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Our new 250cc P-51!

23 August 2012

You asked, and Steve delivered!   Behold…the 250cc P-51 CSC motorcycle!

The CSC P-51 with a custom World War II paint theme...

This is Steve's personal ride...check out the exhaust and the wild paint theme...we'll do a blog on all the custom features on this bike in the near future

The paint is stunning...and it's Steve's! It's our wildest and coolest custom yet...and it's fast!

Yes, it’s here, it’s CARB and EPA approved, and it’s in very limited production!  Take a look at CSC’s brand new P-51, our latest and most exciting motorcycle to date!  It’s our new 250.   It’s a classic.  And folks…it’s fast! 

That's paint...it's not a decal!

The bike shown above is Steve’s personal ride.  It’s the sleekest set of wheels I’ve ever seen.   The design and custom touches on it are just incredible.   In another day or two I’ll run a blog detailing the features on Steve’s P-51 (there are just too many to include here).   And the paint theme…it’s right out of World War II and it’s inspired by a couple of Mustangs…the original P-51 Mustang fighter plane and the original Mustang motorcycle!  

Steve’s bike is a custom ride, but that’s not the only P-51 we’re doing.  The P-51 Classic will be part of our regular stable of CSC motorcycles, and you can get it in the same colors as our existing line of California Scooters – the Classic, the Military Series, the Greaser, and the Babydoll.   Here’s a few shots of a brand new 250cc P-51 Classic…one of only five that we’re doing until the next small batch in mid-November!

A 250cc P-51 Classic...it's one of only five we are offering until mid-November!

Another beauty shot of the P-51 CSC Classic!

Steve and yours truly goofing around with the camera and the P-51

We’ve been working on the P-51 for more than a year.  Those of you following the blog probably remember me talking about Ol’ Yeller, one of our test mules, and a few of you who are very observant sent notes asking why you could never see the engine.   Now you know.   It was our first 250cc test bike!  I know what you are thinking, and yes, they actually pay me to do stuff like this.  Life is good!

Ol' Yeller, our P-51 test mule...it was no accident you couldn't see the engine in prior blog posts!

I put a lot of miles on Ol’ Yeller while we finalized the design, the gearing, and all of the things that go along with introducing a new motorcycle.   I’m a 61-year-old engineer, and I’ve worked on some pretty exciting things in my life (I was part of the team that designed the F-16 air combat fighter, I’ve worked on a number of hush-hush military weapons systems, and I’ve worked with lots of other cool stuff), but nothing beats being part of Steve’s team working on a new motorcycle.   This is cool stuff.  Beyond cool, actually.  Imagine getting paid to hop on the latest new motorcycle and being asked to find out how fast it goes!   It’s not just about speed, though.   The P-51 is reliable, it’s smooth, and it all comes in the same great small moto package the original Mustang designers had in mind back in the day (Howard Forrest and Chuck Gardner, a tip of our hat to you!).   Riding the P-51 is a real hoot.   And folks, did I mention that the P-51 is fast?!

On my Baja Blaster with its 150cc engine (a great motorcycle, to be sure) one of the things I missed was splitting lanes.  It’s legal here in California, and what it involves is rolling to the head of the line at a stop light.  When the light changes, you’re sandwiched between cars at the front of the traffic lanes, and you zoom out and get ahead of everyone else.  I didn’t like to do that on my 150 because it doesn’t zoom away from a stoplight and the rest of the cars like a bigger bike.   When I forgot that a few times on my Baja Blaster, the light changed and we all kind of pulled ahead at the same rate.   Then I had to look for a way to get back in my lane.   Not so with the P-51…when the light changes, this thing zooms out ahead of everyone!  It’s like a little flat tracker!

So how fast is it?  I’ve cranked this puppy up to close to 80 mph, and on a Mustang-sized bike, that’s honking!   Steve put a GPS on Ol’ Yeller running down the 210 freeway, and he saw 72+ mph (don’t tell Steve I said this, but I’m a little bit lighter than he is, so my top end was a little higher).   The P-51 is awesome, and when you guys and gals start hot rodding it, I think it’s only a matter of time before someone takes Walt Fulton’s 100-mph-on-a-Mustang record!

Walt Fulton at 100 mph on Rosamond Dry Lake...will you be the first to top his record on a CSC P-51?

