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Old 18th January 2016, 00:37   #271
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Default Re: RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!

^^ wow! For the kind of power the GT produces these are not great FE numbers. Quite a guzzler this one is

And 11k for the PSD? What are they smoking???? Just FYI, a brand new Metzeler M5 110/17 front tyre is available for around 7500 bucks
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Old 29th January 2016, 15:42   #272
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Default 8366 kms down

What a massive difference better lighting makes to the experience of riding a bike! Raymond fitted the two 10w LEDs on either side of the headlight using clamps and with a bit of experimentation, I was able to work out the right angle for use in poorly lit city roads. The Cree LEDs work like an absolute charm and offer great illumination.

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-p1232470-large.jpg

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-p1242522-large.jpg

Installing the bar end mirrors took much longer than expected as we had a tough time getting the bar end weight and the long screw out from the right handlebar. The bike had to eventually be left overnight and the right mirror was fixed the next day. From the side, you cant really tell but when viewed from behind, the additional width is very evident. In the real world, they do provide good visibility but the smaller mirror means I have to double check as compared to earlier where a single glance was sufficient. All said and done, that's a small price to pay for upping the coolness quotient of the bike.

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-p1242541-large.jpg

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-p1242545-large.jpg

Here's a picture from last Saturday's short ride to Shoolagiri. A lot of people have mentioned that the Ceat at the front really does add to the butch character of the bike.

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-p1232499-large.jpg

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-p1242548-large.jpg
It's taken far too long to get to this number!

Mileage : I topped up at Shell on the way to our Shoolagiri ride and was a little surprised by the low figures. Distance - 159.6 kms. Petrol consumed - 6.02 litres. Mileage - 26.51 kmpl. This was with a ride to IPC with the wife which meant a steady 80 kmph ride in top gear for a majority of the 160 kms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban_Nomad View Post
Completely agree!!

The rear is begging for a secura / vertigo type rubber. Also, you can try sourcing a flat bar from the FZ and see if it fits

Dont know about the knuckle guards, but see if you can lose that rear fender ...... make it look minimalistic

Do it bud, complete the scrambler look
I have spent quite some time thinking about doing those exact changes. My main concern with the rear fender elimination is the dirt it will throw up on my better half while she is the pillion. And Im not bold enough to experiment and face the consequences

To my knowledge, there isnt a rear Ceat Secura available which is a crying shame. I spotted a couple of Dukes last week shod with offroad tires (one on Ceats and the other on MRFs) and they looked the business. If only there were those options in 18"!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban_Nomad View Post
^^ wow! For the kind of power the GT produces these are not great FE numbers. Quite a guzzler this one is

And 11k for the PSD? What are they smoking???? Just FYI, a brand new Metzeler M5 110/17 front tyre is available for around 7500 bucks
I can think of a few factors that contribute to the low mileage figures I see
1. A ham fisted right hand
2. Weight. Mine.
To be fair, other owners get better mileage figures than what I achieve.

The atrocious pricing of the Pirelli tyres is baffling. Yes, they are offer great grip but they arent worth 11.5K. Unfortunately options are limited for the few buyers of the Continental GT.
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Old 29th January 2016, 17:45   #273
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Default Re: 8366 kms down

Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
bar end mirrors .....small price to pay for upping the coolness quotient of the bike
The mirrors looks very cool. But these will be a pain when filtering through tight spaces

Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
I have spent quite some time thinking about doing those exact changes. My main concern with the rear fender elimination is the dirt it will throw up on my better half while she is the pillion
Not to dwell on this further, but if your wife does not ride pillion very often, taking the fender on / off should be a couple of screws worth of trouble. Also, this will not be a problem unless you ride through mud / slush. Regular roads should be just fine

Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
To my knowledge, there isnt a rear Ceat Secura available which is a crying shame
IIRC Ceat Vertigo sport is available in a 120 section for 18 inch wheels. Do check it out. Very similar tread pattern too

Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
The atrocious pricing of the Pirelli tyres is baffling. Yes, they are offer great grip but they arent worth 11.5K. Unfortunately options are limited for the few buyers of the Continental GT.
There is no way these should cost that much. These are bias ply sport touring tyres. Is the tyre availability that bad in Bangalore? That way, us folks in Delhi are blessed to have at least some options

Pirelli Sport Demons & Sport Dragons are available easily. We have options from Metzelers, Vee Rubber, IRC and Michelins readily available and very very reasonably priced. Ceats and MRF are aplenty too

Anyhow, make the scrambler thing happen bud. Its not gonna be too much money but the results IMO will be awe inspiring. Again, I would just do the following 3 and call it a day:

- FZ handebar for a couple of hundred bucks
- Remove rear fender
- Replace rear tyre with a Vertigo Sport, Rs 2k or therabout

All the best
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Old 29th January 2016, 18:41   #274
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Default Re: 8366 kms down

One of the main reasons that I had finally gone in for the bar end mirrors was because I wanted to take the pressure off my wrists by tilting the brake and gear levers further down. After fitting the bar end mirrors and getting the levers adjusted, I realized that the clutch lever was too far out and even with my long fingers I wasnt comfortable with the positioning. So things are back to normal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban_Nomad View Post
The mirrors looks very cool. But these will be a pain when filtering through tight spaces
Absolutely, I am not betting on how long these will survive Bangalore's chaotic traffic. On the plus side, Im riding a lot slower trying to preserve the mirrors from this cities crazy riders who like to stick as close to other riders as possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban_Nomad View Post
Not to dwell on this further, but if your wife does not ride pillion very often, taking the fender on / off should be a couple of screws worth of trouble. Also, this will not be a problem unless you ride through mud / slush. Regular roads should be just fine
You havent seen Bangalore's roads in a while, have you ? Maybe I'll try it out on a slow weekend soon.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban_Nomad View Post
IIRC Ceat Vertigo sport is available in a 120 section for 18 inch wheels. Do check it out. Very similar tread pattern too
I remember seeing the same on Snapdeal (120/80-18) and asking the Ceat showroom guy about it and he said they werent getting stock of that tire in Bangalore. Hence I went ahead with the Vertigo Zoom. On the plus side, Ceats are delightfully light on the wallet. The showroom isnt that far off so I'll stop by some time and see if they are willing to consider a buy back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban_Nomad View Post
There is no way these should cost that much. These are bias ply sport touring tyres. Is the tyre availability that bad in Bangalore? That way, us folks in Delhi are blessed to have at least some options

Pirelli Sport Demons & Sport Dragons are available easily. We have options from Metzelers, Vee Rubber, IRC and Michelins readily available and very very reasonably priced. Ceats and MRF are aplenty too
Honestly, Pirellis arent available anywhere in Bangalore. I mustve called up 8 - 10 shops and everyone said the same thing - The company isnt focussed on the India market and if and when the importer decides to bring in some stock, buyers are in luck. I remember Barcalad mentioning that Delhi had official imported Pirelli tires, too bad Bangalore isnt as lucky.

Even the soon to arrive Avons are going to be in the Rs 9 - 10K range which isnt cheap by any stretch of the imagination. Maybe Pirelli's much reported tie up with Ceat will improve things on the ground.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban_Nomad View Post
Anyhow, make the scrambler thing happen bud. Its not gonna be too much money but the results IMO will be awe inspiring.
Your post made me go back and watch this entertaining video set to music from the evergreen James Brown. This guy's bike seems to be modified perfectly.

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-cgt.jpg
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Old 29th January 2016, 22:46   #275
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Default Re: 8366 kms down

Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
I had finally gone in for the bar end mirrors
Boy-oh-Boy... I was under impression captain is on the verge to sign out. However doesn't seem so :P


[/quote] Absolutely, I am not betting on how long these will survive Bangalore's chaotic traffic. On the plus side, Im riding a lot slower trying to preserve the mirrors from this cities crazy riders who like to stick as close to other riders as possible.[/quote]

Yeah, I agree. The bar-end mirrors do look absolutely cool, but aren't very practical. I had got my bar-ends immediately after first service and since then have quiet struggled to find the exact gap that need to be maintained. I have went back temporally on regular mirrors during touring, will revert once I get it back to BLR.
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Old 30th January 2016, 12:17   #276
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Default Re: RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!

@neil.jericho

Can you share the price and source of those LEDs? and can the seller ship these across?
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Old 3rd February 2016, 13:15   #277
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Default Re: RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!

