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Old 9th May 2012, 10:03   #16
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Default Re: Of lazy days, time travel, & buying a T'Bird

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Originally Posted by datvichrox2 View Post
Congrats and excellent writeup!

Regarding RPMs, I change gears at 2000 RPM, because it feels like the engine is comfortable at that point.
At 2000 RPM it is good for the gear I am in. But if I shift to the next gear (and the RPM drops to say 1700) then there is a bit of a struggle before the bike gathers steam


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Originally Posted by datvichrox2 View Post
Check your chain slackness, if it is too tight and you go over bumps and bad roads, you'll get an unevenly stretched chain, like I do! Your chain should have a slight slack with the bike off the stand and with you on the bike.

I used to hear a scraping sound (only with a pillion and on speed breakers) when my bike was new and it was probably because of tight chain.
I did check the play on the chain and yes it seems a bit low. In fact if I place it on the centre stand, there seems to be no play at all. Will go to the SC today and try to fix it. Thank you for the time taken to advice.
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Old 9th May 2012, 11:16   #17
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Default Re: Of lazy days, time travel, & buying a T'Bird

Congrats. I guess the same characteristics of the Thunderbird made both you and I decide on it - its road presence and riding comfort.

The Thunderbird seems to be a relatively problem-free product from the RE stables, and combined with its other stellar traits above, makes it a fantastic cruising proposition !
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Old 9th May 2012, 12:05   #18
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Default Re: Of lazy days, time travel, & buying a T'Bird

Awesome write up! You have touched upon all the minute details wonderfully.
Congrats and Happy Thumping!

Regards,
Subu.
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Old 9th May 2012, 13:06   #19
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Default Re: Of lazy days, time travel, & buying a T'Bird

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Originally Posted by datvichrox2 View Post
I used to hear a scraping sound (only with a pillion and on speed breakers) when my bike was new and it was probably because of tight chain.
That is the sound of centre stand hitting the speebreaker and not the chain.Happens when my bike is carrying 160+ Kgs

Balaji,
Congratulations on the buy. Honestly, am a little surprised that RE still evokes this kind of passion but truly an excellent write up.

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This is the closest that men can get to pregnancy and giving birth!
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Old 9th May 2012, 20:56   #20
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Default Re: Of lazy days, time travel, & buying a T'Bird

I know "Balaji Is Working" but take a break, download pictures and post it bro. The wait is making me impatient.

My favourites are Red & Silver on a Thunderbird. Good Choice.
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Old 10th May 2012, 04:13   #21
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Default Re: Of lazy days, time travel, & buying a T'Bird

balaji:

The drive chain is at its loosest condition when the motorcycle is sitting on the center stand.

Once off of the center stand and on its tires (tyres) the rear swing arm moves upward and as it does the chain tightens up.
Once you sit on the motorcycle, compressing the rear suspension even more, the chain becomes even tighter.

Your taking it back to have the chain readjusted is a good idea and should be done as soon as possible because a overly tightened chain puts a tremendous load on the chain and the bearings in the engine and rear wheel.

With the motorcycle resting on its side stand, place a ruler or measuring stick vertically at a location about in the middle of the chain span between the engine and the rear wheel.
Push the chain up and note its location on the ruler.
Then, push the chain down, again noting its location on the ruler.
The chain should move 25mm to 35mm.**
The Owners manual suggests 25 to 30mm of free play but it is unclear when this measurement is to be taken and because the chain will be tighter when you are sitting on the bike I lean towards having the chain slightly looser.

A slightly loose chain is much better than one that is too tight.

** If this test is done with the motorcycle sitting on the center stand the free play should be around 38-45mm.

Last edited by ArizonaJim : 10th May 2012 at 04:16.
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Old 10th May 2012, 10:33   #22
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Default Re: Of lazy days, time travel, & buying a T'Bird

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Originally Posted by theMAG View Post
Congrats. I guess the same characteristics of the Thunderbird made both you and I decide on it - its road presence and riding comfort.

The Thunderbird seems to be a relatively problem-free product from the RE stables, and combined with its other stellar traits above, makes it a fantastic cruising proposition !
You know that feeling when you know that your vacation begins tomorrow morning and you cannot sleep tonite? The whole night you are imagning how it will be the next morning? It is like that every night for me. I cannot stop thinking about riding to work every morning. When I come back from work and park, I dont feel like entering home. . But yes, your inference is correct, the stance, presence et al.

