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Thread: 10,000Kms Honest review of Enfield Continental GT!!!

  1. #1
    Rusted Kaushik Iyer's Avatar
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    Default 10,000Kms Honest review of Enfield Continental GT!!!

    Yes.. I thought of writing this review since I was unable to find any when I was hunting for it last year. And Yes I know many a times reading long drawn reviews with a whole lot of story is a pain so I'll keep this to the point as much as possible.

    Yes another disclaimer I regularly make is While I may be using Enfield for the last year & I've always liked the bikes for their retro looks I've never been a fan boy of them, I used a Honda Unicorn for almost 10yrs & I was never a fan of Honda either . But I am a fan of the GT not only from the day I looked at it but each day as the year has passed I've loved it more & more, but that doesn't mean it's all goodie good & I won't call out on what's not so good. Hence I say an honest review. But like I've found over & over, my views are usually a little tangent of what the majority thinks or believes. So this is totally personal & may or maynot apply to your thinking or liking.

    16th Jan 2015 was the day I booked my bike after going thru all the phases & stages what most go thru, but I on top had a bucket load of friends & well wishers who advised my for my own good against the GT. So when I did get this bike, most were praising of how the bike looks, seems to be well built but also wished me luck with a pinch of sarcasm. "All that glitters is not gold" they said.

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    Anyway after I got the bike it was the regular rut, office to home & back thru saki naka traffic, I got a chance to take the bike for a few trips, though not as many as I had imagined I would & quite a few short sunday quickies. I'd say 85% of the time I was in the city commuting which involved some bit of Western Express highway & many on regular jammed roads. I say so to let you know what my interpretations are based on.

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    - Attention - this is one thing which has never ever faded & possibly won't. Be it parked or while at a signal the one thing this bike gets is attention. From everybody, even ones on KTMs & Kwakers. And yeah chicks too, no matter on what bike they're on they'll be ogling at this bike . Though I never bought it with that intention but hey I'm not complaining.

    - Seating: for the pillion this is very comfortable & provides good space to move around. For the rider the position looks intimidating but I honestly find this very comfortable for highway but again I'm a road-cyclist so for me this position is almost second nature.

    - Ride quality - on Smooth roads : like a sweet dream. This bike takes to the tarmac seamlessly.
    - on rough roads:- where the surface looks like it's been unfinished: this bike will eat it like hot knife thru butter.
    - on undulating & uneven roads:- broken with lots of small pot holes : If you're an atheist you'll wish you believed in god. Yes this bike will try to throw you & will make you remember your gods. It'll transfer the road jerk into your rear end, but before that, you'll feel it in your neck from the handlebar. You'll feel you're riding with welded forks!! Yes it is that bad... so to save yourself some torture you have to brake & snail the section out. But apart from that it's a brilliant rider.

    - Handling - Like mentioned above it has some good suspension which gives it good handling on good roads, but this is no bike to scrape your foot pegs on. Yes you can lean in quite a bit more than regular REs but the sheer weight of the bike doesn't give confidence to the weak heart. But with time you learn to manage it. While going uphil it's a pleasure to ride this bike. But while coming down, you'll feel the front end wants to go before you want it to, faster than your comfort. This heavy front end also adds up in traffic & makes it difficult to maneuver. On highway this weighs up perfectly but this does not have the flickability of bikes like Ninja or CBR.

    Brakes - The front I feel is one of the best you can buy this side of bike category, excellent feedback and progessive. The rear is the stark opposite of the front!! it brakes no doubt & I've had some pretty close calls where the both brakes worked perfectly But I've locked the rear wheel many times & the bike being front biased has got the rear snaking when the rear wheel locks. But my gripe is feedback & a discerningly tiny rear brake which I've already run thru one set of pads. This is the most pathetic part of this bike.

    Issues faced:- Most important part - esp since Enfield have a reputation to keep
    - Battery indicator turns on if I keep the headlight on in b2b traffic. But has never resulted in a problem.
    - Vibration - the bike's vibration has honestly never been a problem for me. But the vibration causes the Horns to vibrate since the horn mount act like a tuning fork & create a nonsensical metallic sound. I hate it & not found a solution to this.
    - Broke a rear spoke not sure how!! my commute road is really bad... had to run from pillar to post to get it. But on the positive... rode with that broken spoke for atleast 150kms!!!.
    - Headlight feels as if it's pointed to the sky. The Highbeam is probably to find the aliens!!

    Other than this I've never faced any issue at all & I'm disappointed to say the least . None of the parts fallen off, none of the things suddenly stopped working, heck nothing has even rattled. None of what my well wishers said has come true !!! My honda after 10k kms was nothing more than a rattle box.

    Mods I'd like to do on this bike: Any help on these would be appreciated.
    - Rear Brake upgrade - yet to find something suitable.
    - Front forks - yes I'd probably change it for something more pliant & capable to handle the weight of the bike
    - Front Fork T - probably make it from CNC
    - Exhaust - I've been on a look out for a lighter exhaust for the bike but there's hardly anything on the market which is not grossly loud.
    - Better & Bigger mirrors - Well atleast I was able to get this done.... Today don't have a pic now will post later.
    - Sprockets - I'd like to have a bigger & a smaller rear sprocket to see how the bike responds.
    - Ultimate Mode would be to place in a parallel twin... after all Cafes are supposed to be one with your personal touch.

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    All said & done I love this bike, for it satisfies the inner retro nerd in me. And the best part is... like my bicycle this seems so simple; I've worked on it many times myself. I've loved this bike for being what it is, simple & barebones. And that's what I love about this.
    Last edited by Kaushik Iyer; 03-07-2016 at 12:34 AM.

  2. #2
    Moderator Divya Sharan's Avatar
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    Default Re: 10,000Kms Honest review of Enfield Continental GT!!!

    Honest (long term) report approved!

    You didn't mention anything w.r.t the engine and it's performance.
    I feel this bike with such a wonderful chassis, suspension and brakes deserved a better engine.

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    Rusted Kaushik Iyer's Avatar
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    Default Re: 10,000Kms Honest review of Enfield Continental GT!!!

    well that thought came to me after I submitted :P!!! Not sure if I can edit.

    Engine Performance:- As said above this bike deserved a much better engine than what it came with & i've said this myself many times over. I do sometimes feel RE sort of shortchanged on this bike by giving it the same old push-rod albeit with 35cc extra. But compared to classic 500 this bike accelerates much faster - that's the only consolation .
    Anyway the performance of what's given is more than enough honestly for the roads that we have to offer. Atleast for me this bike offers a good range of grunt & more than enough torque to overtake both in traffic & on highway. This though is not for those who seek the blurring top end, most cafes back in the day were not for top end & this one is no different. Yes the bike can handle the top end chassis wise but the engine actually huffs & gets tired post 4k rpm mark. an easy cruise at 2.5k will make country roads go fast enough to cover distance & enjoy the scenery. On the highway it can go 80kmph all day long on 5th gear with 2.5krpm & I believe on our roads 80kmph is pretty fast.

    The bike has ample power for regular use & mile munching at humanly speeds. Also any more power would be that a lot will need to be changed, rear brakes first & also probably the head-angle to provide a lighter front end & offcourse drive-train & other things would need to be beefed up..

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    THE MOTORCYCLIST
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    Default Re: 10,000Kms Honest review of Enfield Continental GT!!!

    You could get a silencer from Royal motorcycles.com .my brother uses the monster glaswool on bullet 500 and it thumps awesome.it sounds like the stock silencer but the sound is amplified 10 times.as far as I know the silencer can be fitted on the GT without any major modifications. They have a active Facebook page so you can ask them there.

    RIDE HARD RIDE SAFE

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    Rusted krishna77's Avatar
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    Default Re: 10,000Kms Honest review of Enfield Continental GT!!!

    Nice review Kaushik. Ride on!

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    Psycho sman999's Avatar
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    Default Re: 10,000Kms Honest review of Enfield Continental GT!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by SIDDHARTH SINGH View Post
    You could get a silencer from Royal motorcycles.com .my brother uses the monster glaswool on bullet 500 and it thumps awesome.it sounds like the stock silencer but the sound is amplified 10 times.as far as I know the silencer can be fitted on the GT without any major modifications. They have a active Facebook page so you can ask them there.

    RIDE HARD RIDE SAFE
    I think he mentioned he doesn't want anything grossly loud :P


    Btw Nice review. One thing is that you said 80kmph is fast for our roads.. Nope, I can cruise all day at 110kmph in the national highways. Cruising on 80kmph, I believe it would make you tired on long journeys. At least 100kmph should do. No?
    Ride Safe!

    Cheers,
    Maneesh S

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    Addicted Lone Wanderer's Avatar
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    Default Re: 10,000Kms Honest review of Enfield Continental GT!!!

    nice review brother,,,,, i found the GT very fast during the test ride,,, though i choose TB500 but i m surely in love with GT it is such a darling to eye in my opinion,,,,

    though u said it doesn't stress on 80 but one thing i found and experienced several times is the 500cc UCE engines are very much capable on doing 105-110km/hr all day with out stressing an inch cruising steadily on 3.5k rpm ,,,,GT has 35cc few horses and some NM of more torque at its disposal it won't break into sweat attaining more cruising speed than TB or Classic 500 in my opinion though,,,, ,,,

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    Default Re: 10,000Kms Honest review of Enfield Continental GT!!!

    Regarding safe cruising speed, what you need to understand is road condition is very different in different parts of country. So for a Chennai-ite crusing speed of 110 will be fine (though illegal) as they have ORR etc, while for mumbikers, unless they open Worli Sealink road or Pune expressway for bikers, anything over 80 is at your own peril. I do daily ride from Virar to Malad on 6 lane Ahmedabad highway (50kms) and had many heart in the mouth moments on my RE desert storm.

    1. You are in middle lane and you see a slow lorry in your lane and decide to overtake, so you look in your RVM, all clear, give indicator and are about to overtake when suddenly a speeding Innova materializes, out of nowhere, furiously flashing, and in that moment you know you are screwed.

    2. You have a lorry in fast lane and you are along side in middle lane and they decide to suddenly visit the petrol pump and decide to go diagonally along the road without any indication, and you know you are in their blindspot, and you know you are screwed.

    Even if you are on a SBK, with ABS or traction control, IMU, whatever, they are only as good as the rider and his balls in some situations.

    However, I must confess I have done some illegal speeds when the roads are clear or in early mornings on the same roads (with some speedo error). Its against forum rules so I don't wish to discuss any further. There are vibes at such speed, but it is like a high frequency buzz in your pants and I like that tingly feeling.

    Rear brakes, well I remember reading in book Sport Riding techniques, to keep rear brakes as loose as possible so as to avoid rear lock. Though not good for my D'Sorm, I don't know how valid that statement is for GT. I believe your main issue is a lack of feed back and lack of traction in panic situations, and not as much regarding the bite. For feedback, I don't know but I think your front line is steel braided, something similar may be possible for rear also. For traction, your Pirellis though exceptionally good in clear tarmac, might not be that well in gravel or wet, especially slush. This is what I face with my MRF zapper also. So a downgrade to tyre with more tread (refer thread of Neil jericho in TBHP for report of Ceat).

    I sometimes go out at night to practice stops from 80 on empty roads and in almost 90 percent case, I lose my rear traction. I can only imagine my plight in a true panic situation.

    Please don't change your exhaust, IMHO nothing is better than stock. Without modified ECU maps, free flow can scavenge exhaust gas, for frequent high rpm runs, causing a lean mixture and burnt exhaust valves.
    Divya Sharan likes this.

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    Rusted Kaushik Iyer's Avatar
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    Default Re: 10,000Kms Honest review of Enfield Continental GT!!!

    Yes the gt can easily clock a 100 and be there for the whole day without a hitch.. My mention of 80 was that both my gt n me are relaxed at that speed and much enjoyable.. Unless the goal is to simply make a time on a particular distance.

    As fast as the exhaust goes... I'm more than happy with what I have sound wise, but wished for a lighter weight exhaust not louder as such.

    As for the rear brakes: it does come with steel braided lines. I think re should have got a rear brembo unit as well. Or at least made a optional upgrade. Because it lacks progressive feel, also a bigger set of pads wouldn't have hurt. I'd really like anyone here to suggest and guide me in this upgrade.

    Also can I install any set of aftermarket forks on this or do I need to look at some specs other than the fork diameter to match my stock stem if not going for a custom one.

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    Default Re: 10,000Kms Honest review of Enfield Continental GT!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaushik Iyer View Post

    As for the rear brakes: it does come with steel braided lines. I think re should have got a rear brembo unit as well. Or at least made a optional upgrade. Because it lacks progressive feel, also a bigger set of pads wouldn't have hurt. I'd really like anyone here to suggest and guide me in this upgrade.
    Don' know if it helps, but EBC Sintered brake pads are available for Royal Enfield. Rs 3350/- imported by Ultimate Auto Impex. Also available at Crossroads bikerstop at Mira road. They didn't have it in stock for Enfield, but they said they can get it for you on short notice. You can check if they have one suitable for rear of GT.

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