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Old 11th December 2014, 19:35   #76
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Default Re: Undying hunger, my 5th Royal Enfield - The Thunderbird 500

Nick & navin, Since you both had taken your bikes to the same trip I would like you to his share your feedcack on the comparison betewwn the two bikes. This wll help a lot of potential buyers take an informed decision. I personally have one question. What was the difference in the fuel consummtion fo the TBTS 350 & TBTS 500 on this trip?
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Old 12th December 2014, 10:21   #77
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Default Re: Undying hunger, my 5th Royal Enfield - The Thunderbird 500

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Originally Posted by rajneeesh View Post
Nick & navin, Since you both had taken your bikes to the same trip I would like you to his share your feedcack on the comparison betewwn the two bikes. This wll help a lot of potential buyers take an informed decision. I personally have one question. What was the difference in the fuel consummtion fo the TBTS 350 & TBTS 500 on this trip?
Hey rajneeesh as you can see from the pic there is hardly any difference with respect to the body and cosmetics of both the bikes. They are near identical and even weigh the same, unless one sees the badge on their individual toolboxes screaming 350 and 500. The difference is only in the engine and that is one BIG difference. The 350cc is very good for city riding and can keep up with the 500cc on the highways too. But it is the sheer torque and a bit more top speed that sets the animal 500cc from its 350cc sibling. The difference between the two bikes is also felt on all the gears in the 500cc where the torque is overflowing and that torque band makes you its slave. The 500cc has a flat torque curve and can easily run on second or even third gear at crawling speeds where the 350cc would stutter.

Since it is a 500cc engine it has an obvious advantage of faster acceleration and oodles of torque but that doesn't mean 350cc is a slouch. The 350cc will do just fine with a competent rider. Well coming to your question about the fuel consumption my Tbird500 has just completed its first free service and has covered about 670 odd Kms till date so the mileage part is a bit dicey right now as it is still in running in period (I personally believe RE engines need to be properly run in till 3000 kms it is only after those 3000 kms that the engine opens up and you get the optimum performance). According to me, the mileage I get must be around 23-25 KMPL. Nick has completed about 6000 odd kms till date so his must be hovering around 35-38 KMPL. Over to you Nick about your thoughts.

Last edited by navin_v8 : 12th December 2014 at 10:23. Reason: Additional information
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Old 12th December 2014, 10:58   #78
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Default Re: Undying hunger, my 5th Royal Enfield - The Thunderbird 500

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Originally Posted by navin_v8 View Post
What I have noticed while riding is about the Neutral gear which refuses to slot in. I am left playing with the gear lever to find the neutral while bringing the bike to a halt. I need to get this sorted during the second service. If anyone has come across this issue then kindly advice me how to rectify it.
Quoting my own post I took my Tbird500 to the RE authorised service centre yesterday to get the notchy gear shifting and neutral gear issue sorted. I left the bike in the morning and collected it in the evening. The staff worked on my bike by adjusting the clutch, cable and the gearshift lever. Meanwhile they also tightened all the nuts and bolts on the engine (peculiar to a RE motorcycle). I rode the bike for about 45 mins. and noticed that the gearshift has now become very smooth like a hot knife through butter. The neutral gear was slotting in effortlessly without a fuss. I was happy that the issue was resolved to my satisfaction.

The service centre also washed my bike with shampoo unlike the first free service where it was handed over to me all dusty and grimy. Overall I was satisfied with the way they resolved the gearshift issue.
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Old 12th December 2014, 15:10   #79
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Default Re: Undying hunger, my 5th Royal Enfield - The Thunderbird 500

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Originally Posted by rajneeesh View Post
Nick & navin, Since you both had taken your bikes to the same trip I would like you to his share your feedcack on the comparison betewwn the two bikes. This wll help a lot of potential buyers take an informed decision. I personally have one question. What was the difference in the fuel consummtion fo the TBTS 350 & TBTS 500 on this trip?
The Suspension feels of TB500 and TB350 are no different. Their suspension really soaks the bumps so well that it keeps the bikes in a really good straight line and fun to ride around the corners with agile.

However in terms of Torque factor, TB500 is impressive since it has Flat Torque curve where it can crawl from 35kmph to “whatever you feel like” at its Fifth gear whereas TB350 requires sensible gear shifting. Both the gearbox are amazing butter smooth.

Whereas for the power of TB350, I didn't feel any lacking in it. It rides comfortable smooth melody hubs along at 80 kmph with occasionally bursts of around 120 kmph on highway.