Will wonders never cease! I had gone to the Continental tyre store nearby (same one where I got the Ceats on the Continental GT) and was surprised to see Pirellis in stock. The 100/90-18 Pirelli Sport Demon front tire retails for Rs 5K+ and the stock rear for Rs 6K+. This is great news for all of the roughly 10 odd Continental GT owners in Bangalore


I was really surprised and on further enquiring I found that this is a result of the new Pirelli Ceat tie up. Also on offer are the Diablo Rosso II, Sport Dragon and Angel GT ranges though these will have to be ordered. I picked up a brochure, I will share the details in the tires thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by julyone_modi View Post
Boy-oh-Boy... I was under impression captain is on the verge to sign out. However doesn't seem so :P
Haha, the Captain sure isnt going anywhere right now. For the benefit of others, I had briefly dabbled with the idea of buying a RC390 to compliment the Continental GT or replacing the Continental GT with either a R3 or a Ninja 300. I took a test ride of the RC390 and was quite impressed by its performance but there was something that felt amiss. In terms of the Smile/Rupee factor, it is nigh unbeatable.

I had made multiple visits to Vinayak Yamaha in Domlur and the experience ensured I wasnt going to part with my money. Initially they said I need to book the bike by making a down payment of Rs 30,000 and then I could take a test ride. If I didnt like the bike, they would keep Rs 5,000 and return the rest of the amount. I walked out of there without a second thought. After I followed up with them, they agreed to take let me take an extended test ride and while I liked the smoothness and refinement, the seating position wasnt something that I immediately felt comfortable with.


After confirming that I will come again with my wife for a two up test ride, I was again left fuming as they refused to let me take the same route that I took earlier (baffling really) and said I could only ride to the first signal and back. Despite knowing that I was coming for the test ride, they made us wait for a really long time to get the bike ready and the refusal was the nail in the coffin. Once again, I walked out of there without a second thought. The Sales Lead who was absent apologized the next day and even offered to bring the bike to my home for a test ride but in the end it was too little too late.


The stories that I had been told by the KTM Indiranagar showroom regarding the Ninja 300 test ride bike are quite entertaining to say the least. On my first visit, they said it was taken to Chennai for a test ride by a magazine. On my second visit, they said, it was somewhere in Chennai and nobody was picking their calls as a result of which they didnt know where their bike was (I somehow controlled my laughter). On my third visit they said, it was on the way back but because of the Chennai floods it was stuck. On one of my visits, they said it had crashed and they were getting it repaired. Someone on xbhp mentioned that they were in fact giving out the crashed test ride bikes to potential customers. I doubt TVs finest detectives could figure out the truth about the test ride bike. At the end of each visit, they promised to get back to me to confirm when it would be available and not once did they do so. Overall, my experience with Kawasaki was the worst of the lot.


In comparison, the Royal Enfield pre purchase dealership interactions were leagues ahead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motormania View Post
@neil.jericho

Can you share the price and source of those LEDs? and can the seller ship these across?
Once again sharing the details for the benefit of everyone. I bought them from Biking Spirit in Bangalore and my experience with them was excellent. The LEDs are imported and marketed by A2Z Motorcycle Superstore, Bombay. Here is the link to A2Z's page http://a2z-motorcycle-superstore.com/products/led.aspx While I havent interacted with A2Z directly, fellow forum member arulpeem seems to have bought his new headlight from them. The details are on his thread.
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Old 6th February 2016, 00:48   #278
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Default Reflections after a 750 km weekend trip

There is nothing quite like a near 750 km weekend ride with a great bunch of responsible riders to wipe clean the slate of corporate drudgery and soul sapping monotony. Our weekend trip to Kotagiri had a mix of it all - smooth two lane highways, brief sections of bad roads, exhausting speed breaker infested stretches, drool and silly grin inducing hairpin bends, roads smoother than silk and relatively empty wide four lane highways. More than anything else, what the road trip did was hold a magnifying glass to the capabilities of the Continental GT and see how it stacked up compared to the other bikes.


So what did it do very well? For one, barely pinch the wallet
Our ride began with empty two lane highway roads that were bereft of traffic and resulted in steady high double digit speeds. I tanked up at Gundlupet and the shocking mileage was the best that I had ever achieved. Distance covered : 218.4 kms. Petrol consumed : 4.85 litres. Mileage : 45.03 kmpl which is my new personal best and one that will make people scratch their heads in wonder and question if I got my numbers wrong. I know I did think that and eventually even double checked the figures. After riding up hairpins of the most heavenly kind to Ooty and proceeding to Kotagiri on day 1, we returned via Mettupalayam and tanked up at Avinashi. Distance covered : 202.9 kms. Petrol consumed : 6.58 litres. Mileage : 30.85 kmpl which is a good figure considering how mixed my riding styles were on both days. A solo ride that consisted of a steady indicated ton on the speedo from Avinashi to Thoppur was next. Distance covered : 156 kms. Petrol consumed : 4.68 litres. Mileage : 33.33 kmpl which was a little lower than I expected. The final return stretch to Bangalore consisted of some traffic as we got closer to our destination but was a solo highway ride for half the journey. Distance covered : 154.7 kms. Petrol consumed : 5.14 litres. Mileage : 30.16 kmpl which again couldve been higher.


The overall mileage for the trip was 34.45 kmpl which given the performance on tap is a high enough number to keep owners very happy. Seriously, if you want a better consumption figure you shouldnt be looking at the Continental GT.


Secondly, took me to biking nirvana
I know I've said this before and I probably will again but without a doubt it bears repeating. The Continental GT is at its absolute best when you have a set of lovely winding roads and challenging hairpin bends in front of it. Sure, it looks like a million bucks and comes with top of the line components which you can rattle off to impress your friends if you can memorize the parts list. That's not to forget the exclusivity which is a great bonus. And if you believe the marketing spiel, you would think this bike is all about performance. However at its core, what this bike was engineered to do and does so very impressively, is corner like a legit boss.


Even with my limited cornering skills, I was able to dismiss the relatively challenging 36 hairpin bends that precede Ooty like they were nothing. I can only imagine what magic track experts could conjure up with this bike and better tires. If you do own a Continental GT and haven’t pushed it just a little through twisties, you are missing out on what really makes this bike truly special.


Now that we are on the topic, how about a track day special for Continental GT owners in your home town of Madras, Royal Enfield? I’m not asking for a one make series championship but a 2 day track special every 6 months will bring you a lot closer to the owners of your top of the line bike and get you great publicity as well. And potentially more buyers. Everything to gain and nothing to lose.

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-7.jpg

And what doesnt it do all that well? It cant run with the quicker boys.
Owning a Royal Enfield and expecting it not to have vibes would be ridiculousness bordering stupidity. Yes, the vibrations are an integral and often welcome part and parcel of owning a Royal Enfield bike. Can you live with it on a daily basis? Very easily. They do noticeably pick up once you start venturing above the triple digit mark. Keep straying further from the ton and it gets worse. Is it bad enough to warrant disqualifying the bike from your shortlist? Definitely not, mankind has seem far worse hardships than a vibrating bike that numbs your bottom at high speeds. Like I said before, its tailor made for quick Sunday morning sprints where you return from a 150 - 250 km ride with a persistent tingle and a big smile. On longer rides though, the high speed vibes can become pretty bothersome.


Honestly, I suspect there are owners out there who can ride the bike at high speeds for hundreds of kilometers without a break. Im not one of them. While the riders on CBR250s, Ninjas and Dukes can easily maintain a consistent quick pace, trying to match them is a recipe for rapid exhaustion on the Continental GT. And hence you get left behind in the pack if it is a free for all ride. Keep it at a steady indicated 90 - 100 kmph on empty roads and the bike keeps chugging along effortlessly and merrily for hours on end.

Last edited by neil.jericho : 6th February 2016 at 00:52.
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Old 17th February 2016, 17:50   #279
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Default Track day ahoy!

All this corner carving on weekends has quite frankly left me wanting for more as there is a limit to how much you can push a bike safely on deserted public roads. The only solution to cure this itch is a long pending track day with proper training provided by the experts. So based on the excellent feedback that Ive received from fellow bikers, I signed up for IndiMotard's Throttle Wide Open (T.W.O) Track School Level 1 which will be at the Kari Motor Speedway (Coimbatore) in March. Details are on their page as well as Facebook if you are interested.


In my last post I had written that Royal Enfield should look at conducting track days for Continental GT owners given how capable the bike is. Last Sunday I had dropped into the RE Brand Store to see if the Himalayan was available for a test ride and was talking to the sales guy about a potential track day when he mentioned that there was one going on in E Zone, Marthahalli right then! The way it works is that you sign up with the Brand Store and get 5 laps on the go kart track with a RE bike of your choice (you can ride your own bike or their's, its up to you). That's a really good initiative by them and Im looking forward to seeing what the Himalayan can do in such conditions.

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-p2142881-large.jpg

They also conduct frequent rides (there's one to Coorg this weekend IIRC) though I had only received an invitation to one such event last year. The guy at the store mentioned that they are active on Faceboook and asked me to track their activities on that as well. Oh and remember the PSD that Royal Enfield wasnt able to source for 3 months? They've got a whole freakin' bike up on their wall and couldnt pull down one tire!

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-p2142883-large.jpg

My one and only experience on a track was way back in 2010 when a bunch of us xbhp riders from Bangalore and Madras decided to give it a shot. Of course, excitement levels were at an all time high and the thought of improving our very limited skills through self learning had us on our toes and as I slowly pulled out of the pit lane, the adrenaline rush was truly intoxicating. My balloon was burst a few seconds later though in the very first corner (thought I was carrying reasonably good and more importantly, safe speeds) when I saw one R15 blitzkrieg past me on the inside line and another on the outside line while my jaw proceeded to unhinge itself and drop to the floor instantaneously. They were pros in full leather suits and all that but I realized my limitations as a biker (despite 8 odd years of biking up to that point) in that very first corner. True story.

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-img_3220.jpg

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-dsc02923_stitch_1920x381.jpg

Lastly, here's a picture that I clicked as I waited for our group members on Sunday morning's ride. Photography purists are probably shuddering at the end result but in my poor defense, I didnt have enough time to figure out the settings for the perfect shot before the others arrived.

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-p2142836-large.jpg
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Old 21st February 2016, 00:53   #280
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Default Tendance Roadster

Even though Im not really a social media person, I love visiting the Facebook page of French Royal Enfield dealer Tendance Roadster. I had stumbled upon them when I discovered their Vitesse (French for speed) kit which I had written about earlier and love except for the little metal piece that connects the base of tank to the base of the fairing.


Not only do they have modify bikes tastefully (check out their body of work including a very interesting teaser video of a GT based Scrambler), they also appear to be very interactive with RE owners and often share pictures from various events at their store. Oh and their photographer deserves a raise! Seriously, go check out their facebook page, its a good way to spend 15 mins of your time. I only wish some of our dealerships were equipped to handle similar customizations. With the release of the Himalayan, I fear the Continental GT will slowly get sidelined in RE stores. I sometimes feel bad for the Continental GTs brand manager, maybe the company should reach out to the few customers they have for a group discussion / feedback session. I know I have some ideas.


Anyways here are some pictures of the bikes they have worked on, the attention to detail is magnificent !

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-12671600_10153897809309176_126260148658791000_o.jpg
Aluminium tank available for 1080 Euros


RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-11251736_1042678979087357_8359841009416453137_o.jpg
Check out the bags


RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-11080508_10153206038679176_4318182850976568570_o.jpg
Matching seats and grips with lowered bars


RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-12091226_10153652637309176_4991845265956502112_o.jpg


RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-905676_10153727345979176_990563534538322219_o.jpg
Oh my! The detailing is off the charts

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-12238223_10153727346114176_4430710588257649970_o.jpg


RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-11114361_10153727346129176_942044189447672494_o.jpg


RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-11133921_10153239436874176_82275542481799768_o.jpg


RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-11895109_10153596170394176_3248809083777189155_o.jpg
Shod with Avon tires

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-11950346_10153596170694176_6431039553508160785_o.jpg
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Old 21st February 2016, 09:52   #281
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Default Re: RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!

Nice pin striping on the black one and the one in the last picture has a transparent tappet window.
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Old 21st February 2016, 16:38   #282
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Default Re: RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!

What awesome colors on the CGT!!! Drool!!!
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Old 15th March 2016, 18:06   #283
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Default T.W.O Level 1 Track weekend

I'll be honest, as the dates for the Indimotard's Throttle Wide Open (T.W.O) Level 1 weekend session drew nearer, I was starting to worry just a little bit.


