TT250 49T Sprocket Installation

I have our new 49T sprocket on my TT250, and it makes a huge difference in how the bike performs.   The 49T sprocket really helps the bike for street riding.  I think that with the 17T front sprocket the 49T rear sprocket is ideal.  I haven’t tried a 48T, a 47T, or really anything else other than the 49T, so I can’t comment on them.

In case you were wondering, here’s what the gear ratios look like with the various sprocket combos…


The stock TT250 setup is the 17T/50T combo.  It’s okay, but I felt it was slightly undergeared for street use.   What that means to me is that the engine was fully wound out in top gear and it felt like it could have pulled a bit more top end with a slightly taller gear ratio.

We went with the 49T because it would provide a taller gear ratio and it was available.   None of our sources had the 48T or 47T sprocket available.  If you can’t buy them, you can’t test them.  The bike might pull the 48T or perhaps even the 47T (and when I say “pull,” I mean the engine will wind all the way out).  You can keep gearing a bike taller, but at some point the engine can’t get high enough in the RPM range to overcome aerodynamic drag, and you can actually lose top end by gearing the bike taller.   My Z06 Corvette is like that; you have to drop down to 5th gear (from 6th) to attain the car’s top speed of 173 mph (or so I’ve been told).

Anyway, I like the 17T/49T combo.   You may feel differently, but it’s what I found works.  Another reason I like it is that we didn’t have to mess with the chain with this combo.   The stock chain length works.

So, with all of the above out of the way, let me take a few minutes to walk you through the 49T sprocket installation process.   I’ll first refer you to our TT250 maintenance tutorial on rear wheel removal.   It will show you how to remove the TT250’s rear wheel, which you’ll need to do to install the new rear sprocket.

Once the rear wheel is removed, remove the large Circlip on the wheel hub…


We’ve had people ask about Circlip on the hub with the new sprocket.   Hey, that Circlip doesn’t do anything once the bike is assembled…it’s just along for the ride.  It has no operational function.  As nearly as we can guess, it’s an assembly aid when the motorcycle is manufactured.   Leave it off.   Like my friends in New Jersey say, fuhhgeddaboutit.

Remove the four bolts securing the old sprocket.   They have lockwashers underneath; hang on to them.

Next, place two washers over each hole in the hub (a silver one and a black one).   We put the dark one next to the hub and the silver one on top…


This is how the washers should look under the sprocket…


Now put the sprocket on top of the hub, with the dished side out (i.e., facing away from the hub)…


Put a dab of blue Loctite on each of the four bolts, install a lockwasher underneath the bolt head, and tighten the bolts to 35 lb-ft.


And that’s about it.  Reinstall the rear wheel in accordance with our previously-published maintenance tutorial, and you’ll be on your way.

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A cool old BMW…

We get some interesting motorcycles in for maintenance, and with Gerry’s BMW background, a lot of them tend to Beemers.    Check this one out…


It’s actually an R50 (that’s the 500cc boxer twin), but this one has the R69S 600cc engine and Gerry told me it’s a real hot rod.   I love the looks of these old bikes, and that sidecar!  Wow!

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Willie’s TT250 Spotlights…

My good buddy Willie added our single spotlights to his TT250 in preparation for the upcoming Baja run, and they sure look good.   This is a great way to mount the spots on a TT250…



You can see the spotlights on our website here, and you can give us a call at 909 445 0900 to find out what’s involved in mounting them on your TT250.   Remember that our unique Off/A1/A2 right handlebar switchgear makes controlling these a snap!

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We’re in the very early planning stages of a cross-country ride this summer on our RX3 motorcycles. We’re going to start in California and end up somewhere on the East Coast (most likely in New Jersey, my home state).  Yep, the plan is to roll from coast to coast, with stops and mini-rallies at selected spots and on favorite roads where our fans want to see us!


We’ve had numerous requests to do a coast-to-coast US ride after folks have read about our Baja rides, the 5000-mile Western  America Adventure Ride, the Colombian adventure tour, and our ride across China this summer.  The idea is that RX3 owners can ride with us for as little or as long as they like.  We won’t be the first to do it (others have already ridden their RX3s across the US), but it will be a first for me and the idea here is to ride with as many of our RX3 friends as possible.

