Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP India > Motorbikes


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 25th June 2013, 11:10   #1
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 32
Thanked: 27 Times
Default RE Thunderbird TBTS 500: Ownership Report

Friends,

Good to be a part of this group, and this is my first post.

A Little History-

I owned a Yamaha Rx 135 for over 11 years and sold it 2.5 years ago, bought a Scooty, so that both my wife and I could drive. She was on her way to become independent, and not trouble me for all errands. It is a different matter that she could never drive it for more than an year.

After being immensely tired of driving Scooty for year and a half, seeing almost every vehicle pass by in a swish, i decided one fine day, to buy a new bike. Was an instinctive decision to book a bullet last year, on a very fine Sunday (20th May, 2012), booked a TB 350, paid 5k advance and returned home happily. After a month, i got it changed to Classic-500, Maroon and continued my wait. Waiting period in Bangalore is excruciatingly long, inexplicable, tiresome and painful. You would rather import a dozen trucks from abroad faster, or even planning a baby would be faster and easier !

In October they launched the new TB Series, after taking a look at that irresistible beauty, changed my mind one last time and went for TB-500, Matt Black. I was told of a waiting period of 3-4 months max, and started regularly following up from Dec 2012, time just went by, would have made a million calls to Teknik, Area manager of RE, etc. TB was never in sight. Escalated to a known person in Chennai RE, not sure if that helped, and finally was told i would get it in May 1st week.

May 6th it was, went to Indiranagar showroom got it delivered. She looked awesome, beauty personified and I was thrilled like a candy seeking 3 year old. The delivery process didn't take much time, he explained the basics, nothing much to rave about. Did my own inspection to ensure there wasn't any damage, scratches, etc. I reported the Side Stand indicator issue, it wouldn't turn off ever, and was told that they would fix it during 1st Service. Apart from that i didn't notice anything worth complaining. And yes, it was election time then at Karnataka, and the vehicle was yet to be registered, road tax was paid though and they said it would be registered in 2-3 days time, since i asked for a fancy number.

First Pic, 6th May, @Whitefield
RE Thunderbird TBTS 500: Ownership Report-tbmatttbhp.jpg

This was my first bullet, first drive, and it didn't matter that i was a bit nervous, i just wanted to drive. Myself, wife and my 1.5 year old son went straight to the nearest IOC bunk, filled 10 liters, and drove to the temple at Hoodi, performed the customary Pooja and went home. She was even more delighted with the drive, and i felt good splurging close to 2 lakhs on this machine.

I have done about 940 kms as of date, finished by 1st Service 2 weeks ago. Had few issues with rear brake making a squeaky sound at times, and side stand indicator not turning off. Both were resolved during 1st Service @ Iblur Road, Teknik Motors.

Initial Aura, Observations, Myths:-

1. Extremely comfortable to drive, smooth, sturdy, very powerful and stable. Gorgeous and show-stopper looks !
2. Rear brake is average, didn't find any noticeable difference though it was disc brake. Front performed better.
3. Awesome horn, feels like Indian Railways' !
4. Head light is very efficient, and provides very good visibility and range.
5. Clutch is a bit too tight, and makes a irritating squeaky sound after every release. I asked them to loosen a bit during Service. Still the sound is persistent. Guess it requires some grease/oiling.
6. Odo/Two Trip meters, Clock, average speed indicator, and ultra cool blue back lit (always on). No fuel efficiency indication though, you have to manually do it. Mine measured @ 25.6 kmpl.
7. Fuel indicator is not accurate, can show different readings within a span of few seconds, and if you turn on with side-stand, it will show more !!
8. Run-in - Maintained within 50 till 1st service. Though you will find trouble with shifting to 5th gear. Ideally 5th fits in for a little over 50.
9. Size doesn't matter - Am just 5'4", and 1/4th the vehicle weight at around 55 kgs. Having no trouble whatsoever, driving single, or with entire family of 4.
10. No issues shifting gears so far.
11. Kick start was a bit difficult, but you will get used to it. Required some practice though.
12. Initially, you would hear a minor metallic, weird sound from engine, i guess it is normal because now it just produces the customary, beautiful, rhythmic beat now, so new owners need not worry about it.

I still have not fitted crash guards, i know i am taking a big risk here. During first service, asked them to fit a Matt finish crash guard, and i almost had a heart-attack. I found that the front mud guard was damaged, and it was due to the crash guard whose metal was 2" thick and during braking or fitting, it touched the front mud guard and damaged it. I showed the same to show room owner, and he has assured that he will replace it, after getting the parts from Chennai. I need to follow up.

So for now, am driving without a crash guard. The normal silver colored diamond crash guard metal is 1.5" thick, and i will get that fitted shortly.

I guess i was getting a good mileage, of close to 30kmpl before first service, but now it was dropped to 25.6kmpl, though maintaining similar driving habits. I have tanked it yesterday and will monitor and report it in future postings. I checked the air pressure yesterday, wanted to set to 22/32 as per RE manual, and guess what the current readings were ?

Front - 51
Rear - 47

All motorcyclists who were queued up were shocked and equally disgust, as their wait time also increased, one person started remarking about it to a nearby motorcyclist and had a hefty laugh about it. i wondered who set it so high ! Now i have set as per RE manual, but the drive quality seems a bit compromised, the front wheel feels so heavy and plonked to the ground. Would appreciate if others can share their experience with this setting, or if i need to increase it to 26 psi ?

I guess i have pretty much covered most part i wanted to, the sheer feel, the thump and drive is awesome and am extremely happy to be owning one. Please let me know if you want me to share more information, pictures, etc.

Going to Coimbatore for a function in couple of weeks, of course in my Bullet, will report after my trip. So long and thanks for your time.

Vinodh
vrajaram is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 25th June 2013, 14:41   #2
Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: bangalore
Posts: 15
Thanked: 3 Times
Default Re: RE Thunderbird TBTS 500: Ownership Report

congrats vrajaram, great ride you have got there. Just out of curiosity, hows the matte finish holding up. From other posts, there were certain reservations on the paint quality. Hope you don't mind me asking this :-)
rock* is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th June 2013, 17:26   #3
BHPian
 
rulerofsun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Thane
Posts: 130
Thanked: 86 Times
Default Re: RE Thunderbird TBTS 500: Ownership Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by vrajaram View Post
I still have not fitted crash guards, i know i am taking a big risk here.
So for now, am driving without a crash guard.
Not much risk. I have had Two bullets ( first one for 7 years and the other one after that for 5 years and none of them had crash guards. ( Do you see international bikes with crash gaurds?)

This article should help you in deciding : http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motorb...on-thread.html (The Crash Guards Discussion Thread)

Ride Safe.

Regards
RoS
rulerofsun is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 25th June 2013, 19:03   #4
BHPian
 
sam_b's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 78
Thanked: 32 Times
Default Re: RE Thunderbird TBTS 500: Ownership Report

Congratulations Vinodh, on the beauty. The machine is indeed a looker..

Btw, the metallic sound you are hear initially is the auto-decomp - a component of the EFI of this machine.

As for tyre pressure - stick to 24/30 (Single) or 28/32 (with pillion) to avoid any uncomfortable situations or skidding. Wish you a happy and safe riding on the beauty.
sam_b is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 25th June 2013, 21:02   #5
BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: chennai
Posts: 115
Thanked: 4 Times
Default Re: RE Thunderbird TBTS 500: Ownership Report

9. Size doesn't matter - Am just 5'4", and 1/4th the vehicle weight at around 55 kgs. Having no trouble whatsoever, driving single, or with entire family of 4.

Congratulations on your new ride!!!

I am delighted to see this comment, I am 5'5" and 62 Kgs and I have booked a TB350 three months back and this statement gives me a comfort feeling.

Have a safe ride and enjoy your ride and keep posting your experinece
aravinrd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th June 2013, 23:15   #6
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 32
Thanked: 27 Times
Default Re: RE Thunderbird TBTS 500: Ownership Report

Quote:
Just out of curiosity, hows the matte finish holding up. From other posts, there were certain reservations on the paint quality. Hope you don't mind me asking this :-)
Rock - Why would I? In fact i missed out posting on the paint part, so thanks for reminding. I went for this color knowing very well it is tougher to maintain and RE says "no warranty on matt stone". Am no paint expert, but the finish is decent, gives a rustic look and holding up so far (perhaps too early to judge !). I guess RE-DS variant has a matt finish as well. Am going to enjoy while it lasts, and not worry too much. I found this color too attractive to bother.

Quote:
As for tyre pressure - stick to 24/30 (Single) or 28/32 (with pillion) to avoid any uncomfortable situations or skidding. Wish you a happy and safe riding on the beauty.
Samb - Thanks, i will try this out tomorrow and update. The metallic sound i was alluding to is different than the one you explained about. Perhaps i didn't explain clearly. The sound was pretty much there till near 1st service, to me it felt as if the engine was smoothing out (sic).

