Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP India > Motorbikes


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 3rd January 2013, 00:40   #1
BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 161
Thanked: 318 Times
Default I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

I have aged faster than I have grown wiser.


So last year (2011 actually), when I told my wife that I wanted to buy a horse, she did not fall of her chair. She just looked at me as a mother looks at a wide eyed young child who keeps coming up with demands, ranging from lollipops to jet planes, every half an hour. Very patiently she asked me all the logical questions that would entail such an ownership. While I really had not thought it out, I tried to be as convincing as possible. Among other things she reminded me that we were very middle class and given our incomes and expenses, we did not have the means to have another pet, least of all a big goat (the horse), which did not even give milk. Of course I knew she was right, but I was wondering, what if I could convince her? I imagined myself riding back from office on every Friday and taking rest under the cool shade of a tree, while the horse munched on some grass and recharged itself. Let me add here, that since I live in a village 20 odd kilometers from the outskirts of the city, the dream of a shady tree and grass is not far-fetched.

Surprise! Surprise! Eventually she relented! So I went off hunting for a horse. Checked with friends, flew down to Jaipur to meet an expert and his horses. Joined the Hyderabad Riding and Polo Club. I narrowed down two acres of land near my house, which I could rent and keep the horse on. Slowly as I prepared myself for the ownership, I also got the chance to think about the whole project, more evenly.
And the wise wife then one day said, “while you may bring the horse, I will not allow you to sell it once you get bored of it. Since it is a living thing, once it comes to us, it is family and we are responsible for it for the rest of its living days."
The more I thought the more I agreed with her, and realized the kind of responsibility that one needed to exhibit consistently, was too high, given the limited time we have with two kids, parents and of course me. Wisdom won and the horse did not come.

Excuse the elaborate background, but I needed to put it in perspective so that when I say, my wife opposed my idea of buying a bike, you will empathise with her.

Coming to the bike:

I used to have a Yamaha RX100 during college days and really enjoyed it. When I got married, me and my wife went from Chandigarh to Rohtang pass on a scooter. But once I had my first child, I shunned two wheelers and actually shuddered whenever I would see a mother riding pillion on a two wheeler with a baby in her arms. God bless all those mothers who have to carry their offspring like that. These feelings are not necessarily biased by my opinion of drivers, but the general state of affairs on our roads. I never thought I would ever again want a bike in life.

I was wrong. We shifted to Hyderabad from Delhi, a couple of years back, and were pleasantly surprised. Contrary to our belief, the weather was quite moderate for most of the year. In fact we found that we needed the Airconditioners, max for three months in the whole year. Add to this the fact that we bought our home way beyond city limits and it was a lovely green, pollution free drive, home. And it soothed the nerves after the concrete jungle of Delhi. This is the reason that my mind got mental space and started thinking of horses and bikes.

So, after the horse mania settled down, an iron horse started coming in my dreams and I dreamt of the bike parked on the gravel by the side of a long road, leading into the horizon, and me resting in the shade of a tree nearby. Ahhh! I began to read and enjoy some of the excellent travellogues and bike threads on Team-BHP. Among the first few was Randhawa’s Classic 500 thread. What a thread! But what stirred my insides to a level that can only be described by the word, yearning, was Amolpol’s Ladakh thread. I HAD TO HAVE A BIKE!
So I presented another one of my wide eyed, Jet to lollipop stories to my wife, who after a lot of counseling (me of course), finally relented.

The process to the short list:

1. I wanted a bike that would be mostly used outside the city on highways and could climb up the twisties without much ado
2. Needed to have a good pick up and should not disappoint when I need to push it
3. Since touring was involved, it should be easily serviced anywhere I go
4. Should offer value at it’s price

Shortlisted Bikes:

1. Royal Enfield Classic 500
2. Duke 200
3. Ninja 650
4. Harley Davidson Street Bob
5. Eventually Duke 390

I know, there seems to be a clear contradiction in what I proposed as the “Short list process” and the names in the short list. May I request that you read the very first line of this thread, whenever in doubt or plain confused ? No I did not have the money for choice number 4 and it would have had to be a loan, and 3 would have been a stretch.

Anyway, the elimination went like this:Duke 390 would have been my first choice, but since the launch date was not known, I had to give up on it.

