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Old 4th October 2016, 14:18   #946
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 : My Motorcycle Diaries

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Originally Posted by J.Ravi View Post
She prefers our XUV 500 for long drives as she gets backache on the bird. So, I do long rides solo only.
So what's your mantra to remain fit in such trips. Please share your tips sir.

What clothing, food, exercises etc do you prefer on long bike rides.
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Old 4th October 2016, 15:00   #947
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 : My Motorcycle Diaries

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What clothing, food, exercises etc do you prefer on long bike rides.
Clothing: riding pant or jeans [in this ride, I wore the former until Dalhousie and while returning, the latter as the former got soiled due to rain, dust & mud], jacket, gloves, skull cap, helmet, sunglasses and shoes.

Food: I used to have filling heavy breakfast in the mornings before starting my ride so that I will have adequate energy to withstand the long ride ahead of me. Most of the times, lunch used to comprise two glasses of sweet lassi only. Dinner also used to be light with a plate of idlies or dosa washed down by masala tea, mostly from the road side vendors in urban areas. During rides in late night/early mornings, I used to have marie biscuits/nuts/dry fruits washed down by water so that I will have adequate strength to reach the destination!

Exercise: during the breaks every 2 - 3 hours, just walk around my bird, inspecting the oil level/brake fluid level and checking the luggage and spend some minutes by clicking some photos! One oil top-up and 3 chain-cleaning/lubrication also formed part of exercise!
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Old 5th October 2016, 10:21   #948
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Default Ride Across India: Jaipur

I left the parking lot of Hussainiwala Border at 7 pm on 11 Sep 2016 [Sunday]. I had originally planned to stay at Ferozepur, but changed my plans at the parking lot and started riding to Jaipur. My phone-navigator suggested to take the route via GT Road and Rohtak in HR. But, I overruled it and decided to go via Hanumangarh>Sardarshahar>Ratangarh>Sikar. I had driven on the beautiful RIDCOR 2-lane highway earlier from Kishangarh to Hanumangarh. But this time, I will take left turn at Ratangarh and ride via Sikar to Jaipur. The Ratangarh>Sikar>Jaipur section was an excellent 4-lane highway maintained by NHAI. So, I set my phone-navigator with Hanumangarh as the destination and started riding.

Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 : My Motorcycle Diaries-hussainiwalaborderjaipur.jpg

At Muktsar, PB, although bypass was available, my phone-navigator guided me through the town for the reasons best known to itself. It was a blessing in disguise. I had my dinner inside the town consisting of plain dosa washed down by masala tea from a road-side vendor and continued my ride. After exiting Muktsar, my bird had a tankful from a Reliance Petro outlet on the the highway. There, I felt sleepy. I told the pump attendants that I would sleep for an hour or so and continue my ride. They suggested that I sleep inside their office, where they had a cot. But, I declined. I parked the bird near their office, spread newspapers on the smooth floor and slept for an hour or so. When I woke up, it was around 10 pm and I was feeling fresh for another stretch of ride.

I rode via Abohar bypass and crossed Hanumangarh, RJ by midnight. From there, the beautiful RIDCOR highway started. Blue Bird had a tankful at Rawatsar, RJ at 1 am, after which, I had a glass of sweet lassi at a dhaba, where some TN truck drivers came to me and started chatting in Tamil after seeing the registration number of my bird! One curious PB LCV driver evinced keen interest on my phone-navigator and asked me to give a demo, which I did by explaining the route as guided by my phone-navigator to Hotel Kalyan, Jaipur from there. He was very happy.

At Ratangarh, I took left turn and rode on the excellent NHAI 4-lane highway to Jaipur. At the early hours of the day, my bird had another tankful at Reliance Petro, Laxmangarh, where I completed my morning ablution in their clean toilet. I was in front of Hotel Kalyan, Jaipur at 7 am. After completing the checking in formalities, unpacking and a shower, I had my breakfast in the hotel and crashed to the bed only to get up in the evening! In the evening, walked to the railway station junction and dined at a bhojanalaya.

