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View Poll Results: Which one for a first motorcycle?
Thunderbird Twinspark (due in 1 month or so) 21 44.68%
Thunderbird 500 (launch date unknown) 26 55.32%
Voters: 47. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 31st January 2012, 01:08   #16
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird : Sitting on the fence

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tgo View Post
Thanks Akshay, but right now, the engine is the last thing that is pulling me towards the TB500. The Fuel Injection and its niggles and RE mechanics of yore with their incapability at attending small problems related to electricals let alone the electronics that run the heart of the bike is not a very comforting thought.

Right now, I want to know how the other changes in the chassis dimensions make the motorcycle behave differently from the TBTS.
A bigger engine is no mean factor. Most 150cc guys would out speed you on your 350cc.

FE and other niggles: Its an RE. You must love niggles to be able to own one for long.

Chasis: How can you make it worse. Lets hope that they improved it. The current chassis is not the sweetest handler around. The new chassis could be bad, but the old one is not one you would miss.

Yes, I am pissed off. Went on a long ride over the weekend with pillion and some luggage and the bike wont go above 100. Anytime I would maintain a speed of 95+ for 30-60 minutes, it would start vomiting engine oil. Its not a thunderbird but a 2006 model machismo. Very similar to pre-TBTS thunderbird.
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Old 31st January 2012, 07:04   #17
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Default Re: Truth of the matter

As the owner of a 2009 TBTS, I love the bike, but have been waiting for a 500 cc Thunderbird for a year, in anticipation of the extra power. Now that it has been announced, after some thought I have decided to stick to my old bike.

Here is the reason: TBTS 500 does not have ABS. In fact it is worse than the TBTS 350 in that it has a rear disc brake.

This may be surprising, given that most people seem the think that a rear disc brake is a good thing. But it is not. The rear-brake is good for stabilization, slowing down the vehicle, but not for stopping. In fact for a flat-out stop it gives only 10% of the stopping power if the front-brake is also being used [see http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motorb...ml#post2650946 (The Safe Riding thread) , where the braking decelleration goes down only to 0.711 G when only the front-brake is used, compared to 0.776 G when both are used].

So it doesn't do much stopping, but it does no harm, right? Wrong! having a too-powerful rear brake can easily cause the rear-wheel to lock-up during emergency braking. While brief rear-wheel lockups (less than a second) may be easy to recover from, longer lock-ups are deadly as they cause the bike to lose stability and fall during braking.

Therefore, with my current TBTS I keep the rear (drum) very loose so that it does not exert too much force even it I slam down my foot in an emergency. With a disc brake making such adjustments will not be possible. The TBTS 350 has a powerful front brake which, when handled with care, will stop the bike in the shortest distance possible (which is determined by the friction surface, and not the braking power, beyond a point). Having more powerful brakes, just increases the chance of wheel lock-up and falling during emergency braking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tgo View Post
Current ride status: NA (None Available). This is going to be my first.
If this is your first bike, and you are relatively inexperienced, I would strongly recommend against the TBTS 500, for the reasons I gave above. I myself will wait till RE starts installing ABS before I buy any of its most powerful bikes.

Last edited by Rollin' Thunda : 31st January 2012 at 07:15.
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Old 31st January 2012, 20:26   #18
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird : Sitting on the fence

^^^
Hi,
Though I agree with you in general, can't agree with your conclusion that therefore nonexistent rear brakes are good.
What is needed is smooth, linear nongrabby powerful brakes. Applies to both front and rear brakes. Give the right tools, and then leave it to the rider.

Must admit the TBTS's bad rear brakes don't bother me, the grabby front ones do.

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 31st January 2012, 23:34   #19
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird : Sitting on the fence

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollin' Thunda View Post
If this is your first bike, and you are relatively inexperienced, I would strongly recommend against the TBTS 500, for the reasons I gave above. I myself will wait till RE starts installing ABS before I buy any of its most powerful bikes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
What is needed is smooth, linear nongrabby powerful brakes. Applies to both front and rear brakes. Give the right tools, and then leave it to the rider.
Rollin' Thunda, I agree I am a relatively inexperienced rider but having to change the brake shoes on my 2004 Honda Eterno (33k on odo) back home every 4 months and the squealing noise with the brake pedal getting stuck (all drum brake traits) has mad me hate that aged technology.

