A few Saturday shop photos…

This was a fun day for me.   It’s been terribly hot here in So Cal, but that’s okay.   I rode over to Brown’s BMW dealership for lunch with the geezers, I had a great lunch with my friends, from there it was over to the reloading store to pick up components for the upcoming milsurp match (that’s going to be on the 13th, Willie, Matt, Fathi, and Duane), and then it was on to the CSC plant.

When I went into the shop, I thought I was seeing double…

160722_2747-650That’s Joey on the left (one of Gerry’s service maestros) and Joey’s son Justin on the right.   These two guys could be twins!

I wanted to get a photo of my good buddy Carlos and myself, so I turned the Nikon over to Gerry, but first I took a photo of Gerry and Carlos…

160722_2752-650Carlos is another one of our ace service guys, and he does double-duty as a translator when we make our reservations for the CSC Baja rides.   Carlos is fluent in Spanish (I’m not), so he helps me get our Baja trips set up.

Incidentally, we are going to do the 4th Annual CSC Baja Run next March, so if you’re thinking of going, you might want to make the decision now and let us know.   The rides fill up fast and we limit participation to 15 riders (and one of those 15 spots goes to me).

Hey, here’s the photo I mentioned above of Carlos and yours truly…

160722_2754-650That’s it for today, folks.   One more quick photo of a stunning RC3 that was in for service, and that’s all for now!

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We have Doubletake mirrors!

Hey, here’s our very own Willie Woo explaining the new Doubletake mirrors!

These are great mirrors with tremendous adjustability and for a short while only we’re offering free shipping!   The Doubletake mirrors fit on any motorcycle with a 10mm mirror mounting point (which is the standard size mirror mount on nearly all motorcycles).  The new mirrors will be on the CSC website shortly, or you can give us a call at 909 445 0900.

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The original GS?

As I always say, we see incredibly interesting bikes at CSC.   Take, for example, this ’59 BMW…

170720_2730-650There’s a hell of story here, folks, including the very real possibility that this bike was the inspiration for the original BMW GS.

Stay tuned, my friends…

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Come ride with us!

Hey, if you’d like to ride with us on the 5th to Flo’s Airport Cafe for a late breakfast, you can sign up on our Meetup.com page here!

We hope to see you on the 5th!

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The other Joe…

You guys and gals will remember our good buddy Washington Joe, who rode with us on the Baja ride last March.  He’s a hell of a nice guy and he’s into adventure riding big time.   Joe retired from the computer biz at a young age, he bought a motorhome and an RX3, and he is living large.  I recently received a great note from Joe detailing his latest adventure, and we’re sharing it with you here on the CSC blog!

Hey Joe and CSC crew,

It’s Joe, the other Joe from the Pacific Northwest, and I wanted to drop you a note on my adventures with the RX3.  To date I have 9838.7 miles on the odometer since the bike arrived last Sept 24th.  It’s been a blast to own and I haven’t had a single mechanical issue.  I’ve sent you notes on many of my other adventures like the Mojave Desert and Death Valley and we have our shared fun in Baja along with many other short rides to build up my skills for adventure riding.  My first true test of being an adventure motorcyclist came this week.  A friend of mine and myself headed out for a 3 day fully unsupported adventure to ride the first 3 sections of the Washington Back-Country Discovery Route (http://ridebdr.com/WABDR).  The WABDR starts at the Bridge of the Gods in Oregon and traverses up the Cascade mountain range on primarily forest service roads and just a bit of pavement to come out in Nighthawk in Canada.  The route goes from smooth dirt on rolling terrain to some fear inspiring loose rocky climbs and descents with exposure.  The views along the way are spectacular.  Our trip started out by taking some freeway and forest roads from the Seattle area down to Hood River, OR. 

Mt. St. Helens from NF-25 on the way to Hood River

Mt. St. Helens from NF-25 on the way to Hood River

The next morning, we headed to Cascade Locks and the Bridge of the Gods to start the route.  We went up the highway a bit and then turned into dirt for a 122-mile trek on Section 1.

Takhlakh Lake and Mt. Adams

Takhlakh Lake and Mt. Adams

Guler Ice Caves (formations are taller than me)

Guler Ice Caves (formations are taller than me)

We rolled into the small town of Packwood, WA for fuel and some food and it was early enough in the day that we started out on Section 2.  This is a 121 mile section that contains two advanced areas.  Both have bypass options available.  We decided to take the hard route for Bethel ridge but took the bypass for Umtanum as we’d heard it was H, E, double hockey sticks level hard and just not worth the effort.

We worked our way up to Bethel Ridge which was pretty technical for me but the views from the lookout were amazing.

Bethel Ridge Lookout

Bethel Ridge Lookout

Viewpoint from Bethel Ridge

Viewpoint from Bethel Ridge

The descent from Bethel ridge was fairly terrifying for me with very steep downhill grades covered in baseball and football sized rocks that just rolled around under the bike.  Just had to let it roll and hold on!  We eventually came to the small town of Nile but it’s so small there aren’t any services so we kept rolling and climbed up and up on dirt until it started to get late and we pulled off and made camp for the night.

RX3 resting for the evening

RX3 resting for the evening

The next morning, we wrapped up section 2 and rolled into Ellensburg, WA for gas, water and snacks.  It was about noon so we jumped into section 3 which is about 75 miles long due to a re-route required since a large section of trail is washed out.  Section 3 had some great riding through an old burned out forest.

Narrow and winding paved road in burned out forest which turned into fun dirt

Narrow and winding paved road in burned out forest which turned into fun dirt

We were a bit bummed at first to have to re-route from the main WABDR route due to the slide but as we were in the hills above Leavenworth, WA we found some golden photo opportunities in this case, a narrow-gauge railroad line and tunnel with ornate doors used by a gold mining operation.

100ft tunnel with ornate wood doors on both ends

100ft tunnel with ornate wood doors on both ends

Narrow Gauge Railway

Narrow Gauge Railway

After we dropped into the Bavarian themed town of Leavenworth, WA we hit Highway 2 for the 2-hour ride home but had to stop at the candy store for a soda and some famous fudge.

The Alps Fudge/Candy Store

The Alps Fudge/Candy Store

After having desert, we decided to get some real food so we stopped for a burger.  A bit of a story on this.  The 59’er diner was an amazing 50’s themed restaurant off rural Hwy 2 but it burned down last year.  So, while they are getting things together to rebuild they setup a food truck to keep this little slice of heaven operating and the employees employed.

59’er Diner Food Truck

59’er Diner Food Truck

After this stop we headed home to scrape off 3 days of dust and sweat and plan the next adventure.

That next adventure for me will be joining up with a bunch of other Pacific Northwest RX3 and TT250 owners and riding sections 4, 5 and 6 of the WABDR so I can proudly put this sticker on my RX3.

Washington Backcountry Discovery Route. Check out http://ridebdr.com/ for information on the various routes, upcoming routes and to get involved.

Washington Backcountry Discovery Route. Check out http://ridebdr.com/ for information on the various routes, upcoming routes and to get involved.

As always Joe and Crew, take care and we’ll talk to you all very soon!

Joe…The other one!

Joe, that is easily one of the best ride reports we’ve ever received.  The writing and the photography are superb!  Thanks so much for sending it to us and allowing us to share it with our readers.  Please let us know the next time you’re down this way.  We need to get together for fish tacos and a Tecate!

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Keeping an eye on things…

…is just something you have to do on a motorcycle. I was reminded of that when my good buddy Dan the K posted that he discovered his countershaft sprocket nut was loosening during a routine maintenance check.  Good for you, Dan, and thanks for the “heads up.”

Bikes are not like cars where you just drive them until the wheels fall off.   A motorcycle is a high-performance machine subjected to more vibration and other adverse environments, and you need to check fittings, fasteners, tire pressure, oil level, chain lubrication, and other things on a regular basis.

If you’d like to see the recommended checks for RX3 chain and sprocket maintenance, here’s a blog we did on that topic a ways back.   And here’s a video with Gerry explaining things to check on your TT250 before each ride.   The concepts are the same for the RX3 and RC3.

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Pinnacles National Park, Highway 25, and Highway 198…

Sue and I were up in northern California last week, and instead of making the run back on Interstate 5 we opted to swing by Pinnacles National Park.   There were three reasons for that.  One was that we wanted to see Pinnacles, our newest National Park.  Another was that we wanted to explore Highways 25 and 198, two roads I had never taken before.  And the third was that the best deal ever is about to expire…that’s the $10 US National Park senior citizen lifetime pass.  I bought one of those lifetime passes a few years ago after seeing one of my geezer buddies use it on a motorcycle ride through Yosemite.   Sue is eligible now (but don’t tell her I told you), and we wanted to score one for her before the price goes up to $80 (still a hell of a deal, in my opinion).

Pinnacles National Park is on Highway 25, which cuts east off the 101 through Hollister and turns into a truly magnificent motorcycle road after you get past Hollister.   Highway 25 is kind of boring up to Hollister, but when you continue east, the road goes from humdrum to magnificent.

160716_2667-900-650160716_2672-2-900-650Pinnacles National Park, we learned, is mostly a place for hikers.  It has some dramatic geology formed by volcanic activity, but you have to be willing to hoof it to get there.

There are two entrances to the park (one from the east off of Highway 25, and the other from the west), and the road does not go through the park.

160716_2676-900-650160716_2678-900160716_2679-900-650It was already 95 degrees and the sun was brutal at 10:00 a.m. the day we were there.  We picked up Sue’s lifetime National Park pass, took a few photos, and then we were back on the road.  Highway 25 was simply magnificent.

We had only gone a few miles when Sue spotted these guys walking along in a field…

160716_2696-900-2-650They reminded me of the wild turkeys we saw on the TT250 Baja ride.   I actually got a video of those.  We sure do have magnificent roads in California.

And here’s one last shot along Highway 25.  I know it looks like it’s been tweaked in PhotoShop, but you’re seeing this one directly as it came from the camera.   The road had recently been repaved along this stretch, and its dark texture really jumps out in the picture.

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Highway 25 runs into Highway 198, and it is another awesome California road.   It drops down into Coalinga, and from there it’s a straight shot down I-5 to So Cal.   Coalinga, incidentally, gets its name from its railroad heritage.  It used to be a coal stop (Coaling Station A, to be exact) and the name morphed into Coalinga.  Cool stuff.

This is another multi-day ride I’d like to do as a CSC ride.  If you’re interested, let me know.   We’d have to wait until a little later in the year, but it would be a great one.

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An oldie, but still funny…

On the off chance there’s someone out there who hasn’t seen this (and with no claims for fact-checking the numbers), here’s something that arrived in the mail from my good buddy Paul this morning….

We are in deep trouble.

The population of this country is 300 million.

160 million are retired, and that leaves 140 million to do the work.

There are 85 million in school, which leaves 55 million to do the work.

Of this there are 35 million employed by the federal government, leaving 20 million to do the work.

2.8 million are in the armed forces preoccupied with keeping us safe, and that leaves 17.2 million to do the work.

Take from that total the 15.8 million people who work for state and city governments, and that leaves 1.4 million to do the work.

At any given time there are 188,000 people in hospitals, leaving 1,212,000 to do the work.

There are 1,211,998 people in prisons.  That leaves just two people to do the work.  That’s you and me, and there you are, sitting on your butt, reading the CSC blog.

Nice.  Real nice. 

DO I HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING?!!

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Which way to the ZZ Top tryouts?

You gotta love my good buddy Duane…

170713_2500-650Duane and I have been riding together for maybe 4 or 5 years now, ever since the CSC Mustang days.  When the Rx3s came to the United States, Duane (like me) grabbed one from the very first shipment.   Duane makes just about every CSC company ride and event.  And, the guy is a shooter.  Duane is a regular at our milsurp matches (the ones you’ve read about here on the blog).

Steve told me a few weeks ago that Duane was working on a ’55 Chevy, but it kind of went in one ear and out the other.  Today as I left the plant this absolutely drop-dead gorgeous blue ’55 was pulling in the parking lot, and without even looking at the driver I was blown away at how stunning the car was.  Visually arresting is the phrase that comes to mind.  It stopped me in my tracks.

When Duane stepped out, I remembered what Steve had told me about Duane’s ’55 Chevy project, and there it was, right in front of me.  Wow!

170713_2486-650170713_2509-650You need to see Duane’s ’55 in person; these photos just don’t do it justice.  The body is absolutely flawless.  I couldn’t see a wave or any imperfections in the sheet metal at all.   New cars don’t look this good!

170713_2489-650Check out the interior…that custom dash and the instrumentation are awesome!

170713_2495-650170713_2492-650Duane’s car has a 350 cubic inch small block Chevy engine (arguably the best V8 engine in the world) and an automatic transmission, along with air-conditioning, power steering, power disk brakes, power windows, new upholstery, and the list just goes on and on.    Wow again!

170713_2490-650You know, I’m old enough to have known ’55 Chevys when they were new (my uncle bought a new turquoise-and-white ’55 when I was a kid), and even though those cars were cool then, too, they were nowhere near this nice back in the day.   It kind of got me to thinking…wouldn’t it be cool if Chevy made a modern car that looked just like Duane’s ’55?  It’s something that could never happen with the regs the automakers have to meet today, but it sure would be awesome.  I’d buy one!

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Well done, Duane! Your car is magnificent!

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The August CSC ride, vintage aircraft, and shots fired!

We’ve received several inputs in response to my query about the next company ride, and we’re going to go with my good buddy Marty’s suggestion:

Hi Joe,

I missd the Crystal Lake ride Saturday and would vote 1st for that one. That said I would join in on any of your part day rides. One thing you could do to spruce up a Flo’s ride is lead the group over Carbon Canyon into Orange County. Living in Chino Hills I use that route to go to my shooting range in Brea. Returning from there I will come home by using Brea Canyon road to come through Diamond Bar and back to Chino Hills. I can do it all without getting on the freeway. That loop starting and finishing at Flo’s would be about 40 miles. Not a huge ride but something that could make a Flo’s outing a bit more interesting.

Marty

Thanks very much, Marty.  The Carbon Canyon ride is a good one and it will be something new for us.  We’ll ride east on the 210 from the CSC plant, take the 57 south, and then we’ll pick up the Carbon Carbon pass to the Chino area.   It’s going to be fun, and there are a lot of cool airplanes to see at the Chino Airport.   August 5th, folks, so mark your calendars!

The Chino Airport is an amazing place.   Here are a few photos from one of my earlier Chino Airport visits…

SNS4SNS19SNS11SNS12SNS18SNS22You’ll definitely want to pack a camera on this ride.   The photo ops at the Chino Airport “Planes of Fame” Museum are awesome.

And speaking of shooting, my old geezer buddies and I sure had a good time at our informal Milsurp match this past Sunday.  I shot my ancient Mosin-Nagant rifle and a new snubbie 1911.  Our course of fire was 20 rounds with open sights at 100 yards for the rifle stage, and 20 rounds at 50 feet for the handgun stage.  We always have fun at these things and the lunch that follows.

It was super hot and humid on Sunday (just like the Saturday before when we had our bear encounter), but the heat didn’t slow us down at all.   We started on the rifle leg and after I shot my 100-yard rifle stage, I was one happy camper.  Only one round was outside the bullseye and I thought I had shot a 199, which it ain’t too shabby for this old boy at 100 yards with an 80-year-old rifle.

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We next fired the handgun stage, and I used my snub-nosed 1911 with cheap .45 factory bulk ammo (which is not known for its accuracy).   Hey, another good stage, and I was happy again.  My 20 shots are the ones circled in yellow in the photo below.

160710_2459-800-650The other shots on the target above were from my friends trying my .45 and from me shooting at the little black emblem in the upper right corner.  Four of my 20 shots were in the 9 ring and the rest were in the 10 ring, so that was a 196 (if you’re keeping score).   All of my shots would have been in the 10 ring if I aimed a little higher (I held at 6:00 on the orange bullseye).

I bought both of these guns from Turner’s, a local gunstore chain here in So Cal.  The service and the prices at Turner’s are always outstanding…they are kind of like the CSC of the gun world.  I bought the Mosin-Nagant rifle at Turner’s about 3 years ago for a paltry $139 (I’ve posted about the Mosin here on the blog before).   The real deal, though, was my new mini .45 auto.   It’s the Rock Island “Compact Service” model, and I’m really enjoying it.  Get this:  The 1911 was only $429!  It recoils a bit more fiercely than a full-sized 1911, but I like the feel of it and the no-nonsense Parkerized finish.   It is accurate enough.   Good enough, as they say, for government work.

At the lunch that followed our range session we scored our targets.  I was surprised to see 21 holes on my rifle target (I knew I had only fired 20 rounds).  One of my buddies whose target was right next to mine only had 15 shots on paper (he was in the classic “spray and pray” mode with his SKS).  We looked at my flyer in the 9 ring (the one to the right of the orange 10-ring bullseye) and its hole was slightly elongated.  It matched the holes on my SKS buddy’s target (his rounds were just starting to tumble at 100 yards).  The bottom line is that I had all 20 shots in the 10 ring, and that’s a good thing (yeah, I’m bragging a little bit).  So, for Marty and any of our other blog readers out there:  If you want to join us on the next milsurp get together, drop me an email!

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