Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Royal Enfield Continental GT is a 'brilliant' buy

Mike O'Reirdan modified his Royal Enfield Continental GT. No mud flaps!
(Photo by Manoj Bankal)
The new Royal Enfield Continental GT cafe racer is in the United States, and Mike O'Reirdan of New Jersey has had his long enough to learn what he likes about it, and even modify what he didn't. He offered these impressions and photos:

"OK, well now I have had it for a bit, I am beginning to feel that not only did I make a good decision in buying the GT, it was a brilliant one.

"The bike itself as standard comes pretty well equipped: great brakes, Brembos, excellent tires, Pirellis, nice shocks, Paioli, and a superb frame as designed by Harris in the UK.

"There are some downsides but to be honest they are both easily and inexpensively remedied.

Motor cover plate from Hitchcocks celebrates how special the GT is.
(Photo by Manoj Bankal)
"The silencer as stock is dreadful; I describe it as sounding like a farting hamster, but that took 10 minutes' work and one week's wait to fix. I bought a Motad from Hitchcocks in the UK and now it sounds like a real 'big single,' which it is. That was probably the biggest change I made.

A bike for a sunny weekend.
"I have removed the black flap extensions to the mudguards. I removed the air brake that is the rear number plate mount.

"Out of sight I installed a  Power Commander and K&N air filter to match the Motad. The engine starts very easily on the button, but the kick start is curiously set up so that it does not engage early on and as such it is hard to start in the traditional manner.

"It handles well. As I went out to the Meeting of the Nortons recently, I was on some nice twisty roads and although I am still running it in, it was an enjoyable ride. Going around bends it feels rock solid.

"When I arrived, they asked me to park the GT in the middle line with all the nice old bikes. They were not all British, but all were interesting one way or another. Obviously the GT has all the right lines, and next to Commandos, a Gold Star, BSAs and lots of others, it holds its own.

Royal Enfield Continental GT is all business from this view.
(Photo by Manoj Bankal)
"The GT is not a bike I would ride to work — I take it out to the bike club and out on a nice sunny weekend — but it is a very nice bike. At $5,999, people cannot believe what you get for the money and I do think that given decent marketing, it should sell very well.

Hitchcocks heel guards now grace Mike's bike.
(Photo by Manoj Bankal)
"A little more power probably will not go amiss and I am going in search of that. I am told that Hitchcocks have some tuning parts in the offing and there are some quite competent Enfield tuners in the U.S. I am lucky to have Leon Stanley of Cycle Icons just down the road in Trenton."


  1. Comments on this item were lost due to a highly technical mind fart on my part. My apologies to those who commented, and assurances that comments are invited and welcomed. Please feel free to re-post your comments.

  2. Mike, while Hitchcock's is a very valuable resource for Enfielders (invaluable actually) you should be aware that the cutting edge of Enfield performance is probably represented by: AcePerformanceBullets@yahoogroups.com

  3. ..and that while your bike is a little too new to have received their full attentions yet they are most likely to become the "go to" guys for performance for the new Continentals...


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