Some Good Information About the CSC RX3 Adventure... and my CSC TT250 Backstory

I was browsing the CSC Motorcycles blog a few days ago and came across this excellent article regarding the CSC RX3 Adventure Motorcycle. That article is called "Proven Reliability of the CSC RX3 Adventure", and you can check it out by following this link. In short, the article sums up the various rides that CSC has sponsored over the last few years spanning tens of thousands of miles, but then goes on to talk about the broader market in which the RX3 is a part of. I found this information to be very interesting and wanted to share it here, as much of this information was a deciding factor when I purchased my CSC TT250 a few years ago.

 The CSC RX3 Adventure Photo: CSC Motorcycles

The CSC RX3 Adventure
Photo: CSC Motorcycles

Now the CSC RX3 Adventure isn't new, and neither is this information for that matter. The thing is, unless you are genuinely interested in what CSC is doing or did some research on China bikes; then this information might actually come as a surprise. The article details some of the backstory about the RX3, and how it is sold in various configurations around the world. It also talks a little bit about how the engine, which is the result of a collaboration between Piaggio and Zongshen, is specifically designed to be reliable and low maintenance. It is an interesting read, I would highly recommend you check it out if you have the chance.

So why is this important if it isn't anything new? Well, if you have followed my YouTube channel for any length of time, you should know by now that I am a huge fan of inexpensive, reliable and practical motorcycles. I started this whole journey on my CSC TT250, purchasing the bike because I had a need for an inexpensive form of transportation. As I was looking for a beater car, I came across an article advertising a dual sport motorcycle for $1895 dollars; the CSC TT250. I already owned a 2014 Honda CRF250L, but something about this extremely inexpensive motorcycle just seemed to fit bill for my cheap transportation needs.

 My CSC TT250

My CSC TT250

That purchase slowly turned from practical commuter into genuine curiosity about how capable and reliable a $2000 dual sport motorcycle could really be. I mean, how much abuse could this thing really stand up to? If you are curious about said abuse, take a look at this playlist for all of my adventures on the CSC TT250 to see how it performed. In the end, it turned out to be a great motorcycle, and I stand by my opinion that it is a good option for anyone who has the right expectations. It's not a dedicated trail bike, enduro machine or motocross racer; but it is a cheap & reliable motorcycle that has the capability to get you pretty far off the beaten path if you can respect it's limitations.

 One of my first adventures with the CSC TT250.

One of my first adventures with the CSC TT250.

Before purchasing my CSC TT250, I did a LOT of research before pulling the trigger. My two main sources were the ChinaRiders.net forum and of course; the CSC Motorcycles blog. The CSC blog at the time was written by Joe Berk, who served as an engineering consultant, Zongshen liaison and public relations specialist for CSC Motorcycles. Joe has since retired, but he still is featured as a guest blogger and has started a new project called Exhaust Notes with Joe Gresh of Motorcyclist Magazine.

 Chinese Dual Sports in the California High Desert

Chinese Dual Sports in the California High Desert

I learned a lot of information from reading that blog. Not only did I learn about CSC Motorcycles, Zongshen, and the various bikes that CSC was importing; I also learned about the global motorcycle market the role CSC Motorcycles and Zongshen played in the grand scheme of things. At this point the RX3 Adventure had been out about a year, and the proven reliability as well as the mainly positive reviews of the bike are what made me pull the trigger on my CSC TT250. I won't go into all of the details here, but if you are curious you should definitely check out some of the older posts on the CSC blog. There is a ton of information there about all of the various CSC Motorcycles; as well as back stories, ride reports, general motorcycle content and much more. It's definitely worth checking out if you have the time. 

 My old "commute" route through the mountains with the CSC TT250. This bike is perfect for this type of riding.

My old "commute" route through the mountains with the CSC TT250. This bike is perfect for this type of riding.

I still check the CSC Blog from time to time, and I am really happy that I came across that article about the RX3. At almost 4 years since its introduction into the United States, the RX3 has proven to be an inexpensive and reliable way to experience adventure and life on two wheels. I have a lot of respect for CSC Motorcycles and their desire to think outside the box. Their commitment to offering practical and reliable motorcycles has really helped to change some of the perceptions regarding Chinese motorcycles here in the US; and I wish them nothing but continued success in this space. Now, if we could just get a release date on that RX4...

 

Source: https://californiascooterco.com/blog/?p=29...

Hump Day Rides with the Royal Enfield Himalayan

On most Wednesdays during the year, I try and attend a ride with a group known as the Flying Monkey Adventure Riders. These rides are known as "Hump Day Rides", and they are a great way to get out in the middle of the week to burn off the work week stress, build your riding skills, do some exploring and meet some awesome people. The ride location usually changes from week to week, but they typically take place somewhere between the cities of Corona and Temecula here in Southern California. Here is what a typical gathering looks like at a rides destination:

IMG_7866.jpg

Aside from the good company and the awesome riding, one of the coolest things to see is just how many different types of bikes show up each and every week. I have seen just about every kind of bike attend these rides from my Chinese made CSC TT250 to a fully tricked out BMW R 1200 GS Adventure; and it's just frickin' cool. 

