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Old 25th December 2018, 01:28   #481
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Default Merry Christmas

Its been a busy end of the year for 2018 and so there hasnt been much riding in the last few weeks. Overall its was a quiet year with less than 3,000 kms covered over 12 months which is frankly a little embarrassing given that I had some time on my hands earlier in the year to ride. In comparison I know fellow Team BHPians did a biking trip over the last couple of weeks that covered over 6,300 kms in total (look out for their upcoming travelogue!). In my admittedly weak defense, I did cover a few thousand kilometers on my Triumph Street Triple as well but nowhere close enough to justify the addition of a lovely silver Interceptor 650 in my garage. Oh well, maybe my wife has a point on a 3 bike garage but I hold on to hope and tell myself that there's always next year!


The odometer on the GT 535 stands at 22,562 kms right now. Anyways, its time to hang up the bike keys for the year. Here's wishing all of you a very merry Christmas and have a wonderful and blessed new year. See you all on the other side.

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (29,000 km and 7 years)-20181224_124944_hdr-large.jpg
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Old 3rd January 2019, 07:45   #482
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Default re: Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (29,000 km and 7 years)

Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
Do PM me your plans if you are visiting on Saturday, I was also planning on heading there. Hopefully no issues with getting test rides at the company showroom.
Couldn't make it on the weekend, but did visit the showroom on the day before Christmas and took a test ride. The GT felt very comfortable and i did book one. Another test ride with my better half as the pillion last week made me change the booking . So it's the interceptor in ravishing red for now.
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Old 11th January 2019, 12:27   #483
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Default A warm welcome to 2019 and an unexpected guest!

After a not so brief end of the year break, I was finally back to riding but before I could do that, I realized that was my bike was in dire need of a good wash and wax. So with my dachshund for company, it was time to get down to some hard work.

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (29,000 km and 7 years)-20190110_155520_hdr-large.jpg

The routine I followed was
1. Wash the bike with water using a micro fibre cloth, this gets all the dirt and muck out
2. Create a soap solution with a cap full of Sonax wash added to a half bucket of water
3. Wash the bike again with the soap solution using another micro fibre cloth, it will form a nice foamy lather
4. Wash the bike with water using a third micro fibre cloth
5. Wipe the bike clean with two (the fourth and fifth) micro fibre cloths. Why two? It helps me get done with wiping faster.
6. Apply Formula 1 wax to the bike very lightly. Allow it to form a haze.
7. Use the sixth micro fibre cloth to wipe the bike. And then wipe again. And again. And again. And again. Until happy.

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (29,000 km and 7 years)-20190110_170428_hdr-large.jpg
Looks smashing as ever

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (29,000 km and 7 years)-20190110_170637_hdr-large.jpg

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (29,000 km and 7 years)-20190110_183636_hdr-large.jpg

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (29,000 km and 7 years)-20190110_183646_hdr-large.jpg

I usually just do steps one to five and skip the waxing part. Despite having faithfully used only micro fibre cloths since day 1, there are some swirl marks present. So Ill have to do a more thorough detailing session in the coming months. At the end of it all though, the bike was looking in tip top shape and drew a few glances while I was riding it around later in the night.


But, and Im channeling my inner angry New Daniel Bryan here, at step number 1, I realized that my old nemesis, rust, had quietly made a holiday appearance. I ended up finishing the bottle of WD40 that I had in trying to attack this unwanted guest. Time to pick up another few bottles of the rust battling WD40 then.

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (29,000 km and 7 years)-20190110_155944_hdr-large.jpg
Rust!

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (29,000 km and 7 years)-20190110_155245_hdr-large.jpg
More rust!!

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (29,000 km and 7 years)-20190110_155301_hdr-large.jpg
REally Royal Enfield? You cant get a supplier to make a rubber tube that just works?

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (29,000 km and 7 years)-20190110_155335_hdr-large.jpg
Even more rust!!!

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (29,000 km and 7 years)-20190110_155347_hdr-large.jpg
OK, this rust is really annoying me now!!!!

