The Open House After Action Report…

29 September 2014
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Wow, what a weekend!    Turnout was brisk, we took pre-orders on a bunch of new Cyclones, and everyone had a great time.

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Lupe and the RX-3.    I know what you are thinking.    Yes…they pay me to do this.

The most prevalent comment I heard on both Saturday and Sunday was this:   The photos on the Internet don’t do the new Cyclone justice…the bike looks way better in person than it does in the photos.  As the guy who took most of those photos, I don’t if I should take that as a compliment or not, but I have to agree that the RX-3 is one fine-looking motorcycle.   That’s not just my opinion…it’s what we heard from everyone.   We didn’t have to ask anyone if they wanted to sign up…they all told us.  Wow.

And you know the Internet has been lit up with comments about this great new motorcycle.   An interesting question emerged on the ChinaRiders forum, and that’s what colors are selling the best.   Here’s how that one shakes out based on the pre-orders we’ve been taking…

colorpie

We call the color of the bike I’m getting orange, and I guess it is, but I think the color is really closer to a dark yellow.   Like I said, it’s the bike I ordered, and I like it a lot.   It’s kind of funny…it’s the one I like and I guess because of that I’ve been posting mostly photos with the orange bike.   The pattern has been this:  Whatever color I feature on the blog, that’s the color we get the most orders for.   When I post a photo of a blue RX-3, we start getting more orders for it.  Our red bike is in certification testing right now, so I don’t have as many photos for it.   And we don’t have a white one yet.   We’ll see how those colors do when we start posting more photos.

Hey, here a few more photos from our great weekend…

Twin Peaks Steve

Twin Peaks Steve

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MotoMapper, aka Agent 007

Happy campers who made the list

Happy campers who made the list

The blue Cyclone

The blue Cyclone

I’ve got more photos and I’ll post those in the next few days, folks.  Like always, the best part of these events is meeting and making new friends, and we did a lot of that on Saturday and Sunday.

Good times, with much more to follow.

Stay tuned!

 

More exciting CSC Cyclone info…

26 September 2014
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The appetite for CSC Cyclone information is insatiable.   In fact, we were caught off guard today when our CSC website went down for 45 minutes because we exceeded our bandwidth allocation!   That’s never happened before, and it’s a good indication of just how thirsty folks are for info on this exciting new motorcycle.

With that in mind, here’s another of our Cyclone videos.   This one addresses more of the Cyclone’s technical details and features…

I had a real nice night this evening with my girlfriend Susie, and I’m looking forward to the Open House this weekend.   Keep an eye on the blog, as we’ll be posting lots of Open House photos and maybe a video or two.

Better yet, why not take a ride out and visit with us?  We’d love to see you, and folks (trust me on this) you need to see the Cyclone!

 

The Dealer Question…

26 September 2014
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_DSC0198-Dash-250No question about it:  Our path to market with the CSC Cyclone is unconventional.  Well, sort of.  It’s the model we evolved into with the CSC-150 and CSC-250 motorcycles and it worked well for our national and international distribution of those motorcycles.   It’s the path to market we’re going to use initially for the Cyclone.

There will come a time when we decide to use dealers, but for the time being, we are not.   The most significant reason for that is we couldn’t sell you the motorcycle at the price we’re offering if dealers were in the mix.  If there’s a dealer between you and CSC, the bike would shoot up to something very far north of $4,500 very fast.

Like I said above, we know we’re following an unconventional sales model with the Cyclone.   We’re doing it to deliver an exceptional bike at an exceptional price.   We started with the Don’t Miss the Boat program.   Our Cyclone path to market could very well be called the Rock the Boat program.   Rocking boats is what we do.   We’re doing it for you.

The obvious question if there’s no dealer network is this:   How do I service my bike?

That’s coming up, folks.   Keep an eye on the blog.

 

Whew!

25 September 2014
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_DSC0135-250Folks, the response to the RX-3 has been just incredible.   The “Don’t Miss The Boat” program is nearing completion, and while I can’t tell you how many motorcycles we’ve taken reservations on, I can tell you we stopped counting motorcycles and we’re now counting shipping containers (and there are lots of motorcycles in a shipping container).

