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Old 20th September 2016, 15:44   #346
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Default Re: RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!

Originally Posted by gigatech2006 View Post
Btw, I'm undecided between the Himalayan and the CGT. I liked both, for various reasons and that's why I'm undecided.
Originally Posted by gigatech2006 View Post
So, the more I compare, the more I get confused. My daily commute is around 60kms (up & down). Can you or the members here give me some definitive points that will guide me here - planning to book one by end of September. Need to choose wisely.

Thanks in advance!
Gigatech, thank you for your words of appreciation. The Continental GT versus Himalayan discussion is one that I have had many times with so many different people and honestly there is no clear cut answer. It is easy to slot this into a typical heart (Continental GT) vs head (Himalayan) battle but there is a lot more to it than that. Some feedback on both bikes from my side.

1. If you enjoy sporty riding, the Continental GT will leave you a very happy man indeed. You dont need to ride it at it's extremes all the time to enjoy the engine's grunt, sorted handling and great grip from the Pirellis. I havent ridden a Himalayan through anything close to resembling hair pin bends but I would say its safe to assume that the Continental GT takes this round.

2. A lot of people talk about service intervals being spaced out to 10K kms on the Himalayan but personally I dont know of any engine oil that I would safely use with such long intervals. This could be a typical case of half information from my side though. The Royal Enfield service experience has been good in my case, I do know that not everyone shares my positiveness on this front. If the experience with the service centre isnt up to the mark, drop a note to their customer care and see how proactive they are in ensuring the problem is resolved to your satisfaction.

3. In terms of being a "Do It All bike", the Himalayan is the easy choice. Comfortable seating, good ground clearance, easy to navigate in traffic and deteriorating urban roads, fantastic for off roading conditions, the list goes on. The Continental GT in comparison isnt the best bike if its only for city usage. The heavy weight and committed riding position put a lot of pressure on your wrists and can take a toll on the fun factor if you are do primarily city riding in choc-a-block traffic. Yes, you can get a double seat and pillion foot pegs but the single seat is far more comfortable.

Look at your usage patterns and decide which one ticks the most boxes and hopefully tugs at your heart as well. Solely on the basis of the 60 km commute of yours, I would say that the Himalayan does seem like the straightforward choice. If you are willing to sacrifice some of that practicality for a fabulous looking bike with great components and a sweet engine, the Continental GT it is.

Do keep us updated on your buying decision.
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Old 23rd October 2016, 03:10   #347
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Default Re: RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!

It's been quite a while since I last updated this ownership thread and that's primarily because my bike was at my mechanic's place for several weeks to fix a couple of issues. Now before you go shake your head thinking "Why am I not surprised given that it's a Royal Enfield", do read on.

Despite the last KTM handlebar angle correction (which definitely made things better), I still had a niggling doubt in my mind that it was off ever so slightly. So I took it to Raymond's garage to see if it was just my mind playing tricks on me or if something was actually wrong. After removing the KTM handlebar and checking it thoroughly, he found that the bar actually wasnt perfect with the two bends in the middle certainly not matching each other. Add the slight adjustments done to the left side to set the alignment (detailed in post 341) and the end result was that when the handlebar was placed against a flat wooden board with one end falling on the board correctly, the other end stuck out by more than the width of my thumb! So it turned out that I wasnt imagining the issue after all.

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-1.jpg
One end placed flat ....

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-2.jpg
.... and the other end sticking out by more than a sore thumb!

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I wonder how such a part passed the KTM QC check! Anyways we dumped the faulty handlebar and got a new KTM one instead hoping that this would sort things out once and for all. While picking up the bike though, Raymond mentioned that there seemed to be a slight alignment issue between the tires which hinted at a potential rear swing arm bend. The new handlebar was a welcome relief and a short ride to Vijayapura the following weekend with the group of Team BHP bikers was a good opportunity for me to check for this potential wheel alignment issue that I hadn’t noticed earlier.