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (29,000 km and 7 years)-20190110_155930_hdr-large.jpg
Im one more rust spot away from getting angry!!!!!

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (29,000 km and 7 years)-20190110_155645_hdr-large.jpg

I didn't have these issues with rust while I was in Bangalore so it looks as though the humidity of the coastal city I stay in now has taken its toll on the Continental GT 535. Sigh! All part of the Royal Enfield ownership experience . But, riding around town, the bike once again made me realize that despite decades of dreaming of owning high horsepower motorcycles, the humble little Continental GT 535 still puts a big smile on my face. And with motorcycling, that's what matters, isn't it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by _raviShankar_ View Post
Couldn't make it on the weekend, but did visit the showroom on the day before Christmas and took a test ride. The GT felt very comfortable and i did book one. Another test ride with my better half as the pillion last week made me change the booking . So it's the interceptor in ravishing red for now.
Congratulations! Did they give you a delivery date?
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Old 11th January 2019, 12:31   #484
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Default re: Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (29,000 km and 7 years)

Whatever that rubber hose is supposed to be doing, you better get that changed!
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Old 11th January 2019, 14:52   #485
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Default re: Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (29,000 km and 7 years)

Back in 2015 I'd left my P220 to rest for a few months immediately after a pressure wash, end result was rust, me and dad stripped the motorcycle, sanded and repainted the affected areas and more.

Been a few years now and shes been left wet for months together and yet she's as good as new, hence I'd suggest you do the same.

As for the rubber hoses, its commonsense to periodically replace them, they're common components and can be sourced from just about any place, make sure to replace fuel hose as well.

Cheers,
A.P.
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Old 12th January 2019, 07:08   #486
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Default re: Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (29,000 km and 7 years)

neil.jericho

Several years ago I noticed the vent hose on my 2011 RE was aging badly so I replaced it with a piece of 1/2 inch ID clear vinyl tubing.

Over the years it has shown no signs of cracking, or aging.
It has developed a slightly brown coating of oil vapor residue inside it but that is doing no harm.

I don't know if plain, clear vinyl tubing is available in India or not but I would guess it might be at a hardware store, home improvement store or a auto parts store.

The existing clamps seem to work to keep it in place without problems.

Happy riding.
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Old 12th January 2019, 07:37   #487
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Default Re: A warm welcome to 2019 and an unexpected guest!

Sorry to see all that rust. If I were you I'd give it a good coat of Loctite rust protector. It's so good that it finds use in serious marine applications (and on boats and stuff).


Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
I realized that my old nemesis, rust, had
quietly made a holiday appearance.
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Old 12th January 2019, 10:17   #488
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Default Re: A warm welcome to 2019 and an unexpected guest!

Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
I didn't have these issues with rust while I was in Bangalore so it looks as though the humidity of the coastal city I stay in now has taken its toll on the Continental GT 535. Sigh! All part of the Royal Enfield ownership experience . But, riding around town, the bike once again made me realize that despite decades of dreaming of owning high horsepower motorcycles, the humble little Continental GT 535 still puts a big smile on my face. And with motorcycling, that's what matters, isn't it?
Neil you've hit the nail on its head. The culprit is the coastal climate. But then, how are the other resident Bullet owners coping up? Answer may be that you've to increase the frequency of applying "elbow grease"

The rubber hose - time and oil contributes to this. The solution suggested by Arizona Jim is worth trying. In Kochi you can get vinyl tubing of various dia easily. Try that

Best Regards & Ride Safe

Ram
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Old 14th January 2019, 15:21   #489
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Default Quick ride to Allepey / Alappuzha beach

Since I had most of Sunday free, I decided to do a quick ride to a nearby beach but since I had ridden to Cherai recently, I decided to ride a bit further to the town of Alappuzha (formerly but popularly known as Allepey) which has a wonderful beach. Now Allepey is 60 kms away and connected to Cochin by a highway but the route is only partly four laned with dividers. And with the Sunday crazies out in full glory trying to overtake each other while narrowly missing a trip to the ICU or the graveyard each time, I decided to play it safe and rode at a steady pace. So I ended up taking all of the one and a half hours that Google predicted to cover the 60 kms. I noticed that the patchwork tarring that has been done recently on the highway was making the bike a little twitchy, akin to the feedback on the Pirelli tires that someone shared on the 650 thread today.

