Skid Plate Installation Tutorial

This is our new aluminum skid plate.   You can have one of these for $129.95, and they are in stock now.  The look is awesome, and so is this latest CSC accessory’s strength!

The new skid plate is fabricated from 0.200 inch thick billet aluminum and it’s one very tough customer.  The complete kit includes the skid plate, the upper skid plate mounting bracket, two 12mm nuts for securing the upper skid plate mounting bracket, and two 10mm bolts and nuts that are longer than the stock lower engine guard bolts.

140827_7887-650 This is our maintenance tutorial on how to install the skid plate on your RX3.

Start by removing the stock skid plate.  It’s secured by three 8-mm bolts.

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We’ll be grinding off the attach points for the stock skid plate, so make sure there are no flammable items in the area.   You’ll want to drain the crankcase overflow drain line away from the area in which you’ll be working, and then replace the overflow drain line’s plug.

140827_7890-650Another line that could contain flammable fumes is the gas tank overflow line.   It normally hangs down on the left side of the motorcycle beneath the side stand, as the photo below shows.

140827_7891-650A good way to get the fuel overflow line out of the way is to route it back up through the motorcycle chassis such that it exits above the rear brake master cylinder (as you see below).

140827_7892-650After you have removed the stock skid plate, you’ll see its mounting points.

140827_7896-650140827_7898-650Remove the 10mm bolts that secure the lower front engine guard on both sides of the motorcycle.

140827_7899-650Loosen (but do not remove) the four 10mm U-bolt nuts that secure the lower engine guard to the frame.

140827_7901-650Loosen (but do not remove) the two 12mm bolts that secure the exhaust header to the cylinder head.

140827_7902-650Loosen (but do remove) the 10mm bolt that secures the rear of the exhaust header.

140827_7903-650You’ll need a grinder for the next steps.   Make sure you wear suitable eye protection, and again, make sure there are no flammable materials in your work area.

140827_7904-650Grind off the upper skid plate attach bracket.

140827_7906-650 Grind off the two lower skid plate attach brackets.

140827_7912-650When you are finished, you should have removed the one upper and two lower skid plate attach brackets.  Take care during the grinding operation not to grind into the frame; just remove the upper and lower skid plate attach brackets.

140827_7918-650Paint the bare metal on the frame that was exposed by the grinding operation.

140827_7922-650Position the new aluminum skid plate on the motorcycle, aligning the lower attach points with the lower engine guard mounting points.

140827_7924-650Reinstall the bushing that fits behind the lower engine guard.  Do not reuse the 10mm bolts that secured the stock skid plate; instead, use the longer 10mm bolts supplied with the new aluminum skid plate.  Do this on both sides of the motorcycle.

140827_7925-650140827_7927-650Install the skid plate mounting bracket over the two studs protruding from the upper portion of the skid plate.  Install the two 12mm nuts provided with the skid plate on the studs and tighten.

140827_7931-650Position the exhaust header such that it clears the aluminum skid plate, tighten the two 12mm header nuts on the cylinder head, and tighten the 10mm bolt at the rear of the exhaust header.  Tighten the four 10mm nuts that  secure the upper engine guard.  Tighten the two 10mm lower engine guard bolts.

That’s it, folks.  When you’re finished, your new skid plate will look like this:

140827_7933-650 These new skid plates are in stock, and again, the price is 129.95.

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A Service Special!

Starting this weekend, folks!   $19.95 for an oil change and safety inspection on any motorcycle (not including parts and fluids).

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Give us a call, or just swing on by, starting with our first Dual Sports and Donuts this Saturday!

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Service!

I brought my 10-year-old, 2006 KLR 650 in to the shop yesterday to have Gerry do a complete service on it.   We do service on all bikes, and nobody does it better than Gerry.

Gerry is going to change the oil, put in a new oil filter, change the air filter, adjust the valves, clean the carb, check the brakes, change the coolant, change the brake fluid, put a new chain on it, and more…it will be a complete service.

