I've had several bikes before and their names all came to me from the
unique ride experience each one gave me. Feel free to skip down to the
paragraph marked with the "#" and trim this down to the pertinent PC800
naming if I get too nostalgic. I originally just meant to tell you a
short story about arriving at the PC's name but got carried away by the
memories. I would assume you've heard many off topic stories before and
have either learned to skim thru them or enjoy the common passion we've
all had for our bikes. I really do apologize for self publishing my
life's story here. At least I don't go into detail about how much I hate
my car (98 Ford Taurus wagon......
There was my first bike, a '76 Kawasaki KZ400 that I named "The Tingler"
after the first time I drove it 90 miles to my Naval Reserve weekends.
This little thing seemed so big at the time but buzzed so bad after
only 30 minutes and swear my current wrist problems started here.
Then I got a real smooth 4 cylinder '70s crouch rocket, a 77 Suzuki
GS550 that accelerated so damn fast and was so nimble I almost caused my
roommate to crash his Yamaha 650 trying to follow me thru the twisties
and jumping bridges. He once complained that I was going so fast he
couldn't even hear me ahead let alone see me (he had a deafening header
pipe). I was also reading this German sci-fi series at the time (Geek
alert if you know the name!) and they used the abbreviation SPEOS for
speed of sound. So this bike became Suzi Speos.
In 1979 I decided I couldn't afford any more speeding tickets and really
wanted to travel in comfort. I'd already clocked 12,000 on the Tingler
and 27,000 on Suzi Speos and wanted to cover longer distances with a
passenger & gear and get away from the oil chain wardrobe. (I wasn't in
a position to consider those still newfangled Gold Wing things) But I
could afford the precursor to the PC800, IMHO, the Suzuki GS850GN shaft
drive. I truly loved this bike and the PC800 reminds me of it in so many
ways. It was so quiet, powerful, smooth, and comfortable. Outfitted with
a Silhouette windshield, tail rack with sliding adjustable backrest, and
a complement of soft luggage tank bag, saddles & duffle, I ranged up and
down the East Coast on I-95 & the Blue Ridge Parkway. One night I had
pulled over on a scenic overlook above DC on the GW Parkway and a couple
of HD's were already sitting there. This pair was a little more laid
back and friendly that most around here at the time, even so they
couldn't help but start to crack a couple of lines about how quiet the
bike was. One line stuck, something to the effect that I must be driving
an Electric Bike because it was so quiet. It just so happened that when
I was leaving there was a huge lull in the traffic and all you could
hear was the crickets. As I pulled out I had one of those sweet moments
when every shift just absolutely meshed into a seamless acceleration and
with the smoothest low muted output from the engine I could clearly hear
the whine of the shaft drive sounding all the world just like an
electric motor. I mostly just called that bike the Suzi or the 850 but I
would always call it the Electric Bike when I needed to put down a name
for a ride event. I did close to 69,000 wondrous miles on this bike over
the 9 years I owned her. As time and responsibility advanced on me
(wife, kids, job, bills, need for a real house, developing back
problems) I eventually came to the decision to climb off the saddle. I
had fallen a couple times over 12 years of riding and had lucky escapes
but wanted to ensure my two little kids would still have a Dad. I sold
the bike instead of just storing it since I figured it needed some
maintenance I just couldn't afford. I joke and tell folks I traded that
bike for a house and got burned in the deal.
Advance 14 years: The kids are just about grown up and my 16 year old
Son catches the moped bug (curiously avoiding the car driving mania). It
spreads from Son to Mother (veteran backseater on the 850) and then Dad.
Quickly roll the calendar forward as one day I come home and Mom is
proudly displaying her spanking new People 50cc scooter. Serious
discussions about me also getting one so we can ride side by side gets
sidetracked as I bend to my Son's wishes and buy an old '82 Suzuki GS450
in damn fine shape. From the start this was to be my Son's bike but he
didn't know it. After riding it for a month beforehand and cleaning and
polishing it up I presented it to him on his 18th birthday, just a week
before School let out. Ah youth! He was excited and intimidated by it.
He was also distracted by several other things going on and hated to
stand in line at the Virginia Dept of Motor Vehicles (Motto: 3 hours of
your life is getting off easy). He wasted the whole Summer and didn't
get his learner's permit until the end of August. Curious thing about VA
motorcycle learner permits, if you don't take the MSF course you can
only ride with another MC licensed driver and if your under 19 it has to
be a family member. Well the MSF is given at a couple of the Community
Colleges around here but they're all booked up far into the next year. I
wind up needing to buy another ride. I'm intrigued by an eBay ad for an
'86 Honda Helix and wind up buying it from a local guy who has JUST
MOVED UP TO A PACIFIC COAST. (took awhile to get pertinent) I remember
it as being sleek and sophisticated looking, it was Black and I think I
recall him saying it was a '95. I don't think he ever joined the IPCRC
and I've written to him suggesting he check it out.
So I'm driving this Helix, imaginatively named the Super Scooter, as a
trainer companion to my Son's 450 with my wife trailing on her 50cc
People scooter. I'm spoiled, I love the Helix around town but find it
under powered and too light for the highway to use for regular
commuting. Sure I can get it up to 70 and even 75 on the flat or
decline, but this thing blows all over the road unless it has a
passenger to weigh it down. So...
# I seriously start to research bikes to get back into serious riding
again. Considered very hard picking up an old Suzuki shaft, but really
wanted something more up to date. Looked hard at several Kawa Connies
but backed away from their low speed handling rep. Found the PC800.
Solid, dependable, tight online active support group. Looked at a couple
of them before falling down and worshipping a '94 with moderate low
miles only 30 miles away from me. A '94. Black. Shaft drive. Windshield.
Just like my old beloved '79 Suzuki 850GN. This bike was so smooth, so
stable, so refined, so quiet, so sharp. Name suggestions came and went.
Early favorite: Tupperwing- shot down after reading a post from a GW
rider with that name. Current influences in the household: we have 4 Pug
dogs so variations on Pug Cruiser, Shuttle Pug, etc. Kids (Daughter
esp.) into Japanese Anime so a couple of ideas there. Daughter is
actually learning Japanese in Comm College so we run down a whole list
of Japanese names/phrases inspired after seeing Ralph Couey's "Seishin
No Yomichi" (Spirit of the Night Streets). A lot of the names are just
too long in Japanese and if ever want to do something logo-like using
the Kanji characters I need a short name. Finally I typed in
"Motorcycle" into a Eng-Jap online dictionary and one of the options was
Baiku, Japanization for Bike. Pronounced as Bi-coo according to linguist
Daughter. And the Kanji is only 4 simple characters. Perfect!
Manassas Park VA
'94 PC800, Baiku