The RX-3 CSC Cyclone

21 August 2014
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That’s the name of our new 250cc Dual Sport, and it is coming along, folks.  There’s lots of behind-the-scenes activities on this exciting new bike happening, and we’ll be bringing more information to you soon.  In the meantime, here’s a photo I particularly liked…


I know the big question is “how much?”   We’re working it, Amigos.   Soon.  And you’ll be happy when you hear it!   The excitement is there, and we’ve had folks trying to buy one already.   Keep an eye on us!


The Black Bobber is home!

21 August 2014
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Hey, that black Bobber that I told you about a few blogs down?

Well, it’s home, and Dad really likes it!


Nicely done, Johnny, and we know your Dad loves it!


Tom’s Triumph trip…

21 August 2014
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I received this nice email from my good buddy Tom, who recently took a terrific trip on his Triumph in the Sierra Nevadas (alliteration, anyone?)…

Hello Joe,

A few photo’s of my recent road trip to visit my one and only 10-yr old granddaughter Ella.

On the return I went over Donner Pass, which overlooks Donner Lake.  Then followed 89 around the backside of Lake Tahoe, then on to Markleville over Monitor Pass down to 395 then on home.  

The total 1420 miles round trip. 

Here’s a Tom-ism.  When riding a motorcycle, the shortest distance between two points means you took a wrong turn. 





Tom, thanks for the photos and the “Tom-ism.”  As always, great inputs.   There sure is some magnificent riding up there in those mountains.   I’m jealous!


Some answers…

17 August 2014
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Things are moving along sharply on the new 250cc Dual Sport.   We promised more information on this exciting new motorcycle, and this blog is the start.


First things first:  We haven’t determined the price yet.   We’re working on that now, and we will have  a number soon.    There are many things that determine a motorcycle’s price, including the cost of the bike, the cost of certifying it here in North America, freight, the advertising budget, insurance, and a whole bunch of other things.   What I can tell you is this:   The bike is a premium motorcycle, but we won’t gouge you.   Our vision is to provide a superior product to you at a price that that will knock your socks off.   We intend to own the small-displacement adventure touring niche, and this bike is the start.  More to come on this, my friends.

Next question:  When will it be available?  The answer is by the end of the year.   The bike is going through the certification process now.   We’re experts at this, having done it on our Pro-One line of large custom V-twins, the CSC-150, and the CSC-250.   The approval process is complex.  It involves testing and evaluation by the US Department of Transportation, the US Environmental Protection Agency, and the California Air Quality Management District.   Our relationships and experiences with these guys have all been positive.   It will take a few months to get through it, and we’ll have the bikes fully certified by the end of this year.  Maybe sooner.  We’ll see.

Folks have asked what we’re going to call the bike.  It’s the RX-3.    The R stands for “road,” the X stands for “explore,” and the 3 is the engine’s displacement rounded up.   We like that name.

Another question:   Where is it made?   The answer is China.   The company that manufactures the bike for us is Zongshen.  I’ve been there.   They are the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world.   I’ll do a blog about them in a few days.

Folks, you might hear uninformed comments by self-proclaimed experts about everything from China being junk.

I’m here to tell you it just ain’t so.

Here’s the deal…when I’m not riding and writing for CSC and Motorcycle Classics magazine, I’m consulting all over the world for all kinds of manufacturers, I teach manufacturing at the University level, and I’ve managed large manufacturing facilities.   I was in Scotland last month for a precision machine factory, I’ll be in Turkey next month at an armored vehicle manufacturer, and…well, you get the idea.   I’ve written several books on manufacturing and quality assurance (see, for example,, and yep, that’s me!).   I’ve been in the Zongshen factory, and their quality and process control are the best I’ve seen in any factory anywhere in the world.  If you think the Chinese don’t produce quality goods these days, well, you just aren’t getting out enough.

Another tidbit…I know a little bit about adventure riding, too (take a look at and you’ll see what I mean).   I’ve had Triumphs, Hondas, Harleys, Suzooks, Yamahas, and Kawasakis.   They are all good motorcycles, but this bike is the best combination of size, power, weight, comfort, and all the rest that goes into my idea of the perfect motorcycle.   The RX-3 is made for exploring the world.   It’s perfect, it’s the perfect size, and I’ve ordered the first one.    Make mine orange, Boss!

RGPeckHepburn-200Let me tell you just a bit about Zongshen.   They make parts for a certain German motorcycle manufacturer whose blue-and-white emblem is patterned after an airplane propeller.   They make machined parts for a certain US motorcycle manufacturer whose bike kind of makes a potato-potato-potato sound (you know…loud pipes save lives and all that).   And that motor scooter known the world over as Italian…you know, the one in the famous movie with Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn?   Well, you guessed it….they are made in the Zongshen factory, too.

Like I said, I’ve spent time with Zongshen in Chongqing.   The process control and quality I saw at the Zongshen factory are absolutely top flight.   They make our CSC-250 engines and they will be making the RX-3 for us    This is a high quality outfit, the bike is awesome, and it’s why we feel comfortable bringing the bike to you.   We wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t so.

So, on to some of the technical questions we’ve been getting about the bike’s specifications…okay, here we go:

  • The displacement is 250cc, the engine is a single-cylinder with a counterbalancer, it has an electric starter, and she’s water cooled.
  • The bike comes standard with front and rear guards, luggage (sidebags and a rear-mounted trunk), and a windshield.
  • The bike’s wheelbase is 55 inches.
  • It has hydraulic disk brakes front and rear.
  • The dry weight is 359 lbs.

We’re going to do a Baja trip with this bike.   We’ll probably time it for when the California gray whales are in Scammon’s Lagoon.   You should buy one and ride with us.

There’s more to come, folks, but that’s a start.


Al, Mosins, politics, and the new 250 DS!

15 August 2014
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Entrepreneur extraordinaire and extraordinarily nice guy…that’s my good buddy Al.   We have a lot in common, including a lifelong interest in Corvettes.   Al started driving Vettes when he was 12 (no kidding…he would take over when his Dad let him), and the appreciation for America’s sports car stayed with him.  Al owns several Corvettes, including the absolutely pristine ’72 you see below.


Do you remember how cool those cars looked back in the day?  I sure do.   I built an AMT scale model of this exact car, and as a young guy I painted it bright red (just like Al’s ’72, and just like my Baja Blaster).


I always wondered what it would be like to drive one of those Coke-bottle Corvettes, and folks, today I found out!


Al kept telling me to hit it hard, but it wasn’t my car and it was so pristine I was a little afraid to abuse it.   Al sure turned that around when he got in the driver’s seat.  Wow!


Lots of fun, folks, and what a car!   It’s true…there is no substitute for cubic inches!

I grabbed one more shot that showcases what has to be the most magnificent hood ever put on an American automobile…


More good stuff….my wife (who’s kind of used to being in charge) finally got fed up enough with our city government here in So Cal that she’s running for City Council!   The next few months are going to be very interesting!  Her website is, so if you’d like, pay her a visit!   We’re getting to go to a lot of local functions, including a real interesting “Incredible Edibles” adventure to raise money for the local YMCA one night last week.  At the end, they played the Village People’s “YMCA” song and our local dignitaries did the YMCA thing…it was a lot of fun!


More good stuff…our next Mosin rifle fun match is this Sunday.  Yep, I’ll be there…so will Duane, and maybe some of our other CSC riders…and you can bet I’ll have photos for you to see right here!  Maybe I’ll even get lucky and hit the quarter this time…


And even more good news…things are moving along sharply on the new CSC 250cc dual sport, and starting this weekend, I’ll be posting more information on that fine motorcycle and our plans on bringing it to the North American market.

Some initial information….our new RX-3 is a water-cooled 250 that goes like a bat out of you-know-where, it handles better than any dual sport I’ve ever ridden, and it’s going to be very affordable.   It’s made by Zongshen, a company that is one of the finest motorcycle manufacturers in the world.   Folks, I know manufacturing, I know motorcycles, and I’ve been in the Zongshen factory.   Our new 250 dual sport is as fine as or better than any bike in the world.   I know what I’m talking about here, and I believe what I just said.  You will, too, when you see and ride this motorcycle.

Lots more to come, my friends, including photos of the Zongshen plant, specs on the new bike, and lots more.


Ride safe and stay tuned, folks.   This new bike is going to a lot of fun!

(The yellow one is mine, Steve.)


On the road again…

15 August 2014
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That’s where our good buddy Howard is…take a look, folks!


Great photo, Howard, and thanks for sending it here so we could share it with the rest of our CSC world.

Ride safe and enjoy your trip!


The Black Bobber…

14 August 2014
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This beautiful black Bobber is one of the latest to roll off the CSC production line, and it’s headed to Colorado!   All of our Bobbers have been custom bikes, and what I really like about this one is its all-black paint theme.  Even the solid wheels are black, and that just flat works on this bike…




Word has it that this one’s a gift, so I won’t risk spilling the beans by naming names.  Let’s just say someone is going to be very happy!

