Crystal Lake

Our next company ride will be on 4 March and the destination is Crystal Lake right here in the San Gabriel Mountains.   It will be 50 miles of twisties from the plant to the Crystal Lake recreation area and back again.   The riding on this road is awesome.   Power doesn’t matter much on this road, folks…it’s all about handling.  I may just ride my TT250 instead of the RX3.   We’ll probably never get much about 45 mph (it’s that tight).   We’ll stop at the California Grill here in a Azusa for lunch after the ride (bring an appetite; these guys create custom burgers that are awesome).   And as always, bring a camera – the photo ops will be incredible.

Crystal-Lake

You don’t need to be on a CSC motorcycle for this ride.  As always, we welcome all scooters and motorcycles!

We’ve posted this ride on our Meetup page, so let us know on Meetup if you plan to ride with us.

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RX3 Brake Light Accessory Kit

Hey, this a cool safety accessory to add to your RX3!  Check this out…

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Another take on Saturday’s ride…

MikeW1

My good buddy Mike has a dynamite blog, and he had another perspective (and a better one, I think) than my writeup on the Saturday CSC ride.   Check out Mike’s blog here, folks!

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¡Siluetas Metálicas!

Metallic-Silh-650

The sport of metallic silhouette shooting came to us from Mexico, where it started roughly 75 years ago as a part of a culture of rural village celebrations.  They used live animals in those days tethered to a stake, which made it a lot harder to hit them because after the first shot the animals tended to take evasive action.  I guess it was considered politically correct in those earlier times because the match would be immediately followed by a rip-roaring barbeque (at which, of course, chicken, pig, turkey, and ram were on the menu).  I learned all of this from a world-class metallic silhouette shooter named Jose Porras in the 1970s.   Jose used to drive up from Mexico to shoot with us at Fort Bliss when I first got into the metallic silhouette game.  He was the guy to beat, and I never did.  I didn’t care.  I just liked hearing his stories about the old days and the origins of the sport.

I last shot in a metallic silhouette match about 40 years ago.  By then, the sport had morphed into shooting at metallic cutouts (silhouettes), like you see in the photo at the top of this blog.   There were chickens at 50 meters, pigs at 100 meters, turkeys at 150 meters, and rams at 200 meters (this was for the handgun competition).   For high power rifle (which we always shot with a scope back then) the targets were the same, but they were located at 200 meters (chickens), 300 meters (pigs), 385 meters (turkeys), and 500 meters (rams).   Those are long distances, and all of the rifle shooting was offhand (no slings or shooting jackets).  You could shoot from a sitting position in the handgun matches, but the rifle competition was all a stand up affair.  It was challenging, and that’s what made it interesting.  The winner usually connected with only about half the targets, and you either hit them or you didn’t.   It was fun.

I’ve probably told you this hundreds of times before, but in the International Handgun Metallic Silhouette Association (IHMSA) national championships in 1976 in El Paso, I tied for 5th place and then lost a shootoff.  I was out of the money in 6th, but I was still pretty pleased because I was using a bone-stock Smith and Wesson Model 27 .357 Magnum with my cast bullet reloads, and everyone else was shooting custom XP-100 Remingtons.  The XP-100 was a single-shot pistol based on a rifle action, and in those days, guys would have them custom barreled in 30×223.  The 30×223 was a wildcat based on the 5.56 NATO cartridge blown out to take a .30 caliber rifle bullet.  It ultimately became known as the 300 Blackout cartridge.   Jose used one of these 30×223 custom handguns for culling coyotes on his estate in Mexico during the week and for winning matches in El Paso on the weekends.

Well, to make a long story slightly less long, I’ve been wanting to get back into metallic silhouette shooting for the last 40 years.  Today, I finally did something about it.  I broke the suction between my butt and the seat in front of this computer and I shot in the .22-caliber metallic silhouette rifle match at the West End Gun Club.  I shot my Browning .22 A-bolt (a relatively rare and semi-collectible rifle)…

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I didn’t know it when I went out there today, but they shoot two classes:  One with scopes, and the other with open sights.   The open sight targets are roughly four times the size of the scope targets, and for whatever reason, on the rams the targets for the scoped guns are set back an additional 10 yards (for the other three animals, the distances are the same).  At all distances, though, the targets for the scoped guns are really, really small.

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With apologies for the lack of focus, here’s a zoomed-in shot of the turkeys.  The iron sight turkey targets are on the left; the scoped-rifle turkeys are on the right…

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Like I said, the scoped-rifle targets are really tiny.  You can see that in the photo above.  They were maybe two inches tall.  Shooting at these things offhand was a challenge, but I had a blast out there today.   There were four guys shooting scoped rifles and 14 guys (and gals) shooting iron-sighted rifles (mostly lever guns; all with expensive aftermarket aperture sights).   It was a good crowd…mostly older guys (my age and up) with a few folks in their 20s and 30s.  Everybody was very friendly.

I could have started this blog by telling you I came in fourth in the scoped class and let it go at that, but the fact is I had the lowest score in the scoped class.  I only got 14 out of 60 silhouettes, the next guy got 18, another guy got 20, and the highest guy got 22.  It’s a tough game.  I’m pretty happy with what I did, though.   I had only zeroed my rifle at 50 yards (where I got about half the chickens).  I got about a third of the pigs I shot at (these were the 65-yard targets, and every shot at them when I connected was at the low edge of the target).  I only got one each of the rams and the turkeys (the turkeys are always the toughest), but like I said, I wasn’t zeroed and those were just lucky hits.  Next time I’ll do better (and there will be a next time).  This was all shooting offhand at teeny, tiny targets.  I’d like to try the open sight class next time, too, just because the targets were a lot bigger.  It all was a lot of fun.