Dics brakes are relatively maintenance free and have a more predictable feel when you get used to them. I have ridden an R15 for close to 100 kms in one day (my first time on it) and did not feel the rear disc brakes on that sucking away my confidence every time I had to brake hard. This could be because of the grippy compound of the tyres but you get used to them very soon, at least the riders not going manically motoGP on Indian roads do. On the contrary riding a standard 350 some two years ago in college with my not so tamed for braking foot (left) doing the duty locked up more easily.

I remember when the Pulsar was launched with disc brakes as standard, people were all against them. Then the rear disc brakes were introduced on the P220 & R15 and people were still skeptical. But if you see today, everyone owning these bikes manages as time passes.

I'm still looking for answers for my queries in post #10. ...Anyone??

Last edited by Tgo : 31st January 2012 at 23:44.
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Old 2nd February 2012, 07:44   #20
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird : Sitting on the fence

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
^^^
Hi,
Though I agree with you in general, can't agree with your conclusion that therefore nonexistent rear brakes are good.
What is needed is smooth, linear nongrabby powerful brakes. Applies to both front and rear brakes. Give the right tools, and then leave it to the rider.

Must admit the TBTS's bad rear brakes don't bother me, the grabby front ones do.

Regards
Sutripta
The TBTS rear brakes are fully capable of locking the wheel, so they are not bad. Anything more powerful is unnecessary, and maybe dangerous.
I don't have "nonexistent" rear brakes, I just adjust them so that they can lock the wheel only if fully depressed. This is the ideal setting for a brake, in my opinion.
The disc brake would be essentially non-adjustable, which is why I think they are a bad idea.

I agree that the TBTS (and the CL 500s) have grabby front brakes. The front brake can lock the wheel with just a little over-pressure, in a movement of barely a centimeter, which can easily happen during emergency braking. I expect that the TBTS 500 will be the same, as RE doesn't seem to see them as a problem...

Last edited by Rollin' Thunda : 2nd February 2012 at 07:45.
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Old 2nd February 2012, 10:01   #21
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Default Re: Truth of the matter

If you are interested in touring, I'd say the existing Thunderbird itself is a decent machine. And in that sense, the Thunderbird 500 will be a little more improved in terms of specs on paper. Larger fuel tank, disc brakes, better headlight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollin' Thunda View Post
I myself will wait till RE starts installing ABS before I buy any of its most powerful bikes.
Hahaha, then I guess you'll have to wait for atleast 20 more Auto Expos and 50 years down the line, RE will think of putting in ABS in its bikes.
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Old 2nd February 2012, 10:10   #22
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird : Sitting on the fence

I ride a 03 Thunderbird. I always miss the extra power which a 500 would give me on a long tour.

IMHO There is No replacement for displacement.
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Old 2nd February 2012, 10:36   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tgo
The thing is that i'm hunting for some answers here regarding the new motorcycle.
I had the opportunity to ride the TBTS 500 when it was being tested and let me try and put it as subjectively as possible for you.
We can only tell you our opinion; ultimately you need to bite the bullet!

TBTS 350 over TBTS 500:
- proven track record & gem of an engine for touring and sedate riding - its no zipper but I have done 700+ kms in a day (keylong to delhi crossing rohtang) and it never complained; touché.
- easier to manouver than the 500 TBTS given the short ride I had.
- if touring, now the mechanics in nooks and corners can fix it.
- much better fuel efficiency (45+ is easy when touring & ripping).
- expect to save at least 70k on the OTR price & 20 paise per km of riding.
- the ribbed front Tyres make in city steering easier.
- the longer suspension will give a very marginal better ride.

TBTS 500 over TBTS 350:
- bigger engine, more torque, higher power ----- I do feel the need for a 500 engine when a fellow rider zips past on the extra 12kgm BUT I do manage to catch up. More relaxed cruising at speeds of 90-100. (on the 350 it's is between 70-80). Trust me when you do 600+ kms in a day it does make a hell of a difference.
- lower fuel efficiency but more range! 35 * 20 should give 700 kms in a well kept 500. TBTS 350 gives me about 500 kms range.
- rear disc brakes would mean progressive braking. (Don't go by hear say; disc brakes are good - you need to practice how to use them and not stamp in emergency situations. Find an empty stretch and practice).
- projector headlamps with 55 rating are much better than the 350!
- the pattern Tyres provide more grip & comfort for touring.
- the increase in weight (12 kg) should offset the wheelbase reduction. 41 forks should result in a more composed ride.

To add my perspective; I definitely will go for the TB500 but after RE has churned out 2 batches at least.
Specially from your case, you should outgrow the 350 & may not want to end up with a first batch niggle ridden 500. Though RE has extensively tested the TB 500 & I think it should be one of their best effort product to be launched in recent times.

Last edited by nitin.rai : 2nd February 2012 at 10:39.
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Old 2nd February 2012, 11:43   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitin.rai
I had the opportunity to ride the TBTS 500....
Thanks for the info abt the Thunderbird 500. Does it also sport the Twinspark technology?
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Old 2nd February 2012, 11:55   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warwithwheels

Thanks for the info abt the Thunderbird 500. Does it also sport the Twinspark technology?
Yes Sir, the 500 is a TS - http://www.royalenfield.com/motorcyc....aspx?model=27
Specs are out on the RE website.

Errata: 12 Nm of extra torque; had typed in Kgm in my earlier post.
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Old 2nd February 2012, 12:12   #26
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Default Re: RE Thunderbird Dilemma

Quote:
Originally Posted by Relativity View Post
Not sure what you mean by TBTS launching in 1 month. It was launched 3 years ago, I have one.
I would like to look at Classic 500 instead. I could also look at Honda CBR 250.
+ 1 to that, if i were you, i'd blindly go in for a Classic 500 (I own a cast iron 500), just for the sheer "Classic looks" and the original "bullet" design. IMO the thunderbird just looks like a wannabe cruiser (Looks are subjective, no offence meant to thunderbird owners).

If it's the lack of rear disc brakes that bother you, well, there are a lot of after market disc brakes that can be installed

GO FOR THE CLASSIC 500 (Just maybe, just maybe, I would consider the KTM Duke 200 too ...yet to know more about the product though)

Cheers!
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Old 2nd February 2012, 12:37   #27
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird : Sitting on the fence

I have been on my Bird since Aug 2010. It has been fantastic.
Well, an RE demands to be loved and if you truely love your bike, small niggles, like oil drip, rust here and there is a part of the game. And I just love my Bird.

Keep her clean, dont let her get wet and enjoy the ride.

It has consistently given me 42+ in peak traffic and 45+ on highways with multiple Pune to Lonavala / Mahabaleshwar / Lavasa rides.

Enjoy the 350. Let the first 2-3 lots of 500 churn out and niggles sorted out.

Last edited by advaitlele : 2nd February 2012 at 12:38. Reason: corrected spelling mistakes
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Old 2nd February 2012, 19:18   #28
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird : Sitting on the fence

1. You will want to buy the Thunderbird if you are looking for great riding comfort/cruiser ergonomics

2. You will not buy the Thunderbird if you want a bike that changes directions nimbly.

350 vs 500 cc:

350 cc: if regular/daily use and mileage/running cost is a key factor. Note that this is not an underpowered engine by any means.
500 cc: if mileage /running costs is not a key factor, and power is. Ideal if you are a highway/distance rider.

Last edited by theMAG : 2nd February 2012 at 19:20.
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Old 2nd February 2012, 21:30   #29
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird : Sitting on the fence

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollin' Thunda View Post
The disc brake would be essentially non-adjustable, which is why I think they are a bad idea.
Mine are also capable of locking the rear wheel. Something which I most certainly don't want to do. The rear brake (on my bike) has the characteristic of an ineffective class teacher who the class disregards (wheels ignore brake input), and who ultimately goes mental (suddenly locking the wheels).

Most mobike disk brake implementations I have found to be very progressive, and greatly prefer it to drums. Front and rear.

Regards
Sutripta

Last edited by Sutripta : 2nd February 2012 at 21:33.
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Old 2nd February 2012, 21:58   #30
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird : Sitting on the fence

Quote:
Originally Posted by naveenroy View Post
If you are interested in touring, I'd say the existing Thunderbird itself is a decent machine. And in that sense, the Thunderbird 500 will be a little more improved in terms of specs on paper. Larger fuel tank, disc brakes, better headlight.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bblost View Post
I ride a 03 Thunderbird. I always miss the extra power which a 500 would give me on a long tour.
That's what, missing out on all these things and settling for a bike worth a 1,25,000 rupees (On-Road, Mangalore) will have to be for at least another 5 years. Having to live those five years without standard issue equipment which will see its way on bikes costing less by some 40-50K rupees is going to kill me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nitin.rai View Post
I had the opportunity to ride the TBTS 500 when it was being tested and let me try and put it as subjectively as possible for you.
We can only tell you our opinion; ultimately you need to bite the bullet!

TBTS 350 over TBTS 500:
- proven track record & gem of an engine for touring and sedate riding - its no zipper but I have done 700+ kms in a day (keylong to delhi crossing rohtang) and it never complained; touché.
- easier to manouver than the 500 TBTS given the short ride I had.
- if touring, now the mechanics in nooks and corners can fix it.
- much better fuel efficiency (45+ is easy when touring & ripping).
- expect to save at least 70k on the OTR price & 20 paise per km of riding.
- the ribbed front Tyres make in city steering easier.
- the longer suspension will give a very marginal better ride.

TBTS 500 over TBTS 350:
- bigger engine, more torque, higher power ----- I do feel the need for a 500 engine when a fellow rider zips past on the extra 12kgm BUT I do manage to catch up. More relaxed cruising at speeds of 90-100. (on the 350 it's is between 70-80). Trust me when you do 600+ kms in a day it does make a hell of a difference.
- lower fuel efficiency but more range! 35 * 20 should give 700 kms in a well kept 500. TBTS 350 gives me about 500 kms range.
- rear disc brakes would mean progressive braking. (Don't go by hear say; disc brakes are good - you need to practice how to use them and not stamp in emergency situations. Find an empty stretch and practice).
- projector headlamps with 55 rating are much better than the 350!
- the pattern Tyres provide more grip & comfort for touring.
- the increase in weight (12 kg) should offset the wheelbase reduction. 41 forks should result in a more composed ride.

To add my perspective; I definitely will go for the TB500 but after RE has churned out 2 batches at least.
Specially from your case, you should outgrow the 350 & may not want to end up with a first batch niggle ridden 500. Though RE has extensively tested the TB 500 & I think it should be one of their best effort product to be launched in recent times.
You see, thats why I love this forum. All these days I was expecting advice from people who own the TBTS or UCE 500 RE motorcycles. I get to hear from someone who has ridden the yet to be launched TB500. +1 to that.

Here is my outburst of questions for you nitin.rai
  1. Can the rear wheel of the TB500 be put on a TBTS?
  2. does the exhaust pipe of the TB500 have room for strap on modifications for the Thump addicts, like a goldstar/upswept/short bottle?
  3. Did the Fuel Injection trouble you on your stint on this motorcycle? (thats is If you can talk about it here)
  4. Seeing the bike up close and personal and the additions RE has done to this motorcycle, how high will it be priced above the C5? (a rough estimate)
  5. What does it sound like with that long barrel exhaust?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aadithsince1980 View Post
IMO the thunderbird just looks like a wannabe cruiser (Looks are subjective, no offence meant to thunderbird owners).

If it's the lack of rear disc brakes that bother you, well, there are a lot of after market disc brakes that can be installed

GO FOR THE CLASSIC 500 (Just maybe, just maybe, I would consider the KTM Duke 200 too ...yet to know more about the product though)

Cheers!
Even wasn't much of a fan of the looks. I was taken aback by the comfortable riding posture on this motorcycle.

I think I'll call pass on the aftermarket disc brake kits, even though they might be fitted wll or might work better than the original RE ones fitted in their workshops but i'd like to mess around very little with the original setup. Do pass me some numbers if you have any handy..

And I think i made it clear in my first post that this is a war within the family. I am not even interested in the Classic, let alone the Duke or CBR.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theMAG View Post
1. You will want to buy the Thunderbird if you are looking for great riding comfort/cruiser ergonomics

2. You will not buy the Thunderbird if you want a bike that changes directions nimbly.

350 vs 500 cc:

350 cc: if regular/daily use and mileage/running cost is a key factor. Note that this is not an underpowered engine by any means.
500 cc: if mileage /running costs is not a key factor, and power is. Ideal if you are a highway/distance rider.
I don't know what kind of a rider I am. I want to be the 500cc kind but I have no idea if that will turn out to be true. I've moved to a new city, a new state new topography and I definitely am the explorer kind.
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