EICMA brought us all types of new shiny, two-wheeled toys to be excited about, but releasing bikes in such a grandiose style costs money. CSC took a different approach with the release of its new TT 250: The company sent out an e-mail.
The heading read: “CSC Offers $1,895 TT 250.” While other manufacturers release eight-part videos and long, drawn-out “sneak peeks” for new models, CSC is clearly depending on the price of the new TT 250 to get your attention.
If you are unfamiliar with CSC, I can’t say I blame you. Until recently CSC (California Scooter Company) was primarily an importer of Chinese scooters operating on the fringe of obscurity. That was until they released the RX-3 Cyclone earlier this year, utilizing a similar marketing technique of leading with price.
The RX-3 is a small, 250 cc “adventure” bike that comes standard with luggage and crash protection. Its MSRP of $3,495 had a lot of people talking. This was no doubt part of the plan for the release of the new, stripped-down TT 250 at an “introductory price” of $1,895, which will increase to a standard MSRP of $2,495.
While the RX-3 has a bit more adventure styling and appeal, the CSC TT 250 is a 309-pound dirt bike with lights. You get a 250 cc engine with a kicker and an electric starter, a five-speed gearbox, disc brakes, and suspension that offers preload adjustment at the rear. There is nothing about this bike that is going to have KTM owners abandoning their 350 EXC-Fs, but that isn’t CSC’s immediate goal.
With a sub-$2,000 price tag, this bike could appeal to a new rider looking for an inexpensive first machine, a veteran rider considering getting into off-road riding without a big investment, or even a year-round rider wanting a foul-weather commuter so the good bike can stay home in the garage on nasty days. The two things all these potential CSC customers must have in common is an aversion to spending much money and a willingness to wrench.
That's because you won't find one of these bikes at your local motorcycle shop. CSC keeps costs low by abandoning the traditional dealer network in favor of riders ordering their bikes directly from CSC’s Southern California location. The bike is crated and shipped to your front door with instructions for assembly. As previously discussed in our article on the RX-3, the TT 250 relies on customers who don’t mind turning a wrench or two. CSC's website is chock full of tutorials walking owners through all of the maintenance required to keep their bikes chugging along. If you don't like working on your own machine, this is not the bike for you.
I would be more skeptical of this approach with the TT 250 if it weren’t for the tremendous amount of feedback we have seen surrounding the release of the RX-3. Folks seem generally interested in what CSC is doing. When I was in California a few months ago, I passed at least five Cyclones on the street. There appears to be demand for a machine that requires minimal investment upfront and that riders can keep running with basic tools they already have in their garage.