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So last year I bought a Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 and it didn't go well.

My first mistake was that I didn't test ride it but that was a minor detail after everything that transpired.

The day it was supposed to be delivered the driver didn't strap another bike down properly and it rolled into the tank of the Continental ruining it.

A new tank was ordered, fitted and the bike was delivered.

The next day I spotted that one of the forks had had a really obvious blow in paint repair and rang the shop to get it repaired under warranty, which they agreed to do.

Later in the day I took it out it's initial ride but within minutes a stone bounced off the tank and put a beautiful chip in it so any chances of finding a 3rd thing wrong with it so I could give it back went out of the window.

For the first 45 minutes it was a joy to ride but as the ride progressed my ass got really uncomfortable and my wrists were just singing with pain do to its long reach and drop bars.

The front brake is so ineffectual it was like a front brake in the rain and even if it was fitted with a Bembro caliper it was still worse at stopping than an 883 on a gravel road.

The bike is long so I'm stretched out, the wheels are huge so it doesn't turn in easily and the tyres are skinny so it rides on a knife edge.

It's pretty horrid to ride but it's saving grace is it's engine which is incredible.

More torque and grunt than you could ever ask for mated to a gearbox that feels positive like a tractor.

That part of it I love but the rest of it I don't.

Part 2 on it's way.
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Part 2
I rode it to 350 miles but the decided that I couldn't live with it so my buddy who owns a bike shop said that he's try and sell it for me.

That was back in April and since then they have had lots of interest but no real bites so I'm faced with the possibility of seizing it back and then make it roadworthy.

By that I mean make it easier to ride, maybe even nice to ride which would mean getting the seat made up deeper and softer then get some braided hoses, on the front at least.

Now I have a couple of questions -

Have you written off a bike that's not for you or did you find a way of making it closer to what you wanted ?

Or did you just sell it and write it off to experience ?

Bill x
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Time
The first 30 to 45 minutes are just amazing because you're comfortable and the engine is such a novelty even if it is 30 years old.

The feedback from the block is so visceral. It rumbles and barks at you in a way that no Japanese bike will ever do and the gear changes and are bang in and bang out with no false neutrals.

I love it. But after being on it for 2 hours you really are in so much pain you start to count the minutes until you get off the damn thing.

Worse than a Hodna NCX 700 which really set the standard.

It's brilliant and brilliantly bad at the same time.

Because it doesn't want to turn you end up leaning it with your stomach which aches for days afterwards.

The damn thing is alive. It wants to carry on going straight and you attempt to direct it otherwise.

It's a bastard.

Bill x
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I can't, won't buy a bike without trying as ergonomics and also the way how the bike rides are so important to me.

If I for some reason had your RE... based on your description I would sell it, I could not love it just because of the looks, engine and gear box. And too much trouble and likely compromises, for me, to make a comfy anti-cafe racer out of it.

I tried, really tried to love the Guzzi's V7, but no deal. Never bought one, but test rode several times. I liked the looks and sound, but everything else was just a tad off from what are good ergos and rideability to me...and all that summed up, no deal. Still like the looks and sound whenever I see one, but I don't lust after one anymore.
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We bought a Suzuki Burgman 400 because we needed a second freeway capable scooter up in Breckenridge and my husband like the looks and how comfortable three seat felt. It wasn't long though before he found moving it around the garage and slow speed it was like a pig. So he reached the point where he'd take the Sports City sticking me with the barge which gave me a backache a few hundred miles. Lovely as it was on the interstate and very good two up I told my husband if I was going to be stuck riding it I was selling it. Traded it in on a BV 500
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Ache
It's a big lump of a bike but once it's rolling on those narrow Pirelli's it soon loses the weight.

The issue is that it's two big gyroscopes added to its length make it a real handful.

To conquer it is fun and empowering but boy it's exhausting.

On the selling front because its such a novelty ( brand and model may have a lot of bearing on that) I think that it's going to take an age to find it's new owner so there could be a long wait on the cards.

Lets see what transpires eh ?

Bill x
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Any way to make a coffee table outta the thing?

I would have suggested a door stop but I hear castles don't rent cheap.

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Bit
Maybe a door wedge ?

Or a paperweight ?

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Now we're talking!

A window decor? Just saw this in Spain the other day.
Off topic, but that's quite a rear suspension!
Off topic, but that's quite a rear suspension!
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Concept
I know.

I'll use it as a clothes hanger.

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The advantage of a naked motorcycle with a tubular frame is that you can do quite a bit to customize it. There are lots of custom seat options out there to improve comfort and change ergonomics.. Also many different custom handlebar configurations with can ultimately place your hands darned near any place you choose. I'd also guess you could change out that front brake to improve performance. Don't know if you want to do all those things, but you can if that is what you want.
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Re: Time
Bill Dog wrote:
It's brilliant and brilliantly bad at the same time.

Because it doesn't want to turn you end up leaning it with your stomach which aches for days afterwards.

The damn thing is alive. It wants to carry on going straight and you attempt to direct it otherwise.

It's a bastard.

Bill x
Don't you use counter-steering to turn?
It should work fine on the RE ?
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Re: Time
Bill Dog wrote:
I love it. But after being on it for 2 hours you really are in so much pain you start to count the minutes until you get off the damn thing.
Yes I'm getting old as well.

Does it have clip-ons? Try some Interceptor raised bars?
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Can't believe you bought it Bill without trying it. They are not for everyone. However, having ridden that particular model myself from London to Brighton I can confirm they are not the most comfy of bikes. But the next day riding it back to London it was much better, my body getting used to it. It was fine. But it's not the sort of bike to buy if you want to do lots of miles on all at once.

I'm 6'2" tall and fitted the bike well. How tall are you Bill? There are of course different seats, tanks, bars etc which could make all the difference and change your perspective on the bike.
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List
If I keep it I'll get the seat changed/packed out and I'll get some decent hoses fitted.

I rarely counter steer which is why my core seems to end up more than doing an hour of yoga.

Counter steering feels very unnatural to me. It feels like I'm forcing the bike into the corners rather than guiding it.

It doesn't have clip ons as such but the bars rake is pretty steep and the wind on your chest isn't enough to lift the weight off your wrists.

I'm 5ft 8 which is why I'm all stretched out on it and yes, I regret not test riding it but hey, you live and learn don't you.

I think it's a beautiful bike to look at but riding it is something different.

Bill x
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It's weird seeing this thread because I was just watching itchy boots YouTube channel. She'd bought a Himalayan in India and then rode 36,000 kilometres back to Holland via most of the planet (multiple videos on that) but this is her 36k review.

Lots of pro's and cons.

Once I hopefully get my full license I'm in the market for a mid engine sized adventure bike, so this obviously is in the mix.

Anyway this her review, only sharing as it's the same make and might share some parts......oh and she's quite cool too.
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Re: List
Bill Dog wrote:
and the wind on your chest isn't enough to lift the weight off your wrists.
On my NSR the wind pressure doesn't "lift me off" the bars until about 100-120 kph. Which is why i don't like riding it in town.
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A vehicle is like a shoe, if it not fits tightly there is no way to wear it; need to change it.
Other considerations are unnecessary....sorry.
PS: Bill, did you see that i was right about the components?
PPS: i recommend the purchase of a Moto Guzzi, more expensive but a little more comfortable and then it is "still" Made in Italy.
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Bip
It has Italian brakes.

They still don't work.

I really don't want a Moto Guzzi.

Bill x
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Yes ... they are cheap brakes for a cheap motorcycle, you have what you pay for ... It's the truth.
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I didn't see billdog's dimensions anywhere.
How tall are you?

O.S.
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When I first got the BV it was a big upgrade from what I'd had prior and there were some growing pains. Initially I thought I'd made a terrible mistake. I couldn't flat foot, laid it down on my first day because I couldn't manage the center stand. -Totally freaked out. Then I got thicker soled shoes, inched up on the seat at a stop, and now I love it and am glad I didn't alter the bike. It's still a little tall but I only feel that at stops, and even then, only sometimes.

I have a bad back, bad neck. I ride because it's fun and feels freeing. If I had any of the issues you're talking about, Bill, I'd have sold it simply on the basis that it doesn't meet my needs. If you're riding with the purpose of suffering, it sounds like you're nailing it. REs are works of art with wheels, no question. But I'd be asking myself if it is worth the numerous headaches of changing it, altering it, etc. -And if you decide to keep it, do you think you can grow to love it?

I once had a VW that I loved, that gave me nothing but grief. It only worked with prayer, and even then, not always. I got to a point where just the thought of driving (it) gave me anxiety that something would go wrong. -Not how I want to feel on the road.

My $.02.
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Often one buys for aesthetic reasons and one does not go further, I always try a vehicle for several kilometers before buying it; if the dealer has not (but often has it) I go to the rental. However, if sometimes I bought wrong I knew I didn't have better alternatives. But it can happen that an incorrect evaluation is made.
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Twat
Cheap brakes for a cheap bike huh ? It probably cost more than what you ride so I'm going to nip that in the bud right there.

Talk about things you know about, not presume.

The problem is with the hose not the caliper.

I'm five foot eight.

I think that the thing that will sway it is the cost of changing the seat and changing the brake lines.

The bars I'll live with because I think they suit the bike.

Bill x
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Part or all, what difference does it make ...? It is the set that is sold / bought that must be reliable, if it is not for one part the reputation of the whole motorcycle is ruined and ... no, at this point I don't know what we are most talking about, I am lost.
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Attila wrote:
Part or all, what difference does it make ...? It is the set that is sold / bought that must be reliable, if it is not for one part the reputation of the whole motorcycle is ruined and ... no, at this point I don't know what we are most talking about, I am lost.
Then maybe you should pause and take a breath if you don't know what we are talking about. You seem to enjoy posting in every thread and dozens of posts in each. We like quality of posts, not quantity.
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I remember when you got that bike, Bill. Compared to most scooters, motorcycles of much size do seem rather cloddish at times...but also powerful and substantial.

Replacing the brake line with something braided will virtually give you a new ride. The seat might or might not need replacing/reupholstering: some folks end up adjusting, some not, but it can take a little while for ones rear end to adjust to a length of 2 x 12 lumber. I was used to the plushness of a Harley Road King, and when I purchased a BMW R1200GS, I couldn't ride stand that damned seat more than a couple of hours. I would literally ride in the back of the group so I could stand up a bit or just shift my rear end up and on to the passenger seat area for a few minutes just to give my rear a change. I wanted to shoot that bike.

But, I kept the seat, continued to ride it, didn't hurl lead towards it, and as time passed we kind of worked-in with each other. Now it feels plenty comfy and I don't need to dabble in acrobatics while riding it. It very well may be the same for you.

Good luck with whatever you do. Those REs are really pretty cool from where I sit.
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One other thing: all two-wheeled single-track conveyances must turn by the use of counter steering, at anything above inertial righting-moment threshold speed...about a fast walk. That is the one and only way they can manage a turn at speed without high-siding.

It might not seem that way to the rider but it does occur, it's just not really obvious until you dive bomb into a deep curve, like on a flat-track.
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Ergonomics....
Sometimes you just get lucky.
I wanted a big wheel scooter for years. Darn few new ones in the States.
Loved the reviews the Piaggio Liberty 150i was getting.
Found a couple of boxes of them 35 miles away.
Drove over - convinced a salesman to let me into their warehouse , then we started opening the tops of the shipping crates until I saw a red one down in there.
"You want this one?"
"Yes, but I have to sit on it first!" (I'm 6'3")
He grumbled...

We tore bubble wrap, cardboard and straps off until we could straighten the bars and I could try the seat. It was still nailed in the wooden base.
"I'll buy it!"
That was 2 yrs ago - and I'm still loving it.
(I did buy the service manual first, before going to the Vespa/Victory dealer - to make sure I could service it mysrlf easily -- no more Burgmans!)

We don't get test rides of new bikes around here.
Requires one to educate self as thoroughly as possible.
O.S.
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Clips
Good advice. Thank you.

I agree Royal Enfields are pretty damn cool even if this model is an acquired taste.

You could say that it's quirky also. If the shop doesn't sell it the seat and hoses will be replaced and it will be my bike for 2020.

Bill x
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Re: List
Bill Dog wrote:
I rarely counter steer which is why my core seems to end up more than doing an hour of yoga.

Counter steering feels very unnatural to me. It feels like I'm forcing the bike into the corners rather than guiding it.

Bill x
If you're going over 12 mph or so, the only way to steer on a two wheel vehicle is using countersteering, whether you're conscious of it or not.

So you can chalk up a skill you didn't realise you had!
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I can;t offer technical advice. But I will say that there are so many things on which we all have to compromise in life... that when we have it in our power to get something 'just right', why continue to struggle with the pursuit of 'good enough'.

It may sound like one of those trite american posters, but where possible, the things that don't give us joy really need to be set aside and left behind.
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Vintage1 wrote:
Attila wrote:
Part or all, what difference does it make ...? It is the set that is sold / bought that must be reliable, if it is not for one part the reputation of the whole motorcycle is ruined and ... no, at this point I don't know what we are most talking about, I am lost.
Then maybe you should pause and take a breath if you don't know what we are talking about. You seem to enjoy posting in every thread and dozens of posts in each. We like quality of posts, not quantity.
oh yes ... I accept your advice and take notice without guaranteeing anything, thanks.
I wanted to add that the fortune of Royal Enfield is that vintage design motorcycles are back in fashion, otherwise it would have remained confined to its internal market as well as exporting something.
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GT200 & GTS250 & NC750X & Royal Enfield Pegasus
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Hopefully you've now learnt that it's best to try bikes before buying them! Cafe racers aren't particularly built for ergonomics and 50 year old designs aren't going to be as ergonomic as a modern bike. The short handlebars on a cafe racer aren't going to give you much leverage when countersteering so you'll need to put a lot more effort in. If you don't countersteer then perhaps that's something to add to your skill set I love my Enfield and, if it's not raining and I'm not going on the motorway, then that's the bike I take. 50 mph is my comfortable top speed on the bike which is ridiculously low but I'm not complaining because I knew what I was buying. I feel like Marlon Brando every time I kick it into life, I love the looks of the thing, I like the fact that it returns around 90mpg and I just accept that things will go wrong more often than on my Honda.

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Someone mentioned the comfort on the Honda NC and, while I find it comfortable for the 1st hour then mildly irritating after 90 mins, it is torture after 2 hours. I still take the NC on longer trips though because it will happily cruise all day at 80mph and return 80mpg while doing it. I just stop for a coffee when the seating gets irritating. It's also not a "unique" bike - I went to play tennis yesterday and found an identical bike where I normally park - same model, same colour, same top box. I actually think the NC could be the perfect functional bike if they could just fix the seating position, improve the wind noise around the helmet at speed and swap the chain for a belt. If they did that then I'd be quite happy setting off round the world on it.
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@bill_dog avatar
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eeeee bip
BMW R1100RT The Problem Child Kymco Downtown 300 - I'm not the Uber Honda Cub - Scorched Earth Policy
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BMW R1100RT The Problem Child Kymco Downtown 300 - I'm not the Uber Honda Cub - Scorched Earth Policy
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It's not the seating position on the NCX , its the seat itself.

It's an instrument of torture and like you after two hours of riding it I realised that I never wanted to ride one again. It's total shit.

How could Hodna get it so wrong I'll never know especially when the rest of the bike is so good ?

Now you say the Continental is a 50 year old design but Harris designed it in around 2010, mainly because they have been making racing chassis for years which is why Royal Enfield bought them to take them in house.

The style is 50 years old but not the chassis.

As for counter steering I know how it works and how to induce it but I don't feel the need to add it to my already full skill set as unlike others in here I don't crash my bikes into ditches.

More coming.
⚠️ Last edited by Bill Dog on UTC; edited 1 time
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BMW R1100RT The Problem Child Kymco Downtown 300 - I'm not the Uber Honda Cub - Scorched Earth Policy
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BMW R1100RT The Problem Child Kymco Downtown 300 - I'm not the Uber Honda Cub - Scorched Earth Policy
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You can't really suggest that Royal Enfield are back in fashion because they were never really in fashion.

Their sales have increased because they have introduced new models even if what they are making is nothing cutting edge.

Even the new Interceptors and Continentals look like they were designed 30 years ago but they are selling very well so I can't knock them.

I realise now that I was naive but not trying before I bought so I've learnt that lesson.

I loved the way the bike looked. I rode a 500 Classic and it was too slow. The Continental being a bit quicker I thought was the bike for me but after 350 miles I realised that without modification I couldn't ride it any further.

It won't happen again.

Bill x
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
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Location: Tega Cay, SC
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Joined: UTC
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Location: Tega Cay, SC
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They were and are good looking bikes. However, everyone I have ever ridden, rode like a tractor. Kinda like a P200. With the boat like handling and clunky shifting, it is not always a fun ride. But you can get better at shifting, and live with the handling after awhile and accept it for what it is. Or not. When RE bought out Harris, I thought only good things would come of it. Then I rode a GT that a buddy bought when they came out and I'll say it looks the part, but does not act like it. Everything about it felt unfinished. It was kinda like a saying we had years ago about Harley Davidsons - "They sell you the bike, and you do the final engineering". It is a fine effort on RE's part, but honestly, to compared to a similar bike, the Suzuki SV 650 is a much much better bike all around and that design is over 20 years old. But I am much like you in that I eventually had to give it up because of back problems. We are also the same height, so I frequently need to tweek bikes to fit me, as most are made for larger riders. As far as the short bars go, anyone who says they don't work for diddy on counter steering does not know what they are talking about. If the rake and trail is set up right, with the short cafe racer type bars, steering is almost effortless. There really is very little input needed. Hope this works out for you, Bill. My buddy sold his RE after he took a spin on my SV and bought it.
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@bill_dog avatar
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eeeee bip
BMW R1100RT The Problem Child Kymco Downtown 300 - I'm not the Uber Honda Cub - Scorched Earth Policy
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BMW R1100RT The Problem Child Kymco Downtown 300 - I'm not the Uber Honda Cub - Scorched Earth Policy
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Stones
Thank you for that. It's good to know that I'm not the only one

You see I knew that there were better bikes out there but I didn't want anyone of those because I'm drawn to the quirky.

Plus of course everyone else has one.

The downside of that is that because no one else wants so I'm probably never going to be able to sell it.

My mistake was not feeling out the ergonomics of the bike before I bought it.

As I've said before I like big thumping singles mainly because of the low down/mid range torque that becomes quite addictive and as far as I'm concerned you can keep a high top end because even that becomes exhausting/boring.

Bill x
⚠️ Last edited by Bill Dog on UTC; edited 1 time
@attila avatar
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Veni, Vidi, Posti
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
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Location: Latina (Italy)
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@attila avatar
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
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Posts: 8291
Location: Latina (Italy)
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Does anyone here have a Triumph Thruxton?
We would like to have your opinion ...
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@bill_dog avatar
UTC

eeeee bip
BMW R1100RT The Problem Child Kymco Downtown 300 - I'm not the Uber Honda Cub - Scorched Earth Policy
Joined: UTC
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Location: South East Great England of Britishland
 
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BMW R1100RT The Problem Child Kymco Downtown 300 - I'm not the Uber Honda Cub - Scorched Earth Policy
Joined: UTC
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Location: South East Great England of Britishland
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Go
Sadly Attila I don't really want your opinion.

You post vague generalisations and facts or pathos dressed up as truth when it's really just guess work.

Please refrain from posting in any of my future threads.

Thank you.
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