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Old 12th February 2019, 09:19   #496
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Default Short ride to Mararikulam beach

On my ride to Allepey in mid January, I had noticed a signboard that pointed to the Mararikulam beach and though I had never heard of this beach in my life, for some reason it caught my fancy and I made a mental note to explore this at a later date. My assumption was that I would have to take the same NH66 highway route which does offer some thrills, though not always of the pleasant kind as it is in the form of wild overtaking crazies, and the road is laced with speed cameras. So I was quite happy to see that everyone's favourite maps application showed me an alternative route through a state highway (SH66) past the coast (it essentially ran parallel to the NH66) that would take me all the way to the beach instead.


The SH66 was in great condition and it essentially cut through a part of the state that I havent explored. Since I was on a solo ride and in no real hurry, I stopped often to just soak in the beauty of coastal Kerala and take in the lovely smell of the sea. The traffic was light and nobody was driving / riding rashly at breakneck speeds either so I was able to hold a steady 65-70 kmph through those good roads.

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (25,000 Km and 5 years)-20190201_145701_hdr-large.jpg

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (25,000 Km and 5 years)-20190201_152040_hdr-large.jpg

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (25,000 Km and 5 years)-20190201_155837_hdr-large.jpg

As for the beach itself, it is spectacularly beautiful. Isnt it amazing how these hidden little gems are often more beautiful that the more famed ones nearby.

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (25,000 Km and 5 years)-20190201_163757_hdr-large.jpg

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (25,000 Km and 5 years)-20190201_164644_hdr-large.jpg
Well worth a visit if you are in this part of the world

I could share another 5 pictures and still not be able to do justice to the beauty of the beach. The only issue is there aren't enough cafes or resorts nearby by for the discerning tourist but hey, in my eyes that a good thing indeed as the place retains its authentic charm.

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (25,000 Km and 5 years)-20190201_174508_hdr-large.jpg
One last image


Anyways, the ride wasnt without a final unexpected (and I do mean really unexpected) twist in the tale. More on that in the next update.

Last edited by neil.jericho : 12th February 2019 at 09:21.
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Old 13th February 2019, 09:29   #497
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Default re: Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (25,000 Km and 5 years)

As you point out, often the older, less traveled back roads are much more enjoyable and scenic than the more popular highways used by the majority of the travelers.

The slower speeds often traveled on these "back roads" do allow the rider to see more intimately the scenic beauty that is often totally missed when riding the faster, more direct routes.

Although the destination provides the reason for taking many long distance rides, it is the journey and the places between the start and the finish that makes trips like this truly memorable.
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Old 14th February 2019, 09:31   #498
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Default Rear view mirror snaps off while on a ride!

Well, well, well. I'm not really sure if readers are going to believe me when they read this (I certainly wouldnt if the roles were reversed and I was reading about it!!) but fortunately the action camera on my helmet was on when this happened and I have created a short video about what happened.

Now on my way back from Mararikulam beach, I was happily pottering along at a steady speed when I suddenly felt the right side RVM shake and then to my amazement it just fell off. I was bewildered and pulled over to the side and collected the offending part.

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (25,000 Km and 5 years)-20190201_171259_hdr-large.jpg

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (25,000 Km and 5 years)-20190201_171307_hdr-large.jpg
Double sigh!

As you can see from the photographs, it had actually snapped off and fallen. Now this happened quite some time after I started my return journey from Mararikulam beach so I dont suspect any foul play. I believe the cause of the snapping could just be metal fatigue from the 23,500 kms of vibrations errr I mean character that the Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 possesses.


Anyways, this is the first time that Im hearing of / experiencing something like this so I'll be interested to learn from fellow forum members on what could have caused this. Fortunately for me, I was wearing my Royal Enfield jacket which has a big pocket on the back (think of it as a reverse kangaroo pouch / pocket) in which I could keep the mirror. Given the amount of police checking going on these days, I could at least pull out the mirror on the return journey and try and explain why I shouldnt be fined, to them. Sigh! All part of the Royal Enfield ownership experience.