The location of our destination was most likely picked from one of Ajay’s wonderful blog posts (read more here - https://ajayananth.wordpress.com/201...e-2nd-edition/ ) and the dosas were in a word, heavenly! Quite probably the best dosas that I have ever had in my life. The ride also gave me a chance to get a closer look at Mashblue’s Honda CBR650F and the positive experiences that he shared on the after sales service were quite heartening to say the least. At least one manufacturer seems to be getting it right when it comes to big bikes in the Indian market. If I do upgrade to a big bike in India, the CBR650F will be a strong contender for sure and Honda’s competitors could learn a thing or two from them on how to keep customers happy.

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-5.jpg
Pictures do not do this justice

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-6.jpg
Or for that matter, this either!

Back to the Continental GT and with the new handlebar, I felt as though I was riding with a very slight left tilt to ensure it tracks on a straight line and the moment I ‘straightened up’, the bike was pulling slightly to the right. Added_Flavour who was following me on his CBR250 noticed this as well and mentioned it when we pulled over at a signal. If my memory serves me correctly, he also had said that he saw that the two wheels weren’t exactly aligned when viewed from behind. So it was back to Raymond’s garage after the ride where I shared my feedback and Added_Flavour’s observations. Raymond suggested we strip the bike and get the chassis sent to Christ the King which is the oldest and most reputed place in Bangalore for ‘fixing’ swing arm bends (or at least to the extent that it is fixable). Initially there was some delay in getting the bike sent over as one of his guys was on leave for a couple of weeks and then once the bike was back I was out of town for a couple of weeks. They confirmed that there was a slight bend in the rear swing arm which they had addressed and after assembling the bike, Raymond also said that it was back to normal.

Now for the life of me I cant figure out how my bike ended up with this rear swing arm issue, maybe it’s been there ever since my fall near a year and a half ago and I didn’t realize it till now. Maybe its just more noticeable with the higher handlebars. Maybe it got dropped in the parking lot (which doesn’t really make too much sense because the bike should have shown some other visible damage as well). Maybe transporting it to the track and back for the two track days in those trucks might have played a role. Maybe a combination of two or more of these factors. Who knows?

I was glad to collect the bike and got a little time to potter around town midweek before joining the Team BHP guys for a short ride through Sulibela, Hosapete, Vijayapura (for another round of those mouthwatering dosas), Hebbal and then back to the city. After meeting up with everyone at the ITI Gate, we set off on the short but lovely ride through mostly well tarred roads and the fresh dosas were so tasty that I just had to have two of them.

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

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-8-large.jpg

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Best. Dosas. Ever.

We also stopped to click a few pictures on the way back before hitting the main highway. The ride was scenic and the company as always was excellent. I must mention the attention that n_aditya’s Bonnie was getting all throughout the ride, the sound that his aftermarket exhaust makes had everyone turning their heads in new found rapt attention.

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-10-large.jpg
All lined up

The Continental GT was in top form – no high revving while maintaining a good pace with the suspension tiding over the few rough patches we encountered on the way. I felt as though I was leaning ever so slightly to the left and checked with unk9ja who was riding behind me on his D390 but he confirmed that everything was perfectly normal. So I guess my mind was playing tricks on me this time!

The bike still needs a proper once over of all the nuts and bolts to ensure everything is tightened just right. Also some of the wiring on the left side has done an over under of the chassis instead of getting routed below the tank so that needs to be redone. The front brakes need bleeding and seem to have lost their sharp feel. Other than that, the bike appears to be back in business and with all the tamasha of the handlebars and rear swing arm finally behind me I hope that I can complete a few more memorable rides before my annual Christmas break. The funny thing is that I did the conversion to the higher handlebar thinking that I will be doing a lot more riding this year but instead my limited usage has become even more limited since then! Funny are the ways of this world.

What better way to close than with a few pictures of a modified Continental GT from my favorite Royal Enfield showroom - Tendance Roadster.

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-11.jpg

RE Continental GT: Captain signing in!-12.jpg
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