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Old 12th September 2014, 16:27   #31
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@neil.jericho Fantastic write up on your buying experience. I think you did the comparison perfectly and landed up with something you actually like. But when I saw the Inazuma 250 was also in the menu, I was wondering why you didn't like it. To me even though it doesn't have the displacement of a Continental GT, its engine is silky smooth and much more refined than the GT. But hey at the end of the day, you ride what brings happiness to yourself and keeping that in mind, the GT I am sure will give you that in bucket loads. Cheers mate and enjoy your ride.
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Old 12th September 2014, 20:44   #32
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Thank you all for your feedback. Before I proceed I must mention that the eventual addition of the pillion seat and grab handle are necessitated less by my urge to make the bike look boring and more by my upcoming wedding and the fact that my fiance has zero experience with being a pillion. And so I must sacrifice that gorgeous single seat look of the Continental GT at the altar of common sense. Sigh! The sacrifices a biker has to make ..... Ok, I really hope my fiance isnt reading this, sorry honey! I was just joking!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tharian View Post
Dude, you compliment the bike perfectly.
I am wondering with my 6+ frame , when I get the Conti and ride it, probably I will end up with a slouch before I actually get one due to old age.

Also , do you think the Bangalore guys have any idea on the exhaust you were talking about? Is it a RE sold one. I rather go for that than investing on the double seat.

Yes, all this 'when' I get the bike.
Well the other day I spotted a gentleman getting on board a Hyosung GT and I must say the pose that he had to adopt made the Continental GT seem like a luxury sofa on two spoked wheels. The SVC guys mentioned that the exhaust details were present with the showroom folks and I think I have a picture somewhere of the new exhaust. I'll have to dig it up. I can confirm that it costs Rs 4k. I will get more details if I stop by one of the showrooms.

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Originally Posted by Ricci View Post
Congrats on the new wheels, Neil !
The Conti looks good on you, no wait - you look good on the Conti

From a revvy R-15 to a thumper ? Big change in riding style, how are you finding the difference.
Thanks Ricci, yes there is a change in riding style but it hasnt been all too bad really. The posture didnt take long to get used to (will post more details on this at a later date) and the acceleration is better than I expected. The weight is something of a bother or rather the realization that I need to do more exercises to be able to handle the bike easily is a bother. One thing I used to take for granted was the ever readiness of the R15; I had spent a month in the US last year and when I returned the R15 started without missing a beat. Here despite using it everyday the Continental GT takes time to get warmed up and started in the mornings.

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Originally Posted by B O V View Post
To tell you the truth I was wondering what make of helmet that was and since my net connection is as fabulous as it is,I first read the bit about the teaser picture and then the pictures started loading up.A very excited me looks up to the 2nd picture to see you hogging away all the glory

Nice to see that you're lookin at customising your ride already.Check out bikeexif too,has a lot of amazing customs.Will we see the first true custom Conti here on t-bhp?(Unless Tharian beats you to it ofcourse)

Neil,If you are ever in Cochin with your motorcycle.Lets meet up.Would love to see Ze Captiaine.
Fine! No more pictures of myself on this thread then Thanks for the link, I occasionally spend time browsing through http://www.returnofthecaferacers.com/ Drool worthy stuff indeed! I will definitely give you a heads up when I ride down to Cochin. If the 2000 km mark ends up being too frustratingly out of reach I just might do the trip sooner rather than later (assuming the state of the roads improves in the mean time).

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Originally Posted by AvinashKeezh View Post
My TB500 has a mind of it's own while shifting from 3rd to 4th. I have exactly the same thoughts... all part of the RE ownership experience
To be honest, I knew that I would not be in for a completely hassle free ownership experience and this is one of the smaller prices to pay I suppose.

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Originally Posted by tharian View Post
Saw this yellow GT today near Indiranagar KTM.

Saw the sissy bar and thought i'd post it here since it looked pretty decent and you could get one done like it.

P.S. Hope it is actually not your bike!
Muchos gracias! Exactly what I was looking for, I think I will go hunt that owner down to find out where he got it done. Eventually my bike too will look exactly like this except that the paint scheme will probably be added by then.