Jesse Kimball is the organizer of these rides, and the ride information can be found weekly on the Flying Monkey Adventure Riders Facebook page. He is also the organizer of the larger Flying Monkey Adventure Rally, which is a 3 day adventure motorcycling event that is held annually in Southern Utah. Jesse is a Kawasaki KLR650 fanatic, and he can usually be found riding said KLR650 like it's a 250cc dirt bike. Recently however, he picked up a brand new Royal Enfield Himalayan. Considering that I am a fan of small, simple and inexpensive motorcycles, the Himalayan immediately caught my attention. Here is Jesse riding the Himalayan on our most recent Hump Day Ride:

IMG_7857.jpg

The Himalayan is a neat little bike, and it is really one of a kind in the ADV motorcycling space. At some point, I will have a chance to test ride the Himalayan and offer up my initial thoughts and first impressions. For now though, I wanted to share this awesome video Jesse posted of the Himalayan on our most recent ride.

This mix of back roads, fire roads, and the occasional technical offshoot is the type of riding we usually do on these Hump Day rides. This is also the type of riding is what the Royal Himalayan is perfect for; casual exploration with an emphasis on being being budget friendly, simple and practical. I have said it many times, but it doesn't take a big, fancy or expensive motorcycle to have an adventure; and the Himalayan is a perfect example of that.

 Here is the Royal Enfield Himalayan in the rough stuff. Photo:  @geomotoadv

Here is the Royal Enfield Himalayan in the rough stuff.
Photo: @geomotoadv

No matter what you ride, I would highly recommend checking out the Flying Monkey Adventure Riders Facebook page and joining us on an upcoming ride in the SoCal area. You will see a lot of awesome bikes, meet a lot of awesome people, and have an awesome time.

See you on the trails!

The Holy Fire: Hitting Close to Home... In More Ways Than One

Fire season is in full swing here in California. Multiple wildfires are burning across the state from as far north as the Oregon border to as far south as the San Diego County line. Out of all the fires burning throughout the state, the one that has had the most impact in my area is the Holy Fire.

The Holy Fire started in Trabucco Canyon (commonly referred to as Holy Jim by the locals in OC) and has burned over 18,137 acres with only 5% containment. That is almost double the size from this time yesterday, when I posted a video about the fires and how they are affecting the riding areas that we enjoy here in Southern California. 

Over the last few days, the fire has spread from Orange County, across the Santa Ana mountain range, and down into foothills of Lake Elsinore and the Temescal Valley. This caused mandatory evacuations in multiple neighborhoods in the area including Horsetheif Canyon, Sycamore Creek and McVicker Canyon.

If you have followed my YouTube channel for a while (or you know me personally), you might know that I used to live out in Lake Elsinore. We lived there from 2006-2008, and for two of those years we lived in the McVicker Canyon area. It is a beautiful neighborhood, with scenic mountain vistas on one side and a spectacular view of Lake Elsinore on the other.

 Photo: Google Street View

Photo: Google Street View

Out of all of the neighborhoods I have lived in, that area has been my favorite. You could imagine my shock and sadness yesterday when I started to see images like this one appear on Instagram:

Other photos on Instagram show flames literally at the gates of peoples back yards. I remember thinking back then about how horrible it would be if those hills caught fire one day; and it looks like that day has finally come. Here is a map showing the neighborhood and the fire perimeter:

 Map: inciweb.nwcg.gov

Map: inciweb.nwcg.gov

Amazingly, there hasn't been any reports of homes in that area being damaged or lost due to the Holy Fire which is pretty incredible. As sad as it is to see the mountain and all of the trails we enjoy up there being destroyed by the wildfire, it is good to know that the communities closest to the fire appear to be safe for now.

 Me going up Indian Truck Trail a few weeks ago. This is one of the areas impacted by the Holy Fire. Photo:  @geomotoadv

Me going up Indian Truck Trail a few weeks ago. This is one of the areas impacted by the Holy Fire.
Photo: @geomotoadv

With the fire only being 5% contained, there is a lot of potential for the fire to spread north or south along the mountain range. Hopefully the worst is over, but with the way the wind blows in from the ocean and over that mountain range anything is possible. Hats off to the firefighters out there working to protect my old neighborhood and surrounding areas. 

If there is any other news regarding the outcome of the Holy Fire, I will be sure to post about it here. For fire maps and information, please check out  https://inciweb.nwcg.gov.

A Harley-Davidson Adventure Bike: Too Much, Too Late?

