RX3 High Performance Front Brake Kit Installation

“A home run.”

“A 35 when evaluated on a scale of 1 to 10.”

“A dramatic increase in stopping power.”

“Everybody will want one of these.”

These are the ways I described our new 11.5-inch front rotor high performance brake kit after Gerry installed it on my RX3 this weekend.    Mind you, I didn’t think the stock front brake was lacking.   The stock RX3 front brake is about the same as the front brake on my KLR 650 or my old Harley Softail.

This new front brake, though, is phenomenal.


Take a look at this.  The photo below shows the increase in diameter when going to the new front brake kit.   The rotor jumps up to 11.5 inches in diameter and it increases in thickness from 4mm to 5mm.   The rotor is high performance stainless steel, and you get a set of DP sintered pads with the package.   We also include the new aircraft-grade billet aluminum caliper carrier (required for the larger diameter rotor) and a set of Allen bolts to mount the rotor to your hub.   In short, the new kit includes everything you need to set up your RX3 to stop on a dime and give you 9 cents change!


Here’s what you get: The new rotor, a set of rotor bolts, the caliper carrier, and the DP sintered brake pads.   It’s $299.95 and you can get it by ordering it on our website, or by calling Ryan at 909 445 0900.


This tutorial shows you how to install the new front brake on your motorcycle.  I need to warn you in advance, though…you will be tempted, but no stoppies or stunting allowed!

You’ll want to start by removing the front wheel (please refer to our RX3 front wheel removal tutorial) and the front brake caliper (please refer to our RX3 brake maintenance tutorial).   Don’t disconnect the hydraulic line to the front caliper; it’s not necessary to do that.

Remove the front brake caliper pin.


Remove the old brake pads.


Remove the caliper mount (it’s the part the red arrows point to).


Remove the caliper clip.   You’ll want to clean that part and set it aside.  We’re going to reuse it.



Use a suitable solvent to clean the clip.


We are going to remove the threaded pins from the caliper mount that the caliper translates on.  They are Loctited in place, so we have to heat the caliper mount to allow removing the pins.


When you heat the caliper mount, don’t overdo it.  You can use a torch or a heat gun.  The trick is to get the caliper mount up to about 250 degrees Fahrenheit.   Do one pin at a time.


One pin is removed with a 12mm wrench.  Be careful not to burn yourself.


The other pin is removed with a 6mm Allen wrench.


They will be pretty funky when you take them out of the caliper mount, so clean them with solvent.


We are going to replace the old caliper mount with the new billet caliper mount.


Install the caliper mount pins in the new caliper mount.  Use blue Loctite.






Temporarily install the caliper mount on the left front fork lower.   We’re only doing this to allow torqueing the caliper pins to the correct torque.  Torque the caliper pins to 25 N-m.




Remove the caliper mount from the front fork and install the clip.  Note the clip’s orientation.



Apply and distribute a light coat of grease on the caliper pins.


Slide the caliper onto the caliper mount.   Use a spray solvent to remove any dirt from the caliper spring, as shown in the photo below.



Check the brake pads on the brake pad pin to make sure they translate freely.   Replace the brake pad pin if it is worn or if it has significant surface discontinuities.


Apply blue Loctite to the brake pad pin as shown below.


Run the pin partly into the caliper and install the brake pads.   The pin fits through the hole in each of the two brake pads.



Screw the pin into the caliper using an Allen wrench or socket


Force the brake pads apart with a large flat blade screwdriver.  Use caution to not damage the brake pad surfaces.


At this point, allow the caliper to hang from the hydraulic brake line.


Or next steps involve removing the stock brake rotor.   This part is secured by 6 Allen bolts.  It is relatively easy to strip the Allen head in these bolts.   That’s one of the reasons we provide six new Allen bolts with this kit.   If you strip the Allen head, you’ll have the new Allen bolts included with the kit that you can use, but you’ll still have to get the old Allen bolt out.   That usually involves cutting metal and a lot of cussing.  Your best bet is to do as we advise here to get the old Allen bolts out.

The bolts are Loctited in place. Heat the wheel hub just like we heated the caliper mount earlier.  Heat one or two bolts at a time; do not attempt to heat the entire hub.  If you use a torch, take care not to heat the spokes or you will ruin them.  Heat the rotor Allen bolts to about 250 degrees Fahrenheit.  Use a sharp Allen wrench to remove them.



