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Old 31st August 2020, 20:48   #691
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Default Timsun Tire Review - 200 + kms up

When I realized that it was time for me to replace the Pirelli Sport Demon tires on my motorcycle, the realistic options that were available to me didnt really make for a long read. For context, the OEM sizing for the front is 100 / 90 - 18 and at the rear, it is 130 / 70 - 18. I have already tried different options from Ceat over the last few years and though they were good tires for the price, I could only get a 120 / 80 - 18 at the rear since Ceat didnt have any offerings in the 130 / 70 - 18 size, the last I checked. However, given my previous experience with the Ceats, if I was on a bit of a tight budget, without a doubt, I would have gone ahead with the Ceat offerings again. But I decided to go for a slightly sportier set of tires with more of a focus on grip than longevity, so I started looking at other options.

I have tried MRF tires on my previous bikes but again, I would have had to go for a 120 / 80 - 18 tire for the rear. But the overall feedback that I have got is that the Ceat motorcycle tires in these sizes are better and more consistent in every day riding than the MRFs. So that was another elimination. That left Ralco tires, which are very off road centric and dont match my usage. This meant another elimination. Pirelli's Sport Demon tires are OEM for the Continental GT 535 but as many of you would remember, the original set cracked within a year and 7,000 kms. The current tires on my bike have not covered that many kilometers but the past track record of the tires didnt inspire much confidence. The Pirelli Phantom Sportscomp that comes with the Royal Enfield 650 twins has been known to cause some wobbling issues which has resulted in Royal Enfield offering free replacements under warranty but I didnt want to deal with any warranty hassles if the local tire dealer wasnt too cooperative. So that meant two more eliminations.

This left Timsun tires which have been gaining popularity over the last couple of years and feedback on the brand has been consistent across the board. They seemed to be sturdy, provide good amounts of grip over mixed conditions but overall, the opinion in the riding community appears to be that they might be more suited for mixed and on / off road conditions. I briefly thought about upsizing the front to a 110 section and the rear to a 140 section, one, because there were options in those sizes from Timsun and two, because it would have increased the visual appeal of the motorcycle while possibly, three, offering better grip. But of these points, the third one was a bit of a question mark, and I was not sure if the grip would improve at the cost of handling or if there would be any other unintended consequences. Since the OEM sizing has proven to be perfectly matched to the capabilities of the chassis, I decided not to play around with the sizing and to leave the experimentation to braver souls than I am and wait for their feedback instead!
Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)-capture.png

So now it came down to which tires from Timsun would make the final cut. For the front, there were three options available on their website. Of these, the design of the TS 628 tire looks more like that of the rear tire of smaller capacity motorcycle and would not make for a good front tire. The TS 823 looked to be more of an off road tire and the first line description on the site confirmed it - An excellent off road and dual purpose tyre pattern. That left me with one option, the TS 659 which seemed to be a tire for mixed usage but with the focus on street usage. This is how the website describes it. I am highlighting a few parts in bold because these will come up later in this post.

Quote:
A dual purpose one for those who ride more on streets but do occasional off roading too. Optimized low flat cap radian design ensure ride comforts both on street as well as well as on loose soil also. Wider and deep groves towards shoulder can easily drain slush, loose gravel and water. This exclusive design give this model an edge over regular street tyres during mixed terrain rides. Larger surface contact area ensures more stability and wear resistance.
Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)-capture2.png

For the rear, the choice was a lot more simple. Team BHPian man of steel who certainly knows his way around motorcycles of all shapes and sizes, highly recommended the TS 660 tire for the rear which was incidentally, the only tire that came in the 130 / 70 - 18 size. This has a nice curved profile and looked to be quite a sporty offering from Timsun.

Quote:
A high performance tyre which can take your motorcycling experience to a different level. These ultra-street tyres will give you ultimate riding experience on a well prepared smooth street. Being many streets in India also are getting better finish and quality, these tyres can be a good option for those enthusiastic riders. This carefully carved and exquisite design confirms a proper drainage. Feel the track experience on your rides.
Also, while researching on the tires, as I mentioned earlier, I found my buddy Snehal's very handy post (Ridden: Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 & Continental GT 650 Twin)that was based on a discussion with the Timsun India guys and which recommended the same combination for the 650 twins. If it was good enough for the 650 twins, it certainly was good enough for the much lower powered Continental GT 535!

