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Old 13th February 2013, 13:54   #151
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

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Sure! Just let me know where your Unicorn is parked, when you come looking.
Ahh so somebody is after all heading to the Himalayas for sure this season. Good Stuff mate looks like you are all set. Suppose your boss & Home Ministry have to approve the leave and you are on your way.

And I recollect you telling me that I have some life eh!!!
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Old 13th February 2013, 14:13   #152
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

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I received the Tent and sleeping bags that had been ordered on Doc's (ebonho) recommendation.
Thanks Doc, knowing you is a blessing!
You're most welcome bro. Glad I could help a fellow bikers and Bulleteer.

Please post some photos of the sleeping bags as well. And of the inside of the tent (I want to see how much space there is).
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Old 13th February 2013, 17:21   #153
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

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On another note:
I received the Tent and sleeping bags that had been ordered on Doc's (ebonho) recommendation. I was cosy inside the double layers of this beauty :
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You're most welcome bro. Glad I could help a fellow bikers and Bulleteer.

Please post some photos of the sleeping bags as well. And of the inside of the tent (I want to see how much space there is).
@ Insearch, just managed to read through your complete thread at a stretch and have just one word "awesome". I know this is coming in late but anyways, Congratulations and wish you many Happy and Safe miles ahead! Now that you've shared the pics, please care to share the details of the cost and how did you go about ordering the tent and the sleeping bag.

@ ebonho, nice to see your ride and your passion / knowledge about the bullet. I suppose you must've done several rides to Ladakh, please let me know if there are any of your threads that I could go through to get some idea and start planning one this year. I ride a RE Maroon Classic 500 which will complete a year of being together this Mar'13.
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Old 13th February 2013, 17:53   #154
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

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@ ebonho, nice to see your ride and your passion / knowledge about the bullet. I suppose you must've done several rides to Ladakh, please let me know if there are any of your threads that I could go through to get some idea and start planning one this year. I ride a RE Maroon Classic 500 which will complete a year of being together this Mar'13.
Sorry to disappoint, but I have never ridden to Ladakh buddy. Never managed to get things together during that time of the year. Most of my rides are in the winter. I love the cold, and I hate the rains and keechad.
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Old 13th February 2013, 21:15   #155
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

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Ahh so somebody is after all heading to the Himalayas for sure this season. Good Stuff mate looks like you are all set. Suppose your boss & Home Ministry have to approve the leave and you are on your way.

And I recollect you telling me that I have some life eh!!!
You are bang on. Just a few things remain. I could not find army shoes that Doc had recommended. So they have been taken from the army canteen in Kashmir (Indian Jugaad), and will come down to Punjab as soon as the curfew in Srinagar is lifted, and then onwards to Hyderabad. Funny thing is, the shoes have already been to Kashmir and will travel down to me, to go back up again. The other thing is the riding pants. Thinking of buying spartan.
As far as the lady love is concerned, she has already accepted the fact that this "boy" is incorrigible. The company is another story. I am sensitising them and hopefully they shall relent before the D-Day cometh.

Yes you do have a life, your recent travelogue to the hills and the RD were cynosures for all eyes. I am just trying to get one.

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You're most welcome bro. Glad I could help a fellow bikers and Bulleteer.

Please post some photos of the sleeping bags as well. And of the inside of the tent (I want to see how much space there is).
Sure Doc! Pictures for both will be posted. While the sleeping bags I can post immediately, I have to put the tent up again to give you the exact dimensions. Also to do justice to the quality of the sleeping bags, I would like to do a comparison with the bag I had bought before I knew about Mufi's. If you will please give me till Saturday (I will try and do it earlier. Just that it is Dusk by the time I get home), and I will do a comparo of the sleeping bags and share the details of the tent. For now, let me say this that I have been to a few shops, seen a few tents and they are no match for this in terms of price and the value I have got. I was thinking of buying the Coleman tent, but a kindred soul held my hand and pointed me in the right direction. Rest will come soon Doc.

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Originally Posted by si1ver0ne View Post
@ Insearch, just managed to read through your complete thread at a stretch and have just one word "awesome". I know this is coming in late but anyways, Congratulations and wish you many Happy and Safe miles ahead! Now that you've shared the pics, please care to share the details of the cost and how did you go about ordering the tent and the sleeping bag.

