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Old 2nd August 2013, 12:28   #121
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?

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Here is me and my buddy Tinu on our Bulls out for some fun in the rain a few weeks back around Pune.
Superb locations!
Where in Pune?
Thanks
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Old 2nd August 2013, 12:44   #122
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?

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Superb locations!
Where in Pune?
Thanks
Backwaters of Pawana heading towards INS Shivaji. Take the left turn at Kamshet off the Mumbai-Pune highway. One of the routes to eventually hit Amby Valley from the back side. Some parts of it were new for me. Tinu is a Talegaon resident so knows the area like his backyard (which it is).

We Pune guys always envy the Delhi guys and the guys up north for being so close to the mountains. Except this one time of the year. There are few places more beautiful and green and lush and wet than the ghats around Pune in the monsoons. The entire Western ghats are a biker's paradise. For trekker's and cyclists too.

Last edited by ebonho : 2nd August 2013 at 12:46.
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Old 2nd August 2013, 12:53   #123
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
.. 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.
Looks like this is Tinu's 350? His 500 that he drove to Goa last year is different color. Both of them nicely modified. Is he on forum?
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Old 2nd August 2013, 12:56   #124
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?

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Looks like this is Tinu's 350? His 500 that he drove to Goa last year is different color. Both of them nicely modified. Is he on forum?
No bro, this is Pro Dirt (his LB500). The other one, the enduro with the mono shock and extended box section swingarm and the big USD forks he's not using regularly currently.

Last edited by ebonho : 2nd August 2013 at 12:58.
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Old 1st September 2013, 15:49   #125
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?



Interesting documentary about Royal Enfield.
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Old 7th October 2013, 01:02   #126
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?

My vote goes to the TBTS 500. It suits more to anyone over 30. If I was to choose, Thunderbird would be the answer because it looks graceful, subtle yet stylish.
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Old 7th October 2013, 06:50   #127
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?

@pahwa: Thank you. I have chosen to go with the Duke 390.

BTW, is my June booking of the TBTS 500 of any use to anyone? I understand RE is very particular about not transferring the booking name.

Thanks a ton all.
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Old 7th October 2013, 08:04   #128
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?

From the initial 200-300 kms in KTM 390 here is my piece of advice(or useless).

KTM 390 will be exceptionally good for touring. It is far better than a bull when it comes to covering distance and that too comfortably.

If you riding has majorly outside the traffic zone covering good distance just go for the DUke.

The 6th gear will give you very relaxed riding at 100-120kmph. Comparable to a bull at 80kmph.

On the other hand, if you are thinking of buying a duke for daily office commute, you will have to take a look at the number of gear shits you will additionally make, the inability of the duke engine to ride at lower speeds in higher gear and the heat.

If its a bumper to bumper traffic, pick a bull. Its very very comfortable.

Duke likes open roads.

My daily commute of 26 kms involves stretches of traffic as well as open stretches.

I am definitely changing the seat or adding a cushion to the duke.

Yet my 500 suits lot better for i can ride the hell out of it at 15kmph in 4th gear
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Old 8th October 2013, 03:49   #129
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?

Am I correct in assuming your reference to "a bull at 80k mph" is speaking of a RE 350 or an older 500cc iron barrel or AVL model? If so, your probably right.

If you are including the new fuel injected 500cc Royal Enfield, the 80 kmph speed is incorrect.

On the roads that permit it, I ride my fuel injected 2011 UCE powered Bull at 100-120 kmph (62-75 mph) without a problem and have easily made a number of journeys of over 325 km (200 miles) at these sustained speeds.

Unless traffic is heavy most of my daily riding is at speeds of 75-85 kmph in town so rather than a upper limit, these speeds are business as usual for my bike.

It has accumulated over 18800 km (11700 miles) being ridden in this manner and is running better than it did when it was new.
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Old 8th October 2013, 07:24   #130
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?

@Arizonajim,

Nothing to do with top speed. As i mentioned the feeling you get riding at 80kmph on a bull is what u get at 100-120 in the duke. With right attire you can cruise so relaxed for a long distance.

Nothing to take away the capability of the 500.

Its just a comparative feeling. At 100-120kmph the bull engine is working harder and you can feel that. At 100 the KTM is just getting started and you can feel that when it moves from vibration zone to smooth zone and you are actually feeling exactly how you would feel doing a 80kmph in that bull.
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Old 24th November 2013, 23:37   #131
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?

I know its a little late in the year to be posting in this thread. However, I too had the absolute same dilemma and was planning to open my first thread on TBHP till about 30 minutes back since i stumbled upon the thread.
Thanks to a very spirited debate between Ebono and Jim, Sridhu's final decision and a few glaring points like -
1. For the average rider, RE has promises, but could be false in hindsight a couple of years later.
2. Why not go for a much more high technology, highly refined bike rather than only old world charm and a possibly sub-standard, low cost cruiser meant to satiate my actual need for 7 lacs+ unaffordable HD!

The only clink in the armor remains the fact that a lot of the usage of the Duke 390 would be for my daily 22+ kms of commuting and probably, from all the heating/non-low end torque at higher gears kind of issues, it may not be a satisfying experience. I do hope to make that up with occasional weekend runs though.

So, god and Vashi KTM guys permitting, watch out for my soon to come up review.

Its a beautiful night with Orange dreams!

Thanks to Sridhu, Ebonho, Jim, VW2010!

Ebonho, VW2010 - do comment on your experience on the overheating/low end torque part if possible!
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Old 25th November 2013, 10:59   #132
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?

