better, and is faster, but the Triumph is still a better bike, and quite acceptable for two. This winter I am getting the Triumph fairing parts painted. It will look even gooder than new.

One note on older bikes. It is often the case they need a bunch of bits to make them more road worthy. Tires, battery, brake parts, bearings and such. That can easily run up to $1,000- plus the work involved. It should be considered in the pricing.

An example is my 83 XS400. $250.00. The extra bits brought it up to over $1,000-
Parts for a 1990s bike can be hard to find, even worse for older. For my 79 XS1100, I bought a couple more bikes for parts.

UK
 
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