@ ebonho, nice to see your ride and your passion / knowledge about the bullet. I suppose you must've done several rides to Ladakh, please let me know if there are any of your threads that I could go through to get some idea and start planning one this year. I ride a RE Maroon Classic 500 which will complete a year of being together this Mar'13.
Fist of all thanks for the compliments. Like a kid I always look forward to them.
And second, you are welcome to join me and my friend for the Ladakh ride. We are planning mid August. But you need to know that the my friend is half mad and I am no better. We do not plan to do a very hurried ride either.
Lastly: We have no mechanical knowledge of the bikes
Coming to the tent, I used the Doc's (ebonho) good offices with Mufi to get a mouth watering quote and quality. I recommend that you PM him for details. Otherwise, I am more than happy to put up the contact details here, just that Doc has the first right...

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Sorry to disappoint, but I have never ridden to Ladakh buddy. Never managed to get things together during that time of the year. Most of my rides are in the winter. I love the cold, and I hate the rains and keechad.
Er.. do you sometimes take along novices too...?

Last edited by Insearch : 13th February 2013 at 21:19.
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Old 14th February 2013, 11:01   #156
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

Look forward to your comparo Insearch. I know a few guys here who have bought way costlier bags (like Quechua) and would still swear by the durability, warmth, and filling of Mufi's bags.

Please go ahead and post his contact details (if its ok with the admin and rules here). There is not such thing as first dibs on helping fellow bikers.
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Old 14th February 2013, 18:05   #157
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

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You are right. But, among the indian manufacturers, the closest to cracking the perfect setting is Bajaj with it's Avenger series.
Mate,
Am using a TB500 loaned from my friend and have used it primarily within city. Travel Distances have been like 19 Km one way commute from home to office.
Found the bike to have a very relaxed posture with a very hard rear suspension(Not sure if this example of the bike is having it).

Regarding the break positioning, I could not sense any discomfort whilst operating them. Probably my seating is a bit forward compared to others? Again I dunno. Why don't you try shuffling around to find a sweet spot ?

But I did not like the leg guards as they tend to foul with my toes when trying to downshift using the front end of gear lever.

Acceleration is good for a Bike made by Royal Enfield. A very meaty response in the 3000 to 4000 Indicated rev range on Tacho makes it very spirited.
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Old 14th February 2013, 20:58   #158
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

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Originally Posted by si1ver0ne View Post
... please care to share the details of the cost and how did you go about ordering the tent and the sleeping bag....
Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Look forward to your comparo Insearch. I know a few guys here who have bought way costlier bags (like Quechua) and would still swear by the durability, warmth, and filling of Mufi's bags.

Please go ahead and post his contact details (if its ok with the admin and rules here). There is not such thing as first dibs on helping fellow bikers.
I spoke to Mufi aka, Mr Lokhandwala before posting this. He is fine with me sharing his number here on the thread. So here goes: +91 9822397741. It is recommended that you do not bargain on the price. While this may sound absurd, but you have to see the stuff to make sense of the request. He is a gentleman, who dispatched the stuff eventhough I still owed some money. There is a variety that he has on offer and based on your need he should be able to help you. Saved me from buying two separate tents for two separate needs. I eventually bought the one with Aluminum rods, which is lighter and serves multiple needs, albeit costlier (Even then much cheaper from whatever else is available out there). There is a certain way that the rods come together, which is supposed to be unique and the most easy way, versus any other brand in the world. So much for the Chinese stuff that we get from American brands on the net. I will let Mufi give you the prices, as this thread may be here for a long time and the prices will keep changing over time.
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Mate,
Am using a TB500 loaned from my friend and have used it primarily within city. Travel Distances have been like 19 Km one way commute from home to office.
Found the bike to have a very relaxed posture with a very hard rear suspension(Not sure if this example of the bike is having it).

Regarding the break positioning, I could not sense any discomfort whilst operating them. Probably my seating is a bit forward compared to others? Again I dunno. Why don't you try shuffling around to find a sweet spot ?

But I did not like the leg guards as they tend to foul with my toes when trying to downshift using the front end of gear lever.

Acceleration is good for a Bike made by Royal Enfield. A very meaty response in the 3000 to 4000 Indicated rev range on Tacho makes it very spirited.
I have tried at least three different TBTSs and the break pedal position is a little different on each. As recommended to me, during my first service, I will just have the pedal heated and bent according to my need.

The leg guards may not have been those of the TBTS. The RE Classic leg Guard in known to foul on the TBTS, just as you explained. Which makes the guard very dangerous, in case of a fall.
As for the pick up, I too like it and it meets most of my needs, though I keep wondering if the torque curve is the same on the TBTS as the Classic.
Thanks for your comments, Good to get the perspective of a veteran.
Please comment on the seat comfort also, I found it a bit hard for long drive use. But then it may be just my soft hips used to the soft car cushion .
Regards.