@Palitrana,

Here is my feeling between my bull and 390. 390 is turning to be the perfect city bike for me. Heat is there but definitely manageable. Will have to wait for summer to see how things get worse. Have not seen the heat meter go to max or even cross the threshold yet.

For local rides i am using the bull. Bull feels so calm and serene after riding the 390 for over 2k kms in less than 45 days and all these are city rides. The KTM is yet to see the open roads for over 25 kms. Only twice it has seen a short spirited run for 20 odd kms sin the chennai bypass.

I took the bull on saturday and felt so much serenity in the city roads. But missed the KTM big time. My take is 390 is a fantastic mix bike for both city and highway. In fact i would claim and say its a great city bike where heat is the only issue for many. I ride 52kms a day or 26 one way from my home to work all through anna salai and have not once felt the bike was a hindrance.

My 500 does heat up in traffic quite high specially in summer. And the bull is not a pleasure to ride when its hot as well.

KTM390 - Turning to be my first choice for any rides over 10kms
my 500 - Has attained nirvana status delivering the most comfortable, soft, smooth ride.
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Old 25th November 2013, 13:15   #133
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?

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Ebonho, VW2010 - do comment on your experience on the overheating/low end torque part if possible!
After getting the KTM, I've started flogging my 500 less, at least in the city. I let the racers go by, and do not take their bait. I like thumping slowly in my own thoughts, and I am enjoying another aspect of my old Bull which I have never explored till now, in over 10 years of ownership. I guess we are both ageing gracefully together.

The torque figures of bikes are paper statistics. The 200 on paper has less torque than the RE 500s. Yet outclimbs the 500s effortlessly in the ghats, even the steep and more technical and tighter or more high speed ones.

The 390 is on a different planet.

P.S. I've never had overheating issues on either Duke.
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Old 30th November 2013, 11:26   #134
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?

Wanted to update this thread with people looking between T500 and KTM 390. Its been over 2300 kms in my duke and i purposely gave some rest to the 390 and took my beloved 500 for a daily ride to work. And in the mean time went, sat and drooled over the Continental GT. I am going to confuse potential buyer between a RE and the KTM as much as i can but it deserves to be jotted down here.

First things first. Check out the GT and decide between GT and 390. I think the GT priced at 2.08 OTR Chennai is a beautiful machine designed to attract, delivery and take you back to the vintage feel in a jiffy. The bike is beautifully build, has great super soft pirelles, full size brembo brakes and the small bits which is showing a little maturity from RE stable. The finish of their frame is still crappy with bad welding artifacts showing everywhere including the exhaust. The tank is such a beauty and overall i am super duper impressed with the GT. The grunt is more soft but from 2K rpm to say 5K the throttle response is superb. Test drive this before you want to decided between the ktm and RE GT.

If that gives me an impression, all i can say is KTM is specialized bike but GT can be a great touring bike, style icon as well as great snub value.

Back to comparison:-
Having not touched the bull for over 35 days the bike came to life in one kick. The seating position was way tooo comfortable and the bike was doing 100 but the feeling was far too calm and comfortable.

I still think 390 is a great city bike irrespective of how heat is an issue but the ability to continue to keep riding in 4th irrespective of what kind of traffic i face and a single shift neutral makes the 500 the best city bike. Between the two which one would i pick, i will probably continue to enjoy the KTM.

Having rode the KTM at high rpms all through its 2.5K kms, the 500 was giving me grins all the way till i reached home. You cannot complement either of them unless you have them both and enjoy them both.

The biggest difference i found was the confidence i had to sneak between bikes or cars which i am always holding back on the KTM. Knowing i just need a good space to make up that hold time, but with my bull i can feel the bike moving where i want, more importantly when i want.

But if you are not as lucky as some of us to own both, this is my final summary,

KTM - A pocket rocket that will stretch your imagination a little and a more and will make even the road side cigarette shop ride from home a great fun experience. It keeps you on the edge and the moment you find an open road you know what you can do with the right wrist.

500 - The best balance between power and comfort for any kind of riding be it in the back to back traffic or the long winding highway. The legend lives and will give you inch perfect riding feel and response if you know how to move that 200kg bike around. And the weight plays a huge part to even brake with simple drum or a single disk. Not even close to a KTM's braking power, but the confidence the bull will give you is not bad. There is no jerking because of gear changes or speed changes unlike in a KTM which requires you to modify your style of riding.

Now finally, give the GT a chance. Its the GREATEST bike that i like from the UCE engine. Just by the looks and the build quality or i should say parts provided by RE. Be it the suspension or even the quality of bar end mirrors or even the beautifully etched seat. This is one bike i fell in love immediately after the CI engines. To me personally the GT is the best bike out of RE garage.

CHeck out the brake wires, the way they way kept every wires in place, the quality of them and the overall finish that makes it way above par from the RE garage. I love the GT and who knows, i may be tempted
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Old 30th November 2013, 11:40   #135
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Default Re: Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?

VW2010 bro, keep your std 500 man. Never let her go. For you are never going to be able to get one again. GTs and KTMs will come and go. But not our living classics.

You are absolutely right. Having both makes one appreciate each for what they truly are. Without bias.

Here's my baby, Doppie, back with some of her OE tinwork and back to looking like a "normal" Bullet now. The OE tank and tool boxes are still not on, as there is a train transport coming up for a winter ride with Baby Duke 222 in the background (under the chaddars).

Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390?-dsc01916.jpg

Last edited by ebonho : 30th November 2013 at 11:44.
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