And for the mileage with the combination of city and highway riding, TB350 engine sips fuel for around 32 kmpl. We had gone to Nashik months ago, TB350 returned remarkable 42 kmpl.
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Old 12th December 2014, 15:24   #80
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Default Re: Undying hunger, my 5th Royal Enfield - The Thunderbird 500

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Originally Posted by navin_v8 View Post
I took my Tbird500 to the RE authorised service centre yesterday to get the notchy gear shifting and neutral gear issue sorted.
Please share the details about why did the neutral gear issue happened and how they solved it.

It would be nice to understand the main reason before taking the bike to such hopeless so-called-service centre.

There is a wise saying "It is fun to listen their lies when you already know the truth!"
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Old 12th December 2014, 16:05   #81
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Default Re: Undying hunger, my 5th Royal Enfield - The Thunderbird 500

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Please share the details about why did the neutral gear issue happened and how they solved it.
Like I mentioned in my earlier post this was an issue with respect to the clutch cable and gear lever adjustment. I found a similar problem and solution on J.Ravi's Tbird500 thread on "My Motorcycle Diaries...". So I guess this is a regular phenomenon with RE bikes specifically RE Tbird500. Like some RE connoisseurs say and I have heard this from one of my RE fellow riders, "RE motorcycles will make you cry and fret during the initial first year of ownership but after that it will treat you with the best of its performance and ownership". May sound like a cliche but I somehow tend to believe it after having experienced my older RE steeds.

Hope this helps.
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Old 22nd December 2014, 17:20   #82
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Default Re: Undying hunger, my 5th Royal Enfield - The Thunderbird 500

Hello Folks! I took my Tbird500 on a sunday morning joyride yesterday. I am riding it as much as possible to complete the 2000 kms limit before the second free service which is peeking at me from a distance.

The motorcycle has so far completed about 800 odd Kms and I wish to pile up some more hundreds of kms in the coming weeks. I have been enjoying my rides and will be doing solo rides throughout this December. There is a marked difference while I overtake other vehicles with the Tbird500 vis a vis my AVL Tbird 350. Considering the AVL Tbird350 had the strongest punch among my other bikes (read three Standard CI 350's) I used to find it easy to overtake vehicles on the highway while comfortably cruising at speeds hovering around 80-90 KMPH. The Tbird500 is even better, where I used to carefully calculate and judge before while overtaking on my AVL the new Tbird500 just surges ahead with a minor blip of the throttle and lunges forward like a F-14 Tomcat whilst remaining as steady as a B-29 SuperFortress Bomber on the open highways. It is like a cruise missile that makes the kilometers just fly by while maintaining a steady 90-100 KMPH on open highways without breaking a sweat.

I will keep posting more of my experiences, meanwhile here are some pics that I clicked while on the joy ride. Enjoy!
Attached Thumbnails
Undying hunger, my 5th Royal Enfield - The Thunderbird 500-20141221105605.jpg  

Undying hunger, my 5th Royal Enfield - The Thunderbird 500-20141221105555.jpg  

Undying hunger, my 5th Royal Enfield - The Thunderbird 500-20141221105618.jpg  

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Old 23rd December 2014, 05:10   #83
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Default Re: Undying hunger, my 5th Royal Enfield - The Thunderbird 500

I'm pleased to hear your having so much fun with your Tbird 500.

Yes. The 500 is a very responsive machine and it has no problem accelerating to speeds over 120 kmph and maintaining them for long distances.

One of the nice things about this is riders who have no interest in going that fast still gain advantages over the smaller capacity motorcycles like the 350.

Where the 350cc and smaller engine motorcycles must work rather hard to climb grades or to accelerate rapidly, the high torque 500 doesn't work hard at all. It just merrily loafs along.

The results of this is the 500 should greatly outlive the smaller bikes.

Last edited by ArizonaJim : 23rd December 2014 at 05:12.
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Old 23rd December 2014, 10:02   #84
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Default Re: Undying hunger, my 5th Royal Enfield - The Thunderbird 500

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I'm pleased to hear your having so much fun with your Tbird 500.

Yes. The 500 is a very responsive machine and it has no problem accelerating to speeds over 120 kmph and maintaining them for long distances.

One of the nice things about this is riders who have no interest in going that fast still gain advantages over the smaller capacity motorcycles like the 350.

Where the 350cc and smaller engine motorcycles must work rather hard to climb grades or to accelerate rapidly, the high torque 500 doesn't work hard at all. It just merrily loafs along.

