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Old 17th June 2014, 22:08   #16
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Default re: 2014 Enfield Thunderbird - My entry into the Motorcycle world ("4700 kms Update)

Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay4587 View Post
How much did you pay for the bars?
They seem to be 6K each on Car Led India
Also;the RE 500 EFI is tuned to perform best on stock exhaust.
Stick to stock and you will enjoy it for sure.
Offroad exhaust and Free flow cause issues related to drop in top end and back fire.
Actually, I meant I haven't faced any problems with the wild boar so far, no backfiring or top end issues.

Sam
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Old 17th June 2014, 22:23   #17
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Default re: 2014 Enfield Thunderbird - My entry into the Motorcycle world ("4700 kms Update)

Bhai, What a write up!! To complement this fantastic narration there are some great pics of the bike and your trip. Having seen it in real I can vouch for the immaculate way the bike has been kept by you.

Fantastic!
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Old 18th June 2014, 15:53   #18
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Default Re: 2014 Enfield Thunderbird - My entry into the Motorcycle world. EDIT: 4700 kms upd

Congratulations on the TB-500 and thanks for the lovely ownership thread. Do keep us updated on the story.
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Old 19th June 2014, 21:44   #19
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Default Re: 2014 Enfield Thunderbird - My entry into the Motorcycle world. EDIT: 4700 kms upd

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Originally Posted by ad3952n View Post
Bhai, What a write up!! To complement this fantastic narration there are some great pics of the bike and your trip. Having seen it in real I can vouch for the immaculate way the bike has been kept by you.

Fantastic!
You are much to kind The AD Registered Waala :P

Quote:
Originally Posted by sam_b View Post
Congratulations on the TB-500 and thanks for the lovely ownership thread. Do keep us updated on the story.
Thank you sam_b. Will definitely keep this thread updated.

-------------------

From my Rishikesh ride, I wanted to write a bit about hilly terrain riding. These are just my observations, and as I get more experience, they may change.

A bit of background.. I've done basic Himalayan routes like Chandigarh - Kasauli, Chandigarh - Naldehra and the likes, and Rishikesh as well (just last year). Hill driving has been a lot of fun, and definitely each drive has been a learning experience.

Hill Riding on the other hand, this trip was my first experience. I know it's not the tough as such, but I want to just talk about the cambered roads, and a bike. It feel much different than when you're on a car. The car has 4 points of contact, while the bike has two - and the effect of this gets exaggerated. I had to consciously keep low speeds initially, just to get a hang of the feeling. Eventually it was a piece of cake.

On the last section of 5 or 6 kms towards our camp site, the ride had lots of gravel with twisty section. This is where I could literally feel the rear beginning to give up.. Just a hint of that. This happened on the return journey as well, but I was much more confident.
These tires have been good to me as such, no punctures as yet.
But they absolutely do not work well on gravel, and respond really badly to braking. I could use some softer compound tires, which are also reliable in soft off road conditions.
Are these puncture preventing gels/fluids recommended? Slime/Tire Protector and what not.. These being tube type tires will deflate almost immediately after getting punctured, I presume.

If anyone can help me with this info, that'd be great.

On another note, does the Harley Street 750 use the same tires? Thread pattern looks similar.
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Old 20th June 2014, 22:36   #20
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Default Re: 2014 Enfield Thunderbird - My entry into the Motorcycle world. EDIT: 4700 kms upd

Buying Decision

It's rather unorthodox for this part to come in at this stage in an ownership review, but please beat with me.

I started this review as a story, the first chapter of which I had named The Story Unfolds. Well now that you dear readers have seen the functional modifications/additions so far carried out, my priorities may seem more clear.
  1. This is predominently a touring bike
  2. The double barrel projector + halogen stock head lamps have excellent throw. the only other bike which comes close to such powerful lamps in this price bracket is probably the Pulsar 220
  3. Display consisting of speedo, tacho, odo, 2 trip meters, and various other helpful info in the MID was a boon
  4. The riding posture is very relaxed, good for a new bike-tourer like me
  5. Rear seat removable with a pull of a string, and ready with a flat surface to keep touring bags if one wants
  6. LED tail lamps, LED corona ring in the headlamp cluster - they improve the looks, and they have great fucntional value too - they won't fuse that easily and would be reliable
  7. Hazard lamps - granted that the switch to turn them on/off is far from great - but they're still good for those time when you'd need traffic around you to not miss you due to low visiblity conditions (fog/rain etc) and those are aplenty up north
  8. Front and read disc brake setup - both by BYBRE - literally meaning by Brembo - I know it's nothin new, but it's defintiely a plus. And it's one of the marketing points for the Continental GT too :P
  9. Handles better than the previous gen Thunderbird TBTS - and I have good basis of saying this as I've had a lot of opportunities to ride previous gen TB on highways, and some hilly terrain too.
  10. Manufactured at the new RE plant - so lesser possibilities of any manufacturing defects
  11. Well designed panels all around - much better than the Classic / Electra / Bullet variety

The above points were valid for the stock bike. Now I was quite clear about my modifications list as well - it was focused mostly on functional aspects - for eg the LED aux lamps, the extra indicators on the pannier boxes, extra brake lamps etc, the pannier boxes themselves.. I felt the TB500 to be a good base to start with for a touring focused bike.
And luckily it's quite nice to ride on the city too. Does not feel heavy, as long as I'm wearing the right footwear.

What? Footwear? Why does that matter?

Well if I wear shoes with a tough sole (trekking variety), they offer good grip over the road when stopped or moving slowly. Definitely help with the confidence. In comparison, slipper and soft sole shoes slip quite easily. It is a 180 kg beast after all.

In terms of riding, I definitely feel better having the meaty low end torque of this engine, that also stretches to the mid range engine speeds. It's definitely easy to ride on the highways - with gear changes not required that regularly.

Braking is quite nice and confidence inspiring with the discs for my riding style (usually relaxed).

Cheers,
Sam
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Old 21st June 2014, 08:24   #21
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Default Re: 2014 Enfield Thunderbird - My entry into the Motorcycle world ("4700 kms Update)

Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay4587 View Post
How much did you pay for the bars?
Quote:
Originally Posted by rakesh_r View Post
...LED's and from where did you pick them up from?
Here are some images showing effectiveness of the LED bars.

No lights
2014 Enfield Thunderbird - My entry into the Motorcycle world. EDIT: 9000 kms update-1img_20140619_205339743.jpg


Low Beam Only
2014 Enfield Thunderbird - My entry into the Motorcycle world. EDIT: 9000 kms update-1img_20140619_205349616.jpg


High Beam Only
2014 Enfield Thunderbird - My entry into the Motorcycle world. EDIT: 9000 kms update-1img_20140619_205356946.jpg


Low beam + High beam
2014 Enfield Thunderbird - My entry into the Motorcycle world. EDIT: 9000 kms update-1img_20140619_205408938.jpg


LED bar only
2014 Enfield Thunderbird - My entry into the Motorcycle world. EDIT: 9000 kms update-1img_20140619_205422110.jpg


LED bar + Low beam
2014 Enfield Thunderbird - My entry into the Motorcycle world. EDIT: 9000 kms update-1img_20140619_205511397.jpg


And here's the link to the video: https://plus.google.com/u/1/photos/1...52975137791939

Last edited by samarth.bhatia : 21st June 2014 at 08:25.
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Old 21st June 2014, 11:00   #22
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Nice throw.From where did you purchase the leds?
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Old 24th June 2014, 00:20   #23
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Default Re: 2014 Enfield Thunderbird - My entry into the Motorcycle world. EDIT: 4700 kms upd

Based on these photos, it seems like the LED lights are lighting up even the tree and the elec. pole all the way to the top!

