The best part of Baja…

For me, you might wonder…what was the best part of the CSC Inaugural Baja Run?   Hands down, it was the people I had the privilege of meeting and with whom I rode.   We had 15 grand adventurers on that ride, and every getting to know every single one was a real treat.

Good buddy Pete

Good buddy Pete

One guy I particularly enjoyed meeting was Pete.   Pete flew in from the east coast (he’s originally from New York, which is not too far from where I grew up).

Pete had a great sense of humor and he was one of those people you just like as soon as you meet him.   Now that I’m writing this, though, I realize the same is true for everyone on the Baja ride.

Our turnaround point on the Baja Run was Santa Rosalia, a little Mexican town I love and one in which I’d like to spend more time (and I probably will this summer, as I think I’m going to point the RX3 south and meander down that way again in a few weeks).

We stayed in the Frances Hotel while in Santa Rosalia, as it’s a favorite of mine and it’s just dripping with authenticity, history, and charm.   I mentioned in a previous blog post that one of the things I like about the Frances Hotel is that the rooms have real keys…there’s none of this high-tech plastic key swipe baloney.

Santa Rosalia’s Frances Hotel

All right, time for another good story.   You’ve heard me mention Juddy, one of the guys on the trip who is a real gentleman, and who obviously has a very refined sense of interesting practical jokes.

Good buddy Juddy

Good buddy Juddy

Okay, so the night we were in Santa Rosalia, Pete accidentally locked himself out of his room at the Frances Hotel, so he left to get another key from the lobby.   A few of the riders on our Baja expedition were standing in front of Pete’s room while Pete was off fetching another key, when Juddy happened along.   He heard what had occurred, and for reasons I can only guess at, Juddy was able to unlock the door in seconds by using a card to push the door bolt open.   “Don’t tell Pete,” Juddy told everyone, seconds before Pete reappeared with a substitute key.

“What’s going on?” Juddy asked Pete.

“Ah, I locked myself out of my room,” Pete said, “and I got another key from the office.”

“Wait,” Juddy said.  “I have an app on my iPhone that can unlock the door,” and with that, Juddy punched a few buttons on his iPhone screen, he held it next to Pete’s door knob, and then said, “try it now…”

Pete did.   The jury is still out on whether he knew Juddy was having some fun with him.

You’re hearing this story second hand, as I was off doing something (probably writing a blog entry) and several other folks told me about it.    I wished I had been there to see it in person.   Everyone had a good laugh, and I’ve probably told that story 30 times already.    It was that kind of a trip.   Grand fun.

John (of the John and Jay team from Washington state) told me that he thought the best part of the trip was our ride out to see the cave paintings at San Francisco Sierra.  A good portion of that ride was on a fairly gnarly dirt road.   I thought that part of the ride was pretty cool, too.

I told you on the blog a few days ago that I had ordered a couple of books about Baja, and one of them was about the cave paintings.   The cave painting book arrived, and it’s awesome.   So far, I’ve just been looking at some of the photos in it, and I’ll dig into reading it in the next few days.     It’s one of the reasons I’m headed back to Baja this summer…there are lot more cave painting locations in Baja than I had known about, and I want to see and photograph as many of them as I can.  This is real Indiana Jones stuff, folks.   The civilization that created the paintings did so over 10,000 years ago, and then they vanished.  Poof.  Wiped clean off the face of the earth, just like that line in the Indiana Jones movie.

So, back to Pete…he’s the rider on our expedition who captured that great video of the ride out to the cave paintings we put on the blog a couple of entries back, and here’s another for you from Pete.   It shows some of the scenes at the San Francisco Sierra cave paintings as well as some of our ride back to Guerrero Negro.  I didn’t add any music to the soundtrack (whenever I do that, I get a half dozen or so emails complaining that you’d rather hear the engines), but imagine background music from Raiders of the Lost Ark and you’ll pretty much capture the feeling of what this part of the ride was like…

Pete, thanks again for these great videos!

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Anne’s ride, Laughlin, and more…

We recently received some great photos from our good buddy Anne in Georgia…one of the truck bringing her bike, and others from her first ride…





You folks will remember Anne…she’s the young lady who flew out here from Georgia just to check out the bike.   We took Anne for a ride up in the San Gabriels, Anne selected the white RX3, and she’s now the proud new owner of one.   There’s some nice riding in Georgia, too.    I need to get out there one of these days.

My next ride is going to be to Laughlin, Nevada, and it will probably be within the next couple of weeks.   It’s an awesome little town right on the Colorado River.   Oatman is a cool little town just down the road (I wrote a story on that place and you can see it here), and I’ll probably swing by there, too.  Good stuff.