Anyways St Mary's Motors in Cochin had the RVMs in stock (you can only buy them as a set) and were kind enough to remove the broken part and replace it for me free of cost. I guess I'll change the left side one as well just to be on the safer side.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArizonaJim View Post
As you point out, often the older, less traveled back roads are much more enjoyable and scenic than the more popular highways used by the majority of the travelers.

The slower speeds often traveled on these "back roads" do allow the rider to see more intimately the scenic beauty that is often totally missed when riding the faster, more direct routes.

Although the destination provides the reason for taking many long distance rides, it is the journey and the places between the start and the finish that makes trips like this truly memorable.
I couldnt have put it any better myself.
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Old 14th February 2019, 12:00   #499
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Default Re: Rear view mirror snaps off while on a ride!

Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
Anyways, this is the first time that Im hearing of / experiencing something like this so I'll be interested to learn from fellow forum members on what could have caused this.
Hey Neil,

I own a RE CL350 which is 4.5+ years old now. At around 3 years mark, I found the stock left mirror cracked at the tilt/swivel adjust joint. I took it off and decided to put the black avenger street mirrors set, the trapezoid ones. Got them from a Genuine Bajaj spares store.

Within months the left hand side mirror broke off the same way as yours. But mine was even funny! I was standstill at a traffic signal and observed the lights from vehicles behind dipping, for a moment I was happy with the effectiveness of low beams. As I reached out to adjust the RVM it came off in my hand!

I went back to the shop and bought another LHS RVM. Within months the RHS (from the original set) broke off! I was like what the hell. I pulled out my stock round RVM and was riding BMW! You can see the picture, one round (chrome) and one trapezoid (black)
Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (25,000 Km and 5 years)-bulletrvm.jpg

Recently the LHS black RVM also broke and fell down at crawling speeds. I concluded that Bajaj RVMs can't withstand the RE vibrations.

Ride safe,
surjaonwheelz
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Old 14th February 2019, 22:11   #500
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Default Re: Rear view mirror snaps off while on a ride!

Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
Well, well, well. I'm not really sure if readers are going to believe me when they read this (I certainly wouldnt if the roles were reversed and I was reading about it!!) but fortunately the action camera on my helmet was on when this happened and I have created a short video about what happened.
Have experienced this quite a few times on our old Kiney, though luckily at low speeds, this is more prominent on pushrod's for the obvious reasons.

A similar issue is the mirrors coming loose when riding hard, have experienced this way more times than ideal when going for the RTR Mirrors, when using heavier mirrors they tend to unscrew themselves when riding hard through rough terrain.

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (25,000 Km and 5 years)-mirror-loose.png

A snap from a video taken of me re-tightening the mirrors during an extended ride.

A permanent fix I'd opted for was to go with mirrors that are lighter at the top i.e Bajaj Pulsar Mirrors, they don't readjust themselves or come loose when riding hard and they lack the deadly blind-spot which plagues the RTR Mirrors due to their design, ironically the RTR Mirrors are regarded as one of the better RVM's available on Indian motorcycles, which I guess shows the degree of how much of an afterthought RVM's are on our motorcycles.

As for cost and availability they're available individually at 175/- per piece, that is the Pulsar mirrors, RTR ones cost 195 per piece, which is still cheap considering Hero mirrors cost 255/- a piece and offer no value when it comes to visibility, not to mention vibrations, buzzing noise and the shyness(moving inwards) when riding at speed.

With the time and money I've spent experimenting with various RVM's over the years I did consider starting a thread for the same a while ago, but dropped the idea for some reason.

Quote:
Fortunately for me, I was wearing my Royal Enfield jacket
On a lighter note circa 2012 when 'Bunty Chor' was the talk of the town, a fellow enthusiast who was geared at the time stopped to ask a lady for directions, the lady freaked out and the guy ended up having to take his gear off to prove that he was harmless.