Manufacturing Date
The front tire has a manufacturing date of 5019 which meant the 50th week of 2019 and the rear tire has a manufacturing date of 0820 which is the 8th week of 2020. I dont think anyone can expect newer tires than these, given our current health pandemic.

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)-20200827_122806_hdr.jpg
Date on the front tire

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)-20200827_122853.jpg
Date on the rear tire


First Impressions
I am jumping ahead to the intial impressions based on the first 3 kms that I rode it from the Republic of Bikers garage to my home.
- The front end felt a tiny bit taller than before despite both tires being in the same specifications as the previous PSDs. Im not sure if the front tire was taller or the rear was shorter but it was noticeable.
- Tip-ins felt massively different and the bike seemed very eager to be flicked from side to side. Mind you, I was riding in the city and taking the same turns that I had been taking at the same pace as I had for the last few years. The rear tire felt noticeable more eager to turn in than the front as compared to the Pirelli Sport Demons.
- Braking and grip seemed to be as good as the Pirellis, there was absolutely nothing different, either improved or worse, in regular commuting as compared to the PSDs.

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)-20200827_122824.jpg
Picture of the front tire

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)-20200827_122838.jpg
Picture of the rear tire
Second Impressions
Later in the day, I headed out on a slightly longer ride of around 50 kms to scrub in the tires and check the braking ability at different speeds. The recommended air pressure for both tires is 41 PSI. The tires were both at 42 PSI when I checked it (there will be some difference in the readings from pump to pump so it is likely that it was set to 41 PSI at installation and the 1 PSI difference is due to the variation in gauge settings) and I set it to 40 PSI to start baselining them.
- The height difference was no longer perceptible so it would have been something that was very marginal and that we would adjust to very quickly. In my case, I could no longer notice it by my second ride.
- The quick turn-ins were still there and the bike felt oh so easy to flick over from side to side, which plays into the bike's biggest strength. I was already salivating over the prospect of being able to ride up to Yercaud and Ooty when the Covid pandemic eventually passes!
- I tried emergency braking tests from 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 and 90 kmph down to zero on an empty road and the bike behaved perfectly each and every time, without skipping a beat. Braking stability was as good as always and there was not a protest from either the front or the rear tire.
- Timsun tires seem have really earned their stripes when it comes to their well deserved reputation of having a stiff sidewall and being sturdily built. I had inadvertently gone through a small pothole at speeds of around 40 to 50 kmph and the tires were not as plush as the PSDs. I will try reducing the tires pressures a bit to see if it improves matters.
- Ride quality in all other conditions was perfectly fine though, the tires performed as well as the PSDs.
- I deliberately found some work in progress roads (mix of tar, gravel and mud) and some completely dug up inner roads to test the capabilities of the Timsuns and the grip from the tires was really good in these mixed conditions.
- Overall, I was very impressed, especially with the consistency in hard braking and the turn in feel.

Feedback with 200+ kms Covered
This will cover my riding experience from Cochin to Athirapally and back, where I got the opportunity to really put the tires through its paces.
- Cornering grip is excellent. If anyone has concerns about how these Timsun tires would perform under hard cornering, I can assure you that you have nothing to be worried about. I really pushed these tires through the twisties and they delivered more than I could have expected. Not only was the bike eager to go from side to side but grip through the corners was consistent and gives you a boat load of confidence. These were still fairly new tires and I was on a public road, so I was obviously not going all out but once I got confidence in the tires, I didnt have to think about them at all and could focus on just finding the right lines and maintaining them. That rear tire is a gem and was ably complemented by the front one!
- Emergency braking was again very confidence inspiring. I had a lost soul on a scooter just ride across the road and then set course straight at me, so I had to brake hard and the tires held up as expected.
- Once again, I ended up riding through a couple of small potholes and I could feel the lack of plushness in the tires. My next experimentation will be with 39 PSI at the same fuel pump and the same machine so see how things can improve.
- I have not tested the tires in wet road conditions. However, a fellow Continental GT 535 rider who has the same tire combination on his bike mentioned that the grip in wet roads was "really good".