The Street Bob was nice, had excellent pick up, but was expensive and, surprisingly, at idle and in first gear the vibrations were more than the Classic (My Experience)

The Ninja 650 was again expensive and did not look to me like the touring bike that I would like to take up to Ladakh.

Let me put this comment in perspective. From whatever I understand, the Ladakh route is quite rough and it is quite normal for the bike to get a few scratches and dents and maybe even a fall. Would I like to treat a Ninja or the Street Bob to such a rough use, given that I would be spending everything that I could, to buy it? No, even a slight scratch on my car breaks my heart, so if I bought one of these two expensive bikes I would always be more worried about their upkeep rather than enjoying the ride ( Sour grapes I guess).

Went to the showroom twice to take a test ride of the Duke 200. On one day the showroom was closed and on the second occasion the test ride bike had gone for servicing. The only salesman in the store was an engineering student, who had taken up the job to make good use of the time that he had before he made his next career move. He owned a Duke 200 and agreed to show me the bike and allow me to listen to the engine sound, but refused to allow me a ride. I was very thankful for the gesture and fully appreciated his love for the bike. I thought the Duke sounded really good and reminded me of my Yamaha RX 100. But I was not sure how it would do in the mountains with a fully loaded saddle, carrying me and the baggage. Ebonho’s Duke ownership thread cleared quite a few doubts, but still the 200 was not really a “Big bike”. I would rather wait for the 650.

Took a test drive of the Classic 500 at Go-Green motors but did not get a feel of the bike in the very short test drive that I was allowed. Took another Test drive a couple of weeks later and the bike felt powerful and stable.

All this while, I was also reading about the new thunderbird 500 and it looked to have some of the missing features of the Classic. Eventually the test ride bikes arrived in the showroom and I visited it for the third time to try the Thunderbird. This time I did not hold back and pushed the bike. It gave me the feeling of being very ably powered and stable. Projector head lamp and rear disk brakes made it the preferred one over Classic.

The final clincher:

I have realized that if you are in the market with 2 lakhs in your pocket, there are very few choices. And the Classic/Thunderbird offers the best value as a long term highway cruiser.

There were three colours to book from: Midnight Black, Twilight (Shade of black) and Matt finish black. Black is my least favoured colour in life, by the way. But the choices being what they were, I booked the Thunderbird in Matt finish on 12th October, 2012.

And the accessories

While I was scouting for the bike as well as during the period after the bike was booked, I was also reading through the accessories thread and checking out various websites on the net. First up was a good helmet, since it could be bought independent of any need to conform to a certain bike. After looking at some of the very scarred faces of people, on the net, , who chose not to wear a full face helmet, I made the decision to buy a full face one. But wait! I also wanted an inbuilt Bluetooth and bike to bike audio connectivity. After looking at the very high dollar prices of these, it was decided that the best option would be to get one from China.

So I called one of the closest friends I have. He imports and "smuggles" in stuff from China. A Sardar, based out of Jalandhar, he is quite the happy, helpful, foodie, Punjabi personified. I would call him up every now and then to discuss the helmet as well as tell him about the bikes that I was looking at and whatever latest tit bits of info I had. He too caught the fever and ended up booking the Thunderbird.

So now I had a brother in arms. Problem is we are unable to read Chinese and we had to rely on someone else to read out the specification of various helmets listed on the Chinese manufacturers’ websites. Eventually a model that seemed to be popular in Europe was identified and booked. The helmet plus courier cost, cost us about 7-10 grand each. I do not know the exact cost because he refuses to tell me.

Here is a Photograph of the Helmet.
I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership-helmet.jpg

And Another
I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership-helmet-2.jpg

And the in-built Bluetooth
I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership-bluetooth.jpg

It turns out that while the Bluetooths do have a function of bike to bike communication, radio sets are better. They have a range of 3-5 kilometers. More on that later, though.