Quote:
Not much risk. I have had Two bullets ( first one for 7 years and the other one after that for 5 years and none of them had crash guards. ( Do you see international bikes with crash gaurds?)
RoS - Everyone scared me to wits regarding crash guard, for the first time, am hearing alternate views and interesting discussions on this. Thanks for the SoS.

Aravinrd - Go for it, its just about heart !!

Few more points:-

1. I feel a sort of 'current' passing through whilst applying front brake? Am told by technician that it is normal in a disc brake. Can someone confirm ?

2. Vehicle comes with saree guard by default.

3. The dials are a bit awkwardly fitted "mostly in the air, held by the sides", in the sense that it will make a noise whenever you go over a speed breaker or a pothole. There is a small cushion below the dial, but it doesn't really seem to help.
vrajaram is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th June 2013, 23:44   #7
BHPian
 
rki2007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 664
Thanked: 138 Times
Default Re: RE Thunderbird TBTS 500: Ownership Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by aravinrd View Post
9. Size doesn't matter - Am just 5'4", and 1/4th the vehicle weight at around 55 kgs. Having no trouble whatsoever, driving single, or with entire family of 4.

Congratulations on your new ride!!!

I am delighted to see this comment, I am 5'5" and 62 Kgs and I have booked a TB350 three months back and this statement gives me a comfort feeling.

Have a safe ride and enjoy your ride and keep posting your experinece
Don't worry for your physical look. As someone said in one of the thread that "I am gonna ride the bike and not carry it". The weight of the bike doesn't make any big difference.
rki2007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th June 2013, 00:05   #8
Awaiting Email Confirmation
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: ............
Posts: 3,260
Thanked: 4,212 Times
Default Re: RE Thunderbird TBTS 500: Ownership Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by vrajaram View Post
May 6th it was, went to Indiranagar showroom got it delivered.
Congratulations and best wishes, vrajaram. I wish you many thousands of km of happy riding on your Thunderbird 500. The fuel efficiency will definitely increase after the first servicing and running in.
J.Ravi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th June 2013, 11:36   #9
BHPian
 
hifisharu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 257
Thanked: 601 Times
Default Re: RE Thunderbird TBTS 500: Ownership Report

First of all, congratulations on acquiring the beauty, she does look splendid in that matte black. Here's wishing you many happy kilometers on her.

Coming to the second point, I have a serious issue with you mentioning about ferrying your family of 4 on it. I implore you please not to continue with this practice, as it is very unsafe, especially in traffic infested Bangalore. It is definitely wrong, ethically, morally and legally. Being a team-bhp member, one has to live by the "I drive safe" motto. Please care for the life of your family
hifisharu is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 26th June 2013, 14:14   #10
BHPian
 
sam_b's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 78
Thanked: 32 Times
Default Re: RE Thunderbird TBTS 500: Ownership Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by vrajaram View Post
Samb - Thanks, i will try this out tomorrow and update. The metallic sound i was alluding to is different than the one you explained about. Perhaps i didn't explain clearly. The sound was pretty much there till near 1st service, to me it felt as if the engine was smoothing out (sic).
Oh Ok. My misunderstanding. Anyways, since it is gone, keep riding or should i say keep thumping on the beast. Keep us updated on your ride

Quote:
Originally Posted by hifisharu View Post
Coming to the second point, I have a serious issue with you mentioning about ferrying your family of 4 on it. I implore you please not to continue with this practice, as it is very unsafe, especially in traffic infested Bangalore. It is definitely wrong, ethically, morally and legally. Being a team-bhp member, one has to live by the "I drive safe" motto. Please care for the life of your family
I concur, no offense meant, but request to all on this forum to please avoid riding triple or more on a two wheeler. Thanks!
sam_b is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd October 2013, 12:52   #11
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 32
Thanked: 27 Times
Default Re: RE Thunderbird TBTS 500: Ownership Report

Sorry friends, been away for long now. Yet to provide full report on the long drive to and fro Coimbatore in June, after my first service. Composing it, will send this week, with pictures.

Right now, i have a quick query with respect to tank capacity/reserve. TB-500 has 20 liters tank capacity, and it had clocked 398 kms on my trip meter, but stopped on me this morning en route to office. Saw the tank, it looked empty !

I get a mileage of around 25-26 inside city, and hence positioned myself to refuel only around 430-440, considering i can make max around 500 kms after full tank.

Had to push the beast few hundred meters and tanked it full. Surprise, it held exactly 15.75 liters, reflecting the normal mileage i have been getting. Am now not sure if 4 odd liters is held captive or hidden somewhere and cannot be used ? Or is something else wrong. After refilling, everything is fine, but this is really confusing. Any inputs on this will be appreciated.

