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Old 21st September 2015, 15:49   #76
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Default Re: My foray into the biking world - Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500. EDIT: Charger DIY too

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Originally Posted by a4anurag View Post
Can you just post a couple of pictures of the headlight? I want to see the low beam and high beam setup. Did you ever feel the need for an upgrade of headlights?
Hey Anurag. Apologies for such a delayed response

I will answer one part of the question - yes, I feel the headlights on the single carriageway is not good for a night ride. If you are going around 50 Kmph, it's good. But with increasing speeds, it's short of what one would like to see. But since I don't do anymore night rides, I did not think of upgrading. In fact, since I bought the XUV three months ago, my thumper has run for less than 100 Kms.

Sometimes this week, I will take the pictures of light throws in night time and post for reference.
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Old 3rd January 2016, 07:20   #77
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Default Re: My foray into the biking world - Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500. EDIT: Charger DIY too

Update after many months -

It has been around 5 months since I moved the Thunderbird from it's parking place

After this long duration, when I went to see if the bike is ok, I found the battery to be completely drained and out of order. The recharging did not work too. So finally reached the battery shop in neighbourhood and bought a new Exide bike battery for Thunderbird. Paid Rs 2500 after exchange of old one. The good part is the replacement was done right inside the parking lot.

The odometer stands at 5000 Kms exactly!

The paid service appointment at RE Service Station in BTM is booked for Wednesday to ensure the oil is changed and carefully all the things inspected/ ensured to be in tip top shape.

The thumper when I took for a round after installing battery made some weird hissing sound for first couple of KMs but thereafter back to normal. Funny part is - When the battery was down, the odometer and RPM needles were pointing at the centre, speed of 90-100 Kms when stationary

Once the servicing is done, I should be taking it out more frequently than before now.
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Old 3rd January 2016, 20:01   #78
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Finally got to run the bike during evening time today in pitch dark road. Here are few pictures of light throw as requested by Anurag -

Low beam - throw is around 25-30 ft only.

My foray into the biking world - Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500. EDIT: Charger DIY too-imageuploadedbyteambhp1451831378.566703.jpg

High beam - throw increases by another 5-7 fts and spread increases too -

My foray into the biking world - Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500. EDIT: Charger DIY too-imageuploadedbyteambhp1451831442.984312.jpg

If you ask me about utility of this light - it is so so if you are not excessing 50-60 kmph on any roads. But for every additional Kmph speed you will crave for more light. No wonder many bikers use additional LEDs!
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Old 3rd January 2016, 20:16   #79
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Default Re: My foray into the biking world - Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500. EDIT: Charger DIY too

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Originally Posted by abirnale View Post
Finally got to run the bike during evening time today in pitch dark road. Here are few pictures of light throw as requested by Anurag. If you ask me about utility of this light - it is so so if you are not excessing 50-60 kmph on any roads. But for every additional Kmph speed you will crave for more light. No wonder many bikers use additional LEDs!
Thank you buddy for posting the pictures.

I am actually sad looking at the lighting on this wonderful bike as there is more of unlit area that the lit one.

How would an upgrade be? That is from a 55W setup to 80W?

I am not comfortable adding extra lights and tinkering with OEM wiring so what could be the solution to lighting in the stock harness and setup?

Don't tell me drive below 40 kmph!!
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Old 4th January 2016, 06:05   #80
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Default Re: My foray into the biking world - Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500. EDIT: Charger DIY too

First, I must state I don't own a Thunderbird nor do I have access to one here in the United States.

That said, I have never heard of a motorcycle headlight that could not be adjusted to point higher or lower.

There must be some way of loosening the fasteners that hold the headlight shell to the front fork and if this is done, the headlight should be capable of being adjusted so that the beam of light points higher or lower.

Obviously, the headlight in the photos above is pointed down which greatly limits the distance the beam will illuminate.

Often the fasteners that hold a shell type headlight in its up and down position are on the outside of both sides of the shell where they can be loosened or tightened easily.

