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Old 20th January 2013, 23:44   #106
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

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Originally Posted by Rollin' Thunda View Post
I have walked away from three separate crashes, in each of which my crash-guard was totally wrecked (one of them was an air-fly type). Each time, the guard saved my bike from substantial damage, and very probably my legs too, for I escaped serious injury each time.
That is really reassuring. Was the fall due to a hit, or other reasons (hard breaking Slip, loss of balance, road conditions, etc.)?

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Originally Posted by Rollin' Thunda View Post
... But I still think it is unlikely in the extreme, and only if the guard was made of thin/weak material.
While I do not remember all the details, the guard had folded all the way inwards, trapping the foot between the Break pedal and the lowest beam on the guard. Hence it does seem plausible that the metal rods of the guard were of a lighter material
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Originally Posted by Rollin' Thunda View Post
I would never ride a bike without a crash-guard (or without knee guards, boots and a riding jacket for a long ride).
So what kind of a crash guard do you use/Suggest?

Regards.
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Old 21st January 2013, 03:56   #107
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

It's just my opinion but crash guards are designed primarily to protect the motorcycle.

Unfortunately, many riders think they are there to protect their legs when the bike goes down. This line of thinking promotes keeping the feet on the foot pegs as the bike is falling and, as has been noted this can lead to the bike crushing the riders leg or worse, the crash bar trapping the leg as the motorcycle skids down the roadway.

Had the rider "jumped" or kicked his weight and legs up off of the pegs his/her legs would never be in a position to become trapped.

Not that I'm an expert but I have survived several crashes in my 49 years of riding.
In each case I held onto the handlebars and kicked my legs up off of the pegs. By the time the bikes side hit the ground, I had released my grip on the lower handlebar, my legs and body were well clear of the seat and with a slight twisting I ended up either alongside the bike on the tarmac or on top of its upper side.

The crash bar did its job and prevented some of the damage that would have happened had I not had one mounted.
This was especially valuable on my BMW where some very expensive parts could have been ground off of the engine had I not had a crash bar mounted.

One could argue that a narrow motorcycle like the Royal Enfield shouldn't need this type of crash protection but if some protection can be added for the engine side cases at a reasonable cost it may be worth doing.

I hope those who do remember my advice. Get your leg out from under the bike in a crash before it hits the ground.

Last edited by ArizonaJim : 21st January 2013 at 04:00.
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Old 21st January 2013, 07:38   #108
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

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Originally Posted by Insearch View Post
That is really reassuring. Was the fall due to a hit, or other reasons (hard breaking Slip, loss of balance, road conditions, etc.)?

So what kind of a crash guard do you use/Suggest?

Regards.
Two of the three crashes were due to skidding while emergency braking at moderate speeds (~40 kmph) and the third was due to hitting an unseen speed-breaker, fortunately at low speed (~15 kmph).

Regarding the choice of crash-guard, being no expert, I can only offer my own thoughts which you can take at your own risk. Currently I have an air-fly on my TBTS 350 because (1) it is sturdy (2) it is unlikely that all three bars will bend together and trap your leg (3) I think it looks good on an RE. But the most important thing is that the crash-guard be heavy and sturdy. Two of my wrecked crash-guards were just straight-bars, but were heavy and did their job well.

The crash-guard definitely protects your motorcycle in a crash. However, I would not discount the protection it offers the rider as well. Having your leg trapped between the ground and the motorcycle, when the latter is horizontal and skidding, cannot be pleasant. As Arizona Jim said, it is best to have your leg out of the way, but a crash happens so fast that you may not remember/be able to do this when it does.

Last edited by Rollin' Thunda : 21st January 2013 at 07:39.
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Old 21st January 2013, 13:29   #109
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

Well for RE the journey with the FI started bit abruptly, issues with idling, bike running rich was few of th issues faced atleast during the intial period,the absence of O2 sensor is supposed to be the reason.. though am not sure if this has been taken care off now.