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More riding in Baja…

Our good buddy and intrepid adventure rider Pete captured some outstanding video during the recent CSC Baja expedition, which he shared with us. Enjoy!

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Enjoying the weekend…

I’m two days into a 3-day weekend and I’m having a ball.   I visited with Steve and Sara at the plant yesterday (those folks never take a break, and they were hard at it getting paperwork ready for the next round of bikes going out next week), and we had a good conversation.   We weren’t really open, but a couple of guys stopped by the shop and they were hugely intrigued by the RX3.   They’ll be back.    I can tell.

My good buddy Twin Peaks Steve (who also owns a CSC-150, a really beautiful black custom Bobber) picked up his new RX3 last week.   He lives up in the San Bernardino Mountains near Big Bear, and they’ve been having some weather up there.   It’s the same storm system that clobbered us in Flagstaff last week.   Anyway, Twin Peaks Steve wrote to tell us that the weather finally relented and he was able to get out on his new RX3.   Steve sent us a photo of his new motorcycle parked by what I’m going to guess is Lake Arrowhead, although there are so many little lakes tucked away up in those mountains I might be wrong.

Twin Peaks Steve's new RX3 in the San Bernardino Mountains

Twin Peaks Steve’s new RX3 in the San Bernardino Mountains

Steve’s black Bobber…a gorgeous custom motorcycle!

TP Steve, your new RX3 is stunning, and don’t let anybody tell you different…red really is the fastest color!   We need to get together for a ride real soon.

My next big ride is probably going to be to Laughlin, which is a cool place and a great area.   It will be a grand ride on Highway 62 through the Mojave Desert again (like we did when we went to Overland Expo), I’ll cross over into Parker, and then I’ll follow 95 on up into Bullhead City on the other side of the Colorado River.   I’m going to do a story on the motorcycle riding around that area for Motorcycle Classics magazine.   As you may know, I do a lot of their travel pieces.   I’ve been writing for MC for about 7 years now, and it’s a hoot.   If you have one of their magazines, go to Page 82 (where the “Destinations” pieces always appear) and odds are you’ll see my name at the bottom of the article.   And if you don’t have one of their magazines, you need to get one!  It’s one of the best motorcycle mags out there, especially if you enjoy reading about classic bikes.

I’ve done lots of good rides all over the US for Motorcycle Classics.   It’s a fun thing to do.   I’m thinking about some of the destinations I’ll visit on my RX3 and write about next, and you can bet some are going to be in Arizona, Nevada, and northern California.   I’m thinking about a ride up the 395 between Bishop and the Nevada border.   That’s a magnificent area.

No pachyderm left behind...

No pachyderm left behind…

I mentioned a day or two ago that I was going to get out on the range at the gun club, and this morning my good buddy Greg and I did.   Grand fun…I shot my 1911 .45 automatic and my Garand (hey, it’s only fitting to shoot those two, being it’s the Memorial Day weekend), and I took along my elephant gun.

Yep, I have an elephant rifle.   It’s a 98 Mauser and it’s chambered for .458 Winchester Magnum, and let me tell you, that puppy will shoot.   I was cutting three shot cloverleaf groups at 50 yards using the rifle’s iron sights (you don’t put scopes on elephant guns), and I was having a great time.  If they ever open up elephant season in southern California, no pachyderm will be safe when I’m in the woods.

Last night, I was getting things ready for this morning, and when I was setting up my .45 I let go of the recoil spring plug.   The part went flying, and I couldn’t find it.   I ended up moving both cars and all of the motorcycles out of the garage, and then all of the stuff on my workbench, and then all of the stuff under my workbench.  I found things that had been missing for years, and I finally found the part I had inadvertently launched.  It was hiding behind a box of Sierra rifle bullets.   All’s well that ends well, I guess, and my work area is a lot cleaner today than it was yesterday.

Ah, as long as I’m rambling along on this blog entry…I bought a book on Amazon yesterday, and I found I had let my Amazon Prime membership lapse (you know, the deal that gives you free shipping).   Then I saw the ad when I checked out (hey, those guys are smart)…if I ordered another $24 worth of books, I could get free shipping.   So, $72 later, I had my free shipping.   I bought a book about the missions of Baja (there are some incredible churches down there), and another book about Baja’s cave paintings.   You had a hint of what’s down that way from the blogs we did on our recent Baja expedition…

Justin, aka MacGuyver, relaxing on the steps of the 300-year-old San Ignacio Mission

A 10,000-year-old puma painting at San Francisco Sierra deep in Baja

That got me to thinking…why not another trip to Baja?   Perhaps an entry through Tecate, down through San Felipe to Gonzaga Bay on the Sea of Cortez, a turn to the west to take the dirt road across the peninsula through Coco’s Corner to Chapala, and then a run down to Bahia de Los Angeles?

What do you think?   Anybody wanna go?

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A 3-day weekend, a few photos, and more…

I’m really looking forward to the weekend.   You can bet I’m going to get out on the RX3, and I’ll probably fire up my CSC-150 Baja Blaster and run it around for a bit just to keep the juices flowing and the carb clean.  I don’t know where I’m going yet, but I’ll have the Nikon with me and I’ll grab a photo or two.  And I’m going to get out on the rifle range.  I’ve been so busy with other things I haven’t done any shooting lately, and a Memorial Day weekend just wouldn’t be right without sending some lead down range from the Garand and my trusty 1911.   Yep, I think time on the motorcycles, some shooting, and grabbing a few photos is just what the doctor ordered.

Speaking of photos, when I rode my RX3 to the plant yesterday and parked it, I looked down and there was a huge dragonfly right under the bike.  I had to grab a photo or two…



I had the Nikon D3300 with me and its general purpose 18-55 lens, which is okay for most things.   For a macro shot like the one above, I wished I had the D810 camera and its Sigma 50mm macro lens.   With that setup, you can get incredible closeup shots.    The little Nikon D3300 does a great job, though, especially on motorcycle trips due to its light weight and small size.   All of the recent shots you’ve seen from the Overland Expo and Baja trips have been with the D3300 and the 18-55 lens.   It’s an awesome travel combo.

I had the D3300 with me today when I stopped by our local Chevy dealer.   Folks, I am most definitely not in the market for a new car, but I like to look and I guess you could say I’m a Chevy man.   I am especially intrigued by their SS model, which is a high performance sedan with a Corvette engine.   It’s nice.   It gets terrible gas mileage (you even have to pay a gas guzzler tax) and it costs $50K (which is hard to reconcile for a Chevy), but it is an awesome car.  The sales dude was cool with me snapping a few photos, and here they are…





And I have more photos to share with you.  Our good buddy Bill had one of his several CSC-150 motorcycles up in the mountains last week.   Bill has an impressive vehicle collection including a real military Jeep.   When he bought his first CSC-150 and then his second, he sent me a photo of his Jeep and I told him he needed one of our Military Series “Sarge” models to go with the Jeep.  It was all the encouragement Bill needed to pick up a third CSC motorcycle, and here are his photos from his most recent ride…



I need to fix one of the rear turn signals on my CSC-150 (I broke the stem when I was taking my old KLR out of the garage a couple of months ago).   Well, as luck would have it, my good buddy Baja John sent me a suggested fix he used for a similar problem on his KLR…



It’s kind of a running joke among KLR riders to be as cheap as possible in everything associated with that motorcycle.   John may have set some kind of a record with his turn signal repair.   I had a good laugh when I saw it.

Later, folks….watch for more photos and stories, ’cause I’m getting my knees in the breeze on my CSC Cyclone this weekend!

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An awesome video from Fernando!

You guys will remember our good buddies Fernando and Juddy, who rode out to the Overland Expo last week…

Juddy is the guy on the left, and Fernando (wearing the CSC T-shirt) is the guy on the right.  If you’re wondering why they are smiling, I think I have the answer…it’s the ride they took to get to the Overland Expo!

Fernando is not only one hell of an RX3 rider…he’s giving Steven Spielberg a run for his money in the movie-making department!   Check out this awesome video Fernando just posted on YouTube…and keep an eye out for the javelina that cross these two RX3-mounted intrepid adventure riders’ paths at around 2:25…

Well done, Fernando…and thanks for taking the time to put this together!  I really enjoyed watching it!

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Abi, Tower, and Eddie…

Ryan received a nice note and a couple of photos from our good buddy Abi…

Hi Ryan,

I just wanted to say that the bikes arrived today.  I’ve been unpacking and putting them together.  I took mine out for a quick spin around the block and I loved it.  Appreciate all you guy’s hard work.

Thank you,




The story behind this one is that these three amigos (Abi, Tower, and Eddie) each purchased a new RX3 and had them all delivered to Abi’s home.

Abi, thanks for the note and the photos.   You guys are going to have a blast on your new RX3 motorcycles!

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A cool old BMW…

While on the Cal Poly campus today, I spotted this very cool ’74 BMW R90/6.   I’ve been seeing it around campus and I had the big Nikon D810 with me, so I grabbed a few photos…

140520_3340-650 140520_3343-650 140520_3344-650 140520_3345-650

I’m guessing the rider is an engineering student, as the bike was parked outside the Cal Poly Engineering building.   Cool stuff…a motorcycle that’s 41 years old and is still being used as a daily driver.   There’s probably a story behind it, and when I spot the owner, I’ll see if I can get it for you.

