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Old 18th March 2012, 11:23   #16
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Default Re: RE Thunderbird ALTERNATIVES!!!

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Originally Posted by pganapathy View Post
What I mean about the riding position is that the Karizma like most bikes, has you leaning forward. I personally like this for riding as I used to ride a superbike. However, one thing is that it hurts your lower back on long rides if your posture is bad and you hunch over a bit.

The Avenger, is like say the Harley or Bullet in terms of its riding postion. You sit with your back straight.

I guess between these two postions it is a matter of preference, so let us not discuss which position is more comfortable for long distance riding. I know people who swear by both of these.

The crash guard has definitely saved my leg more than once so I will stick by my opinion that it is good
Thats right, whichever suits you best. I have not done much long trip on my ZMA. Maximum being 5 hour ride to chennai-bangalore 350kms and back(done twice), and next are the countless runs to chennai-pondy. I never felt any discomfort. I have rode the classis 500 around 300kms in a day and it wont rate it even close to ZMA in comfort level. You can't go beyond 80 beacause of vibs, in ZMA i can easily do 100kmph and occasionally 120kmph depending upon traffic conditions. Avenger i have done 100kms on highway and it wasnt a good experience, engine gives a whining kind of noise which gets really irritating after a while, also not refined.

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Originally Posted by Warwithwheels View Post
Thanks for input guys! Some how the avenger doesn't suit my build. IMO it looks too tiny on me. My brother owns an Avenger, but am not very comfortable on it. Moreover the pillion seat is a real disaster. At best it can comfortably seat a 10 year old kid.

@Up-beat: I think avenger is available only with 220cc engine option. CBR and KTM are completely outta my budget.

Rahul, thanks for your feedback on the karizma. Glad to know that a well maintained Hero Honda can do well even without a kicker. That was one of my greatest apprehension.

Well... crash guard could be of help. But my typical usage doesn't warrant me doing high speeds or a zippy drive.

Another major concern is whether the bike is mechanically robust? How is the build quality? Does it rattle or squeak over time? Also the digital cockpit like console is a real turn on for me. How robust is the electronics in the bike?

How do you guys rate its appearance ? I would picking a black one if i were to go for the ZMR. Most prolly that crazzy ZMR stickering on the flaring would be undone. Does the bike boast of a premium image in the market?

Does the bike possess descent high way manners? How do you rate its stability and handling? A tip off on the braking department would be highly useful.

Really appreciate your valuable input guys!
Mechanically its well sorted bike, there are no rattles of squeaks of any kind on my bike, but i do take care of my bike extremely well, even if that means to sitting for 2 hours in the service center. Only problem i had faced in second year of ownership was 15A main fuse blowing up. After changing 3-4 fuses, i knew something is wrong and took it to the service center. problem was diagnosed in 10 mins and bike returned in 30mins. There was some lose connection below the tank and was shorting with the chassis of the bike.

Appearance is one thing i completely hate on the new model. Bike looks too big and being a air cooled engine its not good to cover the engine from all sides. If i were in your place i would have picked up the old model.

On high way its great, you don't have to redline the engine as all torque is in bottom range. You can be in 5th gear all day and thats all you need. Handling is pretty good, its very stable. my bike gives around 35kmpl on highway, but again i was mostly going flatout on GQ. best thing is the engine, its so refined it feels like a electric motor . Not vibs at all till red line 9500rpm.

Havent rode the FZ so can't comment on that part. But do take a test ride before deciding.

Last edited by Rahulkool : 18th March 2012 at 11:24.
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Old 18th March 2012, 11:58   #17
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Default Re: RE Thunderbird ALTERNATIVES!!!

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Originally Posted by Warwithwheels View Post
Thanks for input guys! Some how the avenger doesn't suit my build. IMO it looks too tiny on me. My brother owns an Avenger, but am not very comfortable on it. Moreover the pillion seat is a real disaster. At best it can comfortably seat a 10 year old kid.

@Up-beat: I think avenger is available only with 220cc engine option. CBR and KTM are completely outta my budget.



Rahul, thanks for your feedback on the karizma. Glad to know that a well maintained Hero Honda can do well even without a kicker. That was one of my greatest apprehension.

Well... crash guard could be of help. But my typical usage doesn't warrant me doing high speeds or a zippy drive.

Another major concern is whether the bike is mechanically robust? How is the build quality? Does it rattle or squeak over time? Also the digital cockpit like console is a real turn on for me. How robust is the electronics in the bike?

How do you guys rate its appearance ? I would picking a black one if i were to go for the ZMR. Most prolly that crazzy ZMR stickering on the flaring would be undone. Does the bike boast of a premium image in the market?

Does the bike possess descent high way manners? How do you rate its stability and handling? A tip off on the braking department would be highly useful.

Really appreciate your valuable input guys!
If you have already tried the Avenger and it does not suit you, then the only bikes left are the 150 to 200 cc sports tourers (if that is what you can label something like the Karizma and Pulsar etc).

My advice to you will be to test the bike on a long ride to see if you are comfortable. On a short 5 km ride, almost any bike is comfortable as you are not riding it long enough to feel discomfort. Oh yes, also take a pillion on that ride so you get their opinion on how comfortable the rear seat is.

If you don't mind how it looks, I suggest you get a crash guard installed. Even in a slow speed tip over, you would rather have space under the bike for your leg, rather than have the entire weight of the bike on your leg. That though is a personal opinion so will leave that up to you.

Mechanically the Karizma is pretty robust. Haven't heard too many complaints about it. Neither about the electronics come to think of it.

Pretty premium image until a while back, before the mini superbikes started coming out. Now not so premium but not bad, all said and done.

Pretty good highway handling and decent brakes.

Definitely a good idea to remove that crass sticker job they have done. A real eyesore in my opinion.
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Old 18th March 2012, 13:06   #18
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Default Re: RE Thunderbird ALTERNATIVES!!!

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Originally Posted by pganapathy View Post
Definitely a good idea to remove that crass sticker job they have done. A real eyesore in my opinion.
+1. I believe HH/H have a fetish towards stickering. Look at their entire range and you'll find every bike being plastered with stickers. Before chosing the actual color, one has to chose the color of stickers . They are masters in delivering so called updates by changing the name (pro, plus, star etc) and of course the stickers. Look at the first cbz and the cbz star, splendor and splendor +, now pro with chrome inserts, passion and passion +, now pro.
They didn't even spare the much niche segment Karizma
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Old 18th March 2012, 13:26   #19
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Default Re: RE Thunderbird ALTERNATIVES!!!

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Originally Posted by Warwithwheels View Post

I would be glad if you could tell me if buying the Karizma ZMR really makes sense. Or should I look for any other alternatives that would meet my requirements.
Karizma is your best bet with the kind of requirements. ZMR or the old one is upto you. My friend has one, uses it for long drives and says it's a great mile cruncher.
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Old 18th March 2012, 13:27   #20
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Default Re: RE Thunderbird ALTERNATIVES!!!

With all your requirements, I suppose ZMA fits the bill. I guess you can fit a crash guard in the ZMA. Also its a very good tourer and city commuter. Only downside is that its a decade old design and may also be discontinued in the near future.

How about the new pulsar 200ns?, have read good reviews about it but reliability will be an issue as its a bajaj. Also its touring capabilities are unknown.
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Old 18th March 2012, 16:31   #21
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Default Re: RE Thunderbird ALTERNATIVES!!!

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Originally Posted by ravi_23 View Post
How about the new pulsar 200ns?, have read good reviews about it but reliability will be an issue as its a bajaj. Also its touring capabilities are unknown.
Looking at the images and the driving position, IMO It wont give you any comfort, especially for pillion.


I am riding a 6 year old Karizma. The only thing i did was got it serviced on time. And what a machine it is. No major faults till now. Starts in half a self and engine is butter smooth till date. Leaning forward posture is a problem but can be managed. Compared to other bikes in the segment, its very comfortable.

All said, I have had major falls on my CBZ and crash guard has always saved me and the bike as well. So as far as I am concerned, I need some basics in bike like, good rear view mirrors, comfortable seat and a CRASH GUARD..

