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Old 15th November 2013, 15:11   #286
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

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Originally Posted by Insearch View Post
The bike continues to give me above 30, around Hyderabad, where I drive mostly in areas with no traffic signals. During our Leh drive we consistently managed 26+ and sometimes closer to 30 Kmpl. The reason is that the TBTS, compared to the Classic, has a taller gearing. While this compromises the Torque and accelaration just a bit, it allows you to hold the gear longer and basicaly the engine is more relaxed at each speed versus the Classic.
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Hi Insearch,

i am getting between 20-25 in my city driving ,daily approx 22 kms.

any suggestions to on how can i increase this

Regards,
Jimmy
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Old 15th November 2013, 17:20   #287
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

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Hi Insearch,

i am getting between 20-25 in my city driving ,daily approx 22 kms.

any suggestions to on how can i increase this

Regards,
Jimmy
Hi Jimmy, first of all, I am not the expert on this, Ravijee may be a better bet to answer this well. Still here goes..
  • I hope your measuring technique is ok. If it is tankfull to tankfull, hopefully the point at which you assume the tank to be full was the same, both times (for e.g. you may have taken auto cutoff once and manually full the other time).
  • It also depends on your driving style, what RPM you cruise at and what RPM you change the gears at.
  • Without starting the engine, role the bike a few meters and check if there is any kind of drag (The bike should roll freely).
  • Check the tyre pressure, idling RPM, clutch wear.
I have been assured by the veteran mechanic at the local service centre that the bike will give more than 30 when maintained well. If you need I will run a new test on my bike and report back with the figures. Incidentally, my bike runs trouble free and that is why I have not had much to report over the past few months.

Here is a snap from the last weekend when I rode with Mobike008 and other bulleteers (and a gentle RTR rider) to the Vikarabad lake.
Name:  riders.jpg
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Last edited by Insearch : 15th November 2013 at 17:21.
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Old 15th November 2013, 18:37   #288
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

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Originally Posted by Insearch View Post
The bike continues to give me above 30, around Hyderabad, where I drive mostly in areas with no traffic signals. During our Leh drive we consistently managed 26+ and sometimes closer to 30 Kmpl. The reason is that the TBTS, compared to the Classic, has a taller gearing. While this compromises the Torque and accelaration just a bit, it allows you to hold the gear longer and basicaly the engine is more relaxed at each speed versus the Classic.
Regards.
Well, 30 is a good figure for a 500cc. Taller gearing suits my needs too as in my opinion it provides for a more relaxed riding, where you can hold on to a gear for a longer time. The only doubt that remains in my mind is the resell value. While Classics have a good resell value, I have failed to find out much about the resell issue of the new TBTS. Any light on it, Sir?
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Old 16th November 2013, 03:38   #289
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

A little correction in the above statement. It should have read:

"resell value of the new TBTS. Any light on it, Sir?"
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Old 18th November 2013, 14:23   #290
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

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Originally Posted by SJD@NewDelhi View Post
Well, 30 is a good figure for a 500cc. Taller gearing suits my needs too as in my opinion it provides for a more relaxed riding, where you can hold on to a gear for a longer time. The only doubt that remains in my mind is the resell value. While Classics have a good resell value, I have failed to find out much about the resell issue of the new TBTS. Any light on it, Sir?
Hi SJD,

I think it is a bit early to talk about the resale value as most of the TBs are not even a year old as yet. But do remember that most Bulleteers do not see the TBTS as a Bullet, hence that market is out! They would rather buy a vintage machine or a Classic.
This does mean that the number of people looking for a second hand TBTS will be quite limited. At the same time, the TBTS has a much more comfortable riding position and saddle, so serious long distance junkies may buy the TBTS for what it is: A reliable, comfortable, well priced cruiser.
Regards.
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Old 19th November 2013, 12:02   #291
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

Quote:
Originally Posted by Insearch View Post
Hi Jimmy, first of all, I am not the expert on this, Ravijee may be a better bet to answer this well. Still here goes..
  • I hope your measuring technique is ok. If it is tankfull to tankfull, hopefully the point at which you assume the tank to be full was the same, both times (for e.g. you may have taken auto cutoff once and manually full the other time).
  • It also depends on your driving style, what RPM you cruise at and what RPM you change the gears at.
  • Without starting the engine, role the bike a few meters and check if there is any kind of drag (The bike should roll freely).
  • Check the tyre pressure, idling RPM, clutch wear.
I have been assured by the veteran mechanic at the local service centre that the bike will give more than 30 when maintained well. If you need I will run a new test on my bike and report back with the figures. Incidentally, my bike runs trouble free and that is why I have not had much to report over the past few months.

