This just in!

The first container of TT250s is due to arrive at the CSC plant on Friday!  More to follow in a subsequent blog, folks.   Please hold the phone calls and other inquiries (the guys are going to be very busy), but please call us if you want to order a new bike or any parts or accessories!

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Rider Magazine

Rider magazine is wrapping up their test of the 2016 RX3, and they’ve posted about it on their Facebook page.  You can see their post here.

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As usual, a few trolls are emerging from under their bridges.   Would you like to weigh in, too?   Let the folks know what you think of your RX3!

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Tacos for lunch…

Gerry just finished servicing my RX3 and I rode over to Pepe’s for lunch.  The bike runs better than when it was new, and the tacos were amazing…

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I was putting the finishing touches on the TT250 manual this morning, but it’s in the 80s here today and you can see what the weather is like.  Folks, I’m putting my computer away after this blog and heading for the San Gabriels!

Hey, the TT250 ship is in the harbor, and usually it’s only a day or two before they start unloading.   I don’t have confirmation yet that the unloading has started, but as soon as I get it, I’ll let you know.

Me…I’m outta here.   Time to ride!

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Uh oh…

Boy, are we embarrassed.   We posted a photo last year in one of our RX3 maintenance tutorials showing the oil/air separator, and the separator was shown upside down (it had been installed that way at the factory).

In a nutshell, here’s the deal:  The correct orientation of the oil/air separator is as you see it in the photo below:

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There’s a little cap-like closure on the oil/air separator, and that should be on top as you see it in the photos above and below.  We’ve noticed people discussing this on the forums and we wanted to give clear guidance on the correct orientation.

The problem crept in with some of the oil/air separators installed upside down from the factory, including the ones on the three prototype RX3s we used for the maintenance tutorials (hence the incorrect photo I used in the maintenance tutorial).  As I discovered this weekend, the oil/air separator on my very own RX3 (from the first shipment) was also upside down.   Wow.  As Bud Abbott would say, “Who’s on first?”

There’s been an enormous amount of confusion on this, so Gerry and I cut a separator open yesterday to find out what’s going on inside.   Here’s what it looks like:

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That cotton-like thingamajig on the inside is the actual separator.   It’s a thick mesh arrangement.  The idea is that air comes out of the crankcase heavily laden with atomized oil and fuel vapors (the fuel that sneaks down past the rings goes into vapor form as the engine heats up).    When this air exits the crankcase and enters the separator, it flows back to the engine intake (to the air box).  It has to go through the separator to get there, and when it does, the atomized oil is captured in that white mesh.  From there, it drips down into the drain tube (that’s the clear plastic tube with a plug on the end).   The air (stripped of most of the atomized oil) goes on to enter the airbox and get sucked back through the engine.

If you have the oil/air separator reversed (as originally shown in our maintenance tutorial photo), the vapors with atomized oil will go directly to the airbox, with less of the atomized oil being captured by the separator to subsequently go into the drain line.

The bikes are arriving with the oil/air separator in the correct orientation, but some folks think it’s upside down because of that earlier photo we used.   They’re turning it to the incorrect orientation.  Don’t do that.  If your oil/air separator is as shown here, leave it alone.   Our apologies for the confusion.  I’ll correct the maintenance tutorial photo this week.

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A couple of cool old Beemers…

Our service department works on all kinds of bikes, and with Gerry’s BMW background, we see Beemers in here all the time.   There were a couple in the shop this past weekend that caught my eye.   One was an 800cc twin that was exceptionally clean.   What caught my eye was the mileage…

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I asked Gerry if the bike really had only 202 miles on it, and he smiled.

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“No, it has 400,000 miles,” Gerry said.   “Take a look at that emblem on the rear fender…”

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I have no doubt we’ll be seeing RX3s with those kinds of miles.   We’re going to take a look at awarding mileage buttons like the BMW boys do.  I think that’s a cool idea.

The next one was an older 900cc twin that just looked elegant.    Take a look and see if you agree…

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I’m hoping to see my TT250 this week.   I know you are, too.

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A few quick photos and an update from Rumor Control…

Today was a good day…I spent the morning at the plant polishing up the TT250 Service Manual after riding my RX3 20 miles in a gentle rain.   It was a cold and invigorating ride.  Good times.

I bought my Rx3 in so Gerry could change the oil, do the valves, and generally check things over…

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Gerry told me he’s seeing some good results using 20W-50 oil instead of 10W-40, and that’s what went in my bike today.   I’ll let you know how it’s working out after I put a few miles on the bike.

While I was at the plant this morning, it sure was busy.   A fellow stopped in on a KLR and it was a good opportunity to shoot the TT250 next to it to give you a sense of the two bikes’ size…

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Oh, hey, something else is cool.  Steve has been working on the TT250 accessories and I watched him checking out a new rack that bolts right up to the existing TT250 platform.   I really like it…

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You can place your pre-order for that new aluminum rack now.   They’re going to sell for $79.95, and they’ll also be available in a black anodized finish.   I don’t know if the guys have them up on the website yet, but you can call us at 909 445 0900 on Tuesday to place your order.   Steve told me we’re going to set them up so you can buy the standard RX3 topcase and directly attach it.  My guess is we’ll have more cases available, too.   Keep an eye on the CSC website.

I’m excited about the TT250s coming in.   I’ve probably already told you about a thousand times I’m getting a black TT250.  You can bet I’ll be reporting their arrival here on the blog.  I’m already thinking through the next Baja adventure, and it’s going to be on my new TT250.   It’s going to be fun.

