MC’s PCH…

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A few weeks ago Sue and I took a run up the Pacific Coast Highway (California Highway 1) to grab a few photos for the latest Motorcycle Classics “Rides & Destinations” piece.

MC

Well, that article is in the latest issue of Motorcycle Classics, and you can catch it online here:

The Pacific Coast Highway

That sure was a fun trip, and we got a lot of cool photos beyond the two that appear in the article above…

Want to know the best part? We’re going to ride along the Pacific Ocean on Mexico Highway 1 on our upcoming CSC Baja adventure ride, and the scenery south of the border is even better than what we have up here!

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Baja reading…and a new book!

I’m going to post some of the stuff we published last year prior to the 2016 Baja CSC ride because it’s still relevant as we prepare for the 2017 Baja adventure.   One of these blog retreads is a set of links to articles on Baja by two of the guys who will riding Baja on the 2017.

The first is an article my good buddy and fellow Bajaeno J Brandon wrote…

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You can J’s article here.  J is riding with us on the upcoming 2017 Baja expedition.  He’s a great guy.

Here are two more articles on Baja, and these are ones that I wrote for Motorcycle Classics magazine: Baja by Motorcycle and San Felipe, Baja, Mexico.

And don’t forget…there’s a whole chapter on the first CSC RX3 Baja ride in 5000 Miles At 8000 RPM (you can order that book from the link on the right).

Hey, there’s more news on this topic…I’m writing a new book and it will be on riding Baja!  I’ve had more than a few of our blog readers and CSC riders suggest that I do this, and I’m going to do it!  I’ve been riding motorcycles in Mexico since the early 1990s and I’ve covered a lot of miles south of the border.   I have a cool collection of photos and stories about the various expeditions on my Harley, my KLR, my Suzuki TL1000S, my Triumph Tiger, the trip we did to Cabo and back on CSC 150 Mustangs (yep, we did length of Baja and back on those little scooters), my TT250, and the CSC trips we’ve done on the perfect bike for Baja – the CSC RX3!   The upcoming 2017 CSC Baja ride will be the last chapter of this new book (I like Riding Baja as the working title, although Moto Mexico has a nice ring to it, too).   I’ll be posting more about the new book in the near future, so watch for updates here.   Riding Baja (or Moto Mexico) will be published shortly after our return from the 2017 CSC ride.

Imagine that, all you CSC RX3 Baja riders: Your Baja adventure will be published in a new book!

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Coming up: Baja!

We’re at 16 folks riding with us on the 2017 Baja Run, and I’m sure looking forward to it. We’re less than a month away now, and I can’t wait.  These are always amazing trips.  Baja is an amazing place and we’ll see and enjoy the best parts of it – the missions, the small towns, the amazing scenery, the incredible food, the whales, the cave paintings, the whales, and more.

I’ll tell you something you already know if you read the CSC blog:  I love riding Baja.   For those of you adventurous enough to ride with us, you’re in for the ride of a lifetime.  Other folks can spend their time on the Internet.  If you’re riding Baja with us, you are the real deal.  You’ll be out there living the adventure.  When your buddies talk about riding to the corner burger joint or Starbucks, you’ll know that you’re participating in a real world international adventure ride.    It’s a good feeling.

We’re riding Baja from the 19th through the 27th of March.   If you’re riding with us, you need to be in Azusa on Saturday, March 18th.  We’re having a mandatory pre-ride briefing and we’re having a group dinner at the CSC plant Saturday night.  We’ll be leaving for Baja early the next morning.  You’ll need to have your Mexican insurance (that’s mandatory) and your passport (you’ll need that to get into Mexico and to get back into the United States).   We use BajaBound insurance and it’s been good for us (you can get your Mexican insurance online at BajaBound.com).  You’ll want to make sure your RX3 is up for the trip (we’ll cover that in a future blog), and you’ll want to have the right spare parts and tools (watch for another blog on this in the near future, too).

Keep an eye on the blog, folks…we’ll be posting lots more right here on this upcoming grand adventure.