What, was needed next is, a riding Jacket, Shoes, Saddle bags and whatever else this junkie could lay his hands on! Since it would be best to look and feel this stuff rather than repent at leisure, I zeroed in to “On The Rocks” store to go and check out the stuff. It is run by a young man called Ritesh Ved. Happy to sell you whatever he has, I recommend that you do a bit of your own research also, before landing at the shop. I went on a buying spree and among other things decided to extract revenge from my Sardar friend. Since he had refused to divulge details of the helmet’s cost, the best revenge would be to buy two of everything and courier him the exact identical list of whatever I bought. So here is a photograph of the the list of items bought:
I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership-bill.jpg
As you can see, everything was multiplied by 2. Sweet revenge

I did not like the jackets he had and found the shoes expensive. So plan is to take ebonho's advise with the shoes and buy Indian military shoes. I bought the Rjays jacket along with the gloves, from Bachoo Motors, while I was in Mumbai on an official trip. The jacket is nice but gets hot inside it. I had tried it for no more than 30 seconds at the store and when I took it off, I could already feel a cooling sensation on my forearms, as the sweat evaporated. But it gives a sense of secuirty when you have it on.

To the Delivery:

I had been chasing the Bike dealer ship so hard that they started recognizing me on the phone even before I could introduce myself. To top my woes, My friend got the delivery on 19th November and I was still waiting. I kept requesting the dealership for an early delivery. Well, they said they could give me a Twilight shade within a week, but the Matt black would come at the end of January. Not to be deterred I said OKAY!

The less said about the dealership experience the better. I had bought a Unicorn for usage at home, a few years back and I feel the dealership was better organized.

Interestingly the people are nice. The manager Srikanth is a cool cucumber and the owner himself is a gentle giant, who speaks so softly that you could mistake him for a secret agent whispering to you the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden’s right hand man.
For delivering the bike early they wanted to dump some extra accessories and costs on to me. This is where I lost my cool and for a moment reconsidered the choices I was making. Srikanth came to the rescue and waived off the charges. Finally on 12-12-12, the Thunderbird was mine. I sat on the bike, made a silent prayer as I visualized the vistas that I wanted to see on the bike and rode off home.

Some more snaps:

The Keys
I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership-keys.jpg

The Beauty at the showroom
I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership-showroom.jpg

The Thunderbird it is
I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership-re-logo.jpg

Posing
I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership-3quart.jpg

She is ready to go
I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership-bike-back.jpg
And Dreaming...
I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership-sunset2.jpg

Driving in Fresh Breeze!

Every morning I get up looking forward to the drive to office. I give the bike a few minutes of warm up, and just listen for any sounds that I may have not heard the previous day and then we are on the road. I reach office without hitting a single traffic light on the way. The distance of 18-20 kilometres is undulating, hence even if I hold the throttle steady, the speed automatically goes up or down, a bit. Still for the first 500 kilometers I stayed below 65 KM per hour. As per the readings on the trip meters, I am averaging 33 KM per liter. The only breach I have made to the running in is that of taking the RPM to 2800 once. The bike had responded well, pulling cleanly. Now that I have crossed the 500 KM mark, I realise that I prefer to cruise around 70. Beyond that, a certain amount of vibration begins to creep in. Though not jarring, it could tire the rider on a long journey.
Initially I had issues with the gearing and would some times be able to get out of a gear but not into the next one, smoothly. Through experimentation what I have learnt is that as long as you change at the optimum speeds, the gears mostly fall in place.

The sound of the bike changes, once you cross 60 and slowly turns from a thump into a smooth hum. As long as you are not revving hard, the bike does not give a sense of it's power and just seems to have adequate willingness, like a horse on a trot. At 60 the RPM hovers at 2000 odd. I sometimes feel a slight wobble in the handle, between 40 and 55 which seems to go away at higher speeds. Still, it makes me uncomfortable in a turn, if there is loose gravel on the road, and I simply slow down, straighten the bike and open the throttle.
On the move the bike does not feel heavy, and sometimes one starts swinging into traffic. I had this experience recently, as I took off from a traffic light, the pick up gave me the confidence to move ahead of the traffic and weave through a couple of cars. Then a Duke came along and weaved through me and the cars, making me smile as I appreciated the bird for what it is: A mostly well handling cruiser.