After you have removed the Allen bolts, diligently clean the rotor mounting surface and the threads.    You’ll want to remove all of the blue Loctite residue you see in the photo below.


We start this cleaning process with a solvent.


Gerry then uses a razor to remove the residue.


Gerry then touches up the rotor/hub interface area to assure there are no high spots.  This is an important part of the process.   You may have read about front brake pulsation that may occur on some RX3 motorcycles; in our experience, this is typically caused by an uneven rotor/hub interface surface.


Place the rotor on the hub.  Check to see there is no rocking due to unevenness in the rotor/hub interface area.


Apply blue Loctite to the rotor mounting bolts.


Install the rotor mounting bolts, torqueing them lightly at first to assure that the bolts’ shoulders are seated within the rotor mounting holes.


Reinstall the front wheel as described in the RX3 front wheel removal tutorial.

When we do this, we replace the original shouldered front axle pinch bolts with fully threaded Allen bolts.  They look better and we have found that these allow for more a more controlled torque application.   These bolts should be torqued to 20 N-m.  Do not over torque these bolts.  The intent is to pinch the front axle.  Do not attempt to remove the gap in the right fork lower casting.


At this point, you should torque all of the bolts on the left side of the front wheel.


The torque values are shown below.   Use a criss-cross pattern when torqueing the rotor bolts.


Clean the rotor with a solvent and wipe it clean.


Take care when first riding the motorcycle after installing the new front brake kit.   You will want to properly bed the new pads on the new rotor, so stop with light braking force a few times and gradually build up to full brake applications.    The front brake will be substantially stronger than the stock brake, so practice stopping with it to get a feel for the new brake’s power.

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This is gonna be good!

As my good buddy Austin Powers would say:  Yeah, baby!



Road test and maintenance tutorial to follow shortly, so stay tuned!

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See Us in Phoenix!

We’ll be at the Phoenix International Motorcycle Show in just two weeks, folks!


Ryan and Matt will be there with the 2016 CSC RX3 and TT250 motorcycles, and it will be a hoot!   You’ll get to see the RX3’s new adjustable front forks, bar end weights and satin chrome handlebars, and all of the exciting changes we’re incorporating on the 2016 RX3.  You’ll also get to see the new TT250, the bike Motorcycle.com called the No. 1 affordable pick in 2016 motorcycles!

We hope to see you there!

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Carlos’ new US-spec windshield


On my recent Colombian expedition I rode with two great guys, Carlos and Juan.   Carlos told me he liked the windshield we have on our Norte Americano motos, and as soon as I returned to California, I shipped one to him.  Early this morning I received the photo above.  The new windshield is on Carlos’ metallic brown TT250 Adventour, and it looks good!

I was up early this morning adding photos to the new book, Moto Colombia.  Wow, writing that story is fun!   While I was doing so, I came across a photo of Juan and Carlos I took on our first day of riding in beautiful Colombia.   This photo, and many more like it, are going in the book!


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TT250 Oil Pump Replacement

This maintenance tutorial addresses TT250 oil pump removal and replacement.

You should replace the oil pump if you are rebuilding the TT250 engine or if the oil does not appear to be working smoothly.  It’s difficult to tell if the oil pump is not working smoothly without removing it and checking its ability to freely rotate.   Here’s a short video that shows how the TT250 oil should rotate freely.   If there’s any doubt about the pump’s operability, replace it.

Gaining access to the oil pump involves disconnecting the rear brake lever and removing the right engine case and the centrifugal oil cleaner as outlined in the TT250 clutch replacement tutorial.

After removing the above components, remove the oil pump shroud by unbolting the two bolts shown below.


Remove the shroud.


Remove the oil pump drive chain and sprockets.  They will slide off their respective shafts.



Unbolt the two bolts securing the oil pump shown in the photo below.



Remove the oil pump.


Assembly is the reverse of disassembly.

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TT250 Clutch Replacement

This tutorial addresses TT250 clutch replacement.  The TT250 uses a wet multiplate clutch.

Drain the engine oil into a suitable container.   Refer to the TT250 engine oil change tutorial for instructions on how to do this.

