The DS&D Weekend

We had a great time at our first Dual Sports and Donuts weekend, folks.   I met several people I had only known online.  A bunch of folks showed up for maintenance, to see the RX3 and the TT Special, for test rides, and of course, for coffee and donuts.  We’re doing this every Saturday, so if you didn’t make it this week, swing on by this Saturday.

My good buddy Tuan, a former student of mine and an RX3 rider, stopped by just to say hi.  It was good to see him again.  Duane and Twin Peaks Steve, both RX3 riders and good friends whom I’ve personally ridden with, were there.  Flip and Dorie from Horizons Unlimited visited with us.   Eric from the XLADV and Thumper Talk forums stopped in with his awesome KTM for an oil change.  Here’s a shot of Eric…


Eric’s KTM has a custom topographical map wrap that I think is stunning…


Hmmm.   That theme with a light green and brown background (just like a 1:50,000 artillery topo map) on an RX3….the wheels are turning, folks.

I mostly stayed in yesterday and today, working on 5000 Miles at 8000 RPM.   It’s a blast…I’m reliving the ride as I am writing the book.  During the ride, it was tiring and sometimes frustrating.   Writing about it, given that a couple of weeks or more have elapsed since we got home, I am remembering it as a lot of fun.

The title notwithstanding, 5000 Miles at 8000 RPM is about more than just the Western American Adventure Ride.  It includes CSC’s origins, the story behind the little Mustangs (the first CSC bikes), the relationship with Zongshen, what it was like bringing the RX3 to America, the Inaugural Baja run, the keyboard commandos and their nutty Internet rants, and more.

I finished all that stuff listed above and I’m writing about the Western America Adventure Ride now.  I just finished the chapter on Mt. Rushmore (there’s one chapter for each day of the ride).   It’s funny…when I start writing each chapter, I think it will only be a few paragraphs.  As I get into it though, with a map and the photos in front of me, I typically end up with about 3,000 words describing each day.   I’m at 163 pages now and I reckon the book will be about 250 to 275 pages when I’m done (and that will be in maybe another 10 days).   It’s good.  You’ll enjoy it.

Ah, the book beckons…back to work.

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Wow, it’s busy already.   Ryan has a bunch of guys in the showroom looking at the Special Edition RX3s, and I’m back here in the service area doing my thing….


I was up super early this morning…too excited to sleep, I guess, thinking about the day.   I wrote another chapter of 5000 Miles at 8000 RPM, I had a cup of coffee at the house, and I pushed my RX3 out of the garage and rode in to the plant.

My RX3 is running like a Swiss watch.  No, I take that back…I have couple of Swiss watches, and the RX3 runs better.  Gerry serviced it after our Western America Adventure Ride, and it was so smooth on the 210 freeway this morning I wanted to get out and run another 5000 miles.

After we posted our blog on the new billet aluminum skid plate, one of the guys on the rider forum asked if you had to remove the new skidplate to change the oil.  The answer is no.   You actually have better access to the oil drain plug with the new skidplate, and access to the oil screens and the oil filter remains the same.   You can see this in the photos below.

Here’s the oil screen plug on the left side of the bike…


Here’s the oil screen plug and the oil filter cover on the right side of the bike…


Here’s the oil drain plug (as you know, it’s magnetized, and on this particular bike, it’s actually picked up some iron dust outside the bike)…


It’s not necessary to remove either the stock skidplate or the new aluminum one when changing the oil.   I’ve changed the oil on my bike three times already, and I’ve never had the skidplate off the bike.   You will see some spillage from the screens that gets inside the standard skidplate (and you probably will on the new skidplate, too, if you opt not to remove it).   I use a shop rag to wipe up any oil that spills into this area.  It’s no big deal for me.   The way one person described it, though, you’d think the Exxon Valdez had run ashore in Alaska again (there’s a lot of drama on the Internet forums).  Here’s the bottom line:  The new aluminum skidplate is no different than the stock skidplate with regard to the need for removal when changing your oil, and if anything, it provides better access.     You don’t need to remove either to change your oil, but if you want to, you can.  It’s your call.

That’s it for now, folks.   Duty beckons…on to the pages describing our ride into Zion National Park last month…

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A dynamite day…

It’s been a good Friday.  No, it’s not that Good Friday, but it’s been a good Friday nonetheless.  I was up with the roosters this morning to beat the heat, and I spent an hour on the rifle range before the temperatures climbed into the stratosphere.  I had my old but magnificent Mosin-Nagant out this morning, and I had a grand time…



I was in the plant this afternoon and folks, things are going well.   The Good Buddy program has been a success, and we’ve done well putting new motorcycles in the hands of new riders with this awesome offer.

The Good Buddy program runs through 1 September, so if you and one or more of your good buddies want us to pay the freight on your new RX3, don’t dilly dally on the deal of the decade!

We’re excited about Donuts and Dual Sports, which starts tomorrow.   It’s going to be another dynamite day.   You’ll get to see the dynamic duo on display (the RX3 and the new TT Special).

Whoa!  Don’t dilly dally on the deal of the decade…donuts and dual sports…a dynamite day…the dynamic duo on display…do we have a thing with alliteration based on the letter “d?”

I’m rolling into the plant on my RX3 and I’m hoping to see you tomorrow.  I’ll have the Nikon and I’ll get a few photos for the blog.

More good news…we’re going to be at the Horizons Unlimited gathering in northern California (24-27 September).  I’ll be there with Matt and Ryan.  We’ll give a presentation on the Baja and Western America Adventure Rides, we’ll have RX3s on display, and we’ll answer any questions you might have.   Horizons Unlimited is the original adventure riding forum and website, founded by Grant and Susan Johnson (a couple who have literally ridden around the world).   It’s the real deal.  If you have any thoughts at all about attending, trust me on this:  You want to go.  You can find out more about Horizons Unlimited event here!

Okay, enough blogging for now.   5000 Miles at 8000 RPM beckons…back to the book!

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Skid Plate Installation Tutorial

This is our new aluminum skid plate.   You can have one of these for $129.95, and they are in stock now.  The look is awesome, and so is this latest CSC accessory’s strength!

The new skid plate is fabricated from 0.200 inch thick billet aluminum and it’s one very tough customer.  The complete kit includes the skid plate, the upper skid plate mounting bracket, two 12mm nuts for securing the upper skid plate mounting bracket, and two 10mm bolts and nuts that are longer than the stock lower engine guard bolts.

140827_7887-650 This is our maintenance tutorial on how to install the skid plate on your RX3.

Start by removing the stock skid plate.  It’s secured by three 8-mm bolts.



We’ll be grinding off the attach points for the stock skid plate, so make sure there are no flammable items in the area.   You’ll want to drain the crankcase overflow drain line away from the area in which you’ll be working, and then replace the overflow drain line’s plug.

140827_7890-650Another line that could contain flammable fumes is the gas tank overflow line.   It normally hangs down on the left side of the motorcycle beneath the side stand, as the photo below shows.

140827_7891-650A good way to get the fuel overflow line out of the way is to route it back up through the motorcycle chassis such that it exits above the rear brake master cylinder (as you see below).

140827_7892-650After you have removed the stock skid plate, you’ll see its mounting points.

140827_7896-650140827_7898-650Remove the 10mm bolts that secure the lower front engine guard on both sides of the motorcycle.

140827_7899-650Loosen (but do not remove) the four 10mm U-bolt nuts that secure the lower engine guard to the frame.

140827_7901-650Loosen (but do not remove) the two 12mm bolts that secure the exhaust header to the cylinder head.

140827_7902-650Loosen (but do remove) the 10mm bolt that secures the rear of the exhaust header.

140827_7903-650You’ll need a grinder for the next steps.   Make sure you wear suitable eye protection, and again, make sure there are no flammable materials in your work area.

140827_7904-650Grind off the upper skid plate attach bracket.

140827_7906-650 Grind off the two lower skid plate attach brackets.

140827_7912-650When you are finished, you should have removed the one upper and two lower skid plate attach brackets.  Take care during the grinding operation not to grind into the frame; just remove the upper and lower skid plate attach brackets.

140827_7918-650Paint the bare metal on the frame that was exposed by the grinding operation.

140827_7922-650Position the new aluminum skid plate on the motorcycle, aligning the lower attach points with the lower engine guard mounting points.

140827_7924-650Reinstall the bushing that fits behind the lower engine guard.  Do not reuse the 10mm bolts that secured the stock skid plate; instead, use the longer 10mm bolts supplied with the new aluminum skid plate.  Do this on both sides of the motorcycle.

140827_7925-650140827_7927-650Install the skid plate mounting bracket over the two studs protruding from the upper portion of the skid plate.  Install the two 12mm nuts provided with the skid plate on the studs and tighten.

140827_7931-650Position the exhaust header such that it clears the aluminum skid plate, tighten the two 12mm header nuts on the cylinder head, and tighten the 10mm bolt at the rear of the exhaust header.  Tighten the four 10mm nuts that  secure the upper engine guard.  Tighten the two 10mm lower engine guard bolts.

That’s it, folks.  When you’re finished, your new skid plate will look like this:

140827_7933-650 These new skid plates are in stock, and again, the price is 129.95.

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A Service Special!

Starting this weekend, folks!   $19.95 for an oil change and safety inspection on any motorcycle (not including parts and fluids).


Give us a call, or just swing on by, starting with our first Dual Sports and Donuts this Saturday!

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I brought my 10-year-old, 2006 KLR 650 in to the shop yesterday to have Gerry do a complete service on it.   We do service on all bikes, and nobody does it better than Gerry.

Gerry is going to change the oil, put in a new oil filter, change the air filter, adjust the valves, clean the carb, check the brakes, change the coolant, change the brake fluid, put a new chain on it, and more…it will be a complete service.

We do all kinds of motorcycles in our Service Department, and if you need any work done, feel free to swing by on our Dual Sports and Donuts days (starting this Saturday) or on any other day.  We’ll be posting some service specials (good deals) later today, so keep an eye on the blog and on our Facebook page.  If you have a KLR and you need it serviced at a reasonable price, Gerry is your guy.


I bought my KLR new 10 years ago from my good buddy Art, and it’s been a good bike.   The KLR has become a cult bike because so many of them are around, just as I believe the RX3 will be.  Comparisons between the two bikes are inevitable, and as I rode mine to the plant yesterday, I was mentally doing just that.   It’s a funny thing, because later in the day Ryan (who also used to own a KLR that he put some serious miles on) asked me how I thought the KLR compared to the RX3.

Here’s what I told Ryan:

  • As a 650, the KLR has more power than the RX3, but not that much more.  At freeway speeds, the KLR had a little more oomph going from 70 mph to 80 mph, but it was just a little bit more.
  • The RX3 is a much more stable ride.  The KLR feels like it has  a hinge in the middle, and it was trying to follow the rain grooves in the 210 freeway’s surface way more than the RX3 does.  I would say this is one of the bigger differences between the two bikes.   The RX3 just handles and tracks a lot better.
  • The RX3 is a much more nimble motorcycle than the KLR.
  • The KLR is much more taller than the RX3.   I was surprised when I got on the KLR yesterday just how tall it felt.  I had to tippy-toe it when stopped, and I found I didn’t like doing that.   When the KLR was my only bike, I was okay with it, but now that I have the RX3, I don’t like doing the ballerina impersonation the KLR requires.  I don’t have to do that on the RX3.
  • As a fuel-injected motorcycle, the RX3 engine felt much more precise than does the KLR engine.
  • I run Shinko semi-knobbies on the KLR, and it makes way more tire noise going down the road than does the RX3.
  • The RX3 was a much more comfortable ride than the KLR.   I’ve heard people criticize the seat on both bikes, but believe me, the KLR seat is far worse than the RX3 seat (which I feel comfortable on).   I have the sheepskin cover on my RX3, I don’t have one any more on my KLR.   I probably need to get another sheepskin cover for the KLR.
  • I really like the RX3’s stock luggage, and I use it all the time.   I have a set of optional Kawasaki soft bags for the KLR, but they don’t hold as much as the RX3 luggage and they are not lockable.  I may get a set of RX3 bags and modify the brackets so I can put them on the KLR.  We had talked about doing that at some point in the future, but we have been so busy developing accessories for the RX3 that we just haven’t had time to fool around with stuff for other bikes.   Having said that, the Zong bags are a natural fit for the KLR, and they even match in color.

Don’t get me wrong…I still love the KLR and I’ve decided to keep it.  It’s just that I love the RX3 more.  I’ve found that smaller motorcycles just make more sense for me, and I believe they are more fun than bigger bikes.   I feel comfortable and in control on the RX3, and as we proved on the Baja and Western America rides, it sure can go the distance.

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No Thru Road, and more…

I bought a copy of Clement Salvadori’s latest moto book, No Thru Road, and it’s a great read. I’m about a third of the way into now an I am enjoying every page. Clement Salvadori is one of my favorite writers.


Well, all right, Clement Salvadori is my absolute favorite writer.  I was happy to learn that he had a new book available and I bought a copy as soon as I heard about it.   My advice?  You should pick up a copy, and you can do so here.

That book you see in the background, Motorcycle Rides Through Baja, is another Salvadori classic. I’ve practically got the thing memorized, and you’ve read about it before here on the CSC blog.   It guided much of my travel through Baja, and speaking of which, I’m getting the urge to go down there again.   If any of you are thinking the same way, let me know.

5000 Miles at 8000 RPM continues to progress well.  I’m also about a third of the way into that one, and like I said before, the book is writing itself.   I’m reliving the Western America Adventure Ride as I write it, and that’s a good thing.  I’ll probably use this shot as the cover photo…


I’m bringing my KLR to the plant this afternoon if I can get it to start.  I haven’t put even 25 miles on the Kawasaki this year, so I’m going to let Gerry clean the carb, do the valves, replace all the fluids, and do whatever else he tells me is necessary.  I’ll probably keep it, but there’s really no need to now that I have the RX3.  Still, I like to keep my toys in tip top shape, and there’s no one who can do that better than our very own Gerry Edwards.

Dual sports and donuts, folks!  I’m looking forward to this Saturday, a free donut, a good cup of coffee, a ride on my RX3 to the plant, and maybe seeing you there!

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Good stuff, folks…Dual Sports and Donuts, starting this Saturday.



Yep, we’re going to be open every Saturday from 9:00 to 4:00, starting this weekend.   You can stop by for coffee, a donut, or just to shoot the breeze with other riders.

Our service department will be open, too.   It will be a good opportunity to meet Gerry and ask him any questions about technical stuff on the RX3 or service work you’d like done on your bike (whatever the brand).

We’ll have four of the new 250cc TT Specials on display (and yes, we’ve made the decision to move ahead with certifying that bike in America).   It’s a dynamite motorcycle and you’re more than welcome to stop in and see it.

More good news…we’re going to be at the Horizons Unlimited event in Yosemite next month.   We’ll have more information on that up here on the blog in the near future.

Hey, I hope to see you on Saturday!  I’ll be there on Saturday and I’ll be on my RX3!

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Dual sports and donuts…

Starting this week, folks, we’re open on Saturdays from 9:00 to 4:00, and we’d like you to stop by.   We’ll have coffee and donuts in the morning, and if you need to get your bike serviced, our service department will be open.


Come on over on your RX3 or any other motorcycle!   We work on all brands, and who knows, you just might want to pick up an RX3 (if you don’t already have one) or any of our first-rate accessories.  I’ll be here, and if the fires in the San Gabriels have stopped, we may even go for a ride up in the mountains!

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Moving right along…


Unlike what the photo above shows, I didn’t get out of the house at all yesterday other than for a short evening ride on my steel-framed Bianchi bicycle.   I spent the entire day in my man-cave working on 5000 Miles at 8000 RPM.   The book is writing itself, and it’s fun being a part of that process.  I’ve expanded its scope to include the origins of the CSC organization, the decision to import the RX3, and the events leading up to the Western America Adventure Ride (as well as the ride itself).   Good stuff.   It’s a hell of a story.   You’ll love it.

Oh, and that photo above…it was in Colorado.   Good times there, too.

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