Last edited by TaurusAl : 18th March 2012 at 16:34.
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Old 18th March 2012, 16:48   #22
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Default Re: RE Thunderbird ALTERNATIVES!!!

I casually posed the question of which bike to choose from the Hero stable, to a school buddy who is currently the foreman at a big HH Sales/Service outfit. His immediate answer was either the ZMA or the CBZ Xtreme. He said the ZMR should be avoided. As I was taking delivery of my bike after service and it was already late, I nodded and left. Did not have time to pick his brains.

Last edited by Gansan : 18th March 2012 at 16:50.
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Old 18th March 2012, 18:33   #23
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Default Re: RE Thunderbird ALTERNATIVES!!!

Note from the Team-BHP Support : Please avoid typing with excessive dots.........like................this. Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArizonaJim View Post
........That said, you should remember that many of the people who own Royal Enfields and are totally happy with them never bother to post on a web site. Their motorcycle is behaving normally so why bother to tell the world about it? The ones who are unhappy are very likely to post on a web site. Web sites often have other people who can help with their problem so they post it....
....
....
Whichever motorcycle you buy, I hope you enjoy riding it.
I've found that often the ride is often better than arriving at the destination.
Jim, I just can't agree more with you on this! If each and every RE user starts posting his honest review on the bike, the no. of positive reviews should definitely out number the rest.

But my concern here is, I wanna be doubly careful that I don't end up in that minuscule list of people who have had not so good experience with the bike. That's mainly because this spending on my bike is gonna be quite substantial for me.

Moreover this is gonna be my first bike and I want the whole ownership experience to be trouble free and enjoyable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
Boss, ping jalva here. He has a RE500 and he's upgraded to the CBR250 and couldn't be happier. That thing is uncatchable in the hills.
Thanks for the pointer! Will sure ping him.

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Originally Posted by Blow Horn Ok View Post
........ What a RE demands is attention from its owner. I don't feel that all of them have serious issues as mentioned in the links but I agree that small niggles like speedo not working, self starter conking off often, minor oil leaks, minor rusting etc do happen with most of the bikes.....
Hmm.... That's typically what I don't wanna end up doing with the bike!

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Originally Posted by up-beat View Post
looks like there is no real alternative!
The frazer is surly worth looking at, but i have heard mixed reviews about the A.S.S.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
..... Yamaha Fazer has the best road manners though. You can take a spin on that as well and choose accordingly.
Do up-date us though

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blow Horn Ok View Post
You can try the YAMAHA Fazer. Narrow seats is the only downside. Also, it might look a size small for your built. But as a bike it Looks good, is within your budget and has a good engine with decent fuel economy....
Will sure give it a try!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Hi, I think the ZMA/ ZMR would be a good choice for you.
Unfortunately, never felt like running out to get one. Does all that is asked of it, but fails to excite.
Check out the other site for ownership experiences.....
That's precisely the reason behind starting this thread. It meets most of my requirements. But still there is some thing that's lacking in it making it a non impulsive buy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rahulkool View Post
Thats right, whichever suits you best. I have not done much long trip on my ZMA. Maximum being 5 hour ride to chennai-bangalore 350kms and back(done twice), and next are the countless runs to chennai-pondy. I never felt any discomfort........
Quote:
Originally Posted by tachobells View Post
Karizma is your best bet with the kind of requirements. ZMR or the old one is upto you. My friend has one, uses it for long drives and says it's a great mile cruncher.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TaurusAl View Post
.....I am riding a 6 year old Karizma. The only thing i did was got it serviced on time. And what a machine it is. No major faults till now. Starts in half a self and engine is butter smooth till date. Leaning forward posture is a problem but can be managed. Compared to other bikes in the segment, its very comfortable.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by pganapathy View Post
.....If you don't mind how it looks, I suggest you get a crash guard installed. Even in a slow speed tip over, you would rather have space under the bike for your leg, rather than have the entire weight of the bike on your leg. That though is a personal opinion so will leave that up to you.

Mechanically the Karizma is pretty robust. Haven't heard too many complaints about it. Neither about the electronics come to think of it....
Thanks for that comparo... that's quite reassuring to hear about the reliability levels of the Hero Honda tag

Looks like the crash guard is turning to be the deal breaker in the ZMR. Do you know of some one whose got it installed on the ZMR? A little bit of research threw up an interesting alternative to the crash guard, which is used is super bikes for the same purpose. It is called frame sliders/ Crash bobbins.
I don't know if it is feasible to have a similar installation on the ZMA.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Blow Horn Ok View Post
+1. I believe HH/H have a fetish towards stickering......

Very true.... Hero Honda enjoys a reputation for the same

Quote:
Originally Posted by ravi_23 View Post
....How about the new pulsar 200ns?, have read good reviews about it but reliability will be an issue as its a bajaj. Also its touring capabilities are unknown.
Am sure the 200NS is targets a different segment customers. As somebody has rightly pointed out, the pictures portray it to a be hardcore sports bike.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
I casually posed the question of which bike to choose from the Hero stable, to a school buddy who is currently the foreman at a big HH Sales/Service outfit. His immediate answer was either the ZMA or the CBZ Xtreme. He said the ZMR should be avoided. As I was taking delivery of my bike after service and it was already late, I nodded and left. Did not have time to pick his brains.
Now that's interesting. Any guesses why that gentleman doesn't recommend the ZMR?


Well... On an other note... How about settling down for a descent 150cc commuter like HH CBZ Extreme and later upgrade to a RE? Does it make more sense for a first time bike user?

What are your views on the Extreme 2011? How does compare against the other 150cc bikes in the segment. Will it suit a 6 footer?

Last edited by GTO : 19th March 2012 at 15:34. Reason: Please avoid typing with excessive dots.........like................this.
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Old 18th March 2012, 19:01   #24
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Default Re: RE Thunderbird ALTERNATIVES!!!

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Originally Posted by Warwithwheels View Post
Looks like the crash guard is turning to be the deal breaker in the ZMR. Do you know of some one whose got it installed on the ZMR? A little bit of research threw up an interesting alternative to the crash guard, which is used is super bikes for the same purpose. It is called frame sliders/ Crash bobbins.
I don't know if it is feasible to have a similar installation on the ZMA.


Well... On an other note... How about settling down for a descent 150cc commuter like HH CBZ Extreme and later upgrade to a RE? Does it make more sense for a first time bike user?

What are your views on the Extreme 2011? How does compare against the other 150cc bikes in the segment. Will it suit a 6 footer?
I guess the crash bobbins are better than nothing. I will say that the crash guard definitely does a better job of protecting the bike and also your leg. I guess it takes a lot more of the impact and really saves a huge chunk of the bike from hitting the ground. However, that is something you need to decide on.

I originally intended to buy the CBZ extreme when it first came out in 2006 but went (in hindsight) unwisely with the Achiever (a sales flop if there ever was one, and thus spares are a bit harder though the cross usage of parts in most HH bikes helps). It is not that the Achiever is a bad bike but my test ride at the time told me the CBZ was a better bike. Just check one thing though. The riding position. IIRC it was a bit sports bike like, similar to the Pulsar. For me it wasn't an issue because I am 5"6', but it might be with your height. Also, don't think the pillion was too comfortable for long rides. As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, do a long test ride with a pillion so you know how comfortable both of you are.

Honestly, there is not too much difference between the 150 and the 220 cc bikes on the highway. Yes, the bigger bikes are quicker and will cruise slightly better, but if you are not too keen on high speed cruising then it is fine. Both bikes will do 80 comfortably and you can push 100 comfortably on the CBZ, though beyond that it will run out. You can probably push 120 comfortably on the Karizma.
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Old 18th March 2012, 19:06   #25
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Default Re: RE Thunderbird ALTERNATIVES!!!

This is my opinion on Indian 2-wheeler touring.
It may clash with a lot of people's opinion on it. But this is how I feel about it.

For touring, you need to ask yourself this question.
HOW FAR DO YOU WANT TO GO IN ONE DAY?



If its like 100 kms a day, get yourself a nice cycle.
Its a fantastic way to see our lovely country.
Take a train to the nearest city/town. Ride to an awesome adventure.