Last edited by Insearch : 14th February 2013 at 21:09. Reason: Adding details
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Old 16th February 2013, 16:50   #159
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

To The Mods: Could not find a devoted thread to tents or sleeping bags, hence posting it here.

Finally, it is the weekend, and I am able to keep my promise of sharing information on the sleeping bags and tent.
Initially I had bought a sleeping bag worth 3000/-, the brand being Carbin. I felt it to be thin, and wondered if it would be good enough for the North Indian winter, especially the Himalayas. Checking some threads and reviews made me even more circumspect. When Mufi's came into the picture I was primarily looking for a tent, but I decided to go for the sleeping bags also, since the "mid range and expensive" one was for 2400/-
First the sleeping bags. Mufi actually told me not to go for a higher speck as the volume would increase and for a biker, space is a big constraint. I took his advice and below is Mufi's and Carbin's (Red) sleeping bags side by side. I have also kept the packed tent, alongside, to give you an idea of it's size. It is 27 inches long, but is thinner than both sleeping bags
I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership-all-bags.jpg
Clearly, Mufi's sleeping bag has more volume. It is 17 inches in length, but will fit in a smaller space also. When I tried a smaller packing, it folded, to two inches less.
The two sleeping bags when opened:
I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership-bagscompao.jpg

I do not exactly know what Mufi's uses as the stuffing, but the bag keeps swelling for about 5-10 minutes after it is opened. This picture is within three to four minutes of opening both the bags. As you can see, Carbin has much less volume. Both bags have double zips and open 3/4ths of their respective lengths. Mufi's is 7.5 ft in length and Carbin is slightly less at just over 7 feet. Carbin has a zip pocket on the top. Once you are inside the sleeping bag, Mufi's warms up very fast and in Hyderabad night weather, I had to open it all the way down, to avoid sweating. It is very soft from the inside and you rest your body in ease. Carbin, is less comfortable and you can easily feel the ground underneath. While I am still to try them out in "real" winter, I would rather carry Mufi's as a biker, as I will surely be warmer and can always open the side if I feel too warm.

Coming to the tent. As per Doc's request, I took it's complete measurements. Let's go step by step.The snap below lists the materials that come out once you open the sack.
I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership-materials.jpg
The two pieces of tent cloth: outer and inner, wrapped together. The Aluminium rods, tent pegs and the extra hooks. 4 pegs and 12 hooks in all. The pegs (one with the thread attached, in the picture) are to hold the tent down in place if the need be. The additional hooks are for use if the weather gets extremely windy and the tent needs some serious holding power. I have not had to use them as yet and the tent is pretty stable on it's own. The dome structure is anyway known to be more aerodynamic.
The aluminium rods form the skeletal structure. It is actually one single rod, joined by a stretchable cord. As you take them out of the bag and unfold, they keep falling in place of their own accord.

Once the aluminium rods are in place, the inner tent can be attached to them with the hooks, as shown below.
I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership-inner.jpg
For a summer camp this should be good enough. The tent opens on two sides and has double layer curtain doors. One with net and the outer one as seen in the snap. The top is a net too. There is also a rain cover supplied for the top net in case it starts to rain. Very thoughtful.
If it is too cold, you can use the upper layer to cover it up:
I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership-outer.jpg
Inside, the tent is 7.5 ft long and 6.3 feet wide, with a height of 4.25 feet. These are amateur mesurements and stretching the cloth may lead to wider dimensions. Three average sized adults can easily spend the night inside and also turn and take a side during the night. 4 will be a snug fit. Their are 4 pockets inside the tent and hooks on top to hang lights etc.
You should be able to spot the rear of the rear tyre of the Thunderbird in the last snap.

Please let me know if you have any further questions. I have not packed the tent yet, lest some more enquiries need to be answered.
Regards to all.

Last edited by Insearch : 16th February 2013 at 16:52.
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Old 16th February 2013, 17:24   #160
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

Fantastic info, photos, and description bro. Maybe Mufi could use your writing skills freelance!

I have seen him unpacking, assembling, and repacking this tent in the cramped confines of his shop. You would be amazed and how quick it happens (the thought of doing this every night after a hard day's ride and again in the morning when time is of the essence and one is raring to go is what puts of most bikers).

He uses a really good quality imported microfill for stuffing his bags. As I said, serious mountaineers use these - in an environment where there are rarely second chances.