The results of this is the 500 should greatly outlive the smaller bikes.
Thanks for the kind words Jim, I really appreciate it. In the past I had ridden a couple of RE 500cc CI's and AVL LB (Machismo) but for very short distances. It is those small experiences that planted the 500cc bug in me. All these years I have been riding the 350cc CI's and AVL, I have also rode the UCE 350cc. If you read through my booking experience you will see that although it looks like I bought the Tbird500 spontaneously and impulsively but in reality I knew what it was and what I am getting into.

I am a sucker for Torque more than Speed. I love the low/bottom end torque, this is where the Tbird500cc blew me and as a bonus the torque just keeps overflowing in every gear low/bottom end, mid end and top end. Here in India there is a very famous Diesel Electric locomotive called the ALCO WDM2 (it is the workhorse of the legendary Indian Railway). This locomotive is a multi-purpose locomotive which is used as a passenger, goods/freight carrier, etc. I could associate my Tbird500's pulling power and effortless torque delivery while climbing steep winding roads similar to a WDM2 locomotive pulling apprx. 20 wagon coaches on the Pune-Khandala steep gradient (I am also a railway enthusiast) one can literally feel those torquey V16 cylinders on the WDM2 pounding its way across that steep gradient. I get goose bumps while on that route and similar routes. I get the same feeling on my Tbird500. The railway enthusiast in me could not help but associate my Tbird500 with all its modern features with the modern WDP/G4 locomotive as well.
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Old 29th December 2014, 10:34   #85
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Default Re: Undying hunger, my 5th Royal Enfield - The Thunderbird 500

Hello Folks,

I had gone for a ride to my cousin brothers' farm house during the weekend. The place is about 15 odd kms from a place called Manor, total about 100+ kms from my home. I crossed the first thousand kms on the odo on my Tbird500 during this ride, now the odo reads about 1050 odd kms. I started riding on saturday morning and soon hit NH8 to reach my destination. Rynox mobile mount unit came in handy as I could mount my smartphone with and use its GPS to find the location(Really worth the investment). Some observations I could make during this ride on my Tbird500:

1. The Tbird500 is extremely stable on the highways and gives a well planted feeling.
2. As mentioned in my earlier posts, the engine is butter smooth and stress free and there are surprisingly negligible vibrations upto 100 KMPH.
3. Braking is spot on, although the rear disc brake needs a heavy foot.
4. Overtaking huge tractor trailers, trucks, buses and other heavy vehicles is a breeze.
5. Torquey motor hides the speed and power, one only realises the speed while experiencing wind blasts. (This characteristic is not present in any of the Enfields I own)
6. The round profile tyres are excellent for the tarmac but on rough patches with stones and pebbles strewn around it struggles to find a grip. I could feel the rear end swaying on gravel unpaved roads. This was really worrying as there is no such swaying and unsettling on my Tbird AVL which comes shod with MRF Nylogrip tyres.
7. The front end is really heavy and turning it in a tight radius from standstill is a task.
8. The front crash guard that I have installed(special model for new Tbird's) is very good compared to conventional ones as it doesn't mess with the foot. (the reason being new Tbirds' front footrest is pushed forward by about 2 inches so the older crash guards offer very little space between the foot and the crash guard)

Now let the pictures do the talking.

The Road Ahead
Undying hunger, my 5th Royal Enfield - The Thunderbird 500-20141227113438.jpg

Against the backdrop of a beautiful landscape
Undying hunger, my 5th Royal Enfield - The Thunderbird 500-20141227113450.jpg

Nature minus the concrete jungle!
Undying hunger, my 5th Royal Enfield - The Thunderbird 500-20141227113501.jpg
Undying hunger, my 5th Royal Enfield - The Thunderbird 500-20141227113505.jpg

Across the Road
Undying hunger, my 5th Royal Enfield - The Thunderbird 500-20141227113513.jpg

My trusty SMPDGPS (short form for Smartphone Dedicated GPS )
Undying hunger, my 5th Royal Enfield - The Thunderbird 500-20141227113533.jpg

In the company of the Big Boys
Undying hunger, my 5th Royal Enfield - The Thunderbird 500-20141227123909.jpg

Two Legends and Brothers in Arms
Undying hunger, my 5th Royal Enfield - The Thunderbird 500-20141227124011.jpg

Sharing space with the legendary Desert and Offroad King (read Dakar)
Undying hunger, my 5th Royal Enfield - The Thunderbird 500-20141227124108.jpg


All in all two days well spent. I thank my Tbird500 for taking me places.
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Old 23rd January 2015, 16:58   #86
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Default Re: Undying hunger, my 5th Royal Enfield - The Thunderbird 500

Second Free Service Update

Hello folks, I took my Tbird500 for its second free service yesterday. The odometer showed 1305 kms as I reached RE authorised service station. Second service doesn't include any oil change, it is just about checking and topping up.

