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Old 15th February 2013, 15:58   #1
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Thumbs up My Retro Bullet : TBTS 500 (flicker)

Why a bull despite Vento?
It all started in 2010-11. I had just then moved back from UK permanently, settled at Bangalore and towards the end of 2010, got my Vento delivered. I was completely satisfied with the smooth transition and was either using my Vento or wife's Activa for daily commute to work.
Fast forward to June 2011, my office gets relocated to MG Road and it was a nightmare to commute daily on Vento. Hence the need for a bike. The last time I used a two-wheeler was way back in 1999 with my good old Suzuki Samurai. So I had no idea on the latest offerings and started looking around the market. None of them appealed to me except for Royal Enfield. I had driven bullets way back in the 90s and had lot of respect for them. So test drove both classic, thunderbird and booked TBTS 350 in June 2011. Waiting period was a killer - 6 months and I was running out of patience each day.

Old Bullet
On a pleasant saturday morning in August 2011, I visited a second hand dealer along with my friend to get an used TB Black for another of our friend. The dealer had few electras and asked us to wait until lunch for a TB. Promptly after lunch, a shining red TB 2007 turned up. It had done just 14k kms and was in sublime condition. Took a test drive and immediately fell for it. So, instead of buying a 2nd hand bull for my friend, I ended up buying a red bull for myself the same day and drove back home with my priced possession. Also cancelled my TBTS booking next day itself.
The seller had maintained it very well and gears were buttery smooth. Self start would work once in a blue moon despite several attempts to get it fixed. Apart from that, rest were very well. My friend had introduced me to a reliable mechanic who does a fantastic job, but charges 20-25% more than others. As my bull was super smooth after his regular maintenance, I decided to pay the premium and be less worried of my bull. So red bull regularly went to this mechanic every 2k kms for a complete service. A picture of my old bull -

My Retro Bullet : TBTS 500 (flicker)-dsc_0235.jpg

All went fine until I had to go overseas for few months. Came back in June 2012 and started using the bull again after a complete service. This is when the bull started giving problems - unresolved front wheel wobbling, oil pump seize, rear suspension ka-put etc to name a few. Despite spending close to 20k, my bull was never the same. Coincidentally RE decides 12.Oct launch for the new TBTS 350/500. I made up my mind to go for the new TBTS this time and waited for the launch with bated breath.

New Bullet
Following the launch on 12.Oct, visited RE JayaNagar for a test drive. Test drove new TBTS 500 and was blown away completely. Although mind said 350, I went with the heart and booked TBTS 500 Flicker colour the same day. Waiting period was 3-4 months and this time I was mentally prepared to go through that torture.

Waiting period
Anticipating my new bull around xmas (tentative date indicated by dealer), I sold my old bull to the original seller (who thought it was his lucky mascot) on 1st week of Dec 2011. That's when the waiting period became intolerable and I was fast losing my patience yet again!
Started visiting RE JayaNagar once a week for updates. Their phones are useless and even if they get attended, you don't get a proper update. So weekly visits were becoming part of my routine and finally after new year I got a confirmation that I was next on the list and can expect my bull by end of Jan'13.
Drooling over some of the ownership threads here on TBTS500, I waited and waited. As part of the weekly visit, when I went on 30.Jan - I was finally declared of his arrival and that I can make the payment by 04.Feb with expected delivery by 07.Feb. Wooo Hooo!