We do all kinds of motorcycles in our Service Department, and if you need any work done, feel free to swing by on our Dual Sports and Donuts days (starting this Saturday) or on any other day.  We’ll be posting some service specials (good deals) later today, so keep an eye on the blog and on our Facebook page.  If you have a KLR and you need it serviced at a reasonable price, Gerry is your guy.

Gerry

I bought my KLR new 10 years ago from my good buddy Art, and it’s been a good bike.   The KLR has become a cult bike because so many of them are around, just as I believe the RX3 will be.  Comparisons between the two bikes are inevitable, and as I rode mine to the plant yesterday, I was mentally doing just that.   It’s a funny thing, because later in the day Ryan (who also used to own a KLR that he put some serious miles on) asked me how I thought the KLR compared to the RX3.

Here’s what I told Ryan:

  • As a 650, the KLR has more power than the RX3, but not that much more.  At freeway speeds, the KLR had a little more oomph going from 70 mph to 80 mph, but it was just a little bit more.
  • The RX3 is a much more stable ride.  The KLR feels like it has  a hinge in the middle, and it was trying to follow the rain grooves in the 210 freeway’s surface way more than the RX3 does.  I would say this is one of the bigger differences between the two bikes.   The RX3 just handles and tracks a lot better.
  • The RX3 is a much more nimble motorcycle than the KLR.
  • The KLR is much more taller than the RX3.   I was surprised when I got on the KLR yesterday just how tall it felt.  I had to tippy-toe it when stopped, and I found I didn’t like doing that.   When the KLR was my only bike, I was okay with it, but now that I have the RX3, I don’t like doing the ballerina impersonation the KLR requires.  I don’t have to do that on the RX3.
  • As a fuel-injected motorcycle, the RX3 engine felt much more precise than does the KLR engine.
  • I run Shinko semi-knobbies on the KLR, and it makes way more tire noise going down the road than does the RX3.
  • The RX3 was a much more comfortable ride than the KLR.   I’ve heard people criticize the seat on both bikes, but believe me, the KLR seat is far worse than the RX3 seat (which I feel comfortable on).   I have the sheepskin cover on my RX3, I don’t have one any more on my KLR.   I probably need to get another sheepskin cover for the KLR.
  • I really like the RX3’s stock luggage, and it use it all the time.   I have a set of optional Kawasaki soft bags for the KLR, but they don’t hold as much as the RX3 luggage and they are not lockable.  I may get a set of RX3 bags and modify the brackets so I can put them on the KLR.  We had talked about doing that at some point in the future, but we have been so busy developing accessories for the RX3 that we just haven’t had time to fool around with stuff for other bikes.   Having said that, the Zong bags are a natural fit for the KLR, and they even match in color.

Don’t get me wrong…I still love the KLR and I’ve decided to keep it.  It’s just that I love the RX3 more.  I’ve found that smaller motorcycles just make more sense for me, and I believe they are more fun than bigger bikes.   I feel comfortable and in control on the RX3, and as we proved on the Baja and Western America rides, it sure can go the distance.

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No Thru Road, and more…

I bought a copy of Clement Salvadori’s latest moto book, No Thru Road, and it’s a great read. I’m about a third of the way into now an I am enjoying every page. Clement Salvadori is one of my favorite writers.

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Well, all right, Clement Salvadori is my absolute favorite writer.  I was happy to learn that he had a new book available and I bought a copy as soon as I heard about it.   My advice?  You should pick up a copy, and you can do so here.

That book you see in the background, Motorcycle Rides Through Baja, is another Salvadori classic. I’ve practically got the thing memorized, and you’ve read about it before here on the CSC blog.   It guided much of my travel through Baja, and speaking of which, I’m getting the urge to go down there again.   If any of you are thinking the same way, let me know.

