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Old 23rd August 2013, 20:21   #1
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Default Proud to be an Enfield Thunderbird 500 (Twinspark) Owner. 1st Service Done

Hello TBhp Members,

Welcome to my thread and I hope you enjoy the experiences I have shared below. am from Bombay , born and bought up here, stayed in Kalbadevi (Marine Lines) for the unknown, currently reside in Pune.

Some History
I own a Bajaj Caliber 115 (Hodibaba) from May 2003 which has and still serves me Well. I have tried to maintain the Bike as pristine as I could. This was my first vehicle which was bought after I saved on my Bonus and Salary, how I bought this is another story (dad insisted I go for HH Splendor, I did rebel and went for the Caliber). I was always attracted to the Caliber brand since my best buddy from school had bought the old Caliber during college and I was sold on it in the 1st ride itself.

I shifted to Pune in 2005 , worked at a MNC for 5 years , came back to Bombay as I was supposed to get married, settled back here. The bullet was completely forgotten in the daily life of work / salary / expenses / loans etc .

One fine day my wife's best friends boyfriend(also my friend now) meets us for giving a surprise and Lo and Behold , he is riding a New TBTS 350 , this was sometime in 2011-2012. Now this rekindles my interest and I start reading up on the forums and all places on the net about the new UCE engines and all the other cool stuff. The KEEDA to ride Leh-Ladakh comes back, my wife know this has been on my wishlist for infinity now.

I start coxing my wife (Finance Minister) to go for a ride and atleast check out how is the new bike from RE.Flashback to college days and my Best buddy then used to come on his Dad's old 4 geared Bullet. My wife then was my GF (married after 9.5 yrs of courtship) and she had many a rides behind my friend and she did not enjoy 1 bit the noise / vibrations etc of the bike, so it was a straight no from her.

The Booking Opportunity
Finally one fine day we are attending the marriage of her same friends sister and there somehow out of the blue she agrees to go for a test ride.So here we are all all 4 of us dressed for the marriage , Heavy Kurta pyjama + sarees and all and I walking into the RE showroom like a Groom looking for his Bride. Test drove the TBTS 350 , instantly sold on the new UCE engines, good refinement , stable, good power , good looks, loved the sitting position.

Consulted the Finance Minister , she was more comfortable than the college days, she agreed too , instantly paid the booking amount of Rs.5000/- and book a Silver TBTS 350. This was in Feb 2012.

Now the wait starts, get a call sometime in June that the Bird has arrived, had to pass on the opportunity due to some other commitments which has taken priority.

Hear the news that RE is launching a new TBTS model in 350/500 versions, start reading up , finally it is revealed. It does not register with me instantaneously , a design change with the foot pegs, rear seat, the backrest and finally the Tires, 19" and 18" , mind does not agree, heart says it is a looker, still confused.

The Upgrade Story
The same friends suggests we take a test ride and check, walk into the showroom, take the test ride, kind of love it, the Dealer says the last lot of the old TBTS is coming , if I want I can pick one from it or he can transfer the booking to the new one (dealer being a good acquaintance of my friend), as they say "DIMAG KI BATTI JALI" how about upgrading to the new design that too with a good amount of new Technology thrown in, rest all can fall in place later. Instantly transfer the book, now comes the CHANGE !!!!

The dealer offers a ride of the new TBTS 500 .
I think why not, just a test ride. The ride would have hardly been 1 KM long, I come a Changed Man ...

The power of this beast is amazing , very addictive and the heart does start telling the mind , go for it, go for it, go for it. I consult my Finance Minister (wife) she says " you are going to buy this once, choose what you enjoy the most" that seals the deal. the booking upgraded to TBTS 500 - Twilight Color (blue has always been my favorite)

The Delivery
Now the wait starts, finally in July 2013 I get a call saying my Bird has arrived, now I have shifted to Pune (Again) in March 2013 with a Job change, so how do we get this to Pune since it was the Monsoons.

I consult our forum and seek advice and I get responses from J.Ravi , rajneeesh, ebonho , ku69rd ,BigCat ,ArizonaJim..... hope i didn't forget anyone (apologies if I did) a BIG Thanks for all the help with my queries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy_u View Post
Hi Sir,

will be picking up my bull within the next few days .Hopefully can share my experiences on TBHP soon

Regards,
Jimmy
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy_u View Post
Hello Sir,


I will be picking the bull soon, just want to run through the last minute checklist,
I posted the below to @ Rajneesh as well for his insight

I have few checkpoints as below, please feel free to add to them .