Last edited by ashwinprakas : 14th February 2019 at 22:15.
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Old 15th February 2019, 18:54   #501
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Default Rear view mirror set replaced

For the few kilometers that I rode without one rear view mirror, I just felt so unsafe and to some extent uncomfortable as I could not properly keep track of vehicles coming up behind me. Im so used to looking at the RVMs (definitely far more than I need to but hey) all the time that I cannot fathom how some manufacturers sometimes pay so little attention to such a small but crucial element of the bike by designing small / useless / easy to move around mirrors. It's not like the GT 535's mirrors are flag bearers in this regard but once the screws at the back are tightened properly, they do provide a good field of vision.


Anyways here are the part details of the rear view mirror set for the Continental GT 535. As I mentioned earlier, you can only purchase them as a set. Initially I was wondering what I would do with the left side mirror but given TBHPian surajonwheelz's experiences, I wouldnt be surprised if the left one follows suit and says goodbye within no time.

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RE Continental GT 535 RVM part details

One small issue which has been annoying me for a while now is the centre stand. It's easy to get it onto the stand but it becoming terribly difficult to get it off the centre stand. If I am sitting on the bike while its on the centre stand or if Im standing beside it, there is some extra effort in getting the bike to pivot off the stand. Now to start the motorcycle I need to kick start it these days but the bike tends to slide forward when I'm trying to get it off the stand. Now this could be most embarrassing for other owners. Fortunately my GT 535 has built sufficient character in me over the years so I am left unfazed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by surjaonwheelz View Post
Hey Neil,

I own a RE CL350 which is 4.5+ years old now. At around 3 years mark, I found the stock left mirror cracked at the tilt/swivel adjust joint. I took it off and decided to put the black avenger street mirrors set, the trapezoid ones. Got them from a Genuine Bajaj spares store.

Within months the left hand side mirror broke off the same way as yours. But mine was even funny! I was standstill at a traffic signal and observed the lights from vehicles behind dipping, for a moment I was happy with the effectiveness of low beams. As I reached out to adjust the RVM it came off in my hand!

I went back to the shop and bought another LHS RVM. Within months the RHS (from the original set) broke off! I was like what the hell. I pulled out my stock round RVM and was riding BMW! You can see the picture, one round (chrome) and one trapezoid (black)
Attachment 1848441
The low beam effectiveness scenario had me laughing to be honest! When I posted on the RVM snapping off, I thought I would hear feedback that this is a such a rare scenario etc. But reading your post, I think its a rite of passage and only a matter of time before it happens to Royal Enfield owners.


Also seeing as you have gone through so many such experiences in your bike which is the same vintage as mine, I can safely say your motorcycle has a lot more errr character than mine

Quote:
Originally Posted by surjaonwheelz View Post
Recently the LHS black RVM also broke and fell down at crawling speeds. I concluded that Bajaj RVMs can't withstand the RE vibrations.
It looks like not enough character was engineered into the Bajaj RVMs, hence the Avenger mirrors couldnt stand the Royal Enfield vibrations errr character test (I say this in jest!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwinprakas View Post
A similar issue is the mirrors coming loose when riding hard, have experienced this way more times than ideal when going for the RTR Mirrors, when using heavier mirrors they tend to unscrew themselves when riding hard through rough terrain.
I think I saw on the other biking forum that several Duke 390 owners have gone in for Apache RTR mirrors and were quite happy with them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwinprakas View Post
As for cost and availability they're available individually at 175/- per piece, that is the Pulsar mirrors, RTR ones cost 195 per piece, which is still cheap considering Hero mirrors cost 255/- a piece and offer no value when it comes to visibility, not to mention vibrations, buzzing noise and the shyness(moving inwards) when riding at speed.

With the time and money I've spent experimenting with various RVM's over the years I did consider starting a thread for the same a while ago, but dropped the idea for some reason.
Honestly it would be very helpful indeed. I dont know if you would have photographs for the same now but definitely it would be best for readers to learn from proven experiments than trusting the word of a local FNG who warns you of a 50% success rate.
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Old 15th February 2019, 19:36   #502
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Default Re: Rear view mirror set replaced

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Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
I think I saw on the other biking forum that several Duke 390 owners have gone in for Apache RTR mirrors and were quite happy with them.
RTR used to be the Go-To mirrors for everyone, I recall someone telling me the following when asking about RTR mirrors;

"Man! They're so wide if you look hard enough you can see your past!"

But the problem I've faced is that the design in favor of aesthetics tappers off leaving a huge blind-spot that misses certain vehicles that overtake you from an angle. This was not obvious until I was just about to switch lanes and a KSRTC bus overtook me with only a few mm's to spare.

This happened during 2017 xBhp Kerala G2G while returning on the MC Road, a fellow enthusiast even asked me if I missed to check my RVM's before shifting lanes. When the honest truth was that my RVM's(RTR) completely missed the Bus.

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (25,000 Km and 5 years)-mirror.jpg

Just snapped this picture now comparing RTR to Pulsar mirrors, if you observe the outer end you'll notice where the RTR mirror tappers off missing out a huge chunk of whats coming up behind you.

P.S. The rubber sheath is of the Duke Mirrors, they fit well on the RTR mirrors, I had used Duke mirrors as well a while ago, aggressively priced at Rs.375/piece, they would crack if you sneeze in the near vicinity.

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (25,000 Km and 5 years)-img_20170907_075453.jpg

Quote:
Honestly it would be very helpful indeed. I dont know if you would have photographs for the same now but definitely it would be best for readers to learn from proven experiments than trusting the word of a local FNG who warns you of a 50% success rate.
Pictures is the issue, I seldom snap pictures hence why you see me cycling and resizing pictures from old rides when pointing out a case.

And fact is being price conscious I never intended to go past the first pair of Mirrors I got from Hero, but after many false recommendations I ended up using mirrors from almost all manufacturers on both motorcycles I own before finalizing on the Pulsar mirrors, which I've installed on both motorcycles.

From what I've experienced, when visibility is the primary concern there aren't many that can compete with the Bajaj Pulsar mirrors, them being reasonably priced and light weight are just added advantages.

Last edited by ashwinprakas : 15th February 2019 at 19:47.
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Old 21st February 2019, 22:36   #503
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Default Re: Royal Enfield online store - poor experience

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Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
A most useful post indeed! Have you experimented with the Bajaj Avenger mirrors? They seem to be pretty big and I assume provide a good field of vision as well.
Haven't used them on my motorcycles because Rs.650/- for a pair is just unreasonable by any means, especially considering that visibility isn't at par with even commuter mirrors seen on some motorcycles.

Though they're manageable on the new Avenger Cruise 220 which I got to ride through the Karunagapally Coastal Route, point to note is that even with the Cruise's raised handle-bars the mirrors didn't offer a better view than what the Hero mirrors offered, maybe even less.

And this was while riding through rural roads, a strict NO for me on the highways as I'm of a wider build and at a usable angle the mirror covers a good portion of me, which was the main reason I scrapped the fairing mounted mirrors on the P220 which sent me on a RVM frenzy to begin with.

Though in its favor, the Avenger mirrors can be rotated 90 Degrees to sit horizontally, but I personally see no gain in this as I've hated the Horizontal mirrors available on the earlier gen Wagon R way before I got into motorcycles.
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Old 22nd February 2019, 18:54   #504
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Default Re: Royal Enfield online store - poor experience

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Originally Posted by sanjaykk View Post
Similar experience here. I ordered a belt from their online store on 25th Jan. The order confirmation page did say something like 'due to ongoing transport strike, there could be delays.'

There was no information about shipping details after many days. Followed up with customer care through email and the toll-free number; Their email response said 'Your order has been delayed due to an unexpected surge in orders during the sale period.'

Finally, the item was delivered on 19th Feb.

The belt is of good quality though.
Thanks for sharing your experience sanjaykk, I cant believe that they took more than 3 weeks to deliver a belt! Your post further reinforced my decision to cancel my order today. Since its the 10th / 11th day since I placed my order and there still was no sign of it, I called up the Royal Enfield helpline and requested for the order cancellation. Now I need to wait for 24 working hours i.e. 3 working days for the Gear Support team to call me to confirm my cancellation. Only then they will process my cancellation request. Meanwhile, I havent seen any email response from RE to my emails from yesterday. To top things off, they dont work on Saturday or Sunday, so I need to see if they decide to reply to my emails on Monday. Next time I'll stick to buying shirts on discount from the physical stores itself. This is one Royal Enfield lesson that I've learnt the hard way.

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Originally Posted by ashwinprakas View Post
Though in its favor, the Avenger mirrors can be rotated 90 Degrees to sit horizontally, but I personally see no gain in this as I've hated the Horizontal mirrors available on the earlier gen Wagon R way before I got into motorcycles.
Horizontal mirrors would mean a wider field of vision assuming they can be set to the correct angle, correct? Or am I missing something? Im fine with the ugliness as long as the utility factor is high.
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Old 22nd February 2019, 21:16   #505
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Default Re: A warm welcome to 2019 and an unexpected guest!

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Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post


[b][center]Attachment 1836145
Rust!

After reading on your rust issue I thought I would add something from my experience of owning an elephant

Do what ever it is needed to protect a part that came stock with the motorcycle. Ask me why ? Because the replacement spares we get, even though adorned with RE holograms - are horrible in terms of quality. (Ever thought why the stock chain and sprocket set lasted longer than the replacements ?)

So when my exhaust pipes started to rust and blacken at the bend, I used high temperature spray paint to preserve the part.

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (25,000 Km and 5 years)-tbhp.jpg

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (25,000 Km and 5 years)-tbhp1.jpg

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (25,000 Km and 5 years)-tbhp2.jpg

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (25,000 Km and 5 years)-tbhp3.jpg

Although it looks less vibrant than chrome, it will certainly help you with the rust issue. Just prepare the part and follow the instructions in the spray paint can carefully.

In addition to that, post spray painting (preferably after being dismantled from the motorcycle), carefully bake the bend pipe with a hot air gun.

After installation and starting up of the engine, the paint may smoke a bit, which may tempt you to jump for a fire extinguisher - but that is absolutely normal

Last edited by adrian : 22nd February 2019 at 21:22.
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Old 22nd February 2019, 22:06   #506
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Default Re: Royal Enfield online store - poor experience

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Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
Horizontal mirrors would mean a wider field of vision assuming they can be set to the correct angle, correct? Or am I missing something? Im fine with the ugliness as long as the utility factor is high.
That is what the owners swear by, but that didn't work well for my build since I'm wider.

If interested I'd still suggest you try them on an Avenger at least before investing the greens, because if your shoulders come in the way then I doubt it would do you any good.
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Old 25th February 2019, 14:20   #507
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Default Update - cancelled the order from the online store !

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Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
Since its the 10th / 11th day since I placed my order and there still was no sign of it, I called up the Royal Enfield helpline and requested for the order cancellation.
I dropped an email to Royal Enfield shortly after the call where I cancelled my order. Surprisingly they replied within an hour and confirmed that my order was cancelled and the amount would be credited to my account within 3 - 4 business days. It looks as though the team in charge of their cancellation process is a lot more efficient than the team in charge of their order delivery process!


I then ordered two Royal Enfield t-shirts from Amazon on Saturday to be given as gifts and they have been dispatched already.

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Originally Posted by adrian View Post
Although it looks less vibrant than chrome, it will certainly help you with the rust issue. Just prepare the part and follow the instructions in the spray paint can carefully.
This is most helpful indeed Adrian, I had this thought at the back of my head but didnt know how it would turn out. I will definitely be doing this later in the year.

