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Old 16th July 2015, 11:18   #226
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Default Re: RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!

Why LED Lights? Instead have a look at the Hella Rally Series if your pocket is ok with it.
If you still insist on LED Lights, PM me and you can use mine.
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Old 1st August 2015, 22:46   #227
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I returned to Bangalore after a two week hiatus to find that the Continental GT starting without any trouble and settling into it's familiar smooth idle. I took it out for a small spin today evening to confirm that everything was A-OK and except for the spongy front braking, it was in top form. One delivery boy was so intent on staring at the bike that he stopped looking ahead while riding and I had to brake and fall behind so he would resume normal operations instead of rear ending the car in front. Call me shallow but however many times that happens, I never get tired of the routine. My brother who had come so close to booking a red Continental GT finally decided against it after a lot of deliberation and booked a TB 350 in matte black which has a 60 day waiting period.


It was exactly 364 days ago that I paid the booking amount for the Continental GT and it's been a fun filled 11 months. I never really saw myself as a RE owner but the Continental GT has changed that altogether. It's heartening to see that RE has been slowly and steadily breaking down the ugly reputation that they have built around their products wrt product quality and longevity and it certainly bodes well for them as they up the ante and take on the world with the Himalayan. The whole experience of having your motorcycle cough, sputter, slowly fall apart or give up all together by the side of the road will lead to exercises in finding patience, a lot of learning and humourous stories for another day (something very many RE owners have experienced over the decades) and has certainly added to the RE mystique. But I am happy to take the reliable, worry free, no nonsense (Japanese-esque even?) running of the Continental GT, 8 days a week. And I am sure many future Himalayan owners feel the very same way.


While I was in Doha over the last fortnight, I paid a visit to a few showrooms including VW, Ford and Harley Davidson. I believe it was the first time that I was entering a HD showroom ever and while the showroom was lined with chrome laden bikes that would have made most enthusiasts drool, I somehow wasnt feeling it at all. I just took some pictures, walked around and only when a sales adviser started a bike for a sheikh was my interest moderately piqued. Here are some photos for those who enjoy HD's finest.

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I guess my abysmal interest levels have a lot to do with the fact that I have been a fan of sports bikes since I was a little kid (unceremoniously called Dhoom bikes in India) and I never really saw myself owning a Harley Davidson. Oh wait, that's what I said about Royal Enfield's as well .....
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Old 2nd August 2015, 08:04   #228
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It is great to see that the master & his steed are united now. And congratulations on the first anniversary of owning the yellow beauty! Is your brother based in Bangalore? It will be great to have a TB co rider .
Frankly I have had a glitch free experience with my TB500 so far & I can say that RE has come a long way in terms of quality & reliability. With their focus on international markets, I think things will only get better. It is great to have you back & looking forward to meet up soon over a ride.
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Old 20th August 2015, 20:03   #229
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Its been another slow month of biking on account of not being available for weekend rides & my repeated attempts at avoiding the arduous office commute whenever possible. My better half and I finally managed to head out for our first in city ride on the Continental GT at the end of which the bike received a big thumbs up. My wife has quite taken to her riding gear (AGV K3 and A* jacket) and we will be heading to LGU this weekend to see if we can get riding boots in her size.

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OK, so it's not my finest moment in front of the camera

On the topic of LEDs, my friends and I have been doing a bit of research and stumbled upon Moto95's products which seem to have got good reviews. We wrote to them and received prompt responses and the suggestion to go in for the Onella BS-30EM which slots in neatly between the front forks. Anyone with any real world experience with this product or with Moto95?

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Mileage : Total distance covered was 203.4 kms of in city commuting and the odd weekend errand. Total petrol consumed : 8.97 litres. Mileage for the last tank full is 22.68 kmpl which hopefully improves after the next service. Mileage since day 1 stands at a respectable 26.61 kmpl.
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Old 2nd September 2015, 16:24   #230
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Default Twelve months to the day

Exactly a year ago, at this very moment, I was eagerly waiting for the keys of my new bike to be handed over to me at the Royal Enfield showroom as envious eyes watched the bike getting prepared for delivery. I will admit, it's been quite an exciting journey though recent developments havent been all too rosy.


Over the last couple of weeks, I have noticed that the bike has become a little coarse (for want of a better word) with new found vibrations becoming a bad habit that just cant be shaken off. At idle and on the move, the bike is vibey and even the mirrors are on the way to becoming non functional since they shake so much. The upcoming 12 month service should hopefully get rid of all these ills.


Yesterday just as I was about to leave office, I was surprised to notice a big cut on the front tyre which is a Pirelli Sports Demon 100/90-18. I rode the bike home slowly and got on the phone immediately
- Called the Pirelli toll free number and got the details of the Bangalore distributor who said the company hasnt imported tyres in a long time and hence there is no stock of the PSD anywhere in Bangalore. He said that if someone had a tire that had a genuine manufacturing defect, it would be very difficult to get it replaced through warranty as they just dont have tires available.
- Since he also deals with Ralco, he suggested that I explore the option of Ralco (90/90s I believe) or Contigo if I dont get the tyre anywhere
- Fellow forum members suggested the Michelin Sriac Street and so I called up the Michelin toll free number and was told Tire Empire in HSR has stock. Checked with them but they said it will come in a few days. Itís a rear tire, not a front one.
- Madhuís hasnít received Michelin stock for the last 2 months.
- The SVC said they donít stock the PSD and gave me the number of a store (forgot the name) which said they will get it in a few days but it didnít sound too convincing.
- The number provided by Lets Gear Up isnt working.
- Sai Iyengar also said nothing is coming in from Pirelli and that MRFs or Continentalís would probably be my alternative in 90/90s.
- I was a little skeptical about how the RE SVC recommended store has stock when Pirelli isnít getting it into the country and so today I called up the very helpful gentleman from RE whom I have interacted with earlier regarding the rear grab handle and the incident with the brand new RE owned by Snehalís friend. He confirmed that the company can help me get it and that they are not dependent on the stock the Pirelli is importing for their retail channels but since most establishments are closed today due to the strike, he will get me the details tomorrow. Im hoping for the best.

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Iíve covered just 7,100 kms and it is way too early for a replacement but I guess my bad streak with tires continues. On my R15, I had to replace my tires much earlier than most other owners. In this case it wouldnít be fair to call it a manufacturing defect but lets see what the shop says when I go in to get it changed. Iíll write to RE as well to share my experience. Hopefully itís just a one off incident and others arent plagued by the same problem.


Despite the vibrations (well, it is a Royal Enfield after all) and the tire incident, I can honestly say, if I had to do it all again, I wouldnt change a thing.
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Old 14th September 2015, 19:13   #231
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Default Still waiting !

A couple of days after my last post, I spoke to the same gentleman from RE who asked me to go to the SVC of my choice (the company one in this case) and place an order for the front tire. He also asked me to get in touch with him in case I faced any issues. The folks at the SVC pointed me to a senior gentleman who checked the tire, inspected and acknowledged the cut and asked someone to take the details of my bike including the VIN, odo reading and a picture of the tire which I emailed them. I was told that they would receive a new front tire within 3 - 4 days and that they would get in touch with me once it came in.


The last week was really busy on the work front and I gave them a call today to enquire but was told that it should come in later this week. My bike has remained grounded this month and I will go for the 12 month service once the tire arrives. Till them Im using public transport so it isnt a deal breaker for me.


I must share my appreciation for the good folks in RE who manage the service front as they have been quite professional, courteous and helpful over the last one year. Not only does the company have multiple avenues of capturing customer feedback, more importantly, they act upon it as well. The bikes might roll out of the RE showrooms right now but if they donít keep customers happy with top notch service, nobody is going to upgrade and stay in the RE family a few years down the line. I think the mistake that some RE customers make is that they dont use the right channels to express their concerns, frustrations and issues with the service and hence they are a disgruntled lot. Well if you dont share your problems with the right folks, how do you expect them to fix it and help you? You dont go to a doctor, keep quite about the pain you are facing and then come out of the hospital and complain to everyone that the doctor didnt give you the right medicine to make you better, right?


If I were to compare it my 5 odd years of ownership of the Yamaha R15, I can confidently say that the after sales experience with RE has been far superior to that of Yamaha. The moment I finished my free services I vamoosed my way out of Yamaha's service centres and got my bike serviced by a trusted mechanic. The other day a fellow forum member got his Kawasaki Z800 serviced and was sharing his not too pleasant experience in a whatsapp group. I was very surprised to read that talking to the SVC GM was of no use and writing to the Bajaj was ineffective as well. Maybe some of REs competitors could take a leaf out of their book.


Mileage : I had tanked up at Shell a few days before I spotted the cut on the tire and was pleasantly surprised by the results. Distance covered Ė 145.8 kms. Petrol consumed Ė 4.76 litres. Mileage - 30.63 kmpl. I double checked to ensure that there wasnít a mistake but for virtually the same running as my last few months the mileage has gone up from the early 20s to a 30 figure. Go figure.


Soul Brother Spotting : At the Mahindra Mojo test ride, we had a rider with a yellow Karizma that had a round headlight and a wind deflector. Very nice indeed.

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Old 15th September 2015, 09:39   #232
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Default Re: Still waiting !

Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post


Mileage : I had tanked up at Shell a few days before I spotted the cut on the tire and was pleasantly surprised by the results. Distance covered Ė 145.8 kms. Petrol consumed Ė 4.76 litres. Mileage - 30.63 kmpl. I double checked to ensure that there wasnít a mistake but for virtually the same running as my last few months the mileage has gone up from the early 20s to a 30 figure. Go figure.
This is fantastic mileage. I have been unable to get beyond 25 or 26Kmpl till date. I just got the service done last week. Let me see if there is any improvement after that. During long distance I have been getting consistently above 35Kmpl.
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Old 21st September 2015, 15:57   #233
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I was starting to lose a bit of hope since I hadnt heard from the RE SVC (was supposed to only be a 3 - 4 day wait) and this led to me researching on the available options in the 100/90 18 specification over the weekend. Needless to say, I wasnt really impressed by the tyres on offer from different manufacturers in that size.

I spoke to the folks at the RE SVC today and they said that they have got email confirmation regarding the tyre and that it will come in this week. However since their folks are heading out (didnt catch the reason) in the later half of this week, they asked me to come in next week after calling them. Phew! That's one big weight off my shoulders.

Meanwhile, I spotted this Continental GT with crash guards installed. I really should get around to installing a similar set on my bike as well, sooner rather than later.

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Originally Posted by arulpeem View Post
This is fantastic mileage. I have been unable to get beyond 25 or 26Kmpl till date. I just got the service done last week. Let me see if there is any improvement after that. During long distance I have been getting consistently above 35Kmpl.
I rechecked the mileage figures that I have achieved so far. Other than my one time sky high 44.9 kmpl mileage run, the next best highway figures are all in the 32.x kmpl range. What speeds do you usually maintain on your long distance rides?
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Old 22nd September 2015, 08:49   #234
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Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
What speeds do you usually maintain on your long distance rides?
Hi I normally keep around 90 and I consistently get 36Kmpl. On the occasions when I was around 100 the mileage had dropped to around 32Kmpl.
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Old 7th October 2015, 13:52   #235
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Default Even more waiting !

My bike has been stationary for over a month since the last ride was to the SVC to show them the cut front tire. Since Ive been patiently waiting for the tire, I have missed the service date as I dont want to ride the bike unless necessary.


My weekly calls to the gentleman at the SVC have always been met with a polite "We havent got it yet but we should be receiving it in a few days time" response. Now he has asked for time till Friday. I have also spoken to the gentleman who is the CSM regarding the delay (which to be fair, he wasnt aware of) and he is looking into it and will get back to me. If it doesnt happen soon, I will just throw in the towel and go in for a tire from another manufacturer even if it offers inferior grip compared to the excellent PSDs.


It is surprising that RE cant seem to source a new front tire to supply its service centres despite repeated follow ups for over a month. The gentlemen I am speaking to are trying to help but if Royal Enfield cant get them a tire, they are frankly helpless.


All this for Royal Enfield's premium offering.

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Hi I normally keep around 90 and I consistently get 36Kmpl. On the occasions when I was around 100 the mileage had dropped to around 32Kmpl.
I will try that the next time I am on a solo highway ride and let you know if I can replicate the same numbers.
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Old 8th October 2015, 14:32   #236
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Default The final wait

After checking with the SVC folks, the Royal Enfield CSM has taken my bike details and asked for another few days to source the front tire. Im treating this as a final Hail Mary. If they cant provide it by Monday, Im getting a Ceat Vertigo Sport which is easily available. Its a compromise in terms of outright grip but its better than not being able to use the bike at all. All said and done, I am disappointed that Royal Enfield dropped the ball on this and hope nobody else has to go through the same long wait for what should be an easily available spare part.

All this for Royal Enfield's premium offering.

I must share my brother's experience with his brand new Thunderbird in Madras which was at the other end of the customer satisfaction spectrum. The other day he was telling me that he felt his bike's suspension was too hard from day 1 and he had gone back to the SVC to get it adjusted to more reasonable levels. This pointed to a shoddy PDI job by the dealership and I asked my brother to write to RE about the incident. Within 24 hours he got a call from both the area manager as well as the service centre manager who asked if they could do anything regarding this. My brother has fixed up an appointment to get it rechecked / adjusted and if there is any problem get it changed. Hopefully it gets sorted out soon but Royal Enfield's remedial measures sure are league ahead of its competition.

Last edited by neil.jericho : 8th October 2015 at 14:40.
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Old 8th October 2015, 15:31   #237
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Default Re: The final wait

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Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
I am disappointed that Royal Enfield dropped the ball on this and hope nobody else has to go through the same long wait for what should be an easily available spare part.

All this for Royal Enfield's premium offering.
I wish they had told you in the very beginning about the difficulty in sourcing the tyre. Then you would have tried other sources or gone for the CEAT straight away and started to use the bike.
To which service station does your brother go? I go to the company's OMR one. I can't complain about their want of effort, but skill levels vary from SA to SA and also that off the mechanic who attends. I keep getting a peculiar noise from the front whenever I hit a small and sharp depression. But when I go over a sharp speed breaker there is absolutely no noise. Till date they have not been able to sort it out. Every time they say it is a fork issue and once they even changed the cone. But within a day's riding the noise comes back. Now the bike has done more 9500Km and I have learned to live with the issue.
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Old 13th October 2015, 00:02   #238
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Default Bowled over

It was time to finally draw a line in the sand and after another conversation with the RE team, they have finally said that I can come on Saturday to get the bike service and tire replacement done. Heavens be praised! The story isnt without an interesting twist though.


Honestly, I was really irritated after hearing 'give us 4 - 5 days', 'the order has been placed', 'the tire is on the way' today as well. I really couldnt fanthom how a spare part for an order placed almost a month and a half back could take so long to arrive with no actual known arrival date. I even went to the extent of telling the gentleman from RE that if I wanted to do nothing with Rs 2.2 lacs of my hard earned money, I wouldve let it sit in my account and earn interest instead of buying a bike from Royal Enfield which I cannot take out of my garage.


It was when I enquired about the cost of the tire though that RE showed its true hand. It turns out that the inordinate delays have been because the gentlemen from RE have been working hard towards getting approvals to ensure that the tire being provided to me will be under a goodwill measure i.e. they are replacing it free of cost. One of them had mentioned it in passing earlier but I didnt really pay too much attention to it then but today they confirmed it. Talk about a master stroke from Royal Enfield!


And on that very positive note I can say - All this for Royal Enfield's premium offering.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arulpeem View Post
I wish they had told you in the very beginning about the difficulty in sourcing the tyre. Then you would have tried other sources or gone for the CEAT straight away and started to use the bike.
Very true, if I had known it would take a month and a half I wouldve got the Ceat fitted immediately. Fortunately though, there is a silver lining .

Quote:
Originally Posted by arulpeem View Post
To which service station does your brother go? I go to the company's OMR one. I can't complain about their want of effort, but skill levels vary from SA to SA and also that off the mechanic who attends.
He takes his bike to the Anna Nagar SVC as that is close to where he stays. The suspension was finally fixed on his next visit and he is thoroughly enjoying riding the bike these days. While fitting the new silencer, they ended up accidentally scratching the tank of his bike which they promptly replaced as it was their fault. All in all, he is now a very satisfied Royal Enfield customer. It just goes to show how a little correction action goes a long long way in changing perceptions.


Let me get his feedback on the first service and let you know about how good or not it was.
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Old 18th October 2015, 01:00   #239
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Default The straw that broke the camel's back

I've often wondered why old timers had so little faith in Royal Enfield after taking delivery of their bikes, today I got to learn it the hard way. Since I was told to come in for service today by the CSM, I arrived at 8:30 and unfortunately got the same SA as I got last time. For some reason he just isnt able to get what I say, though I speak to him in English, which means I need to explain things 3 times at least and he has scant regard for a customerís time which is one thing that really gets my goat. I told him that the front brake needed bleeding, showed him the engine oil leak on the right side, complained about the vibes and asked him to perform the tire swap. I also told him to change the front fork oil (supposed to be done at 9K / 9 month service but they said they will do it now) which strangely he was reluctant to do but finally agreed. I said I will wait in the customer lounge and was given a delivery time of between 12 and 1 PM which was in line with my previous visits.


Unfortunately after waiting for 1 1/2 hours, I was in for an unpleasant surprise when I was told that the bike will only be ready by 17:30 since the fork oil change would take quite some time. Im not sure why the SA didnt tell me that in the first place! I was annoyed at having lost half my morning for no reason whatsoever and handed over the engine oil and told the floor manager about the tire situation. The senior gentleman who I was talking to for the last 6 weeks wasnt available so I called him up and he said he will get back to me. I didnt hear from him for the rest of the day. Later in the day, I called up the CSM to confirm about the tire but he didnt pick up or return my call.


I received a call from the floor manager in the afternoon telling me that front disc pads needed changing and asked me to come in at 17:30 which I duly did but was surprised to find that the bike was still not ready. To my amazement, I was finally told that they didnt have the tire in stock and that they will need another week to get it! Needless to say, I was quite furious but resigned myself to my fate and waited.


And waited. And waited. To make matters worse, the SA wasnt able to even explain what work was done on the bike despite repeated requests from my side. Finally the mechanic himself listed out all the things he took care of and I paid the bill of Rs 3,995 (bear in mind this doesnt include engine oil charges). The break up of the bill is below

Labour Costs (including 14% service tax)
General Service 570
Miscellaneous Labour 114
Disc Pad check and change 114
Fork Overhauling 285
Total Rs 1083

Part Costs (including 14.5% VAT)
Oil Filter 93
Disc Pad Kit Front Caliper 2100
Breather Pipe 119
Total Rs 2312


In addition to this the front fork oil came to Rs 600 though it was only on a handwritten piece of paper with the stamp of one BTM automobiles and no mention of any tax. It doesnít take a genius to figure out what is going on here.


Despite repeatedly following up with my SA, he really didnt do anything towards speeding up delivery of my bike. Washing as always took time and I finally got the bike at around 19:00 (far cry from the 13:00 commitment in the morning). Thoroughly irritated with unnecessarily having lost the whole day, I left for the Ceat showroom hoping to fit a new front tire before they closed but a few minutes later, the bike rather disconcertingly started sputtering in heavy traffic and went off.


I was able to start it a couple of times but eventually it just gave up the ghost and refused to start though all the electricals were working fine. There was enough fuel in the bike but just to be safe I pushed it to the nearby pump and put in 100 rupees worth of petrol though it didnt change anything. I called up the SVC guys and told them where I was and waited for half an hour before the same mechanic arrived. By then the bike had started and they quickly identified the root cause as the pressure wash which had left water everywhere and they dried out a couple of rubber hoses and the spark plug. The mechanic was very helpful and gave me his number and promised to come again if I needed help tonight. The delay meant that it was too late to get the tire fixed and I will miss out on a planned ride tomorrow. If I was Bruce Banner I wouldve turned into the Hulk multiple times during the day.


On this incredibly frustrating day, I can sum up the few positives below
- The actual work done by the mechanic seems to be good, the bike is running quite smoothly now. It was really coarse before the service.
- Most folks in the SVC are dedicated. The floor manager promised he will personally look into the delivery of the tire. At the pace at which RE is going about trying to source it, half of their Bangalore staff will soon be looking into my case.
- The security guard at the SVC deserves special mention as he is actually the most interesting person there. I ended up having a very interesting discussion with him on communism and what it means in the world today.


While waiting for the mechanics to come diagnose the problem with my bike, I was sitting on the footpath, watching the world go by as I reflected on what a wasted day it turned out to be. Despite being given a commitment that the tire would be there and things would be taken care of, nothing materialized. So many people passing by were dressed in their weekend finest and threw a glance or two at the fetching Continental GT little realizing the actual heartache involved in owning such a fine piece of machinery.


RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-20151017195243-large.jpg
Road side reflections


The worst part is that while there are alternatives in the same size for the front tire, I havenít seen anything yet in the same specifications for the rear. I donít even want to start worrying about what will happen when the rear tire needs replacing. I have strongly recommended the Continental GT to many people, on this forum and outside, based on my excellent experience with the bike and after sales service. With Royal Enfieldís supply chain turning out to be its Achilles heel, I will have to sing a different tune.


If there is anyone from Royal Enfield reading this, hereís a wake-up call. You have a great product in the Continental GT. You have some really dedicated, hard working people on your rolls. But if you cant source a single tire in 6 weeks, then there are some serious supply chain problems in your system. Will every Continental GT owner have to wait for months altogether to source a tire? Why does the development team select tires from a manufacturer that isnít even willing to import them for the open market? Doesnít Royal Enfield have a single PSD in its plants in Madras that can be dispatched to a city that is just 4 hours away? Most worryingly, how can so many RE employees not know where an item is so long after it has been ordered?


If this is the state of affairs when it comes to sourcing a bike tire for the premium product in its lineup which has been on sale for some time, what lies in store for potential Himalayan owners who will have to contend with sourcing 21 inch tires that arenít even available in the market?
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Old 18th October 2015, 03:36   #240
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Default Re: RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!

IMO, one should never allow anyone to pressure wash a motorcycle.
Note, this includes any and all motorcycles.

Pressure washing is the lazy mans way of doing a 10 minute job in 2 minutes while blasting water into all of the critical areas.

This is not to say the motorcycle is not resistant to water.

It was designed to run in wet conditions and rain storms but none of these begins to approach the 250 kmph blasts of water a pressure washing can deliver.
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