Here is a snap from the last weekend when I rode with Mobike008 and other bulleteers (and a gentle RTR rider) to the Vikarabad lake.
Attachment 1166551
hi Insearch,

Thanks for the reply, what you say above is similar to how i maintain the bull.

lets see i will try and revisit my measuring techniques as well.

Cheers,
jimmy
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Old 7th January 2014, 09:25   #292
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

Now that the 390 is here, would you trade in the bird and go for the Duke?
Just curious to know how settled you are with the Bird
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Old 19th January 2014, 11:56   #293
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Absolutely not! The more I ride my Bird, the more I'm lovin' it. The bike seems to have run in well. I'm getting a mileage figure close to 40 (I have a 350).

Recently I was out of town for a couple of weeks and the bike was just parked in my garage. On coming back I was able to start the bike in a single kick. I thought that was impressive.

Moreover, the Duke is a very different bike from the Bird. I like the laid back cruiser type of feel that the Bird gives.
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Old 19th January 2014, 17:52   #294
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

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Now that the 390 is here, would you trade in the bird and go for the Duke?
Just curious to know how settled you are with the Bird
As mentioned in earlier posts, a friend and myself had gone to Ladakh on our birds.
This friend rode the Duke 390, last week, and came away quite impressed. But when I asked if he would trade in his Thunderbird, he was quite clear that, that would not happen. As per him the TBTS is the best cruiser for the price and the duke is a different segement, except for the price. You lean forward on the Duke, and your wrists take on weight even when you are not breaking, which you often have to, given the character of the bike.
Another point is the tank capacity.

Overall, I may keep both bikes to cater to different moods. When I am in a mood to go out, ride easy, just take in the breeze and the sights, I would prefer the bird. Also, the bird has this air of "I am satisfied and enjoying the ride." On the other hand: The Duke would be my choice for a short, spirited drive on a low traffic road with some curves.

Last edited by Insearch : 19th January 2014 at 17:54.
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Old 19th January 2014, 19:35   #295
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

The Harley Davidson Street 750 is round the corner. Do any of the Thunderbird owners plan to trade in their rides for the Harley? Though the cheapest Harley Davidson, it iwill be priced much higher than the RE machines.
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Old 19th January 2014, 19:38   #296
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

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Though the cheapest Harley Davidson, it iwill be priced much higher than the RE machines.
Thats right. It will be atleast 5 Lakhs OTR. So it will be more than twice the costliest RE (Cafe Racer) and doubt is a logical upgrade for RE owners.

I mean it will still be way beyond the reach of regular RE buyers
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Old 20th January 2014, 14:28   #297
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

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Originally Posted by Insearch View Post
Overall, I may keep both bikes to cater to different moods. When I am in a mood to go out, ride easy, just take in the breeze and the sights, I would prefer the bird. Also, the bird has this air of "I am satisfied and enjoying the ride." On the other hand: The Duke would be my choice for a short, spirited drive on a low traffic road with some curves.

Thanks for answering that. I asked you the question because you mentioned in of your early posts on this thread that you were actually waiting for the 390.
Wish you many safe miles
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Old 17th March 2014, 18:53   #298
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

Long time since my last post. I have been enjoying riding the bike though. While there has not been a long ride in quite a while, I have been enjoying many short rides (less than 300 Kms), very frequently. The bike has mostly done well. But that does not mean that there haven't been any issues...


The metal part that connects the gear lever to the actual gear broke while I was on a ride. Luckily, I was able to push the bike into 3rd gear and ride back straight to the workshop. As they did not have a replacement, it was welded and re-installed. Since then I have realized that some metal parts used on the bike are generally brittle. For example the footrests. Under stress they do not bend, they just break off into two pieces.

The connecting pipes used in various places do not weather well. Especially the "Air Breathing pipe". I hope I got the name correct. They develop cracks and open up. I realized this when the idle RPM on the bike shot up to 1500 from a de-facto 1100. On scrutiny found the pipes cracked up. Initially, I just cut off the damaged part and re-fitted it. But it had become too hard and again cracked and hence, got it replaced. The thinner one shown in the snap, towards the upper side in yellow circle(apologies for my less than technical language), is not available with the workshop and hence did a Jugaad. I used a thin fuel pipe to replace it.

The circled part for the Breather pipe is where it develops cracks:
I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership-pipes.jpg

The silencer has opened up well and there is a marked thump when pulling up from lower RPMs (will never be the thump of the old bullets). The bike cruises smoothly at 80 KMPH and I still feel that at 100 KM per hour, the vibrations are too high. Pushed it beyond that a few times and at 115+ it feels like a bucket of bolts!

Moving on: I got a RAM mount for the GPS. It is really easy to fit and the GPS instrument secures into the mount quite comfortably. On a few occasions I have also fit my Samsung Galaxy 4 mobile into it and it was held in place without any drama. Earlier I used to put the GPS into the transparent cover of my tank bag and look down at it when directions were needed. It was always a nervous glance as I would have to take eyes off the road. Not anymore.
I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership-ram.jpg

The rear tyre had worn off in the middle. I guess mostly because of the rough roads and sharp pebbles that I rode over in Ladakh. While the sides (chicken wings?) still had tread, a few occasions of hard breaking or leaning into a turn had resulted in the rear giving way. Luckily no falls. I wanted a soft compound replacement but could not find an appropriate fit. Finally got a Michelin for 3500/-. More than happy with the result. The skids are gone and I feel so much more comfortable leaning into corners..ahhh. The fron tyre is in pretty good shape but I am tempted to replace it with something similar.
I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership-michelin.jpg

And the last update: I have done something which is best described as stupid. Installed some really bright LED lights. Actually the reason is that I go home via a road that is 2 way, and many times, it is dark when I start off from office. On coming vehicle lights thus become a hazard. No amount of dipping my lights gets any results from them. One day I almost loaded myself onto a bullock cart as I was blinded by the high beam of an oncoming truck. There is this Fortuner that crosses me often and never dips the lights. The new lights were first experimented on it. I dipped my lights a few times as it came closer and as usual there was no response. Waited for him to be within 30 feet of me and then switched on the bright big LEDs. The driver immediately changed his line and shifted towards his left. Revenge, sweet revenge .
I do not use these as regular lights and only when I need to provoke someone to use the dipper.
The smaller ones that you see in the photograph are used when riding in a group as they are visible from afar, even on a sunny day. By the way the lights do not have throw and disperse within 20-30 feet.
I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership-lights.jpg

Last edited by Insearch : 17th March 2014 at 19:07. Reason: Language
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Old 27th April 2015, 14:42   #299
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

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Originally Posted by Insearch View Post
By the way the lights do not have throw and disperse within 20-30 feet.
Hello Insearch,
The lights are very good, can you add a couple more pictures on the wiring and switch connection you have given?

They look pretty good, are they spot or spread pattern?
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Old 27th April 2015, 15:20   #300
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

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Hello Insearch,
The lights are very good, can you add a couple more pictures on the wiring and switch connection you have given?

They look pretty good, are they spot or spread pattern?
Sorry Mahesh! Won't be able to post snaps as the bike has gone to a friend in Nagpur, permanently .

The lights had spread but not much depth. I have used them in the night on roads with oncoming traffic. Two things I noticed:
1. Trucks and other bigger vehicles maintain a respectful distance with the bigger ones switched on
2. I do not know the technical details, but they effectively reduce the glare from oncoming vehicles (lights) and one gets a better view of the road ahead.

To sum up: I have had bigger bikes ride behind me, because that way they felt safer in the traffic. Also, you better be at highway speeds, otherwise they take a toll on the battery.

Regards.

Last edited by Insearch : 27th April 2015 at 15:21. Reason: Adding comments
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