The bottom line to the above is that we’re holding the “Don’t Miss The Boat” open through the Open House this weekend.   We’ll be here from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and I hope to see you there, too.

One more thing, folks:  The number of inquiries we’ve been receiving on the Cyclone are over the top….from folks who want to get on the $2895 list, from the news media, and from you.   Some of the inquiries are extremely technical questions (e.g., yesterday I had a guy ask me the engine temperature in the mountains when the bike was going uphill).   Quite frankly, we don’t have all the answers to all of the technical questions yet.   By all means, please keep your questions coming.   If we have the answer, we’ll provide it.   If you don’t hear from us immediately, it means we’re either researching the topic or contacting Zongshen for the answer.

We’re doing our best to provide information on this bike as we develop it and as it becomes available.   We just recently posted the approach for taking delivery of the bike.   We’ll have more blog posts in the near future on our decision not to use dealers initially, the maintenance approach, the warranty, and more.   We’re following an unconventional path to market with the Cyclone, and we’re doing that to maximize value to you.  Stay tuned, because there’s lots more information coming.

Along this same line of thought, there are at least a dozen Internet forums with threads on the CSC Cyclone now (most of them popped up in the last two weeks).   In fact, Randy Prade and crew just recently started the www.RX3forums.com site, and it looks like it’s going to be a winner.  We do our best to keep up with the forums and when we can, we’ll answer the questions posted on those forums (but we can’t do that in every instance for every question).   The best place to come for answers is straight to the source, and that’s here.   Shoot your questions to us, and we’ll provide answers as best we can.

 

Taking Delivery of Your New CSC Cyclone

24 September 2014
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We’ve been explaining to the folks on our “Don’t Miss The Boat” list the options for taking delivery of their new CSC Cyclone.   We’ve also been getting questions on the Internet forums about this, so we thought we’d spell it out here on the blog.

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Here’s the deal:

If you’re in California, you’ll have to pay the DMV fees, sales tax, and a $35 documentation fee.   You can pick the bike up here in the shipping crate, or we’ll ship it to you.   If we ship it to you, we’ll charge you the shipping costs (they’ll be based on the actual shipping costs).

If you’re out of state, you can either pick up the bike here or we’ll ship it to you.   Out-of-state folks won’t have to pay the California DMV fees or sales tax, but we will charge you the $35 documentation fee.   If we ship the bike to you, we’ll charge for shipping based on your location.

If you want us to do the setup for you, we’ll charge a flat $200 setup fee.   Or, you can take the bike in the crate (in which case there’s no setup fee, but you’ll have to do the setup).   The setup includes:

  • Installing the front wheel
  • Installing the mirrors
  • Installing the windshield
  • Charging the battery
  • Installing the luggage
  • Installing the guards
  • Checking the fluids

That’s it, folks.   We can’t quote a general shipping fee because it will vary based on your location.   As always, if you have any questions, just give us a call.

 

Hear me roar…

24 September 2014
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We’ve had a ton of hits and comments on the Cyclone video I posted the other day, and in addition to the comments about my shiny noggin and expanding belt line, there were several requests for a video that would let folks hear the engine.

Here you go!

We’ll be posting more videos over the next few days and weeks, so keep an eye on us!

 

Comments on the vid…

23 September 2014
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We’ve had some fun comments on the video I posted yesterday, and I thought I’d share a few of them with you.   Good stuff.  Fun stuff.

 

First, an email from my good buddy Tommy M…

Good commercial, Joe.

Your high school public speaking teacher would be proud… i.e., who, what, where when, and why.

My computer experienced a slight technical problem, there was as blinding glare coming from the area of your head when the sun was in just the right location. 

See you this weekend. 

Tom

 

A blinding glare off my head?

Tom, I spilled my coffee this morning when I read that one!

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Here’s one from RTKing on the ADVRider site…

Thanks for the video. (And my first and second color choices, no less!).   Good to see a size comparison with you by the bike.