Delivery
Mon, 04.Feb
Promptly at 09.30am 04.Feb, DD was handed over to RE JayaNagar. I was asked to contact them on 06.Feb for final delivery confirmation
Tue, 05.Feb
wait...wait..wait
Wed, 06.Feb
Called up in the evening. Got a shocker - billing has been done, but vehicle cannot be delivered until 15.Feb earliest due to delay in fund allocation from RE itself for registration and tax payments.
Thu, 07.Feb
Went to RE JayaNagar, blasted out the concerned personnel and finally had to be pacified by their manager. He explains me their backlog due to temporary registrations in Dec'12 and how even their hands are tied on this. He then assured me a date of 11.Feb (Mon). Reluctantly I agreed to their date.
Fri, 08.Feb
wait...wait..wait
Sat, 09.Feb
Called up for a quick confirmation on 11.Feb delivery. Another googly now - delivery is on 12.feb. It was quite late on Sat and I was at other end of Bangalore. So decided to wait until Mon morning.
Sun, 10.Feb
wait...wait..wait
Mon, 11.Feb
Visited RE JayaNagar for the penultimate time and this time even their manager was not spared. After several (virtual) blows, he pleads asking me to wait for one more day. Final promised delivery - 4.30pm 12.Feb.
Tue, 12.Feb
10.00am - Got a call from manager confirming delivery at 4.30pm.
12.30pm - Got a call from their personal asking if I wanted a special number. I promptly declined as the number I wanted was already allocated in the current lot.
3.30pm - Got a call from manager asking me to come for delivery.
4.30pm - I reach RE JayaNagar straight from work. Wife and daughter joined me from home.
5.00pm - All bills, tax receipt, user manual explained and handed over. Still bull is kept in the hiding.
5.30pm - Bull is finally shown to me physically. No words can describe that feel. Coming back to normal self, started doing PDI. Every thing seemed fine except for rear led light while applying rear brake. Showroom personal not able to resolve it and take the bull to their service centre.
6.30pm - Vehicle comes back from service centre. Allz well. Got the keys, wore the brand new LS2 helmet and left the place with wife and daughter for a pooja at neighbourhood temple.
7.30pm - Pooja gets done. Finally get to thump him for 10kms. Yet another unique feeling that will be cherised forever.
Some pictures of TBTS500 on delivery date -
My Retro Bullet : TBTS 500 (flicker)-dsc_0353.jpg
My Retro Bullet : TBTS 500 (flicker)-dsc_0366.jpg
My Retro Bullet : TBTS 500 (flicker)-dsc_0355.jpg
Initial impressions
I've used him for 8 days so far and have clocked 425kms all within bangalore. Although restricted by the initial run-in limit of 50kmph, you can feel the enormous power that this monster houses.

Pros
  • Powerhouse
  • New handle bar and front forks are much easier to maneuver through.
  • Headlights are quite powerful. Corona rings are great too!
  • Attention grabber on all signals
  • Braking is quite good compared to old bull
  • New digital display is always lit and helps when going through under-pass, basement etc.
  • New horns are super dooper
  • New RVMS can be adjusted to wide viewing.
  • Single locking mechanism
  • detachable front and rear seats to keep documents inside.
  • Side stand sensor - works very well. flashes on the display only when side stand is in place but off ground surface.
  • New press type fuel lid
  • 2 Trip meters
  • Black coating over engine area
  • Wider rear tyre

Cons (Expecting most of these to be corrected on 1st service)
  • RE QC
    • Handle bars and front wheel had to be tightened the next day, due to lot of wobbling haunting me with memoirs of old bull.
    • Rust in oil level indicator connector.
    • Headlights are out of focus
    • LHS cover is slightly loose
  • Rear brake effect could hardly be felt
  • Kicker is quite hard. Have managed to kick start only thrice so far.
  • Fuel indicator is highly erroneous. After filling 7 liters of petrol on reserve capacity (4 litres), it shows 4 bars (half tank), then 2 bars, then one bar and then back to 4 bars etc - all on level surface!
  • Slight squeak from front seat.
  • Slight squeak from clutch cable when releasing
  • RVMs are slightly delicate and their positions can be easily disturbed with a gentle touch (unlike any other RE component)

Queries to other owners
  • Anything else apart from the list above - to be considered for 1st service?
  • Any suggestions for kicker hardness?
  • What's the ideal tyre pressure? Manual says 22-32, but I find 26-36 to be most comfortable?

Phew..the end of this post. If you have made it this far, thanks for your patience.

Last edited by Rehaan : 21st February 2013 at 14:49.
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Old 21st February 2013, 15:41   #2
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Default Re: My Retro Bullet : TBTS 500 (flicker)

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Motorbikes Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 21st February 2013, 15:47   #3
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Default Re: My Retro Bullet : TBTS 500 (flicker)

Congrats bro! Lovely bike.

I have my eyes set on getting a lot of its parts on to my old std 500 (headlight, forks, swingarm, rear disc)
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Old 21st February 2013, 15:56   #4
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Default Re: My Retro Bullet : TBTS 500 (flicker)

Many many congratulations! I know it has been a long wait for you.
On your 1st service query, just check the manual and it details what all needs to be checked. note it on a paper and dictate it to the service centre. When taking delivery, just run through the same list and ask for confirmations. Looks like the crash guard is not available yet .
Please share more photographs and planned modifications.

Last edited by Insearch : 21st February 2013 at 15:57.
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Old 21st February 2013, 16:21   #5
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Default Re: My Retro Bullet : TBTS 500 (flicker)

Congratulations and best wishes, ventoman. If interested in having a crash guard, visit Sandhya Auto Spares, behind SBI, J C Road. In case of my son's RE Classic 500 Black, after taking delivery at HSR Services, Lalbagh Road, our first visit was to Sandhya for installation of diamond crash guard. You get all the RE accessories costing less there when compared to RE dealership.

Last edited by J.Ravi : 21st February 2013 at 16:25.
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Old 21st February 2013, 19:43   #6
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Default Re: My Retro Bullet : TBTS 500 (flicker)

Congratulations Ventoman! I received mine on Feb 7th and share the color of my beast with you.. although you beat me to writing a review.. Happy thumping!!
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Old 21st February 2013, 20:43   #7
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Default Re: My Retro Bullet : TBTS 500 (flicker)

Many congratulations ventoman. I am sure you'll enjoy every KM covered with this beast. The TB500 is one awesome machine with great initial pull. Do ride soft for atleast 2000kms, which by the way is one of the most difficult things to follow.

The only thing I am jealous now, is there was not TB500 8yrs ago :-(
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Old 21st February 2013, 22:18   #8
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Default Re: My Retro Bullet : TBTS 500 (flicker)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Congrats bro! Lovely bike.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sam_b View Post
Congratulations Ventoman!
Thanks a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Insearch View Post
Many many congratulations! I know it has been a long wait for you.
On your 1st service query, just check the manual and it details what all needs to be checked. note it on a paper and dictate it to the service centre. When taking delivery, just run through the same list and ask for confirmations. Looks like the crash guard is not available yet .
Please share more photographs and planned modifications.
Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Ravi View Post
Congratulations and best wishes, ventoman. If interested in having a crash guard, visit Sandhya Auto Spares, behind SBI, J C Road. In case of my son's RE Classic 500 Black, after taking delivery at HSR Services, Lalbagh Road, our first visit was to Sandhya for installation of diamond crash guard. You get all the RE accessories costing less there when compared to RE dealership.
Thanks.
Btw, I did get the diamond crash guard fitted from JC road couple of days back for Rs.1000. They are also available in RE service centre for Rs.1300. PM me if you want to know from where to get (available in both black and chrome).
Picture with crash guard as below -
My Retro Bullet : TBTS 500 (flicker)-dsc_0330.jpg

My Retro Bullet : TBTS 500 (flicker)-dsc_0332.jpg

Quote:
Originally Posted by swami.n View Post
Many congratulations ventoman. I am sure you'll enjoy every KM covered with this beast. The TB500 is one awesome machine with great initial pull. Do ride soft for atleast 2000kms, which by the way is one of the most difficult things to follow.

The only thing I am jealous now, is there was not TB500 8yrs ago :-(
Thanks Swami. I presume the subsequent run-in is with a limit of 80-90 kmph.

All,

My Bullet is going for its first service tomorrow. I'll keep you posted on the experiences.
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Old 22nd February 2013, 06:28   #9
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Default Re: My Retro Bullet : TBTS 500 (flicker)

Hearty congratulations and wishes for a thumping ride life long.
I know the pain of waiting as I've been waiting for my TBTS 500 since December 19th 2012. I've been told to expect delivery by March 10th. Painful agonizing wait.

Anyways enjoy your ride. I rode my friends new TBTS 500 last week. It really does pull like a locomotive.
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Old 22nd February 2013, 07:55   #10
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Default Re: My Retro Bullet : TBTS 500 (flicker)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ventoman View Post
PM me if you want to know from where to get (available in both black and chrome).
Thanks for the photographs. Kindly post the details here so that they would be useful for others. Does the crash-guard foul with the foot-wear while changing the gears?
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Old 22nd February 2013, 08:56   #11
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Default Re: My Retro Bullet : TBTS 500 (flicker)

Congratulations!