Oh, and one more thing.  There’s been a lot of buzz on the Internet about the rumored Zongshen 450 single.   Guys, that bike is not going to happen any time soon.   My guess is 2018 at the earliest, and that’s if everything goes smoothly.   I’ve ridden the prototype 450, and there’s still a lot of work left to do in finishing it.   We’ll bring the 450 to you when it becomes available, but I’m here to tell you this:  Ignore all the idle speculation and predictions on the forums.   It’s going to be at least a couple of years before the 450 is available.

That’s all for now, folks.  Stay tuned.

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A nice note from Steven…

We received this nice note and several beautiful photos from our good buddy Steven up in northern California a day or so ago…

Hello Joe and Company,

Here are some photos I’d like to share with you. It is amazing the bewildered responses we get at rest stops from motorcycle enthusiasts  about our RX3. Common reactions are, “it’s a 250? And it’s made by whom?”  In all, the vibes I get from them are pretty positive. I’ve been happy so far with my RX3. Keep up with the great work and keep blogging away.

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When I saw Steven’s photos, I recognized the area…it’s along the Pacific Coast Highway and the bridge you see is the historic Bixby Bridge.  It’s magnificent country and amazing riding.  The thing I noticed right away, though, were the decals on Steven’s fuel tank.  I sent a note asking for permission to use Steven’s photos on the CSC blog, and to learn more about the decals.   Here’s what Steven told me…

The decals on my fuel tank are stickers of my Local Union 230 San Jose Fire Fighter and the other sticker is in memory of our fallen brothers 343 Firefighters of New York City from 9/11. You may certainly use the photos I have sent to you on the blog.  Thank you.

Those are great photos, Steven.  We’re glad you are enjoying your RX3, thank you for sending the photos to us, and thank you for your service!

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12 cool wheels…

Well, I guess it would actually be 15 if you counted the spares.

I saw three super cool cars today, I had my Nikon with me, and I shot a few photos.   Without further ado, here we go…

I stopped for gasoline on the way into the plant, and this magnificent ’61 Lincoln Continental caught my eye.  All black, and it was a convertible.   Leather interior, a monster V8 (gas was about two bits a gallon in ’61), and suicide doors.  Back in 1961, this car probably sold new for around $4,500.  Today, after aging gracefully (like fine wine) for a cool 55 years, it’s easily worth 10 times that amount.   The guy at the gas station told me the owner was selling it.  It’s too rich for me to even consider, but it sure is pretty…

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The next bit of automotive exotica is a very cool Alfa Romeo sports roadster.  Mike is a guy who designs accessories for us, and he rolled up in this Alfa earlier today when I was at the plant.   Mike told me it’s a ’73/’74 model, and it’s one of two he owns (he bought this one for parts, but he ended driving it more than the one he is restoring).   What’s cool about this car to me is, well, everything…but what I think is especially cool is it’s being driven.   It’s not driveway jewelry.  I like that.

Check out the classy features on this fuel-injected beauty…

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And there’s one more classic car I photographed today.   Every day on my way into the plant for the last week or so, I’ve been eyeing this beautiful black Jag XJR.  It’s at a used car lot and I stopped to check it out.

I always wanted a Jaguar.

When Jaguar offered the XJR new in 2006, I test drove one and I wanted it so bad it kept me up at night.   It had a supercharged V8, and the one I drove had muscle-car oomph.  You know what I’m talking about…when I put my foot in it the thing slammed me into the seat like I was shot from a cannon.   It had the kind of acceleration that makes you worry about snapping the driveshaft.  Acceleration akin to the recoil from a high-powered rifle.  Exciting, exhilarating, and a more than a little scary.   Right on the ragged edge of control.   Fun.  You get it.  Carbon footprint?  Like Bigfoot’s, maybe…

Like I said, I wanted that Jag bad, but it was $70K new back then.  I was thinking through what I could sell to buy that XJR in 2006, and by my calcs I could raise about half the cash.   Then one day I stopped in at another Jag dealer and they had a used one-year-old XJR for which they were asking $35K.   They told me what a great deal it was.  All I heard was that everything I was getting ready to sell would basically cover the first year’s depreciation, and that was enough to let common sense overpower the “you’re-not-really-thinking-this-through” want I was feeling.

And then, this global-warming-be-damned beauty popped up.  Check this out…

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That was then, and this is now.   This puppy’s already been depreciated.   It’s under $15K and it only has 73,000 miles.  Wood-grain dash and steering wheel (real walnut, too!).   Leather interior.  Nav system.   Supercharged!  Less than $15K!

What am I thinking?   A used Jag?  Nah, I need something reliable.

I’ll stick with my Zong…

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Almost there…

The ship carrying our new TT250 motorcycles (mine included; I’m getting a black one) is just outside the harbor.    It’s going to dock tomorrow, and then the bikes will start unloading this weekend and early next week.   I’m just as eager to get mine as you are to get yours.  We’ll keep you posted.

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Jury duty…

It happens to all of us, I guess.  I postponed it once for the recent Baja trip, but this time there was no getting out of it.  I’m sitting here in the jury assembly room hoping my juror group will get dismissed, but we’ll see what happens.  If I recall correctly, the last time I was here was perhaps 10 years ago.  The assembly room is the same, but now they have free Wi Fi available, so this blog is coming to you live from the courthouse.

Ah, let’s see…what’s new?   Lots, but not a lot I can talk about yet.   I’ve picked a color for my personal TT250 (it’s going to be a black one, at least initially), and I’ve decided I finally need to wash my RX3.  I’ve owned my RX3 for a year now, and I haven’t washed it the entire time.   I think the bike will be a lot lighter after I wash it.  It’s already the fastest color; after I wash it my Zong will be even faster…

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There’s bits of Baja, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, South Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, California, and more on that motorcycle.   It’s time to wash them all away and start with a clean slate.  She’s going in for a service this weekend and I’ll be ready to start all over again.

That’s all for now, folks. Time to hang around and see if my jury group gets called or dismissed.  I’ll keep you posted.

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