In two weeks the club is having a centerfire lever gun silhouette match, and I’m thinking I’ll be out there for that one, too.  Those distances go out to about 140 yards, it’s all open sights, and it’s all lever guns.   They told me they mostly shoot .357 and .30 30 for the centerfire metallic silhouette competition.  The bug has bitten and I am enjoying being back in the game.  If any of you want to go with me, let me know (I can bring one or two friends in as guests).

Good times, folks, and this sure has been a great weekend…our awesome ride to the Rock Store yesterday, followed by a metallic silhouette match today.  Life is good.

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Our Rock Store ride!

Good buddies Duane, Richard, Mike, Gerry, and Grisel rode with us to the Rock Store today!

Good buddies Duane, Richard, Mike, Gerry, and Grisel rode with us to the Rock Store today!

Wow, we sure had a great day today!   It’s hard to imagine how the day could have been any better or (as you can see from the photos) how the folks who rode with us could be any more photogenic!

Just like on last month’s ride in the San Gabriels, the clouds held back on the rain today.   The riding was fantastic.  Duane, Mike, Richard, and yours truly rolled along on the freeways for a good 65 miles or so until we reached the Kanan Road exit, and then it was twisties above Malibu all the way to the Rock Store.

Richard, Joe, Duane, and Mike...a great Rock Store breakfast!

Richard, Joe, Duane, and Mike…a great Rock Store breakfast!

I’ve never seen the Rock Store so uncrowded, which was nice.   It looked like it might rain, and that kept the crowds away, I guess.  I liked it.  We had no problems finding a parking spot, and it was easy getting a table for breakfast.

Grisel met us at the Rock Store (she is a new RX3 rider, having just purchased her beautiful orange 2016 RX3).   Gerry rode his Yamaha all the way down from Santa Barbara and met us at the Rock Store just because he wanted to check out the CSC bikes.   He told me he’d been hearing a lot about them and he wanted to see the bikes in person.

Parked in front of the Rock Store.

Parked in front of the Rock Store.

We hung out at the Rock Store for a bit and then we grabbed Mulholland for more spirited riding in the twisties.  The road was magnificent, and we stopped high up in the hills for a few more photos…

What a day!

What a day!

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Good buddy and marksman extraordinaire Duane and his electric blue RX3.

Good buddy Mike and his fastest-color RX3.

Good buddy Mike and his fastest-color RX3.

Our good friend Richard, an Iron Butt rider who rode along with us on a fine February day!

Our good buddy Richard, an Iron Butt rider who rode along with us on a fine February day!

The Chilean Ambassador, our very own Grisel (aka Bunny Rider)!

The Chilean Ambassador, our very own Grisel (aka Bunny Rider)!

I sure had a grand day, and I know the rest of our crew did, too.   After riding the twisties above Malibu, we dropped down to the Pacific Coast Highway and rode north along the edge of the Pacific to just south of Ventura.   We made one more photo stop where I grabbed the first shot of today’s blog (the one you see way above), and then one more…

An orange RX3, a great bunch of riders, the PCH, and the Pacific Ocean.

An orange RX3, a great bunch of riders, the PCH, and the Pacific Ocean.

Grisel took the PCH south back to her home, Mike rode the PCH north to his Navy base, Gerry continued north to his home in Santa Barbara, and Richard, Duane, and I took the 101 south back to our homes here in So Cal.

The ride was awesome, and I can’t wait until our next one!  What a day!

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Borat buys an RX3

Folks, no way I could do a video this good. Enjoy…

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Chains

Here’s our latest Shop Talk video, folks, and the subject today is chains…

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Two cool bikes…

As the title says, here are two cool scoots I thought you might enjoy seeing.  The first is one of Steve’s personal rides…it’s a two tone, heavily accessorized Rx3 with body panels in red and the rest of the body work in silver, and it looks awesome!

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It’s relatively easy for us to create a custom like the one you see above, mixing and matching body panels, and there are more than a few combinations we can do just buy mixing the stock colors.  One that comes to mind quickly is a “creamsicle” bike in orange and white.  And, we can do custom colors, too.

Here’s another cool motorcycle, and it’s a 50-year-old classic.   Check this out, folks:  An 850 Norton Commando!

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The Norton is a real beauty.  I haven’t heard it run yet.  I’ll bet it sounds great.  Those old British twins have a very unique sound.  It’s an exhaust note I grew up with, and I can’t wait to hear this puppy.   If I play my cards right, I may get to ride it, too.   Stay tuned, folks.  You’ll be hearing more about both bikes, and you’ll hear it first right here on the CSC blog!

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The Rock Store Route

We’re going to leave the CSC plant tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. sharp on our ride to the Rock Store, so my advice is to arrive earlier if you want to have a cup of coffee and a donut before we leave.  Please arrive with a full tank of gas as we won’t be stopping for fuel when we leave.

We’ll take the 210 west to the 134 and then we’ll pick up the 101.   We’ll take the Kanan Road exit off the 101 and from there we’ll turn onto the Mulholland Highway.   We sometimes have folks want to meet us along the way and if you want to do so that’s okay, but we won’t be stopping to wait for anybody.   We’d prefer that you join up with us at the CSC plant before we leave.

Bring a camera, folks.   The photo ops at the Rock Store are awesome!

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Meet good buddy Grisel…

Grisel

Grisel and her RX3 above Los Angeles

Folks, Grisel is one of our newest RX3 riders.  She’s from Chile, she lives here in So Cal, and she’s riding with us to the Rock Store this Saturday!   We’re going to have a healthy turnout of RX3 riders, and we hope you’ll be able to join us.

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