Disconnect the rear brake lever from the rear master cylinder by removing the cotter pin and pulling the shaft out.  This will allow rotating the rear brake lever out of the way to allow removing the right engine case.




Remove the 13mm bolt securing the kick start lever and remove the kick start lever.



Loosen the handlebar clutch lever cable adjustor by screwing it all the way into the clutch lever casting.


Disconnect the clutch cable at the engine end.


Remove the 13 10mm bolts securing the right engine cover to the engine.



Tap the right engine cover lightly with a soft mallet to loosen it.


Remove the right engine cover.


At this point, you will see the engine internals on the right side of the engine.  These components are labeled here for reference during the remainder of this tutorial.


Remove the clutch actuation rod and bushing.



Remove the clutch throwout bearing.   If this bearing is worn or does not operate smoothly, replace it with a new bearing.


Remove the six clutch bolts in an even pattern by unscrewing each bolt a few turns at a time.  Do this in a criss cross pattern to allow the clutch hub to back out evenly.



Remove the clutch hub to expose the clutch springs.


We recommend replacing the clutch springs when replacing the clutch.

Remove the Circlip that secures the clutch inner basket.


For reference during reassembly, the Circlip has a sharp-cornered edge and a radiused edge on opposite sides.  The sharp edge should face away from the motorcycle during reassembly.

This is the sharp edge.


This is the rounded edge.


To remove the rest of the clutch components, it is necessary to remove the centrifugal oil cleaner.

Unscrew the three Phillips head screws on the centrifugal oil cleaner.



Remove the centrifugal oil cleaner cover.


The engine used for this tutorial only had a couple of hundred miles on it, so there was no dirt or sludge in the centrifugal oil cleaner.  On a motorcycle with much higher mileage, packed sludge will accumulate around the inner periphery of the centrifugal oil cleaner in the areas shown by the red arrows below.  Scrape this sludge out and wipe the interior of the centrifugal oil cleaner clean.


The inner portion of the centrifugal oil cleaner is secured by a castellated nut.   This nut is shown by the lower red arrow on the right in the photo below.


Use a castellated nut driver like the one shown below to remove the nut.



Remove the castellated nut.


There is a washer underneath the castellated nut.   This washer is labeled to show which side should face out.



Pull the inner portion of the centrifugal oil cleaner off of its shaft.

At this point (after removing the inner portion of the centrifugal oil cleaner), the clutch inner basket and clutch components can be removed.





The clutch consists of six fiber plates and five steel plates as shown below.  The fiber plates are all the same.   The steel plates are all the same.   The fiber plates are the outer plates on both sides of the clutch assembly.   The plates alternate in this order:

  • Fiber plate
  • Steel plate
  • Fiber plate
  • Steel plate
  • Fiber plate
  • Steel plate
  • Fiber plate
  • Steel plate
  • Fiber plate
  • Steel plate
  • Fiber plate

CSC stocks the clutch plates and the clutch springs.  Please call us at 909 445 0900 to order these components if you need them.



Inspect the clutch inner basket for any discontinuities in the notches on which the clutch plates translate.  If the clutch inner basket has surface discontinuities or excessive wear, replace it.


Similarly inspect the clutch outer basket for any surface discontinuities or excessive wear.  Replace the clutch outer basket if necessary.


The kick starter seal should be replaced if the engine cover is removed.


Inspect the oil viewing port. If any external leakage is evident, replace the oil viewing port seal.


The oil viewing port can be pushed out from the inside of the engine cover.


Before installing the new clutch plates, soak them in motorcycle oil for 24 hours.  If you don’t do this, you may ruin the new clutch.

Assembly is the reverse of disassembly.  Use a new engine cover gasket.  Torque the clutch derby bolts to 5 ft-lbs.   Torque the engine cover bolts to 15 ft lbs.  Torque the kick start lever bolt to 35 ft lbs.  Torque the centrifugal oil cleaner castellated nut to 60 ft lbs.

After installing all components, adjust the clutch as explained in the TT250 clutch adjustment tutorial.

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No. 1!