I hope I'd get to buy this machine some day and get to biking.

That new headlight look exactly similar to the ones that come on Bullets sold in North America and if I remember correctly it comes with a level adjustment screw, am I right?

Quote:
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[b][*]Headlights are out of focus
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Old 22nd February 2013, 10:38   #12
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Default Re: My Retro Bullet : TBTS 500 (flicker)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ventoman View Post
I've used him for 8 days so far and have clocked 425kms all within bangalore. Although restricted by the initial run-in limit of 50kmph, you can feel the enormous power that this monster houses.
Hi ventoman,
I think you can safely ride up to speeds of 65 kmph during the initial run-in period. Sticking to below 50 won't allow you to run in the bike properly in 5th gear. So, while avoiding high revving, you can safely take the bike up to 65 for a good run in. The only thing to make sure is that you dont run the bike at the same speed for too long. Vary your speed and take stops to le tthe engine cool down. All this information is from the classic 500 thread by randhawa. Im sure you'll find more tips for running in on that thread.
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Old 22nd February 2013, 12:27   #13
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Default Re: My Retro Bullet : TBTS 500 (flicker)

Quote:
Originally Posted by marinegopi View Post
Hearty congratulations and wishes for a thumping ride life long.
I know the pain of waiting as I've been waiting for my TBTS 500 since December 19th 2012. I've been told to expect delivery by March 10th. Painful agonizing wait.
Anyways enjoy your ride. I rode my friends new TBTS 500 last week. It really does pull like a locomotive.
Thanks. Hope you get your bike soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Ravi View Post
Thanks for the photographs. Kindly post the details here so that they would be useful for others. Does the crash-guard foul with the foot-wear while changing the gears?
I bought the crash guard from Perfect spares and Accessories, JC road. It is an exclusive Royal Enfield accessories shop and is located on the left side just after you take a right from JC road towards Urvashi theatre.

Quote:
Originally Posted by infotech58 View Post
Congratulations!

I hope I'd get to buy this machine some day and get to biking.

That new headlight look exactly similar to the ones that come on Bullets sold in North America and if I remember correctly it comes with a level adjustment screw, am I right?
Thanks. Unfortunately we don't have an adjustment screw. Got it confirmed from service centre as well, this morning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by enfield_500 View Post
Hi ventoman,
I think you can safely ride up to speeds of 65 kmph during the initial run-in period. Sticking to below 50 won't allow you to run in the bike properly in 5th gear. So, while avoiding high revving, you can safely take the bike up to 65 for a good run in. The only thing to make sure is that you dont run the bike at the same speed for too long. Vary your speed and take stops to le tthe engine cool down. All this information is from the classic 500 thread by randhawa. Im sure you'll find more tips for running in on that thread.
Thanks. Anyway I've completed the run-in now at mostly 50 although I did touch 60 off & on. Now gearing up for the 2nd run-in which is relatively easier.

Last edited by ventoman : 22nd February 2013 at 12:30.
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Old 23rd February 2013, 08:09   #14
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Default First service update

Picked up my bullet after first service yesterday evening. It feels like a different beast now. Gear shifts are very smooth, even thumping is much smoother and for the 1st time touched 80 to get that locomotive-pull feeling. Wow!
Breakdown of 1st service costs -
Oil - 710
Filter - 78
Labor - 56
Total - 845/-

Few issues still remain -
1) Rear brake is still not felt. I'll try to have a go at fixing it one of these weekends.
2) Kicker is still hard. Service personnel said that this is the case with every 500cc bullets. Anybody else having similar problem/concern?

Also a couple of queries -

1) what is the ideal tyre pressure? Sales and Service personnel are recommending 22/32. I used to keep 26/36 on my old bull.
2) Is anyone aware of a saddle bag/box that can accommodate a 15.4 laptop? I do have a studds box from the old bull, but it can't take in my 15.4 work laptop.
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Old 23rd February 2013, 11:26   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ventoman View Post
2) Kicker is still hard. Service personnel said that this is the case with every 500cc bullets. Anybody else having similar problem/concern?
I was successful in kick-starting my son's RE Classic 500 Black three out of ten times!
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