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Old 19th July 2013, 15:34   #106
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?

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Then I thought of buying a 'Thunder Bird' and trying to put up a back supporting structure on the seat and with its better Suspension, when compared to my earlier 100 cc bike, I would be solving my commuting problem. (In fact this whole thing is an alibi to get my desire of owning a RE fulfilled).
When my back is aching (yes at 42, the aches and pains start) I do not ride the Bullet. I take out the KTM.
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Old 30th July 2013, 20:25   #107
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?

The duke is by all means a better bike for you than the TBTS 500. Firstly its freaking light that is a plus with age coming to picture.

Secondly the handling is quite slick. It has a good posture for the rider and i am sure changing handle bars are not an issue as well if you want more straight posture.

The brakes are way way way better than what the TBTS offers. Does similar 100kmph at exactly similar RPM very minimal difference.

For the price, i would recommend KTM 390 over the TBTS for you will not miss a thing riding a KTM390 over the bullet.

I have a 500, test drove a 390 and here i am waiting for my 390 delivery.
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Old 30th July 2013, 21:17   #108
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I think the rpm at 100 being the same on both bikes is a strange comparison. How close is 5000 rpm to redline on each bike and how stressed does the engine feel as a result are more practical points.
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Old 31st July 2013, 00:12   #109
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?

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The duke is by all means a better bike for you than the TBTS 500. Firstly its freaking light that is a plus with age coming to picture.

Secondly the handling is quite slick. It has a good posture for the rider and i am sure changing handle bars are not an issue as well if you want more straight posture.

The brakes are way way way better than what the TBTS offers. Does similar 100kmph at exactly similar RPM very minimal difference.

For the price, i would recommend KTM 390 over the TBTS for you will not miss a thing riding a KTM390 over the bullet.

I have a 500, test drove a 390 and here i am waiting for my 390 delivery.
Only Negative I think of 390 is setback foot pegs .They put huge stress on knees over period of time . If the foot pegs were neutral ,like pulsar or honda , that would have been lovely .

OT: Does any one know aftermarket front foot pegs for KTM ?

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Old 31st July 2013, 11:50   #110
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?

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Only Negative I think of 390 is setback foot pegs .They put huge stress on knees over period of time .
Suppose we need to factor in the maintenance & running costs as well, buying a bike is one thingy and maintenance would be another. The Tires on KTM took a lot of attention when I was gawking at the bike. They are quite soft and in our conditions i think they might last a good 8 to 12 K kms before the rear wears out. A spill might further compound matters.

But to be quite frank we should not be comparing both the bikes. They are as different as cheese & Chalk. One is a wannabe cruiser and the other is a hooligan. I would prefer both of them in my garage if space is willing.
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Old 31st July 2013, 12:17   #111
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?

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I would prefer both of them in my garage if space is willing.
More and more i feel there are lot of bullet owners buying this 390 as a second bike. Or is it my selfish guess

Regarding the pegs i think we can work on some customization to place them appropriately. It will take some time and creativity by local mechanics to fabricate but those are the things we can do.

@2.04L slightly higher than 500 the 390 is more bike for the money. Remember people are taking chances to compare it with 300's and 650 of Ninja.
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Old 31st July 2013, 12:33   #112
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?

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@2.04L slightly higher than 500 the 390 is more bike for the money. Remember people are taking chances to compare it with 300's and 650 of Ninja.
I have commented on this "perceptional" issue faced by many of my Bullet mates earlier as well.

Fact is, @1.5L the 200 is also more bike for the money.

It is just that most Bulleteers could not wrap their heads around the reality that a 200 cc bike could (and would) run rings around their 500 cc "monsters"

So we hear comments like -ya its a nice bike, cute bike, good bike, etc. etc. BUT it FEELS small, has LESS torque, etc. etc. and I will wait for the 390 ......

Because for most Bulleteers, engine capacity and torque is a thing of great pride. Which we wear as our own personal badge of honor of our own small privately exclusive fiefdom. And guard jealously.

So at least with the 390, the engine capacity is at least bigger than the more common 350 Bullet.

So reality becomes easier to digest.

Fellow Bulleteers, please spare me the barbs and arrows. I am one of you. Proudly!
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Old 31st July 2013, 12:41   #113
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?

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Because for most Bulleteers, engine capacity and torque is a thing of great pride. Which we wear as our own personal badge of honor of our own small privately exclusive fiefdom. And guard jealously.
Now they have their own split between old CI engines and the newer ones . I am a fellow bulleteer. A 500 and another 350 getting worked upon from scratch.

But the 390 is what was missing all these years. Tall gearing is what the bulleteer probably liked. One ride in 390 and i had no second thoughts that this complements my 500.

The 390 is more bike for the money not just comparing with bullet but most of the bikes out there. Including the Ninjas which are way too over priced considering they cost so low in other countries.

I love my bull and i will add 390 to the stable and create space to have fun.
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Old 31st July 2013, 12:54   #114
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?

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I love my bull and i will add 390 to the stable and create space to have fun.
True words brother! P.S. There is no real split - we just like to show the newbies their place in the pecking order.

The Bull is like a drug in the bloodstream. Once in, it will not let go. I compare the dynamics of the rider and his old time Bull (at least 5 years is the period one should have spent with her) as that between a man and woman who have been married for many years. There is often friction and sharp words are spoken. But they cannot do without each other and are most comfortable with each other.

We all love our Bulls and cannot do without them, regardless of how much of a pain they can be.

Here is me and my buddy Tinu on our Bulls out for some fun in the rain a few weeks back around Pune. The old girls were really singing and growling lustily that wet and wild and muddy day.

Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?-md-1.jpg

Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?-md-2.jpg

Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?-md-4.jpg

Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?-md-6.jpg

Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?-md-7.jpg

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Old 31st July 2013, 15:05   #115
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?

Ahhh..thats two lovely bullets. When i tell my friends i always want rains when i take my bullet out they do not understand. But riding a bull in the rain is one thing i cherish everytime i get a chance.

Someone asked me if i was planning to sell my bull and i said Yes and quoted 5L. He said, i will never be able to sell. And thats exactly what i wanted to convey him.

I dont know about others, but the best pleasure i get out of the bull is when i have to work on it, getting greasy and dirty. Last sunday i had to change the kicker spring. The satisfaction of changing it cannot be compared.

I now want the 390 which the sales guy mentioned on easier access to various parts including the tyres etc. Looking forward now.
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Old 2nd August 2013, 10:53   #116
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
True words brother! P.S. There is no real split - we just like to show the newbies their place in the pecking order.
Doc,
That's an interesting tail lamp you got on your bullet, would you not mind posting some more details and a photo of it?
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Old 2nd August 2013, 11:38   #117
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?

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Doc,
That's an interesting tail lamp you got on your bullet, would you not mind posting some more details and a photo of it?
Its the entire back section of the smaller sibling of your bike (the FZ - cut and modified to fit) grafted on to a modified RE mono-stay with an inner plastic mudguard taken from one of the smaller Yamahas. The front is an original Honda motocross mudguard with RE rubber gaiters for the fork tubes.

Loads of firang Bulleteers (and the rental Bullet wallas) up north liked it so much that there are now many clones thundering all over the Himalayas.

Incidentally I was also the first guy who designed and fabricated a proper tuned megaphone for my LB500 - long before me-too copies started floating around all over the market.

Of course, I am an enthusiast and a rider and have no business/commercial motivation behind anything I do with my bikes. For me this is my passion.

Hope these photos help.

Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?-dsc00061.jpg

Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?-dsc00062.jpg

Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?-dsc00063.jpg

Last edited by ebonho : 2nd August 2013 at 11:39.
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Old 2nd August 2013, 12:04   #118
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Its the entire back section of the smaller sibling of your bike (the FZ - cut and modified to fit) grafted on to a modified RE mono-stay with an inner plastic mudguard taken from one of the smaller Yamahas.
Doc,
Interesting & practical upgrades you have done on your Bullet, am wondering what is stopping you from writing a proper ownership thread? Else put in your experiences and host a thread. Am sure there will be lot of things to learn atleast for me if not all.

Thanks for the photos and which are those knuckle guards you have put up?

PS: Wow man you must be ripping the wheels of your bullet to keep up pace with the Honda

Last edited by ku69rd : 2nd August 2013 at 12:05.
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Old 2nd August 2013, 12:09   #119
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?

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Doc,
Interesting & practical upgrades you have done on your Bullet, am wondering what is stopping you from writing a proper ownership thread? Else put in your experiences and host a thread. Am sure there will be lot of things to learn atleast for me if not all.

Thanks for the photos and which are those knuckle guards you have put up?

PS: Wow man you must be ripping the wheels of your bullet to keep up pace with the Honda
LOL man I have owned Doppie (my Standard 500 - Doppelganger is her full name) since early 2004, and ridden around most of the country on her. Since that time, I have most likely spent more on her than I bought her for. Changed many avatars. Where do I start man?

More like the Honda choking in the first 3-4 gears. But its good fun. I love riding with faster bikes, and wait for opportunities for mine to come into its own (usually the rough slow stuff).

Those are some nalla Japanese copy hand guards I picked up from Nana Peth for some 400 odd bucks for the pair. But they are sturdy and do protect the hands from thorns and brush while riding trails. They are just flaps - do not loop around your hand and fix to the bar ends like the others.

Last edited by ebonho : 2nd August 2013 at 12:13.
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Old 2nd August 2013, 12:12   #120
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?

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LOL man I have owned Doppie (my Standard 500 - Doppelganger is her full name) since early 2004, and ridden around most of the country on her. Where do I start man?
D
Why not start right out of its showroom days understand its tough but not impossible. Will be a good one to read through.

Yep i get that part, its the same with my RD as well. The SBK slow down in not so friendly conditions and that is where i rub it in

Always found these to be more easy to use rather than the ones that get into the handle bar. Should search for one of these

Last edited by ku69rd : 2nd August 2013 at 12:15.
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