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Old 5th January 2013, 12:57   #16
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

Lovely first take Insearch!

I spotted a matt black TB500 few days back, and needless to say, it caught my eye like the first day I spotted the CL500 in Battle Green. Love the projector lamp assembly on the TB500, retro yet supremely functional.

Some questions:
  • Is the handlebar position good for city use? I have always found the original TB's handlebar to be a sore.
  • Ergonomics intuitive?
  • And the ever questioning Indian psychi, kitna deti hai?

Wish you a lot of miles on this baby!
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Old 5th January 2013, 13:20   #17
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

Fantastic thread Insearch and a good choice on the iron horse. This does make a very good cruiser for our Indian conditions. Did take the bike on a test ride and very much agree on your point with the positioning of rear break pedal. Hope RE sets it right.
Any reason why you did not look at the TB 350.
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Old 5th January 2013, 14:32   #18
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

Insearch,

welcome to the club and congrats on a very well written review. Happy thumping.
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Old 5th January 2013, 17:36   #19
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

Hey buddy, what a lovely report. Talk about connecting with the reader. Congrats on owning the beast. Keep posting & happy riding.
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Old 6th January 2013, 01:27   #20
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

Gentlemen, first of all thanks for extending a welcome and the warmth to this newbie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by parsh View Post
What a read your ownership post is. Bravo. Especially since you must have got that much demanding convincing power of the kids' rolly-polly'ing You did stir up some inner spaces on getting hands on such a much love-to-have iron stud. Hope it satiates your inner peace and that dream of graveled road becomes reality now. Lovely read, thanks for sharing. Happy and Safe (Off-)Roading!

I would be interested in knowing the issues that TBTS500 brings with it and things to watch out for (you get the idea, inner aspirations...).
Hello Parsh. You are right about the cuteness quotient! But as it is said that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. So, as long as lady love thinks I am cute, I need not think otherwise of myself . Thanks for the blessings and appreciation.
Inner aspirations are what keep all of us going, even in the face of harsh realities . Keep watering them, please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
Welcome to the forum Insearch. That was an interesting prologue about the horse giving way to a bull.

Many congratulations on the 500CC TB.

I rode it briefly and found it pretty good but, I still remain a fan of my 500ccc Classic Chrome

Look forward to your regular contribution on this thread as you continue with your ownership

P.S 1: Iam part of a BULL group called Wanderers. Let me know if your interested to join?

P.S 2: Our group has a ride tomorrow for awareness with Hyderabad traffic cops. Iam away from city but, can hook you up if your interested for this ride.
Well my bike has a tilted back number plate, Bet you cannot match that with your Classic 500 ! And you are right, the Classic is a classic. In fact your "Maroon marauder" is cause of envy for me. I would have actually liked to get a maroon shade in the TBTS. How is the color on your helmet lasting? Definitely need a few tips from you.
Yes, I will try and keep the thread updated, now that I have taken the plunge to be a forum member.
I would really want to meet and get to know your bikers' group, please let me know how to initiate.
I would have loved to be a part of the ride, but we have some school kids from Ahmedabad coming over to stay at our place tomorrow, so please let me know the next event. Are kids allowed? It would be great if the answer is a yes, I can bring along my daughters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by preetam_KORG View Post
Lovely first take Insearch!

I spotted a matt black TB500 few days back, and needless to say, it caught my eye like the first day I spotted the CL500 in Battle Green. Love the projector lamp assembly on the TB500, retro yet supremely functional.

Some questions:
  • Is the handlebar position good for city use? I have always found the original TB's handlebar to be a sore.
  • Ergonomics intuitive?
  • And the ever questioning Indian psychi, kitna deti hai?
Wish you a lot of miles on this baby!
Thank you, Preetam_Korg.
The Handle bar is a bit too upright for a spirited city drive, in my opinion. Pulling it in (Closer to the rider), may change that. But, the way the front foot rests are positioned, it would take time to take the foot off and bring it to a postion on the ground, closer to the centre of the mass of the driver and the bike (Or simply: to balance the bike). Which means, if you quickly need to break and balance with your feet, the lag/delay of the foot reaching the appropriate position on the ground, may prove costly.