Brakes:

The front brake is good and the bike brakes well when both the front and back brakes are applied together. The rear brake pedal has an inverted u shaped bit on the inside, to prevent your foot from accidentally, touching the hot engine.
There is something that has been bothering me as a person moving from a car with ABS, to a bike, where the front brake is the most important stopping force.
My experience is that, a lot of the braking technique is practice and over time one does it as second nature, emergency or not. So for a biker, ideally it is best to apply both brakes simultaneously and progressively. Problem is, if this becomes the natural technique, in an emergency I might end up applying the front brake along with the rear one, out of habit, and may slip on the sand that many of our roads have in plenty. Do not have the answer to this one.
Regarding the rear brake, there seems to be an issue with the way the it feels. It does not give the feeling of providing enough stopping force. Still, I was made to re-think on this when a kid ran across the road and I had to apply emergency brakes. The rear wheel held on and the bike quickly slowed down. I could not have applied the front brakes hard, as there was sand on the road. But specific to the Thunderbird, I have heard some other riders also complaining about the rear brake. If every Thunderbird has the brake pedal positioned as the one is on mine, Then it is a design fault. Please have a look at the White line moving from the foot rest to the brake pedal in the photograph.
Name:  brake.jpg
Views: 17992
Size:  285.7 KB


With my foot resting on the foot rest, it creates an upward angle to reach the brake pedal, hence the contact point of the foot is only with the edge of the brake pedal. Even when I press hard, I still do not get to push the brake down with the pad of my feet behind the fingers. This means that I do not get a feel of the pressure being applied on the brake, even though, I am applying extra pressure to the edge of the pedal, which may not be enough.
Think of it like this, if you try to pick up a plate, with the first digit of your thumb and index finger, you have to apply extra force and the plate feels heavy. On the other hand, if the index finger is allowed to form a C under the plate and the two digits of the thumb grip from the top, the plate feels easier to hold and you get a better sense of it's weight. I hope I have made myself clear. By the way, I had raised this during the first service with the engineer at the workshop. His solution was disarmingly simple. He said they will take the pedal out, heat it and then bend it to give it a parallel angle to the angle of the foot, with the toe resting on the brake pedal and the heel resting on the foot rest.

Other Bits:

I know some enthusiasts on the forum have been recommending a toe only gear lever. I actually find the stock lever quite useful. I work in an environment where I have to be in client facing situations, sometimes. Which means I have to be in a complete formal attire. The client may not take well to a representative whose left shoe looks dirty and unpolished in comparison to the right one. Good news is that this need not be the case. With the stock lever, I can use the bottom of my shoes to move through all the gears, something which would not be possible with a toe only gear shifter.
I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership-gear-lever.jpg

The joint of the silencer, where the pipe bend from the engine joins the main silencer body, as shown in the photograph below, had become ever so slighty loose. Because of this, it would produce a high frequency, low volume sound. Got it rectified in the first service.
I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership-silencer.jpg

I do not know what is the purpose of the rubbers put on the fins as shown in the snap, but some of them tend to become loose and need to be pushed back in, manually.
I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership-rubbers.jpg

The meters are beautifully back lit. When you pass under a bridge or any shaded area in the day, you get a glimpse of the blue light emanating from the console.
This photograph is of course taken in the night. You can also see the side stand warning in red.
I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership-side-stand.jpg

Last edited by aah78 : 26th September 2013 at 01:02. Reason: Typos.
Insearch is offline   (27) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd January 2013, 13:17   #2
BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Pune
Posts: 328
Thanked: 173 Times
Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

Very well written post Insearch. Loved the intro. Waiting for your further posts about your ownership review as well! Your love for nature and quite life with simple pleasures like 'resting under the shade of a tree' were really refreshing in this world of materialism and appalling artificial pleasure

Cheers.
thumpingheart is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd January 2013, 14:36   #3
BHPian
 
ventoman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 293
Thanked: 165 Times
Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

Wow..Congratulations.
It's raining TB 500 on T-BHP. Please supplement your nicely written review with few pics as well.
ventoman is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd January 2013, 14:42   #4
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: KA
Posts: 336
Thanked: 222 Times
Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

Nice write up. Few pictures of your would be ride will do some more justice i feel. BTW, which scooter did you use to travel from Chandigarh to Rohtang Pass. Sounds exciting and scary
Shiv_1984 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd January 2013, 14:57   #5
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 142
Thanked: 136 Times
Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

LOL!
What a fabulous post!
You actually wanted to buy a horse? Do tell us more about your research about buying and owning one.
wolfy is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd January 2013, 19:14   #6
BHPian
 
amolpol's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 499
Thanked: 1,297 Times
Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

Wow! Your search started with one horse and you ended up with 27 of them

I can tell you that the 27 horses in the Enfield would just be marginally easier to maintain than the one you were yearning for. And knowingly or unknowingly you have indeed added a member to your family. Its not just a bike, its a lifetime relationship and will be damn hard to part with (if ever you decide to).