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Originally Posted by CoolBlueBiker View Post
Congrats Neil, Captain just looks so cool in this shade of Yellow. Just a suggestion from my side, you should get a open face helmet instead of the HJC. Throw in a vintage goggle and it completes the cafe racer look. What say ?
Thanks CoolBlueBiker, I'm way too paranoid about my safety so I would never wear an open face helmet. It would make for a great poser pic though!

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Originally Posted by sandeepmohan View Post
I doubt if there is any kind of mechanical pdi a Royal Enfield showroom would do. If the paints good and nothing appears broken, its a pass.

I would wait before opening up that gearbox. Let all the mechanical bits loosen up a bit. Everything is tight right now. You've done like <500km I guess. Even when the bike goes in for scheduled inspection, don't adjust anything unless absolutely necessary.

As a temporary solution, trying getting into neutral before the bike comes to a full stop. I have found this the easiest way on not only the old school right shift Enfields but even the new one's.
Thanks Sandeepmohan, that was what I had started doing in the end. I checked with another owner of the Continental GT but he doesnt have the gearbox issue. Let me see if the shift is too much of a bother over the next few weeks.

@ ramvenky74

I wouldnt completely agree but yes they do have some way to go on the quality front. That being said, the greatest quality check is a buyer's money so as long as bikers keep plonking down cash for RE's products, the existing levels of quality would always seem to be sufficient (by RE that is). If we all stop buying their bikes, they would be forced to up their game to world class standards.

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Originally Posted by abhinav.s View Post
Very sane advice and agree totally with this. Not just RE but it applies to most vehicles. Just hold back until you clock in more kms and then see if it is really necessary to tinker around with the gearbox. You would not want the mechanics to try something and introduce new / more complicated issues. Rather best to wait and let the mechanical bits settle down.
Thanks abhinav.s, I will have to see if the gearbox is a deal (and more importantly toe) breaker and will try to modify my style of riding.

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Originally Posted by ron_9191 View Post
@neil.jericho Fantastic write up on your buying experience. I think you did the comparison perfectly and landed up with something you actually like. But when I saw the Inazuma 250 was also in the menu, I was wondering why you didn't like it. To me even though it doesn't have the displacement of a Continental GT, its engine is silky smooth and much more refined than the GT. But hey at the end of the day, you ride what brings happiness to yourself and keeping that in mind, the GT I am sure will give you that in bucket loads. Cheers mate and enjoy your ride.
Thanks ron_9191, honestly the Inazuma made the most sense in my present state. It is adequately powerful, has a lovely engine and most importantly the pillion seat is massive. However it is a bike that I would want to buy when five years from now if I cantt afford a 600 (or my litre class keeper but shhhh dont tell my fiance) at that point in time. The word I can use to best describe the Suzuki is placid. It just doesnt stir the soul and the Continental GT, gearbox warts and all, does that in spades.

Last edited by GTO : 16th September 2014 at 15:38. Reason: Quoted post deleted
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Old 12th September 2014, 21:44   #33
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Neil, congratulations! Sacrilege for a plastic bike rider to go the metal way. I would like to know how different is the riding characteristic between this & other RE's. Though, I have heard good things about it & the RE showroom owner at my place summed it up as a race-able RE.
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Old 13th September 2014, 00:05   #34
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Congratulations on the Conti GT, Neil! Hope you enjoy it to the hilt! I test rode the Conti GT and the TB500 today at Angamaly while I was returning from a long trip with my friends. Hope you don't mind me sharing my impressions about the same.

Pros:

1) One of the most beautiful bikes made in India today. What a looker! I like the Classic 500's looks a bit more, but I might be alone on this one as my buddies who were with me strongly disagreed.

2) Quality components. Pirelli Sport Demon tires, Spoked aluminum rims, brembo brakes, Paoli shocks, aluminum fenders (or is it steel painted to look like aluminum?) and one of the best levels of fit and finish I've seen in an RE till date.

3) Classy and gorgeous instrument cluster, as I've said before.

4) Great brakes. I found that the brakes offered great feel, the right amount of bite and good stopping power. I preferred the Conti's feel and bite from its brakes than that of my CBR Std whose brakes have good stopping power when the pads reach the right temperature, but loses out on the feel which is spongy.