Do you have an idea for a get together or a favorite road in your area? Let us know, and if possible, we’ll factor it into our plans.

We’re looking forward to seeing you this summer!

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The IACP Convention

I had a great day yesterday.   My good buddy Mike was in San Diego for the International Association of Chiefs of Police convention, and I was his deputy for a day.   Yep, Mike made me an official Assistant to the Director for one day only.   I may even be getting a gun out of the deal, but more on that later.  And don’t ask…my deal expired last night and I can’t fix any speeding tickets for you.

The convention was very interesting….it was more or less like a trade show, but the attendees were all senior police agency executives (hence the name), including none other than the Director of the FBI, James Comey.    The show itself had very interesting stuff on display, including police vehicles of all sorts, helicopters, drones, all kinds of police equipment (including at least half a dozen firearms exhibits), clothing, and much more.  I guess if I was surprised by anything, it was how many software companies had exhibits.   The police buy a lot of management and crime statistics programs.

The vehicles were interesting.  Here’s my good buddy Mike checking out a Dodge Challenger police car…


There were probably a half dozen helicopters on display.  This one goes for about $5,000,000.


A body armor exhibit…


A very cool drone.  The guys had one of these on the China trip.  This one had an infrared camera showing its image in the screen beneath the drone.  That’s me in the lower left…


Harley, Zero, BMW, Kawasaki, and Polaris had police motorcycles on display.  They were all enormous, including the Zero.   This is the BMW.  It goes for about $24,500.  Check out the switchgear…


Yours truly with a Harley…these start at about $17,000.


Mike got a shot of me on the Harley.   I couldn’t believe how heavy it was.  I used to own a couple of Harleys.   I put a lot of miles on those bikes, but when I sat on this one yesterday, it felt ridiculously heavy.  I didn’t think they were that heavy when I rode my Harleys, but I sure feel that way now.


Facial recognition software, showing Mike and me…


SIG, Smith and Wesson, Glock, HK, and CZ had exhibits.   I was particularly interested in the CZ exhibit.   They had real rifles (you know, with actual walnut stocks).  The rifle at the top of the CZ rack (in the photo below) is chambered in .300 Winchester Magnum, and it is truly a show gun.  It doesn’t show up in the photo, but this particular rifle had an exhibition-grade walnut stock (which kind of makes sense when you think about it…we were, after all, at a show).  I talked to the CZ guy and he told me this IACP show is the last one at which the current group of display guns will be on display.   One thing led to another in our conversation, and to make a long story short, I’m going to purchase that rifle.   I am excited.


The cockpit of a Kawasaki Concours police motorcycle.   Lots of buttons and switches.


After dinner, the Chiefs were having a reception on the USS Midway in San Diego.   That was way cool…


Mike on the flight deck of USS Midway at night, checking in with the people back east…


San Diego’s skyline in the background…


The Nikon D3300 was wringing everything it could out of its low-light capabilities.   That’s an F-4 and an F-14 on the flight deck.


James Comey is in there somewhere.  The reception was sponsored by the FBI’s National Academy.   The chiefs owned the USS Midway last night.


Another cool night shot…


…and another…


Free drinks, free dinner, and all on the USS Midway.   I might say it doesn’t get any better than this, but then I realized in about 10 days I’m going for a motorcycle ride in Baja.  The fish tacos last night were good.  The ones in Baja will be better.


And folks, that was about it.  Fun times.  Good friends.   Good photo ops.

Stay tuned.  As always, there’s more good stuff coming your way on the CSC blog.

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Colombia videos…

Wow!  Jorge’s video showed up on Facebook this morning, and it turns out the one I saw was only one in a series of great adventures!  Enjoy, my friends…

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A day in the sun…


Wow, what a day!  We had a sample of nearly every CSC motorcycle on our Glendora Ridge Road ride today…a couple of RX3s piloted by Mike and Byron, a CSC 250 Mustang with Duane on board, and a couple of TT250s with Lieutenant Dan and yours truly.    The weather was perfect and we sure had a good time.