I was expecting the Timsun tires to be long lasting and to offer more grip than the Ceats but marginally less than the Pirelli Sport Demons (extensively used on the GT 535) and the perceived grip of the Pirelli Phantom Sportscomps at a lower price than the latter. However, I have come to realize that the Timsuns have about the same grip levels as the PSDs, in fact it may be even more as that rear tire looks like it is capable of a lot more than what the modest engine output and capable chassis of the Continental GT 535 can throw at it any day of the week. Since I havent tested the Phantom Sportscomps, I cannot provide a direct comparison but maybe a Royal Enfield 650 twin owner who moves from the OEM tires to this combination can help provide compare the two tires.

Overall, I am very happy with these tires and would easily recommend them if you are an occasionally (or permanently!) sporty rider who is looking for an upgrade from the usual Ceats and has a fair budget. I only wish that Timsun offered a proper tire match for that TS 660 rear tire in the 100 / 90 - 18 specifications for the front. Right now the front (TS 659) is a road tire with some offroad credentials, an out and out sporty tire with the Timsun DNA and a curved profile like the rear, would have been the icing on the cake and made it an unbeatable combination for grip and longevity.
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Old 31st August 2020, 21:22   #692
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Default re: Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)

Timsun was an unheard brand in Indian market till couple of years back and their growth path is quite impressive. I haven't come across any negative reviews on internet about their tyres. Being a Chinese company people would usually associate with low cost stuff but they have priced their products almost at par with other brands and so far seem quite successful. Thanks for sharing, please do update on how they perform in the longer run.

Since you have also discussed CEAT, I am using their Zoom Rad X1 on my 390 and they have turned out much better than my expectations. I took a gamble with them switching over from Metz but no regrets after 12k kms and there is still quite a bit of life left.
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Old 1st September 2020, 18:07   #693
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Default re: Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ast.ggn View Post
Timsun was an unheard brand in Indian market till couple of years back and their growth path is quite impressive. I haven't come across any negative reviews on internet about their tyres. Being a Chinese company people would usually associate with low cost stuff but they have priced their products almost at par with other brands and so far seem quite successful. Thanks for sharing, please do update on how they perform in the longer run.

Since you have also discussed CEAT, I am using their Zoom Rad X1 on my 390 and they have turned out much better than my expectations. I took a gamble with them switching over from Metz but no regrets after 12k kms and there is still quite a bit of life left.
ast.ggn, you are very right about the growth of Timsun in India. I could be mistaken, but to my recollection, they were priced very attractively when launched and have slowly increased prices over the last few years as they have built their reputation. So today, they are not a cut price offering in the market that is solely trying to succeed on the VFM quotient, which is the route that Chinese / Taiwanese tires have taken for passenger car offerings in India. Of course, some riders still view Timsun tires with some skepticism but that is to be expected. I dont know of too many people using it on the bigger capacity motorcycles but I have heard of some Triumphs running with Timsuns and I saw a Kawasaki Z900 with Timsun tires on it.

I really like Ceat motorcycle tires, and my experience hasnt been with the Zoom Rad X1 which is a more modern and better engineered tire than some of their older offerings. However, I am not a big fan of their car tires!
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Old 2nd September 2020, 22:06   #694
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Default 6 years up!

Time really does fly. It is hard to believe that on this very day, 6 years ago, I took delivery of the Royal Enfield Continental GT535 from the company showroom in Jayanagar. Since then, life has taken many twists and turns and not to be outdone, the Continental GT535 has thrown the occasional spanner in the works as well, to spice things up. But all said and done, it has been a fun 6 years of motorcycle ownership and though the bike has only covered 26,500 kms, it has been an able companion in many an adventure. Despite what many of my friends think, this one is a keeper and I am sure I will hold on to it for many more years to come.

Since the skies have been overcast for the last few days, it has been a lot cooler than before and fortunately, there havent been any rains. This led me to believe that it would be safe to plan a short ride today afternoon, the only challenge was that I didnt know which side to head towards. So I did the usual routine of pulling up Google maps, picking a random place that looked interesting and let Google guide me there. Today's destination ended up being Chemmanakary ferry, a location that I had never heard of prior to me pulling up Google maps. It was only 30 kms away which meant that it was just an easy hour's ride from Cochin.

Once I got out of the city, traffic was very light and the bike was comfortably cruising at 70 kmph in fourth gear for much of the ride. Once Google maps suggested that I head off the highway, I was in for a surprise as it took me through some almost empty but super narrow single lane roads. In a few places it was only as wide as the length of my outstretched arms from end to end. I stopped occasionally to soak in the serenity and what hit me most was the absolute silence that was broken by the chirping of birds.

Google also sent me down some paths that werent even proper roads.

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)-20200902_154836.jpg
This is what happens when you trust Google maps blindly. Surely it could not get worse than this.

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)-20200902_154915_hdr.jpg
5 minutes later, I realized that it could!

Chemmanakary jetty delivered as promised, it was a quiet little place and there were a few bikes that were lined up properly as people waited for the ferry to come in half an hour. There was none of the big city argy bargy nonsense and it was such a relief to see how patiently the people waited. The skies though were not too kind and it started drizzling heavily which meant that most of us had to take shelter under the roof of the jetty.

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)-20200902_163229.jpg
Overcast skies

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)-20200902_160300_hdr.jpg
Nice juxtaposition

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)-20200902_161647_hdr.jpg
The ferry coming in

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)-20200902_162023_hdr.jpg
Bikes boarding the ferry on a rudimentary metal grill

I sat and watched one round of passengers and motorcyclists disembark and then waited for the ferry to fill up and pull away before I could enjoy the peaceful solitude at the jetty. Since the drizzle steadily kept increasing in its intensity, I eventually realized that it was better to head back to the city instead of waiting continuously for the weather to improve.
Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)-20200902_163132.jpg

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)-20200902_164543.jpg
God's own country

I got to check out the braking feel of the Timsun tires on thoroughly wet roads on the return journey, I have to say that they performed exactly as expected. I did try hard braking from 40 and 30 kmph to a halt when the roads were empty and the tires did a good job of bringing the bike to a complete stop. I will post more detailed feedback on the tires on wet roads as I get to cover more kilometers in these conditions.

Overall, the short ride was a nice way to enjoy the Continental GT 535's sixth birthday, the next update will be on the resolution of the broken bolts problem. I plan to get it addressed tomorrow or the day after that.
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Old 3rd September 2020, 09:05   #695
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Default Re: 6 years up!

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Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
Overall, the short ride was a nice way to enjoy the Continental GT 535's sixth birthday, the next update will be on the resolution of the broken bolts problem. I plan to get it addressed tomorrow or the day after that.
Time to book that Interceptor. "Fixing broken bolts" if ever there was a sign this is it, time to move on!
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Old 3rd September 2020, 14:15   #696
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Default Re: 6 years up!

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Originally Posted by deepfreak15 View Post
Time to book that Interceptor. "Fixing broken bolts" if ever there was a sign this is it, time to move on!
Bah, such sacrilege posted on a Thursday morning! Just for that, here are two more pictures of the the Continental GT 535 to brighten up the day.

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)-20200829_083819.jpg

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)-20200829_100400_hdr.jpg

Incidentally, the rather patient sales guy from Royal Enfield just did his monthly call to check if I had made a decision on the Interceptor 650. He was very happy to hear that I am not even planning on test riding the KTM Adventure 390. He certainly seems to believe that I am a confirmed future Interceptor 650 customer!
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Old 3rd September 2020, 14:44   #697
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Default Re: 6 years up!

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Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
He was very happy to hear that I am not even planning on test riding the KTM Adventure 390.
Can you shed light on why that is (not why he was happy, but why you aren't planning on test riding the Adv)?
I ask because I was battling out a comparison between the Adv 390 and the I650 myself.

Lovely thread and great pictures by the way
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Old 3rd September 2020, 16:58   #698
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Default Re: 6 years up!

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Originally Posted by shyamg28 View Post
Can you shed light on why that is (not why he was happy, but why you aren't planning on test riding the Adv)?
I ask because I was battling out a comparison between the Adv 390 and the I650 myself.

Lovely thread and great pictures by the way
Thanks shyamg28. Let me try to explain in a manner that doesnt draw the attention and ire of happy KTM Adv 390 owners on the forum!

First off, the KTM Adv 390 is a good bike but there are some issues that meant that it wasnt the bike for me. In no particular order, here are the different factors that led to my decision. One, Ive test ridden both generations of the KTM Duke 390 and the always want to be on the edge nature of the engine, isnt best suited to my kind of riding.

Two, I owned a completely trouble free Yamaha R15 before buying the Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 and I also own a completely trouble free Triumph Street Triple 675 right now. The 390 platform is well known to have different niggles and issues, some of which can be pretty dangerous such as switching off while the bike is in motion, a well documented issue that even fellow TBHPians who owned the Duke 390 have experienced. Please go through posts on this thread to see what issues KTM Duke 390 owners faced in India. I have several friends who still own the Duke 390 and are happy with it for its big bang for the buck capabilities but who are also very well aware that any day, some part or the other can go kaput which will mean several visits to the SVC. If you have a busy corporate job, running to get your bike fixed in the middle of a chaotic work day isnt always feasible. I have the Continental GT 535 to give me the occasional quality related wrinkle, I dont need a more problematic bike in my garage to compound to my woes!

Three, KTM doesnt seem to have made any tweaks to the engine or power delivery to account for it being a soft roading capable adventure motorcycle. Of course, we all can get lost in the marketing spiel and debate on whether it is a soft roader, or an offroader, of if it is actually a tourer disguised as a partial off roader or just a very good road bike and everything in between. But retaining the same characteristics as the Duke 390 was probably not the best decision by KTM and Bajaj.

Four, at almost Rs 4L on road in Kerala, the price is a little stiffsky to say the least. I know of a lot of riders who would have loved the Adventure 390 but cannot digest the steep asking price. Here I will add that the excellent pricing of the 650 twins has really set the bar for what is an acceptable on the road price for a premium fun motorcycle. Also, I have heard several riders who have test ridden both bikes say that the Adv 390 is not worth Rs 80,000 more than the Interceptor.

Five, we have a really lousy dealer in the city. They just dont want to make a sale and couldnt be bothered about walk in customers. And this isnt just restricted to my experiences. They are equal opportunity offenders! The other dealer (17 kms away) promised to arrange for the test ride but I never bothered to return to their showroom.

Six, feedback from owners on the forum who shed light on the realities of owning the bike and their visits to the service ceters to get things fixed that should have been done when the bike rolled off the factory line. The Adv 390 ownership thread has been very useful in finalizing my decision.

Seven, remember the Duke 390 switching off issue that I mentioned earlier? Well, it was reported with the Adv 390 on our forum as well (The KTM 390 Adventure Ownership Thread!). Here is another member reporting (The KTM 390 Adventure Ownership Thread!) the same issue. I would have lost complete confidence in the bike if it had happened to me while riding it and without a doubt, I would have sold it off immediately, of course after informing the new buyer about the issue.

Coming to the Interceptor, now that is my kind of motorcycle. A lovely all round package, at a great price but with non traditional Royal Enfield quality. If I didnt own the Continental GT 535, I would have bought the Interceptor a long time ago!

All said, no bike is perfect and these views hold true for me and my motorcycling preferences which are in turn shaped by my riding experiences. We all like and buy bikes based on what appeals to each of us. You could buy the Adv 390 and be far happier with it than the Interceptor 650 or vice versa. Ultimately, go for the bike that brings the bigger smile to your face.
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Old 3rd September 2020, 20:44   #699
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Default Re: 6 years up!

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Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
Ultimately, go for the bike that brings the bigger smile to your face.
That is for damn sure! Thank you for taking the time to provide such a detailed response
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Old 4th September 2020, 09:46   #700
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Default re: Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)

Hi, Neil , I have a couple of questions , please let me know.

Is this the same engine as the lightening 535cc ? The German piston ?
Gearshift is on which side?
Is this a cast iron engine ?
What is the crank weight?

Reason i am asking you is i am looking for a 500cc cast iron engine , doing up one of my old bullets, unfortunately both are 350, so want to make one in 500 for regular use .

Rode the UCE standard 500 in Manali , the bike is nice, no valve clatter, clutch is very good unlike the old bullets anemic clutch . Things i didn't like , tank is too wide , handle is wide and low, it dosent have the balance of the old bullet. Beating also is different. Too many gears , starter motor was acting up. Feels like a duplicate bullet.
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Old 4th September 2020, 11:04   #701
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Default re: Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)

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Originally Posted by Frankenstein View Post
Hi, Neil , I have a couple of questions , please let me know.
Frankenstein, below are the responses to the questions that you asked.

Is this the same engine as the lightening 535cc ? The German piston ?
No. The Lightning 535 featured a cast iron engine. I believe and I could be wrong here, that the Lightning 535 engine had a bored out cast iron engine loosely based on Fritz Egli tuned Bullets.
Gearshift is on which side?
Gearshift is on the regular side, i.e. the left side.
Is this a cast iron engine ?
No, the Continental GT 535 has a bored out unit construction engine.
What is the crank weight?
I am not aware of this, I have asked the other riders in the Continental GT 535 whatsapp group. I will let you know once I get a response from one of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankenstein View Post
Rode the UCE standard 500 in Manali , the bike is nice, no valve clatter, clutch is very good unlike the old bullets anemic clutch . Things i didn't like , tank is too wide , handle is wide and low, it dosent have the balance of the old bullet. Beating also is different. Too many gears , starter motor was acting up. Feels like a duplicate bullet.
Though I love the simple old school feel of the cast iron Bullets, I enjoy it in small doses. If I had to own a 500, I would prefer the UCE versions.
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Old 6th September 2020, 00:35   #702
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Default Misadventures galore

The weather here has been following a rather unusual pattern for the past few days. It is bright and sunny in the first half of the day but post lunch, it becomes very cloudy and the skies threaten to burst into a heavy thundershower at any minute. But for the most part, it remains a threat and we eventually get a light rain only for some time. So I had planned to head out for a short ride but at the same time, I was distinctly aware of the fact that the weather might force me to turn around at any moment. With this in mind, I decided to set off for Cherai and hope for the best. First off though, the loose clamp was really starting to rattle so I pulled over at a completely deserted spot, removed my helmet, took off my 3M ear plugs and used them to securely tie the clamp. Problem solved. While rummaging through my bag, I realized that I had stashed away an extra set of ear plugs there so I put those on for the rest of my ride!

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)-p9052113-large.jpg
3M to the rescue once again

I visited the Church of Our Lady of Hope which as per Wikipedia is also known as "Igreja Da Nossa Senhora Da Esperança". It is a really nice church that was built in 1605 and is one of the oldest churches in these parts. There is a tiled section in front of the church that leads you to the Vypin walkway and a close up view of the Chinese fishing nets. I havent been to this picturesque part of Cochin since December and it was almost totally deserted as well due to the impact of Covid.

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)-p9052112-large.jpg

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)-p9052124-large.jpg

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)-p9052117-large.jpg

After spending some time there, I decided to push on towards Cherai but the heavily overcast sky was a big red flag of sorts warning me to reconsider. Well, if I needed any more signs, the complete lack of road sense among every else on the road towards Cherai, made me rethink my decision as I was concerned that I would have an accident. The road from Vypin to Cherai is two laned but without any median and there is zero police checking on that stretch. Earlier there always were one or two stray incidents of completely reckless riders endangering themselves and others like me with their lack of attention or will to live. But today, it was almost as though everyone except me was playing a Road Rash and trying to scare the living daylights out of everyone else by driving and riding on the wrong side of the road, crawling up my rear tire and what not. At one point, I counted one car from the opposite side, moving out of its lane to overtake another car and three bikes trying to overtake each other while trying to overtake the overtaking car. All this on a two lane road! Instead of risking life and limb by continuing to head towards Cherai, I cut short my plans and visited a relatively deserted smaller beach on the way.

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)-p9052130-large.jpg

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)-p9052128-large.jpg

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)-p9052131-large.jpg

The time at the beach proved to be a welcome respite from the madness but on the return, it was more of the same. So much so, I have decided that I am not heading towards this side ever again if I am on a short ride post lunch. It is going to be either an early morning pre breakfast ride towards Cherai or nothing at all. I would rather live to ride another day than risk my life to spend some quality time on a picturesque and calming sea front. The odd thing is that these very same riders and drivers are perfectly able to follow the rules of the road and maintain traffic discipline once they enter the city of Cochin. Closer to home territory though, its the wild wild west.

Anyways, I put this off to bad luck and a lesson from which I learnt quite a lot. After all, it isnt often that I have had to swerve out of the way of a speeding bus or Swift, much less half a dozen times so I decided to put this in the rear view mirror and move on.

Much later in the evening, I was returning home through the city in the right lane of a wide road with a large median, when I suddenly felt as though there was a bike just inches away from me on the right. This was quite unusual since by and large, people ride in a safe manner in the city. My intuition proved to be correct and a half a second later, I actually saw a handlebar brush past my right arm and the bike knocked the mirror on my bike. There was absolutely no space for the Pulsar to squeeze through between my bike and the median so the rider pumped the brakes in that split second which was fortunate for me, as he would have wiped me out had he not done that. As I moved ahead, I looked at him incredulously through the RVM and did the ubiquitous whats was are you thinking hand sign, as I was wondering what on earth possessed him to dive bomb on me as though he was at the last corner of the last lap of a MotoGP race. Im not sure if it was the sight of the full riding gear that got this crazy gone excited and off his rockers, or what.

As I tried to gather my thoughts and continue, he overtook me pretty rashly and turned around to gesticulate at me in anger. What he didnt realize was that there was a bend in the road just ahead and that he was headed straight at two people who were walking around a car parked on the side with their backs to him. The gentleman in all his anger kept riding forward (instead of braking or slowing down) while looking back, shouting and gesticulating at me, all while heading straight at those innocent people. Out of panic I pointed to him to look ahead and thank heavens that he did at just that split second, because he turned around and swerved to avoid those two people by the minutest of minute margins. Had he turned around a fraction of a second later, he would have not had enough time to react and he would have mowed them down, resulting in catastrophic consequences. It is the sort of situation that you see in an action movie but you think can never happen in real life.

Not content with nearly killing two innocent people, the young rider zoomed away while narrowly missing side swiping a SUV. Keeping aside the homicidal motorists on the road to Cherai earlier in the day, it has been a very long time since I have encountered a case of very rash driving or riding that could have led to serious injury (to me with the dive bomb) or death (with the Pulsar guy running over the pedestrians). Such things make you really think about life and question the things we do to keep us happy, in this case, ride motorcycles!

I am not one to tempt fate and I like to consider myself a very sedate and more importantly, safe rider who is very well aware of his surroundings while on a bike, but today, I certainly had a lot of guardian angels looking over me to keep me safe. Call it what you want, guardian angels or good karma but I am just glad that I am not in a hospital bed tonight with my arm in a cast, or worse! Ride safe everyone and keep checking your RVMs, you never know when somebody will try the same move on you.