Harley-Davidson lit the internet on fire yesterday with their announcement of their new Pan America adventure motorcycle. Okay, maybe it wasn't the entire internet; but for the portion of the internet that cares about adventure motorcycling and Harley-Davidson, it was a pretty big deal.

 The Harley-Davidson Pan America: A 1250cc Adventure Bike Photo Credit: Harley-Davidson

The Harley-Davidson Pan America: A 1250cc Adventure Bike
Photo Credit: Harley-Davidson

I normally don't have too much interest in large adventure motorcycles. Bikes like the BMW R1200GS, KTM 1190 Adventure and Yamaha Super Tenere just seem too large and heavy for the everyday adventures that I enjoy when I go for a ride. While I definitely understand the appeal from a comfort and range perspective, the practicality of a large machine like that for riding off-road is a little lost on me. The new 1250cc Harley-Davidson will sit right up there along side the current, fairly crowded lineup of large ADV machines looking for it's own piece of the action. At this point though you really have to wonder; is the Pan America too much, too late?

The initial responses that I have seen floating around the internet have been... well, lets just say "mixed". Aside from the Pan America's quirky looks, massive size and questionable weight, Harley-Davidson has been under a lot of scrutiny lately over their decision to lay-off american workers and move manufacturing operations to other countries. Slumping sales numbers over the last few years are also no secret, so this rather late entry into the ADV market seems like a bit of a last-ditch effort from the iconic brand. The announcement of the Pan America also comes at a time when the ADV community seems to be shifting their interest towards smaller and lighter machines, and this 1250cc beast looks to be the exact opposite: Large, Heavy, & Hog-ish... (see what I did there?)

 The Harley-Davidson Pan America definitely has distinctive and quirky ADV look. Photo Credit: Harley-Davidson

The Harley-Davidson Pan America definitely has distinctive and quirky ADV look.
Photo Credit: Harley-Davidson

The truth is that there is an under-served niche in adventure motorcycling in the 400cc to 800cc range, and Harley-Davidson would have been much better off pursuing that niche for it’s first attempt at an ADV bike. Rather than throwing their hat straight into the ring with BMW and KTM, Harley-Davidson could have entered the market with something a bit more practical. A good example of this is would be what Royal Enfield is currently doing with the Himalayan, or what CSC Motorcycles did when it imported the RX3 Cyclone a few years ago. These are practical machines with attractive price tags, and have the appeal to attract new riders as well as existing motorcycle enthusiasts. Now I'm not an industry expert, but it seems to me like that is exactly what Harley-Davidson needs right now. The news of the Pan America did come with a mention of a "modular 500cc to 1250cc middleweight platform" that could pave the way for a smaller ADV offering from Harley-Davidson, but the fact that they went straight for the heavyweight doesn't make it seem like they have practicality in mind.

Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for Harley-Davidson and their contribution to the motorcycle industry at large. It is pretty impressive for a motorcycle company that was founded in 1903 to still be around and relevant today. It's going to be fun to watch how Harley-Davidson's entry into the ADV segment plays out in the long run. One one hand, it is exciting to see a new entry into the world of adventure bikes that isn't coming from one of the traditional manufacturers. On the other hand, it's really hard to see the practicality of a large adventure bike like the Pan America this late in the game. 

Like it or hate it, it's interesting to see Harley-Davidson try and adapt to a changing motorcycle market. Time will tell if they are actually going to take this forte into ADV seriously, or if they are just playing to the success of the ADV segment in hopes that they might get lucky.  The Pan America motorcycle isn't slated to hit the market until 2020, so there is still a lot that can happen between now and then. In the mean time, there are plenty of other bikes to get out and have adventures on.

So, what are you waiting for?

Source: https://h-dmediakit.com/us/news-articles/s...

Welcome to Each Adventure

Welcome to the official website of Each Adventure! After a year and a half on YouTube, I finally decided that it was time to put together a website. Please feel free to have a look around and let me know what you think! 

While I never had any intentions of setting up a traditional blog, building this site really got me thinking about what I really want Each Adventure to be. The answer to that question isn't crystal clear in my mind yet, but one thing that is clear is that I want Each Adventure to keep progressing. YouTube has been great and I have received a lot of great feedback, but I really want to offer more than just a YouTube channel and other traditional forms of social media. This might come as a shock, but I am not a huge fan of social media. While it is convenient and widely used, I find it to be a bit impersonal, somewhat of a hassle, and extremely noisy.

When I started researching different ways I could build a website, it became clear to me that a blog was one of the best ways that I could share my stories beyond what I try and capture on my videos. While traditional social media is all about the now, a blog can be used to document my favorite rides, offer up my opinions and really connect with my audience. This will be a space to share pictures, stories, videos, reviews and anything else that I feel fits under the Each Adventure umbrella.

Thank you for checking out the site. I have a lot of ideas moving forward so please be sure to bookmark the site and check back often for updates!