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (29,000 km and 7 years)-20190113_124953_hdr-large.jpg

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (29,000 km and 7 years)-20190113_125158_hdr-large.jpg

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (29,000 km and 7 years)-20190113_125653-large.jpg

After enjoying the beach for some time, I grabbed a quick fast food lunch and rode back to Cochin in much less time than it took me to get to Allepey. The traffic has thinned quite a bit since I left at 13:30 and everyone was probably eating or sleeping! Thankfully before I had started my ride, I had switched my clear visor for my tinted one and that greatly helped in reducing the stress while riding. I noticed that the fuel bars weren't dropping through the ride and so I expected to get some excellent mileage figures when I topped up the bike after entering Cochin at a different petrol pump. I was in for a surprise which you will see below.


I tried to fill air in both the tires but this pump also had the long handle which makes filling air in the rear tire very difficult. As a result, some air leaked out and so I rode to my usual petrol pump which was a kilometre away and tried to fill it there. They too use the long handle pump but so far I faced no issues there. However since some air had leaked out, the unit wasn't able to detect that there was air inside the tire and refused to fill it, as explained by the petrol pump staff. I checked for punctures but there were definitely none. So I hobbled the bike home and filled in air using ResQ Tech and things are back to normal now.


Mileage : Last time I had filled up at the Essar bunk in Elankkunnapuzha since I had always had positive experiences with Essar fuel in Bangalore. However despite half the riding being highway riding in Kerala conditions, the mileage figures were disappointing. For the type of riding that I did, I would have expected a figure of 33 - 35 kmpl easily. Im not saying the fuel from Essar was bad as I didn't feel any difference in performance but I woudnt fill fuel from there unless I had to. Distance covered : 202.1 kms. Petrol consumed : 7.13 litres. Mileage: 28.35 kmpl. Mileage since day 1 inches up to 27.5 kmpl.


Thanks to everyone for chipping in with your thoughts on the rust and rubber tube issue. The one question I have on replacing the tube is the exactly diameter of the tube required, does anyone know it? Are all the rubber tubes in the bike of the same diameter? If I know the correct numbers, I will get it replaced soon. On the issue of rust, I checked on the Continental GT group and it appears as though my bike has been the hardest hit among all the owners. One solution that many of them resort to is autosol metal polish that keeps the engine and metal parts shiny and clean and supposedly prevents rust as well. The engine casing on my bike looks rather dull and the autosol should help bring some sparkle to it. Does anyone have any suggestions for any other similar products?
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Old 18th January 2019, 17:54   #490
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Default Re: A warm welcome to 2019 and an unexpected guest!

Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
REally Royal Enfield? You cant get a supplier to make a rubber tube that just works?
My erstwhile A350 had a breather rubber pipe from the barrel head which was routed to a black breather can under the seat. From this can, another rubber hose fed the ejected oil to the chain through a hole in the chain guard. This was the factory set-up. At times this led to fouling the rear rim with oil and at other times this hose tend to crack.

The solution? I took the common household LPG hose (the regular one and not the steel braided one), replaced the rubber hose from the can with this, redirecting it to side of the rear stay, ensuring it was away from the rear tire or its path. That tube lasted for around a decade. The chain was manually oiled.
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Old 21st January 2019, 14:36   #491
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Default Ride to Kotagiri

I completed a 3 day ride to Kotagiri and back to meet up with some old TBHP riding friends. In the hills, the bike's handling was sublime as always though I wished I had the stiffened up rear suspension a bit more. Im waiting for the corresponding thread to come up before posting more details of the trip but for now I'll leave you with a couple of photos of the different motorcycles and mileage updates.

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (29,000 km and 7 years)-20190119_121628_hdr-large.jpg

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (29,000 km and 7 years)-20190120_090002_hdr-large.jpg

Mileage : I topped up from the Essar bunk on the L&T bypass in Coimbatore on my way to Kotagiri with most of the distance covered being highway roads. Distance covered : 212.5 kms. Petrol consumed : 6.78 litres. Mileage: 31.34 kmpl.

I then topped up from another Essar bunk in Kotagiri on the next day after some hard riding in the hills. Distance covered : 165.1 kms. Petrol consumed : 5.74 litres. Mileage: 28.76 kmpl which is quite fair given how I was attacking the bends.

On my return, I topped up at the same Essar bunk on the L&T bypass in Coimbatore after having completed some quick highway riding. Distance covered : 159.3 kms. Petrol consumed : 4.05 litres. Mileage: 39.33 kmpl which shocked me, positively that is. Mileage since day 1 stands at 27.59 kmpl.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jusgetgoing View Post
The solution? I took the common household LPG hose (the regular one and not the steel braided one), replaced the rubber hose from the can with this, redirecting it to side of the rear stay, ensuring it was away from the rear tire or its path. That tube lasted for around a decade. The chain was manually oiled.
This is most helpful, thanks.

Last edited by neil.jericho : 21st January 2019 at 14:38.
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Old 25th January 2019, 20:50   #492
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Default First impressions of Shell Advance Ultra 15W50 (Fully Synthetic)

Over the years, across different motorcycles, Ive used a couple of fully synthetic oils such as the Castrol Power 1 Racing (meh experience) and the Motul 300V (excellent experience). For someone like me who likes doing highway riding, the difference that a good engine oil makes is quite noticeable. If there is one point that Indian motorcyclists can raise against the stellar Motul 300V, it is that of it's pricing. The oil is the most expensive one in the market among the established players but then again, it has the performance to match as well.

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (29,000 km and 7 years)-6129uzftrsl._sy879_.jpg
Picture courtesy - Amazon

But after years of good results with Motul's 300V, I wanted a change and had heard consistently good reviews of the Shell Advance Ultra 15W50 fully synthetic engine oil from trusted rider friends. So I stocked up on a few cans of Shell's finest which is cheaper than the Motul 300V. The MRP of the Shell Advance Ultra is Rs 968 for a 1 litre can and that of the Motul 300V is Rs 1,035 for a similar can. That said, online discounts on the Shell engine oil are usually higher than that of the Motul 300V so a set of 3 one litre cans from Shell can save you around Rs 500 to Rs 700 in comparison. This works out to a tank full of petrol in today's market and 270 kms of riding.


Now the last engine oil that I put into the Continental GT was the Motul 300V when the odometer was around the 18,300 km mark and prior to last weekend's ride to Kotagiri, the bike had done 4,441 kms on the oil. Since the ride would have meant that the oil would cross the 5,000 km mark, I was keen on getting the oil changed before the ride. That way, I could also gauge the difference in smoothness (if any) with the switch over to Shell's Advance Ultra over 3 days of riding in different scenarios. Hence I got the oil changed at a local FNG last week.


First Impressions
On day 1, I did 330 kms of riding which included a mix of highway riding and riding in the hills. And my initial impressions in the first few hours of riding were that I was distinctly indifferent about the switch over to the Shell oil. In prior instances, every time I changed the engine oil (usually after 5,000 to 7,000 kms were covered) the smoothness that say, a Motul 300V brought was quickly noticeable. Not so in this case. I understand that since the last engine oil only did 4,441 kms, it may not have degraded enough for a switch to a new oil (even if it was the same 300V) to have made a significant difference.

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (29,000 km and 7 years)-20190118_103949_hdr-large.jpg
Wondering whether I should expect it to be a bit smoother

However as I covered a few hundred more kilometres over the course of day two and day three of the ride, the smoothness seems to have slowly improved. Shell's website claims "Volatility and oil oxidation leads to oil degradation. Shell Advance Ultra has lower volatility and better oxidation stability, which means it does not degrade within 6000km, which is twice the typical oil drain interval". Once again, I'm targeting a 5,000 life for this oil and will track its performance as I clock more kilometres in the coming months. Amazon reviews from Royal Enfield owners have been a mixed bag, some of them are happy while others are unhappy and have switched back to Motul. Overall, I have no real complaints about the Shell Advance Ultra 15W50 oil given its post discount price point but was probably let down a bit by my expectations coming from the more expensive and proven Motul 300V.