5) Good stock exhaust note, though not as raunchy as the off road silencer my friend's Classic 500 has.

6) Adequately compliant suspension. Not as plush as the Classic or the TB500, but good- considering the sporting intentions the Conti has.

7) I feel that the quality rubber offered great grip.

8) Used to the CBR, I didn't find the riding posture a problem. Butt goes farthest back, thighs grip the tank, slouch a bit, relax the elbows, arms and wrists, bend the elbows, let the core of the body take the weight instead of the shoulders, wrists or elbows. It worked just fine on the Conti GT. I was able to get a better grip on the tank with my thighs on the Conti GT than I was able to do so on my CBR.

Cons:

1) Handlebar. I found that making a u-turn at low speeds required more effort and space than what I was used to in my CBR. Would a steering damper solve this or is this an inherent trait due to the bike's rake?

2) Engine. It's a beefed up 535 UCE single. It requires more revs than a normal RE engine and in my experience, more than the Classic 500. The problem is that at higher revs, the vibrations start to become really unbearable. It's normal for a big single, but as the rest of the chassis and bike is well tuned for more speed, the engine now becomes the weakest link in the chain. This is in contrast to the Classic 500 whose weak link was the ageing single tubular frame which couldn't dynamically cope with the 500 engine's power and torque at high speeds. I was hesitant to push the bike further at higher speeds because of the vibrations. This chassis begs for a more contemporary engine.

3) Gearbox. When you shift beyond first gear or fifth gear, there is a stopper in the CBR which lets you know that you've reached the end of the gears. There's no such thing on the Conti which means that you'll be endlessly shifting gears. Not really an issue, but the notchiness and reluctance to go into neutral while the engine is on certainly is. Both those issues are present in my brother's Avenger as well.

4) Fueling/Fuel Injection. Far better than my friend's first gen Classic 500, but pales when compared to the superb and eerily perfect FI the CBR has. I think that all Indian fuel injected RE-s still use the open loop system, don't they? If that's true, shame on RE for doing it to a 2 lakh plus bike. I'm fairly certain I'm guessing right- the throttle response certainly feels that way.

Conclusion:

A price tag of near Rs. 210,000 OTR isn't to be sneezed at. You do get quality components and a bike that looks like absolutely nothing else on the road, but some rough edges and niggling quality issues typical for RE still remain. In isolation, it looks like a phenomenal bike, but the problem is that there are far more accomplished products in the market at this price range. This is exacerbated still by the upcoming launches of newer models by other manufacturers.

However, even though the price competitors like the Duke 390, CBR250 and Inazuma 250 may be wilder, faster (D390); more well rounded, forgiving, fuel efficient, touring friendly (CBR250), have ABS (CBR250, D390); refined, relaxed and plush (Inazuma)- there is just no substitute for sheer road presence, exclusivity, old world charm and the fact that there is nothing else like it in the whole country (save for the Triumph Thruxton, but it's in a much higher price range)- all of which the Continental GT has in spades.

That's where RE has made a master stroke (and what it does best)- creating a niche. So long as such niches exist, there are bound to be customers and with a legacy like RE's, lots of people are willing to plonk down their money for this one too. I lust for a Conti GT, but reality bites and practicality issues will make me think otherwise and be contented with what I have.

Last edited by evilmessiah : 13th September 2014 at 00:12.
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Old 13th September 2014, 10:29   #35
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Congratulations Neil on a fantastic purchase. It looks stunning in yellow.
Big thanks for the write-up. It is quite helpful specially because there is a dearth of RE Continental GT ownership threads.
Continental GT has been on my 'must-purchase' list right from the time it was launched but due to budget constraints I am holding back for now. Also, I do not want to part with my 2006 Electra - the biggest reason being that it has never let me down and has been my trusted ride for over 8 years now. So GT will hopefully be an addition to my garage.
Please do keep the thread updated. Wish you have a great experience with the Continental GT. Happy Riding!!
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Old 13th September 2014, 12:32   #36
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Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
Neil, congratulations! Sacrilege for a plastic bike rider to go the metal way. I would like to know how different is the riding characteristic between this & other RE's. Though, I have heard good things about it & the RE showroom owner at my place summed it up as a race-able RE.
If I am not wrong , the body parts painted red and the fenders are all fiber .

The original 250cc continental gt manufactured by enfield at england decades earlier also had glass fiber tank .
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Old 13th September 2014, 16:05   #37
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@basuroy, the tanks are steel and the fenders are aluminium. Only the fender extension is plastic.
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Old 13th September 2014, 22:01   #38
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Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
... The SVC guys mentioned that the exhaust details were present with the showroom folks and I think I have a picture somewhere of the new exhaust. I'll have to dig it up. I can confirm that it costs Rs 4k. I will get more details if I stop by one of the showrooms....
Is this the exhaust you saw?

http://www.ebay.in/itm/Wild-Boar-Sil...p2056016.l4276

The salesguy at the showroom where I took a TR however said that RE did not offer any other OEM exhausts for the Conti GT.

Last edited by evilmessiah : 13th September 2014 at 22:06.
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Old 13th September 2014, 23:12   #39
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@basuroy, the tanks are steel and the fenders are aluminium. Only the fender extension is plastic.
Thank you for correcting me and my apologies to the person I quoted with wrong details.
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Old 14th September 2014, 10:17   #40
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Neil Congrats on your new set of wheels. It is an absolute screamer in Yellow. I was bewitched by the looks of this sttunner when I had taken my TBTS 500 for service at the time this bike was launched.

I took 2-3 test rides on the GT. However, I did not find the riding position to be very comfortable and the gear box was not exactly easy to use. I am pushing 40 and I realised that this bike is not for me.

However, had I been 20-25 years old, GT Continental would have been the bike of choice for me.

Happy biking!!
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Old 15th September 2014, 15:37   #41
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Originally Posted by CoolBlueBiker View Post
Congrats Neil, Captain just looks so cool in this shade of Yellow. Just a suggestion from my side, you should get a open face helmet instead of the HJC. Throw in a vintage goggle and it completes the cafe racer look. What say ?
http://classicpartsltd.com - This is where I bought my goggles from. They ship international!

I use Arai's Freeway helmet with the goggles to achieve the retro cafe racer look!
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Old 15th September 2014, 19:03   #42
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Dude, massive props to this thread and to your style of writing. The Pro-Wrestling related inferences were just awesome.

As you may make out from my handle am an old time (s) mark for the business. Am seriously considering going in for the Continental and I just loved the way your thread booked the Conti to look like a real contender. A lot of Dusty finishes but the payoff was awesome .

That’s good pro ‘rasslin booking if you ask me. Rated 5 Stars.
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Old 16th September 2014, 20:22   #43
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Trepidation. That is the one word that could best describe what I felt when I stood in front of my bike after a week long vacation. Would it even start? Would I have to foot thrust - upper body push - pelvic thrust the heavy weight monster (geez imagine the embarassment, I am sure the neighbours kids would've laughed their shorts off) and pray profusely that it decides to be nice?


Turns out I need'nt have worried because it started up faster than it did in the first few days of ownership. I took a 20 km ride on Sunday and did'nt it feel great to be back in the saddle! In the last few days I seem to have sprouted a little devil somewhere within myself that rather annoyingly keeps encouraging me to forget the 60 kmph self imposed speed limit and to ride it like I stole it. Weaker men would have caved in to this pressure but my iron will somehow keeps the needle from crossing the line.


I took my bike to my mechanic today to get the IND plates put on and to get the front brake bled. He took a test ride and said that the noise from the front disc is normal (remember the amazon insect sound comes only while braking) and also confirmed that the wear and tear on the disc wasnt out of the ordinary. Apparently this sound is a 'feature' of certain other bikes as well, I think he mentioned the Bajaj Avenger. That is what the RE SVC folks said as well. In which case the gentleman at the RE showroom was wrong and since I had it in me that some niggle or the other would pop up, I guess I naturally assumed it was a real problem. Phew! That is a relief.