Practice safe riding and gear up if you're going to cruise on it.

Cheers - Amol
amolpol is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 4th January 2013, 00:17   #7
BHPian
 
Slick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 236
Thanked: 96 Times
Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

Congratulations on your new Horse (iron)

I for one also liked the Matt Black Thunderbird in pictures, Please do post some pictures for us.

I am curious on one thing, why was the CBR 250R not in the list?

It seems to satisfy most of your requirements as well.

- Slick
Slick is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 4th January 2013, 00:50   #8
BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 161
Thanked: 318 Times
Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

Quote:
Originally Posted by thumpingheart View Post
Very well written post Insearch. Loved the intro. Waiting for your further posts about your ownership review as well! Your love for nature and quite life with simple pleasures like 'resting under the shade of a tree' were really refreshing in this world of materialism and appalling artificial pleasure :)

Cheers.
Thanks for the kind words Thumpingheart. And you are right about the nature thing. I spent some of my early years in the mountains. I have had to move on, but the weight of the mountains has remained, as a memory.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ventoman View Post
Wow..Congratulations.
It's raining TB 500 on T-BHP. Please supplement your nicely written review with few pics as well.
Thank you,Ventoman. I guess you too have booked a Thunderbird, right ? Photographs coming up in the next post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiv_1984 View Post
Nice write up. Few pictures of your would be ride will do some more justice i feel. BTW, which scooter did you use to travel from Chandigarh to Rohtang Pass. Sounds exciting and scary :)
Thanks, Shiv_1984. snaps coming soon. We went on a Vespa. It climbed much better than a 100 cc bike. I have some very funny photographs of a young couple in goggles as big as their faces, resting at Marhi and just beyond Rohtang. Maybe on another thread, another time I will get to share them. It was scary, exciting, tiring and worthwhile. We would stop every evening to watch the sun go down, just before we arrived into a hill town. Best of all, the two wheels gave us freedom as we could not afford four.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfy View Post
LOL!
What a fabulous post!
You actually wanted to buy a horse? Do tell us more about your research about buying and owning one.
Hi Wolfy. I take a bow! Yes I almost did buy it. I did go through a few books. Met the the ex-caretaker of the Bombay race course, people at the Hyderabad Race course, some jockeys and some more people. Rode some 15 different horses. Figured out the nuances of owning a thoroughbred versus a Kathiawari versus a Marwari. Buying the horse is the easier part. Problem is the upkeep and knowledge of the horses' issues, for example correct place of the saddle, what if the horse stands with it's tongue out, etc. Well, don't get me started, I am still moved by the thought of owning one :D.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amolpol View Post
Wow! Your search started with one horse and you ended up with 27 of them lol:

I can tell you that the 27 horses in the Enfield would just be marginally easier to maintain than the one you were yearning for. And knowingly or unknowingly you have indeed added a member to your family. Its not just a bike, its a lifetime relationship and will be damn hard to part with (if ever you decide to).

Practice safe riding and gear up if you're going to cruise on it. please:

Cheers - Amol
Thanks for reading my post Amolpol. Your subtle reference to "..marginally easier to maintain..", part is not lost on me. Yes I am scared, since my technicals skills are that of the stone age, and I need to know my bike before I go on a long journey. But I took the plunge, taking heart that I have BHPians to guide me. This forum has convinced me that the milk of human kindness has not dried, yet. Thanks again.

I have started buying gear and using some of it. Will share more in subsequent posts. Look forward to the advice and tips from everyone here.
Insearch is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 4th January 2013, 07:40   #9
BHPian
 
amolpol's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 499
Thanked: 1,297 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Insearch View Post
Thanks for reading my post Amolpol. Your subtle reference to "..marginally easier to maintain..", part is not lost on me. Yes I am scared, since my technicals skills are that of the stone age, and I need to know my bike before I go on a long journey. But I took the plunge, taking heart that I have BHPians to guide me. This forum has convinced me that the milk of human kindness has not dried, yet. Thanks again.

