Sergeant Zuo

The grandest thing about being associated with CSC is the wonderful people I meet. One such person is Sergeant Zuo, our ride leader on the ride across China last summer. It was one of the best adventures ever. Today I received a couple of emails from my good buddy Zuo, and they took me to a Chinese motorcycle forum.

Here’s the deal: If you want to see it in English, copy and paste this email address…

…into this translation site…

…and you’ll be able to read it in English.

Sergeant Zuo is a great guy.  I enjoyed his companionship and leadership on our ride across China.  Zuo has about 25,000 miles on his RX3 now and it’s running strong. I know he reads the blog, so I’m going to make it easy for him and translate today’s blog into Chinese!

与CSC相关的最大的事情之一是我遇到的美好人物。 其中之一就是中国队士兵左骑士,去年夏天,他是我们坐在中国的骑行领袖。 这是历史上最伟大的冒险之一。 今天我收到了我的好伙伴Zoo的几封电子邮件,他们带我去了一个中国摩托车论坛。 这是交易:如果你想看到它的英文,复制并粘贴这个电子邮件地址…



佐武是一个伟大的家伙,我喜欢他在中国的陪伴和领导。 他的RX3现在已经有25000英里,而且运行得很好。 我知道他读博客,所以我要让他很容易,并将这个条目翻译成中文!

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Mopeds, Model 625s, and mountain lions…

So I was on my way to the gym today on my TT250 (which started immediately after not having been run for at least a couple of months) when I heard the distinctive drone of a small two-stroke engine.   I didn’t see Dylan’s custom bike initially, as it was running close to the parked cars in our neighborhood, but when I spotted it I knew I had to grab a few photos for the blog.   This is very cool…


Dylan told me he built the bike himself.  I guess I would have called it a moped (you have to pedal it to get started).  It’s all custom, including the frame with an integral fuel tank.  The bike had a old skool retro feel about it and I liked it immediately.



I especially liked the headlight patina and I asked Dylan how he achieved that look.   He explained something I might have figured out on my own (given a lot of time):  Chrome is plated over copper, and if you sand the chrome, you get down to the copper.  I loved the look.  He also had 1/4-inch copper tubing that contained the bike’s electrical wiring.  The whole effect was just cool.

I wanted to get a photo of Dylan (he’s a photogenic guy), but he didn’t want me to, so I asked Dylan to grab a photo of me with his bike…


I know what you’re thinking:   Where’s the ATGATT?

Hey, it was 95 degrees here this afternoon and I like I said above, I was on my way to the gym (which is just down the street from me).  I know…that’s no excuse.   But that’s the way it is.

We’re going to the range for our informal shoot tomorrow and I’m ready.  I loaded up a bunch of .45 AutoRim ammo for my Smith and Wesson Model 625 (love that gun), and my friends and I are going to have a good time…

Loaded for bear...or maybe lion?

Loaded for bear…or maybe lion?

You’re probably wondering about that caption in the photo above.  Okay, here’s the deal.   I spend way too much time on the Internet.  Some of that time is spent perusing the motorcycle forums.  Some of it is spent on Facebook (the ultimate waste of time, in my opinion).   And some of my time is spent on the Internet gun forums. If you think we have strong opinions on motorcycle forums, you need to check out the gun forums.  As we all know, there are a lot of strong opinions on the motorcycle forums.  Raise that by a factor of 10 and you can begin to get a feel for the opinions on the gun forums.   And if the topic turns to concealed carry, some of the posts are really out there.   Not that there’s anything wrong with carrying a concealed firearm (as long as it’s done legally), but when the topic turns to caliber and how much ammunition you need, well, the comments make anything you read on a motorcycle forum look tame.   Some of these folks carry cannons and enough ammo to start World War III.

One gun forum thread discussed how much ammo you should carry with a CCW (that’s a concealed carry weapon permit, in gun talk).  It piqued my interest.  The opinions all seemed to lean toward enough ammunition to equip an infantry platoon.  It made me wonder if the Internet had any data on the typical number of shots fired in a real altercation (that is to say, when a firearm is used for self-defense).  It turns out there was a study on this.  The magic number is (drum roll please):  Two.

Two rounds. Most of the time an armed altercation required only one round to stop things (the bad guys tend to change their minds and run away when the first round is fired).  I think the average got up to two rounds because there were a few instances in which more shots were fired, and in particular, there was one data point that was way above the average.  In that altercation, the good guy had a puny .32 auto and he had to fire a whopping 13 shots to stop his adversary.  His adversary, though, was a bit unusual.  Get this:  The “bad guy” was an escaped lion.  An actual lion.  Now there’s one you don’t run across too often.

I’ll be on the range tomorrow with my friends, and hopefully we won’t see any lions.  There are mountain lions around here, but I’ve never seen one.  We see the odd rattlesnake or tarantula at the range once in a while, and on a couple of instances we’ve actually had deer wander onto the range (and being the sportsmen we are, we let them wander off the range, too).  Watch for the range report in the next couple of days…you’ll see it right here on the CSC blog.

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A favorite video…

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3 June 2017: Newcomb’s Ranch!

We didn’t do our company ride to Newcomb’s Ranch a couple weeks ago because we were rained out, so we’re going to do it for our June ride.   It will be 3 June 2017 (the first Saturday of the month, just like always), and we’ll leave from the CSC plant at 9:00 a.m. sharp.  You’ll want to arrive with a full tank of fuel!

You can sign up for the Newcomb’s ride on our site!

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RX3 Soft Luggage

I really like our soft luggage (especially the stuff from Wolfman), and apparently so do a lot of you.  We stock a complete Wolfman line and we are constantly reordering different Wolfman items to meet your needs.  In fact, yesterday I told you that I’d have an orange RX3 to show equipped with Wolfman soft luggage, but it sold before I could get over to the plant to photograph it today.  Wow!

So I asked Willie to set up a second RX3 for my photo, and he was happy to do so…


The Wolfman luggage works well with the stock RX3 rack and guard system, and Willie had the second bike configured in no time flat…


We carry both the Wolfman and FastTrax line of tank bags and I had intended to show you the complete Wolfman setup on this bike, but son of a gun, the last Wolfman tank bag went out today (but don’t worry; we have more coming in).   Anyway, you get the idea.   You can really bump up your RX3’s carrying capabilities with our line of soft luggage, and several of the riders on our prior Baja runs have done just that…Fathi and Doina, Sara, and James are a few who come to mind.  You can do a search on the blog on their names and “Baja” to see their RX3s.  I use Wolfman luggage on my TT250 and I love it.  It’s very high quality gear and it performed perfectly on our TT250 Baja run.   You can see our complete Wolfman line on the CSC website right here.  If you have any questions, give us a call!

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The Darien Gap…

Now this is going to be an adventure…

I read about this while perusing ADVPulse (you can read the accompanying article here).   I’m looking forward to the movie these guys are going to make about their adventure.   Best of luck, guys, and as you know we used to say, All the Way!

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Duck distortion…

Steve has this very cool Ducati Multistrada in on consignment…it’s a gorgeous motorcycle and I’m almost tempted to pull the trigger on this one myself…


But I have two motorcycles in my garage right now and they are two that I love (my RX3 and my TT250).   Anyway, I have this low-bucks ultrawide 8mm lens for my Nikon….


…and I thought I’d have a little fun with it and that beautiful Ducati this morning.   The Rokinon lens is manual everything (focus, f-stop, and shutter speed), but I was able to dial it in nicely on the Duckster…



On a separate topic, we have another cool project underway…we’re configuring a new orange RX3 (the fastest color, you know) with a complete set of Wolfman soft bags.   I’ve seen that approach on my good buddy Baja Sara’s bike and I like it.   We’re going to do a photo shoot with our fully-outfitted orange RX3 tomorrow.  It looks good, and Wolfman makes a top-notch product.   Watch the blog for photos of our Wolfman Adventure.  I should have them for you in a day or two.

ADVPulse, ADVMoto, and all picked up our press release on the new RXR.  It’s cool seeing the announcement on their sites.   Very cool indeed.

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Third time’s a charm…

…or so the saying goes.   Another one might be, “screwed again.”

This all started 4 days ago, when the tire low pressure indicator lit up my Subie’s dash.   Thinking it was just a case of the tire going low after a few months of neglect, I pumped up the left rear tire and drove up to the bay area.  By then the tire pressure light was on again.  I didn’t see anything, but I took it to a tire dealer and sure enough, there was a screw in the tire.  $40 later, a quick repair, and I was on my way.

The next day, while backing out near a curb in a crowded parking lot, I scraped the right front on a sharp edge.   Uh oh, I thought.  I didn’t like the sound of it, and sure enough, I had ripped the sidewall on the right front.   It was holding air, but I didn’t want to chance it.   Even though I had put new tires on the Subie just 2 months ago, I bought a new tire.   That set me back a cool $203, but you gotta do what you gotta do.   I won’t take chances with tires.

And then, this.   Today, as I was leaving the Cal Poly Admin Building after completing my retirement paperwork, this was staring at me when I got back to my Subaru…

So here I sit in the customer waiting area of my local Big O tire store.   Time for another blog while I sit and wait for yet another tire repair.  Third time’s a charm.  Let’s hope!

Update:  Yep, the bad news is that screw you see in the photo above penetrated, and yep, the tire needed a repair.  The good news is the good guys at Big O didn’t charge a nickel for the repair, and they had it done for me in less time than it took to do this blog (which, in case you ever wondered about such things, was less than 10 minutes).   I know where I’m buying my next set of tires…

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Expansion, another win in Vegas, and more…

Our showroom is expanding and it’s been fun watching the guys remodel our plant.   We’ve tripled the size of the showroom and we’ll have quite a few more bikes on display when you stop by.   It’s interesting…it’s been a down year for motorcycles, but the demand for RX3s, TT250s, and the new Café Racer has been strong.  We’re still sorting through all of the technical details on the Café Racer, but as soon as we have those finalized and we order the next shipment, we’ll let you know when they’ll be here.

The quarter at Cal Poly is drawing to a close, and after teaching in the College of Engineering there for close to 30 years, I’m going to call it a day.  Yep, I’m retiring.  That means more time to ride my TT250 and my RX3, and more time on the range.   I’m excited about that.  I want to roll up the miles on my RX3, and I may do the Bronson thing and just point the forks east.   That would be cool.  I’m thinking I’ll follow the southern border, pick up the Gulf of Mexico coast in Texas after stopping for a dinner at the Cattleman’s in Fabens (just east of El Paso; it’s the best steakhouse on the planet), and turn north in Florida.   I may just cruise all the way north to Newfoundland to see if there’s any foundation in all the jokes I hear about that region from my Canadian friends, and then I’ll turn west again.  Saskatchewan is what I want to see.   The guys in Edmonton told me you can watch your dog run away for days up there.  Welker’s going to be in Alaska on his RX3.   Wouldn’t it be cool if I was waiting there with a beer when he arrives?   We’ll see.

Our good buddy Roland Wheeler racked up another 1st place win on his RC3 racebike, this time in Las Vegas.


Roland, our congratulations to you!  Your performance on the RC3 is more than impressive, and we’re all proud of you.

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The Mighty 625

Nope, it’s not a 625cc motorcycle.   This is another gun story.

It starts with the 1911 .45, the US Army’s semi-automatic handgun adopted that same year. Then came World War I, and suddenly the Army didn’t have enough of the .45 autos to go around.  But they loved the cartridge.  The answer was to have both Colt and Smith & Wesson adopt their existing large-frame revolvers to the .45 ACP cartridge and issue those revolvers to our troops to backfill the handgun need.    The Government designated the new revolvers as Model 1917s.


A US Army Model 1917 Smith and Wesson revolver.

After the war, Colt stopped making new Model 1917s, but Smith & Wesson continued the line and it became their Model 25 target revolver, which is still in production today.

After World War I, the War Department released the Model 1917 revolvers as surplus guns for sale to the civilian market. The used military guns were super cool, with their massive size, lanyard rings on the bottom of the grips, and “US” markings.  I bought a military surplus Colt M1917 when I lived in Texas 40 years ago for, I think, $100.  Then I sold it for about the same amount, and as has been the case with nearly every gun I ever sold, I’ve been kicking myself ever since.  I really liked that old Colt and I wish I still had it.

Somewhere along the line, a funny thing happened.   Shooters realized that the .45 ACP round in a revolver just flat works, both as a target proposition and for defense work.   I’ve been hooked on the concept for a long time.

Which brings us to the point of this story, and that’s my Model 625 Smith & Wesson. It’s a 4-inch-barreled stainless steel N-frame revolver chambered for the .45 ACP, it’s a direct descendent of the original US Army Model 1917 Smith & Wesson, and I love it.


My 625 Smith & Wesson and the .45 reloads it shoots so well.

It’s one of Smith & Wesson’s “Performance Center” models (that’s their specialty shop for producing precision custom revolvers).  Mine is a real honey.  At the police target combat distance of 7 yards, it literally puts those big old .45 slugs through the same hole, which is what I intend to do when we get together for our next milsurp match on the 21st of May.   If you’re in the area and you want to shoot with us, drop me a line.  We get more than a few CSC riders at our milsurp matches, and we always have a great time.

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