Vinodh
vrajaram is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd October 2013, 00:48   #12
Senior - BHPian
 
ArizonaJim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Phoenix, Ariz.
Posts: 1,019
Thanked: 1,994 Times
Default Re: RE Thunderbird TBTS 500: Ownership Report

Don't believe everything you read.

I'm sure nothing is wrong except perhaps the claimed number of the fuel tanks capacity in written material.

I don't recall if your motorcycle is fuel injected or carburated but if it is fuel injected, it is very important that the fuel level never approaches less than one or two liters.

The fuel pump, a rather expensive piece of hardware, uses the fuel in the tank to cool itself. If the fuel level gets too low the pump may overheat.

Although this is not a safety problem, the life of the pump can be greatly reduced by overheating.

This also applies to everyone who is driving a fuel injected automobile. Like the Royal Enfield, their fuel pumps are also in the fuel tank and also rely on the fuel to cool themselves.

Last edited by ArizonaJim : 23rd October 2013 at 00:50.
ArizonaJim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd October 2013, 01:39   #13
BHPian
 
Majumdarda's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Pune
Posts: 720
Thanked: 411 Times
Default Re: RE Thunderbird TBTS 500: Ownership Report

My heartiest congratulations to you Vinod for two things

> First for becoming a member of this forum.
> Secondly, for owning the Thunderbird (by the way, have you thought any names for her)

Ownig a bullet was my long time dream and therefore I can feel the anxiety and extra consciusness associated with your bull.

Be rest assured, whatever be the issues, please feel free to discuss the same over here and seniors will definitely be helping you with. I have received the same help and suport with regards to the Amun-Ra [Std bullet 500]

Lastly, please post some pictures from various angles. Just one picture does not do justice to your Bull.

Drive safe and enjoy kilometres of happy thumping.

Best regards,

Last edited by Majumdarda : 23rd October 2013 at 01:40. Reason: adjusting the spacing.
Majumdarda is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd October 2013, 11:18   #14
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 32
Thanked: 27 Times
Default Re: RE Thunderbird TBTS 500: Ownership Report

ArizonaJim - The manual says " Fuel Supply - Kiehin Electronic Fuel Injection", "Fuel Capacity - 20 Ltrs". Honestly, am searching for answers on the reported anomalous behavior. I called the Service Center last evening, and he wasn't sure either.

Now the question is whether tank capacity itself is just ~16 liters, or if ECU detected something amiss, stopped injecting fuel into the engine. Also, guess we need to study the tank structure and partitions. Am dead sure tank was empty, when it stopped, refilled and it was up and running fine.

Let me also find if i can reach out to someone in Chennai factory to figure out. Can't believe they will advertize as 20 liters and it turns out less, we need to find an answer to this.

Majumdara - I apologize, as i said i made a wonderful 1 day trip to CBE few months ago, and have few pictures taken, along the way. Will post full details about it shortly. As such am yet to name her, never thought i needed to. Will start working on it. I completely agree, this forum is brilliant, am happy to be part of it.
vrajaram is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd October 2013, 17:24   #15
BHPian
 
Jimmy_u's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Bombay / Pune
Posts: 249
Thanked: 78 Times
Default Re: RE Thunderbird TBTS 500: Ownership Report

Hi vrajaram,

Congrats on this acquisition and welcome to the club.

the points you mentioned above are all genuine concerns that any newbie would have including me, I too have asked similar question on other threads and the help received was fantastic.

here are few pointer for you
1.fuel efficiency will hover around 25-27kmpl, mine holds steady at 25 in the city
2.tyre pressure - i keep 22/32 as recommended will try other options mentioned above
3.the rear break will set in sometime, get adjustments done to suite your riding style
4. trip meters "dance" a bit , no worries for me till now.

best wishes for many happy miles ahead !! cheers !
Jimmy_u is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
RE Thunderbird TBTS - Rear wheel issue (noise, wobbling) datvichrox2 Motorbikes 20 16th May 2017 00:20
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 Twinspark Ownership Report rajneeesh Motorbikes 108 5th April 2016 20:26
Bullet Thunderbird TBTS 500 versus KTM Duke 390? sridhu Motorbikes 174 29th November 2015 17:53
Thumping all the way - My Thunderbird 500 Ownership Report sam_b Motorbikes 37 25th July 2013 10:13
Booked the Royal Beast - TBTS ( Ownership report ) harishnayak Motorbikes 43 20th December 2011 21:21


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 19:28.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks