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Old 21st March 2016, 23:59   #286
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With just a shade under 10,000 kms clocked in a year and a half, one would have been forgiven for thinking that I was starting to get a little bored of the Continental GT. After all I have been talking about after market exhausts, engine remaps and test riding other bikes (including the mighty Triumph Tiger) over the last few months. However, the amount of fun that I had on the bike in the last two days was probably the most since I have bought the bike and here's why.

1. Track day sessions make you a better rider. On the track and more importantly off it.
It's easy to dismiss track days / weekends as a bit of an indulgence if your usage involves commuting and the occasional weekend or long distance ride. Many knowledgeable riders will say a track day training session is necessary only if you want to persist with open track sessions or get into the fledgling competitive racing scene in India. However the lessons that you learn in a track day training session apply every bit as much to your daily rides.


Sure, many of us know to ride a bike well but when you start leveraging throttle control, engine braking, focusing on your vision and incorporating so many other lessons that you pick up, you find yourself enjoying the experience all that more. I even managed to sneak in a little counter steering in a long sweeping corner and I was grinning like a Cheshire cat. In addition to this, two days of mercilessly redlining the bike have made me lose my habit of shifting early. End result - in light city traffic conditions, the fun factor has been amplified massively! The mileage charts might complain but does it really matter?


2. Rising to the occasion
I was talking to Prashanth (incidentally his photos are the ones on the Java factory visit thread) from IndiMotard about fabricating handle bar risers for the Continental GT. IndiMotard have created risers for the KTMs (refer to theexperthand's informative D200 ownership thread for more) and I was hoping to get a set for my bike as well and while we were talking he said that they will have to fabricate them but he also mentioned that they have put KTM handlebars on a few Continental GTs and the end results had left owners very happy. I was easily convinced and gave the go ahead to get the work done after returning from the track weekend.


The KTM handlebars are at to a very comfortable level and man oh man, the change has made riding the bike such a guilty pleasure. My wrists hate me no longer. For a modest sum of Rs 3,200 including labour and KTM parts, it's like I've discovered a new comfortable side to the bike that I never knew existed. I need to get a few hundred kilometers under my belt to have a more detailed opinion but if this last weekend was any indication, I am going to love this latest modification. Purists will stare daggers through me for raising, and not dropping, the handlebars on a fine cafe racer (sacrilege I angrily hear them mutter) but its a modification that will probably be worth every rupee.

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-p3213072-large.jpg

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-p3213069-large.jpg

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Old 22nd March 2016, 00:30   #287
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A KTM handlebar on a CGT? Now, who would have imagined that?!

Shoutout to IndiMotard for being the saviour of many-a-biker with such innovative ideas and additions. Underrated chaps.

No possibility of getting the bar ends reinstalled in this setup?
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Old 22nd March 2016, 02:55   #288
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Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
) and I was hoping to get a set for my bike as well and while we were talking he said that they will have to fabricate them but he also mentioned that they have put KTM handlebars on a few Continental GTs and the end results had left owners very happy. I was easily convinced and gave the go ahead to get the work done after returning from the track weekend.


The KTM handlebars are at to a very comfortable level and man oh man, the change has made riding the bike such a guilty pleasure. My wrists hate me no longer. For a modest sum of Rs 3,200 including labour and KTM parts, it's like I've discovered a new comfortable side to the bike that I never knew existed. I need to get a few hundred kilometers under my belt to have a more detailed opinion but if this last weekend was any indication, I am going to love this latest modification. Purists will stare daggers through me for raising, and not dropping, the handlebars on a fine cafe racer (sacrilege I angrily hear them mutter) but its a modification that will probably be worth every rupee.
Neil are these standard components or custom parts? I need this if I'm going to retain the GT
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Old 23rd March 2016, 09:20   #289
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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
Neil,
I found exactly the same crack in my front tyre. On Friday morning I am leaving for Haasanur which is near Sathyamangalam and therefore I have no choice but to change it asap. I will look around for the same one you have and get it done today or latest tomorrow afternoon. I left the bike in the OMR service station and the immediate reaction was that it is a damage caused by hitting something at speed. I didn't have the time to argue with them as of now and told them that I am not looking for a freebie from them and left it at that as of now.
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Old 23rd March 2016, 15:29   #290
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Originally Posted by barcalad View Post
A KTM handlebar on a CGT? Now, who would have imagined that?!

Shoutout to IndiMotard for being the saviour of many-a-biker with such innovative ideas and additions. Underrated chaps.

No possibility of getting the bar ends reinstalled in this setup?
You're right barcalad, all credit to the top folks at IndiMotard for this well executed modification. I need to take a call on whether or not to add the KTM knuckle guards (after painting them black) before adding bar end weights. I assume you are referring to bar end mirrors in your post. Honestly, it was a bit of a failed experiment as people used to invariably fidget with it whenever I left the bike parked. Uber cool? Yes. Practical. No.