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An upside to all this rain…

My TT250 on Glendora Ridge Road last year…

And there is an upside or two, even though we’ve had flooding here in the Golden State, the rifle range has been closed due to the creek rising (really!), and the weather has not been conducive to riding.   Our reservoirs are being replenished (we’ve been in a severe drought condition for several years), and the flowers this Spring are going to be awesome.   That’s important to us for a couple of reasons:

  • You may not know this, but Glendora Ridge Road is one of the premier wildflower locations in the United States.  During March and April, the colors positively explode up there.  With all the rain we’ve had, this Spring will be spectacular.
  • Baja’s Vizcaino Desert will be awash in color during the CSC 3rd Annual Baja Run.   That ride is coming up (we are less than one month away).   Baja John is in Baja now, and he reports that the desert is very, very green.   It will be amazingly awash with desert flowers when we ride in March.  If you’re on the Baja ride and you don’t have a camera with a circular polarizer, you’ve still got time to fix that oversight!

I’m looking forward to the good times that are immediately ahead, folks!

It’s going to be a lot greener and there will an explosion of wildflowers when we’re in Baja next month!

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Pre-Owned!

We always have a stream of pre-owned motorcycles moving through the shop, and my good buddy Matt created a page featuring them here.  I had my trusty Nikon D3300 with me a couple of days ago and I grabbed a few photos.  These are cool bikes.

The first is an ’05 Harley Softail Deluxe.   It’s awesome, and of all the Harley models, it is probably my favorite.   Say what you will about Harleys; there’s just no taking away from their incredible style.   Check this out…

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I’ve owned a couple of Harleys, and I enjoyed both of them.  One was a ’79 Electra Glide Classic, and the other was a ’92 Heritage Softail.

There’s something about a Harley.   I miss the ones I’ve owned.  I’m tempted to buy the ’05 in that delicious deep root beer brown color you see above, but I have no room in the garage.  That Harley sure is beautiful.   Somebody is going to get a great motorcycle.

Okay, on to the next one, and that’s the ’07 BMW R1200RTP police bike Steve has on sale….

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Those old police Beemers are way cool.   My friend Bob Brown rides these bikes exclusively, and they sure are fun.   Police Beemers are as tough as Zongshen motorcycles.   They even have a second battery (one was used for the bike, and the other was used for all of the police gear).   What was cool about riding the retired police Beemers is that when folks see one, they immediately and naturally assume you’re a police officer and they give you plenty of room.   I even made that immediate assumption.  I was riding with Bob in Mexico one time (me on my KLR 650, and Bob on a police bike).   I was running flat out on the KLR (just under a hundred miles an hour) and Bob tucked in two feet behind and to my right.  When I caught a glance of his bike in my right rear view mirror, I immediately thought I’d been busted!

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And there’s one more, and that’s a ’15 RX3 in what is inarguably the fastest color…

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That RX3 has a ton of options on it, including spots, the big front wheel and brake kit, knobbies, and lots more…

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It’s stopped raining here in So Cal, but I think the break is temporary.  It’s overcast and dark out there and the weather folks say there’s more rain coming (the prediction is for 6 to 10 inches of rain this weekend).   I guess that’s a good thing (we’ve been living with a drought for the last several years), but it sure has crimped our riding and other outdoor activities.   If the break is long enough, I may fire up my TT250 and get out for a ride.  We’ll see.

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A nice note from Josh…

Wow, another nice note from a CSC good buddy and a cool accompanying video!  Take a look at this, folks…

Hey Joe,

Just wanted to let you know I finished the first installment of our off road ride on Saturday. Check it out!

Feel free to share it on the blog, although I noticed the blog has been pretty busy lately. Thank you and the rest of CSC Motorcycles for providing an affordable & reliable way to enjoy life on two wheels.

Part Two will most likely be out next week.

Thanks again!

Josh

That’s a cool video, Josh.   Thanks very much for sharing it with us!

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A Savagely inexpensive straight shooter…

You guys know I’m a rifle enthusiast, you know I can’t pass on an interesting experience, and you know I’m basically a cheap son of a gun (I almost said something else, but I caught myself).  So the other day when I was in the local gunshop, I was surprised and intrigued to see a consignment rifle go on the rack at a ridiculously low price.  It was a 50-year-old Savage 340 bolt action rifle in .222 Remington (complete with a period-correct telescopic sight) for only $180.

