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Old 12th January 2014, 17:11   #61
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 Twinspark Ownership Report

Hi Rajneeesh, just got in late. Getting my TB 500 in couple of days. Wanted to know if you have changed your silencer, since I read that it was one of you sore points on the bike.
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Old 28th January 2014, 11:13   #62
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 Twinspark Ownership Report

Hi All,

My Black TB500 is going to be one year old next week. It's a weekend only bike that I bought just for my hobby riding so the ODO is only at about 2300 KM.

My experiences

Showroom and Delivery: Classic Motorcycles Indiranagar, Bangalore. I went there and just stood there. For about 10 minutes I was not sure I was in the right place because I could not figure out who is the staff and who is not. There was no one behind any desk except the cashier who was very busy with something. (I had booked at their Sarjapur Road branch, so this was my first time in the Indiranagar showroom). The place was dirty and unorganized. Staff were very unprofessional.

Over the phone they said I can pay with my Credit Card. But when I went to make the payment, they said they cannot give me a bill for Credit Card payments. I asked them to give that to me in writing to which the answer was, "why don't you just pay by cheque?". I quoted our phone conversation and insisted that I will only pay by card because I did not have my chequebook with me. And further that I need a bill or a written declaration from them on the letterhead that they cannot give me a bill.

They discussed between themselves and finally accepted the card and gave me a bill too. They asked me to come back in 3-4 days for the delivery.

I went back for the delivery and the place was more chaotic than earlier. Someone had spilled petrol inside the showroom and the whole place was smelling of petrol. I got the bike and got out, but not before they made me wait for one thing after another for about 4 hours.

One of my worst experiences ever !! Will never go back. Period.

Riding Experience: Great bike, rides well. The front disc is a blessing. Rear brakes are not up to the mark. Engine was a bit noisy at first, but after running in with incremental accelerations, it sounds awesome with the stock silencer. Longest trip was to Nandi Hills, and it got longer because on the way back, we lost our way and ended up in Hoskote instead of Whitefield

Niggle No 1: The kick starter would not work. It just would not engage the engine and crank it. Brought this to the notice of the service advisor during the first service. He took a picture of the starter ?? on his phone and said he has to show this to the Enfield Service Engineer. He said he will rectify it during the next service. Upon insisting he said that I can bring the bike back for this the next week. I called the next week, but they had not got the replacement part. Finally after about a month, I called again and they had got the part. Took the bike there and and got it fixed. Has been working fine ever since.

Niggle No 2: Oil Leakage: After the first service, the engine would drip oil whereever I parked. Not too much but a few drops overnight. Since I only use the bike on weekends, there would be a small pool of oil under the bike. Took it to the service station in Sarjapur road (Classic). They promptly tightened a few nuts, poured in some fresh oil and said "All iiisss Well" It wont leak any more. The next day it was leaking more than before. So I took it back to the service station. They said they have to replace some oil seals and I have to leave the bike overnight. Went back the next day and picked up the bike. No oil leaks since then. Looks like that has been sorted out.

Niggle No 3: The Clock wouldnt work. It was stuck at 9:57 and wouldnt move. . When I went to fix #2 above, I asked them about this as well. The guy tried all the tricks he could to get this to work. It didn't, so they replaced the whole unit under warranty. Now the new one has done about 600 km. Seems to be working alright.


Niggle No 4
: The small chain guard keeps coming lose. The nut just doesn't stay tightened. I just keep tightening it myself every month or so.

Nigggle No 5: The idling just shot up one fine day. it was idling at about 1.5k RPM. Took to the Service Center and got it fixed. They did not tell me what caused the problem. I have a sneaky feeling they did not know.

Niggle No 6: The clutch needs constant adjustments. Have done it 4 times in 2300Kms.

In spite of the Niggles, the bike is great. Especially on those Sunday afternoons when you hit the road when its almost deserted. Riding out of town has to be enjoyed on an Enfield.

I really hope the dealers and the service centers add quality to their way of going about business. But I know in my heart that its too tall an ask and its a topic that has been
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Old 29th January 2014, 01:13   #63
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 Twinspark Ownership Report

Sorry to hear of the few niggle's you've had with your TB.

Fixing your chain guard nut is easy if you can find some thread locking compound.
Loc-Tite and several other companies make this and sell it in a small tube or bottle. Usually a auto or motorcycle parts store will have it.
This compound comes in several different strengths and you will want to buy the Medium strength type. It is blue colored. There is also a red colored compound but it is made for installations that will not be disassembled in the future so you really don't want to use it.

To apply thread locking compound, loosen the nut to expose the bolt threads. Put one drop of the compound on the exposed threads. Tighten the nut back up. That's all that's required.
The tightening of the threads will activate it and it will form a solid plastic film that will prevent the nut from loosening.

Speaking of this, it is a good idea to use this compound for all of the bolts and nuts on the motorcycle that do not already have a self locking feature like the engine mount bolts.

Lubricating the clutch cable may reduce the need for adjusting the clutch.
Some companies make a special tool and sell it with a can of the lubricant included but you can do this chore without buying it.

You will have to remove the clutch cable from the hand clutch lever to lube the cable.

To easily remove the clutch cable you will need a 19mm open end wrench (spanner) or a adjustable open end wrench which can be adjusted to about that size.

Place the wrench on the clutch lever that is located on the left side of the engine side cover. This is just behind the two nuts and threaded portion of the cable.
The wrench should lay flat on the surface so it is gripping both sides of the lever.

While moving the wrench in a counterclockwise direction you will notice the lever move towards the nuts. When it does this, the cable will become loose so use your fingers to push the cable aft and inward towards the engine. This will allow the enlarged end of the cable to slip out of the slotted yoke which attaches it to the lever.

Once the cable is free of the yoke, go up to the hand grip.
You should be able to pull the cable forward, rotating the end of it so that it is sticking straight out towards the front of the motorcycle.
In this position, it will slip out of the bottom of the hand lever.

There is a small rubber seal that prevents dirt and water from getting inside the cable.
Slide this towards the large end to expose the hole where the inner cable goes into the outer sheath.

Once the cable is free from the lever, turn the end upward so you can pour light weight oil into the gap between the inner cable and the outer sheath.

Many different ways have been devised to aid with this including just grasping the cable outer sheath with your hand while leaving the gap formed by the inner cable open so the oil can run down into it.

It may take some time but eventually you will notice oil dripping from the lower end of the cable. When it does, you're finished with the oiling. Push the rubber sleeve (seal) back to its original position.

To reassemble things, rotate the cable so the upper end can re-enter the hole in the bottom of the hand lever. (A little oil in this area can also reduce wear.) Notice that there is a thin plastic sleeve on this enlarged end of the cable. Make sure it is still in place so it can act as a cushion between the cable end and the hole in the clutch hand lever.

Slide the cable end up into the hand lever and rotate the cable back towards the headlight so that you can slip the metal end back into the stationary housing.

Return to the engine end of the cable. Place the wrench back onto the engines clutch lever, rotate it as you did before and slip the small end of the cable back into the sheet metal yoke. Release the wrench pressure to engage the cable with the yoke and slide the rubber bellows back into position on the threaded cable end.

Your lubricated cable should make operating the clutch lever much easier and it will reduce the wear that can occur.
It also protects the cable from water and rust that can destroy clutch cables.

Safe riding to you and your TB.
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Old 29th January 2014, 08:58   #64
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 Twinspark Ownership Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArizonaJim View Post

Fixing your chain guard nut is easy if you can find some thread locking compound.
Loc-Tite and several other companies make this and sell it in a small tube or bottle. Usually a auto or motorcycle parts store will have it.
This compound comes in several different strengths and you will want to buy the Medium strength type. It is blue colored. There is also a red colored compound but it is made for installations that will not be disassembled in the future so you really don't want to use it.
Good idea. I will try this out this weekend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArizonaJim View Post
Lubricating the clutch cable may reduce the need for adjusting the clutch.
Some companies make a special tool and sell it with a can of the lubricant included but you can do this chore without buying it.
Again a good idea. But I'm not sure Ill be able to do it without messing up something. But I really want to try this out. Are there any pictures or something that can guide the 'not so mechanically oriented' like me.

Two other things I wanted to check on
  1. Is there any way we can put a HID lamp in the TB 500 headlamp casing. The high beam is really not adequate at night on the highways.
  2. Any advice on making the rear shocks a bit more softer (or spongier). The pillion (always the wife) complains of a bumpy ride at the back.
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Old 29th January 2014, 22:02   #65
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 Twinspark Ownership Report

what is the air pressure in the tyres. Please check if the tyres are over inflated before you look for any other measure as this is the simplest way. My wife or has never complained about the ride being harsh or stiff. However, she has not really clocked too many km on the pillion seat.
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Old 29th January 2014, 22:07   #66
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 Twinspark Ownership Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by CAPTAIN REX View Post
Hi Rajneeesh, just got in late. Getting my TB 500 in couple of days. Wanted to know if you have changed your silencer, since I read that it was one of you sore points on the bike.
Apologies for the late response Captain Rex. I had missed your post. I am on the stock exhaust. Although it looks out of place on the bike ( too Hero Hondaish) it works pretty well. I do not want too loud an exhaust note as the same can be tiring over long rides. Moreover, I am apprehensive about the effect on engine performance (torque) as well as the fact that it may have reliability related issues.
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Old 30th January 2014, 01:18   #67
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 Twinspark Ownership Report

harikrishnanm

The ride may be softened by adjusting the rear shock absorber/springs.
This is done by rotating the collar at the bottom of each unit to a position that allows the spring to be at its greatest length.

There is a special tool for doing this and your local mechanic should have one. If he does, it will only take a few seconds to adjust each one.

Of course, this assumes the units have not already been adjusted to their lowest setting. To determine the current setting, look at the lower area of one of the shock absorbers on the rear of the motorcycle. You should notice a stepped collar which is engaging a fixed lug on the side of the shock absorber. If there is a step below the current setting it can be adjusted. If the lug is already at the lowest step, that's as soft as it can be.

As for a HID headlight replacement please understand that I don't own a Thunderbird.

I do know that these HID lights require a separate ballast unit to provide the power to run the light and finding a good location for it may be a challenge.

I have also heard of difficulties in trying to use these bulbs in the older standard Royal Enfield casquette because of interference problems.
I realize the TB uses a different headlight housing so this may or may not be an issue.
Hopefully other TB owners can cast a light on this question. (pun intended)
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Old 18th February 2014, 15:19   #68
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 Twinspark Ownership Report

The TBTS 500 got her first paid service on Feb 10. The bill came to Rs.1862. This included oil and filter change, lubrication of the drive chain, and replacement of the rear disc brake pad. This was a surprise as I do not indulge in excessive braking and use both the brakes in tandem. A disc pad should last a lot more than 4850 KM IMHO. In case of cars the brake pads easily last over 30 K Km. ( not an apple to apple comparison, but I seriously believe that brake pads should last a lot mere than 3850 Km).

The bike has held up pretty well . No niggles or any other problems in 15 months of ownership. The paint retains its lustre, there are no oil leaks and the electrics have been behaving well so far ( touch wood). The engine is in a good nick and the old dame brings a smile to my face every time I swing my leg over her.
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Old 24th March 2014, 22:02   #69
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 Twinspark Ownership Report

I was required to travel to Chandigarh on Saturday. Since this had been an unplanned trip, and there was very little time to get a Shatabadi Express Ticket. The other option was to drive down in the Figo. Come Saturday morning, I was ready to leave by 8:30 A.M. The morning was bright and there was a pleasant breeze blowing. Ideal biking weather. I had read about Ravi's 1100 KM trip last week. This inspired me to ride down to Chandigarh and take the TBTS 500 instead of the Figo.

I started at 8:30 and was in Sector 16 Chandigarh by 1:00 P.M. This included two short breaks to refuel, tighten the rear view mirrors at a roadside puncture repair shop and one break to get a PUC certificate ( the reputation of the Chandigarh Traffic police makes you not want to take any chances).

I started back at 3:30 P.M. and reached Noida at 8:00 P.M. This included a break for a cup of chai and plate of Paneer pakoras and another one to refuel the bike.

I maintained speeds between 85 KPH to 100 KPH . The bike purred along smoothly without missing a beat. The engine was totally unstressed and can run at these speeds for hours at an end.

The return trip was 560 KM by the bike trip meter . However, I have done the same trip in both my cars, and the distance recorded on their meters is 540 KM. The Distance to my office from my residence in Noida is 32 KM as per the trip Meters in my cars while the same is 34 KM as per the clocks on the TBTS 500. It seems that there is a speed error of approx 6 %. Other TBTS owners may please share their vies on this point.

Aftr spending over 9 hours and covering over 550 + KM on the saddle, you would expect me to be dog tired. However, this was a most comfortable trip. I was in a better physical condition than I have been when I did the same trip in my SX4 / Figo. The seat is exceptionally comfortable and the riding position itself is pretty ergonomic. So full marks to the bike . It is a real " Cruiser" .

The power was more than adequate to keep up with the traffic as well as quick overtaking. The bike stuck to the road like a leech and the suspension, chassis and the bakes inspired supreme confidence.

The mileage delivered was 34.12 KMPL ( as per the trip meter on a tankful to tankful basis) This is really good and gives the bike a useful range suitable for long distance trips.

One big advantage of riding a bike. You don't have to pay the tolls. There are 3 toll booths between Noida and Chandigarh at Panipat ( over bridge), near Karnal and the last one before Chandigarh. The One way tolls in a Car would be approx Rs 140- 150 ( the regulars can please help with the exact figures). You also end up saving time spent while waiting for your turn at the toll booths.
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Old 24th March 2014, 23:31   #70
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 Twinspark Ownership Report

Nice to read about your comfortable ride to CHD sir.

If you on't mind me asking, what max speed does your bike handle easily ?(without groaning for power or starting the infamous vibrations)

(random OT: 100th 'thanks' hehe)
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Old 25th March 2014, 08:38   #71
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 Twinspark Ownership Report

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It seems that there is a speed error of approx 6 %. Other TBTS owners may please share their vies on this point.
Yes, my Thunderbird500's figures are also not accurate. There is a wide variation between XUV500's figures and Thunderbird500's. The distance from my Bangalore home to Chennai home on the same route according to XUV500 was 350.7 km, but Thunderbird500 says it is 370 km!

Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 Twinspark Ownership Report-bangalorechennaimid.jpg

Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 Twinspark Ownership Report-mid.jpg

Quote:
The mileage delivered was 34.12 KMPL
That's an excellent fuel-efficiency figure even after discounting for errors.

Last edited by J.Ravi : 25th March 2014 at 09:07.
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Old 25th March 2014, 16:51   #72
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 Twinspark Ownership Report

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The distance from my Bangalore home to Chennai home on the same route according to XUV500 was 350.7 km, but Thunderbird500 says it is 370 km!
Yes Ravi Sir, I have had this feeling and when I compared it with my car the distances seem to be very much on the higher side. My One way to office shows up as 20 on my car but the TB shows it as 21. This is similar to the ones that you get on Bajaj Pulsar bikes. Even their Odo reading matches with the TB. This seemingly is a glare from RE I suppose.
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Old 27th March 2014, 18:43   #73
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 Twinspark Ownership Report

Spoke with a friend in the automotive industry (2 wheeler)

Likely cause : Calibration issues from odometer manufacturer.
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Old 27th March 2014, 22:25   #74
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Nice to read about your comfortable ride to CHD sir.

If you on't mind me asking, what max speed does your bike handle easily ?(without groaning for power or starting the infamous vibrations)

(random OT: 100th 'thanks' hehe)
P.S I do not really push the bike hard. The maximum speed I have touched is 120 KPH . On this trip i did not cross 100 KPH.

For my the speed is not that important. Had it been the case I would have gone in for something more modern and powerful. I just like to soak in the motorcycling experience at an unhurried pace in an otherwise frantic world. This is what REML bikes are all about. Riding my bike is all about letting myself relax in my own moving cocoon.
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Old 26th April 2014, 18:51   #75
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Another month goes by. The bike has clocked 6300 Km. Last Saturday I had a problem with the electricals. The display went blank and the clocks were also non functional ( the Speedo and the Tacho). The tell tale lights were operational though. I took the Bike to a nearby mechanic in Sector 28 who replaced a blown fuse and everything was ok. The next day I started the bike and rode her for 14- 15 km in the orning. In the afternoon I took her out again and just 200 m from my home the engine died. This time in addition to the clocks being dead, the Electric Start too did not work. I did not try the kick start as I suspected that a fuse had blown and even that would not work. I wheeled her back to my place and parked her. Some time later I got the mechanic home who replaced the fuse . However, I told him to trace the root cause behind blown fuses. He took the bike to his garage around 5 hours later. As per him there was some carbon deposition in the starter motor which was causing a short circuit resulting in blown fuses. He assured me that the problem has been rectified. The two visits cost me Rs 300.

Since then I have ridden the bike for approx 80 km and she is doing fine. Keeping fingers crossed . This is the first time she has died down on me in almost one and a half years of ownership. I hope to keep enjoying the ride without the maintenance problems REML bikes are notorious for.
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