Yep, Numero Uno.   That’s what the new CSC TT250 was in Motorcycle.com magazine’s top 10 picks in affordable motorcycles in 2016!   You can read the story here:

Top 10 Affordable New Models Of 2016

That’s going to fire up the industry!   And for all you folks who are buying this new bike (as well as the CSC RX3), our compliments (along with those of Motorcycle.com magazine) to you and your good judgment!

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TT250 Clutch Cable Installation and Adjustment

This maintenance tutorial addresses clutch cable installation and adjustment.

First, route the cable from the handlebar (without attaching it yet) to the engine.  Note that there is a loop welded on the left front frame downtube through which you should route the clutch cable.


Apply a small amount of grease to the lower clutch cable attachment point and attach the lower end of the clutch cable to the engine clutch arm.   This is what it will look like looking down at the attach point between the engine and the exhaust pipe.


Route the clutch cable through the adjustment mount on the engine, and adjust the adjustor nuts to give the cable as much slack as possible.  The barrel should reach as far back to the rear of the motorcycle as it can.


I had Gerry take the right engine case off of the engine so you could what’s going on inside the engine when we do this.   These photos are for illustrative purposes only.  You do not need to open up the engine to make this adjustment.


When the engine clutch arm is actuated by pulling in the handlebar clutch lever, it rotates the shaft to which the engine clutch arm is attached.   That shaft has a flat spot on it inside the engine case (you can see this in the photo below; the red arrow on the left points to it).   When the shaft rotates, that flat spot acts to move a rod that disengages the clutch.   Again, you do not need to open up the engine; this is just to explain to you how the clutch is actuated internally and to give me a chance to show off my photography skills.


Okay, back to the main attraction.  Pull back the handlebar clutch lever hood.


Screw the clutch lever adjustors into the clutch lever as far as possible.   After applying a small amount of grease to the clutch cable barrel, route the clutch cable through the adjustors and connect the clutch cable barrel.

After doing the above, position the handlebar clutch lever adjustor so that the adjustor is in the middle of the adjustment range.  Note that there were still be considerable slack in the clutch cable at this point.

Next, adjust the cable slack with the engine-mounted adjustors.   Use the adjustors shown below.


Adjust these so that there is approximately 3mm of slack on the handlebar clutch lever at the point shown below.


Lock down all of the adjustor nuts (on the engine and on the handlebar clutch lever adjustor).  Pull the rubber adjustor hood over the adjustors at the handlebar clutch lever.

All future clutch adjustments should be made with the handlebar clutch lever adjustors.

You should not lubricate the clutch cable; it has a Teflon sheath and is self-lubricating.

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Secret Missions, Moto Colombia, Baja, Tutorials, Service Manuals, and more…

Wow, there is a lot happening.   I’m going “wings in the wells” in a few days on another secret mission…this time to Singapore.   It’s 22 hours to get there, and 25 hours to get back.   I’ll be catching up on a lot of reading!



Moto Colombia, my book about the recent adventure in Colombia, is nearing completion.  I finished the first draft last weekend and I’m in the polishing phase (you know, correcting errors, adding photos, and that sort of thing).    There were many things about the Colombia ride that made it special, including the camaraderie and the conversation.   During one of our dinner conversations, my good buddy and guide Juan told me his interest in riding started almost at birth.   His Mom had a moped, and every where they went, they went on two wheels…

Then and now...Juan on the shores of the Caribbean during our recent Colombia moto adventure, and riding with Mom as a child!

Then and now…Juan on the shores of the Caribbean during our recent Colombia moto adventure, and riding with Mom as a wee one!

I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed writing any book as much I have enjoyed writing Moto Columbia.   Colombia was one hell of an adventure and I found myself reliving it as I wrote the book.  You guys will love the book, and it will go to press before I leave for Singapore.


If you enjoyed 5000 Miles At 8000 RPM, you will love Moto Colombia!


The Mission in San Ignacio, one of the many cool places we’ll visit on the CSC 2nd Annual Baja Run!

Ah, on to the next adventure!  Baja is coming up quickly, folks.  If you’re riding with us, shoot me a note (jberk@cscmotorcycles.com) to confirm your participation.   We’re not looking for any “I’d like to go if…” or other conditional inputs….if you’re going, you need to let us know.  We have a couple of openings due to folks dropping out, and we’re finalizing the participant list now.  It’s RX3s only on this ride (we’ll do another ride later for those of you who want to do Baja on your TT250s).