And the name…the P-51.   That magnificent World War II airplane wasn’t the P-51 Thunderbolt, or the P-51 Skyraider, or the P-51 Avenger.   I’m sure you get it!

I know you want to know the specifics…and here they are.   The engine is made to our specifications by Zongshen in China. 

Yep, it’s Chinese.  

We’ve listened to people call our 150cc motorcycle a Chinese bike for years and it’s not.  It may well be the only bike on the planet with no Chinese content.   But our P-51’s 250cc engine is.   The engine is made in Chongqing, to be exact.   I’ve been there.   It’s a little town in southern China with 34,000,000 residents.   You read that right…34 million people! 

We never had anything against using a Chinese engine, and if you’ve been following the blog we’ve always said that we constantly evaluate new products.  We’ve also consistently maintained that if an engine from China met our requirements, we’d use it.   The P-51 engine does, and we are.  The P-51 Zongshen engine is an overhead cam motor with a counterbalancer, and what that means is the thing pulls like a freight train, it’s revvy, and it’s incredibly smooth.   It’s a runner.

250cc, OHC, counterbalancer, 5-speeds, and it's fast!

Our new P-51 Musta…oops, I meant to say our P-51 CSC motorcycle…is assembled here in California, but the engine is made in Chongqing to our specifications.   So why did we go with Zongshen?   Well, I know a little bit about quality and manufacturing (Google my name and those topics and you’ll see why I say that), and I know that our new P-51 engine is a solid unit.   And all those secret missions I’ve mentioned in prior blog posts?  Well, folks, I wasn’t doing that for the CIA or MI-6…I was doing it for CSC.   At Steve’s direction, I’ve been all over the world in our quest to find the best possible powerplant for our new P-51, and Zongshen won the vote based on our quality and performance requirements.

A few more words about Zongshen…I visited their engineering offices and their factory, and I talked with their top people.  Their production operation is one of the most advanced and process-controlled in the world.   Think statistical process control, 100% automated test and inspection, and a spotless manufacturing facility.   Take a look at the YouTube videos on Zongshen a few blog entries down one more time.   You may not have heard of Zongshen, but they are one of the largest motorcycle manufacturers in the world.  They make a million motorcycles a year and 10,000 engines a day!  And they’re enthusiasts…they race, they know motors, and they know what they’re doing!

One of the Zongshen factory GP bikes I saw in Chongqing

Engines on the Zongshen assembly line...this is a modern, clean, and well-managed factory!

Yep, you read that right.  Zongshen manufactures 10,000 engines a day.  If you do the math, that’s a lot more engines than would go into a million bikes in a year.   That’s because Zongshen provides engines for several other manufacturers, too.   And for those of you who are stuck in the past and won’t buy, ride, drive, or wear anything with Chinese content, well, folks, don’t look too closely at whatever it is you’re riding, driving, or wearing.  You might find yourself walking everywhere you go.  Barefoot.  Naked.  You get the idea.

Indiana Jones in Chongqing...those are bikes for the Chinese postal service you see in the background

A bit more on these folks…Zongshen is the company that actually makes Vespa scooters, along with a few others for other big moto names.   When I visited the Zongshen manufacturing campus in Chongqing, I asked their executive team if they made parts or accessories for other manufacturers I might have heard of.   Their chief engineer smiled and asked, “Do you know of a company in the US called…”

Well, I won’t tell you the name, but I will tell you I had a good laugh when I heard it.   I’ll just refer you to the second YouTube video (Part II) a few blogs down one more time.  Think potato potato potato…

So here’s the bottom line…our 250cc P-51 is now available.  We are making just five bikes right now.   You can buy one of the first five (they’ll all be P-51 Classics in solid colors like the Ruby Red one you see above) for just $4295.   If you don’t get your oar in the water on the first five, the next limited group will be available in mid-November.   If you want one you’ll have to act quickly…we’re taking deposits now and they will go fast (give TK a call).   If you want the one you see at the top of this blog in the World War II livery…you’ll have to twist the boss’s arm.  Hard.   Steve let me know in no uncertain terms that particular P-51 is his bike.   Maybe you can talk him into making another one.  Maybe not.   There’s no telling on these things.

The CSC P-51.   The engine is solid and the bike is a runner.   You wanted a bigger engine and a faster bike, and Steve delivered.  

The ball is in your court!

California Scooter Company