S far as the ergonomics go, I am still learning. In the beginning I felt that the legs were very well stretched, but after today's ride of 230 kilometers, the feeling is that they could have been a bit more forward, or the seat a bit back (handle bar would have to be adjusted accordingly). Also, I have already raised the issue of the break pedal in the first post. please have a look at the photograph I have put up regarding this issue. Some people have complained about the size of the tank being an issue, because the legs have to be more open. This one I do not agree with. Unlike a sports bike, on a cruiser, one is expected to be sitting back and not bending forward and hugging the bike with the torso and the legs. So ergonomics is a mixed bag, but not a deal breaker at all.

The Answer to "Kitna deti hai?", is generally becoming all important with the kind of prices we pay for fuel. I remember buying petrol for my Yamaha at Rs. 12.50 a litre.
Glad to share that the last I checked, it was 33 KMPL. I have not checked today, after the longish ride that I had. Will put it up with other updates, soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ku69rd View Post
Fantastic thread Insearch and a good choice on the iron horse. This does make a very good cruiser for our Indian conditions. Did take the bike on a test ride and very much agree on your point with the positioning of rear break pedal. Hope RE sets it right.
Any reason why you did not look at the TB 350.
Thanks ku69rd.
I am not sure if I could answer this to your satisfaction, since you are a real afficionado. Your RD 350 looks pristine. And the paint job on the Yezdi is excellent. The RD 350 was a dream bike for people of my age, when we were in college. And the sound of a well tuned RD was a symphony that could mesmerize. Still I will try to answer.
If I had gone in for the 350, I would have preferred one from the 60's or 70's, with the original engines. But I have no technical knowledge, and my ability to give time to the machine would have limited it's performance as well as my ability to enjoy it. The Thunderbird's engine, while new, has been tested by riders (Not RE!) and seems to be easier on a novice.

Regarding the break pedal, I am waiting to hear from other owners also, on the forum and then maybe, we will do our bit by sending a feedback mail to RE.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajneeesh View Post
Insearch,

welcome to the club and congrats on a very well written review. Happy thumping.
Thanks Rajneeesh. Sorry about getting your name wrong in the TBTS Launch thread, post. Being a Newbie, I was not allowed to correct it.
I had been waiting for your ownership thread for quite some time, since you had got a delivery pretty early. Just saw it a couple of days back. I liked the photograph showing exact 500 KM on the speedo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sam_b View Post
Hey buddy, what a lovely report. Talk about connecting with the reader. Congrats on owning the beast. Keep posting & happy riding.
Thanks sam_b. Good to know I made a connection.
When is your Matt black delivery happening?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Insearch, that's a gorgeous machine bro. Congratulations!

P.S. I am still way more passionate about my Bullet than I am about my Duke.

That said, the Duke is a better bike than the Bullet in most everything that counts.
Thanks for posting ebonho. Your Duke ownership thread was a great help. And then the leak on the 390 had me all excited. Now I will wait for the 690/650, before I give another one of my appeals to the wise angel called wife.
I plan to check out the Duckback and the boots very soon. Boots I will definitely buy, but I am a bit apprehensive of the bulk that a duckback used to have. Is it still the same?
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Old 6th January 2013, 13:39   #21
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

Yesterday, I finally took the bike out for a drive. Went to Bidar and prayed at the Gurudwara. Total distance covered, to and fro, was 230 kilometers. I drove most of the time between 70 and 80 KMPH, slowing down to 60, sometimes. While the bike has a strong push till 60, things get sedate after that. At one place I stopped for asking directions and when I took off, the front wheel went slightly up in the air as I opened the throttle. I was not expecting this and quite appreciated the eagerness. On the other hand, once 65 is crossed, opening the throttle produces a roar that is more beautiful, than the pickup that accompanies it. In fact it behaved more like an Innova beyond that, just producing adequate pick up to overtake comfortably. All I am saying is that while some form of zipping is possible till 60, not beyond that. Sure a 500 cc motor could be better at those speeds, but since we are talking cruisers, the bike does its job. It was a comfortable journey as far as the bike is concerned. But having been completely out of practice, my hips wanted rest much sooner than my brain appreciated. So I found a nice shady place, by the road, to park the bike.
I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership-bike.jpg