1.check all screws / nuts etc ensure they are tight
2.check 10amp fuse in the electrical box and replacement process, have read that it can knock off in the initial run-in
3.check if all tool are available
4.check headlight adjustment
5.check front and rear brake settings
6.check fuel meter behavior
7.Check for squeaks / rattles
8.check all buttons are functioning on the Electronic meter
9.tighten Mirror screws
10.Check clutch / accelerator cables / setting

Awaiting your valuable feedback. can you share any PDI document you would have handy.

Regards,
Jimmy
Quote:
Originally Posted by ku69rd View Post
Mate,
Congratulations on your Bull, from what I have observed on the ThunderBird, there are a lot of electrical stuff that lies exposed which you might want to waterproof them with sufficient insulation tape.

And yes Retorque all those nuts and bolts of the bike which should make it last longer. All the best and do share some photos.
With answers to the above and some more exchange of posts I am ready.

I take a bus ride to Bombay in the morning on 29th July 2013, reach the RE showroom armed with the TBHP checklist. Do the initial PDI , surprised to find most of the things in place. Get the Leg Guard installed , luckily my friend is with me and he is a know entity around the workshop hence we get good treatment. I understand most of the instructions and repeat them to ensure I got it right as I will riding alone to pune.

Unfortunately there is no customary handover of the Bike,no special feeling as such from the showroom, there is one other couple taking the delivery of their Standard 350, they too are given the same treatment, so I let it be.

They did not offer me a proper number plate, just wrote the temp no with a marker pen and informed me that I had to get the plates done.

I and my friend take the bike and moved out of the showroom, I was already aware of most of the niggles and also of the suspect issues that may come up, plus I had my friend to call in case of emergencies.

Proud to be an Enfield Thunderbird 500 (Twinspark) Owner. 1st Service Done-1.jpg

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We get the number plate made and fixed.

Finally after I set the Wheels in motion I leave Bombay at 6 pm approx. way of my target of something between 3-4 pm.
Below is my post which was in Sir J.Ravi's thread after my drive to Pune.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy_u View Post
Hi Sir,

I had my TB 500 delivered on Monday, drove back to pune (188 Kms ) keeping in mind the recommendations from the earlier posts with you , rajneeesh, ebonho , ku69rd ,BigCat ,ArizonaJim..... hope i didnt forget anyone (apologies if I did) a BIG Thanks for all the help with my queries.

I will post the ownership thread soon however need some advice asap, I will be visiting the RE Dealership for some basis checks post the long drive.

1.ebonho , since you are in pune would you recommend any specific service center, I will be approaching Kunal (motocamp) as he is technically an expert and a close friend of my friend and is highly recommended.

2.the rear wheel is not rotating freely , may be the setting are a tad too tight however from many forums i understand that RE mechanics say this will go away with time, just drive the bike around

3.the headlight assembly was horribly misaligned, I had to get down in the Rain (i left Bombay around 6 pm , reached pune by 11.30 pm) practically had to twist & turn till i aligned it to the best i could for road visibility, any recommendations for fixing this.
currently the beam throw is tilted to the right so the beam is top left and bottom right

4.I see some rust on the chain, if that a matter or concern, anything suggestions

Sorry Sir I don't mean to hijack your thread, will post my experience in a new thread for now requesting suggestions.....
This was my second post after that on the ownership experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy_u View Post
hi ku69rd,

Thanks.

the headlight was angled very near the bike, example, the upper was where the dipper should be , the dipper was further lower down, could not see far away when riding the highway. hence had to adjust it. the throw of the light is tilted a little as well, which cannot be resolved as per RE service center.

Visited Kunal's workshop, he resolved few issues which i will post in the ownership thread soon, the bike after his work is running much better.He used motul for cleaning and lubing the chain

1. issue which is prevalent when shifting from 2nd to 3rd requires a lot of effort, have to force the change rather than smooth transition, am informed that this will go away with time
2.cannot find neutral when the bike is running when i stop at a signal
need to shut off the bike and neutral is found easily.

Will post the ownership thread soon.
The issues Kunal (motocamp) on this Forum identified were.
1.The handle was Stiff / Tight
2.The chain was not Lubricated enough

His men quickly had the above 2 fixed and It was a completely different ride post that.

