Saturday turned out to be a great day for me! Since I’m active duty, married, and have a 3 month old getting out of the house for a full day can be something of a challenge at times. I’ve been following the CSC Official Blog for the past few months (As we all should be eh?) written by CSC’s own Joe Berk. They host a ride on the first Saturday of each month. I’ve missed it up to now but I went out of my way to make sure I was available for this one! It wasn’t easy, but oh so worth it!
The first stop was the CSC Plant, naturally! I’m about 60 or so miles of highway travel from there, so no big deal right? Well… I’m still technically in the break in period on this bike, and the service manual says specifically not to rev the engine past 6000 rpm’s at this stage. Well I broke the Hell outta’ that rule cruising gracefully at 8000 rpm’s the whole ride. That put me at about 68-72 mph. Very comfortable for early morning highway 101 traffic. Bike didn’t seem to care…I got to the plant at about 8:30. Outside they had the complete line-up of CSC bikes. The RC3 street bike was calling my name, but as I mounted one images of my wife setting me on fire filled my mind. Inside I was greeted by none other than the Owner Steve, the world famous Joe Berk, and the Lead Mechanic Gerry. After a brief introduction I was whisked into the back shop area for a tour. I had heard through reviews and the FaceBook page that Gerry was a good guy, but Holy Cow I was not prepared. Not only did I get a first class tour of the facility, but after I expressed that I was ready to do my first valve adjustment and was a bit leery about it, Gerry grabbed a spare engine from a shelf and gave me a 20-minute tutorial on how to do it! I really wish I had grabbed some pictures of all this, but I got so caught up I let time get away from me and before I knew it, it was time to leave. Joining us on our ride was Joe and Duane on their RX3’s, as well as Richard who brought his personal bike. I’m pretty sure it was a Suzuki Burgman 650, but if not I apologize Richard!
Out first destination was straight to the celebrity hang-out and incredibly well known Rock Store on the equally infamous Mullholand Drive. We had an easy enough time getting there, minus the police slowing all lanes of traffic on the 101 to allow a street sweeper to pass. It was oddly slow at the Rock Store when we walked in. We ordered breakfast and had a chance to get to know each other better. Turns out 3 of the four of us were/are military and the other was in the security business! Go figure!
Outside the Rock Store we were greeted by Grisel, a native of Chile on her Orange RX3. That made three orange RX3’s and one blue. It should be common knowledge at this point that the orange RX3 is the fastest! Interesting contrast in this photo. The orange RX3 closest to the camera here is Joe’s. Paint fading in the sun seemed to be a complaint among the buyers of the original models after they were first imported to the US. Now take a look the other two orange bikes in the back. See the difference there? I will admit Joe’s bike is about two years older and much more heavily used than mine or Grisel’s, but talking with Gerry confirmed that CSC got the paint changed to a higher quality that is far less likely to fade. A consequence of that, or in my opinion, an upgrade, was a different shade of orange.
We had no less than four separate people approach us and begin questioning us on what these bike were. Of course we were happy to oblige. I met one man with a heavy Austrian accent who asked where the bike was made, because he did not recognize the CSC logo. Normally when I say it’s made in China I get the eye roll, but this guy straight up asked me if it was made by Zongshen. My jaw just about dropped. Joe went so far as to allow a complete stranger to take his bike for a test ride. Gerry, who apparently had been looking seriously into buying an RX3 just happened to be at the Rock Store, and after his test ride he decided to join us on the rest of our trip! He was riding a WR250R Dual sport, and with our newest rider we took off again!
Our next stop was at the infamous Snake curve on Mullholland. We were only here for about 10 minutes, but in that short time I was reminded of why I made this blog. A couple of guys riding liter bikes parked next to use began having a conversation about our RX3’s. I overheard him say ‘Chinese crap’ and ‘Unreliable’. I guess I can’t fault him for expressing his opinion, I can only do my best tell the real story.
Getting back on the road took us back down the mountain and down toward the Pacific. The air cooled noticeably as we hit the Pacific Coast Highway. We made out way to the last stop in the ride. It’s a small dirt lot people gather at to take pictures at, and with good reason!
It was at this point that we all took our final photos and said our goodbyes. This is why we ride right? To meet new people. To see new places. I had an absolute blast, and I truly hope I get the opportunity to do it again soon!
P.S. Joe, I apologize for using so many of your photos. You just took so many damn good ones!!