While everybody talks about how to get more people onto motorcycles, CSC Motorcycles is busy doing about 75% of the things that need to be done. CSC’s cute little RXR didn’t win last week’s 2017 Lightweight ADV Shootout, but it did surprisingly well against a couple of bikes that cost a bunch more money: $3,495 is almost cheap enough for even me to be able to afford one, but wait, there’s more. Included in the price of this ADV bike is an actual ADV. (Actually you’ll have to spend $400 more for the RX3, which comes with locking luggage and other accessories to make it tour-worthy.)

Joe Berk isn’t just one of CSC Motorcycles’ principals, he’s also been riding Baja for years, and even has a new book out. Now when you buy a CSC, they’ll throw in a free tour of everybody’s favorite part of Mexico. Well, not quite free, but all you have to pay is your expenses, like $100 a day; eight days should work out to about $800. New bike and Baja tour, still less than most new bikes. Bingo. 

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CSC Press Release

CSC Motorcycles announced today that its fifth Baja Adventure Tour will occur from 10-17 March 2018. CSC offers this tour at no charge to riders of its iconic RX3 adventure.

“We’ve been providing the Baja tours since we introduced the RX3 in 2015,” Steve Seidner, CSC Motorcycles President and Chief Executive Officer, said.  “It started as a casual mention on our blog that we would be taking our RX3s through Baja when they first arrived in the US, and the overwhelming response and interest to that surprised us.  The Baja trips are now a key part of our marketing strategy.  We actually have people buy the RX3 motorcycle specifically so they can ride Baja with us.  It’s brought new people and younger people into motorcycling, and that’s a good thing.”

The CSC Baja tours cover 2000 miles and lasts eight days. The tour follows Baja’s Transpeninsular Highway all the way to Loreto, with stops along the way in Baja’s Valle de los Cirios, Scammon’s Lagoon, San Ignacio, Sierra San Francisco, Santa Rosalia, Mulege, Bahia Concepcion, and Loreto. Highlights include visits to the 300-year old working missions in San Ignacio, Mulege, and Loreto, whale watching in Scammon’s Lagoon, an off-road excursion to the ancient cave paintings high in the Sierra San Francisco Mountains, the all-steel Gustav Eiffel Church in Santa Rosalia, and authentic Baja epicurean delights during the entire journey.

“We don’t charge anything for this tour,” said Joe Berk, CSC’s ride organizer. “Participants have to pay their own expenses directly as they are incurred, but there’s no tour fee or anything like that. We’re not in the motorcycle touring business. We are in the business of introducing new and not-so-new riders to affordable adventure motorcycling. For the ride participants, it works out to something under a hundred bucks a day for fuel, food, and hotel expenses. We think it’s a hell of deal, and we don’t know any other importer who’s doing anything like this.  It’s a win-win for us and for the folks who buy CSC motorcycles.”

Joe Berk, an experienced Baja rider, recently published Moto Baja!  The book describes his experiences touring Baja on a variety of motorcycles.  Moto Baja! is available directly from CSC Motorcycles or from Amazon.com.

The RX3 is a 250cc fully-equipped adventure touring motorcycle. Its $3,895 price includes lockable panniers and topcase, skid plate, guards, windshield, liquid cooling, a 4-valve/4-stroke/OHC engine, a 6-speed transmission, and adjustable front and rear suspension. A service manual is included with every motorcycle, and CSC owners have access to extensive online maintenance tutorials. CSC provides a 2-year, unlimited mileage warranty.

More information is available at www.CSCMotorcycles.com and on the CSC blog.

  • Old MOron

    Rock on, CSC!
    Let’s see, get a big ADV bike and make payments, or get an RX3 and ride to Baja?

  • Sayyed Bashir

    Good marketing strategy, since the “CSC Baja Adventure Tour” could be done on any motorcycle as there is no “adventure” riding involved. It is not the Baja 1000.

    • Jon Jones

      Riding in Baja IS an adventure as it’s rife with peril. You don’t even have to venture off road.The paved roads are brutal in many places. Wheel-destroying potholes are common. The Federale checkpoints are unnerving. Gas stations are hit ‘n miss and few and far between. A group of us got a bad batch of gas, and it took several hours of wrenching to remove and drain fuel tanks and clean carbs. Eateries often attempt to screw you with inflated prices.Then there was the time we were menaced by a carload of creeps. Hard to outrun thugs when you’re on a heavily-loaded single.

      I’m not trying overstate the danger in Baja, but it exists. I’m always so very relieved and thankful when we cross back into the US.

      • Joe Berk

        Jon, in the 25 years I’ve been riding Baja, I’ve had no real issues like the ones you describe. My wife and I were caught in a labor riot north of El Rosario 3 years ago and that was a bit scary, but other than that it’s been no problem all the way. Never had a problem with inflated prices at any of the places we ate (the food is outstanding), never had to outrun thugs, got stopped by a Federale just once in all that time who really just wanted to look at the bike, never had bad gas (there’s a joke in there somewhere), and never had a problem at the checkpoints. My take is that it’s a lot safer riding in Baja than it is in many places in the US. You can read all about it (here comes the commercial) here… https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d4111b9e34f6c66579cb0f1cba267faafc5f70a4bafc80dd4093ae89313e1a1c.jpg

        • Jon Jones

          How about this? BAJA! Your experience may vary.

          Wildly.

          • Joe Berk

            Could be the title of the next book. Let me think about it.

  • SRMark

    There is a lot of fun to be had on the back roads. A 250 does just fine there. You can see quite a bit more at 45 mph than you can at 70. I have no idea of the typical speed one rides on the trans peninsular highway but there are many places back East where you could ride this little guy all day without fear of being run over.

  • Vrooom

    The best riding I’ve found on the peninsula is down the east coast. There’s some beach riding and sand in the middle, but the scenery is fantastic. A mixture of good dirt roads and pavement most of the way. Could not find a coastal route to go the whole way back on the west coast, but had a lot of fun trying.

  • Bmwclay

    Sounds great, but could I take my 1150GS?

    • Joe Berk

      We’d love to have you along, but you would need to be on a CSC motorcycle (and we still have room on the next ride). A high percentage of CSC owners also own a BMW GS, which came as a bit of a surprise to us at first.

  • BainDramage

    What a great idea. Good for you CSC!

  • michael32853hutson@yahoo.com

    that video definitely does its job!

  • Mark Vizcarra

    That’s a steal knowing that you keep the bike also. I know cruise trips that cost as much

    • michael32853hutson@yahoo.com

      yep you buy the trip and they throw in the bike!

  • michael32853hutson@yahoo.com

    wonder what kind of mileage they get?

    • Joe Berk

      It depends on how you ride it, the headwinds, how much you weigh, etc. I consistently get 70mpg+ on mine. Most folks get in the high 60s/low 70s.

      • michael32853hutson@yahoo.com

        excellent! there is a great write up over on ADV Pulse written ‘way back in 2014 about them-folks may complain about the 250 cc displacement, but i’d point out that in China that is a fairly large bike-i’m thinking the new RE Himalayan and the CSC RX3 will give other bikes in this category a run for the money! Congrats CSC,for building what people need at a price they can afford,and for putting the lie to “cheap Chines junk” stereotypes

    • Sayyed Bashir

      Cycle World: “Run pretty much wide open the Cyclone averaged 59 mpg. Around town it was easy to get it up to the low-to-mid 70s.”
      https://www.cycleworld.com/2015/12/30/csc-motorcycles-rx3-cyclone-adventure-bike-motorcycle-review-photos-specifications#page-3

  • Joe Smith

    And if not for all the headless folks down on the other side of the border, that might be a fun trip. But here in South Texas we call that a suicide mission.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      Probably more dangerous South of the border in Texas than in California. A lot more American tourists and off-road enthusiasts in Baja California. And a booming Maquiladora industry in Tijuana with the world’s largest corporations.

      • Jon Jones

        This is true. While still dicey for the reasons I mentioned above, Baja is relatively safe. We rode in mainland Mexico one time. We agreed it sucked and haven’t returned.

        • Sayyed Bashir

          Seems like Baja is isolated from the rest of Mexico since it is a peninsula.

          • Joe Berk

            Having ridden in both mainland Mexico and Baja, I agree with you. Baja is much different than mainland Mexico.

  • Junker

    Can one of these 250’s handle a 230 pound guy, I wonder? I guess maybe would need a better shock and would be limited to about … 50 mph?

    • Joe Berk

      More than a few of the folks who ride these bikes weigh more than that. The bike tops out at just over 80 mph. You can see some of the full-figured riders in the video. On our recent Destinations Deal tour (four of the southwestern US states) and on one of the Baja tours we had couples ride two up. They had no problems keeping up and surprisingly (at least to me), fuel economy was about the same as the rest of the bikes.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      Cycle World: “And as with any 250, you’ll be spending a lot of time flirting with that redline. At freeway speeds—an indicated 78 mph but a verified 70— the bike is turning 8,000 rpm; redline is 9,000, and the rev limiter cuts in around 10,500. CSC claims 25 hp at 9,000 rpm; our observed top speed was an indicated 82 mph (actually 74), but a steep hill or a headwind takes a bite out of that pretty fast, as does running at altitude.”
      https://www.cycleworld.com/2015/12/30/csc-motorcycles-rx3-cyclone-adventure-bike-motorcycle-review-photos-specifications#page-2

    • Velma Saenz

      We were at 390 pounds 2 up no prob and average 70 mpg we road destination tour

  • Sentinel

    The reason I’d never recommend a bike like this to anyone, let alone a new rider for street use. Is because if they pull out on the highway without a whole lot of space between them and approaching traffic in their direction, and if they misjudge it, they stand the risk of being run-over. These bikes just don’t have enough power to get out of their own way on the street.