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Originally Posted by ashwinprakas View Post
If interested I'd still suggest you try them on an Avenger at least before investing the greens, because if your shoulders come in the way then I doubt it would do you any good.
Let me see if any of the existing GT owners have tried it out already.
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Old 10th March 2019, 14:06   #508
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Default re: Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (25,000 Km and 5 years)

Just a FYI;

Quote:
FZ-16 and CGT fork oil seals are exact same. Manufactured by ARS-HTA. Yamaha part costs 250 and RE part 315.
Info Courtesy: deville_56 @ xBhp
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Old 15th March 2019, 10:11   #509
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Default Re: Rear suspension trouble

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Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
Its unfortunate to hear that your bike also faced the same issue Arulpeem. The Continental GT WhatsApp group has quite a few owners who have experienced this issue after a few years of usage. So its not a one off situation for sure. That said, a new set doesn't cost Rs 6,000. The rear suspension on one side costs around that much so if you decide to replace both at the same time (that's what is recommended by experts) it will set you back around Rs 12,000.
You can add one more to the list, though on a different bike. I had the Paioli Conti GT 535 shocks running on my Triumph Bonnie since last 3 years and 12500km. Had installed this to get a bit more GC for the bike. Last week, I was dismayed to see some oil on the right side shock. I prayed it was an overspray of chain lube or something, so wiped it clean and ran for a day and the oil leak was again there though the left side was dry. I guess it is bust and I don't want to take any chances of trying to repair it. I plan to switch back to my stock shocks tomorrow (which are hardly used as I changed to Paioli in couple of months of buying the Bonnie). The quasi - Ohlins look will be gone soon
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Old 15th March 2019, 14:36   #510
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Default Re: Rear suspension trouble

I wasnt riding for a few weeks as I was busy with work and given my problems with the battery, I suspected that it would have given up its dying breath while the bike was parked away in its corner. To my genuine surprise, the bike started after 2 - 3 kicks and was running fine. My car is in the Honda workshop to get some damages to a door repaired (a lunatic in a Hyundai Creta driving on the wrong side of the road came and hit my stationary car) and so Ill be using the Continental GT 535 a lot more for local errands. A bike like the Continental GT 535 needs some regular usage and isnt a fill it, shut it, forget it type of motorcycle. Unfortunately, it looks as though this year's summer is going to be a really hot one and that is not really conducive to a lot of weekend riding. So I'll have to curtail my day long ride plans and look for places a lot nearer instead.

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (25,000 Km and 5 years)-20190310_190246_hdr-large.jpg
Just lovely!
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Originally Posted by dinu2506 View Post
You can add one more to the list, though on a different bike. I had the Paioli Conti GT 535 shocks running on my Triumph Bonnie since last 3 years and 12500km. Had installed this to get a bit more GC for the bike. Last week, I was dismayed to see some oil on the right side shock. I prayed it was an overspray of chain lube or something, so wiped it clean and ran for a day and the oil leak was again there though the left side was dry. I guess it is bust and I don't want to take any chances of trying to repair it. I plan to switch back to my stock shocks tomorrow (which are hardly used as I changed to Paioli in couple of months of buying the Bonnie). The quasi - Ohlins look will be gone soon
dinu2506, it is unfortunate to hear that you too have had problems with the rear suspension setup from Paioli on your Bonnie. I got to know that quite a few Continental GT 535 users also suffered the same leaking issue. One thing I was made aware of is that the Paioli shocks were actually being manufactured in Pune by a company called Airotek. Quoting from a 2013 AutocarPro article - "It, therefore, entered into a technology sharing agreement in rear suspension systems with Italy’s Paioli Components Srl in 2011, which gave it the opportunity of acquiring assets, technologies and IPRs (intellectual property rights) of Paioli Component’s associate, PaioliMeccanicaSpA.The buyout was executed with an investment of Rs 60 crore, which also included shifting PaioliMeccanica’s entire manufacturing facility from Italy to the Pune plant, which took over a year."


However I hear that this is no longer operational and they have shut down. At the same time, I tried looking up some company reports and see that they had their last AGM in September 2018. So Im not sure if you will be able to reach them and try for a warranty replacement.
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