If its like sub 400 kms a day.
Buy a HH Splendour.
It will return an awesome milage. Its comfortable for a 50 km non stop run. Take breaks. Enjoy the views that only a slow speed run can let you enjoy in comfort.
You can ride at 60 kmph. Occasionally touch an 80. The engine is smooth and the maintenance is easy.
In fact a friend of mine did Hyderabad - Palaghat on a Boxer. Riding doubles with his brother and a lot of luggage as well.

If you are riding long haul runs. Anything like 800 kms a day.
Buy an RE or a Karizma or a Pulsar or anything that costs over a lakh rupees. Just buy something that is comfortable.
Understand the engine and DON'T push it too hard. Just because the bike can do 100+ speeds. Does not mean it can run at 110 the whole day.
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Old 18th March 2012, 19:57   #26
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Default Re: RE Thunderbird ALTERNATIVES!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warwithwheels View Post
Well... On an other note... How about settling down for a descent 150cc commuter like HH CBZ Extreme and later upgrade to a RE? Does it make more sense for a first time bike user?
If you are going to settle in that category, try the fz, szr from Yamaha. They've got better handling and dynamics. The szr would be more comfortable and pocket friendly and the fz would be more sporty and peppy. Also, don't miss to try the Honda unicorn (Old One). I know it doesn't sell much but the reliability, refinement and comfort is top notch. . The seat and handle bar provide a fantastic riding posture. Also the tuff-up tyres would allow you to travel to some distance without a repair. Mechanically it is the most robust bike IMO.
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Old 19th March 2012, 10:35   #27
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Default Re: RE Thunderbird ALTERNATIVES!!!

Just had a 100km ride on my 220CC Avenger and It was real nice riding the bike. The upright position really makes a difference. A word of caution though: You have to very careful while going on potholed roads on this bike, the shocks are sent directly to your spine. It has a weird rear suspension setup which makes life miserable on potholes. On a nicely laid highway, this is a winner in comfort.
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Old 20th March 2012, 14:06   #28
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Default Re: Alternatives to the Royal Enfield Thunderbird!

My two cents:

I am 6'4". So I am guessing any bike I am comfortable on should be good for you.

Comfort-wise, I have not come across any bike which comes close to the T'Bird - and I have driven most of the bikes discussed so far in this thread. The pillion comfort especially is miles ahead of any other bike.
I've been owning one for the past 5 yrs and no major problems so far. Superb for touring.

I also own a Pulsar 220F, which I found to be surprisingly good for touring. Have done 2000 km trip on the P220, and wasn't even tired after the trip. Plus, the pick-up is amazing! You can cruise at 120 easily on the good highways.

Have driven ZMR for short distances, and found it reasonably comfortable. The front fairing though was a bit of a hamper for my knees. Give it a test drive and figure out your comfort level!

Avenger - The worst of the lot. Have driven quite a bit on this one - most enfields are more flickable than this one. Also, the suspension is horrible. Extremely jarring. As a pillion rider, this bike will be your nightmares coming true.

Avoid Avenger. Anything else should be good.
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Old 20th March 2012, 14:44   #29
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Default Re: Alternatives to the Royal Enfield Thunderbird!

Looks like there is no real alternative to the Thunderbird in terms of comfort and ride quality. The ZMR has emerged to be a serious contender but somehow am not still very convinced to decide on it.

The Avenger is completely ruled out because am cock sure that it wouldn't suit my frame.The other options from Bajaj, Yamaha and Honda lack the exclusivity factor.

Maybe I should take the plunge and go for the Thunderbird itself. Will Keep you guys updated on my decision in a while.
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Old 20th March 2012, 15:34   #30
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Default Re: Alternatives to the Royal Enfield Thunderbird!

In case you are not planning for some hardcore long distance driving(>500 kms per day), I'd suggest you also try the Apache 180 RTR with ABS. One of the most flickable city bikes ever. Pretty comfy and good ride quality as well.

Plus, it has the best brakes this side of Rs. 1.8 Lakhs. Ride it to believe it. Will add a lot to the safety factor.
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