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Originally Posted by subushady View Post
Awesome write up! You have touched upon all the minute details wonderfully.
Congrats and Happy Thumping!

Regards,
Subu.
Many thanks subushady.

I just wish somehow I remember to bring the memory card to office so that I can comeplete this thread with a few pictures.

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Originally Posted by insipid.insane View Post
That is the sound of centre stand hitting the speebreaker and not the chain.Happens when my bike is carrying 160+ Kgs

Balaji,
Congratulations on the buy. Honestly, am a little surprised that RE still evokes this kind of passion but truly an excellent write up.

insipid.insane - Thank you for the wishes. I can tell you first hand, even I am surprised the way I turned into putty when I took the first ride. There is soul in every RE. I cannot say it better.

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Originally Posted by TaurusAl View Post
I know "Balaji Is Working" but take a break, download pictures and post it bro. The wait is making me impatient.

My favourites are Red & Silver on a Thunderbird. Good Choice.
TaurusAl - LOL. As I replied to another post above, i just dont seem to remember to get the SD card. I have set a reminder on my phone to do it this evening.

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Originally Posted by ArizonaJim View Post
balaji:

The drive chain is at its loosest condition when the motorcycle is sitting on the center stand.

Once off of the center stand and on its tires (tyres) the rear swing arm moves upward and as it does the chain tightens up.
Once you sit on the motorcycle, compressing the rear suspension even more, the chain becomes even tighter.

Your taking it back to have the chain readjusted is a good idea and should be done as soon as possible because a overly tightened chain puts a tremendous load on the chain and the bearings in the engine and rear wheel.

With the motorcycle resting on its side stand, place a ruler or measuring stick vertically at a location about in the middle of the chain span between the engine and the rear wheel.
Push the chain up and note its location on the ruler.
Then, push the chain down, again noting its location on the ruler.
The chain should move 25mm to 35mm.**
The Owners manual suggests 25 to 30mm of free play but it is unclear when this measurement is to be taken and because the chain will be tighter when you are sitting on the bike I lean towards having the chain slightly looser.

A slightly loose chain is much better than one that is too tight.

** If this test is done with the motorcycle sitting on the center stand the free play should be around 38-45mm.
Arizona.Jim - I have read your comments/post in other threads too. It is unbelievable that in a world where you have access to next gen technologies, faster bikes, awesome desgins, RE has managed to catch your attention. Your know-how on almost all the intricacies is exemplary. How lucky your bike is, is anyones guess.

On the tight chain part, I did visit the dealer last evening and even they were surprised at the tension levels. It was promptly adjusted. Lo and behold, the ride is so much better that I could not help but ride past my home for about 1 km to make a U turn and come back. That's saying a lot in the current traffic chaos where I live - Chennai.
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Old 13th May 2012, 15:43   #23
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Default Re: Of lazy days, time travel, & buying a T'Bird

Apologies for the undue delay. But here are the pictures!
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Old 14th May 2012, 13:53   #24
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Default Re: Of lazy days, time travel, & buying a T'Bird

This Saturday was a week since I got my Thunderbird. 330 kms on the odo, I have only started to fully immerse myself into the details. I wanted to pen down what I thought about the bike and how it is to ride one, so far.

Topic one: Looks

This one is a no-brainer. Easily one of the most good looking bikes in India, although beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. Dare I say, I have not come across any one so far who thinks the bike looks out of wack.RE design stable has done some good work here and needs to be commended. Things like paint quality, chroming, overall fit and finish, have a long way to go though.

Topic two: Ergonomics

Being a cruiser and all, makes this one hell of a comfortable ride. THe suspension to me appears to be a tad soft, keeping with the cruiser-ness. The seat, the foot pegs, the handle bars, the reach for all controls, everything adds to the overall posture and its just perfect. I cannot think of one instance where I thought something could have been better in this department

Topic three: Electricals

3 days after I got her home, as with everyone else, I wanted to upgrade the headlamp. And I did. This is a very simple DIY. Any one with a good screwdriver and some common sense can easily do this in all of 10 mins. Despite the upgrade to a 60/55 W Halonix, I have not lit up the night. Perhaps limited by the reflector itself. Not much can be done here, so have to live with it. Horn upgrade on the cards, perhaps over the next weekend I shall give it a go. On the topic of the horns, the stock one has started to sort of have a vibration when I use it. The thing sounds like the whole horn is vibrating when I honk. I check all the mounting bolts and all is OK. So I suppose this will go down as the second thumbs down in this department. Indicators and tail lamp are the only other two working and well parts in lights/horn department. The electric starter is something that I seldom use as I feel connected to the bike using a kick starter. That said, I use the ES once a day atleast and it has never failed me so far.

Topic four: The Engine

After reading tonnes about how the UCE makes a jingle-jangle every time, I came to expect the clatter. Over the last 100 kms or so, the clatter is paving way for some real good note that is settling down when riding smooth at 55-60 kmph. At this speeds, its really, really awesome. Muted roar from the exhaust, mild tyre noise, power on tap (although never used so far), can one really ask for more. I did notice that the torque that I felt was far lesser that the test bike I rode, this is definitely improving with the running in. Perhaps its just me with my imagination, but certainly there is a better feel to the whole thing with time.

Topic five: Gears

Clunky. In fact even clumsy at times. Sometimes, with cold starts, I wait for like 30 to 40 secs for oil circulation before engaging the first gear. When I do so, there is a jerk and the bike stalls. I traced it down to some clutch cable adjustment and it seems a bit better now. That said, even 2/3/4th gears are sort of hard to engage. One will need more than a gentle dab to change gears. This is the next best thing to a battle tank on two wheels for civilians. And the bike demands that you be stern with the foot shifters. No need to be gentle here

Topic six: Brakes

In general I dont ride fast. By that I mean, I may occassionally hit 70 or 80 kmph if I see a clear horizon on a black top road. Otherwise I keep parameters in check, thanks to an accident in the year 2000 with my Splendor that left me with multiple fractures and a few ligaments torn. For my sedate way of riding the brakes seem adequate. Many may vehemently deny, but this is just me. Dont get me wrong, what I mean is that, if there are no surprises and one can use the brakes in a linear, non-urgent manner, it treats you much the same way. You surprise the brakes, and it will reciprocate for sure.

Topic seven: Miscellaneous

The fuel tap has almost certainly gone kaput. It just doesnt hit reserve. I watched the fuel needle go down past the red line and chewed my nails. I could not take the risk and so filled up again. Visited the RE service folks, and they promptly cleaned up the fuel tap and said that the main hose wasnt tightened properly. They did some cleaning/tightening/etc and I am sure that the problem lives on. I have to bring this up once again during first service and have the part replaced. I appreciate the honest dealing the service centre has with its customers by letting me know exactly what is wrong, instead of coming up with vague issues like, dirt in petrol and the like.
I have not checked the mileage as the fuel tap isnt fully functional. But I am sure that I am getting close to 40 kmpl. It is definitely not over that.
Early morning starts are no trouble at all. Only use kick start and usually, it comes to life in the second kick.

So there it is folks, my second innings into the world of biking so far.
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Old 14th May 2012, 16:43   #25
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Default Re: Of lazy days, time travel, & buying a T'Bird

Great details Balaji and thanks for posting the pictures. Do keep up with your updates, it is a pleasure reading your posts and somehow feel connected to your good red lady
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Old 14th May 2012, 16:53   #26
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Default Re: Of lazy days, time travel, & buying a T'Bird

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Apologies for the undue delay. But here are the pictures!
For a min I was taken aback. The protective cling film on the chrome finished instrument panel looked like scratches and i was like .

Took me a bit of a closer look to see the plastic wrapping on the meters.
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Old 14th May 2012, 17:13   #27
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Default Re: Of lazy days, time travel, & buying a T'Bird

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For a min I was taken aback. The protective cling film on the chrome finished instrument panel looked like scratches and i was like .

Took me a bit of a closer look to see the plastic wrapping on the meters.
Nice catch! One of the first things I did in the evening when I first got her home was get rid of that film. Such an eye sore I tell you. Similar to plastic wrappers on car seats. Just cannot tolerate it even for as long as it takes to reach home
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