The service guy told me about adding some additive to the oil that will maintain the viscosity and make the engine run better and less hotter. I was reluctant in the beginning as I had never used any additive in my previous RE motorcycles. I told myself, "let me try it out once to see the difference". I asked the service guy to go ahead with adding the additive which costed me about 291 bucks. There were no issues with the motorcycle so far, so I asked them to do their regular checks and topping up of fluids. One thing that I did mention to them was about the difficulty in slotting into neutral gear from first gear. They adjusted the clutch cable such that I have to release the clutch lever upto almost 3/4th position to get the motorcycle moving from standstill from first gear. When I asked the service guys about this they said it will help overcome hard neutral gear slotting issue. I found this setting a bit difficult on getting used to as I was used to release the clutch lever at almost half position to get the motorcycle moving from standstill from first gear.

I wanted to ask if this setting is correct or should I go back to the earlier half position clutch lever adjustment?
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Old 23rd January 2015, 18:16   #87
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Default Re: Undying hunger, my 5th Royal Enfield - The Thunderbird 500

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Originally Posted by navin_v8 View Post
Second Free Service Update

I found this setting a bit difficult on getting used to as I was used to release the clutch lever at almost half position to get the motorcycle moving from standstill from first gear.

I wanted to ask if this setting is correct or should I go back to the earlier half position clutch lever adjustment?
The company specification of clutch free play at the lever end is 2 to 3 mm. It is better to stick to the company specification since it will ensure that the clutch plates are released fully thereby providing you with clunk free gear shifts.
regards adrian
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Old 24th January 2015, 04:06   #88
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Default Re: Undying hunger, my 5th Royal Enfield - The Thunderbird 500

navin v8

adrian is entirely correct.

Standing in front of your motorcycle, notice the place where the clutch lever stops against the non-moving support.
Very lightly move the clutch lever as if you were going to "pull in the clutch" with one finger.

The lever should move freely and a 2 to 3 mm gap should appear in the gap between the lever and its support before any significant pressure is needed to move it further.

If there is no movement of the lever without using more pressure than a finger would make, the clutch is out of adjustment.

In the left hand engine case, there is a clutch release bearing between the stationary and moving parts.
This bearing is under load whenever the clutch lever is pulled in and although this bearing is a vast improvement over the Iron Barrel and AVL clutch systems rod and ball method, it is not meant to be under load all of the time. The free play at the clutch lever assures the bearing is not under load while your riding with the clutch lever untouched.

If there is no free play, the bearing will be running all of the time. This can lead to a rapid wearing of the bearing.
It can also lead to slippage between the clutch plates causing excessive wear and a failure to transmit the full engine power to the transmission.

If the clutch cable is out of adjustment, adjusting the clutch is a fairly simple job.
You will need a open end 12mm wrench (spanner) or a small adjustable wrench.

Although this lower end of the clutch cable is threaded, you will not be turning the cable. You will only be adjusting the two nuts that hold the cable in place.

Down where the cable attaches to the left hand engine side cover, right in front of the rubber bellows you will see two nuts straddling a cast lug.

Loosen the forward nut (furthest from the rubber bellows) a turn or two by moving the wrench handle up.

Now, pull the clutch lever until you feel resistance, checking the lever gap when the resistance is felt.

If the gap is too small, loosen the forward nut a bit more and pull the lever again, again rechecking the gap.

The idea here is to move the threaded end of the clutch cable aft to loosen the clutch cable.

When the lever gap is correct, the forward nut is properly adjusted so all you need to do now is to tighten the aft nut.

After the aft nut is tightened, recheck the clutch lever gap. If the gap is within 2-3 mm, your done. If the gap is incorrect, adjust the forward nut a bit more. Tighten the aft nut when things are right.

Happy riding.
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Old 27th January 2015, 11:45   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adrian View Post
The company specification of clutch free play at the lever end is 2 to 3 mm. It is better to stick to the company specification since it will ensure that the clutch plates are released fully thereby providing you with clunk free gear shifts.
regards adrian
Thanks for re-assuring adrian, I read this in the owner's manual but wasn't sure why RE service centre guys adjusted the clutch lever in such a way as it was. I re-adjusted the clutch free play at the lever by 2 to 3 mm and now I am back to comfortable shifting and riding as before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArizonaJim View Post
The lever should move freely and a 2 to 3 mm gap should appear in the gap between the lever and its support before any significant pressure is needed to move it further.

