CA to Pittsburgh on a CSC

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Spoilyfarts, Jul 24, 2019.

  1. Spoilyfarts

    Spoilyfarts whomp whomp

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2018
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Is this too early to post this? Currently July 24, 2019.

    Planned date:: June 26 – July 13. 2020.

    The plan is to buy a sub $2500 bike in California and ride it about 3000 miles home.
    Azusa, CA to Pittsburgh, PA.

    James, the other one in the group, and I first heard about CSC and the RX3 when they were announced in the US, something like 4 years ago. Maybe less? Or more? We both thought it would be awesome to ride one of those bikes cross country and started “planning” accordingly. We just talked about it and never actually thought it would happen for reals. There was no actual planning.

    This past year I finally had the vacation time (my work history is speckled), James has better job perks than I do, and my girlfriend actually said it was a good idea, so I immediately started planning. Literally, I started planning this trip 2 years in advance which really bothered her cause we had trips before then. Which I have no planned for.

    In February 2018 I bought a BMW F800GSA, so I decided an SG250 would be better for the trip since it wasn’t like something I own. Also, I didn’t need another adventure bike. James, on the other hand, likes trouble and discomfort, so he is planning on a TT250. (With its small seat and tiny tank; cause 4 gallons in the SG is huge). He prefers dirt and speed (owns a Honda CB1000R and KLX) as opposed to the go-everywhere-ness of an ADV bike, so, like the good friend I am, I encouraged this idea. We have enough time, we can plan for anything. Ideally. (RIGHT??) 300 miles a day leaves plenty of time for stops even at 60 mph. And mistakes. And general oopsies.

    Now we are planning on 2 weeks, 17 days for me, to fly to LA, buy a bike, and ride it home. Over 3400 miles. On a 230cc. With enough gear to hit Death Valley, Area 51, Pikes Peak, and my sister’s ranch in the Mid West. In June and July. NO highways. MAYBE enough speed to get a ticket. Enough distance to make a bike look used. And best of all, a lot of miles on a bike that no one knows about for a trip that no one cares about.

    We’re (hopefully) planning for the break-in and maintenance and unexpected events this trip should throw at us. But with CSC’s 12 month, unlimited mileage warranty, I have faith we’ll at least make it to Ohio. Or at least The Ranch. Or to the nearest post office for parts delivery.


    YOLO?
    #1
  2. Spoilyfarts

    Spoilyfarts whomp whomp

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2018
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    So Far Packing List. And Questions?

    Thus far the list includes:
    • Hammock
    • Sleeping Pad
    • Sleeping Bag
    • Light Sheet
    • Rain Fly
    • Poles – z pack; carbon and light
    • Toiletries
    • Poop Shovel
    • TP
    • Camp Chair
    • Pillow
    • 3 Sets of Clothes (wear 1, pack 2)
    • 2 Gym Shorts
    • 1 “Formal Shirt”
    • 1 “Formal Shorts”
    • Shoes
    • Cook Kit
    • Tool Kit
    • Solar Charger
    • Battery Pack
    • Wet Wipes
    • Ear Plugs
    • Sun Screen
    • Flask of Rye
    • Flashlight
    • Water filter? Most of the US doesn’t need a filter because water is so easy to buy
    • The Usual gear – that you wear
    An Australian friend of mine turned me on to hammock camping when I was living in Germany and my girlfriend finally bought a real hammock that I have used for a weekend. It has changed my views on camping; no more tents and hard ground – if I can help it. So the plan is to hammock when possible and ground it when I have to. This not only is more comfortable, but I can fit all of my needed supplies in about 70% of the needed space. This is perfect for a bike that may or may not make it up a mountain with a 215# person on it.

    I plan to pack in a MoskoMoto Reckless 80. I have compared measurements and with the CSC SG250 rear rack it MIGHT fit. MAYBE. 3000 miles shouldn’t set too much on fire. MAYBE.