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On 13 Sep 2016 [Tuesday], I had to check out at 12 noon. I was in dilemma: how to use the half-day I had before checking out? Servicing the bird or riding to Old City? I decided in favour of the latter and rode out of the hotel by 9 am in the morning to the Old City. I had poori, bhaji costing just ₹ 20 and a glass of lassi for ₹ 20 and visited Jantar Mantar and Hawa Mahal under scorching sun.

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I returned to the hotel, checked out and started my ride to Nagpur at 12:45 pm via Tonk>Kota>Shivpuri>Jhansi>Sagar>Narsinghpur>Chhind wara. I selected this route as it is fully 4-laned NH and I wanted to avoid the notorious Gwalior-Jhansi stretch. En route, I had two glasses of lassi for my lunch. before Tonk, had tea at Kota, got recognized by the petrol pump attendants at BP COCOO, Lalitpur, UP, where the bird had tankful in the up journey, had marie biscuits and nuts for the dinner, rode throughout the night and reached Haldiram's, Shankar Nagar square, Nagpur at 9:45 am. As I reached Nagpur too early to check in, I decided to have my breakfast first and then go to the hotel. I ate idlies and dosa, washed down by sweet lassi and reached The Nagpur Ashok, where I had stayed during my up journey too, at 11 am. This time, I did not remove the luggage from the bird. I took out my tank bag only, which had my undergarments set. I checked in without any problem and after a hot shower, crashed to the bed. In the evening, rode to the same Haldiram's and had my favourite chole bhature and sweet lassi.

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On 15 Sep 2016 [Thursday], after a sumptuous and delicious buffet breakfast, started riding out of the hotel at 10:35 am to Bangalore. Rain accompanied us from Adilabad with varying intensity. I passed through Hyderabad between 6:30 and 7:30 pm without any rain directly under the PV Narasimha Rao Expressway as two-wheelers were neither allowed on it nor on the ORR. At Kurnool, it rained cats and dogs for more than an hour. From Anantapur, biting cold greeted us. The attendants at Adilabad Reliance Petroleum outlet recognized me and my bird and enquired about the trip. Blue Bird brought me safely and comfortably to Bangalore Basaveswara Nagar home at 4:25 am on 16 Sep 2016 [Friday].

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Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 : My Motorcycle Diaries-dsc07211.jpg
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Old 5th October 2016, 11:12   #949
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 : My Motorcycle Diaries

Wonderful ramble to say the least, so on an average you were covering distances of close to 500 kms per day? Appears that the fuel efficiency you have got is quite respectable.
What speeds were you generally doing? 80 to 100 Kays??
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Old 5th October 2016, 12:56   #950
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 : My Motorcycle Diaries

Thanks a lot for your detailed responses. Helped a lot, and believe me you are riding the dreams of thousands of people with the kind of trips you have undertaken.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Ravi View Post
My 27 k km-old bird still runs on original, stock cluth, throttle and brake cables apart from OE stock tyres and spark plugs. Covered parking helps a lot in preventing premature cable failures due to rain water ingress and consequent corrosion.
That's really amazing I must say, I wasn't too lucky with mine even with covered parking, but then it was an Electra and I could see that the sudden twist from the lever into the cavity to route it down seemed to cause it. Hopefully I will be as lucky as you have been.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Ravi View Post
Not exactly leakage, but some sort of sweating on the surface, yes, which was sealed using some epoxy compound/washer during servicing.
Yep, same thing which used to increase with time, but eventually got solved. Not a big issue unless being totally blind towards it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Ravi View Post
She prefers our XUV 500 for long drives as she gets backache on the bird. So, I do long rides solo only.
Got your point Sir! Our rides are far from yours, within 100-150 kms radius.


Regards,
SD
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Old 6th October 2016, 07:59   #951
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 : My Motorcycle Diaries

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Originally Posted by ku69rd View Post
Wonderful ramble to say the least
Thanks, Mahesh.

Quote:
so on an average you were covering distances of close to 500 kms per day?
Yes. 6,524 km/13 days = 501.8 km/day.

Quote:
Appears that the fuel efficiency you have got is quite respectable.
Yes, again. This FE figure is more accurate than the previous ones as I considered the distance in km as shown by my phone-navigator and not my bird's odometer's. Earlier, I had considered the erroneous odometer readings of my bird with more than +6% error. I don't know about Himalayan. If the vendor is different, it's good. Otherwise, even Himalayan's odometer may not show the correct distance/speed.

Quote:
What speeds were you generally doing? 80 to 100 Kays??
Yes, again. I generally maintain 80 to 100 kmph [GPS] on the plains with 90 kmph [GPS] most of the time, when the odometer showed 100 kmph! So, it is erroneous 100 kmph on the odometer most of the time! Sometimes, I exceed this figure too if the road is excellent with less traffic!

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Originally Posted by Trojan View Post
Helped a lot, and believe me you are riding the dreams of thousands of people with the kind of trips you have undertaken.
Thanks, Trojan.

Quote:
Hopefully I will be as lucky as you have been.
Either my bird is lucky or me or both. Hope, the same thing continues in future too.
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Old 7th October 2016, 09:39   #952
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Default Ride Across India: Dalhousie

I reached Grand View Hotel at Dalhousie at 1 am on 10 Sep 2016 [Saturday]. When I called them from Ludhiana in the previous evening to inform of my arriving after midnight, I was told that my dinner would be kept in my room! When I entered my suite after checking in, I found a 10-course meal, comprising many rotis, parathas, naans, paneer butter masala, peas, kheer, rice, dal, kadi, etc. waiting for me! That was the first time - and perhaps, the last time too - that I had my dinner at 2 am! My suite comprised a lavishly furnished and decorated big living room, a king-size bed room with a room-heater with an attached bath having a bathtub. There was a big TV in the living room and a smaller TV in the bed room. I got up late, ate a buffet breakfast and slept again. In the evening, went out for a stroll.

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This was how I and my bird reached Dalhousie:

Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 : My Motorcycle Diaries-chennaiblore.jpg

Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 : My Motorcycle Diaries-img_20160901_041626.jpg

I rode Chennai to Bangalore on 1 Sep 2016 [Thursday]. Had a tankful at ₹ 59.65/litre at Chennai before the price hike, left Royapettah home at 1:45 am and reached Bangalore Basaveswara Nagar home at 7:30 am with two breaks. Had another tankful at Hosur costing ₹ 63.76/litre after the price hike. The fuel efficiency recorded was a low 26.19 kmpl due to climbing to an altitude of 3,000’. However, the final FE after the ride was better at 28.50 kmpl.

On 6 Sep 2016 [Tuesday], I left Bangalore Basaveswara Nagar home by 4:45 pm and started my solo-ride to Nagpur. But, my friend Mujumdar wanted to see me off near Yeshwantpur circle. So, we spent some time together taking selfies, photos and I finally left the place at 5:30 pm. Why did I choose to leave in the busy peak hour of the evening, when everybody else starts the journey early in the morning? I wanted to reach my hotel at Nagpur at the check-in time of 12 noon, so that I could rest fully before commencing the next long ride! So, I calculated my departure time, assuming my average speed at 55 kmph including breaks.

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Drizzle accompanied me at many places upto Gutti. My dinner comprised piping hot idlies from a roadside vendor at Anantapur, costing just ₹ 20 for 3! Enjoyed riding through Hyderabad between 2:30 am and 3:00 am, especially on the beautiful PV Narasimha Rao Expressway, which I later came to know, was banned for two-wheelers! After Hyderabad, I was the lone rider, giving company to the big brothers like truck and bus drivers! Adilabad-Hinganghat stretch has become worse than it was during March 2016. But, the good news is that works are in progress in many stretches, a coupla petrol pumps have sprung up, I rode on a new second flyover, which was not there earlier. There were big queues on both the sides of Hinganghat level-crossing, but I managed to squeeze through thanks to my bird!

I reached The Nagpur Ashok at 11:20 am on 7 Sep 2016 [Wednesday], well ahead of my calculated arrival time. After checking in, unpacking and shower, rode to Haldiram’s at Shankar Nagar chowk and had chole bhature, sweet lassi and ras malais for brunch, returned to the hotel, slept through the evening and night, skipping my dinner!

