Tonight, Hanksville; tomorrow, Flaming Gorge!

Wow, we’re hunkered down here in Hanksville, one of my all-time favorite movies (Enemy at the Gates) just popped up on the motel TV, and we hit three of Utah’s great parks today.  My good buddy Joe Gresh asked if I was scouting out a new tour for CSC, and I guess I am.   It’s not the Destinations Deal tour that’s coming up in October…this is one we’ll probably do in the late spring/early summer of 2018.

Sue, yours truly, and the Subie touched down in Kodachrome Basin, Escalante, and Capitol Reef today.   I’ll let the photos do the talking for me tonight…

First, Kodachrome Basin State Park.  This is the first time I’ve ever been to this one…and it’s awesome!

160816_3346-800-650160816_3327-800-650160816_3341-900-650Next up today was Escalante.   This one is beyond awesome, and the road through it…all I can say is:  When can I do this again!

160816_3367-900-650160816_3384-800-650160816_3394-800-650And finally, Capitol Reef….one more stunningly surreal bit of Utah’s magnificent landscape!

160816_3448-800-650160816_3462-800-650

That’s it for tonight, my friends.  I’ve got a great movie to watch, I want to get a good night’s sleep, and tomorrow we’re headed to Flaming Gorge and Wyoming!

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A date with destiny…and our upcoming rifle match!

Or, as I should more properly say, the dates for the Destinations Deal tour:  It’s going to be from 22 to 27 October.   We’re already seeing a lot of interest in this and folks are calling to find out the dates, so there you have it.   It’s an ideal trip and now is the ideal time to buy a new RX3.

Hey, I’m in Utah right now with my girlfriend checking out a few spots.   We covered a lot of ground this first day, but I have a confession to make:  I’m in my Subie, and I’m not on the motorcycle.  It’s still fun, though, and we rolled through California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah, we visited a National Monument I’d never been to before (Cedar Breaks), and we ended the day in Panguitch, Utah.   You guys will remember that…it’s where we stayed one night on the Western America Adventure Ride.  Good times.   Here are few photos from today…

The Virgin River Gorge in Arizona, just south of St. George, Utah

The Virgin River Gorge in Arizona, just south of St. George, Utah

Climbing up to 10.500 feet to take in Cedar Breaks National Park...a view through the Subie's windshield

Climbing up to 10,500 feet to Cedar Breaks National Monument…the view through the Subie’s windshield

One of the views in Cedar Breaks National Park

One of the views in Cedar Breaks National Monument

I’m having a good time.

We’ve had a few inquiries about the rifle match between good buddy Stephen and yours truly, and they have been along the lines of “can I play, too?”   The answer, of course, is yes.  It will be a postal match (you mail in your target) with 20 rounds at a 100-yard target shot offhand with iron sights, no supports, and the rifle of your choice.   We’re going to use the standard SR-1 bullseye target.  If you’re interested and you want to participate, send us a note at info@cscmotorcycles.com and if you’re in, we’ll send a target to you.

Here’s what the SR-1 target looks like…

TargetI know you’re wondering, so here’s the answer:  The 9-ring (the black portion of the SR-! target) has a diameter of 6.35 inches.

There’s going to be a lot more info on the Destinations Deal Tour, our rifle match, and a whole lot more.  You’ll see it all right here on the CSC blog, so stay tuned!

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The Destinations Deal

Want to ride with us in October?   No motorcycle?  No problem!  We have an app for that, and it’s called the RX3 Cyclone!

Give us a call at 909 445 0900!

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The Destinations Deal

Preliminary planning for our California/Arizona/Utah/Nevada ride is shaping up nicely, and we’ve got some great things in store for those of you who opt to ride with us.  We don’t know if we’re going to call this the Destinations ride, the ET ride, or maybe just the Autumn ride.    But we have a hell of a deal on a new motorcycle if you buy one for this ride, and we’re calling that the Destinations Deal.

We’re planning on riding the third week in October (it’s the soonest we can do it).  That rules out the stretch from Bryce to Capitol Reef (it gets too cold at the higher elevations and it would be impossible to ride that far east and back in the amount of time we have available).  So, here’s what it’s looking like so far…

ItineraryWe’ll ride from Azusa through California’s Mojave Desert to Laughlin, Nevada on the first day, with a stop that afternoon in historic Oatman, Arizona.   It’s beautiful country and you’ll love the scenery.