Painting the wheels the same color as the bike on these modern Mustangs works really well, and it’s a theme we’ve done in other colors.  When I first saw it on a bike CSC donated to a firefighter cancer event when I joined CSC about 5 years ago, I knew it was what I wanted.   Mine’s all red (and I’m fixing to get on it in a bit for a putt to the gym), but if I had seen this black one first, I might have gone that way.  There are lots of possibilities here, folks.

We’ve been getting lots of requests for more info on the new CSC 250cc Dual Sport.   All in good time, my friends…

Ride safe!


A routine day….

11 August 2014
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I had a nice day today…the weather cooled a bit (just a bit; it was still pretty warm out there) and I was working away when my cell phone rang.   Got a call from Amanda, a very nice young lady at Bullet Barn Guns (my favorite gun shop) telling me that a Ruger .45 I had purchased was in the store.

Woo hoo!

I don’t need much of an excuse to fire up the Baja Blaster, and it has become my “go to” bike for running errands around the neighborhood…


I sure love that motorcycle…it’s simple, easy to maintain, and fun.  It’s hard to believe I’ve been riding it for going on 5 years now.

Anyway, the new Blackhawk (not new, actually…it was made in 1976) is awesome.    I started my mandatory Peoples’ Republik of Kalifornia 10-day waiting period today, and then she’s mine…


I first saw that revolver on the Ruger Forum, and when I saw it a ways back, I sent an email to the fellow who posted it telling him if he ever wanted to sell it, I was his guy.  It took awhile, but it paid off for me.   Now I need to scare up a set of .45 dies and some brass.

I’ve got another Crystal Lake video for you, but it looks like YouTube is misbehaving again.   If it turns around, I’ll post it.

Later, my friends.


Miscellaneous things…

10 August 2014
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I’ve sure been using that word a lot lately.

I woke up at 3:30 this morning and just knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep any more.   Too much exciting stuff happening.   It started with assembling the new 250cc dual sport bikes on Friday…our good buddy Duane stopped in on his P-51 250 CSC and helped us (thanks, Duane!)…


I talked to Big John (my long time Baja riding buddy) about the new 250 dual sport CSC bike.  I’m already planning a Baja ride on this machine!   Big John wanted to know what the bike’s redline is.

Hmmm, good question, I thought.   I had so much fun on that first Friday ride I didn’t notice, so I checked some of my photos and whaddaya know…it’s 9,000 rpm!


That instrument cluster is really nicely laid out…a big digital speed display and an analog tach.  It’s perfect!

One question that popped up on the ADV board…is the new bike water or air-cooled?

It’s water-cooled, baby!


Boy oh boy, am I pumped up.   I have two rides this morning…the first one is a quick 14-mile jaunt with Susie, her sister Tina, and my buddy Greg on the bicycles.  It’s a tradition…we ride along the foothills and grab a cup of coffee at the turn-around point.  Those rides are always great, and we like to go early before it gets too hot…I’ll be on my old-school 1-jp two-wheeler (that’s one Joe Power)….

7 miles out, a cup of coffee, and 7 miles back…a quick shower, and then I’m back on the road with the new 250 adventure bike…and it has a lot more guts than my Bianchi bicycle for getting up the hills!


I’ll be posting more stuff on this exciting new motorcycle in the coming days, boys and girls…so like we always say, stay tuned!


Youtube is very slow today…

9 August 2014
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I finished another Youtube video of my incredible ride on the new CSC 250cc dual sport motorcycle, but it’s been processing for the last two hours.   You might have noticed that the video I posted in the blog below this one doesn’t show anything except a field of gray until you run it (then it works normally).  So, I plugged into Google to ask what was going on, and it seems quite a few folks are having Youtube issues with their uploads.

So, my apologies, folks.   Hopefully this Youtube nonsense will sort itself out in the next day or so.

In the meantime, let me change gears and talk about Mosin mania a bit.   My buddy Jim and I went out the range yesterday and we had a ball with his new Mosin-Nagant…new to Jim, that is…his Mosin rifle was manufactured in 1942!

Jim shot ammo that I loaded for him, and because I had nothing better to do a week or two ago, I played with my Flip video a bit and made a movie showing how to reload ammo.   The music is from Enemy at the Gates.  It’s one of my favorite movies.

Our next Mosin match will be next weekend, and I know a few of you will be out there, including my good buddy Duane with his Mauser.

Tommy M, I know you’d enjoy this match as much as you’ve enjoyed riding with us up on Glendora Ridge Road, so if you want to tag along, let me know.   You can use my Mosin if you’d like.

I’ll be on the road this weekend with the boys, and I’ll riding my new orange CSC 250cc dual sport.  I plan to grab a whole bunch more photos, so stay tuned, my friends.


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