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Old 1st February 2013, 20:16   #136
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

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Regarding the rear break, there seems to be an issue with the way the it feels. It does not give the feeling of providing enough stopping force. Still, I was made to re-think on this when a kid ran across the road and I had to apply emergency breaks. The rear wheel held on and the bike quickly slowed down. I could not have applied the front breaks hard, as there was sand on the road. But specific to the Thunderbird, I have heard some other riders also complaining about the rear break. If every Thunderbird has the break pedal positioned as the one is on mine, Then it is a design fault. Please have a look at the White line moving from the foot rest to the break pedal in the photograph.
Attachment 1034442
To think of it, it may have been a copy from cruisers abroad. in my bike, the brake pedal is almost at the same angle. But what they forget is that cruisers in here have a sitting-in-the-couch stance, with legs extended forward. The foot automatically extends upwards. It's a different matter that here most of the time people keep their foot on the footrest, and not even touching the brake pedal.

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Old 2nd February 2013, 13:09   #137
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

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Originally Posted by vivekiny2k View Post
To think of it, it may have been a copy from cruisers abroad. in my bike, the brake pedal is almost at the same angle. But what they forget is that cruisers in here have a sitting-in-the-couch stance, with legs extended forward. The foot automatically extends upwards. It's a different matter that here most of the time people keep their foot on the footrest, and not even touching the brake pedal.

Attachment 1045991
You are right. But, among the indian manufacturers, the closest to cracking the perfect setting is Bajaj with it's Avenger series. Have a look:
I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership-bajaj_avenger220dtsi_41.jpg

Also Bajaj is much more pro-active compared to RE, which is still in the process of emerging from the socialist, license Raj, Book and wait for my pride, my average product mindset. We, back home in India do not have many options in the affordable cruiser category. The Harleys with the exorbitant taxes are priced sometimes at a 100%+ premium to their prices in the US. Add to that the fact that we earn rupee salaries (And I am talking of double the dollar price tags) and you will begin appreciating why RE has a kind of a monoply in the well powered, reasonably priced category. We are waiting for Bajaj to enter the 350cc+ cruiser category, which should rattle RE enough (since RE bikes start from 350cc) to upgrade many things, including the break pedal ergonomics.
In the same context, let me also mention that Triumph Bonneville, will not compete with the current set of RE models due to double the price tag, so Bajaj is our hope of pushing the game up.

Till then I can appreciate your bike and hope you enjoy the bike enough on all our behalfs, who are sitting back here and day dreaming of consumer being the king.
Regards.
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Old 3rd February 2013, 11:48   #138
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

A Few Updates

The Bike had completed 1800 KMs, when I decided that I should get the second service done. What lead me to this decision was the way the bike would sound on starting. It sounded as if the piston was getting stuck ( this is just a way of explaining the sound and not to be read on technical basis). Unlike the routine, it required me to pull the throttle a bit when pushing the start button, or it would not start. Mildly alarmed I decided that a service may help. I took Mobike008's advise and changed my service centre to Kay Jee Engineers.
The experience was much better than GoGreen and I am not going back. Best of all, the wobble that I had complained of during my first service was resolved by Kay Gee (Go Green had been unable to do so). I am delighted with the result as I can lean into the turns, without worrying. Glad I took mobike008's advice.
Now that I have lived with the bike for some time, here are some small things that I have noticed:
  • The clock on the bike runs fast and tends to add a minute every fifth day
  • Even if the fuel gauge has no bars showing, the fuel intake is about 13 litres. A bit confusing.
  • The front of the bike shudders mildly on applying front breaking. What could be the reason?
  • The sound of the bike seems to be changing and resembles the more traditional, deep bass sound of the older bullets. (Resembles, but not as deep throated)
  • Unlike my inital impressions, the rear of the bike is susceptible to skids on hard breaking. If the bike had a profile where more of the rider's weight fell on the rear of the bike, it may have helped reduce this tendency. The front break is very re-assuring though.
  • Mild rusting in some places on the chasis, centre stand. What could I apply to this?
I am thoroughly enjoying the bike and the opportunities that it has brought. Looking forward to the Ladakh trip this year. Also got to know some of you folks and am that much wiser.
Regards to all.
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Old 5th February 2013, 21:33   #139
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

@insearch :

The fuel tank on TB500 / 350 tends to block air inside the fuel tank & this for some reason is responsible for faulty gauge readings. Though I have not faced this issue, but 4 of my friends reported no bars on full tank & the problem was solved by opening and closing the lid.