I have clocked approx 350 Kms now in the past approx 1 month and am enjoying every bit of it.

Final pic of me with the Bird.more to follow once I have some time on my offs.

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[

Sharing the Riding Experience of the past 350 KM's which the bike has covered.

The Good
1. Good Handling for such a heavy bike
2. So far am happy with the grip from the tires
3. Good riding posture for my height - 5.5 approx., city drives are comfortable
4. The projector beam is good and a very useful addition, however the fitting and focus from the factory leave a lot to be desired
5.I have been riding Home->Office->Home daily , approx 20 kms daily, i am feeling completely at home even in bumper to bumper traffic
6.Have drive from mumbai-pune and the it was very relaxed and comfortable, very marginal stress/exhaustion experienced overall

The Bad
1. As explained by many on the Forum the rear fender is Tilted
2. The headlight throw was too short, I had to fix it myself on the highway in the middle of heavy rains,The headlamp needs to be removed and reassembled / fixed again, will get done in the 1st service
3. The Inside panels of the Toolkit on either side are partly rusted from the inside, poor Quoting Quality I would say, RE should tighten their belts on such things since we shell 2 lac's approx. and expect a quality product.
4. The chain is loose and making a tak tak sound when i ride with pillion , need that fixed by visiting the RE service center.
5.Overall Fit and Finish are better than before but leave some gaps and you do feel that RE could have done a better job at this.
6.The Front Tyre require Allen Key no.6 to open the nut for any work we need to do with the Tyre, why cannot RE standardize the places where we need the Allen key, why should we carry 2 types of keys.
RE DOES NOT give a no.6 Allen Key and we need to purchase this from the market(cost about -Rs 12).

The Ugly
1. MAJOR ISSUE
was seeing some oil drops for few days below the bike, ignored it initially thinking could be some oil from the chain , over the weekend titled the bike on the side stand and check below the bike, to MY HORROR, there was no oil in the machine, it seemed the entire oil has leaked , the leak was from somewhere behind the kick area, upon close inspection found that it could be bad packaging or the oil nut at the bottom , checked the oil level indicator, it was EMPTY.Thankfully I was not riding the bike for few days when the above happened.
Frankly I am still trying to understand how did this happen, the Guru's can comment and help if possible to decipher this mystery.

1.The Oil Leak
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2.The Oil Level
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3.Undercarriage of the Bull
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4.The Leak area
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I will be visiting Kunal's Workshop over the Weekend to have this rectified.

THE COMPARISON
My Bajaj Caliber 115 v/s TBTS 500 (I understand they are as different as chalk and cheese but here it goes)

1.There was never a single oil leak from my 10 yr old Caliber, RE failed miserably here
(we expect that there would an oil leak from somewhere in the RE)
2.The switches on the Caliber are slightly better graded than the RE is what I fee (no offence here)
3.The overall Tightness of the way the Bike is assembled , I feel RE has improved very well but there are a lot of things which can be improved


Feel free to post and write as this is the only way we as a community can exchange ideas and strengthen this amazing repository of information called Team BHP !!!! 3 Cheers !!!

Last edited by Jimmy_u : 30th August 2013 at 18:58. Reason: spelling correction
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Old 30th August 2013, 21:53   #2
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Default re: Proud to be an Enfield Thunderbird 500 (Twinspark) Owner. 1st Service Done

Thread moved from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 31st August 2013, 03:35   #3
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Default re: Proud to be an Enfield Thunderbird 500 (Twinspark) Owner. 1st Service Done

If that small puddle shown in the photo above is the extent of the oil leakage, your engine is not out of oil. The engine holds almost 1.8 liters.

The puddle on the floor looks typical of the oil that was thrown off of the chain onto the flat shelf under the drive sprocket. It usually collects there until there is enough to run down onto the bottom of the engine. It then drips onto the floor.

If you check the oil level with the bike on the sidestand, no oil will be visible in the sight window, it having moved to the left hand side of the oil sump. This can give the illusion that the engine is out of oil

If the motorcycle has rested on the sidestand even for just an instant, some of the oil will migrate into the left hand engine cover. A lot of the oil will remain in the left sidecover until the engine is started.