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After a filling buffet breakfast, I left The Nagpur Ashok at 9:30 am on 8 Sep 2016 [Thursday] and rode via Chhindwara bypass to Narsinghpur>Agra. It rained cats and dogs, when I was at 86 km from Sagar including hailstorm, which continued for the next 2 km. I was the lone rider on the deserted highway! I was afraid that hailstorm might break the instrument cluster glass cover of my bird, which was already replaced once under warranty! My Wildcraft raincoat saved me from getting drenched totally!

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The Jhansi-Gwalior stretch was still in the same pathetic condition. Add to that the evening peak hour traffic, cattle on the road, it was a total mess one would like to avoid. Thankfully, I did not return on that stretch again! I reached Bansi Homestay, Agra at 11:30 pm after riding 833 km in 14 hours.

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The next day morning at the breakfast table, my host at Bansi Home Stay, Agra insisted on my having more puris. So, I overate, felt like sleeping again, but left at 9 am with half mind. By the way, did anybody stay at Agra and leave without visiting Taj Mahal and/or the Fort? Yes, I did on 9 Sep 2016 [Friday]!

Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 : My Motorcycle Diaries-dsc07148.jpg

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Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 : My Motorcycle Diaries-img_20160917_111605.jpg

The heat was unbearable when I was riding on Yamuna Expressway and through Delhi. My exposed wrists became darker due to sun-burn, necessitating removal of my jacket. At 2 pm, I could not ride any more due to the scorching heat. So, I halted at Pahalwan Dhaba, Murthal, had sweet lassi, slept for an hour on a rope cot, had tea and left at 3 pm only.

All along my ride, many people enquired about my Thunderbird 500/phone-navigator/LED lights at petrol pumps, signals, while waiting in queue in traffic jams, regarding the price, kitna deti hai, where from, where to, etc.

There was a big evening peak hour traffic jam near the Ludhiana bypass, so I rode through the city. Had sweet lassi from sweet stall at Dasuya after Jalandhar and reached Grand View Hotel, Dalhousie at 1 am on 10 Sep 2016 [Saturday].

I am thankful and grateful to my Blue Bird for this ride across India of 6,524 km in 123 hours over 13 days through TN>KA>AP>TS>MH>MP>UP>RJ>DL>HR>PB>HP without any problems like puncture/breakdown/accident/falling down/harassment from cops/RTO, etc. This time, I didn't do any servicing other than one oil top-up and three chain lubrication during the ride. Thank you very much for going through this ride report and expressing appreciation and good wishes.
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Old 7th October 2016, 10:47   #953
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Default Re: Ride Across India: Dalhousie

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Thank you very much for going through this ride report and expressing appreciation and good wishes.
Sir,
Suppose you ought to attend the MTM events and share your stories there as well. Its a wonderful forum for middle/long distance riders.

When are you planning for the ride to BKK?
Am sure it must be on your radar now.
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Old 14th October 2016, 20:36   #954
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Default Ninth Service

Today, Blue Bird got its ninth servicing done at Sri Velavan Motors, Greams Road, Chennai, costing ₹ 2,263 inclusive of taxes. Gave the bike at 9:30 am and got it back at 7 pm. Paid by credit card without any extra charges. Got the OE stock throttle cable replaced as I don't want any surprises in my future rides. Engine oil was also replaced. B Bird skipped one service, while doing the Dalhousie ride, resulting in cost per km coming down from 78 paise to 67 paise!

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The previous service details are here (Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 : My Motorcycle Diaries).
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Old 17th October 2016, 12:03   #955
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Default Re: Ninth Service

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Originally Posted by J.Ravi View Post
B Bird skipped one service, while doing the Dalhousie ride, resulting in cost per km coming down from 78 paise to 67 paise!

.

Chief,
Have you got the fork overhauled during your ownership period?
Also how are the rear suspension taking the beating since in highways they tend to bottom out more due to the undulations and the speeds it has to bear?

How is the tire tread?

67 Paise per KM is very very negligible considering the sheer joy it has given you.
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Old 17th October 2016, 21:18   #956
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Default Re: Ninth Service

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Originally Posted by ku69rd View Post
Have you got the fork overhauled during your ownership period?
Fork oil was replaced at 12,806 km on 23 Jan 2016 during the sixth service.

Quote:
Also how are the rear suspension taking the beating since in highways they tend to bottom out more due to the undulations and the speeds it has to bear?
So far, so good.

Quote:
How is the tire tread?
It's time for replacement of the rear tyre. I will replace it before my next ride.

Quote:
67 Paise per KM is very very negligible considering the sheer joy it has given you.
Yes, absolutely. Thanks.
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Old 31st October 2016, 14:28   #957
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 : My Motorcycle Diaries

Blue Bird has resumed her duty as intra city commuter bike and carried me and wife between Royapettah home and Broadway/Marina Beach/Mylapore/Adayar/T Nagar/Vadapalani in Chennai. Today, my bird took me to G Gopaul Dairy, Philips street, Broadway, Chennai, where I tasted yummy, yummy bun/butter/jam washed down by buttermilk. Each bun/butter/jam set costs ₹ 25 and the buttermilk, ₹ 10 a glass.

Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 : My Motorcycle Diaries-img_20161031_121053.jpg

Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 : My Motorcycle Diaries-img_20161031_122057.jpg

Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 : My Motorcycle Diaries-img_20161031_122139.jpg

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Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 : My Motorcycle Diaries-img_20161031_122708.jpg

Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 : My Motorcycle Diaries-img_20161031_123416.jpg
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Old 7th November 2016, 18:53   #958
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Default Re: JCB Excavator Ankle Boots

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Originally Posted by J.Ravi View Post
Today, I received JCB ankle boots costing Attachment 11047441,434. I ordered online on 27 June 2013. All along, I used to wear my jogging shoes for riding my Blue Bird, which did not serve the purpose fully. With the new JCB Excavator ankle boots, I tried kick-starting and shifting of gears of my Blue Bird. I could do these tasks very easily. Also, these ankle boots are light in weight and VFM. However, I will post my reviews after riding long distance in my Blue Bird.

Attachment 1104743
Ravi Sir, I am about to buy these shoes.
Kindly state your experience with the usage since you have them for long now. Are they good or average ?
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Old 7th November 2016, 20:40   #959
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Default Re: JCB Excavator Ankle Boots

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Originally Posted by The Great View Post
Kindly state your experience with the usage since you have them for long now. Are they good or average ?
Very bad. Last year when I rode to Gandikota in AP, the sole got peeled off from the body due to severe heat the boots could not withstand. Now, I use Woodland shoes for rides (GQ and Dalhousie). I have also bought a new pair of Lee Cooper shoes, which I am yet to use.
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Old 26th November 2016, 17:41   #960
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 : My Motorcycle Diaries

Ravi Sir,
Salutes to your grit and what not...

I work for a leading public sector bank and posted at sriperumbudur. I reside at Besant Nagar, Chennai. As of now I am using my 2012 make Honda Unicorn 150 cc for daily commute to the office (to and fro 90 kms) and for the past few weeks I am having nagging pain in my wrist and sore back as well. I am 30 years old and the x-rays suggested no bone issues and a senior ortho had prescribed some calcium tablets and advised not to ride my bike for few weeks. Hence, I started using my Honda Jazz 2016 model for office commute. On bike I used to cover the distance to my office within 1.10 hours in the morning and 1.20 in the evening respectively. With car I cover the same distance in 1.30 and 2 00 hours respectively.

During the course of pain issue discussion with my friend who owns a classic 350 cc, he prevailed upon me and to have test ride of TB350 cc which I eventually did today. I felt vast difference in riding comfort vis a vis the Unicorn, as my wrist was not strained and back was relaxed.

The adyar store mentioned delivery of 350 cc within ten days of time and Sri Velavan Greams Road will deliver within 30 days. Price wise both are same at Rs 159410.

I needed your advice whether the purchase of tb350 cc would relieve me of my wrist pain and back niggles to a larger extent? I take the madhya kailash-iit-manapakkam-porur-kattupakkam-thirumazhisai route to Sriperumbudur. Looking forward to your kind words.

Thanks
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