Mileage : I finally topped up from the same BPCL bunk that I usually fill from in Cochin as I wanted to check the mileage of my return trip from Coimbatore's L&T bypass. Bear in mind, I wasn't pussy footing around as the roads were empty being a Sunday. Distance covered : 177.3 kms. Petrol consumed : 6.14 litres. Mileage: 28.88 kmpl which is pretty good considering the hard riding.
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Old 4th February 2019, 12:30   #493
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Default Rear suspension trouble

I took the plunge and purchased a tube of Autosol from Amazon to help restore the bike to some of its former glory through some good old fashioned elbow greasing. I spent a couple of hours scrubbing the different parts of the bike and the initial results are promising. However I must mention that removing 4 and a half years of neglect towards the engine casings is a lot harder than one thinks! While I was at it, I was inspecting the rear suspension as I felt the bike was wallowing a tiny bit on my Kotagiri ride but I had put it down to the different front-rear weight balance thanks to the packed tank bag coupled with the earlier soft suspension settings. However I was dismayed to find that one of the rear suspension parts was leaking. This is a known issue with the Continental GT 535 and my bike is 4 1/2 years old with 23,500 kms on the odometer.

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (29,000 km and 7 years)-20190126_122448_hdr-large.jpg

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (29,000 km and 7 years)-20190126_122457_hdr-large.jpg
Leak quite noticeable

I was trying to find out if the Gabriel shocks from the 650s would be a direct fit as I wanted to try something different if it was in the same price range as the Paioli shocks from the 535. Also I wanted to remove the corrugated stock foot pegs and replace it with the much nicer ones from the 650. I tried my luck at St Mary's Motors which is close to my house but they didn't have the rear suspension in stock. The service manager was kind enough to check for stock availability in other outlets on the RE systems and confirmed that the company service centre in Edapally had it.


The Service Advisor at the Edapally SVC listed down the main issues
- Rear suspension replacement (both sides as insisted by me)
- Broken / cracked hoses replacement
- Tightening the screws of the front console which had worked itself loose on the Kotagiri ride
- Check if the 650 foot pegs are available and fit them on the bike
and promised delivery in a day or two. Both the St Mary's SVC and Edapaly SVC confirmed that the Gabriel shocks from the 650 don't fit the 535. The total bill came to Rs 12,162 which was expected as the rear suspension is relatively expensive. I have misplaced the bill and hence I don't have the detailed breakup of the costs. Overall I was happy with the service experience and give it a 5 / 5.

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (29,000 km and 7 years)-20190129_090152_hdr-large.jpg

Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (29,000 km and 7 years)-20190129_090305_hdr-large.jpg
Some additional details provided in the SVC


Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
Overall, I have no real complaints about the Shell Advance Ultra 15W50 oil given its post discount price point but was probably let down a bit by my expectations coming from the more expensive and proven Motul 300V.
Incidentally the same topic of discussion came up in the Triumph Street Triple owners group and feedback from one of the users mirrored my observations as well.
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Old 5th February 2019, 15:34   #494
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Default Re: Rear suspension trouble

Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
However I was dismayed to find that one of the rear suspension parts was leaking. This is a known issue with the Continental GT 535 and my bike is 4 1/2 years old with 23,500 kms on the odometer.
Hi Neil, I also found out the same a few days back. I had a busted front right fork oil seal. When I went to change it, it was noted that the rear right there is a very small leakage and unfortunately a new set of them costs 6K and it is not available too..
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Old 11th February 2019, 10:29   #495
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Default Re: Rear suspension trouble

Quote:
Originally Posted by arulpeem View Post
Hi Neil, I also found out the same a few days back. I had a busted front right fork oil seal. When I went to change it, it was noted that the rear right there is a very small leakage and unfortunately a new set of them costs 6K and it is not available too..
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.
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