If the motorcycle is then up-righted and placed on the center stand, the oil level in the sight guage will not return to its correct level until the engine is re-started .

The solution is to place the bike on the centerstand, start the engine for a few seconds. Shut the engine off and wait for 30-40 seconds for the oil in the upper valve area to drain back down and then look at the sight guage.
Only then will you see the true oil level.
I need to also point out that if the floor is not level, even a small inclination will result in a erroneous oil level indication.

If you do this "center stand and start the engine for a moment" and the oil level is indeed low you can add a small amount of oil using the fill port to the right of the starter motor. Do this slowly as it often takes just a small amount to raise the oil level into the sight guage.
Also, use a oil that is made for 4 cycle motorcycles. Do not use a oil that is made for automobiles.

Last edited by ArizonaJim : 31st August 2013 at 03:41.
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Old 31st August 2013, 06:53   #4
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Default re: Proud to be an Enfield Thunderbird 500 (Twinspark) Owner. 1st Service Done

Hearty Congrats for getting a new bike. The review is neat and heartfelt and thank you very much for sharing it.

And sorry to know about that oil leakage in this new bike. Hopefully it would solved soon. All The Best and Happy Riding.
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Old 31st August 2013, 09:22   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy_u View Post
I have clocked approx 350 Kms now in the past approx 1 month and am enjoying every bit of it.
Congratulations and best wishes, Jimmy_u. I am sorry to hear about the oil leakage. I think the mechanic at the dealership did not tighten the drain plug sufficiently enough when he filled the oil during PDI. Regarding the 'Tak Tak' sound coming from the chain especially when riding with a pillion, you have to bear with it. It is due to the chain touching some pad on the swing arm/top chain guard. Enjoy your ride and explore new destinations with your Thunderbird 500.

Last edited by J.Ravi : 31st August 2013 at 09:23.
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Old 3rd September 2013, 11:18   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy_u View Post

I will be visiting Kunal's Workshop over the Weekend to have this rectified.

1st Service Update

The Bike completed 1 month at the end of August 2013.

As per the earlier post, there was an oil leak as well.

Reached Kunal's workshop in the Morning and he promptly examined the bike.
Following issues were reported by me and identified by him (consolidated list)

1.Oil leak as per Kunal was from the oil seal of the kick shaft, he explained that there are 3 oil seals for the kickshaft and the innermost was the one leaking
-> this diagnosis was correct, save me a lot of trouble and scare of the oil leak

2.The tank was touching the inner panel on the chassis
-> This was rectified

3.The Chain was making a Tak Tak noise
-> He has adjusted it and for now seems to be working great

4.The Accelerator cable was stiff
-> now resolved

5.The Headlight was too short
-> adjusted the angle and now the throw is wide, will ride and get it adjusted again as required

6.Oil Change
-> Oil was changed to Motul 5100 Semi Synthetic as per Kunal's Recommendation

7.Gear's are too hard to change
-> Gears are Butter smooth now ,except for a couple of instances which will set in with running.

Proud to be an Enfield Thunderbird 500 (Twinspark) Owner. 1st Service Done-1st-service.jpg

Total Cost - Rs.2420

Post 1st Service Impressions

"THE TBTS is REBORN" is all I can say. The ride has transformed completely.
The bike is running a LOT smoother. The work done by Kunal is excellent and does make a difference. I am falling in love again with the bike and enjoying every moment that I ride. Now planning for a small long trip that should further help the bike with the running in. Cheers !!

Last edited by Jimmy_u : 3rd September 2013 at 11:19.
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Old 3rd September 2013, 11:24   #7
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Default re: Proud to be an Enfield Thunderbird 500 (Twinspark) Owner. 1st Service Done

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArizonaJim View Post
If that small puddle shown in the photo above is the extent of the oil leakage, your engine is not out of oil. The engine holds almost 1.8 liters.
.
Hi ArizonaJim,

thanks for the advice and what you said is exactly what I tried and it did help me.
Consulted Kunal (Trusted RE Service Center Owner) and he too concurred.

With the oil check I rode the bike to the service center and you see the result in my 1st service experience posted here.