    I have pre-packed most of my gear in a 35L pack and thought the Reckless 40 might workd, but the remaining stuff is the bulky stuff, so I think I need a little more room. The 22L center pack might not be good enough for shoes and cook kit and tools and what ever else junk I have, so I am leaning towards that something larger. The 80. Plus having that “junk drawer” is great for what ever you want to throw away. Also, sleeping bags are always huge. Even my tiny Feathered Friends. Which I LOVE.

    *****Question time:

    I am familiar with ultralite backpacking (with comfort, I don’t cut toothbrushes or foam sleeping pads to make ounces), so I know how to keep things light (but comfy). Does anyone have suggestions with relation to moto camping? I’m not overly experienced here. Moto camping is a lot more liberating than actual backpacking because of what you can carry vs what you shouldn’t, so I’m figuring this out as I go.

    Has anyone used a soda can stove and something like an MSR pocket-rocket (or one of the super cheap Amazon knockoffs), for comparision? Which do you like more? Have you actually used a soda can stove for long periods? Pros/Cons? I own a Whisperlite and the aforementioned cheap pocket-rocket and prefer the latter. It just doesn’t set things on fire like a Whisperlite does.

    Does anyone have experience with a Reckless 80 (or 40) and trying to put it on a tiny bike? Pictures?

    Big bike? Pictures?

    CSC SG250? … Pictures???

    Has anyone actually rode an SG250? Or any CSC?

    What is your favorite whiskey? Why?

    Mine is Liberty Pole Rye. It is what a rye should be. It’s from Pittsburgh. If you want to try it and can’t find it, I can try to provide it. Or at least have a flask of it to sip from.

    Our main destinations are:

    START - Azusa, CA
    Death Valley
    Rachel, NV
    Bonneville
    Strawberry Reservior, UT
    Moab, UT
    Durango, CO – I “went to school” here and I am so stoked to go back
    Colorado Springs, CO
    The Ranch, NE
    Omaha, NE
    Geode State Park, IA
    Dillsburg, IL
    James’ END - Marysville, OH
    MY END - Pittsburgh, PA

    I haven’t checked the tent site or the hot spring site yet because I’m mostly leaving the nights to wherever we find it nice enough to stop. Planning is hard.
    #2
  3. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    8,887
    Location:
    Kentucky-Eastern that is!
    Sounds like we don't need us to tell you what to pack for camping. I like hammocks too-the kind I buy in Mexico's Yucatan that are on my shady spots at home. One goes with us in our RV trailer for those places where they are allowed, which brings up that if you use a gvt owned CG may not be the case as most tend to not allow even a clothesline on a tree.
    Much of the world gets everywhere on a small bike or a scooter-250cc is plenty if you don't mind the top speed thing?
    Read the book "Old man on a bike" by Simon Gandolfi.
    Should be a bunch of them used for sale on ebay, Albris,Kindle, etc., as been out awhile.
    He writes about his journey @ 73 from Veracruz, Mexico to the tip of Ushuaia on 125cc bike. I found him interesting but waay to far left of myself politically. personally speaking I rode a 500 miler jaunt on my 300cc Vespa over into S IN and back home on tuesday/wednesday mostly seeking twisty rural scenic roads. Yeh, I got the finger for too slow? from a harley guy who chose to blow by me ~ 16-18' next to my scoot and one vette pulled in front of me, I honked my feeble horn at him and got a face full of burn out gravel. The best part of Durango is outside Durango in the wilderness area.
    Have fun.
    #3
  4. Spoilyfarts

    Spoilyfarts whomp whomp

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2018
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I've never heard of that book, but I now have a copy on order. Thanks for the recommendation!

    As for hammocks in restricted places, they are better than tents. I think the hammock restriction/problem is really from the marks the ropes leave on the trees. If you put small sticks between the rope and tree that problem goes away. Or just use straps, I think. I haven't used straps yet, but I will find out in like 2 weeks.
    #4
  5. DADODIRT

    DADODIRT Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,158
    Location:
    Durango,CO(not quite Purgatory)
    A current article series on packing for a lengthy trip says to line up everything you want to take and then get rid of half of it. I don't know that I follow that theory. Even for the times I'm able to get out for a few days to a week, I tend to over pack.
    I'm a tequila guy, but would gladly help you out with your flask of Liberty Pole. Hit me up when you are in Durango if you need anything.
    #5
  6. Spoilyfarts

    Spoilyfarts whomp whomp

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2018
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I've always had a problem doing this because I still pack everything anyway. Although, I once did an overnight backpacking trip with a 35ish# pack which was especially eyeopening because I've met plenty of people that carry that kind of weight for a 10 day trip. I may still carry too much, but at least I have smaller, lighter gear now.

    I stumbled upon a tequila article recently that said one of the reasons people have bad experiences with tequila is because they drink the bad stuff (Jose) that doesn't exactly qualify as tequila. It recommended something more along the lines of Mezcal because it has strict standards or at least to try one that is a higher quality (not Patron). As much as I want to do a Scotch tour through Scotland, I think a Mezcal tour of Mexico would be equally as great.
    #6
    DADODIRT likes this.
  7. DSchmidt7of7

    DSchmidt7of7 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2014
    Oddometer:
    222
    Location:
    SoCal - OC and San Berdo Mtns
    Sounds like the beginning of another great adventure. Here are some random thoughts you might consider.

    1. Getting a consistently good night sleep needs to be a top priority. So-called "road fatigue" tends to accumulate, and it makes everybody crabby and it can even be dangerous when you're putting in long days.

    2. The amount of bulk is just as important as overall weight on a motorcycle and both tend to be exaggerated on smaller bikes. Keep weight low and toward the center as much as possible.

    3. Decide and plan in advance how sophisticated your food prep needs to be. I prefer simple "heat and eat" meals in camp and hit diners along the way because I don't want to haul so much stuff and don't have to buy supplies and clean up. Another benefit is that "mixing with the locals" is a great way to learn about interesting things to see and how to get there.

    4. Your gear choices should be made and used long before the trip begins. If you haven't done so already I suggest doing some test runs near where you live to get some real/honest experience. Packing, hauling and actually using your kit for a night or two will help you learn what does, and what does not, work for YOU. (Have you ever fixed a flat in the field? Will you have the tools to do so?)

    5. Death Valley, Rachel Nevada and Moab are going to be friggen H-O-T in June and July. You might consider a more northerly route.

    6. Only believe half of what you read on the interweb. The rest you have to learn for yourself.

    :thumb

    P.S. Have fun, be safe-ish and take pictures.
    #7
  8. tlub

    tlub Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,487
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    Given your route, carry a lot of water. I would regard a 3L Camelbak and a couple of additional bottles as the minimum for the desert in July. Per person.
    I would scratch the pillow and take a fleece jacket. roll it up for your pillow.
    Prepare for some cold nights at altitude and insanely hot days in the desert.

    solar charger-Delete. Use a USB charger wired to the bike. Lots more powerful, charges faster and continually.
    Camp Chair -delete.
    Pillow delete
    3 Sets of Clothes (wear 1, pack 2) 2 sets. wear 1, pack 1
    2 Gym Shorts 1, not 2
    1 “Formal Shirt” Delete
    1 “Formal Shorts” Delete
    Shoes very light and packable only
    Cook Kit One pot for water. MAYBE a small fry pan. Pack stuff inside.
    Instead of TP take part of roll of paper towels. smashed flat. It can do duty as shop rag,towel, and TP.
    Anything on your list that is for use only at your sister's (the dress stuff?), ship to her.

    Soda can stoves work, sort of. I find the priming fuel, or any spillage, creates a nice invisible flame that catches all kinds of things on fire, like the picnic table, the forest floor, and maybe yourself. If you insist on alcohol, get a Trangia or something similar. I use a Coleman 533 because the bike is full of stove fuel. And they are easy.
    #8
  9. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    10,807
    Location:
    Omicron Persei 8
    Head north on the 395 and catch the Lincoln just outside Carson City NV and head east. While it parallels the interstate in many places, it will take you through all of the little towns of the real rural America and is not a fucking conga line of semi trucks the whole way.

    Lincoln Hwy Markers in towns:

    045.JPG 056.JPG 058.JPG 050.JPG

    Short section of good graded dirt still exists if you want to be hard core with following the route:

    034.JPG

    10 miles to the south is the interstate, but I like this kind of traffic much better!

    043.JPG


    https://www.lincolnhighwayassoc.org/
    #9
    tlub likes this.
  10. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    10,807
    Location:
    Omicron Persei 8
    As far as packing/carrying camping and stuff. Do a test/practice simple over night run and refine your gear. Then do a second over night trip to confirm your selection. You'll find that you will continue to refine what you carry after every trip as long as you travel.
    #10
  11. Spoilyfarts

    Spoilyfarts whomp whomp

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2018
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Now we're getting more answers! Keep them coming!

    Part of my switch to hammock from tent was because I have noticed I don't sleep as well on the ground as I used to and when the hammock is properly set up I tend to sleep better than I do at home. Road fatigue is definitely a real consideration.

    I was planning to mainly pack snacks and water and then buy food at stops to minimize trash/smellables for the animals. But, since there is still about a year left before the trip, I will start planning a little later for this.

    I need to get James out to try his gear, but I have been out a few times this summer with new stuff, so I am getting better with it. I have only ever fixed flats in my garage (with my normally packed tool kit), but I do have (and carry) the required tools for such a job on the road.

    I think I am most worried about the heat of going through the desert in the summer. Especially on 2 small air cooled 250s. Have you had an experience with CycleGear's Heat Out stuff? Is it worth using over just a wet shirt under jacket?

    You have helped me make a few decisions. I was on the fence with the solar charger and stove, but not anymore. I also always over pack on clothes, despite how well I think I am doing. The cook kit I use is a single pocket rocket with gas tank and a single pot that it all fits inside of - just enough to boil water. I figure on this trip if we want to cook a real meal that can be done on a fire.

    The "formal" stuff was just to have something that doesn't smell to go in to a restaurant with, no other purpose. It is easy to exclude on the premise.

    That Coleman 533 looks like the old dual burner Coleman my dad has, but newer and probably not terrible to get started every time you need it. What does it smell like when you burn gasoline with it (besides burning gasoline)? Does it affect the food at all? I was thinking about the WhisperLite international because it will run on gasoline as well, but they're a tiny pain in the ass when it comes to table fires. I don't actually want to carry undrinkable alcohol because it only has 1 use and takes up extra room, it was just a question I had to ask. I still think the cheap amazon stove is the route I am going to take purely because they are so easy to use.

    I am sending James the Lincoln Highway info , that looks like such a great time! Unfortunately, he wants to spend more time in CO since he has never been there, so we are taking quite the scenic route through it which doesn't use a good section of the highway. I have added it to the list though.
    #11
  12. tlub

    tlub Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,487
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    The 533 is a single burner, but the principle is the same as the dual burner. I haven't yet burned gas in it, but did a lot in my 442, which it recently replaced. After 30 years, the 442 was worn out. Gasoline did soot it up a bit, but not badly. After shutoff, there is a lingering smell in the air, but never in the food. I use a steel and stick 'flint' to light it, but has also used a broken BIC lighter that had the fuel tank smashed and only the striker was left. It starts really easily, and gets right down to business. For the price, I might try that Amazon stove at home a few times to see if I'd want to live with it. I use my 533 as an additional burner when cooking outside during the summer, so it's very usable. Actually, that is how I wore out my 442. I also use a Coleman 2-burner for summer outside cooking, a lot. My Mom bought it with S&H Green Stamps in 1968. Probably a lot like your Dad's. But the 533 heats up and gets down to business a LOT faster and easier.
    #12
  13. Spoilyfarts

    Spoilyfarts whomp whomp

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2018
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I bought my cheap Amazon burner from a friend in Germany after he bought it used from someone else. It's had at least 3 owners and been on countless trips and it still works flawlessly. Despite it's cheap price it is a champ. And! 1 gas canister will fit inside that cook pot, so it really does pack small.
    #13
    tlub likes this.
  14. outdoorsman

    outdoorsman Lets Ride! Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    339
    Location:
    Elk Grove, California
    @Spoilyfarts I have a CSC 2018 TT250 and a 2019 SG250. They are great bikes and even better value. The TT250 has about 700 miles on it and not a hiccup. My SG250 only has 48 miles, still breaking her in. I have 4 bikes so they don't get ridden as much. I've owned crf250L, klx250s, and xt250 so I can compare them to my current tt250. Those Japanese bikes are more solid but not worth twice the price tag, imo. The TT250 can do anything those Japanese bikes can.

    I love my SG250. It is my first bike that I've owned that I can flat foot both feet! It is so light to move around and ride around town, only 273 lbs! The best part about it is that it looks awesome! I'm still breaking her in, so no freeway riding yet.
    2019 SG250:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I need to take pictures of my TT250 but it is the faster orange color.
    #14
  15. Spoilyfarts

    Spoilyfarts whomp whomp

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2018
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    @outdoorsman I have been hoping someone with an SG250 would chime in, you'll have to keep me updated on how it runs and all your maintenance for the next year. I'm figuring (hoping) we'll just need to change the oil, a lot, and check valve clearances and chain tension along the way.

    Are the rear shocks just preload adjustable or can they do more?

    Have you looked at the rear rack CSC offers? I'm curious as to it's relation to the exhaust and if there really is enough room for the Reckless 80 or if I'll have to get creative attaching things.
    #15
  16. outdoorsman

    outdoorsman Lets Ride! Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    339
    Location:
    Elk Grove, California
    Will do, @Spoilyfarts. The rear shocks are only preload adjustable. But I must say, it feels good riding around without even messing with it right now. I guess it helps to be only 140 lbs.

    I probably won't do much farkling on it since it's my 4th bike for around town and cruising., maybe a little commute here and there. I'll measure the distance from seat to exhaust for you and let you know.
    #16
  17. Spoilyfarts

    Spoilyfarts whomp whomp

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2018
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    @outdoorsman I expect to be about 250# with myself and all gear, so some preload is encouraging. As for the rack, it looks like a great way to make such a small bike a good commuter. Especially in a city like Pittsburgh where a 500# BMW will actively make you tired and sloppy and it's just too big to filter if you really have to.

    If you could measure from the muffler to the top, rear of the seat, and share, that would be awesome. I'm looking for about 11".
    #17
  18. outdoorsman

    outdoorsman Lets Ride! Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    339
    Location:
    Elk Grove, California
    @Spoilyfarts it is about 14" from top of seat to the highest part of exhaust. So plenty of room for your saddle bags.
    #18
  19. mnmlst

    mnmlst mnmlst

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,177
    Location:
    PA
    Um......

    seat.

    You’ll be lucky to make it to the Rockies and nothing else will much matter without a decent saddle.
    #19
  20. mnmlst

    mnmlst mnmlst

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,177
    Location:
    PA
    Forget the stove - just eat ‘cold’ at camp, pick up a little bag of charcoal or bold a small fire, get coffee at the a.m. gas stop, if you want a full-on ‘hot’ meal, stop someplace.
    Lots of places the hammock won’t work... big, comfy pad with 12x12 Nemo bugout tarp... sling it between the bikes if you have to.
    Water, water, water.
    Quiet, cool, ‘slick’ helmet that slips through the air...
    Wide, thick, bombproof, full coverage, safety rated sunglasses X2
    Front jacket pockets that’ll hold 5lbs of ice.
    Upgraded, redundant lighting on the bike.
    Zero stress gloves X2
    Have a fixed ‘separated’ rider procedure with your buddy.
    Consider a weapon... lots of big desolate spaces and the cops ain’t comin’ any time soon, even if you have service to make the call.
    #20