I have started buying gear and using some of it. Will share more in subsequent posts. Look forward to the advice and tips from everyone here.
If you've followed your heart and are ready to offer unconditional love towards your ride, you can be rest assured that it will love you back and create some magical memories to cherish for a lifetime. Don't worry about your tech skills, you'll eventually learn a lot from the ownership experience.

I still remember the day I took delivery of my bike more than a decade ago and the fact that I finished running it in for 1000kms in just 4 days so that I don't have to wait too long to enjoy it to the fullest. It's never let me down and even though I've felt the need to upgrade for some more power at hand, I've cancelled my plans to replace it twice already just coz its so hard to give it away.

Wishing you a lot of happy (s)miles with the t'bird.

Cheers - Amol
amolpol is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 4th January 2013, 09:03   #10
BHPian
 
ventoman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 293
Thanked: 165 Times
Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

Quote:
Originally Posted by Insearch View Post
Thank you,Ventoman. I guess you too have booked a Thunderbird, right ? Photographs coming up in the next post.
Yep. Mine should be coming before end of this month. Until then, drooling over others' TB500 ownership reviews.
ventoman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th January 2013, 20:05   #11
BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 161
Thanked: 318 Times
Default

Mod Note : Please use the EDIT or MULTI-QUOTE buttons instead of typing one post after another!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slick View Post
Congratulations on your new Horse (iron)

I for one also liked the Matt Black Thunderbird in pictures, Please do post some pictures for us.

I am curious on one thing, why was the CBR 250R not in the list?

It seems to satisfy most of your requirements as well.

- Slick
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amolpol View Post
If you've followed your heart and are ready to offer unconditional love towards your ride, you can be rest assured that it will love you back and create some magical memories to cherish for a lifetime. Don't worry about your tech skills, you'll eventually learn a lot from the ownership experience.

I still remember the day I took delivery of my bike more than a decade ago and the fact that I finished running it in for 1000kms in just 4 days so that I don't have to wait too long to enjoy it to the fullest. It's never let me down and even though I've felt the need to upgrade for some more power at hand, I've cancelled my plans to replace it twice already just coz its so hard to give it away.

Wishing you a lot of happy (s)miles with the t'bird.

Cheers - Amol
That sounds quite comforting. Magical moments, hmmm. I am leaving for my first road trip in the morning. Going to Bidar.

I had a similar experience with my Yamaha, in college. Was given enough pocket money to refuel the bike three times in the week. It all finished in 2 days, because I just kept going around town to run it in at 45 Km per hour.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ventoman View Post
Yep. Mine should be coming before end of this month. Until then, drooling over others' TB500 ownership reviews.
Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha ! I like that. Please do share your ownership experiences, once you have laid hands on your angel.

Last edited by GTO : 5th January 2013 at 10:10. Reason: Please use the EDIT or MULTI-QUOTE buttons instead of typing one post after another!
Insearch is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 5th January 2013, 10:12   #12
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 47,749
Thanked: 89,386 Times
Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Motorbikes Section. Thanks for sharing!
GTO is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 5th January 2013, 10:38   #13
Senior - BHPian
 
ebonho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Pune
Posts: 3,942
Thanked: 3,178 Times
Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

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.
ebonho is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 5th January 2013, 12:15   #14
Senior - BHPian
 
parsh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Bombay
Posts: 1,517
Thanked: 956 Times
Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

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...).
parsh is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 5th January 2013, 12:43   #15
Team-BHP Support
 
mobike008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 10,746
Thanked: 7,963 Times
Default Re: I Live again: Thunderbird 500 Ownership

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.
mobike008 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 Twinspark Ownership Report rajneeesh Motorbikes 108 5th April 2016 20:26
My ThunderBird 500 : Ownership review with pictures shan2129 Motorbikes 52 7th May 2015 15:40
A biker's heart thumps again: The RE Thunderbird 500 Alisiddiqui Motorbikes 6 8th February 2015 12:07
RE Thunderbird TBTS 500: Ownership Report vrajaram Motorbikes 16 10th February 2014 17:28
Thumping all the way - My Thunderbird 500 Ownership Report sam_b Motorbikes 37 25th July 2013 10:13


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 01:56.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks