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Old 14th October 2020, 23:01   #706
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Default re: Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)

A week or so ago, I had headed out on my Triumph for some rather aimless exploring and in the process, I rather inadvertently, found myself a little bit of a loop that included state highways, inside roads that threw in a couple of unexpectedly sharp turns, narrow two lane coastal roads, some rather picturesque locations and ended with some city traffic. The speeds involved from start to finish were comfortably well below the ton, so it was a relaxed riding experience all through. After doing the loop on the Street Triple 675, I was keen to do the same on the Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 at a later date, to see how the bikes compared in the exact same roads and similar riding conditions.

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Honestly, the Continental GT 535 is far more in it's element in such conditions than the Street Triple, which feels so constrained and begs for a chance to stretch its legs the moment the roads open up. Needless to say, succumbing to such temptations in a speed camera abundant state, will quickly leave me with fines running into thousands of Rupees. Now, while I do want the state government to fill its coffers once again, I am not in any mood to needlessly empty my wallet in the process. Back to the motorcycles and the Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 allows me to ride its wave of torque, get back to legal highway cruising speeds and stay there for as long as I want without stressing the engine. I'm not even remotely suggesting that the Continental GT 535 is a better bike than the Street Triple 675, because it isnt by any stretch of the imagination. It is just that in these road and traffic conditions, a smaller bike like the Continental GT 535 does shine while a more powerful motorcycle feels constrained. .

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One thing that I did notice on today's ride is that the feel from the front brake was rather spongy, I dont recall this having been the case earlier. This calls for another quick visit to the Republic of Bikers garage to get the front end bled and the brake fluid replaced. This did, in turn, cause me to use more of the rear braking than I normally do, and the brakes performed exceedingly well. I was fortunate that I ended up chasing the rains on my return, and hence avoided getting drenched. Usually it is the other way round, with the weather Gods always winning! Though I escaped getting caught in the rain, it did mean that the roads were thoroughly soaked in many places but the Timsun tires performed quite well without giving me any cause for concern.

Overall, this was a fun little ride today despite the minor scare that I got when two helmetless youngsters on a Xpulse came out of a side road at high speed, saw me and swerved to avoid knocking me down. In the process, they did manage to hit the left rear view mirror which is now cracked, but I would rather take a cracked mirror than cracked bones! Ride safe everyone.
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Old 15th October 2020, 23:31   #707
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Default re: Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)

With the heavy rains blessing our city, it is difficult to plan for any riding these days but the skies cleared up for a while, which meant that the weather was tempting enough to risk heading out on the Continental GT 535. Heavy rains did make their guest appearances ever so often, but I pulled in to some deserted stores to take shelter and wait it out. There were some stretches that were totally bereft of traffic and I could push the GT 535 a fair bit, it was absolutely in its element with excellent wet weather braking (combined front and rear, the front by itself is a little lacking as I mentioned yesterday) and great grip from the Timsun tires. The return route did have some roads that were deceptively bumpy, I need to adjust the preload a little to see if it helps improve the bike's composure on that torture test of sorts. All it all, it turned out to be a really good decision to do a different 90 km round loop. Non Keralite readers might scoff at the sight of a measly 90 kms but I can assure you, even with non peak timings and selecting off beat routes, your average speeds are bound to be pretty low.

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First stop turned out to be a local anglers paradise.

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Quick 2 minute break to check Google maps.

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Rain break

Mileage: I filled up at the usual BPCL pump on Kaloor Kadavanthra road. Distance covered : 174.8 kms. Petrol consumed : 5.54 litres. Mileage:31.55 kmpl which is the third straight 30+ kmpl average figure that I have got and on checking my mileage tracker, I am pleased to note that the last 5 out of 6 tank fulls have yielded 30+ kmpl figures. That is something wallet friendly in this day and age of sky high petrol numbers. Mileage since day 1 inches up to 27.96 kmpl.
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Old 17th October 2020, 09:12   #708
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Default Front braking resolved

I had earmarked some time yesterday morning for the bleeding of the front brake and had headed to the Republic of Bikers (RoB) store. The trusted mechanic Vishnu, felt that the pads may be nearing their end of life and hence wanted to check it first. After opening it up, he found that the wear was unusually not consistent (as seen in the pictures below) and we felt that it was better to get it replaced immediately even if there was some life left in the brake pads. Vishnu also cleaned out the brake unit before putting in the new replacement Brembo OEM pads. The planned brake fluid change ultimately wasn't needed as the brake fluid in the resevoir looked quite new and clean, with the quantity not being a problem either. So after putting in the new pads, we checked for air bubbles and left the brake fluid as is.

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Dismantling and cleaning

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Part number for reference

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Old brake pads!

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Brake fluid was nice and clean

The pads that were replaced lasted for 6,350 kms over 2 years and 10 months. I really use the front brakes a lot and I enjoy the strong braking feel from the Brembos. The replacement OEM pads cost Rs 2,100 which is steep to many riders but to me, the price is well worth it.

Last time around, Vishnu had felt that the cone set needed some tightening and this was also done as well. I couldnt feel too much of a difference post this.

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Cone set adjustment

After replacing the clamp for the meters a few weeks ago, a new found sound has become a constant companion at around 2,500 RPM. At first we thought it had to do with the clamps and we had kept the investigation for a later day. One thing that bothered me was that the meters were no long vibrating, and yet there was some sound from that area. As part of his root cause analysis, Vishnu removed the clamps and put in some 3M double side tape to eliminate any potential vibes there. That has not eliminated the sound though. The newly cracked glass on the left RVM (thanks to the 2 helmetless youngsters on the Xpulse, from a few posts ago) is also adding some sound when the bike is revved but that is a slightly different sound which is prominent when revving while the bike is stationary but isnt that noticeable on the move.

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3M tape applied

The other thing that Vishnu noticed was that there is a slight gap between the glass on the meters and the surrounding chrome rings. With the persistent and typical Royal Enfield vibrations, these chrome rings are known to fall off over time on other Continental GT 535s. It is a minor miracle that these chrome rings haven't havent said adios amigo to me and my bike, even after 6 years of ownership and close to 27,000 kms of riding. Anyways, we have decided to leave it as is for now as I can live with the sound.

Next on the list of things to be done is the replacement of the front fork oil and fork springs. The suspension of the bike is fine and for my usage, it is pretty comfortable. I have no cause for complaints at all, but Ive been watching too much Dave Moss content and that has opened my eyes to a whole new aspect of motorcycle setup. Replicating his front end suspension test, I can see that the bike compresses, rebounds and then repeats. This is not something that it should do. Of course, I am not looking to get a track suspension setup for my bike, but having seen a lot of improvement on my other motorcycle with the replacement of just the fork oil, I want to see how much of a difference the replacement of the fork oil and fork springs makes. Or maybe this is just an elaborate excuse to continue spending time and money on motorcycles, which I am sure many of you will understand!

Overall, this was another excellent experience with the RoB folks. Vishnu does his job patiently and methodically. Faizal is great to deal with. I paid Rs 2,650 which included Rs 2,100 for the brake pads and Rs 550 for everything else. I would give an easy 5* rating for the RoB team once again.

Signing off with a picture of the current state of the bike, all the recent riding has left it coated it with a mud pack. The bike deserves a nice wash, the only challenge being that our 10 month old pup doesnt allow me to wash our vehicles in peace. He steals the cleaning cloths and jumps into the bucket (though he cant fit into it) the moment I turn my back!

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Old 17th October 2020, 10:22   #709
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Default re: Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)

DIY? A lot of this kind of work above is fairly simple, myriad youtube videos exist and you have a very simple mechanical bike to experiment on.

Give it a shot next time around. Will make for more fun updates.

Last edited by GTO : 18th October 2020 at 14:15. Reason: No need to be rude, buddy
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Old 17th October 2020, 11:26   #710
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Default re: Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)

I'd second Redliner on this, from where I see things it would do you good to rebuild the Caliper and MC considering the age of the Motorcycle, same would be the case with the brake line, even braided lines aren't a one time fix.

As for fluid, thumb rule is to replace them everytime you change pads, otherwise once a year or at max once in 2 years. It being hygroscopic tends to corrode quite easily something not obvious to the eye but can be tested with a Brake Fluid Tester, but I'd not bother to be honest, it is too cheap to even think twice IMHO.

2x 50ml Syringes and a fuel hose from Bajaj(Quality is real good, you don't need to use Zip Ties to maintain seal) is all it'd take to reverse bleed the system, I prefer reverse bleeding over traditional bleeding as the difference in lever tension and the obvious ease of procedure(takes 5 to 10 minutes to bleed both front and rear) justifies the means, even when changing components or rebuilding parts, none of the hassles faced with gravity bleeding.
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Old 17th October 2020, 11:32   #711
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Default re: Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Liner View Post
DIY?
Not much of a DIY guy to be honest though I do have a tool box and watch some DIY videos. One can never learn enough, even if you dont want to get your own hands dirty.

I do fully agree on the time bit, I lost out on a lot of riding over the last decade and hence Im trying to catch up when I can.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Liner View Post
Give it a shot next time around.
There arent many (any?) long term ownership threads of the Continental GT 535 on the interwebs and since it wasnt a high selling model, both service centers and FNGs arent always very well versed with it. Ive found that my thread does come quite handy for other owners around India to troubleshoot issues with their bikes and plan for their respective services. So I try to keep this thread as detailed as possible, I never know who it can help and when. I believe that is the basic point of any forum - knowledge sharing. In the process, as you rightly pointed out, some might enjoy reading updates on this thread and derive value and / or fun from it, others may not.

On a lighter note, sometimes when I have asked fellow owners on some doubts regarding the Continental GT 535, I am then sent links to this very same thread to help answer my question!

Last edited by GTO : 18th October 2020 at 14:16. Reason: Quoted post edited
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Old 20th October 2020, 11:15   #712
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Default Solo ride to Athirapally

I managed to do a solo ride to Athirapally over the weekend. There were a ton of local cyclists who had the same plan as I did, so this time around, the ride up was at a more measured pace than usual. One thing that the current Covid issue has done for Kerala, is to turn a lot of fence sitters into both hobbyist as well as serious cyclists. I dont know what time they all woke up to start peddling towards Athirapally, but the ratio of cyclists to motorcyclists was around 10:1, with most of the motorcyclists being local people heading out to the nearby markets.

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The once crowded ticket counter

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Anyways, as expected, the forest department still had the barricade at the ticket counter, so I had to return from there. Overall, it was a nice 160 kms ride, even if it wasnt as fun as it usually was.

I did notice that the ride to Athirapally, especially the last stretch which was always the best part, was nowhere close to being as cool as it used to be earlier. Overall, the temperatures here had started rising again and it was getting more sunny by the day. That is until today, when the rains have returned in full josh!

Mileage: On my return, I filled up at the trusted BPCL pump on Kaloor Kadavanthra road. Distance covered : 171.4 kms. Petrol consumed : 5.28 litres. Mileage: 32.46 kmpl which is the fourth straight 30+ kmpl average figure in a row. Mileage since day 1 is 27.99 kmpl.
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Old 27th October 2020, 14:18   #713
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Default re: Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)

Well all this talk of the upcoming fork work seems to have come to the attention of my bike, which has now started an ever so tiny oil leak from the right side fork. It is noticeable to the keen eye and isnt too much of a problem yet. That said, I dont want to put off the work and have given Faizal from Republic of Bikers (RoB) the go ahead to procure the following parts for the next visit.

- Fork springs
- Fork seals
- Fork oil 2W35 Gabriel (430 ml each leg)
- Rubber gaiter for Interceptor / GT 650
- Machined Front Reservoir Cap-1990652

I was considering going in for heavier fork oil but since I was happy with the OEM oil and front end feel, I think it is better to stick to the same. The rubber gaiter is not really needed, it is just to help alter the look of the front end. I wasnt a big fan of it initially when it was launched as an option for the 650 twins, but over time I have come to appreciate how it improves the overall feel of the bike, with what is essentially just a small little addition.

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The front resevoir cap is to replace the OEM one which has picked up a lot of scruff marks over the years from general usage.

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Since this thread can never have enough pictures, Im signing off with a couple of photos from some recent exploration around town. Eagle eyed readers will notice that I have moved back to the double seat for now. It is lacking in padding when compared to the upgraded single seat, but it is a lot more roomy as it allows me to move around as compared to the other one, which used to keep me in a locked position.

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Old 28th October 2020, 19:00   #714
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Default re: Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)

For those who were following the tale of my service woes with the Cochin Triumph dealership, I have given my Street Triple 675 back to them to do all the work that they missed and subsequently covered up. A few chapters later, I was waiting for the 2020 Euro 5 / BS6 Street Triple 765 RS to become available but for the last 6 weeks (this is by my actual count, based on what I have heard, it is likely to be 8 weeks) there has been some delays in the processing of an insurance claim. Long story short, the test ride bike in question is still not available today.

And that is how, eventually I got to spend some time with the Triumph Tiger 900 GT Pro, a motorcycle that shares the GT name with the Continental GT 535, and yet, is so different from the Royal Enfield in character. Lets not forget that the Triumph Tiger 900 GT Pro also costs around 8 times what the Continental GT 535 did back in 2014, so obviously they cannot be compared directly. There are a few common threads between the two bikes but one thing that unites them is the fact that while they each do a lot of things very well, they do also carry the burden of some flaws, which keep them from being must haves in your own garage.

I will share some observations and photos of the Tiger 900 GT Pro in a few days on the right thread. Meanwhile, here are some pictures of the two bikes side by side. The Triumph absolutely dwarfs the Continental GT 535!

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Old 25th November 2020, 22:48   #715
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Default re: Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)

Thanks to my excruciatingly painful service experiences with the Cochin Triumph dealership and my subsequent problem fixing and extensive testing, both at my own time and expense, I really needed to get a detox from riding for a while. Now this has unfortunately come at the cost of quality motorcycling time with the Royal Enfield Continental GT 535, for no fault of its own.

Anyways, I finally grabbed the keys to it to after having spent sufficient time away from two wheelers, and heading out of town, cruising on the Continental GT 535 at 70 kmph without a worry on my mind, was so mentally refreshing, especially in light of all my recent (mis)adventures. I didnt venture too far away from town, choosing instead to explore nearby areas and stop for some pictures along the way.

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I chanced upon a stretch of around 4 - 5 kilometers of broken roads that are getting ready to be tarred and the Timsun tires held up very well without any signs of nervousness. Unfortunately, earlier in the day, I had been reading all the posts related to falls and injuries, on the Off Roading thread and hence I didnt want to push my luck too much in such conditions. But I felt more confidence with the grip from the Timsun tires than with the Ceats that I had earlier. I wont go so far as to say that it is a night and day difference, but I would venture to bet that the Timsuns provide better outright grip on broken roads. The tires are currently running at 40 PSI and it felt a bit stiff for such less than perfect conditions, maybe 38 or 39 PSI would be better suited to bad roads. Now that I am comfortable with how the Timsuns behave in such conditions, I should revisit that part of town again to see how the tires hold up in braking at different speeds.

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Old 30th November 2020, 23:10   #716
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Default re: Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)

The Continental GT 535 finally crossed the 27,000 km mark sometime last week and it's lengthy period of inactivity meant that it got a well deserved scrub down with a 3M car wash solution and a few microfiber cloths. Thanks to the rains and the flingy 3M chain lube, the rear wheel was quite dirty and the chain did have quite a lot of gunk on it as well. I also noticed a lot of minor surface rust all over, some of it was easily addressed and the trusted WD40 came to the rescue. Being in a coastal city, this is to be expected I guess, I have staved off a few rust attacks before, so I wouldnt worry too much about these for now. Im documenting some of the areas where I spotted the rust to help readers with their own bikes.

I switched from my trusted Motul Chain Cleaner (which Ive been using for over a decade) to 3M Chain Cleaner for a change of scene. The 3M chain cleaner does a really good job in terms of dragging out all the gunk from our roads which gets crusted on the chain over time. I used an old t shirt to help get some of the stubborn dirt off the chain but all in all, I was quite impressed by the effectiveness of the 3M Chain Cleaner. I would rate it slightly better than the Motul equivalent for sure.

Feedback on the 3M Chain Lube though has been mixed, I think I might have one lying around here somewhere. I also picked a tube of Motul C5 Chain Paste recently to try out, since Ive heard great reviews of it. And not to mention, the few half used bottles of Motul Chain Cleaner which I really like as a product except for the fact that it is just too messy. So ideally, the combination of 3M Chain Cleaner and Motul C5 Chain Paste should be the perfect mix.

This proper top to bottom shake down did make me realize that I need to get a few more parts for my motorcycle to bring it back to top shape.

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The rubber part of the gear shift linkage seems to be wearing out.

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Dust cap on one side has fallen off somewhere.

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The back of the horn seems to have lost some paint and is peeling off. I love the horns on the new CB350, I hope they fit my bike.

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I dont know what prompted me to inspect the inside of the fuel cap but I found more rust!

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Cleaned it and applied copious WD40. I need to keep a close eye on it.

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The right side fork seal seems to be slowly giving up.

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The left fork seal appears to be a lot better.

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One of the screws on the silencer shield.

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Clean looking chain before Motul Chain Lube was applied.


Readers of this thread will remember that the glass of the left side mirror cracked when some young helmetless riders sped out of a lane on the left and hit the bike's mirror while swerving to avoid me. Fortunately, the right side RVM had broken off my bike quite some time back (got tired of the vibes, I guess), and since Royal Enfield only allows you to buy a pair of mirrors for the Continental GT 535, I had put in the new pair and had left the old left side mirror lying at home. The newly broken mirror was causing some humming at certain frequencies and so I have swapped it out for the original one that came with the bike.

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Broken but still effective.

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The rear of the original Fiem manufactured mirror. Some rust visible.

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The rear of the new mirror on the right side. Much better.


Overall, this is a nice 2 bike garage to have with both bikes complimenting each other very well without any overlap at all. But after falling under the spell of multi bike garage owners like KarthikK, my mind is firmly made up that a Royal Enfield 650 would slot in between them just fine!

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However, I do have a naked classic, well cafe racer, but close enough, in the Continental GT 535 so I need something different. And I loved faired motorcycles, they have always been my weakness, ever since I picked up an automobile magazine decades ago. So not just any Royal Enfield 650 then, it needs to be something special. Speaking of special, I would be first in line if Royal Enfield stops teasing us and just goes ahead and launches the the production version of its drop dead gorgeous Nought Tea GT 650. We have been hearing about the 650 Scrambler and the faired 650 but nothing has been launched yet. Come on Royal Enfield, your Meteor launch is done and dusted with, its time to get back to your 650s and give us what we have been waiting for!

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Old 1st December 2020, 11:34   #717
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)

Gt 535 was the bike which made me fall in love with the cafe racers, i think i still have the pictures saved in my Google photos somewhere. And when RE launched the Gt 650, i was sold! Interceptor might be comfortable but an old school cafe racer has its own charm.

"My mind is firmly made up that a Royal Enfield 650 would slot in between them just fine!" hahaha i'm sure it will.
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Old 1st December 2020, 12:13   #718
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)

Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
So ideally, the combination of 3M Chain Cleaner and Motul C5 Chain Paste should be the perfect mix.

Come on Royal Enfield, your Meteor launch is done and dusted with, its time to get back to your 650s and give us what we have been waiting for!
Thanks for your feedback on the chain products.

RE will get these products only in our dreams! Except the Cruiser 650 nothing seems on the horizon on the 650 platform. All others are only custom and racing concepts and would never make it to production. RE please prove me wrong.

- The Malle Rally Royale, Bike Shed MC
- The Flat Tracker
- Your type of GT, Custom Race (Bike Shed MC)
- Scrambler

Alas, they're all RE show bikes!

RE has recently told the press that they'll launch a new bike every quarter for the next 7 quarters (apart from color changed variants). So 6 more to come in 2021-22, we still have hopes!

- RE Classic 350 J1 (Meteor engine)
- RE Bullet 350 J1
- RE Sherpa/Hunter (Smaller engine, lighter bike)
- RE 650 Crusader (Cruiser, I'm giving it a name)

You can guess the other 2

Your CGT535 has aged well

/surjaonwheelz
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Old 1st December 2020, 12:29   #719
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)

Quote:
Originally Posted by surjaonwheelz View Post
- RE Sherpa/Hunter (Smaller engine, lighter bike)
/surjaonwheelz
And I am one of those fools sitting over the fence with the belief that a Himalayan 650 (or whatever) will come out.
@Neil- I thought the GT had some good quality parts or maybe I am expecting too much from RE.
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Old 1st December 2020, 13:09   #720
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (27,000 km and 6 years)

Great to see that you have maintained it in its original form. I sometimes miss the original set up which i had on only for a brief time.

This is how my GT looks. Have been on long rides like the last Rider Mania on this and she has never missed a beat
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