5000 Miles at 8000 RPM continues to progress well.  I’m also about a third of the way into that one, and like I said before, the book is writing itself.   I’m reliving the Western America Adventure Ride as I write it, and that’s a good thing.  I’ll probably use this shot as the cover photo…

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I’m bringing my KLR to the plant this afternoon if I can get it to start.  I haven’t put even 25 miles on the Kawasaki this year, so I’m going to let Gerry clean the carb, do the valves, replace all the fluids, and do whatever else he tells me is necessary.  I’ll probably keep it, but there’s really no need to now that I have the RX3.  Still, I like to keep my toys in tip top shape, and there’s no one who can do that better than our very own Gerry Edwards.

Dual sports and donuts, folks!  I’m looking forward to this Saturday, a free donut, a good cup of coffee, a ride on my RX3 to the plant, and maybe seeing you there!

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Saturday!

Good stuff, folks…Dual Sports and Donuts, starting this Saturday.

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Yep, we’re going to be open every Saturday from 9:00 to 4:00, starting this weekend.   You can stop by for coffee, a donut, or just to shoot the breeze with other riders.

Our service department will be open, too.   It will be a good opportunity to meet Gerry and ask him any questions about technical stuff on the RX3 or service work you’d like done on your bike (whatever the brand).

We’ll have four of the new 250cc TT Specials on display (and yes, we’ve made the decision to move ahead with certifying that bike in America).   It’s a dynamite motorcycle and you’re more than welcome to stop in and see it.

More good news…we’re going to be at the Horizons Unlimited event in Yosemite next month.   We’ll have more information on that up here on the blog in the near future.

Hey, I hope to see you on Saturday!  I’ll be there on Saturday and I’ll be on my RX3!

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Dual sports and donuts…

Starting this week, folks, we’re open on Saturdays from 9:00 to 4:00, and we’d like you to stop by.   We’ll have coffee and donuts in the morning, and if you need to get your bike serviced, our service department will be open.

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Come on over on your RX3 or any other motorcycle!   We work on all brands, and who knows, you just might want to pick up an RX3 (if you don’t already have one) or any of our first-rate accessories.  I’ll be here, and if the fires in the San Gabriels have stopped, we may even go for a ride up in the mountains!

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Moving right along…

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Unlike what the photo above shows, I didn’t get out of the house at all yesterday other than for a short evening ride on my steel-framed Bianchi bicycle.   I spent the entire day in my man-cave working on 5000 Miles at 8000 RPM.   The book is writing itself, and it’s fun being a part of that process.  I’ve expanded its scope to include the origins of the CSC organization, the decision to import the RX3, and the events leading up to the Western America Adventure Ride (as well as the ride itself).   Good stuff.   It’s a hell of a story.   You’ll love it.

Oh, and that photo above…it was in Colorado.   Good times there, too.

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Byron’s bike, 10W, and some shocking developments!

Folks, meet Byron, our newest RX3 owner!

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I was in the plant Friday afternoon when Byron picked up his bike and I grabbed the great photo you see above.  I had a nice conversation with Byron; as it turns out, he and I have more than a few common interests.   Good times.

We sold a lot of bikes last week, and I missed a bunch of it because I was on the road.   RTKing (his screen name) bought a bike last week, and he was actually in the plant the same day I was, but I missed him.   Next time, Amigo!

About that 10W mentioned in the title of this blog:  Gerry replaced the oil in my forks with 10W after the Western America Adventure Ride (and what a ride that was!) and I like it.   A lot.   I thought it might make the ride too harsh, but it seems to have had exactly the opposite effect.   I was trying to think of a way to describe it, but it’s difficult.   The bike feels the same, but better.   It handles bumps better, and even though the 10W is heavier than the oil that comes stock in the bike, it feels substantially smoother.   The bike just feels more planted.  I asked Gerry about it, and he tells me that the oil doesn’t make any difference on the downstroke; it only comes into play on the rebound stroke (except maybe for the very last little bit when the fork is nearly fully compressed on the downstroke).   Whatever it’s doing, it just feels like a more connected motorcycle.   I really like it.  It improves an already great ride.

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We’ve been struggling with the forest fires here in California again.   The road into the mountains (Highway 39) has been closed for that reason, and that almost certainly means Glendora Ridge Road will be closed too, so I haven’t had an opportunity to get my bike off road to check out the new front end in the rough stuff.   But I will, and I’ll keep you posted.