The boys stopping for coffee at Camp Williams. From left to right, it's

The boys stopping for coffee at Camp Williams. From left to right, it’s Dan, Byron, Mike, and Duane.

After talking motorcycles for a bit, it was back on the East Fork Road to the northeastern end of Glendora Mountain Road.  There were lots of motorcyclists enjoying the road today.   I wanted to get more video today, but my GoPro battery gave up the ghost.  Ah, that’s how it goes sometimes.  I’ll find replacements and order them tonight on Amazon.

We still grabbed some video, though….good buddy Duane came through with his helmet-mounted video cam!   Duane gave his files to me and I was able to put together a video.   Duane was riding at the back of the pack…you can see Byron, Dan, Mike, and me in front.

It sure was nice out there, and when we rode to the top of the mountain (where Glendora Mountain Road and Glendora Ridge Road intersect), we stopped for photos…

That's Dan with his TT250...I'm showing off a bit with Photoshop here!

That’s Dan with his TT250…I’m showing off a bit with Photoshop here!

More Photoshop magic on Glendora Ridge Road!

More Photoshop magic on Glendora Ridge Road!

Good buddy Mike, who is riding with us to Baja in a couple of weeks

Good buddy Mike, who is riding with us to Baja in a couple of weeks

Duane and his CSC Mustang

Duane and his CSC Mustang

After looking at all of the photos I shot today, I realized I didn’t get a feature shot of Byron like I did of the other guys.   My apologies, Byron, but you know what that means…it’s a good reason to join us on the next ride!

Today was a nice day, wrapped up with a great lunch at the Mt. Baldy Lodge.   Good times, good roads, good friends, and good motorcycles!  I sure enjoyed it.

Just 12 more days and we’re Baja bound, folks!

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A quick pre-ride road check…


Our TT250 ride is tomorrow, and it’s going to be a good one. I rode Glendora Ridge Road today on my TT250 just to make sure the road is open, and it was awesome up there.  And hey, if you ride an RX3 or a CSC Mustang, we’d love to have you ride with us, too!   We’re leaving from the CSC plant at 9:00.  We’ll stop for coffee and photos on the East Fork road, we’ll ride Glendora Mountain Road, we’ll ride Glendora Ridge Road, we’ll have lunch at the Mt. Baldy Lodge, and then we’ll loop back to the plant.  The road is in good shape and the weather should be perfect!

I’ve been riding my TT250 a lot in the last couple of weeks, and I have it dialed in just the way I want it. I think the Wolfman bags are perfect, and so is the 17T/49T gear combo. My TT250 is turning into a very nice smallbore touring platform, and I’m pumped about our upcoming Baja ride!


I have been working with my GoPro video camera a bit, and I tried a handlebar mount today. It’s okay, but I’m not wild about it. As you can see in the video above, a lot of road vibe gets through to the camera. I think tomorrow I’ll try a helmet mount.  The video is always a lot smoother when I use a helmet mount.


I figured out how to control the GoPro from my iPhone (I know, I’m slowly entering the 21st century, kicking and scratching all the way). I have a handlebar mount for the iPhone coming, but I don’t know if I’ll have it by tomorrow. That’s the problem with the GoPro…if you don’t control it remotely, it’s tough to know when you’ve turned the thing on or off (especially when it is mounted on your helmet).

I’ll keep you posted…watch for more photos and video after our ride tomorrow.  You know what? I may do a Periscope broadcast from the shop tomorrow, too, before we get on the road…so stay tuned!

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Bob’s inputs…

I received a nice email from my good buddy Bob on that last blog post a few minutes ago…

Looking good with the tool roll, Joe!

Only suggestions I would make would be:

Locking Pliers (aka: Vice Grip, or Channel Lock) – definitely good to have, but maybe consider using the 6” long nose version. The smaller snout will give more precise clamping as needed (smaller bolt heads, hoses) and can reach where the standard jaw may not reach 2. Bungee Cords or plastic zip ties.  Don’t weigh much, always handy to have 3.  2 or 3 foot section of duct tape.  I roll this on itself and unwind as needed.

Optional (but I always carry with me) is a Leatherman tool. Good to have the knife, pliers, saw, can/bottle opener, etc. in one handy tool.

Looks like a great ride! One of these days when the four letter word (“work”, not “wife”) doesn’t get in the way, I hope to do one of these trips with you!


Bob, those are all great suggestions.  Thanks for taking the time to send them to us.  And just let us know when you’re ready to accompany us on any of our rides.   They are all fun.   I think we are up to 9 people on our short run into Baja at the end of this month.  It will be my first long ride on the TT250, and I’m excited about that.

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A recommended TT250 toolkit…

I promised a recommended TT250 toolkit a few blogs back, and this afternoon I put together a list of the tools I’m going to bring with me on the Baja trip.   The Internet being what it is, I have no doubt this will spark a firestorm of controversy from those of you who have different ideas.  Hey, as my personal hero (that would be Dubya) once said, bring it on.   Seriously.  If there’s something you think I missed, let us know and if I think it makes sense I’ll add it to the list.   That last part is important.  I’m bringing along the tools I think I might need in the unlikely event something goes south.   I’m not planning on doing an engine rebuild on the side of the road.  Knock wood, I’ve only ever had one serious breakdown on any of my rides (and it wasn’t on a Chinese bike; in fact, it was on a bike that costs about 10 times what a new TT250 goes for…and that bike didn’t come with any tools).

The TT250 comes with a modest tool kit mounted in a container along the frame, as you see below…


They say halitosis is better than no breath at all, and that’s kind of how I feel about the tool kits that come with new motorcycles (indeed, as mentioned above, some new motorcycles don’t include any tools).

Here’s what you get with the stock TT250 tool kit…


It includes a screwdriver with both blade and Phillips head drives, two wrenches with 8mm, 10mm, 13m, and 15mm ends, and a pressed steel socket that you’re supposed to turn with the screwdriver shaft.  The problem is that I don’t think that pressed steel socket would hold its shape under serious torque (and even if it did, and you probably couldn’t exert enough torque with the screwdriver shaft to adequately tighten or loosen the larger fasteners or the spark plug).

I took a hard look at the nuts and bolts on my TT250 this morning, and here’s what I’m putting in my tool kit for Baja…


From left to right, here you go:

  • A reversible drive screwdriver with both Phillips and blade drives.  It’s a big screwdriver, but I like the thing.   It’s one of those tools that’s gone on all of my rides.
  • A 17mm wrench.   There are a lot of 17mm bolts and nuts on the TT250, including the oil drain plug.  It’s a must-have item.
  • A cool wrench that has both 18mm and 19mm box ends.  This will come in handy for both the front and rear axles.
  • A crescent wrench.  This is a catchall and it’s a good thing to have.  I could have left out several other wrenches and just taken the crescent, but I wanted the others.
  • I kept the two wrenches that come with the standard TT250 tool kit.  They fit virtually all of the smaller fasteners on the bike.
  • A small channel lock pliers.   I mainly carry these because I once read about a guy using them when he lost his shift lever.   I’ve never had that happen, but these things were on sale for a buck at a Lowe’s and I couldn’t pass them up.   If I ever lose a shift lever, I’ll be good to go.
  • A pair of pliers.  These came with my 1965 Honda Super 90 tool kit, which I bought in 1966.  I’ve had them with me on every ride ever since.
  • Allen drives in 4mm (for the fuel tank filler cap), 5mm (for the body panels), and 6mm (for the handlebar clamps).  I could have bought one of those pocketknife-like things that have a bunch of Allen drives, but these are the only three I think I’ll need and I didn’t want to add the bulk of the larger multi-driver tool.
  • A spark plug socket.   You might wonder why I don’t have a socket driver for it.  The 18mm wrench fits it perfectly.

And that’s about it, folks.  All of the above won’t fit in the little plastic case the original factory tool kit occupied, so they’ll go in a tool roll that’s going in my soft luggage.   That plastic box for the original tool kit?   I may use it to carry a burrito…

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