If there is no movement of the lever without using more pressure than a finger would make, the clutch is out of adjustment.

Happy riding.
Jim your step by step instructions are so much helpful. I am used to adjusting the clutch cable on my other RE motorcycles and ensure there is a play of about 2-3 mm in the clutch lever. However I am new to the all new Tbird500's UCE Engine, hence didn't think of meddling with it. Moreover I had asked the RE service centre staff about difficulty in slotting the neutral gear from first gear and they went ahead and adjusted the clutch cable in such a way that I had to release it all the way to get the bike moving.

I am used to riding as per factory settings on all my motorcycles but when the service centre guys made this adjustment I thought this must be the right way. Only after remembering the clutch lever play should be at 2-3 mm did I realize the clutch setting on my motorcycle is out of adjustment. Your post re-assured my thoughts and I went ahead and adjusted the clutch cable in such a way that I could feel a play in the clutch lever at 2-3 mm. After making the adjustment I rode it and the same comfortable shifting while riding came back. I was delighted to have that setting back as I am a very fussy rider and a sucker when it comes to "perfect" factory settings.

Thanks again.

Last edited by benbsb29 : 28th January 2015 at 11:15. Reason: Merged back-to-back posts. Please use the Multi-quote button to reply to more than one post at a time. Thanks.
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Old 17th March 2015, 14:47   #90
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Default Re: Undying hunger, my 5th Royal Enfield - The Thunderbird 500

Time to update this thread:

I did two short rides with my buddies during the last two months. I know I am riding less but thanks to my busy schedule and fellow riders' conflicting schedules I could do only two short rides. The odo now reads 2300 Kms. I haven't faced any issues so far so good. Coming back to the rides, I and fellow Teambhpian Nick went on a sunday morning(Feb 22 2015) joyride to Pavana Lake/Dam about 15-20 odd kms from Lonavala. We covered about 240 odd kms round trip. Being a Bombay’ite I have visited Lonavala many times, but I still get that adrenalin rush while climbing those ghat roads especially on my Tbird500. Climbing these ghats is effortless for the Tbird500 compared to my other 350 steeds. There is so much power and torque and then some more reserve power that puts a smile on my face. We rode sedately at around 70 kmph with occasional bursts of 90 kmph on the beautiful NH4.

Pavana is a beautiful place with breathtaking landscape and crowning jewel of this place is the pristine lake. We went to Lohagad Boat Club and Resort to unwind and chill followed by riding to Pavana dam which is barely about 2-3 kms from the resort. Now let the pics do the talking.

In the limelight. Sun rays kissing the Tbird500 and Tbird350
Undying hunger, my 5th Royal Enfield - The Thunderbird 500-20150222094635.jpg

The Rider Navin
Undying hunger, my 5th Royal Enfield - The Thunderbird 500-20150222094907.jpg

The Rider Nick
Undying hunger, my 5th Royal Enfield - The Thunderbird 500-20150222094832.jpg

Beautiful Pavana Lake, reminds you of Mauritius No?
Undying hunger, my 5th Royal Enfield - The Thunderbird 500-20150222114328.jpg

Inviting waters of the pristine lake
Undying hunger, my 5th Royal Enfield - The Thunderbird 500-20150222114401.jpg

Boat ride anyone
Undying hunger, my 5th Royal Enfield - The Thunderbird 500-20150222114447.jpg

The Pavana Dam
Undying hunger, my 5th Royal Enfield - The Thunderbird 500-20150222124645.jpg

Beautiful landscape, one doesn't feel like going back
Undying hunger, my 5th Royal Enfield - The Thunderbird 500-20150222152628.jpg

On the way back
Undying hunger, my 5th Royal Enfield - The Thunderbird 500-20150222152427.jpg

Some of my observations till date:
  1. The front disc brake is very powerful and locks up quickly thereby making the front side dive and the tyre skid.
  2. I have found my sweet spot at 2600-2800 rpm at 80-90 kmph.
  3. The motorcycle feels stressed and engine becomes vibey above 100 kmph. Typical of a big single push rod engine.
  4. The Thunderbird500 is more front heavy as compared to my AVL Tbird 350 especially while taking tight turns and while coming downhill and climbing uphill at crawling speeds.
  5. Overtaking big vehicles on the highway is effortless due to massive torque in all gears and equally good power output.

Coming up… Ride to Malshej and Third Free Service.
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