As for te rusting, make sure there is no leak there & apply a bit of mustard oil & leave for a few hours. Take a Hard cloth and rub the rust off, Apply wax, if painted surface & Silvo if Chrome. If the same happens on the power coated Head / Engine area, you can easily get a Universal Dito polish kit for powder coated engines, it handles rust like a charm.
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Old 6th February 2013, 21:11   #140
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

Hi All need your help regarding my New Thunderbird 350.
Have run 900 km and the Bull is great in terms of riding.The main problem is with the fuel bar reading in the electronic cluster.
Even after filling the tank with 10 lts of petrol,Every fuel bar is dripping after 15 km and after riding 80 to 100 Km ,The last bar starts flashing .
As per the user manual,If the last bar starts flashing we have to do the refueling immediately.
As per the calculation ,Each Bar is standing for 12 km.
I really don't know whether the mileage is 12 to 15 km or there is a problem in fuel gauge and petrol tank.
Have taken the bike to Service center in Bannergatta road and even they are not able to give solution and done some adjustments in clutch and gearbox and gave the vehicle back that the problem is solved.
But after driving for last two days found that the problem is not solved and every 15 km the fuel bar is dripping down and finally the last bar starts flashing.
Need solution for this issue apart this the bike is fine.
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Old 7th February 2013, 00:01   #141
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

Just to share:

I had complained at the customer service link on the RE website for not having received the owner's manual and they had marked it back to the territory manager for being taken up. Waited for two days but nobody contacted me, so re-wrote. Eventually was contacted by a slightly flustered employee! Good to know that my irritation had registered.
The best part is that the owner of Grogreen motors himself called and was very concerned and sensitive to my feedback. I must say, I was not expecting the owner of the dealership to call or be so straight forward in accepting his team's lapses. It seems the dealer is not lacking in intent, just that it is a new dealership and he is genuinely interested in improving his show.
Bottomline: I have the owner's manual

Quote:
Originally Posted by shan2129 View Post
@insearch :

The fuel tank on TB500 / 350 tends to block air inside the fuel tank & this for some reason is responsible for faulty gauge readings...
..As for te rusting, make sure there is no leak there & apply a bit of mustard oil & leave for a few hours. Take a Hard cloth and rub the rust off, Apply wax, if painted surface & Silvo if Chrome. If the same happens on the power coated Head / Engine area, you can easily get a Universal Dito polish kit for powder coated engines, it handles rust like a charm.
Thanks shan2129! I will try out your advice this weekend. Hope you are enjoying your bike.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ansu View Post
Hi All need your help regarding my New Thunderbird 350....
I too have had issues with the readings on the clusters. The watch had started blinking and the "Select" switch had stopped responding.
What aggravates the problem is that hardly anyone at the workshop has a clue about the new meters. But some workshops have had a mechanic trained on the new TBTS by RE. Check for him by name.

Most probably he will not have any solution. In that case, have your complaint registered in written or acknowledged on the service reciept by the workshop. This way you can request for a replacement within warranty.
I am wondering how this got started. Did you give the bike for washing? If yes, just leave it in the sun for a few hours. The meters do not take well to water exposure. Mine started blinking too after a power hose wash. but 24 hours later the meters started working just fine.

Meanwhile, get the bike fuelled to the brim and re-fuelled after a couple of bars have dropped and see what the average works out to. Most probably it is just the electronics and your average is just fine. In that case, save yourself some heartburn and do not glance at the bars too often, while you wait for a permanent solution.
If nothing else works, write to the RE customer service on their web page. I have had a positive experience as you can read, at the top of this post.
Hope this helps ...

Last edited by Insearch : 7th February 2013 at 00:28.
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Old 7th February 2013, 01:23   #142
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

Although this won't help to fix the erronious readings of the fuel lever indicator, hopefully it will be helpful to someone.

The fuel warning light on my 2011 G5 (Electra) quit working after about 6 months of owning it. At the time, my nearest dealer/service was about 98 miles (158 km) away from my home so I resorted to a simpler approach to the problem.

Bearing in mind that the G5 doesn't have a "trip odometer" that can be reset when I refuel I put a black Sharpie fine point permanent marker in my saddlebags (panner) so that each time I fill my fuel tank I can write the odometer reading down.
This pens ink is relatively waterproof and it will write on any dry surface.

I've found that by writing the mileage (Km) distance on the chrome handlebars where it is easily seen while riding that by doing some simple arithmetic I know when I need to start thinking about refilling the tank.
When I do refill it, I lick my finger to make it wet and then rub off the old mileage number and write the new mileage number on the bar.

Because the motorcycle is fuel injected and the fuel pump uses the fuel as a coolant, running the engine with a low fuel level can damage the pump.
For this reason I try to limit the distance between refills to 150 miles (240 Km).
This leaves a little over a gallon in the tank which is more than enough to cool the pump and in the event that a filling station is not available I still have over 70 miles (113 Km) before I have to start worrying.

The Thunderbird fuel tank may be smaller than mine but I'm sure that all of you who own one already knows how far you can ride without needing to refill the tank.
Using whatever distance this is, you can use my method and figure out when you will need to refill.

Last edited by ArizonaJim : 7th February 2013 at 01:26.
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Old 7th February 2013, 08:54   #143
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

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Bearing in mind that the G5 doesn't have a "trip odometer" that can be reset when I refuel I put a black Sharpie fine point permanent marker in my saddlebags (panner) so that each time I fill my fuel tank I can write the odometer reading down.
This pens ink is relatively waterproof and it will write on any dry surface.

I've found that by writing the mileage (Km) distance on the chrome handlebars where it is easily seen while riding that by doing some simple arithmetic I know when I need to start thinking about refilling the tank.
When I do refill it, I lick my finger to make it wet and then rub off the old mileage number and write the new mileage number on the bar.
Hi Jim, Welcome to `Jugaad' (Hindi word meaning `improvisation'), which is familiar to all Indian RE fans!
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Old 7th February 2013, 22:50   #144
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The Thunderbird fuel tank may be smaller than mine but I'm sure that all of you who own one already knows how far you can ride without needing to refill the tank.
Using whatever distance this is, you can use my method and figure out when you will need to refill.
TB500 has a 20 litre tank. Actually your method is awesome. I never thought this way & did not know that Fuel Injected vehicles use Fuel as coolant. Thanks
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Old 7th February 2013, 22:51   #145
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

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Originally Posted by ArizonaJim View Post
Although this won't help to fix the erronious readings of the fuel lever indicator, hopefully it will be helpful to someone...

The fuel warning light on my 2011 G5 (Electra) quit working after about 6 months of owning it. At the time, my nearest dealer/service was about 98 miles (158 km) away from my home so I resorted to a simpler approach to the problem...

...When I do refill it, I lick my finger to make it wet and then rub off the old mileage number and write the new mileage number on the bar....

...Using whatever distance this is, you can use my method and figure out when you will need to refill.
Rollin' Thunda is right. I think in your last incarnation you were an Indian and had a first hand experience of Jugaad!
Your solution is heart warming and I no longer feel embarassed to be a jugaadu man (one who connects people, things etc. and get things moving!), and brings a smile to my face, as I imagine you licking your finger and rubbing it on the chrome. Cheers! We are RE fans!
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Old 10th February 2013, 12:30   #146
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

Nice thread on the TBTS!

One question that I had about the projector lamp is, is it an HID Projector or a Halogen Projector inside the headlamp assembly? Or is it just plain bulb-projector? The round lamp looks so muscular, I am thinking of using that on my AC-based Unicorn. I will replace the entire fairing/headlamp assembly with just this one. It will look like the CB125E, simple and very good looking too. And provide better lighting that what I have right now.

Prajwal

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Old 10th February 2013, 18:43   #147
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

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Originally Posted by prajwalkashyap View Post
Nice thread on the TBTS!

One question that I had about the projector lamp is, is it an HID Projector or a Halogen Projector inside the headlamp assembly? Or is it just plain bulb-projector? The round lamp looks so muscular, I am thinking of using that on my AC-based Unicorn...Prajwal
Hi Prajwal, I too have a Unicorn, though I have hardly had a chance to use it. And as stated earlier on the thread, my technical knowledge is equal to the maths ability of a chimp. But I am more than happy to learn. So first of all thanks for asking. Let me first quote what the manual says:
"Head Lamp: Projection Type head lamp, H7 bulb 55 & 55 W with LED light guide ring"
In addition to this, whatever I could verify on the net, before writing this, The H7 is a halogen lamp, which has only one beam. hence the manual mentions the two bulbs, once for high beam and one for low beam, with the LED ring. I verified the existence of the two bulbs on the bike right now .
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Old 10th February 2013, 20:14   #148
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Hi Prajwal, I too have a Unicorn, though I have hardly had a chance to use it. And as stated earlier on the thread, my technical knowledge is equal to the maths ability of a chimp. But I am more than happy to learn. So first of all thanks for asking. Let me first quote what the manual says:
"Head Lamp: Projection Type head lamp, H7 bulb 55 & 55 W with LED light guide ring"
In addition to this, whatever I could verify on the net, before writing this, The H7 is a halogen lamp, which has only one beam. hence the manual mentions the two bulbs, once for high beam and one for low beam, with the LED ring. I verified the existence of the two bulbs on the bike right now .
That's a good piece of news. As far as I am aware, a halogen based projector can be used on an AC circuit because it can be flexible with the variations of electric flow as opposed to an HID which needs a steady flow.

I was hesitating in using an external projector for the fear of it getting stolen. And I didn't want to modify the existing headlamp assembly of the Unicorn. But I am open to outright replacing the entire assembly with the TBTS projector headlamp.

Off to some more research....

Thanks for that mate! So when can I come and steal your headlamp?

Prajwal
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Old 12th February 2013, 15:10   #149
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

Thanks Insearch,

The issue was sorted out in my second visit to the RE Service center .
They have replaced the Fuel Sensor in the petrol tank.Now the Fuel gauge is working properly .Have tested the bike both in City Riding and High way.
Gives 45 KMPL in High way and almost 38 to 40 in city driving.
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Old 12th February 2013, 20:51   #150
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That's a good piece of news. ...

Thanks for that mate! So when can I come and steal your headlamp?

Prajwal
Sure! Just let me know where your Unicorn is parked, when you come looking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ansu View Post
Thanks Insearch,

The issue was sorted out in my second visit to the RE Service center .
They have replaced the Fuel Sensor in the petrol tank.Now the Fuel gauge is working properly .Have tested the bike both in City Riding and High way.
Gives 45 KMPL in High way and almost 38 to 40 in city driving.
Thanks for posting back ansu. Good to know that you will not be needing the technique suggested by our American friend above.

On another note:
I received the Tent and sleeping bags that had been ordered on Doc's (ebonho) recommendation. And boy! Am I happy that i took the advice! It is very light and has one single pole that reassembles itself to form the dome and the base of the tent (like a blind man's stick). The tent just hangs on to this structure with hooks. There is an additional layer at the top for keeping the it cool in summers and warm in winters. A beautiful color to boot! I am a convert and recommend Mufi's to everyone. Very reasonable price and high quality stuff. Thanks Doc, knowing you is a blessing!
I put it up in my backyard and spent a night in it, just could not resist the opportunity. At least I got to dream of Ladakh from the inside of a canopy. Couple of snaps.

I wish it was snow in the backgroud.
I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership-bike.jpg
And I was cosy inside the double layers of this beauty :
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