Mileage: I filled up at the usual BPCL pump on Kaloor Kadavanthra road. Distance covered : 114.1 kms. Petrol consumed : 3.04 litres. Mileage:37.53 kmpl which is a very pleasant sight indeed. Mileage since day 1 inches up to 27.94 kmpl.
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Old 6th September 2020, 13:02   #703
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Default Re: Misadventures galore

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Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post

I am not one to tempt fate and I like to consider myself a very sedate and more importantly, safe rider who is very well aware of his surroundings while on a bike, but today, I certainly had a lot of guardian angels looking over me to keep me safe. Call it what you want, guardian angels or good karma but I am just glad that I am not in a hospital bed tonight with my arm in a cast, or worse! Ride safe everyone and keep checking your RVMs, you never know when somebody will try the same move on you.
Please don't change this ever, Neil. We all know what we are and have noting to prove to any one

Yes all of us (riders) do have our Guardian Angels riding with us and shall keep us safe as long as we are not overstepping their Blessings

Lovely pics of many many familiar places - Thanks. Post Covid a Kochi trip is definitely on the cards.

Best Regards & Ride Safe
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Old 8th September 2020, 15:39   #704
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Default Re: Misadventures galore

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Yes all of us (riders) do have our Guardian Angels riding with us and shall keep us safe as long as we are not overstepping their Blessings
Perfectly said! I am part terrified and part astonished when I see youngsters on bikes these days tempt fate by dangerously zig zagging through traffic, narrowly missing getting run over by other vehicles and craning their necks to see some modified bike or car on the other side of the lane while in motion and so on. This happens in every city across India, even if it is limited to a small portion of motorcyclists.

The reason I wanted to highlight narrowly getting wiped out from behind, for absolutely no fault of mine, and that too without any warning, was that these incidents can happen to anyone of us, at any time, especially when we least expect it. While we are responsible enthusiasts here, not everyone with a license shares the same mindset and it is important to showcase the occasional risks along with the plentiful rewards which otherwise get a lot of focus, especially on threads like this.

Anyways, lesson learnt, back on the Continental GT 535, the bike was dropped off at the Republic of Bikers store today for the lathe work and it should be ready by today evening or tomorrow. Also, the new multi reflector clear glass headlight is a marked improvement over the OEM unit. The intensity of the headlight is far better than the stock setup. However, the design of the headlight is such that even with the new headlight dome in the exact same position as the old one, the output of the headlight falls closer to the front of the motorcycle than the OEM one. So I need to angle it up a bit to get it aligned properly for city and highway usage. I tried taking some pictures with my mobile phone to show the output in the low beam and high beam but I couldnt get very clear shots. Once I align the headlight unit better, I will try to take some pictures with my camera instead.

On that note, here is a recent one because this thread can never have enough pictures of the Continental GT 535.

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)-p9052141-large.jpg
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Old 23rd September 2020, 12:57   #705
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Default re: Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)

The Continental GT 535 was with the Republic of Bikers for a period of exactly two weeks to get the lathe work done. It was supposed to be just a day's work in total but it appears as though the mechanic then went on quarantine leave since his good friend was tested positive for Covid. It is better to be safe than sorry!

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)-p9222148-large.jpg

Anyways, I dropped in to pick the bike up and realized that with the big backlog of bikes, they had forgotten to put the screen back on. That was done and I took a quick ride around to check and align the throw of the new Thunderbird headlight. As I mentioned earlier, it is a lot brighter than the OEM headlight. But when both the OEM headlight and this were placed in the same physical alignment, the throw of the Thunderbird headlight was a lot closer to the front wheel than the OEM one. So once we got the new headlight tilted a little higher with the light output where the OEM one was, I felt that the high beam was a little too high compared to the OEM one. That is a trade off that I was unaware of before swapping out the stock lights, anyways we learn through experience.

Back to the lathe work, there is a new found, ever so slight vibration from the clamps at around 2,500 RPM and this might need some further investigation. The mechanic, Vishnu has promised to look into it and suggested some solutions as well. This might need another half a day at the Republic of Bikers. Overall, I paid them Rs 650 for the lathe work and new bolts.

Signing off with a picture from an earlier ride.

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)-p9052138-large.jpg
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