Looking up, stretched myself on the mat and watched the leaves fall on my chest and face. Nice weather, snoozed for 30 minutes and then was off again.
I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership-mat.jpg

I had set the trip meter to zero before starting off, and here is the reading that I checked this morning. Well for all those interested in the bike's average, please have a look:
I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership-average-50.jpg

Yes, 50 KMPL

Headlights:

At high beam the bike throws a beam parallel to the road and illuminates more of what is on the road, rather than the road itself. This is perfect when you are blinded by the lights of oncoming vehicles, because one does not want to bang into cycles and other un-illuminated vehicles on the road, which are aplenty. The low beam lights up a semi-circle starting from the bike and extending 40 odd meters. This is what I use on dark roads, where traffic is less. Illumination is good. When blinded by other vehicles' headlights, I switch to high beam for reasons just explained above and use the light scattered in front of me to navigate the road.

Now, I have a couple of questions of my own:

I have bought a charger that I wish to install on the bike. It is supposed to be hooked into the ignition wires and should automatically start charging once the bike hums to life. Has anyone used anything like this? What are the pros and cons?
I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership-charger.jpg

Or would it be better to buy an external battery, charge it and then charge your mobile etc., from it?

I wish to put up a Citizen Band Radio, on the bike, some time over the next few months. Anybody using it? Any tips?
If it requires a longer discussion, we could take it up off this thread.

Please help.
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Old 6th January 2013, 14:56   #22
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

Quote:
Originally Posted by Insearch View Post

I have bought a charger that I wish to install on the bike. It is supposed to be hooked into the ignition wires and should automatically start charging once the bike hums to life.
Mate,
You can hook up the charger directly to the battery and that should be sufficient to charge your mobile. The TB500 must be a 14 amp battery and should hold good. Have seen many people do it and have even used the same concept to power an air compressor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Insearch View Post
Thanks ku69rd.
I am not sure if I could answer this to your satisfaction, since you are a real afficionado. Your RD 350 looks pristine. And the paint job on the Yezdi is excellent. The RD 350 was a dream bike for people of my age, when we were in college. And the sound of a well tuned RD was a symphony that could mesmerize. Still I will try to answer.

Regarding the break pedal, I am waiting to hear from other owners also, on the forum and then maybe, we will do our bit by sending a feedback mail ?
Many thanks for your kind words of encouragement, yes the RD350 means much more to me. The Yezdi, I was plain lucky with it. Uncle was selling it and I just happened to be in the right place at the right time with those Gandhis.

On the brake pedal, do check if the avenger pedal makes more sense? Since avenger also has forward foot controls the angles must suit you on the TB is my humble opinion. You might have to spend some time in the machine shop to get the basics right as avenger has drum brakes in the rear and your bike as discs.
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Old 6th January 2013, 15:49   #23
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

Good report and fabulous pics. After reading your ownership log yesterday night, I saw myself booking a TB500 and getting the delivery .. (of course in dreams :P)

I guess the Average shown in the Instrument cluster is not the fuel mileage but the average speed during that trip of 233 kms. It would be wise to add a fuse (just like the fuse kit used in car amplifiers) before you hook that charger directly to the batter or any other electrical point.

Last edited by Blow Horn Ok : 6th January 2013 at 15:58.
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Old 6th January 2013, 21:19   #24
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

Quote:
Originally Posted by Insearch View Post
Thanks sam_b. Good to know I made a connection.
When is your Matt black delivery happening?
Thanks Insearch

Keep up the updates, i am living my rides through all the TB 500 reviews on the forum till i get mine.