Oatman during one of the rally weekends

Day 2 will bring us to the Grand Canyon.   They didn’t call it Grand just because they were getting paid by the adjective.   It’s one of our greatest National Parks.  When I was there with our guests from China, we actually had an elk walk right up to us.  I’ve been there several times and I’ll never pass on an opportunity to see it again.

There's a reason they call it Grand!

There’s a reason they call it Grand!

From the Grand Canyon, we’re off to see another one of the greatest places on Earth:  Zion National Park.   Zion is incredible and there’s a little Mexican restaurant in Springdale (just outside of Zion) that’s superb.

Good buddy Zuo in Zion National Park

Day 4 will take us through the Utah and Nevada mountains and plains to Tonopah.  It’s one of our longer days at about 350 miles, and you might be wondering:  What’s in Tonopah?  Well, not too much, but we’ll be riding the entire length of the world famous ExtraTerrestrial Highway.   You may just run into someone you weren’t expecting to see, and if he’s a little green guy with antennas popping out of his noggin, don’t say I didn’t warn you.  Hey, the ExtraTerrestrial Highway on an RX3!  Could it get any better?

Nevada 375 - The ExtraTerrestrial Highway

Nevada 375 – The ExtraTerrestrial Highway

Well, yes, it can, and that brings us to Day 5.  We’re going to run the length of California’s Death Valley, another locale with stunning views.  We’ll spend the night in Baker, home of the world famous Mad Greek restaurant, where we’ll have a fine Mediterranean dinner.  I love that place.

Riding a Mustang across Death Valley…yep, we rode those little 150s all over!

Our last day on the road will take to the historic train depot in Kelso, we’ll ride through more of the magnificent Mojave, and from there it’s on home to Azusa.  Oh, one more thing…I know the owner and founder of the Del Taco restaurant chain.   When good buddy Ed sold the business, he kept the three original Barstow Del Taco restaurants.   Ed still personally runs those three spots and if you want a burrito that is the mother of all burritos…well, trust me on this one, too, my friends:  It’s as good as it gets.

The Mad Greek in Baker...I love that place!

The Mad Greek in Baker…I love that place!

You know, as I was planning this ride, I became more and more excited about it.  I realized I have been to and thoroughly enjoyed every one of these spots, and then I realized, hey, I wrote “Destinations” articles about each for Motorcycle Classics magazine.   If you want a preview of what you’re going to see, here you go…just click on any of the links below!

It’s going to be grand, and like all of our tours, we’re doing it for several reasons.

We like to ride our RX3 motorcycles.  Hey, you already knew that!

We’re not just selling motorcycles.  We’re selling the adventure riding experience!  Well, actually, we’re not selling the experience…that’s free.  Yep, we’re not charging anybody anything to ride with us (you’ll just have to pay your personal expenses as you incur them).  Compare that to what you’d pay for a 6-day motorcycle tour with anybody else.  You might look at it this way:  If you were to buy a new RX3 just to go on this tour, it’s almost as if you’re getting the motorcycle for free.

And on that topic, if you don’t have an RX3 motorcycle, this is a great time to buy one.  If you already have an RX3, good on you!   But if you don’t and you’ve been thinking about it, and if you want to participate in one of our grand adventure tours, this is your opportunity to jump in.   We have a small number of 2017 RX3 left motorcycles and they’re not going to last long.  If you want a killer deal on a brand new RX3, give us a call at 909 445 0900, tell whoever answers the phone you want to ride with us in October, and tell them you want the Destinations Deal.   But you have to act quickly.  When the 2017s are gone, they’re gone!

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Wow…

Another Guzzi I always wanted…

160811_3162-650I spotted this beauty at the plant today.  My first question was:  Is it one that we’re selling?   But nope, the Moto Guzzi was in for service.   It sure is a beautiful motorcycle.  Some day…

We sure are moving a lot of consignment bikes and the number keeps growing.  I saw a super clean Sportster in the showroom today that made me think about “needs” versus “wants” yet again.  Seems the word about our ability to get top dollar for clean used bikes is getting around.  If you have a motorcycle you’d like to sell, give us a call at 909 445 0900.

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Two nice notes, and challenge accepted!

I received two nice notes yesterday, and an interesting challenge.   One note was from my good buddy Patrick and the other from my good buddy Stephen.

Good buddy Patrick in Baja last March

Patrick rode with us last year on the CSC RX3 Baja run.  He wrote about the upcoming adventure ride through Arizona and Utah and his recent experiences on his TT250…

Hi Joe, Patrick here, one of the fellows who went on the last Baja trip. I would like to do the longer ride with you guys. I’ve done a fair amount of riding in Utah and have found it to be one of my favorite places.