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Originally Posted by amitc7 View Post
Neil are these standard components or custom parts? I need this if I'm going to retain the GT
These are standard parts that are bought from the KTM SVC. The Indimotard team did mention they had to mildly modify a part, I dont remember which one exactly.

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Originally Posted by arulpeem View Post
Neil,
I found exactly the same crack in my front tyre. On Friday morning I am leaving for Haasanur which is near Sathyamangalam and therefore I have no choice but to change it asap. I will look around for the same one you have and get it done today or latest tomorrow afternoon. I left the bike in the OMR service station and the immediate reaction was that it is a damage caused by hitting something at speed. I didn't have the time to argue with them as of now and told them that I am not looking for a freebie from them and left it at that as of now.
That's terrible news, arulpeem. I was hoping that other Continental GT owners didnt have to experience the tire woes that I did but seeing the exact same issue repeating is a bit concerning. How many kilometers have you covered on your bike overall? The Ceat I am using at the front is a very good tire for regular usage, no doubt and it should be easily available. Do keep an eye out on your rear tire.


In the last 15 + years, I havent heard of or seen any model of motorcycle tires developing such cracks, time will tell if the Pirelli Sport Demons are meant for Indian conditions or if they are too soft. I was planning on shifting back to the Ceat now that my track day is done but after hearing about your experience, I think I will run with the PSDs to see how they hold up.
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Old 23rd March 2016, 16:01   #291
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Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post

In the last 15 + years, I havent heard of or seen any model of motorcycle tires developing such cracks, time will tell if the Pirelli Sport Demons are meant for Indian conditions or if they are too soft. I was planning on shifting back to the Ceat now that my track day is done but after hearing about your experience, I think I will run with the PSDs to see how they hold up.
Cracks are generally not attributed to the compound. Soft tyres wear out quicky and/or are more vulnerable to punctures, but surely not cracks.

IMO, these cracks are a result of premature aging (manufacturing defect?) or Pirelli has supplied old tyres to RE. Maybe, checking the manufacturing date on these tyres will help narrow it down.
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Old 23rd March 2016, 16:55   #292
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Originally Posted by Added_flavor View Post
Cracks are generally not attributed to the compound. Soft tyres wear out quicky and/or are more vulnerable to punctures, but surely not cracks.

IMO, these cracks are a result of premature aging (manufacturing defect?) or Pirelli has supplied old tyres to RE. Maybe, checking the manufacturing date on these tyres will help narrow it down.
Thanks AF, I wasnt aware of that. Every tire dealer in Bangalore that I spoke to claimed that the soft compound nature of the PSDs was responsible for the cracks so early in the life of the tire so I believed it was cause and effect.
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Old 23rd March 2016, 23:07   #293
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Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
The KTM handlebars are at to a very comfortable level and man oh man, the change has made riding the bike such a guilty pleasure. My wrists hate me no longer. For a modest sum of Rs 3,200 including labour and KTM parts, it's like I've discovered a new comfortable side to the bike that I never knew existed. I need to get a few hundred kilometers under my belt to have a more detailed opinion but if this last weekend was any indication, I am going to love this latest modification. Purists will stare daggers through me for raising, and not dropping, the handlebars on a fine cafe racer (sacrilege I angrily hear them mutter) but its a modification that will probably be worth every rupee.
This is interesting, have been thinking about this after I saw a video on youtube.

What happens to the warranty in this case? RE seems to be very good with warranties, I just got the battery box replaced without much fuss, have another year of warranty remaining.
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Old 24th March 2016, 00:31   #294
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Usually, "wear items" like tyres are not covered by the motorcycle makers warranty.

The tyre maker's warranty (if one exists) would be responsible.
These typically only would cover product defects and in the case of a crack like I see, it may be difficult to prove it was not caused by some sort of debris on the road.

I might add, hard things crack. Soft things usually don't so with a soft rubber compound like a sport tyre uses I would expect to see rapid wear but I would not expect to see cracks.
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Old 24th March 2016, 01:30   #295
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Agree with you on this Jim, hard tyres crack, soft compounds wear out.

A tyre would crack like that due to impact or old 'age', where the rubber compound literally 'dries' up.

Have seen that happen on one of my old cars that I had stored for over a decade.
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Old 25th March 2016, 14:54   #296
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A forum member had asked me about the reach factor with the new KTM handlebars so I have attached a few pictures to highlight the differences. I should also mention that on the track, the stock handlebars were just about perfect and I was very comfortable.


RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-img_7993-large.jpg
Stock handlebars : Notice how you have to reach out for the classic cafe racer posture

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-p1242545-large.jpg
Stock handlebars : Notice the height & how it angles downwards

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-p7157767-large.jpg
Stock handlebars : Side View

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-p3213071-large.jpg
New handlebars : Side View, notice how the height and reach have changed

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-p3213069-large.jpg
New handlebars : Front Side View, height increase is evident in this

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What happens to the warranty in this case? RE seems to be very good with warranties, I just got the battery box replaced without much fuss, have another year of warranty remaining.
You bring up an interesting point, sumithb. I dont foresee any challenges with warranty claims with such a modification and from what I hear RE has been pretty supportive of justified owner's claims in several cases. Incidentally, what was the warranty period offered to you? I couldnt recall exactly so I went back and checked the owners manual where they state (page 81) "RE will replace or repair defective part / parts at their Authorised Dealer / Service Point, free of charge within a period of 12 months from the date of sale (date of Installation) or 10,000 kms whichever occurs earlier."

Since I have crossed 12 months a while back, I didnt worry about the warranty.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArizonaJim View Post
Usually, "wear items" like tyres are not covered by the motorcycle makers warranty.

The tyre maker's warranty (if one exists) would be responsible.
These typically only would cover product defects and in the case of a crack like I see, it may be difficult to prove it was not caused by some sort of debris on the road.

I might add, hard things crack. Soft things usually don't so with a soft rubber compound like a sport tyre uses I would expect to see rapid wear but I would not expect to see cracks.
Thanks ArizonaJim, the warranty section of the owners manual also states "Claims on proprietary items like tyres, tubes, spark plug, battery etc. should be taken up with respective manufacturer or their authorised agents in the area directly by customer. RE shall not be liable in any manner to replace them though their Dealers will provide assistance in preferring such claims on their manufacturer."

The challenge for Indian customers is that until recently Pirelli didnt have a strong presence in India. They were imported and distributed without too much local presence as compared to say Michelin. Even the Pirelli distributor admitted that if I filed a warranty claim and they approved it (a big IF in Indian conditions), he could not confirm when I would get the replacement tire as availability was very suspect.

Things should hopefully improve now that Pirelli has tied up with Ceat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amitc7 View Post
Agree with you on this Jim, hard tyres crack, soft compounds wear out.

A tyre would crack like that due to impact or old 'age', where the rubber compound literally 'dries' up.

Have seen that happen on one of my old cars that I had stored for over a decade.
Thanks amitc7, I dug up a picture that I clicked when I was getting it replaced with the Ceat tire. The manufacturing date is the 30th week of 2013 and I purchased the bike in September 2014 while the unwelcome cracks came up in September 2015. That translates to a total tire life of 2 years with only 12 months of actual usage. I hope arulpeem has the details of his front tire as a point of reference.

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-pa199184-large.jpg
Manufacturing Date Details

Last edited by neil.jericho : 25th March 2016 at 14:56.
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Old 26th March 2016, 20:00   #297
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Incidentally, what was the warranty period offered to you?
I have 2 years, 20K warranty. I'll check at the workshop what they have to say about modifications like this vis-a-vis warranty.
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Old 31st March 2016, 10:31   #298
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Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
The KTM handlebars are at to a very comfortable level and man oh man, the change has made riding the bike such a guilty pleasure. My wrists hate me no longer. For a modest sum of Rs 3,200 including labour and KTM parts, it's like I've discovered a new comfortable side to the bike that I never knew existed. I need to get a few hundred kilometers under my belt to have a more detailed opinion but if this last weekend was any indication, I am going to love this latest modification. Purists will stare daggers through me for raising, and not dropping, the handlebars on a fine cafe racer (sacrilege I angrily hear them mutter) but its a modification that will probably be worth every rupee.
First thing that I did on my GT as soon as I bought it is, replaced the clip-ons with KTM handlebar. reason for choosing KTM handlebars was, because it goes well with aluminium finish overall, does not look like after market job and and handlebar height is just apt, anything taller would look odd on GT, have seen on other GTs. I immediately felt at home with this alteration, and recently came back from 1000kms+ long ride, no wonder GT is really becoming touring friendly with these changes. Neil i have also installed stock chrome bar end vibration dampener.

Next job I am targeting is, bringing the foot pegs in front, by 6 inches or so.

BTW what does GT stand for, is it Grand Tourismo?

Cheers,

Throttleking

Last edited by throttleking : 31st March 2016 at 10:45.
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Old 2nd April 2016, 12:17   #299
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Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
A forum member had asked me about the reach factor with the new KTM handlebars so I have attached a few pictures to highlight the differences.
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First thing that I did on my GT as soon as I bought it is, replaced the clip-ons with KTM handlebar.
Where did you guys source the required parts from? And what all was need?
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Old 2nd April 2016, 16:04   #300
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Good looking Handlebar, I am sure it would be a lot easy and relaxed on the wrist and palms.
My only question is if one wants to modify the handlebar will the new Himalayan handlebar not suit it better? now that there is a one available in the RE family with the similar Aluminium finish with a straight and relaxed stance
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