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Old 13th June 2013, 21:27   #46
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?

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Is there any way we can decode the VIN

The above photograph displays VIN sticker. The alphabet D refers to 2013 and C is for March. A is for January; B for February and so on. The other way is search for Pollution Under Control sticker pasted on the utility box. The date of testing is written on the sticker.
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Old 16th June 2013, 09:00   #47
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Not in the right thread, still posting rather posing a question!

Yesterday while going thru the Triumph website; I came to know that the legendary British motorcycle manufacturer is hunting for dealers across major metros in India.

Any idea when would they start off with sales?
And what would be the price of Bonneville-T100 as it is among the initial models to be introduced in Indian market?
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Old 17th June 2013, 01:08   #48
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?

After riding one I can say that unless Triumph makes two changes to their Bonneville it will be poorly received in India.

The seat is like an ironing board. I have never sit on such a uncomfortable seat in my life until I rode the new Bonnie.

There is not only no Thump, there is no Sound from the exhaust.
The roar of an electric sewing machine could easily drown out the sound of a new Triumph Bonneville.

Replacing the exhaust system so it can be heard is possible but it takes a reprogramming of the ECU to keep from damaging the engine if this is done.

There is no kick starter and no provision for adding one.

There is no center stand although one can be added.

When I looked at a US version of the Triumph Bonnie I was thoroughly disappointed.
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Old 17th June 2013, 10:15   #49
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?

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There is not only no Thump, there is no Sound from the exhaust.
The roar of an electric sewing machine could easily drown out the sound of a new Triumph Bonneville.

Replacing the exhaust system so it can be heard is possible but it takes a reprogramming of the ECU to keep from damaging the engine if this is done.

When I looked at a US version of the Triumph Bonnie I was thoroughly disappointed.
Are you sure it was not an electric bonnie you were riding Jim? .
The sound pollution norms and the pollution norms have killed most old school thumpers. Even the new RE dont have the thump, although you can hear it lightly between 1000-2000rpm, there after it is a normal big bore roar.
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Old 17th June 2013, 10:53   #50
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?

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I had never considered the weight factor. Have always been able to pick em up but ...
Good point!

The dilemma is 2 fold - old tech vs new and manic driving vs cruising. The bike will not be used for commuting certainly. I am thinking I will combine it with my other passion - photography and hence a weekly/ fortnightly usage of about 150km is probably what will happen. If the wife agrees, may be a couple of trips to Madras.

Like dkaile says, a Harley might be the answer but it feels too much like a poseur's bike. I too like well engineered products.

I think I am leaning towards the TBTS - I can see myself on it. The Duke's neck snapping acceleration might just snap my neck off at my age!

Will decide after the Duke has been ridden; for now, I have booked a TBTS hoping it will be in time for my birthday. If the Duke test ride does not happen before the TBTS becomes available, I will consider that the Flying Spaghetti Monster has decided the matter for me!
Well with so much input being given I too would like to pen down my thoughts. Well I am 40 and have picked up the N300 only last week. As for as the head snapping is concerned this does not happen, have already tried it on my bike. You should take a machine you are comfortable with and are sure about the technological capabilities. Personally I too do not like the RE group of machines as they are too crude and have no refinement. Lest a 390 is perceived to be too powerful why don't you pick up the 200, its the same dimensions as the projected 390 and yes may not snap your neck (just kidding) apart from being cheaper. Next the launch of the 390 is also some time away.
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Old 18th June 2013, 12:44   #51
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?

to add to the discussion: my personal views:

RE motorcycles are more photogenic, or rather offer as a better subject for photographs, thanks to its classic silhouette, dose of chrome on some models, etc. i usually try and keep my RE or a part of it in most of my frames. This point cos you did mention somewhere about photography. i have been shooting REs for the last 5 years, and am still look forward to it. Not sure if KTM would hold the appeal for as long while i am behind the camera.

The newer lot of REs including the classic range and new tb5, come with loads of bad quality parts (materials). This you will notice more, especially if you are very particular about keeping your machine in healthy shape. sooner then later, small niggles like loose bolts, new vibrations, snapped cables, broken wires, clamps, rusts, battery leaks, lost threads, broken worms, faulty meters, jammed/broken locks, loose electrical contacts esp at points like ignition switches, issues with horns, alignment issues of various nature, and many many more such minor and some major issues. These come as a part of the package be it any model in production today. Some people enjoy tackling these issue, some can live with it, and some would want a more trouble (maintenance free) bike. So with RE, be prepared to regularly visit service station/mechanic/your city's automobile spares shop area, etc. And the experience of these visits especially to the authorized ones are not at all pleasant.

Personally i use to enjoy taking care of these issues on my machismo 350 and classic 500 (C5 gave more trouble), but now at 36, i do not enjoy tending to these niggles, very frequently. So i have been waiting for the 390 for a long time for my daily commutes and short weekend rides. I do find the bullet a bit heavy, wide, and difficult to weave through the dense Bangalore traffic.

and you dont really HAVE to do maniac riding on the duke 390. I believe the D390 ( about 50 kgs lighter then tb500 with good enough torque) will be able to chug along nicely at 50kmph in 5th gear, whereas the modern UCE 500 may lug at those speeds. That extra reserve power means you always have it at your disposal when u want it.

Last edited by nasirkaka : 18th June 2013 at 12:49.
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Old 18th June 2013, 17:56   #52
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Nasirkaka: you are psychic! These were almost the exact same thoughts in my mind, expressed more clearly.

I love fixing things but not if I HAVE to.

If the Duke can be used within the city without giving me spondylitis & outside for about 3-4 hours without a slipped disk then that probably is the bike for me.

I dont see any 'talking point' on honda 250 or a Ninja 300. An RE caters to my childhood; a Duke to the Rd350 gap, the Harley whatever any middle aged man needs. The other 2 are just bikes!
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Old 18th June 2013, 18:30   #53
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?

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I dont see any 'talking point' on honda 250 or a Ninja 300. An RE caters to my childhood; a Duke to the Rd350 gap, the Harley whatever any middle aged man needs. The other 2 are just bikes!
Beg to differ bro. The Ninja 300 is not just any other bike. It is the more than worthy successor to a bike that has already achieved cult status globally as the best quarter liter ever made (the 2-strokers will obviously disagree ). And performance wise, more bike than any of the others mentioned above.

The Duke is an upright riding position (famously nick-named "sit-up-and-beg" by the journos). There is no reason at all why it should give anyone spondylitis or a slipped disk - short of riding one over someone lying prone on the ground .....
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Old 18th June 2013, 19:56   #54
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Beg to differ bro. The Ninja 300 is not just any other bike. It is the more than worthy successor to a bike that has already achieved cult status globally as the best quarter liter ever made (the 2-strokers will obviously disagree ). And performance wise, more bike than any of the others mentioned above.
.
Certainly, in your opinion :-)

Doesn't do the same for me. If biking were objective nobody should be buying REs or HDs....!
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Old 18th June 2013, 20:20   #55
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?

My biggest concern, as raised on the KTM launch thread, is the pillion seating or two-up riding. What modifications would you guys suggest so that a pillion and saddle bags can be comfortably seated? Or is this a no-go?

A luggage extension rack over the grab rail on the rear is a definite, but I don't suppose a pillion will be comfortable sitting astride a couple of saddle bags.
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Old 19th June 2013, 11:21   #56
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?

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My biggest concern, as raised on the KTM launch thread, is the pillion seating or two-up riding.
Had the same concerns, my wife already complains about the pillion seat when we go touring on the Thunderbird. I can only imagine how painful it will be for the pillion on the Duke. I too was wondering if it does make sense then to go for the 390.

Finally, I've just decided to forget about 2-up touring with the Duke, it's just not meant for that. Why force fit a poor pillion on the bike, or try to modify a bike to suit a purpose it was never meant for; just my 2 cents.

Will enjoy the 390 (or whichever other bike I finally pick up) as a 'fun' bike and for 2-up touring, there's always the Bullet!
(or the car :( )

PS: Remember the golden rule while thinking about comfort while touring - a setup that seems mildly uncomfortable at the start of the ride will quickly become unbearably painful as the ride progresses, if left unattended to/un-changed.

Last edited by am1m : 19th June 2013 at 11:29. Reason: Adding PS
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Old 19th June 2013, 11:23   #57
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?

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Certainly, in your opinion :-)

Doesn't do the same for me. If biking were objective nobody should be buying REs or HDs....!
Well you did say a Harley is something any middle aged man needs.

I guess I qualify, and I need one like one needs a root canal.
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Old 19th June 2013, 15:17   #58
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?

As some one has earlier mentioned in an RE thread, Enfield is all about a relaxed, laid back life. Its not meant for speed, throttle is not for leaving the traffic behind you, but for keeping the bike in momentum. So this fishtailing at 100+ speed, stability, braking distance etc. should not be discussed with reference to a Royal Enfield. These terms are better to be left with Japanese/European machines. So if you wish to own one, better be sure why you need it. If speed and thrill is what you are looking for, then RE is surely not the right place to peep in.
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Old 20th June 2013, 12:14   #59
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?

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As some one has earlier mentioned in an RE thread, Enfield is all about a relaxed, laid back life. Its not meant for speed, throttle is not for leaving the traffic behind you, but for keeping the bike in momentum. So this fishtailing at 100+ speed, stability, braking distance etc. should not be discussed with reference to a Royal Enfield. These terms are better to be left with Japanese/European machines. So if you wish to own one, better be sure why you need it. If speed and thrill is what you are looking for, then RE is surely not the right place to peep in.
Holds true for older bullets with Cast iron engine.

From the newer generation of bullets (UCEs) people do expect some juice

Even Royal Enfield on their website describes their modern bikes as powerful. Following is the description for C5:

"Armed with a potent fuel injected 500cc engine and clothed in a disarmingly appealing post war styling, this promises to be the most coveted Royal Enfield in history.

For those who want it all. The power, the fuel efficiency, the reliability (he! he!!) and simple, yet drop dead gorgeous classic styling. The classic turns heads not because it wants to but because it canít help it. You will appreciate the beat (really?) not just for the music it creates but also for the muted feeling of strength and power that it signifies.

The view is simply better when you are astride a Royal Enfield Classic 500 Ė whether moving or still. Nothing more to be said."

I still love my C5, only wish they came with better fit, finish and materials, and the all new (not so low revving) UCE engine (designed in 2009 in austria) did a bit more justice to the 500CCs.
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Old 20th June 2013, 15:49   #60
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?

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the all new (not so low revving) UCE engine (designed in 2009 in austria) did a bit more justice to the 500CCs.
Correct me if I am wrong bro, but wasn't it the LB engine that was designed in Austria (at AVL).

I have always read that the new UCE power plant and gearbox were designed in the UK (I forget the name of the firm).
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