Disclaimer: Whatever you read next will not convince you to get a RE Continental GT. It is not a motorcycle that you buy because you need it, it is what you buy because you WANT it.
The Bugs in my teeth are a testimony to the tireless grin this GT forces upon me.
When you are lying flat on the tank at 140kmph with a ferociously thumping equipment between your legs, you hardly care if you made a sane choice. And with that I hope I wouldn’t have to explain why the KTMs & Hondas of the world are more VFM and yet the GT brings something to the table that others don’t. It’s that Grin.
If you think you will get over that Grin Quotient early, then you are better off with a Ktm Duke390 or a Honda CBR 250R and save yourself some precious time by not reading further.
On paper the continental GT might be only 2 bhp faster and 6 kgs lighter than the Classic 500, but on the road it’s a whole new animal, that’s way faster and handles stupendously better. The first thing I thought, when I heard that the GT hits 140kmph, was how would the chassis be stable at those speeds! Hell, my Classic 500 wags and bobs even at 115kmph! But that’s all sorted thanks to the new Twin downtube cradle frame, 41mm fat front forks, Paioli Twin gas charged shock absorbers working in tandem with the new box-section swing arm. Special mention to the tyres, they are perfect on tarmac, even on slightly pebbled ones. You only realise their importance once you hop on to an older Enfield with MRFs.
The high speed stability & rev happy nature of the engine are my two favourite aspects that make the motorcycle more than just a good looker.
The now upsized 535cc engine breathes more freely and the efi – ecu setup definitely seems mapped for better mid-range and top end performance. You will not feel the jerky tractor-ish torque surge right from the bottom end of the rpm band partly because of the above reason and partly coz the rpms build more smoothly without much fuss. An honestly confession, I sometimes missed that brutal pull from right at the bottom of the rpm band. But then the way the needle just keeps climbing more than makes up for it.
The only thing keeping you from cruising at a relaxed 90-100 kmph all day is your tenacity to endure the wind blast.
The electricals and fit & finish was top notch, wish they used the clubman handlebars instead of the modern looking pulsarish clip-ons. I hear people complain about the ergonomics, I think its spot-on for a café racer. Yes it’s not comfortable on bumpy roads or in stop and go traffic, but then if you want comfort you should be looking at the Thunderbird 500.
Now coming to one major disappointment that I wish should have been taken care of at the development level.
The rear view mirror stalk swivels down all the way to a point where it obstructs the front brake lever. Knowing Enfield, I am worried that a nut could easily loosen up making the right mirror droop forward in the middle of a 120kmph highway ride, thus obstructing the front brake leaving you at the mercy of a rear brake which is very progressive but absolutely lacks the bite needed to hastily stop a 180+ kg hulk.
Don’t buy a GT if you are looking for just a fast bike, buy it if you want a bike with a kickass background score at 140kmph.