So why a track day / weekend?
If you've been following this thread you will know that I love hustling the Continental GT on weekend rides. It isnít the fastest bike around but it is a lot of fun and you canít teach that. However I have had with the sense that there is more to it that I was missing out on and a track weekend with great instructors seemed to be the perfect way for me to bridge the gap. Plus for all my cornering 'prowess' (cough cough modesty cough cough), I knew I wasnít doing it right and I wanted to learn the proper way of tackling corners and becoming a better rider.


So why T.W.O's Level 1 weekend?
Simply put, they came with great recommendations from fellow bikers. I asked around and got wonderful feedback from everyone who had gone for their Level 1 sessions. Plus they were priced very reasonably and offered to transport your bike to the track and back for a fair fee.

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-cgt1-large.jpg
The Captain in action


So how does it work?
The Level 1 weekend consists of a healthy mix of theory and track time, nobody can complain that they didnít get enough time on the track. There are also parallel open sessions that are conducted. When the level one folks are in class, the track is available to the open session riders. The basic rules apply to both level 1 / 2 / 3 and open session riders Ė no taking the inside line in corners, follow the marshal flags and have fun.


So what happened over two days?
We learnt. Then we learnt some more. More importantly we unlearnt. And then we unlearnt even more. And then we learnt. And learnt some more. You get the picture.


The two days consisted of in depth theory sessions that alternated with track sessions where we put what we learnt / unlearnt to test. I canít stress enough on how important the unlearning aspects were as we tend to subconsciously pick up bad riding habits over the years. I for one, often Ďmotor-crossí the bike in corners by keeping my body upright and letting the bike do all the leaning. Admittedly not a very photogenic style of riding. Starting from the most basic of concepts, we kept learning about so many different facets of riding and cornering and bit by bit we all slowly started improving our riding around the track. After getting our throttle control in place, we started focusing on the entry, apex and exit and then moved to later entries and carrying faster exit speeds. Every time we finished a session and got out on track, we found ourselves correcting and improving our riding styles.

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-cgt3-large.jpg

For most of the riders, getting the confidence and comfort to ride around the track without brakes for two days was as big an achievement as anything else in recent memory. I was talking to a few biker friends of mine and they couldnít believe that we did two whole days of track riding without using the brakes. To me the real revelation was getting comfortable with counter steering towards the second half of day two and slowly but surely putting it to use. It was the first time I was experimenting with it and counter steering certainly helped me tackle some of the tougher corners on the Kari Speedway with ease.


So how would you rate the trainers?
Very highly indeed, I loved all of them. Anand who is part of the IndiMotard team used to race back in the day and brought his experience, wisdom and pragmatism to the sessions. Watching him on his R6 effortlessly go around the track was an eye opener on how far one has to go to achieve that level of skill. Iíve been a big fan of Shubhabrata Marmarís writing from the time he joined BSM oh so many years ago. The wonderful quartet of the ever witty Bijoy, the stuck in a time machine Srini, the forever AWOL Pablo and entertaining Shumi are my Sachin, Ganguly, Dravid and Laxman (in no particular order) of Indian automobile journalism. Shumiís sessions were always fun and yet were serious when they needed to be and learning from him was quite the experience. Oh and if you do mess up on track, he will ensure that you never ever repeat it again.

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-class-large.jpg

There were two other instructors as well, Vignesh and Daniel, both of who are alumni of the TWO sessions and were key to our learning both on and off the track. Not only did they frequently share their experiences and insights but they also kept a very close eye on all of us while we were on the track and pulled people over and gave them advice or corrected them if they spotted something wrong.


So what about the other riders?
We had a good bunch of riders. The instructors were on the track with us for most of the sessions and ran a very tight ship but even they cant be everywhere at the same time. If at all we felt anyone was riding in an unsafe way, even if it was momentarily, we were encouraged to inform the instructors about them. I found a couple of KTM riders overtaking a little late (well duh, it had to be the KTM guys cause 110% of them are unsafe, right? Just read the forums!) but otherwise the riders were a very safe and sensible bunch.


So how did the Continental GT perform?
Simply put - it did everything I expected it to. It performed well under Level 1 conditions, I am keen to see how it will behave in a Level 2 scenario.


In the ghats, it is a good bike to corner with except for the pegs that keep scraping (refer Kolli hills experience among others). On the track, I had the pegs scraping early on and thought to myself, ďHey, Im doing alright if I can get the pegs scraping so early in the weekendĒ. That was until the instructors told us that we were doing it wrong if the pegs were scraping already. Ego buster. Within the limitations of the easily scraped foot pegs though the bike was wonderful around the track.

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-cgt5-large.jpg

One of the harder lessons to master was going around the track without using the brakes or clutch in a single gear. Through certain sections and especially on the really long straight, I redlined the poor engine so many times and I really doubt Royal Enfield has stress tested the engine this much. I probably knocked off 500 kms from the engineís life span with all the throttle wringing but hey, it was well worth it.


I was running with the Pirelli Sport Demon front and the Ceat Vertigo Zoom at the back and they performed really well except for one instance where I dropped down gear at a high speed and I felt the rear just take a nervous hic up for a second. Given the two days of hard riding, thatís a pretty good report.

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-cgt-large.jpg
bhp-ian julyone_modi

Most people will say that the Continental GTís weight is what is going to spoil the fun on a track day but I think itís just a matter of getting used to it. Sure I donít think Im going to be doing knee downs on the bike but there is more to riding on a track than getting your knee guards to scape. Or so I will tell myself until I have another bike!


Itís a Royal Enfield and yes, one RE trait did make itself evident. At the beginning of day 2, I thumbed the start button and was greeted to a new found rattle and I was worried something was about to fall off with all the hard throttle wringing from the previous day. It turned out that a screw on the exhaust had become loose with all the high revving and I had to tighten it back into place.


So any track day musings?
Itís a mental game as much as it is a physical game. After we got a few supervised slow laps under our belt and were familiar with the track, we were given a few laps to get comfortable with a pace and basic lines. Lap by lap I was trying to see how much Ďsmootherí (easy on the throttle while gliding through the turn) I could go through the corners. By the end of day two, my mindset had completely changed to see how much Ďbetterí (later entry, hitting the apex, charging out through the exit) I could go through the corners.

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-cgt4-large.jpg
Charging out of the last turn onto the long straight

In many ways, track weekends are a perfect example of real life jigsaw puzzles that you didnít know you had to or even how to solve. The instructors hold the picture up for you. You look around and see if you have the pieces in front of you. Sometimes the pieces arenít obvious and you need to patiently unearth them. Keep chipping away at it though and the picture starts coming together and making sense.


There problem with such track weekends though is that they are immensely addictive. Iíve already paid a deposit for the next session in July. Any free time over the last few days has been spent researching on full leathers and full length riding boots (my current A* SMX2 are for ankle length and more suited for street use). Iím already thinking about what I can do to improve the bikeís performance Ė a new Pirelli Sport Demon at the rear and the long overdue remap from RaceDynamics come to mind. Maybe a new exhaust even? The wallet is going to lighten up a bit for sure over the next few months and I had a feeling that this was exactly what was going to happen. Is it any wonder I was worried as the dates for the track weekend drew nearer?
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Old 15th March 2016, 18:26   #284
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Default Pictures from the track weekend

The pictures below were clicked by Anis from Overdrive, Sidu Ponnappa and me.


RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-supratik-large.jpg
bhp-ian hothatchaway

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Off with their heads! And feet!!

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-_mg_4976-large.jpg
A well ridden D200

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Impressive new Apache 200

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One of the BMWs

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Triumph Daytona sighting

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More Triumph Daytonas sighted

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Getting to be a crowd now

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Big brother, little brother

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Warm up lap

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D390

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Another flying lap on the Apache 200

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The paddock

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The Aprilia RSV4 exhaust makes you weak in the knees

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Mesmerizing even when stationary

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-rc2-large.jpg
The KTMs would easily pull away from the other bikes on the long straight. Ok not this easily...

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-open-large.jpg
Final open session with the big bikes out


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Old 18th March 2016, 21:39   #285
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Default More pictures from the track weekend

Here's one last round of pictures from the track weekend.

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-12771534_1163636343656334_3588412452774322656_o.jpg
If only the scenery was this blurry while riding the bike!
RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-_mg_4697-large.jpg

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-_mg_4753-large.jpg
The mammoth Suzuki
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RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-_mg_4926-large.jpg

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-_mg_5001-large.jpg

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-_mg_5781-large.jpg

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-cbr600-large.jpg

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-img_1776-large.jpg

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-ninja-large.jpg

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-r3-large.jpg

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-rc-large.jpg

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-p3063057-large.jpg
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