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Old 7th March 2014, 18:04   #406
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 : My Motorcycle Diaries

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Originally Posted by P.S. View Post
good luck for the Himalayas sir. I'm sure you'll have an amazing trip.
Thank you once again, P.S.

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Originally Posted by devansn View Post
You really are an inspiration to a lot of people here - really happy to know that you are having a real good time your TB500.
Thanks a lot for those kind words, devansn.

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I tried insisting that I should get the VIN number and then only I will pay. What is your opinion in buying a Jan 2014 manufactured bike (lying in the depot for a month and a half) now?
Why do you want to buy Jan 2014-make in March? Insist on either February or March 2014-make. Ultimately, Royal Enfield will pass on the tax-relief to the customers.

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so they would like to clear the stock of the costlier bikes?
Please wait for some more days, and then, book.

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Excellent photos of Kodai Ravi.
Thank you so much, doc.

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I had my honeymoon there. A long long time ago.
Celebrate your wedding anniversary at Kodaikanal!

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Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
Lovely trip to Kodai and that road is a heaven to drive/ride from Bangalore. And, yet again kudos to your quest for long rides
Thank you very much for the compliments, mobike008.

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I had visited Kodai for first time in my life in Dec-2013 and thoroughly enjoyed my trip
I had gone through your travelogue and drive by Chevy Cruze many times before my ride to Kodaikanal!
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Old 7th March 2014, 19:17   #407
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 : My Motorcycle Diaries

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Originally Posted by J.Ravi View Post
Thanks a lot for those kind words, devansn.

Why do you want to buy Jan 2014-make in March? Insist on either February or March 2014-make. Ultimately, Royal Enfield will pass on the tax-relief to the customers.

Please wait for some more days, and then, book.
Thanks Ravi! I am so desperate to get him ASAP - you see why I even thought of compromising on the color as well as manufactured month?! Now I am gathering the patience to wait till my Twilight arrives.

Last edited by devansn : 7th March 2014 at 19:17. Reason: Removed extra lines
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Old 7th March 2014, 21:10   #408
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 : My Motorcycle Diaries

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Thanks a lot for those kind words, devansn.
One doubt I have always had since the day I test rode the TBTS500 from RE showroom Coimbatore. Don't know why I forgot to ask them after the test ride - doesn't the TB500 have a fuel ON/OFF/Reserve valve? As far as I recollect, I could not find one - sorry for the funny question.
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Old 7th March 2014, 21:26   #409
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 : My Motorcycle Diaries

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Originally Posted by devansn View Post
doesn't the TB500 have a fuel ON/OFF/Reserve valve?
Thunderbird 500 does not have fuel tap as it is equipped with electronic fuel injection. It has fuel pump that pumps fuel to the engine. So, no manual on/off/reserve adjustments are applicable.
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Old 8th March 2014, 15:01   #410
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 : My Motorcycle Diaries

Ravi Sir,

Just read another 2 members comparison of the TB500 vs Classic 500.
You being one of the few people with both under your stable, could you give your opinion sir?
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Old 8th March 2014, 18:16   #411
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 : My Motorcycle Diaries

Ravi, Doing 1100 + K's in a day on a bike. Just one word to comes to my mind" "RESPECT". May your tribe increase.
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Old 9th March 2014, 07:18   #412
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 : My Motorcycle Diaries

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Originally Posted by P.S. View Post
You being one of the few people with both under your stable, could you give your opinion sir?
After riding my son's Classic 500 regularly for more than an year, I bought my Thunderbird 500. Thunderbird 500 is safer, more comfortable and has more features with better fit and finish compared to Classic 500. The rider's contoured seat is the icing on the cake, which allows me ride for 300+ km non-stop. My vote goes for Thunderbird 500.

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Just one word to comes to my mind" "RESPECT".
Thank you so much for the compliments and wishes, rajneeesh.
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Old 13th March 2014, 11:12   #413
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Default Re: RC With Wrong Spec Received

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Originally Posted by J.Ravi View Post
Attachment 1098714

How to differentiate the RE bikes manufactured in the new Oragadam plant from the ones made in the old plant? According to the sources, the engine and chassis numbers would be the same, if made in the old plant; would be different, if made in the new plant. The paint quality of the bikes made in the new plant is also better than that of the old plant's bikes. My Blue Bird was made in the old plant, if these sources are correct.
Hi Ravi, I have been allotted a TB500 and is ready for delivery today. Thanks for your inputs. They have allotted one that was manufactured in late February - 22nd, as per the sticker on it. Also, what I have learned from them is:

1. For all Enfields, the engine chassis numbers will be different. Regardless of whether they are manufactured from the old or new plant.

2. The chassis number of my 500 is: U5S5F1EB******. In this, the sixth numeric denotes the factory it was made - the one between F and E. 0 being the old factory, 1 the new Oragadam factory.

I also learned that now they manufacture the Thunderbirds and Cafe Racers only in the Oragadam factory.

Experts can confirm if this is indeed correct.
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Old 13th March 2014, 12:53   #414
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Default Re: RC With Wrong Spec Received

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Originally Posted by devansn View Post
I have been allotted a TB500 and is ready for delivery today.
Congratulations and best wishes, devansn.

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For all Enfields, the engine chassis numbers will be different. Regardless of whether they are manufactured from the old or new plant.
Perhaps, the procedure has been changed now with two plants in operation. In case of my bird, which was made in the old plant, the chassis and engine numbers have the same combination of characters and numbers with the chassis number having an extra 3 characters prefix to the engine number.

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I also learned that now they manufacture the Thunderbirds and Cafe Racers only in the Oragadam factory.
I was told that Desert Storm is also being manufactured at the Oragadam plant.

Last edited by J.Ravi : 13th March 2014 at 12:55.
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Old 13th March 2014, 14:28   #415
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 : My Motorcycle Diaries

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Originally Posted by J.Ravi View Post
After riding my son's Classic 500 regularly for more than an year, I bought my Thunderbird 500. Thunderbird 500 is safer, more comfortable and has more features with better fit and finish compared to Classic 500. The rider's contoured seat is the icing on the cake, which allows me ride for 300+ km non-stop. My vote goes for Thunderbird 500.
Appreciate the comparison sir.

Met with a friend who was working for an NGO earlier in Ladakh a year back. He said for short rides classic (better acceleration & power), long TB500 (more comfort & features, same as you mentioned).

Though handling & highway stability he preferred the classic. Same story by mobike008 & insearch.
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Old 13th March 2014, 17:13   #416
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 : My Motorcycle Diaries

Great One Ravi Sir.
For your next trip, Please let me know, so that i will give you company with my KTM 390.
I too do the same, without any planning, just start the bike and decide the place to visit after some kms and ride enjoyably without any second thoughts
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Old 14th March 2014, 08:23   #417
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 : My Motorcycle Diaries

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Great One Ravi Sir.
Thanks, aks_karthik, for the appreciation.

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For your next trip, Please let me know, so that i will give you company with my KTM 390.
Sure. My next long rides that are on the anvil: Chennai->Bangalore and Bangalore->Goa[Miramar beach]->Bangalore. Dates not yet decided.
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Old 14th March 2014, 19:32   #418
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 : My Motorcycle Diaries

Dear Mr.J Ravi – hello again after quite sometime. I salute you, hats off to you for living my dream. I always wanted to do 1000 kms in one day on a Bullet, which you have realized. I need your opinion / help because the “Bullet Bug” just refuses to stop pestering me.

About a month back, in my good old "Dadar Parsi Colony" in Mumbai, there was this nice “Parsi Owned” 2010 model 350cc Black Bullet Thunderbird, owned by my son’s school friend’s father. The gentleman wanted to sell it because he wanted to buy a brand new 500cc Bullet Thunderbird. I saw it late at night inside the colony. It had covered around 22000 kms. All the parts were absolutely original. The shining black and chrome gleamed brightly in the streetlights. I particularly loved the straight and long silencer protruding behind the rear wheel and the fantastic riding position which was absolutely perfect for my average height. The seat cocooned me perfectly. The foot pedal positioning was spot-on. I took a small round. The bike was very easy to handle around corners and did not feel heavy at all. I did not buy it for three reasons, as follows: 1. There was pronounced piston slap noise from the engine. 2. Gear shifting was completely vague. 3. Fourth gear was noisy in drive mode; there was no noise in coast mode. He has since sold this bike.

Last week, he bought a brand new 500cc Bullet Thunderbird. I saw this bike also, again late at night. It had covered only 200 kms. I did not like the matt black finish, I prefer the shiny black but that’s my personal opinion. I was disappointed with the stubby silencer, personally I preferred the long one (maybe it's required due to emission / noise norms or the styling guys goofed). The seat position for riding was also not as comfortable as the older version’s; the cocooning effect was not there, although the seat height was just about OK. The foot pegs were positioned a little forward, due to which I found the riding stance a little awkward. I took a small round on this bike also. It was quite easy to handle around corners, although not as good as the older one. In this one also, the gear shift was vague and hard and fourth gear was very noisy in drive mode (absolutely not acceptable), but there was no noise in coast mode. The chain was noisy too. There was no piston slap but I guess it is too early to comment @ 200 kms!

I work in the automotive industry (I am based out of Pimpri, Pune) and I am a vehicle development / vehicle evaluation engineer by profession. My daily job is to conduct tests as per DVPs (Design Validation Plans), identify vehicle issues, conduct root cause analyses and implement corrective actions to eliminate them in production. Therefore, I guess these inferences come naturally to me. These are clearly manufacturing related issues. Manufacturing and build quality-wise, this powertrain and chassis integration platform needs to go a long way to attract potential customers like me. At a price of Rs.1,87,000 on road in Mumbai, this thing is not exactly cheap; it just cannot have a noisy gearbox, vague shift and a noisy chain. Also, the 2010 model looked better, this one is not as good looking.

I absolutely love the Bullet as it gives me a unique sort of pleasure to own it. I really don’t want it but I must have it. It will be used for Sunday drives. I don't mind the price. However, I just cannot accept the presence of these product issues. The last thing I want to hear is “Saar, drive till first free service Saar” / “Saar, oil is changed now Saar” / “Saar, all vehicles are like this only Saar”. I just don’t have the time or inclination to get into such situations with dealers' workshop managers and technicians who are well meaning and simple folk but have no power to do anything to actually correct the issues. I know that they will replace the entire gearbox @ "level 1 part number production part as supplied to the assembly line" under warranty as I won't allow them to touch the internal parts, what if the other one also makes noise?

So, what I am asking you is this: In the worst case scenario, if I finally consciously decide to live with this thingy as generic and not touch any aggregate even if it "misbehaves" to a tolerable extent, will the severity remain at current level or will it worsen as mileage builds up? What is your feedback on your Bullet as far as these specific issues are concerned? On a scale of 1 (worst) to 10 (excellent), how would you rate these specific issues on your Bullet 500? I request you to please revert.

The cheapest Harley Davidson costs double, also, I really don’t know how the flat belt that transmits the drive will actually behave in typical Indian conditions (with the dust and grime of the notorious Mumbai monsoons thrown in for good measure)!

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 15th March 2014, 02:37   #419
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 : My Motorcycle Diaries

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Have to sadly bid goodbye to my thunderbird 500 1000kms on odo due to meniscal injury.
Just saw your post. May i ask why your injury is promting you to sell you bike sir?
(asking because i have the same in both knees. dont ask how i managed that )


OT: how does one msg another here on bhp?
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Old 15th March 2014, 09:32   #420
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 : My Motorcycle Diaries

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Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
I salute you, hats off to you for living my dream.
Thanks a lot for the compliments and appreciation, DHABHAR.BEHRAM.

After riding my Blue Bird for ~9,000 km [intra city commuting, inter-city and mega long rides] within 11 months, here are my responses.

Quote:
I was disappointed with the stubby silencer, personally I preferred the long one (maybe it's required due to emission / noise norms or the styling guys goofed).
I love the chirping of my bird! Personally, I am not a fan of typical loud Bullet thump that would disturb the neighbourhood as my rides and drives either start or end up late-nights or early mornings. None of my cars had the reverse-horns/buzzers for the same reason.

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The seat position for riding was also not as comfortable as the older version’s;
I don't know about the old version of Thunderbird. But, compared to my son's March 2012 Classic 500, I find the contoured seat of my bird is more comfortable especially for long rides. Recently, I rode Chennai to Trichy [339 km] non-stop, thanks to the comfortable saddle.

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the gear shift was vague
I find it difficult to bring my bird to neutral sometimes. I am missing the neutral-finder lever of Bullets of 1970s!

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The last thing I want to hear is “Saar, drive till first free service Saar” / “Saar, oil is changed now Saar” / “Saar, all vehicles are like this only Saar”.
I have heard these sentences in the service centres of Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, FIAT India, Mahindra and Royal Enfield!

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will the severity remain at current level or will it worsen as mileage builds up?
Blue Bird had more than her quota of quality issues, problems and niggles. Her petrol tank was replaced due to paint issues. Her faulty float was also replaced. The last, but not the least, the instrument cluster was replaced when the odometer reading was 5,722 km due to cracked glass. The petrol tank replacement was done after escalating to the higher level after the service centre guys did not act. Then, I had no problem with the service centre guys for the other replacements. The details are in this thread. I only pray that issues don't return or no new issues come up after the expiry of warranty!

All said and done, it is the attitude of the manufacturer that counts more than anything else. I find Royal Enfield's customer care is customer-friendly.

Quote:
What is your feedback on your Bullet as far as these specific issues are concerned? On a scale of 1 (worst) to 10 (excellent), how would you rate these specific issues on your Bullet 500?
No bike is perfect. I have never faced any problem during my long rides so far and hope that there won't be any in my future rides too. So, I can easily award 8 [very good].

Last edited by J.Ravi : 15th March 2014 at 09:57.
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