Last weekend, I attended a dual sport event with the Mt. Scott Motorcycle Club of Portland Oregon. They sponsored a 130-mile ride on August 5th near Mt Hood that had, in places, deep sand, round rock, crushed rock, boulders, etc.  Most of the riders were on expensive KTM bikes and I brought my TT250. No one had an ADV bike and I’m glad I did not bring my RX3.  I believe the course was too difficult for it as this was real dirt bike stuff.  

A couple of experienced riders let me go out with them and for the most part, I was able to keep up.  Any problems were with me and not the bike as I don’t have dirt riding skills.  I did three very low speed tip-overs in loose gravel and that seemed, to the experienced guys, the problem with me:  I need tires with more of a dirt bias.  But I was with them all the way, bombing up boulder-covered foot deep rutted trails.  Some of it was the cave painting ride times 10. They were impressed with the TT.  I lost a mirror and half a brake lever (why are they so long anyway) and scratched up some plastic.  

It was perfect!  Go down, pick it up, start it and go.  I never would have done the things we did if I was alone; being with those guys gave me the courage to do it.  What a confidence booster.  What a bike.

Thanks Joe, and hope to see you in October.

Patrick

Thanks for writing, Patrick.  I’m looking forward to the ride and to seeing you again.  And thanks very much for the above note.   I agree;  the TT250 is a great motorcycle.   Like you, I own both an RX3 and a TT250 and I love them both.  Each has its intended purpose:  The RX3 is a marvelous adventure touring motorcycle, and the TT250 is a great dual sport.  We’re glad you are having fun with both of your motorcycles.  I’m always amazed at how many of our customers own both an RX3 and a TT250, but I guess I shouldn’t be because the price makes both bikes extremely affordable.

Okay, on to the next note, and it’s from my good buddy Stephen in Park City.   Stephen is an RX3 owner, and Sue and I had dinner with him when we visited Park City a couple of years ago.

Good buddy Stephen and his RX3

Stephen, unbeknownst to me, is an AR shooter, and he picked up on the implicit challenge in my story about the Mini 14 a couple of days ago.  Here’s the note I received yesterday from him…

Okay Joe,

I can’t ignore you’re latest blog about your Mini 14 vs the AR!

So, I’m calling you out! 

You and your Mini 14 vs me and My AR.

We’ll have to agree on a course of fire but I’ll give you plenty of latitude to help you out :).

The Utah ride sounds great and I’m hoping I can join for at least a portion of it, if I’m not traveling at time.

Hope all is well!

Stephen

Stephen, great to hear from you, I hope you will be able to ride with us in Utah, and I’m accepting your challenge!  My initial suggestion is to have a 20-shot, 100-yard competition, shooting offhand from the standing position, with no slings or other supports allowed, using telescopic sights (or, we could both use iron sights).   We could shoot our targets near where we each live and post the results here.   Let me know what you are thinking, and if it’s okay with you, I’ll post the progress of our rifle competition and keep our blog readers up to date on it.  And for the rest of our readers, if anybody else wants in on this, let me know.  Willie, Matt, and Duane…are you listening?

Stephen, I’d like to see you win.  It’s going to be fun!

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The Arizona/Utah trip!

I’m looking at my calendar and it looks like the week of 23 October is good for our planned Arizona and Utah trip.   Now the question is:  How long?   If you’re going to take time off from work, 8 or 9 days could work out well, as we could span two weekends (and that opens up a lot more that we can see).   My objective is to do about 250 miles each day, which gives a relaxed pace and time for sightseeing.  Or, we could make it 4 or 5 days and just take in the Grand Canyon, Zion, and maybe Bryce.  But I sure would like to ride Highway 12 again….here’s what it looks like from a drone…

And here’s what parts of that area look like from the saddle of my RX3…

I’ve been studying maps and working overtime on laying our route out.  I was originally thinking something along the lines of the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce and Capitol Reef, and then picking up interesting stuff on the way back.   The problem is that working Utah’s Highway 12 into the mix puts us up at higher elevations and it could freeze up there that time of year.  If we include Highway 12 and Capitol Reef, that puts us pretty far east. I sure would like to do that, though.  I’ve got a pig hunt at the end of September and after that, another secret mission to Singapore the first two weeks of October, so that means our Utah expedition has to be more toward the end of October.  I’ll keep working on it.

Your thoughts?   Let us know at info@cscmotorcycles.com.

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On the block!

My good buddy Twin Peaks Steve is selling his Mustang Bobber through us, and it is a beauty!

When we were making the Mustang replicas several years ago, for a limited time we offered a short run of Bobbers.  What you see above is Steve’s, and in my opinion, it’s probably one of the three most beautiful Mustangs we ever made.   I’ve ridden with Steve, and I know that his Bobber is one fine running machine.   It’s in perfect condition and it has low miles.   The bike is visually arresting; everyone who sees it stops in their tracks for a better look.

Twin Peaks Steve knows a good company and a good motorcycle when he sees one.  He was one of the very first people to buy an RX3 from us, and he’s a regular participant on our company rides.

If you want to know more about Steve’s awesome Mustang Bobber, give us a call at 909 445 0900.

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MILSURP Sunday coming up!

Folks just need things to get their shorts in a knot about things, I guess.   You see a lot of it in the motorcycle world – Harley versus Indian, Chinese motorcycles versus all other motorcycles (which actually have a lot of Chinese content, but that’s another story), what constitutes a dual sport versus versus an ADV bike, and on an and on it goes.   It’s understandable, I guess, as a motorcycle tends to be an emotional purpose.  In the camera world, it’s Canon versus Nikon (my good buddy Joe Gresh and I have had a few discussions about that).   And in the gun world, it’s the AR concept (basically, adaptations of the M-16) versus the Ruger Mini 14.   The AR guys think they have the better rifle and they dismiss the Mini 14.   They’re wrong, of course.  You probably can guess – I’m a Mini 14 guy.

Unlike most of the keyboard commandos who post incessantly on the Internet on this AR versus Mini 14 issue, I actually earned my living carrying an M-16 more than 40 years ago. I started my Army days with an M-14 and I thought that was a real rifle. I never took the M-16 seriously even though I qualified with it. It just seemed like a cheap toy to me.   If you have an AR, my apologies; no offense intended.  The preceding comments are just my opinion, and it you don’t like it, hey…you’re young.  You’ll get over it.

The Ruger Mini 14

The Ruger Mini 14

When the gun forum AR guys badmouth the Mini 14, the common claim is that the rifle doesn’t shoot well.  Usually, in the rifle world, when someone says a rifle doesn’t shoot well it means that it’s unreliable or it is not accurate.    Regarding accuracy, the commonly-accepted standard is 1.5 minutes of angle.  That essentially means the rifle will hold its shots in a 1.5-inch group at 100 yards.   If it does that, it’s considered accurate.  I’ll get to the reliability thing a few lines down.

I’ve had my Mini 14 for about 10 years. Mine is a special number…it’s a limited-run Circassian-stocked rifle one of the distributors offered back then.  I knew I wanted one as soon as I heard about them, but I wanted one with nice wood.   I watched the Internet gun boards for about a year until I saw one I liked.  I couldn’t bring it directly into the Peoples Republik of Kalifornia because it had a flash suppressor and 30 round magazines, so I had to bring it in (without the magazines) to a Class III dealer who replaced the flash suppressor with a muzzle brake.  With that muzzle brake it barks like a Ma Deuce, but that’s part of its charm, I guess.   You gotta wonder what the people who wrote our gun laws were smoking, but I guess they knew what they were doing.  I’m proof of that.  I followed all of the laws and I am not a danger to our multicultural, gender-ambiguous, coastal elitist society.  I’ve not held up any gas stations or robbed any banks with my Mini 14.  It’s all working as intended.

The real topic of interest to me was the Mini 14’s accuracy, and that’s what I wanted to determine in a rigorous manner.   I already knew my Mini 14 was reliable.  I’ve probably put 10,000 rounds through it and I’ve never had a failure to feed, a failure to eject, or a failure to fire. Well, okay, I had one failure to fire, but that was due to one of my reloads having the primer seated upside down.  I can’t blame that on the rifle.

To get serious about the accuracy test, I knew I needed to do two things:  I had to put a scope on the rifle, and I had to load a bunch of different cartridges to see which provided the best accuracy.   You just don’t decide on a gun’s accuracy using one load.  You have to try different recipes to see which works best.

There’s no rhyme or reason to the loads I prepared for this test, other than I wanted to use the load I had been using for plinking with the Mini 14 and I wanted to use up the small quantities of bullets I had laying around.  The first load in the chart below is my plinking load; all of the others were the ones I loaded specifically for this test.

Here’s what I got:

Loads---650
All of the groups shown above are three-shot groups at 100 yards. The conditions were not great (it was 94 degrees out there yesterday, it was breezy, and I was shooting into the sun).  For some loads I shot one group, for some loads I had two groups, and for some loads I had three groups. It was all a function of how many bullets I had on my reloading bench.

My Mini 14 shoots terribly with some loads (but then, so does nearly every rifle).   You have to find the right combination of components, or as In-N-Out would say, the secret sauce.

The Mini 14 shoots remarkably well with at least one of the loads I tried (the 55 gr FMJBT Hornady and 26.5 grains of IMR 4320 propellant).  What’s nice about that load is that both of the groups I shot put the groups in the same location (see the photo below), I have a lot of 4320 on hand, and those are relatively inexpensive bullets.   Basically, with no accuracy modifications (or any modifications, for that matter), my Mini 14 is damn near a minute-of-angle rifle. That’s pretty good for a rifle that is not supposed to shoot well.

160808_3160-900-650
I’m going to play around with a few more loads for the Mini 14, but I’m pretty much zeroing in on that 26.5 grain 4320/55 gr Hornady FMJBT load as the right secret sauce for my Mini 14.

Hey, this Sunday is our MILSURP get-together at the West End Gun Club.  We’ve got quite a few CSC riders who shoot with us (Duane, Willie, Fathi, Matt, yours truly, and a few others).    If you’d like to send some lead downrange, just drop me an email.

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Baja 2018, Utah 2017, 2018 bikes, and more…

Wow, I’m retired and I’m busier than ever.   How did that happen?   So, let me take a break from being retired and give you an update on a few things.

I’m not riding my RX3 cross country this summer.   One of the reasons I wanted to travel back east was to visit with family, but that was overcome by events and a death in the family (my Mom passed away last month).  It happens.  She was 87 and she lived a good long life, but it was time.  So, Main Reason No. 1 to ride back east went away.

Next up, I’m headed into Wyoming later this month.  You might say my cross country RX3 ride got eclipsed.   You know about the total eclipse that’s going to occur next month.  The best place to see the eclipse is a swath through Wyoming, and we’re headed up there to take it all in.    That will be a Subie trip, as Sue is not too keen on doing three or four thousand miles on the back of a 250cc motorcycle.   And that’s okay, too.  I love road trips with my wife in the Subie.  It’s a good car for what we are going to do.  We’ve been on a lot of Subie road trips.  It’s fun.

With Sue and the Subie at Baja’s Guerrero Negro lighthouse

It’s time to start thinking about the next big CSC Baja Run.   That’s our annual 8-day extravaganza all the way down to Loreto.    I’m going to tentatively peg the dates as the 3rd through the 10th of March in 2018.  If you want to go, you have to let us know as soon as you can.    We always have people try to get on this ride after we’ve hit our limit (and that’s 15 riders) and I always tell them the same thing:  Next year, and let me know early.  Please don’t sign on if you’re not committed to riding with us.

Another cool ride that we’re just starting to plan:  We’re in the early stages of laying out a 5 or 6 day trip through Utah and Arizona.    We’re thinking the Grand Canyon, Capitol Reef, Zion, Arches, Bryce, and a ride on Utah’s magnificent, surreal Highway 12.    This ride will be in early October 2017 (yep, this year), as the temperatures will be cooler and the crowds will be lighter.   Watch the blog for more info on this ride in the next week or so.  I’m pumped up about this one.  Big time.

Highway 24 in Utah.  It’s the closest you’ll ever get to Heaven without a one-way ticket.  You can put yourself in this picture…keep an eye on the CSC blog!

We’re finalizing colors on the TT250 (we’re most likely keeping the same colors), the Café Racer, and the RX3.  We’ll be posting more on that in the near future, too.   We get a lot of calls asking when the TT250s and the Café Racers will be here, and folks, if we knew we’d tell you.  All of the future TT250s and Café Racers will be 2018 models.  We could have sold a ton of both models in 2017 if we had them, but you can’t sell what you don’t have.   Zongshen is selling a lot of small motorcycles in huge quantities literally all over the planet, and their suppliers are having difficulties keeping up with the Big Z’s needs.  We’re not the 800-lb gorilla in Zongshen’s production plan, but we are the squeaky wheel (that’s my specialty and I’m told I’m pretty good at it).  As soon as we have confirmed delivery dates, we’ll let you know.

The Baja book….I’ve been getting a lot of calls and emails about that one, too.   I’m working it, folks.   I’ve just got too many other exciting things going on!  It’s coming.

It's coming...trust me on that!

It’s coming…trust me on that!

And that’s about it for today.  Later, my friends.

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