Here’s our Baja itinerary:

Here’s a list of what I think you’ll need for Baja:

  • I’m recommending you bring $800 to $1000 with you.
  • You’ll need a US passport.
  • You’ll need Mexican insurance.  Your US insurance won’t do you any good in Mexico, and if you are stopped by a police officer and you cannot show that you have Mexican insurance, you’ll be in a tough spot.  I always get my insurance online, and I always use BajaBound.  You can get to them at www.BajaBound.com.
  • You’ll need to bring any spare parts you think you might need.  I’m bringing tubes, a small tire pump (we sell the electrical ones), tire irons, my tools, a spare clutch cable, a spare throttle cable, a spare headlight bulb, a chain master link, a countershaft sprocket nut, steel wire, and chain lube.  You’ll need to bring your own spares.  The important thing is that you have your own spares and you will need to address any issues you have with your bike while we are in Baja.  We won’t have a chase vehicle.
  • Regarding tools, I always have the stock RX3 tool kit under the rear seat, and I bring along a few extra things.  I’ll have a large extension and a socket for quick chain adjustments, 10mm and 12mm wrenches, a few sockets and a ratchet, a combination Phillips head/flathead screwdriver, and my Gerber multitool (it’s like a Leatherman multi-tool).
  • My advice is to put a new battery in your bike.  I would not go to Baja limping along on a battery that’s getting old.
  • You’ll need good tires.   If your tires are worn, don’t assume you can get one more trip out of them; they go really fast once they are worn.
  • If you are on the stock (original) chain and this 1800-mile trip will take you past 6000 miles, you should probably put a new chain on your bike.
  • I’d advise bringing along some Immodium.  If you’ve never been to Mexico, you might want to have something in case your digestive system reacts poorly to the Baja bugs.   The good news is that if this happens, it’s a sort of an inoculation for future trips.   You probably won’t get it again.
  • I’d advise bringing a real camera.  A cell phone camera won’t do justice to what we are going to see.

If any of you have any questions on the upcoming Baja ride, feel free to email me.

One last topic, and that’s the recent flurry of TT250 tutorial activity.   Gerry and I have been super busy on these.  We have a few more going online in the next several days.   It’s been fun doing the TT250 tutorials, and it’s been enlightening.  Getting into the guts of these new motorcycles and seeing what the engines look like inside is reassuring.   The TT250 is a quality motorcycle, folks, and it will go the distance.  At any price, it is a fantastic bike.   At $1895, it’s incredible.  You’re going to love the bike.  We’ve had a lot of compliments on the tutorials from you and we appreciate your kind words.  One more bit of good news here:  We’re assembling our TT250 Shop Manual, and everyone who buys a new TT250 will get a free copy.

That’s all for now, my friends.   Hey, I don’t know about you, but I’m getting out for a motorcycle ride this weekend!

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TT250 Air Filter Replacement

This maintenance tutorial addresses removal and replacement of the TT250 air filter.  The TT250 uses a paper air filter.   We stock all parts for the TT250 motorcycle, so when you need a new air filter, please call us at 909 445 0900 and we will ship an air filter to you.

You should check your TT250 air filter every 2500 miles.  If it is dirty or clogged, it will reduce the motorcycle’s performance and you should replace it.  You should never operate your TT250 without the air filter.

Access to the TT250 air filter is gained by removing the rear body panels, the rear seat, and the airbox cover.

The rear body panels are each secured by a single screw and two rubber pop-off retaining posts.  Remove both rear body panels.



The seat is secured by a 10mm bolt on either side.  Remove both 10mm bolts and slide the seat to the rear of the motorcycle to remove it.



After removing the seat, you will see the airbox cover.  It is secured by four Phillips head screws.  Remove the screws and the airbox cover.




After removing the airbox cover, the air filter and the air filter retainer will be visible.

If the air filter is dirty or clogged, it should be replaced.  Please contact us at 909 445 0900 to order replacement air filters.

The air filter retainer is secured by four Phillips head screws.  To remove the air filter, remove the four air filter retainer screws.


The air filter can be removed from the retainer at this point.


Assembly is the reverse of disassembly.   Install the new air filter, and you are ready to ride!

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