Last edited by Jimmy_u : 3rd September 2013 at 11:25.
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Old 3rd September 2013, 15:16   #8
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Default re: Proud to be an Enfield Thunderbird 500 (Twinspark) Owner. 1st Service Done

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Originally Posted by Jimmy_u View Post
With the oil check I rode the bike to the service center and you see the result in my 1st service experience posted here.
Mate,
Happy that there was nothing serious with the Oil Leak. Honestly did feel bad for a brand new bike to start leaking. But it appears that it was a minor one.
Did you guys change the clutch case gasket as well?

Also was the oil seal changed under warranty?
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Old 3rd September 2013, 15:29   #9
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Originally Posted by ku69rd View Post
Mate,
Happy that there was nothing serious with the Oil Leak. Honestly did feel bad for a brand new bike to start leaking. But it appears that it was a minor one.
Did you guys change the clutch case gasket as well?

Also was the oil seal changed under warranty?
Hello Ku69rd,

Yes, I did feel bad when the brand new bike was leaking, however I was mentally prepared for it a little since I was reading up lots of stuff on RE's for the past 1 year however did not expect it to happen so soon.

I don't think the clutch case gasket was changed, I have attached a copy of the invoice and the only thing replaced was the Oil seal.

If it was under warranty should I be changed for it ? RE manual says all consumables are changed to customer.
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Old 3rd September 2013, 17:12   #10
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If it was under warranty should I be changed for it ? RE manual says all consumables are changed to customer.
Wow Find this intriguing to say the least, what do they mean by warranty then? If a simple Oil Seal is not covered under warranty what else is covered

Probably I might be right or wrong but this is very surprising mate.
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Old 4th September 2013, 01:03   #11
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Default re: Proud to be an Enfield Thunderbird 500 (Twinspark) Owner. 1st Service Done

I agree with you ku69rd.

IMO, the 17 rupee seal and the 69 rupee right hand cover gasket should not have cost anything.
The seal was defective or the factory installation of it was and the new gasket was required only because of the defective seal.

While 86 rupees doesn't amount to much, it's the principle of the thing, if you know what I mean.
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Old 4th September 2013, 11:20   #12
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Originally Posted by ku69rd View Post

Probably I might be right or wrong but this is very surprising mate.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArizonaJim View Post
I agree with you ku69rd.

IMO, the 17 rupee seal and the 69 rupee right hand cover gasket should not have cost anything.
The seal was defective or the factory installation of it was and the new gasket was required only because of the defective seal.

While 86 rupees doesn't amount to much, it's the principle of the thing, if you know what I mean.
Hi Friends,

I agree, However this is best answered by someone from RE if they have someone on this forum. (RE are you listening)

2 issues came up post 1st service

1.Choke lever is kind of jammed / stiff, will need to visit the service center
2.The time on the Digital meter is not correct, tried to set it however does not work, this means that I will need to go in for a change of the console in a bike costing 2 lacs in just a month.

Again a humble request to RE if they are reading this, please bump up the Quality Control for your bikes.

Last edited by Jimmy_u : 4th September 2013 at 11:21.
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Old 4th September 2013, 13:33   #13
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Default Re: Proud to be an Enfield Thunderbird 500 (Twinspark) Owner. 1st Service Done

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I agree, However this is best answered by someone from RE if they have someone on this forum. (RE are you listening)
Mate,
Would strongly suggest you to send in an email to the RE office in Chennai asking for the details. For sure the Kick Starter Oil seal cannot just go bad with usage. Moreover RE would advice you not to use the kicker and indulge in the self starter.

You might want to recheck on the time adjustment bit? Probably you can give it a good shot reading the manual before reading it. Choke getting stuck is a trivial issue but nonetheless it must work.

Am not extorting you to push, but then as ArizonaJim mentioned its all about the principles\ethics.
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Old 5th September 2013, 12:50   #14
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Default Re: Proud to be an Enfield Thunderbird 500 (Twinspark) Owner. 1st Service Done

Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Ravi View Post
A few weeks back while having petrol, I observed peeling off of the coating of the inside of my Blue Bird's petrol tank. When I rubbed my finger on the surface of the petrol tank's mouth, a layer of the coating came out along with my finger.
.
Ravi Sir,

I saw the paint peel off today morning with on my Tank lid as well, any specific process you followed for this resolution.

I will post pics soon.

Regards,
Jimmy
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Old 6th September 2013, 19:31   #15
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Originally Posted by Jimmy_u View Post
any specific process you followed for this resolution.
Shoot a mail to customerservice@royalenfield.com with photographs. Immediate action was taken in my case.
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