To address the gearbox issue, I keep a buffer zone in front when I am in stop and go traffic and and once I get the bike to move forward in first gear, I quickly shift to neutral. Sigh! All part of the RE ownership experience .....


The only other issue as such is that the left mirror still points to somewhere in the middle of heaven and earth and I have to lean forward to take a look if I want to check if there is anyone behind me on the left side (not that I can see much anyways with those shaky legged excuses of RVMs). I racked my brains and try as I might, my mind could only think of two logical explanations for this. One, it is part of REs master plan to get you to part with your hard earned money and buy the bar end mirrors that are uber cool but a bit of a pain to manage in the real world of narrow parking slots. Two, they did so much work with developing this great bike that they just got tired and gave a cursory glance to these smaller components and signed off on the Continental GT's final design. Sigh! All part of the RE ownership experience .....


While waiting at my mechanic's place, a couple of young boys were walking past and their eyes were drawn at first to an immaculate red R1 until they spotted the Captain. "Woooooow, look at that Harley!" exclaimed one of them. "It's not a Harley, it's a RE...." said the other in a tone of amazement. "Woooow" said the other again. And their smiles couldnt have been any bigger. And just like that, all was right with the world again.

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Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
Neil, congratulations! Sacrilege for a plastic bike rider to go the metal way. I would like to know how different is the riding characteristic between this & other RE's. Though, I have heard good things about it & the RE showroom owner at my place summed it up as a race-able RE.

Who would've thunk that RE would be attracting riders of light, agile and fully faired Japanese bikes? I would love to take the bike to the Madras race track once the running in is complete. I even offered to swap the bike on the track for some time with my friend who has just booked a RC 390. That reminds me, I havent heard back from him on my offer. Strange ....

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Originally Posted by evilmessiah View Post
Congratulations on the Conti GT, Neil! Hope you enjoy it to the hilt! I test rode the Conti GT and the TB500 today at Angamaly while I was returning from a long trip with my friends. Hope you don't mind me sharing my impressions about the same.

Conclusion:

A price tag of near Rs. 210,000 OTR isn't to be sneezed at. You do get quality components and a bike that looks like absolutely nothing else on the road, but some rough edges and niggling quality issues typical for RE still remain. In isolation, it looks like a phenomenal bike, but the problem is that there are far more accomplished products in the market at this price range. This is exacerbated still by the upcoming launches of newer models by other manufacturers.

However, even though the price competitors like the Duke 390, CBR250 and Inazuma 250 may be wilder, faster (D390); more well rounded, forgiving, fuel efficient, touring friendly (CBR250), have ABS (CBR250, D390); refined, relaxed and plush (Inazuma)- there is just no substitute for sheer road presence, exclusivity, old world charm and the fact that there is nothing else like it in the whole country (save for the Triumph Thruxton, but it's in a much higher price range)- all of which the Continental GT has in spades.
Thanks for your feedback mate. I didnt find the handle bar to be a problem and since I have restricted my top speeds so far, I have not been able to experience the vibrations at higher revs. Other than that I agree wholeheartedly with your views on the bike.


With regard to your views on the competition, my only grouse is that there isnt one bike in this price range that is the de facto choice for bikers. Sure, the Duke 390 has an unbeatable power to rupee trump card (and hence appeals to a large majority of enthusiasts) but I dont want to worry about cracked or broken rims each time I ride the bike. I have seen a Ninja 250 hit a regular pothole on one of the Sunday morning rides and end up with a bent rim and a bill of Rs 27,000 IIRC. One of the after market alloys I fitted on my car has weights of over 100 gms put onto it while balancing because of a bend in it, courtesy the great roads we have. Yes, not every Duke 390 has an issue with the rims, but there are enough to warrant a healthy debate and more importantly turn away customers.


The Inazuma has the trump card of comfort but its just too, dare I say it, nice for its price. The CBR 250 is a really good bike that gives you ABS as well, but I wouldnt buy it because of what I perceive to be shoddy attention to detail by Honda. I have devised my patented Pinky Test to see whether Honda's quality department matches that of RE. All you have to do is use your little finger and check the gaps between the seat and the body panels on either side of the CBR 250 (when you look at it from a right above that is). In at least 6 CBRs, I have found that my little finger does not go in on one side but does on the other. On many other CBRs, the little finger doesnt go in at all.