Headlights of this design only need the fasteners loosened a bit, the engine started with the light on and then the headlight moved to point higher or lower as needed.
Once done, retightening the nuts finishes the job.

On some motorcycles, the headlight must be removed to allow access to the nuts on each side inside the shell.
Lights of this design are more difficult to adjust because without the light bulb being installed it is difficult to know where it is actually pointing.

To adjust this type of light with the internal fasteners one must remove the bulb, loosen the two nuts just enough to allow the headlight shell to move upward or downward when a small amount of pressure is applied to it.
Then, the bulb must be reinstalled.
With the light installed, start the engine and move the headlight up/down to point it in the right place.
Once this is done, shut the engine off, remove the bulb and without moving the headlight shell, retighten the nuts.
Reinstall the headlight and it's done.

As for where the headlight should be pointing, IMO on Low beam the center of the beam of light should hit the road about 30 to 35 meters ahead of the motorcycle when the rider is sitting on the seat. In this position, the high beam will shine considerably further down the road and there is a chance of blinding oncoming traffic if it is used at night.

Dipping the headlight to low beam when a vehicle is approaching has benefits for both the driver of the oncoming vehicle and for you.
With your light on low beam, he can see where he is going and he is unlikely to hit you head on.

For those of you who own a Royal Enfield with the traditional, non adjustable Casquette, things are more difficult.

Because of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) my RE came with a 5 3/4 inch adjustable sealed beam headlight (along with a headlight rim to match it and allow adjustment). IMO, it looked very bad. Not at all like a traditional older motorcycle should so I changed the headlight to a old fashioned 7 inch Lucas with a removable bulb.

The new replacement headlight pointed down so much, the center of the beam hit the road about 5 meters in front of the motorcycle. Obviously, pretty useless for riding at speeds over 30 kmph.

As the replacement headlight rim held the light and it was essentially non-adjustable some more serious work was needed.

It was obvious the lower area of the light would need to move outward from the casquette or the upper area needed to move inward.

As the upper area already had the headlight rim firmly against the chrome ring on the front of the casquette, nothing could be done there.

The lower area of the headlight rim could move outward (forward) though if the two screw holes were slotted.
With this in mind, I removed all of the steel material between the 2 holes and the rear of the headlight ring. (Put another way, I slotted the rim at the lower 2 holes so it could be moved forward and still allow the two screws to tighthen down on it.)

After slotting the lower two holes I could move the lower area of the rim forward so that the light beam would shine higher.

After getting the beam aimed about as high as I could while maintaining some material on each side of the two lower screws, I installed a small washer on each screw and tightened it down.

It still is not pointed as far ahead of the motorcycle as I would like but at least I can ride safely at speeds of 65-75 kmph at night with the headlight on low beam.
Speeds of 100 kmph are safe with the headlight on high beam.

Last edited by ArizonaJim : 4th January 2016 at 06:10.
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Old 6th January 2016, 09:46   #81
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Default Re: My foray into the biking world - Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500. EDIT: Charger DIY too

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First, I must state I don't own a Thunderbird nor do I have access to one here in the United States.
Great information there Jim! Thanks for the notes.

Today I gave the bike to service. It has not been used for past 5 months or so. Not even touched once :(

I told the service centre to perform below things as part of this service -
- Combine 12 months and 18 months service in this. Meaning, if something needed to be replaced in either 12 or 18 months milestone, prefer replace.
- Inspect each and every hose for leakages, fasten things where needed.
- Change all fluids
- Do the wheel alignment/ balancing as needed, tighten the spokes if required.

There are few large and deep scratches on the bike - courtesy some notorious kids or jealous neighbours. Colour being Matte Black, nothing much can be done. Full tank replacement/ is out of question. I am considering some innovative sticker-ing to cover this. But more on that later.

Generally they take 2-3 hours to return the bike but with this list, SA committed to 7 hrs time for delivering bike. I had to take an appointment before I turned the bike today.

Hoping to get the bike back in shape and start using it more.
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Old 6th January 2016, 17:58   #82
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Default Re: My foray into the biking world - Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500. EDIT: Charger DIY too

Brought the bike back from service station! This is first ever paid service and Service Cost is Rs 1855! For a moment I thought this to be too high!

All they have accomplished in this service is -
- General Service with Oil Change, Oil Filter Change
- Wheel Alignment
- Changed the Breather Pipe since it had become brittle. Might give up soon.

Overall impression is that bike seems to be doing good. Just need more frequent firing The current mileage is very low - 5017 Kms only. No trouble so far and nothing exceptional to talk too.
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Old 7th January 2016, 15:33   #83
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Default Re: My foray into the biking world - Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500. EDIT: Charger DIY too

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Originally Posted by abirnale View Post
The current mileage is very low - 5017 Kms only. No trouble so far and nothing exceptional to talk too.
I bought my bike in July 2015 and mileage is about 1600kms. I use it everyday for office commute
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Old 19th October 2016, 10:03   #84
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Default Re: My foray into the biking world - Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500. EDIT: Charger DIY too

It's been 10 months since I updated this thread

There is more bad news and lesser good news :( The bike isn't in use regularly. With arrival of new car last year and longish family drives, the bike was stationed at home. Just casual wiping, cleaning on weekends (that too once in a month type) was all done. For a couple of time, I did start the bike with kick and took for spin for few KMs too. But it has been the trend that if I don't start the bike for more than 3 weeks, battery dies. I then take it to nearby battery store, charge it and kick start. Bike breathes back to life without any issues. This is fine for another couple of weeks even if I don't use the bike.

Last Sunday, I did recharge battery, ensured everything is properly working. And looking at ODO realised that it's time to change oil, hoses that appear brittle and aged. So today, the bike is dropped for service and it will be in tip-top shape mechanically again.

The Dilemma
I am thinking whether to keep this bike or sell it off. Its more or less unused (ODO reads 5600 Kms in two plus years!) Other than occasional spin on weekend, there is nothing happening with the bike. I am probably spending more money on servicing, cleaning, fuel and up-keeping than using it - says my brain! Heart says I should keep it for long - make some good arrangements to keep it alive/ in use or properly stored to avoid dust/ wear and tear by just leaving in parking lot. What can be done to please the heart? Or Brain will win over heart?
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Old 19th October 2016, 10:31   #85
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Default Re: My foray into the biking world - Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500. EDIT: Charger DIY too

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Originally Posted by abirnale View Post
The bike isn't in use regularly.

Just casual wiping, cleaning on weekends (that too once in a month type) was all done.

But it has been the trend that if I don't start the bike for more than 3 weeks, battery dies.
Mate above three lines scream that you no longer have the need for this bike.
Quote:
I am thinking whether to keep this bike or sell it off. Its more or less unused (ODO reads 5600 Kms in two plus years!) Other than occasional spin on weekend, there is nothing happening with the bike.
You will get your answer in the above three lines you've mentioned.
Quote:
I am probably spending more money on servicing, cleaning, fuel and up-keeping than using it - says my brain! Heart says I should keep it for long - make some good arrangements to keep it alive/ in use or properly stored to avoid dust/ wear and tear by just leaving in parking lot. What can be done to please the heart? Or Brain will win over heart?
Mate you first need to ask yourself why did you purchase this bike in the first place, what was your purpose? what was your need? and what were you planning to do with it?

Well as an enthusiast and a fellow Tbird500 owner I would ask you to retain it, but you need to ride it and use it for what you bought it. End of the day the motorcycle is a electro-mechanical machine that needs to be run and used, if not then it will create more problems standing still as you've experienced by now. Take it out on long rides during holidays and weekends and see if you enjoy it. Based on your satisfaction you can take a decision. Remember you should also be ready to take a 25-30% depreciation hit while selling it off.
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