My apprehension is due to the, clumsy ASC support where most of them are below average and any issue related to FI they may not be able to fix.

that said, the after market ECU seems to be promising...



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Originally Posted by ku69rd View Post
Lohith,
Am new to Bullet world to be very honest with you. Always thought that Fuel Injected bikes would be easy to maintain as they do not need frequent tampering or tuning. Believe the factory maps are good for basic
Please do correct me if am wrong with my understanding here.
On the contrary I do know of an after market ECU that has been developed locally to a cost that is slowly entering the market for Bullets 500 which can make life very interesting.
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Old 21st January 2013, 14:27   #110
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

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that said, the after market ECU seems to be promising...
Thanks for that information, looks like the QA department did not work as intended.

Regarding the aftermarket ECU let me know if you are interested and I will route you to my friend.
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Old 21st January 2013, 21:10   #111
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

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Originally Posted by ArizonaJim View Post
It's just my opinion but crash guards are designed primarily to protect the motorcycle...

...Had the rider "jumped" or kicked his weight and legs up off of the pegs his/her legs would never be in a position to become trapped...

...The crash bar did its job and prevented some of the damage that would have happened had I not had one mounted.

One could argue that a narrow motorcycle like the Royal Enfield shouldn't need this type of crash protection but if some protection can be added for the engine side cases at a reasonable cost it may be worth doing.

I hope those who do remember my advice. Get your leg out from under the bike in a crash before it hits the ground.
I reckon there is enough wisdom in views based on 49 years of riding experience, for me to go by! Your eloquent response is highly appreciated.

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Originally Posted by Rollin' Thunda View Post
Two of the three crashes were due to skidding while emergency braking at moderate speeds (~40 kmph) and the third was due to hitting an unseen speed-breaker, fortunately at low speed (~15 kmph).
Right. One of the reasons I was asking is to understand if the crash guard had been impacted before the fall. But I guess, in all the three cases, the guard was not impacted, retained it's shape and saved the bike's engine and body from coming in complete contact with the tarmac. That is a good enough reason to have it, as long as it retains it's rigidity. Glad you were not hurt.

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Originally Posted by Rollin' Thunda View Post
Regarding the choice of crash-guard, being no expert, I can only offer my own thoughts...
...Two of my wrecked crash-guards were just straight-bars, but were heavy and did their job well.

The crash-guard definitely protects your motorcycle in a crash. However, I would not discount the protection it offers the rider as well. Having your leg trapped between the ground and the motorcycle, when the latter is horizontal and skidding, cannot be pleasant. As Arizona Jim said, it is best to have your leg out of the way, but a crash happens so fast that you may not remember/be able to do this when it does.
Actually, based on what ArizonaJim states, about RE being a narrow bike (comparatively) and your experience with a single rod, I am wondering if a straight, single strong beam would be better than the butterfly piece. In any case, my mind is made for the guard, and I will start with the RE original equipment. As posted in response to Ventoman, will share the snaps soon.

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Originally Posted by ku69rd View Post
Thanks for that information, looks like the QA department did not work as intended.

Regarding the aftermarket ECU let me know if you are interested and I will route you to my friend.
I am not aware of any issues with the ECU. My bike just seems to be getting smoother by the day.

Last edited by Insearch : 21st January 2013 at 21:16.
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Old 22nd January 2013, 10:47   #112
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

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I am not aware of any issues with the ECU. My bike just seems to be getting smoother by the day.
Believe you have broken in the engine pretty well. Guess you have many threads posted about how to break-in and will not repeat the same. How many KMs have you logged in so far?
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Old 22nd January 2013, 11:28   #113
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

Getting the leg out from under the bike is easier said than done. Normally a low side (esp. for seasoned riders) happens without warning and so quickly when you are pushing it or on the edge leaned over, that more often than not it takes you completely by surprise and there is no time or space to get out in time.

I can give you the example of two of my recent differing low sides - one off road on gravel and slick mud in monsoons at 80+ and one on a tightening decreasing radius corner at half that speed. Different bikes, both on to the left side. Both times my left foot got trapped under the bike and it had to be lifted off.

The only other time when I manage to get far away from the bike and slide Moto GP style on the tarmac was when the "tarmac" was actually a deceptive stretch of treacherous black ice in Himachal in winter.

Thank God for riding boots and pants and gloves (and hip, knee, shoulder, and elbow protectors)!
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Old 22nd January 2013, 20:09   #114
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Thank God for riding boots and pants and gloves (and hip, knee, shoulder, and elbow protectors)!
You didn't have a crash guard?
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Old 22nd January 2013, 23:24   #115
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

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Originally Posted by ku69rd View Post
Believe you have broken in the engine pretty well.
I always try to do it right, bikes or cars .
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Originally Posted by ku69rd View Post
Guess you have many threads posted about how to break-in and will not repeat the same.
I guess what you mean is the guidance available on the various threads. And yes that is true, I am trying to follow Randhawa's advice on the breaking in period and speeds. I still do not have the owner's manual.
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Originally Posted by ku69rd View Post
How many KMs have you logged in so far?
Not much actually. 1396 Kms as of today. By the way, I did not take the tank off. Mentioning here as I had committed that I would let you know. Bought an external battery. Excuse me for chickening out.

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Getting the leg out from under the bike is easier said than done. Normally a low side (esp. for seasoned riders) happens without warning and so quickly when you are pushing it or on the edge leaned over, that more often than not it takes you completely by surprise and there is no time or space to get out in time....

...The only other time when I manage to get far away from the bike and slide Moto GP style on the tarmac was when the "tarmac" was actually a deceptive stretch of treacherous black ice in Himachal in winter.
Gentlemen, before I take a shot at this, you may want to sit down and prepare to be amused at a novice's attempt.

I have a feeling we are all on the same page, just reading different parts of it. The circumstances described by you above, most definitely happen too fast for the legs to react in time, though the first instinctive reaction after the fall comes from the hands. I have been in such a fall 19-20 years back. In such a situation a guard would definitely save the bike from damage to the engine scraping the ground, but a single rod crash bar may do damage to the leg and a rigid diamond frame may be better, since the pressure on the leg would be more spread out as compared to a single rod pushing the weight of the bike into the leg (if that happens).

Also the situations described by you and rollin' Thunda are the ones where there was no hit to the bike before the fall. The fall led to the hit.
What I had raised as an issue is when the bike and the rider are hit while in motion and still on two wheels (I know you have clarified that such a situation with an experienced rider would seldom arise, and I respect that). Again I have been in such a situation, where a three wheeler rammed me at a 60 degree angle from the front. Of course I panicked as I saw the front of the auto heading for my right leg. Even before I realised what I was doing, my leg was off the break pedal and due to the impact I fell over. Got up, completely unharmed as the speed was very less, and saw a twisted break pedal.
So here is my two cents:
ArizonJim's reference point seems to have been a cruiser and a situation where he could see the hit happening and instinct, rather than the brain, had a fraction of time to react.
Your reference point seems to be a situation, where the bike is leaning and hence no time to react before the fall.
And third, the crash guard would be a risk if one is being hit before the fall, rather than the other way round (Hit after the fall). Please do correct, wherever needed.

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Thank God for riding boots and pants and gloves (and hip, knee, shoulder, and elbow protectors)!
Are these the Army riding boots ? Last Sunday almost bought them. He wanted 900/- I was just not sure they were the same ones recommended by you. While the look was identical, they were made of a soft leather and the toe area was not very hard.
What is a hip protector? There are such thing too?

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Originally Posted by Rollin' Thunda View Post
You didn't have a crash guard?
Bingo! I will take an aisle seat please, as I wait for the answer and comments.
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Old 23rd January 2013, 11:14   #116
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

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Originally Posted by Rollin' Thunda View Post
You didn't have a crash guard?
Yes I did (the diamond InSearch is talking about - never go for the airfly design, it bends and often traps your legs against the hot engine/bend pipe).

But its a Bullet. And when a Bullet goes down, any crash guard/mount wil either bend or gived way. What it will do before that happens is protect your tank and sump casing - which is all it is really designed for.

My foot was traped under the rigid footrest/swingarm and the ground. That part is not rotected off the ground in a slide - not even with the ridiculous Raja guards at the back some guys fit (apologies in advance to those who have - really not a good idea).

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Originally Posted by Insearch View Post
Also the situations described by you and rollin' Thunda are the ones where there was no hit to the bike before the fall. The fall led to the hit. What I had raised as an issue is when the bike and the rider are hit while in motion and still on two wheels (I know you have clarified that such a situation with an experienced rider would seldom arise, and I respect that).
I have never been hit by another vehicle. I have once twice done the hitting - once head on into the skull of a buffalo on my KB in my college days and another time rear-ending a Maruti 800 with my Bullet.

Quote:
Your reference point seems to be a situation, where the bike is leaning and hence no time to react before the fall.
Yes, but if you see experts, they train for that too. They never get caught under the bike. And their speeds and lean angles are way higher, and reaction times way lesser. Just saying.

Quote:
And third, the crash guard would be a risk if one is being hit before the fall, rather than the other way round (Hit after the fall). Please do correct, wherever needed.
Crash guards have been a highly controversial and debated subject for as long as bikes and bikers have been around. With equally strong arguments for and against. My take is that the crash guard is more for the bike than the rider. It may help the rider in some situations, but thats a happy after effect and not its design brief per se.

Quote:
Are these the Army riding boots ? Last Sunday almost bought them. He wanted 900/- I was just not sure they were the same ones recommended by you. While the look was identical, they were made of a soft leather and the toe area was not very hard.
The army boots showed their limitations in such a situation. My ankle was twisted and I had a hair line fracture of one of my metatarsal bones. Because they are not designed for riding with torsional supports in built like proper riding boots. But the thick leather saved my skin - I still carry a 2 mm deep gash in the top leather from that fall. A normal shoes and that would have been skin and muscle and probably even bone.

The second low speed low side was with riding boots. No injury whatsoever. Not even any pain or soreness. Riding gear is worth every rupee you spend on it. And the more you spend, the less pain you experience later.

Quote:
What is a hip protector? There are such thing too?
Yes. They are either in-built into riding pants or riding shorts which you wear under normal pants.

The main contact points of your body in most falls are knees, hips, elbows, shoulders, and hands.
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Old 23rd January 2013, 20:50   #117
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

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The army boots showed their limitations in such a situation. My ankle was twisted and I had a hair line fracture of one of my metatarsal bones. Because they are not designed for riding with torsional supports in built like proper riding boots.
While I don't agree with your view on air-fly crashguards, your view on Army boots has certainly given me pause for thought. I swear by Army boots, because they thrice protected my feet from injury under the falling bike; but I see your point about torsional support offered by proper riding boots...

Anyway, thanks for your comments. Your perspective as a former(?) bulleteer-turned-Duke-rider is invaluable.
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Old 23rd January 2013, 22:26   #118
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post

...I have never been hit by another vehicle. I have once twice done the hitting - once head on into the skull of a buffalo on my KB in my college days and another time rear-ending a Maruti 800 with my Bullet.
Brilliant!

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post

The army boots showed their limitations in such a situation. My ankle was twisted and I had a hair line fracture of one of my metatarsal bones. Because they are not designed for riding with torsional supports in built like proper riding boots. But the thick leather saved my skin - I still carry a 2 mm deep gash in the top leather from that fall. A normal shoes and that would have been skin and muscle and probably even bone.

The second low speed low side was with riding boots. No injury whatsoever. Not even any pain or soreness. Riding gear is worth every rupee you spend on it. And the more you spend, the less pain you experience later.
Oops! That does get me thinking. Guess this is not the thread to discuss shoes, will post it on the riding gear thread or PM you for help.

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Yes. They are either in-built into riding pants or riding shorts which you wear under normal pants.

The main contact points of your body in most falls are knees, hips, elbows, shoulders, and hands.
So riding pants are better than simple knee guards.
And thanks again for being the light.
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Old 24th January 2013, 11:14   #119
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

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Originally Posted by Rollin' Thunda View Post
While I don't agree with your view on air-fly crashguards,
I never quote something I read or hear elsewhere. Been riding Bullets for over 10 years now, and seen this happening to two of my friends. The only 2 things great about the airfly are
(1) Resting your outstretched legs atop them on long rides - gives a lot of relief to your thigh muscles. Can do the same on the diamond, but your legs will tend to slip off due to the slope.
(2) Fitting Mufi's (Pune's own saddlebag and adventure gear guy) bottle bags - very useful.

Quote:
Anyway, thanks for your comments. Your perspective as a former(?) bulleteer-turned-Duke-rider is invaluable.
Still very much a Bulleteer bro. I ride a 2002 Athena Grey Std 500 (she's temporarily white and an enduro till I get bored and revert).

Also owned and eventually sold a 2007 Alberto Green LB500 and a 2010 Maroon Classic 500 along the way.

Taking InSearch and the board's liberty to post two of my baby's photos here - 10 years apart:

Brand New in 2002

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In 2012

Name:  DSC00062.JPG
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Insearch View Post
Oops! That does get me thinking. Guess this is not the thread to discuss shoes, will post it on the riding gear thread or PM you for help.
You can check out my gear and riding boots (RST and Alpinestars) on the riding gear thread.

Quote:
So riding pants are better than simple knee guards.
And thanks again for being the light.
Most welcome. A good pair of pants (preferably waterproof and vented with zip out quilted inner) complements a good jacket perfectly.

Last edited by ebonho : 24th January 2013 at 11:27.
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Old 24th January 2013, 23:26   #120
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Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
...(2) Fitting Mufi's (Pune's own saddlebag and adventure gear guy) bottle bags - very useful.
Could Non Pune-ites get a peek at these?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Still very much a Bulleteer bro. I ride a 2002 Athena Grey Std 500 (she's temporarily white and an enduro till I get bored and revert).

Also owned and eventually sold a 2007 Alberto Green LB500 and a 2010 Maroon Classic 500 along the way.

Taking InSearch and the board's liberty to post two of my baby's photos here - 10 years apart:

Brand New in 2002

Attachment 1041853

In 2012

Attachment 1041854
Just looking at that beauty in all it's glory makes me want to go out, buy an old bullet and restore it . But then I do not deserve it, for a variety of reasons, top of them being the fact that my knowledge sucks and not to forget my corporate existence....Thanks for living the dream for many of us, and sharing the snaps.

AND then, looking at the second snap, the one you call an enduro dress, makes me think: Bulls can be milked ! (Have fun with the pun)
By the way, was that a butterfly Guard...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonho View Post

You can check out my gear and riding boots (RST and Alpinestars) on the riding gear thread....

...Most welcome. A good pair of pants (preferably waterproof and vented with zip out quilted inner) complements a good jacket perfectly.
Will check these out, though I am probably gonna buy the Army boots, as budget is half a shoe-string and hold on before i plunge any further, for now.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ventoman View Post
Dude, Waiting for these details. It was confirmed by RE bangalore that the existing crash guard won't fit for TB350/TB500 and a new one is (still) awaited. My bike is not due for another 10 days, so no sweat yet on lack of crash guards here.
However please post a pic of the new guard when you get a chance.
Sir... Well you see, actually, what I want to say is that, somehow, it so happens, that...ahem, GoGreen Motors has run out of leg guards.
There! I said it!

Last edited by Insearch : 24th January 2013 at 23:29.
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