 

Hey, our pleasure, RT!    The bike is a full size motorcycle, with a much more sensible saddle height and overall riding position than most adventure touring bikes.   I like it.  A lot.

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Here’s another one from the ADVRider site, this time from LongHaul747…

Good job on the video. I am just about sold….now I just need to talk the wife into it and find the $. Need to find room in the garage as well!

One question I have is the delivery process for those out of state who can’t visit CSC for delivery. Will these be drop shipped in the same crate they arrive in from China and the customer will have to do his own uncrating and PDI?   Or will CSC uncrate it and set it up making sure everything is okay and then use a dedicated motorcycle shipper for shipping?  I prefer CSC doing the setup and likely in everyone’s best interest. Only thing the customer has to do is give a quick going over and add gas and oil if they can’t ship with those fluids.  Also no crating material to dispose of.   The rest is pretty easy.   Take the Certificate of Origin to the DMV and pay the tax and they will create a registration.

 

LongHaul, we’re explaining the particulars to everyone who calls to get on the list.  There are a lot of options here and we’ll posting those for all to see on the blog in the very near future.

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Here’s one from Tiffany posted on our Facebook page…

I cannot WAIT for this machine to arrive at my house!!  I’ve been struggling to move to an adventure bike as the only feasible option for someone my size is the 650gs and it’s still huge for me (trust me I know as I had to try to pick it up from its side in Prudhoe bay).  I truly hope your bike will inspire and empower even more females to ride their own. Thank you thank you thank you for finally addressing the gap in our motorcycle industry!!

 

You and I both, Tiffany.  I can’t wait to get mine, either.  

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And finally, this one on the YouTube site from WanderAbroad (what a great name for an adventure rider!)…

THANK YOU THANK YOU!

Ok, enough with my caps.

I’m a 35 year old U.S. citizen working in China now and I spent months researching every bike I could find. Comparing forums, debates, listening to pros and watching them perform. I could find no other options better than this one (with maint. cost and ease being a huge factor) I got this bike and went bananas!

For anyone wanting more info read past this to the rest of my long post. So here goes. This bike feels like the Mercedes of the off road to me. The passenger seat is FINALLY done correctly vs. other bikes and is not one long sloping seat that pushes the rear rider into the front rider when you hit bumps. The motor has power hands down.

Careful with the throttle. It may be 250cc’s but start releasing to fast and the bike won’t have a problem showing you what its hiding. It’s stable on the freeway and light on the bad roads and boy China has some tough roads to test you on! Other offroad bikes are just – too – doggone – heavy!  Those guys end up doing more fighting with those behemoths than actually enjoying the ride it seems to me. If you want to drop the money you can get (I don’t know about the U.S.) 3 very large sturdy padlocked waterproof stainless steel luggage carriers made for this bike with their own special mounting.

Cost of repairs on this bike like I said before are WAY lower than those giant BMW’s KTM’s etc. The upfront cost is WAY lower than the others. When I return to the U.S. for six week visits I plan to buy another one just for the U.S. This bike is hands down fantastic. I hope you can get a good deal of video of you guys riding this around. I can’t really video myself since I drive alone a lot.

Push this bike guys, it’s the perfect tour bike meets motor cross and had the perfectly balanced baby.

 

WanderAbroad, you said it better than I ever could!  

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Thanks to all for your inputs!  We’ll have more videos and more information on the RX-3 on the blog in the near future, folks, so like always, stay tuned!    And don’t forget about our open house this weekend!

 

Where’s my dog Spot?

22 September 2014
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I know…I sound just like Cal Worthington…

There’s lots more coming, folks, so keep an eye on us!

 

Open House This Weekend

21 September 2014
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Folks, just a gentle reminder…don’t forget about our open house this coming weekend.   We’ll be open on both Saturday and Sunday (that’s 27 and 28 September) from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.   You’ll see the CSC Cyclone in person, along with our extensive vintage Mustang collection and several CSC 150 and CSC 250 models.

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We hope to see you there!

 

Why a 250?

6 September 2014
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A 250cc bike seems too small to many riders.   Is it?

The 250cc CSC Cyclone

The motorcycle craze in the US really started in the mid-1960s.   I know motorcycling goes back way before that, but motorcycling was essentially a fringe endeavor until Honda came on the scene.   We met the nicest people on Hondas, if you remember, and that ad tagline was a winner (so is “Don’t Miss The Boat,” by the way).

Honda’s sales model was a good one.   They pulled us in with small bikes and then convinced us we needed larger and larger bikes.   Many of us started with a Honda Cub (the 50cc step-through), we progressed to the Super 90 (that was my jump in), then the 160cc baby Super Hawk, then the 305cc Super Hawk, and at that point in about 1967 that was it for Honda.   They didn’t have anything bigger (yet).    After the 305cc Super Hawk, the next step for most folks was either a Harley or a Triumph.

Yours Truly, on a Honda Super 90 in the mid-’60s

You know, back in those days, a 650cc motorcycle was a BIG motorcycle.   And it was.

But Honda kept on trucking…they offered a 450 that sort of flopped, and then in 1969 they delivered the CB-750.   That bike was so far in front it killed the British motorcycle industry and (with a lot of self-inflicted wounds) almost killed Harley.

The Japanese manufacturers piled on.   Kawasaki one-upped Honda with a 900.   Honda came back with a 1000cc Gold Wing (which subsequently grew to 1100cc, then 1500cc, and is now an 1800cc).   Triumph has a 2300cc road bike.  Harley gave up on cubic centimeters and now describes their bikes with cubic inches.    And on and on it went.  It seems to keep on going.   The bikes keep on getting bigger.  And bigger.   And bigger.   And taller.  And heavier.    And bigger.   In a society where everything was being supersized (burgers, bikes, and unfortunately, our beltlines), bigger bikes have ruled the roost for a long time.   Too long, in my opinion.

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Is this where it’s going?

Weirdly, today many folks think of a 750 as a small bike.  It’s a world gone nuts.   But I I digress…

I’ve done a lot of riding.  Real riding.  My bikes get used.   A lot.  I don’t much care for the idea of bikes as driveway jewelry, and on a lot of my rides in the US, Mexico, and Canada, I kind of realized that this “bigger is better” mentality is just flat wrong.   It worked as a motorcycle marketing strategy for awhile, but when you’re wrestling with a 700-lb bike in the soft stuff, you realize it doesn’t make any sense.

Really?

Really?

I’ve had some killer big bikes.   A Triumph Daytona 1200.   A Harley Softail.   A TL1000S Suzuki.   A Triumph Speed Triple (often called the Speed Cripple, which in my case sort of turned out to be true).   All the while I was riding these monsters, I’d see guys on Gold Wings and other 2-liter leviathans and wonder…what are these folks thinking?

I’d always wanted a KLR-650 for a lot of reasons.   The biggest reasons were the bikes were inexpensive back then and they were lighter than the armored vehicles I had been riding.  I liked the idea of a bike I could travel on, take off road, and lift by myself if I dropped it.   To make a long story short, I bought the KLR and I liked it.   I still have it.   But it’s tall, and it’s heavy (well over 500 lbs fully fueled).   But it was a better deal than the bigger bikes for real world riding.   Nobody buys a KLR to be a poser, nobody chromes out a KLR, and nobody buys leather fringe for a KLR, but if that’s what you want in a motorcycle, hey, more power to you.

More background…if you’ve been on this blog for more than 10 minutes you know I love riding in Baja.  I talk about it all the time.   My friends tell me I should be on the Baja Tourism Board.   Whatever.    It is some of the best riding in the world.   I’ll get down there the first week I take delivery on my CSC Cyclone, and if you want to ride with me, you’re more than welcome.

I was talking up Baja one day at the First Church of Bob (the BMW dealership where me and some of my buddies hang out on Saturday mornings).   There I was, talking about the road to San Felipe through Tecate, when my good buddy Bob said “let’s do it.”   Baja it was…the other guys were on their Harleys and uber-Beemers, and I was on my “small bore” KLR.  The next weekend we pointed the bars south, wicked it up, and rode to San Felipe.