    • Joe Martin

      Hmm…I have 19,000 miles on mine and ride on the highway all the time. I’ve never had that experience. I just rode from WA to SoCal. No issues merging or cruising. I’ve done big rides up into Canada. I’ve done the Baja Tour last March. I like the bike enough that I’m going to Prudhoe Bay on it in July. Picture from the WABDR in July.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9f8b62f3ea76996885d92ac83ebbe6006eb9bdf8117e06f90219e8d0675ff327.jpg

      • Sentinel

        You are a very good rider no doubt, but I still would not recommend this as a first bike. Can it work? Of course it can, but I still wouldn’t recommend it for places where high-speed highways intersect and the like. I’m glad the bike is working so well for you. I would like to try one out myself sometime. My intention is most definitely not to dog on the bike. It does look to be a good value from what I can tell.

        • Velma Saenz

          Rx3 it’s a fun bike light and nimble easy to monuver

          • Sentinel

            I have no doubts about that.

        • Mister X

          While I’ll agree that the smaller displacement bikes can’t keep up with the high speeds of some interstates, it can still get you wherever you’re going.
          Merely route around them, thats what I do sometimes, and I have a Liter bike.
          If you’re in a big hurry, this isn’t the bike for you.

    • Mister X

      So, like, were you riding a Honda 50?

      When I had my Hodaka Ace 100, Suzuki X6 250, and Honda 160, I never had any problems with power delivery and merging in traffic.

      It was only steep hills that I had to account for, and even then, it wasn’t a problem, just a riding adaptation/style issue.

      • Sentinel

        There are places that mainly consist of intersecting roads out onto high-speed highways. Where you have to pop out onto and get going quickly or get creamed. Not a proposition I’d like to try out myself.

  • Travis Stanley

    Great to read this article!
    $100/day for such an ADV Tour of Baja is outstanding!

    Those guys will be selling a lot bikes! Good for them.

    The average speed will be well below 50mph, so the bike will be a good selection.

    China will bring us the closes thing to a Unicorn before anyone else does.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      $100/day = $800 + $3,895 for the bike = $4,695 + travel to LA.

      • Travis Stanley

        ??
        But you keep the bike. The cost of the bike is not relevant.
        For someone not from the country, that is a great deal when you consider what the other travel agency are charging.
        I just blocked your posts because they are not worth reading.

        • Sayyed Bashir

          Yes, you have to buy the bike in order to take the trip.

  • kenneth_moore

    This tour with the bike purchase is one of the smartest moves by a motorcycle manufacturer / distributor I’ve heard of in a long time. It demonstrates confidence in their product, an interest in truly engaging with their customers, and probably introduces at least some of their buyers to an aspect of riding they might not be willing to try on their own the first time. And it can’t possibly cost them a fraction of a typical moto-journo junket to an exotic destination.

    • Travis Stanley

      Well posted!
      It does tell folks they are confident.
      I can’t recommend this bike when the CRF250L Rally ABS is worth the up grade, but I’m glad people keep buying the CXC.

  • black hole

    Too many Americans buy into the “Scary Mexico” meme. I’ve been to Mexico many times over the past 30 years (Including Baja twice — on a CSC RX3 and a CSC TT250 – Thanks Joe!). I’ve done it on motorbikes and VW campers and I’ve never once run into any trouble (Except gastric!). Just get on yer bike and do it!

  • Mister X

    I’ve had my eye on these bikes since their release, and am seriously considering one, it’s just the money thing right now, darn it.
    How durable are those panniers, they look a bit um, flimsy, as compared to the field battered one’s on my DL1000.

    • Joe Berk

      The stock panniers and topcase hold up well. Usually when folks drop the bike, the guards bear the load and the bags are not affected. They are not completely waterproof. I’m able to carry everything I need on the 8-day Baja rides completely within the stock luggage, and that includes a laptop and a lot of camera gear for the CSC blog entries I do during these trips, but I tend to travel lighter than most folks. We also offer the optional Tourfella aluminum panniers and topcase, which have a lot more capacity. When I rode in Colombia, the bike I rode had the Tourfella luggage. I’ve been riding my RX3 for close to 3 years now and I’ve not had any problems with the stock luggage. Interestingly, we also sell the stock luggage as separate items, and more than a few guys buy the stock bags and topcase and adapt them to other bikes. I was going to put a set on my KLR 650, but after riding the RX3 for awhile, I sold the KLR. I just recently posted advice on what to bring along on the 2018 CSC Baja ride (and for me, all of it fits within the stock luggage). That blog entry is here: http://californiascooterco.com/blog/?p=27587

      • Mister X

        Hi Joe, Thanks for the reply and link.

        I’d have to see the stock panniers before deciding weather to upgrade I guess. The Au one’s on my DL have survived many a low speed fall.

        I don’t use a top box, thats where my tent, cot, chair, and duffel bag goes.

        I was amused by your packing list, it’s nearly exactly the same as mine, save for I don’t bring any electronics beside my dual band Ham radio, no phone, no computer, no GPS.

        I’m old school and I get along just fine without that stuff.

        My motorbike camping mantra has always been the J.J. Cale song, Travelin’ Light, Is The Only Way To Fly.