Whoa…I just found out I’m getting an opportunity to visit where they make parts for Harley-Davidson, Vespa, BMW, Kymco, and CSC motorcycles next month!
No, I’m not traveling to Milwaukee, Italy, Bavaria, Taiwan, and California…I’m going to Chongqing!
Located at the intersection of the Yangtze and Jialing Rivers in western China, Chongqing is where Zongshen (manufacturer of the CSC RX-3 Cyclone) is located. I’ve been there before, and you can bet I am very excited about my return!
We’re finalizing the details on your motorcycles, and it is going to be a blast. I may get a bit more seat time on the RX-3 while I am over there, and it’s always good to meet face-to-face with my friends in this little town of 30 million people. Susie’s going with me, so this trip will be tons of fun. We’re going to see the Three Gorges Dam while we’re there and many of the other attractions in and around this dynamic town. I may even buy a new camera before I go (that Nikon D-810 is looking pretty good), and you can bet I’ll be posting lots of photos. I knew I wanted to return to Zongshen and Chongqing for more photos, and that’s just what I’m doing!
More good news…we’re getting the RX-3 out in the dirt again this weekend. It will be a fun ride. My good buddies J, Tom, Steve and yours truly are heading up to Sheep Canyon and points west in the San Gabriels. Looks like we’ll have at least a couple of KLRs, Tom’s big Honda thumper, and of course, the trusty (and soon to be dusty) blue Cyclone. You’ve sort of met all of these fellows, and I’ve ridden all over Hell’s half acre with them. They are always a hoot. That’s J in the photo on the left (you can just see me and my hi-viz Olympia jacket reflected in J’s visor) when we rode on the Tahoe Tour a couple of years ago. Steve, of course, is our CEO…he’s the guy who’s bringing the Cyclone to North America. And you know Tom, too…he’s the guy we featured a few blogs down in a set of ”then and now” photos (the “then” photo reached back 55 years to show Tom with a Powell scooter; the “now” photo showed Tom with his Triumph Tiger). Good times coming up, boys and girls…it will be a fun weekend!
I ordered the 6-18 rear brake caliper bolts for my KLR yesterday. I had to call three dealers before I found a dealer that had the parts in stock, a problem you’ll never have with us on the RX-3. That’s because we are building our inventory, and by the time your motorcycles arrive, we will have 100% of everything it takes to make an RX-3 on our shelves here in California. We’ll keep it that way, too. Our intent is that you’ll never have to wait for an RX-3 part. We’ve done that on our other bikes and we’re doing the same thing with the RX-3. So, back to the Kawasaki KLR: I should have the caliper bolts tomorrow, and when I get them, it will be torque wrench and Loctite time.
I also ordered a new TourMaster Transition 3 riding jacket this morning. I’ve been looking at these for a while and I really like this riding jacket. All of my other jackets are short jackets (you know, the jacket ends at your beltline). This one is more like a coat because the lower portions drop down further. It’s got zillions of pockets and it fit me really well. I wanted one in bright red or hi-viz yellow, but this jacket is so popular no one had those colors in stock, so I’m going with the wine colored one (like you see in the photo on the right). It should be pretty and it will match the KLR.
All of this jacket business and the riding I’ve been doing lately has me thinking anew about what color I want my new RX-3 to be. I was pretty sure I wanted the orange one, but I’ve been putting miles on the blue Cyclone and I’m getting to where I really like that color. The red Cyclone is stunning, too, and it will match my new jacket. But then again, the blue Cyclone really photographs well, and with my blog duties and all, that is important. And I already have a blue jacket that goes well with the blue RX-3. But the red RX-3 takes a nice picture, too. Or I could get the hi-viz jacket when they come in and paint the RX-3 to match…I always thought a hi-viz motorcycle paint job would look great. But is hi-viz yellow really yellow, or is it green? I always heard that green was an unlucky color for a motorcycle, so maybe that’s out. Or maybe I could shop around more and find a jacket that matches the orange Cyclone…
Ah, decisions, decisions…