The delivery - hopefully this month end. But no, my 'horse' would look Flicker black, the 'No warranty on color' sticker broke the deal on a Matt black for me.
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Old 6th January 2013, 21:25   #25
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blow Horn Ok View Post
Good report and fabulous pics. After reading your ownership log yesterday night, I saw myself booking a TB500 and getting the delivery .. (of course in dreams :P)

I guess the Average shown in the Instrument cluster is not the fuel mileage but the average speed during that trip of 233 kms. It would be wise to add a fuse (just like the fuse kit used in car amplifiers) before you hook that charger directly to the batter or any other electrical point.
You are right! Apologies to every one for the oversight, as it does say kmph on the side. Will edit it.

Thanks for the tip on the charger.
By the way, why only in your dreams? You have some other bike in mind?
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Old 7th January 2013, 10:53   #26
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

Quote:
Originally Posted by Insearch View Post
Thanks for posting ebonho. Your Duke ownership thread was a great help. And then the leak on the 390 had me all excited. Now I will wait for the 690/650, before I give another one of my appeals to the wise angel called wife.
I plan to check out the Duckback and the boots very soon. Boots I will definitely buy, but I am a bit apprehensive of the bulk that a duckback used to have. Is it still the same?
The new Duckbacks are pretty lightweight and trendy, though I still prefer my old one. The older classic heavyweight ones are also still around. Nothing beats the protection the classic khaki overcoats afford. Or even the older bike two-piece suits in OG and khaki.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Insearch View Post
But having been completely out of practice, my hips wanted rest much sooner than my brain appreciated. So I found a nice shady place, by the road, to park the bike.
Attachment 1034896
Less to do with being out of practice and more to do with that humongous haversack you were lugging around on your back.

Just out of curiosity - for a 230 km ride, what were you carying in that?

Quote:
I wish to put up a Citizen Band Radio, on the bike, some time over the next few months. Anybody using it? Any tips?
If it requires a longer discussion, we could take it up off this thread.

Please help.
I have a set of these, which my friends and I use on rides. Has a range of 3+ kms.

http://www.gadgetcity.com.au/uniden-...ios-p-203.html
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Old 7th January 2013, 11:01   #27
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Thumbs up Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

Clear and detailed ownership report on the bull....btw your subtle use of humor is very entertaining; do keep us updated
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Old 7th January 2013, 15:41   #28
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

Quote:
Originally Posted by Insearch View Post
Mod Note : Please use the EDIT or MULTI-QUOTE buttons instead of typing one post after another!



Hi Slick. You are right and apologies for missing out on the CBR 250R. It was one of the first bikes that I had a look at. Also, as mentioned in my opening post, we have a Unicorn at home and we are very happy with it actually. Two things happened, which took the CBR out very early on.

First: I visited the Honda showroom, saw the bike and asked for a test drive. I was told to sit and wait, which I did for some time, but had to eventually leave, wondering why I was not attended to. When I visited again, no test drive was provided and also, they could not provide anything but the basic information about the bike. I just did not feel that they were focused on the product. That was really a put off rather than just the waiting or not getting the right information

Second: I went through the ownership threads of the bike and found people complaining of non-availability of parts, among other things. Not that Royal Enfield would be very different from this experience, but what swung me towards RE rather than away from Honda was, the passion with which RE owners came to help each other. Anyone who has gone through Randhawa's Classic 500 thread knows that it is love for the bike and camaraderie that keeps the thread going. Last I read, it was nearing 200 pages. Why is it that no other bike evokes such an outpouring...?

Since I was answering an inner need by gifting myself a bike, I wanted to connect with others who had similar emotions. May be it is just that I did not find an owner as passionate about his CBR as Randhawa was about his bullet or ebonho is about the Duke. Or maybe I failed to appreciate their passion.
And now let me share something very personal, since your question seems to have hit a bulls eye with my emotions. I am inclined to get out of the rat race as soon as possible. The Thunderbird and its siblings give me that opening more than any other bike. There is always another bigger cousin of most bikes, which are supposed to be the upgrade or the next one to aspire for. Nothing like that with the bullet. It is the End. When I get on it, I can let the world pass by, since I am not competing with anyone. That is important to me.