These mummy shaped bags are the best and most comfortable/cozy. Though last I checke, for normal backpackers and trekkers (in the Sahyadris etc.) he has more ordinary and much cheaper bags as well (1000-1500 last I checked). Lots of local sports stores stock them too.

Last edited by ebonho : 16th February 2013 at 17:27.
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Old 20th February 2013, 12:37   #161
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

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Finally, it is the weekend, and I am able to keep my promise of sharing information on the sleeping bags and tent
Thanks for sharing Insearch. A worth choice and well priced too! I am trying to locate some good shops in Bangalore.

LOTHAR
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Old 20th February 2013, 20:24   #162
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

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...I have seen him unpacking, assembling, and repacking this tent in the cramped confines of his shop. You would be amazed and how quick it happens (the thought of doing this every night after a hard day's ride and again in the morning when time is of the essence and one is raring to go is what puts of most bikers).
You are right! And I forgot to mention: It packs just about in the same time that it opens and you do not need to remember anything about what goes where.
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Thanks for sharing Insearch.....LOTHAR
You are welcome
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Originally Posted by Mighty_Lothar View Post
. I am trying to locate some good shops in Bangalore.
I guess you want to touch, feel and try the stuff. Try ordering a sleeping bag from Mufi and check it out too.
Regards.
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Old 1st March 2013, 18:09   #163
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

@ Insearch,

Great thread, I am hooked!

I was considering buying a bike for sometime now. I have a thing for cruisers (easy going, relaxed and preferably low maintenance). There isn't much choice in the Indian market for affordable cruisers. I liked the Avenger but it just didn't have the - how shall I put it - presence? The Harleys were too expensive. And I just kept coming back to the REs.

My only concern was the reliability. Read through the RE website and all sorts of reviews but I just wasn't convinced that this biked wouldn't leave me stranded one fine day.

And then I found your thread. And Randhawa's C5 thread (although that gets a little too technical for me at times). And in these pages I found the "Fellowship of RE", I found some comfort. It was probably the push I required to go get a Bullet myself.

Booked a Thunderbird 350 two weeks back.

Thanks for the inspiration. Looking forward to joining the fellowship and being owned by a Bullet.

Best.
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Old 1st March 2013, 22:06   #164
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

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@ Insearch,

...And then I found your thread. And Randhawa's C5 thread (although that gets a little too technical for me at times). And in these pages I found the "Fellowship of RE", I found some comfort. It was probably the push I required to go get a Bullet myself.

Booked a Thunderbird 350 two weeks back.

Thanks for the inspiration. Looking forward to joining the fellowship and being owned by a Bullet.

Best.
Thanks for the kind words charade!
As far as the camaraderie goes, I have already experienced it. I had gone for a group ride locally on mobike008's invitation and found it to be a great place to get to know other Bulleteers, who are more than willing to help out. The tent photographs above are a revelation from another bullet owner. My current service centre was found courtesy Mobike008 and Rollin' Thunda.

Minor updates:
My friend in Jalandhar, mentioned in various posts above had an eventful few days with his Thunderbird. He noticed a squeaking sound from the rear wheel and took it to the dealer for a check. They kept the bike, checked it, found no fault and called him to pick it up. He found that the mechanic had inadvertently oiled the the disc of the rear brake, hoping to remove the squeaking by doing so. For two days he rode the bike without an effective rear break.

Well, the sound kept on increasing and eventually the rear hub broke! So he went back to the dealer and gave him a piece of his mind. This friend of mine is er... quite assertive. Eventually the dealer gave him the rear tyre, wheel and hub of the display thunderbird! Now he has a fresh rear set up.
As for my bike: It is running just fine. Sounds better by the day and the engine has less and less vibration as it opens up. My comfort cruise speed has been moving up from 70, towards 80-90. I pushed the bike to 115 on the speedo once, and at that speed the vibrations were high. They subsided once I came back to 100.
The only struggle I have is keeping the rubbers on the mirrors in place. They keep coming off.
I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership-stalk.jpg

The other thing is that the bike tends to stall the first time I open the throttle in the morning. I have religiously been giving it a minute of idle, before pushing off. Maybe just need to idle it a bit more.
I am craving to go on a slightly longer ride, than my last outing. The plan is to ride to the Nanded Gurudwara, a distance of 600 odd kilometres, both sides inclusive. Hopefully next week.
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Old 4th March 2013, 09:14   #165
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

Looks like this has become the definitive TB500 thread.
Wanted to revisit the leg guard bit. Is dual leg guard recommended (front n rear) or will the front leg guard be enough to take care of most situations?
Also, anybody tried checking the difference in mileage with and without heavy leg guards?
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