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Folks, this is a rifle that probably sold new for around $35 or $40, but like I said, that was 50 years ago.  These days, any kind of a shooter for $180 is a steal.   I was immediately attracted to the Savage by the price and the thought that it might make for a nice gunstock refinishing project.  What really got my attention, though, was the cartridge for which it was chambered:  The .222 Remington.

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I’ve never owned a gun chambered in .222 Remington.  It’s a cartridge that has a cult following, as it one of those special numbers known to be inherently accurate.   It’s very similar to the .223 Remington (the 5.56 NATO round), but the .222 is a little bit shorter with a longer case neck.  It’s proportions are reported to be ideal for phenomenal accuracy.   Like I said, I’ve never had a .222, but for $180, I could afford to find out if the stories were true.

Okay, on to Step 2 of this saga, and that’s the reloading aspect.  Accuracy can be greatly enhanced by reloading.   You know, that’s the deal where you save the fired brass, resize it in a reloading press, punch out the old primer, insert a new primer, load a precisely-controlled amount of new gunpowder, and seat a new bullet.  Oilà…a new round.   The deal with reloading is that you can experiment with different powders, different powder weights, different primers, different brass manufacturers, different bullet makers, different bullet weights, different bullet seating depths, and more.   The concept is that you can tune the ammunition to precisely match a rifle’s preferences and achieve improved accuracy.  I’ve been reloading ammo for close to 50 years and I’m here to tell you it works.

Now, back to that Savage rifle.  I waited my obligatory 10 days (the Peoples Republik of Kalifornia’s “kooling off” period) and in the Governor’s eyes I had cooled sufficiently.  I picked up my new-to-me, 50-year-old Savage last week and loaded several different ammo recipes to see how the old 340 would work.  In a word, it was awesome…

Loads

You can see that different loads do indeed result in different accuracy levels.  This is encouraging stuff, and what makes it even more promising is it shows the results of just one reloading session.  The load that printed a 0.538-inch group is clearly pointing toward what the Savage likes, and my next set of loads will refine that combination.   Good stuff and great fun, and all with a rifle that only cost $180!

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Smooth…

When I stopped in the plant a day or two ago I was surprised to see Roland’s race bike with the engine out…

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Whoa, somebody’s working some magic here, I thought to myself.   Sure enough, Gerry was hard at it…

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“Whatcha got going on here, Gerry?” I asked.

“Oh, just smoothing things out a bit,” our Impresario del Motore told me, and then Gerry showed me the RC3 mods he was making.   The first thing involved opening up the RC3’s cylinder head intake port.   Here’s the before picture…

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And here’s the after picture.  Notice that the port’s outer contour opening has been enlarged to match the intake manifold contour, the septum has been reduced substantially, and then the intake port walls have been cut back and smoother over with epoxy…

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But wait, there’s more.   Gerry showed me a stock combustion chamber roof.  Note the sharp steps around the valves in the cylinder head (the pen points to these)…

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Gerry’s work on the modified RC3 cylinder head involved contouring those machined steps to allow smoother flow over the valves.  Cool.

And then one more thing:  Gerry told me that the inside of the exhaust pipe had a fair amount of weld material obstructing the exhaust.   He ground that off to smooth the exhaust gas flow through the header…

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It’s all very cool stuff…basic hot rodder tricks intended to increase horsepower.   Gerry’s tried these techniques on other engines he’s modified over his 30+ years of experience and the guy just flat knows what he’s doing.   It’s cool to see these talents being applied to our motorcycles.  Roland’s racing again in a few weeks and we’re eager to see how this is going to impact his RC3’s performance.

As always, we’ll keep you posted.

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A note from another Joe…

Here’s a cool note and three cool videos I found in my inbox this morning from our good buddy Joe M…

Hey Joe, it’s the other Joe, Joe M from up in Washington state.  I wanted to pass along my video stories of taking my 2016 CSC RX3 Cyclone down to Southern California for some off-road training and touring with RawHyde Adventures.  For perspective, RawHyde Adventures is the official off-road training facility for BMW. 

My RX3 was surrounded by F800s and 1200GSs!  My trip started out going south as fast as I could, a day ahead of schedule, to get in front of a series of storms that were planned to hit from Washington all the way to California.  In Cali, it got named winter storm Leo and didn’t give me the wonderful SoCal weather I was hoping for.  Since I got down to SoCal early it gave me a chance to visit CSC HQ and meet the folks, tour the facility and pick up a new Seat Concepts seat and some miscellaneous spares.  I had a great time doing that and got a nice CSC RX3 T-Shirt to wear proudly with my Dual Sport Club get togethers.  The CSC team is awesome and were very gracious with their time to take care of me. 

Then I headed up to Castaic to connect at RawHyde Adventures camp.  We did 3 days of adventure training there and then I headed out on the first part of the tour called Base Camp Alpha in the Mojave Desert and continued with the Mid-Winter Adventure in Death Valley.  In total, it was 8 days of great riding. 

The bike did great and I only had one small crash with no damage to me or the bike.  I happened to carry my iPhone, Contour Roam on my helmet and EKEN H9R facing backwards on the rear of the luggage rack and got a lot of pictures and video.  I took all my footage and put together a video for each part of the trip which I’ve linked below.  Please feel free to share it on the CSC blog if you want as I’d like to show folks interested in the bikes or current owners what it can really do.  I can’t wait to get more proficient so I can really show it off.  Take care and I’ll see you in March for the Baja tour!

Intro to Adventure:

Base Camp Alpha:

Mid-Winter Adventure:

This is awesome stuff, Joe M, and thanks very much for sending it to us!   I know our readers will enjoy it.

Like you, I’m very much looking forward to the Baja ride.  See you in March, Amigo!

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March 4th Motorcycle royalty…

Our Crystal Lake ride scheduled for the 4th of March is shaping up to be a good one.  I think we have eight or nine people signed up now, and while all of our friends are royalty to us, four of the folks who will be on the ride are the stuff of legend.   Let me tell you about them.

I learned just yesterday that Roland Wheeler (our CSC RC3 factory racer) will be riding with us…

Roland, you will recall, won his class at Fontana a couple of weeks ago on his first RC3 race.  That’s mighty impressive.   Roland is a genuine nice guy, and this is a good chance to get to meet him.

The next cool guy is Syl Binau, the rider who successfully piloted our highly-modified CSC 150 to a land speed record in the Modified Scooter class several years ago.   Here’s a great photo of Syl on the race bike (you’ll be able to see the bike at the CSC plant prior to our ride).   That’s our good buddy and artist extraordinaire John Esposito behind him.

I caught a couple of cool shots of Syl on his speed run…

On this last photo, you can see that the heat wrap we had on the exhaust pipe had unraveled.  When folks asked about it, I told them we incorporated a streamer to stabilize the bike at high speed.  I think a few of them believed me…

Our third motorcycle royal family member is Arlene Battishill, President and CEO of Go Go Gear, a company specializing in women’s riding clothes.  This is shot of Arlene on her CSC 150 motorcycle in Santa Rosalia, Baja, with the Sea of Cortez in the background.  It’s one of my favorites.

Arlene and I rode hardtail CSC 150 scooters all the way to Cabo San Lucas a few years ago, and if she looks familiar to you, it might be because you’ve seen her on the TV show Shark Tank.   She’s an awesome lady and I’m looking forward to riding with her again!

And one more…none other than Steve Seidner himself, founder and CEO of CSC Motorcycles.  Here’s a shot of Steve and yours truly on the first RX3 USA ride ever.   It was a 343-mile ride we took on a Saturday from the plant to Joshua Tree National Park, and it was our first indication of just how great a motorcycle the RX3 truly is!

March 4th will be fun.   You’ll want to arrive at the plant well in advance of 9:00 a.m.   Please have a full tank of fuel when you do.  After that it’s about 50 miles of glorious twisties to Crystal Lake and back, and then we’re all headed over to the California Grill Express for the best burgers in the world.   We encourage you to sign up on our Meetup page.

I hope to see you there!

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