Did you feel that the LED's should have been installed further down to avoid hurting the oncoming traffic?

Oh, one more question: Did you need some relay or fuses to protect the wiring while installing these LEDS?

Last edited by john doe : 24th June 2014 at 00:26.
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Old 24th June 2014, 19:09   #24
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Default Re: 2014 Enfield Thunderbird - My entry into the Motorcycle world. EDIT: 4700 kms upd

Quote:
Originally Posted by rakesh_r View Post
Nice throw.From where did you purchase the leds?
Please check your inbox.

Quote:
Originally Posted by john doe View Post
Did you feel that the LED's should have been installed further down to avoid hurting the oncoming traffic?

..some relay or fuses to protect the wiring while installing these LEDS?
Hi JD,

I understand what you mean about the light throw being a little bit upwards.
I've actually adjusted them to the lowest possible setting, and only a tiny fraction is getting dispersed in the upper direction. You can compare it with the image of Stock High Beam Headlamp level - you'll find that LED lights are not lighting as much of the higher patch.

Since the lamp is using only 40W of power, I have not installed a relay as these are powered from the stock ignition connection, and that can take a load of 100W easily.
I have put a fuse though, currently at 10Amps. I'm not very sure if that's the correct one to use. Any suggestions?

Sam

Last edited by samarth.bhatia : 24th June 2014 at 19:11.
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Old 2nd July 2014, 18:05   #25
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Default Re: 2014 Enfield Thunderbird - My entry into the Motorcycle world. EDIT: 4700 kms upd

Hello Samarth very well written review
As you mentioned I also follow Ravi sir's thread which has made me book TB500 lightning colour
Awaiting the delivery of the Lightning McQueen
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Old 2nd July 2014, 19:44   #26
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Default Re: 2014 Enfield Thunderbird - My entry into the Motorcycle world. EDIT: 4700 kms upd

Just let me know brother where did you pick up those pair of pannier boxes? I need them for my TB.
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Old 7th July 2014, 18:18   #27
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Default Re: 2014 Enfield Thunderbird - My entry into the Motorcycle world. EDIT: 4700 kms upd

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Originally Posted by anilkumar View Post
Hello Samarth very well written review
As you mentioned I also follow Ravi sir's thread which has made me book TB500 lightning colour
Awaiting the delivery of the Lightning McQueen
Hi Anil,
Wish you all the best with your ownership of your TB.. It will give you loads of happiness.

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Just let me know brother where did you pick up those pair of pannier boxes? I need them for my TB.
Hi Sasen,
I picked up the boxes from Karol Bagh (Naiwala Gali). They were ordinary "Gripex" brand, with decent locks and a nice sturdy frame.
They cost me about Rs. 1,000 including installation (which took some time).
I then got some custom glossy black vinyl wraps on the bottom, and some white radium RE logo, and Trip logos put up. This increased the cost by some Rs. 400, but went a long way in reducing the ghastly look of the dirty matt black plastic of the boxes..

One thing, these panniers are probably one of the most practical decisions I took - I was going to go in for art leather bags before, but these have better space, a more weather resistant nature, lockable space and all in all quite durable.

Hope this helps

Cheers!
Sam

--

P.S. As I write this, my TB500 is in for its Third free service (at about 6,200 kms) after my recent weekend trips to Lansdowne & to Neemrana (Group Ride by RE Saket Showroom).
The Service is again being carried out by KayTee Automobiles Mahipalpur, who were primarily responsible for the blocked fuel injectors that caused me major headaches days before my Rishikesh outing.. Let's hope they do a better job this time. Will update on that later today.

Last edited by samarth.bhatia : 7th July 2014 at 18:21.
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Old 17th July 2014, 00:03   #28
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Default Re: 2014 Enfield Thunderbird - My entry into the Motorcycle world. EDIT: 4700 kms upd

Third Service Update @ 6,200kms

The bike was taken to Kay Tee Mahipalpur for the third service. It's important to know here that this ASC is about 17 kms away from my home. Yet I sent it there expecting good work.

Mostly it was a routine service, but here's a list of issues:
  1. The engine oil seemed of a darker shade than I expected, even after the oil change
  2. There was some electrical fault that was making the systems die, there was also some weird clicking noise coming from near the ECU unit on using the electric start

So as has become the norm, the bike was taken to ASC South Delhi motorcycles for a check up 3 days back (and a few days after the regular service). The electrical fault was discovered to be a loose battery terminal.
Was sorted out soon enough, and I left. On my way, I felt the bike loose power, the same feeling I had gotten when the fuel injectors were dirty.

Took the bike next day again to South Delhi. After the bike had spent another full day there, I was informed that fuel pump was faulty. Would need another couple of days to change it.
I had to request them to do something faster.
So on third day (today), they somehow arranged the pump and replaced it. I had requested them to charge the battery in the meantime, so that there's no problems.

Got the bike back around 8:30 pm, only to discover the low voltage indicator still being displayed on MID - even after they confirmed the battery was put on charge.
This has really pissed me off.

And they just changed the air filter (remember this is just a couple of days after the 3rd free service, then the filter was cleaned and put back).
What riding had I done that the air filter deserved to be changed? And no one bothered to explain why. Didn't even show me the old piece.

On one hand I can see that RE Corporate is pulling up its socks with QC, and is training there regional managers on the importance of good support, but all in all, I am getting a little bit disheartened.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying its a bad product.
But it is a nearly 2 lac rupee bike.

Don't I deserve better?
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Old 17th July 2014, 03:58   #29
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Default Re: 2014 Enfield Thunderbird - My entry into the Motorcycle world. EDIT: 4700 kms upd

When engine oil is changed there is always some of the old dirty oil that cannot be drained.
If the old oil was badly discolored it will make new oil look darker as it is mixed into it.

Located under the seat near the ECU is a large solenoid (relay) with two heavy guage wires and several smaller size wires connected to it. This supplies the electrical power to the starter motor when the "start" switch is pushed.
Because it carries a large amount of electrical power it is quite large and when it is activated by the "start" button it makes a audible "CLICK" as it switches on.

I'm surprised your fuel pump was faulty. I have heard of several cases of the wiring harness not being fully connected, and a case of the fuel pump relay not being plugged in but I think yours is the first case I've heard of an actual failure.
Oh! And there have been several cases of someone accidentally bumping the plastic fuel pump outlet with a wrench and breaking if off. Unfortunately, this is easy to do and there is no repair for a broken outlet other than replacing the entire pump which is very expensive.

They may have changed the air filter on the off chance that it was contributing to the lack of power. It probably wasn't the problem but at least you know that is not going to be a problem for a long time.
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Old 17th July 2014, 09:54   #30
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Default Re: 2014 Enfield Thunderbird - My entry into the Motorcycle world. EDIT: 4700 kms upd

Quote:
Originally Posted by samarth.bhatia View Post
Got the bike back around 8:30 pm, only to discover the low voltage indicator still being displayed on MID - even after they confirmed the battery was put on charge.
Hey Sam, I read through your ordeal and really sorry to hear the issues. The bike is good but you got it to probably wrong people. I think you know people at RE like their Tech Head you mentioned in your opening posts. Why don't you reach them and get this service station guys straight? To me it seems more of a mess up by ASC folks than anything else. If you had noted the battery serial number prior to service, just match it with current one. RE ASCs are known to swap batteries sometimes unintentionally

Another possibility that comes to my inexperienced mind is - due to the additional lights, is it causing any strains on the battery? I mean those LEDS, Chargers etc. Are they fitted with proper fuses, optional switches that would help cut them off when you don't want them? Can you throw some light on how they are connected and wired?

Rest assured, things will be sorted out positively for you. And you are going to have many more happy (s)miles on your bike
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