Do excuse the delay in answering your question. Once I read your post, I had been struggling within on how to answer it. I realised that I was just being shy of sharing inner thoughts. I hope I have not offended anyone.Thanks Slick, for provoking thought.
I understand why you have bought the Thunderbird, The REs have no real competition in that sense. Generally once a person has his heart set opon RE he doesn't buy anything else.

Even today as I sat on my friend's brand new Electra the feeling that I had cannot be replicated by any other bike let alone a Honda (who are known to make 'too perfect' bikes).

I was just plain curious as to how the CBR didn't even make to the list. Thanks for answering.
Very bad attitude on the dealer's part. I reckon the manufacturer here has to collect feedback on dealers and the way they treat perspective customers.

Thanks for sharing the emotions behind the purchase and do keep us posted how your ownership turns out.


- Slick
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Old 8th January 2013, 00:44   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonho View Post

Less to do with being out of practice and more to do with that humongous haversack you were lugging around on your back.

Just out of curiosity - for a 230 km ride, what were you carying in that?
You got me!
Actually I was just experimenting, to figure out how much I could carry and if other than the saddle bags, one could carry a backpack on a long journey. The back pack that I was carrying did not actually rest its weight on my shoulders. I just shrugged it on and let the weight rest on the back seat. Had a waist belt to hold it in place. All said, I would rather carry a very small back pack. I found that with a slight shift in the position of my big backpack, the bike's balance would also shift.
To answer your question specifically: It had a DSLR, a laptop, a sleeping bag, a torch, bungee cords, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
I have a set of these, which my friends and I use on rides. Has a range of 3+ kms.

http://www.gadgetcity.com.au/uniden-...ios-p-203.html
Thanks ebonho. How do you use them? What I mean to ask is, since you would be wearing a helmet, do you use some kind of earphones? Also what about the noise/clarity?

Also, I assume these are the legal version. Excuse my persistence please, I wish to be sure as I would not want to get into any trouble with the army, in Ladakh.
I was thinking that only AM/FM bands are allowed. At least, that is the understanding courtesy this thread:
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/modifi...e-india-2.html (CB radios now available in India)
Quote:
Originally Posted by SJD@NewDelhi View Post
Clear and detailed ownership report on the bull....btw your subtle use of humor is very entertaining; do keep us updated
Thanks a ton buddy! I will keep trying...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ku69rd View Post
Mate,
You can hook up the charger directly to the battery and that should be sufficient to charge your mobile. The TB500 must be a 14 amp battery and should hold good. Have seen many people do it and have even used the same concept to power an air compressor.
You make it sound so simple... I almost got up and went to fix it, before realising that I have ten thumbs and a technically numb head. But thanks, I will quote you to the electrician so that he thinks I know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ku69rd View Post
.

On the brake pedal, do check if the avenger pedal makes more sense? Since avenger also has forward foot controls the angles must suit you on the TB is my humble opinion. You might have to spend some time in the machine shop to get the basics right as avenger has drum brakes in the rear and your bike as discs.
Thanks to your suggestion, I was peering at the foot rests of every Avenger that I passed. They actually look more comfortable than the TBTS's. In fact the position of the break pedal is superb.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slick View Post
I understand why you have bought the Thunderbird, The REs have no real competition in that sense. Generally once a person has his heart set opon RE he doesn't buy anything else....
...Thanks for sharing the emotions behind the purchase and do keep us posted how your ownership turns out.

- Slick
Thank you for the boost, I will keep posting. Next update will cover the first service and a few more snaps.
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Old 8th January 2013, 09:31   #30
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

Ahhh That is one fine motorcycle, and a better narration for company!! Congratulations on the new machine. It must be such a delight to ride on the outskirts of Hyderabad.
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