And yet, of all the options, I believe that the Continental GT might be the most flawed but it did more than enough to make me part with my hard earned dough. I actually love that we get to decide between great bikes that each do so many things so well, in a choice that is strongly dictated both by our hearts and our wallets.

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Originally Posted by royalbeat View Post
Congratulations Neil on a fantastic purchase. It looks stunning in yellow.
Big thanks for the write-up. It is quite helpful specially because there is a dearth of RE Continental GT ownership threads.
Continental GT has been on my 'must-purchase' list right from the time it was launched but due to budget constraints I am holding back for now. Also, I do not want to part with my 2006 Electra - the biggest reason being that it has never let me down and has been my trusted ride for over 8 years now. So GT will hopefully be an addition to my garage.
Please do keep the thread updated. Wish you have a great experience with the Continental GT. Happy Riding!!
Thanks Royalbeat, I hope your GT joins the ever faithful Electra soon and that I will be following your GT ownership thread.

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Originally Posted by evilmessiah View Post
Is this the exhaust you saw?

http://www.ebay.in/itm/Wild-Boar-Sil...p2056016.l4276

The salesguy at the showroom where I took a TR however said that RE did not offer any other OEM exhausts for the Conti GT.
I am 100% sure this wasnt it. I will try to drop into the showroom this weekend to get more details.

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Originally Posted by BikerSG View Post
http://classicpartsltd.com - This is where I bought my goggles from. They ship international!

I use Arai's Freeway helmet with the goggles to achieve the retro cafe racer look!
Looks like a million bucks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kingofkings View Post
Dude, massive props to this thread and to your style of writing. The Pro-Wrestling related inferences were just awesome.

As you may make out from my handle am an old time (s) mark for the business. Am seriously considering going in for the Continental and I just loved the way your thread booked the Conti to look like a real contender. A lot of Dusty finishes but the payoff was awesome .

That’s good pro ‘rasslin booking if you ask me. Rated 5 Stars.
Haha, your handle is a dead giveaway though Im not a big fan of his! Thanks, I was almost certainly nobody would get the little references but I threw them in anyway. I'll try adding some more for good measure going forward. From your post, your Continental GT ownership seems to be as certain as one tear inducing (it was for me, no shame in admitting it) Wrestlemania victory for the man who was once known as the American Dragon. With the Continental GT in your garage, we both know that your life will never eeeeevvvvvveeeeerr be the same ..... again (I'm betting you saw that one coming with my handle )

Last edited by neil.jericho : 16th September 2014 at 20:27. Reason: Correction
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Old 16th September 2014, 20:38   #44
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Originally Posted by evilmessiah View Post
Is this the exhaust you saw?

http://www.ebay.in/itm/Wild-Boar-Sil...p2056016.l4276

The salesguy at the showroom where I took a TR however said that RE did not offer any other OEM exhausts for the Conti GT.
Wildboar exhausts is an aftermarket fitment and I don't think RE will sell them in their showroom more so since they are free flow exhausts.

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Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
Trepidation. That is the one word that could best describe what I felt when I stood in front of my bike after a week long vacation.
Neil,

With all due respect and since your back from your vacation., We need more pictures than the two on the first page of backside of the Captain!
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Old 17th September 2014, 01:26   #45
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Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
I took my bike to my mechanic today to get the IND plates put on and to get the front brake bled. He took a test ride and said that the noise from the front disc is normal (remember the amazon insect sound comes only while braking) and also confirmed that the wear and tear on the disc wasnt out of the ordinary. Apparently this sound is a 'feature' of certain other bikes as well, I think he mentioned the Bajaj Avenger. That is what the RE SVC folks said as well. In which case the gentleman at the RE showroom was wrong and since I had it in me that some niggle or the other would pop up, I guess I naturally assumed it was a real problem. Phew! That is a relief.
I think I know what sound you're referring to. I've had that on my 220, and it went away by itself. I don't quite remember when, but I suppose it happens in fresh pads and goes away once the brake pads are run in.
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