Steve, Gerry, and Ryan have been very busy in the accessories development department.  I saw the latest on our new seats, and they look awesome.   I’ll put one on my bike next week and give you a “seat of the pants” report after I’ve tried it.   You can get it in either a carbon fiber pattern or a gripper pattern, or a combination of both, and we can also have them done with stitching to match the color of your RX3.   Photos to follow, as they say.

Another item in development is a new rear shock.   We’re about 30 days out on it.   It will have spring compression adjustment, damping adjustment, and you can install different springs in it for the kind of suspension action you want.   It’s cool.

And another…a lowering kit.   Same deal…we’re about 30 days out.  A lot of  you have asked about this, and it’s on the way.

Hey, did you see the cool CSC flight wings I have on my jacket?

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They’re the military kind…you sew or glue the backing to your jacket, and the wings attach with Velcro.  If you want a pair (and you own an RX3 or a Mustang), give us a yell and we’ll send a pair your way!

More good stuff…my story on Laughlin (in Motorcycle Classics magazine) was just published in the latest issue.   You can see it here.

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Laughlin was hot (as in 115 F the day we were there).   It’s a good spot to use as a base for further exploration of the area, including Oatman to the south (I did a story a ways back on Oatman, too, that you can find here).

I’ve been busy.  I’m glued to the computer these days working on 5000 Miles at 8000 RPM.  I’m about a third done as I write this, and I’ll make significant progress today.  This is a fun book to write.   I think you’ll like it.  I’m worried about who’s going to play me when Hollywood picks it up for the movie.  Any suggestions?

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For soft sand…

If you read the blog, you know I have an aversion to riding in soft sand. I saw this photo on the KLR 650 Facebook page a short while.   It might be just what I need…

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All kidding aside, we have a bunch of new things in development.

More details to follow…

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A quick 1000 miles, a Barstow taco, a black powder rifle, finding a Good Buddy, and more…

I know what you’re thinking, and no, I didn’t put another thousand miles on my RX3.   This was a Subie trip with Susie and my youngest daughter Erica.   We pointed Il Tangerino north along the coast, and headed up to San Francisco.  Good times and good scenery, although the traffic on the PCH was grindingly grueling.   Still, we had fun, and spending time with the girls on the road is always a hoot.

Here are a few quick scenes along the PCH, Cambria, Hearst Castle, San Francisco, and more…

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On the way back, we didn’t want to slug it out with the LA traffic and Susie wanted to stop for Mexican food at the Barstow Del Taco.   We steered east along Highway 58 about halfway down the state from San Francisco and headed toward the original Del Taco restaurant.   Their tacos are awesome and we had a fine dinner!

Along the way during our road trip and for the last few days, my good buddy Paul has been sending me photos of a black powder rifle he’s been building.  It’s just about finished now, and it’s looking good.  Really good.

I’m a sucker for a niece piece of lumber on a rifle, and this one has a nice fiddleback pattern that is a show stopper!   But it’s not just the stock that makes this rifle…its overall proportions and looks are stunning.   Paul literally made the entire rifle…as they say, lock, stock, and barrel!

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Beautiful work, Paul!

That’s about it for now…I’ve got a bunch of stuff to catch up on here at the ranch, not the least of which is working on 5000 Miles at 8000 RPM.   It’s coming along nicely and I am having a lot of fun writing it (in fact, it doesn’t feel like work at all, but truth be told nothing I have ever done with CSC has ever felt like work to me).

I want to get out on my RX3, too.  I’ve been following your posts on Facebook and elsewhere about your RX3 adventures, and I’m going to put more miles on mine tomorrow.

One last thing…several of you want to know if I know of anybody you can hook up with to take advantage of our Good Buddy free shipping offer.   I do not, but I want to suggest four sites where you can post a request and I’ll bet you get responses.

My advice if you want to find somebody to hook up with for the Good Buddy program is to post your interest on any or all of these sites.   Somebody (or several somebodies) will respond.

Later, my friends.

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