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The Boys…bound for San Felipe with my KLR leading the pack

That was a fun trip.   I took a lot of ribbing about the KLR, but the funny thing was I had no problem keeping up with the monster motos.   In fact, most of the time, I was in the lead.   And Bob?   Well, he just kept studying the KLR.   On Saturday night, he opened up a bit.   Bob is the real deal…he rode the length of Baja before there was a road.   That’s why he was enjoying this trip so much, and it’s why he was so interested in my smaller bike.    In fact, he announced his intent to buy a smaller bike, which surprised everybody at the table.

Holding court on the Sea of Cortez

Holding court on the Sea of Cortez

Bob told us about a months-long moto trip he made to Alaska decades ago, and his dream about someday riding to Tierra del Fuego.   That’s the southernmost tip of South America.   He’d been to the Arctic Circle, and he wanted to be able to say that he’d been all the way south, too.

I thought all of this was incredibly interesting.   Bob is usually a very quiet guy.   He’s the best rider I’ve ever known, and I’ve watched him smoke Ricky Racers on the Angeles Crest Highway with what appeared to be no effort whatsoever.   Sometimes he’d do it on a BMW trade-in police bike standing straight up on the pegs passing youngsters on Gixxers and Ducksters.   Those kids had bikes with twice the horsepower and two-thirds the weight of Bob’s bike, and he could still out ride them.   Awesome stuff.    Anyway, Bob usually doesn’t talk much, but during dinner that night on the Sea of Cortez he was opening up about some of his epic rides.   It was good stuff.

Finally, I asked:   Bob, what bike would you use for a trip through South America?

Bob’s answer was immediate:  A 250.

That surprised me, but only for an instant.   I asked why and he told me, but I kind of knew the answer already.   Bob’s take on why a 250:  It’s light, it’s fast enough, it’s small enough that you can pick it up when it falls, you can change tires on it easily, you can take it off road, you can get across streams, and it gets good gas mileage.

Bob’s answer about a 250 really stuck in my mind.   This guy knows more about motorcycles than I ever will, he is the best rider I’ve ever known, and he didn’t blink an eye before immediately answering that a 250 is the best bike for serious world travel.

It all made a lot of sense to me.   I had ridden my liter-sized Triumph Tiger in Mexico, but when I took it off road the thing was terrifying.   The bike weighed north of 600 lbs, it was way too tall, and I had nearly dropped it several times in soft sand.   It was not fun.   I remembered another ride with my friend Dave when he dropped his FJR in an ocean-sized puddle.   It took three of us to get the thing upright, and we dropped it a couple of more times in our attempt to do so.   John and I had taken my Harley and his Virago on some fun trips, but folks, those bikes made no sense at all for the kind of riding we did.

Upright in this photo, but it was like wrestling a pig in mud a few minutes earlier

You might be wondering…what about the other so-called adventure bikes, like the BMW GS series, the Yamaha Tenere, or the Triumph Tiger?   Good bikes, to be sure, but truth be told, they’re really street bikes dressed up like dirt bikes.   Big street bikes dressed up like dirt bikes.   Two things to keep in mind…seat height and weight.   I can’t touch the ground when I get on a BMW GS, and as you’ve heard me say before, my days of spending $20K or $30K on a motorcycle are over.   Nice bikes and super nice for freeway travel, but for around town or off road or long trips into unknown territory, these bikes are just too big, too heavy, and too tall.

There’s one other benefit to a small bike.   Remember that stuff above about Honda’s 1960s marketing strategy?  You know, starting on smaller bikes?   Call me crazy, but when I get on bikes this size, I feel like a kid again.   It’s fun.

I’ve thought about this long and hard.   For my kind of riding, a 250 makes perfect sense.   My invitation to you is to do the same kind of thinking.   And remember, folks, that $2895 offer is one sweet deal.  It’s not going to last long.   I received an email last night from my buddy Dave (the guy with that blue FJR in the photo above), and he’s about to get on the list.

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How about you?

 

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