One of the cool things about being on a college campus is I get to see some interesting bikes.   From time to time I’ll post them here.   That’s it for now…but keep an eye on us and on the blog.   We’ve received emails with some cool photos of new RX3s and CSC-150s, and I’ll post them in another day or two!

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Funky, or not?

Ah, that is the question.  I decided to go with Door No. 1.   I haven’t washed my RX3 since I purchased it.   I’m taking good care of it mechanically (I’ve already adjusted the valves, I changed the oil twice, I check my tire pressure religiously, and I’ve adjusted the chain).   But I haven’t washed it.

Part of it is the Baja thing.   I just feel a little better knowing that a part of Mexico is still rolling around with me every time I get on the RX3.   Steve calls it the Baja patina, and I like that description.

Part of it is the nature of the motorcycle…it’s not intended to be a piece of driveway jewelry (no “ride to live” silliness here, folks).   It’s designed to go long distances, and some of that is in the dirt.   Maybe not to the same extent as that BMW I showed sliding around in the mud at Overland Expo, but still, it’s off-road capable and it’s seen some serious off road miles.   You’ve seen that in some of the videos I’ve previously posted, and I have no doubt many of you have been off road on your RX3s.   I know Juddy, Greg, Pete, Abe, Fernando, and a bunch of the other guys from the Baja trip have said adios to the asphalt on more than a few occasions.   That’s a good thing.  It’s what this bike does.

And part of it is my KLR experience.  When I first bought the KLR, I kept it pretty much spotless.   Until my first tech day, that is.   A tech day is where a group of enthusiasts get together and one or two super knowledgeable guys walks you through adjusting the valves, installing the doohickey (a KLR-unique fix to a perceived Kawi design deficiency), and similar things.   I showed up on my immaculate KLR, thinking the reaction would be about the same as it was when I used to go places on my Harley or my CBX Honda.   One guy finally said something to me, and he said it in a clearly derisive manner:  “I think that’s the cleanest KLR I’ve ever seen.”   It was not intended to be a compliment.

So, I got the message.   I haven’t washed my KLR since then, and I’m going the same route on the RX3.

I sure love my RX3.  It sat outside in the snow and the rain in Flagstaff for 4 days, and when I tapped the starter on Sunday morning, it fired before the engine completed half a revolution.   Awesome stuff.

More on the RX3…the ride home from Flagstaff was exhilarating.   It was cold when we left, and we rode about 130 miles descending from Flagstaff to the Arizona desert floor before it started to warm up.   Freeway all the way, we ran at 65 to 75 mph the entire way on I-40 to I-15, and then down to the 210.   Most of it was between 70 and 75 mph, and we were passing a lot of cars and trucks.   I was surprised at how strong the bike felt (I sometimes forget it’s “just” a  250, and apparently, so does the bike).  On my first tank of fuel after filling up in Flagstaff, I recorded 72.2 mpg.  To be fair, that’s a long downhill ride and the cold dense air helped, but the bike was fully loaded and we were smoking right along.

My rear tire is doing well.   That photo you see above is with about 2500 miles on the tire, and it’s still showing no wear at all with over 3000 miles on the bike.   I think the tire is going to go 5000 miles before I need to replace it.

You guys are probably starting to accumulate the miles on your bike, too.   Don’t forget to inspect the valves, folks.   You may not need to adjust them, but you should check to make sure they are not running tight.   The exhaust valves are more likely to need adjustment than are the intakes, but you need to check both the intake and the exhaust.

Arizona was a nice ride.   We had a great time rolling across the Mojave on CA Hwy 62 and crossing the border at Parker, we had a nice stay in Salome, and then the run up to Flagstaff on 89A through Prescott and Sedona was spectacular.   I’m thinking I want to go back and do it again, maybe as a 3-day, 1200-mile, long weekend adventure ride with a few other guys on CSC RX3s.

Anybody else wanna go?

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Ted Simon

Wow, talk about motorcycle royalty!   Folks, check out this Rusty Childress photo of our CEO Steve Seidner with world traveler and author Ted Simon at Overland Expo in the CSC booth!


Most of you almost certainly know who Ted Simon is, but for the two or three people reading this who do not, allow me to tell you:  Ted Simon is the very first person of the modern era to ride around the world on a motorcycle and write a book about it.  He did it on a 500cc Triumph twin (back in the days when they weren’t too reliable) and his book is a classic that belongs on every rider’s nightstand.   The title is Jupiter’s Travels, and it’s incredibly well written.  I have an autographed copy, and I’ve probably read it four or five times.  Yes, it’s that’s good.


The photo of Steve and Ted is by Rusty Childress, who was at Overland Expo.   Rusty gave us permission to use his photo on the blog, and guess what else….Rusty bought an RX3!   Good times, good stories, good photography, and wow…Ted Simon!

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