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Old 24th December 2014, 16:27   #1
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Default Ownership Review: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350

Prologue:

I would vouch for most of the biking enthusiasts to have a liking for cruisers (like Harley, Triumph, Commando, RE, etc.) and the most affordable one with a history in India has to be the Royal Enfield. I had a liking for bikes from school days, but due to various reasons, had to be content with a scooter from the time I got a license to ride. I had my first shot at a bike in 2002, during my college days, when Bajaj released the "Definitely Male - Pulsar". My parents were always convinced about my safe driving/riding skills and agreed to gift me a purple Pulsar 150 KS. I had been running it for 10 years without many niggles, but the itch to ride a cruiser always remained in my mind and was determined to buy a Royal Enfield.

Now, the question - was there a need to open a new thread for a 350 cc 2014 model Thunderbird after detailed and exquisite ownership reviews from Senior TB bikers like J Ravi and SilverFlash? I have been an active follower of Team-BHP from 2009, but did not get a chance to start my own thread. Most of the biking threads for RE were limited to the bigger Twin for the new Thunderbird/Classic/Desert Storm or smaller twins for Electra or Classic. So, I decided to open a new thread for the 2014 Thunderbird (although there are good reviews on the older TB 350 versions) for the use of numerous RE TB 350 fans out there.

Requirement:

1. Most of my riding would be within the city for office commuting (mostly on the Hebbal-Yelahanka or Hebbal-Manyata Tech Park routes)/short road trips during weekends.
2. I've never been a speed enthusiast in biking and hence was not looking at engineering marvels like Hondas or KTMs. Needed a comfortable bike that could help me relax during my commute with my decent height of 5'11.
3. The bike had to have decent power and I felt that 350 cc REs are good enough.
4. Daily commuting of around 40 kms is tiresome in my Dzire due to Bangalore traffic and a two wheeler is a good bet.

There were some good sports bikes in the price range, but racing is not the need of the hour and I was looking at a cruiser that could munch a lot of miles without any stress on the rider.

1. Karizma ZMR - Good engine capability, decent service record. But personally I did not like the 2014 ZMR. There are a lot of fiber parts which might cause rattling issues in the long run.

2. KTM Duke 200 - Very refined engine, always rev-happy. You can feel the power on acceleration. The riding position was not very encouraging. Also, the pillion seat is a tad uncomfortable.

3. CBR 250 - Engine with good torque, good looks and ergonomics. But the seating position for rider and the pillion is a bit uncomfortable according to me.

I wanted to wait for the Commando, which is expected to be launched in 2015, but could not wait for such a long time. So after researching for a long time, I finally zeroed in on the RE, which has the most comfortable ride on a bike. Now, the bigger question was, which model of the Twin?
After multiple test rides on all the RE bikes in the showroom and bikes that my friends own, I finally came up with the pros and cons of different models in the 350 cc category.

Comparison of models from RE Stable:
The differentiating factors among the smaller RE Twin (in my opinion, some people may differ though):

RE Standard:
Pros:
1. Historical look of the Bullet. Hand painted stripes on tank for an antique look.
2. Comfortable seat.
3. The thump and actual legacy of "Bullet" is personified .

Cons:
1. No fancy gadgets, head light not promising.
2. Does not feature a disc brake. Drum brakes do a decent job though.

Classic 350:
Pros:
1. Jaw-dropping looks. I must agree that the looks give the distinctive feel of historical RE Classic.
2. Front disc brake for additional risk free ride in traffic.
3. Lots of chrome.

Cons:
1. Riding position is not very comfortable. I felt like sitting on a bouncing ball on rough patches. I felt the shockwave from potholes are directed towards your spine. Also, the add-on pillion seat was very uncomfortable for my wife.
2. Tail light looked like a plastic featherless bird moult that is fitted on switch board.

Electra 350:
Pros:
1. One of the comfortable RE bikes with a good history. Joint seat for additional comfort for the pillion rider.
2. The bike itself lacks good backrest for pillion, but lots of aftermarket accessories solve this.

Cons:
1. Rear tyre is pathetically thin (must have been for mileage).
2. Only front disc brake and a drum brake at rear. Light throw is also just adequate.
3. Relatively old colours and not does not guarantee a second look.

2014 Thunderbird 350.
Pros:
1. Very comfortable seats for rider and pillion. Riding position is also great with stretched arms.
2. Includes an inbuilt backrest for the pillion.
3. Matte black/stone colour. Now that is what I am talking about being in a different league.
4. Fancy gadgets give the feel of an upmarket cruiser. Twin disk brakes, rear adjustable gas shocks, projector headlamps, removable seats, larger fuel tank and digital console.

Cons:
1. No warranty on stone black colour.
2. Indicator lights look fragile.

Booking history and delivery:

One fine day (06 August, 2014), I decided to finally take the plunge and book a Thunderbird 350 in stone. I visited the RE showroom on Rajkumar Road and had a detailed look at the bike. I was ready to book the bike by paying the token amount. Then came the shocker - "Delivery timeline promised on paper will be 6 months, you might get it in 4 months", was the response of the showroom sales person. Going by the numerous delivery date issues on Team-BHP and various other forums, I was not too keen on going ahead. So I decided to check other showrooms. I knew that there was a company-owned store in Jayanagar (I used to stay near that and never missed to view the eye-candy bikes every time I passed by the store). Before that, I wanted to check out the RE store opposite Palace Grounds and the story was even worse. 6-8 months on paper. So a quick exit from the store and next stop was RE company store. Checked out the bike one last time and asked for the waiting period. The answer was 4 months on paper and I could expect the bike in 3 months. It was music to my ears and just went ahead with the booking.

Biggest mistake of my RE life!

I started to inquire about the status of bike from November 23 as there was no update from RE. As if the wait time of 3 months was not enough, they told me that it will take some more time. Now the days were not passing by without inquiring about the status every alternate day. Finally, on 5th December I called the showroom and was in a mood to cancel my booking, but I recieved some shocking news - "Sir, the bike is allocated, you can pay the remaining amount".
Now if that's what it takes to get it, I would have done it long back. So, I rushed to the RE showroom first thing in the morning on 6th December and paid the entire amount (part cheque and part card). Since it was a Saturday, they told me that they will deposit the cheque on the following Monday. Monday morning, I got a message on the mobile about the cheque being en-cashed (now that was super fast).

Now that I thought I would be getting my bike in a couple of days, a different war started altogether. On the 3rd day I called to find out when I could collect the bike and I was in for a shock when they said, "Sir, your bike is not here yet. Give us a couple of days as new stock is expected." After a wait of another week, I called them and get a response that the bill is registered. I wanted to do a PDI (thanks to the RE-PDI sheet), but they did not know where the bike was at that time. That was the limit and I started putting my plight on Team-BHP to get the contact of RE managers. Also, posted my concern on the feedback section on RE site (I was not expecting much help though).

To my surprise, I got an email the next day with the store manager's name and mobile number, and the next moment I got a call from the manager in person. He was clueless on why it takes more than 10 days to get a bike registered and delivered after issuing a bill that has engine and chassis number. He assured me of a quick resolution and said that he would look into the issue. The same day, I got a call for the PDI, so that they could register it on the same day. They assured me that the bike was in pristine condition and will replace any parts if found damaged. I agreed for the registration and at 3.00 PM, I got a call saying, "Bike is registered, when are you planning to collect the bike".

Finally, more than 4.5 months of waiting did not seem to trouble me much and I wanted to lay my hands on the Bull. Quickly finished my work and was on my way to the RE showroom.

Delivery:

After all the niggles faced till now, I was expecting a horrid time and was all set for a rough day, but to all my surprise, the delivery was super smooth, like a well oiled engine. I was asked to wait as there were a couple of deliveries to be completed before my bike. Meanwhile, I made the best use of my time checking out the add-ons for my mini-bull.

Finally, it was my turn and the friendly guy with a TB-350 handbook and delivery note called me. ID proof was verified and service details and warranty conditions were explained. Accessories that come with the bike like number plates, saree guard, tool kit etc. were checked on paper and they took my signature. The only manual update on the delivery note was for the battery warranty card. The guy explained to me that RE has now stopped the problematic Exide batteries and now come with Amaron dry batteries and there were no warranty cards. Warranty starts from the date of invoice and covers for 1 year. It was time to check the vehicle and I was asked to go downstairs to the service and delivery area.

Price: TB-350 costs around Rs. 1,33,500 (ex-showroom, Bangalore). On-road price, including insurance and registration comes to Rs. 1,53,000 (approximately).

First looks and PDI:

With my heart pumping, I made my way to the service and delivery area. There it was. It was indeed a beautiful beast in black. I was waiting for my turn for the service person to explain the features and hand over the keys. There was a Standard being delivered before mine. So I used all the time to complete my PDI as per the RE PDI sheet. There was a person waiting for his turn for delivery of a Classic 350 and was very impressed with the looks of the my Stone black bull, came up to me and started asking questions on the PDI check I was doing and cost of the bike. I explained him the PDI to be done and he got busy with doing it for his bike.

Finally, it was my turn and the service person explained to me the details, removing and fitting the seats, tool kit placement and all the rules for a safe ride. Mileage was 2 kms (excellent). The keys were placed near a picture of God and finally handed over to me. The person told me that there were 3 liters of fuel in the tank ("What? Isn't it supposed to be 5 liters?" I asked. He replied it is just 3 now as per updated rules). I was asked to hit the self-start button and in a second, the mighty bull was alive. The service person adjusted the RPM to 1000 and asked me to verify the engine and chassis number. I told him that I had already completed the PDI which includes that and many more. He was surprised on how I know all the things. I gave him a smile and said I am from Team-BHP and I am well equipped with the PDI list. I was asked to take a trial run to see if the bike was running well and I obliged. Took the bike for a short run and found nothing wrong. So I bid good-bye and started to pick up my wife from her work-place in ITPL. But before that, I wanted to get some fuel and did exactly that.

First Ride in Traffic:

Since it was 6.00 PM and most of the people were leaving office, it was a heavy traffic from BTM with many people stopping for a quick glance at my bike and some people discussing on buying the same model and colour. The ride quality was excellent and it was not easy to keep the bike running under 50 as per the instructions of the service person. With the tachometer showing 2000, the bike quickly climbed to show 50 Km. It took an hour for me to reach ITPL and it was quite dark. Then started the ride home to Hebbal through Commercial Street - that's a total of 60 Kms on day one. On Day 2, completed Puja for the vehicle and on the way back reached a milestone - first century by the Mini-Bull. Stopped the bike to click the accomplishment and quickly completed the task.

Reviews during the Maiden Century of the Bike:

1. Riding position and usability: The comfort of riding was excellent due to the riding position and curved pillion seat with back support. Seating position is comfortable for a rider with an average height with out-stretched arm position, but might be an issue for shorter riders. Compared to other RE models, TB excels in this. High front shocks and 5-step adjustable rear shocks keep the ride smooth and the bike glides over potholes. The shockwaves that are transmitted by the pot holes are directed away from the spine due to the seating position. Back-rest for the pillion rider is very comfortable and positioned nicely. Both the seats can be removed, on need basis using the wire-levers in the battery compartment. The front seat has a storage space for documents underneath.

2. Engine: There is enough power coming from the 350 cc engine and never felt a need for hitting the accelerator much. But I will be able to give a comprehensive report on the actual performance once I complete the first service at 500 Kms. The distinctive Kit-Kit clicks are being heard from the engine during regular riding - something that is always associated with the legendary Bull and I guess we will have to live with. There has been no starting trouble till date or oil leaks (keeping my fingers crossed).

3. Fuel tank: Large, curved fuel tank with a comfortable design makes the seating position comfortable. Fuel capacity is around 20 liters (not to scale) with around 5.5 liters in reserve.

4. Colour and Build: Matte colour (Stone black) scheme with chrome looks awesome and the quality of the colour looks improved from previous models, but attracts a lot of dust. Be ready to clean the bike everyday. Also RE does not suggest paint protection or polishing for this colour. Also, the bike should only be washed with water - soap not suggested. Dust on other colors might not be so obvious. The metal parts looks solid and built to last, if properly maintained. But, the same cannot be said about the metallic-coloured plastics used for the tool kit and the first-aid box. These do not need a key to open and open with an Allen Key that is available next to the battery.

5. Gears: There were issues with the gears and it was very difficult to change to neutral during traffic signals. Tried rolling the bike forward and backward, but did not have much luck. The gears smoothed out a bit over the week, but I would still say they are a bit hard and not in the league of advanced bikes. The main reason for this is that the lever for the gearshift is not directly linked to the gearbox and is integrated to a loose-hanging lever that, in turn, drives the gearshift.

6. Brakes: The stopping power of the TB is average. I would not compare it with the Pulsar, Duke or Apache that have very good brakes. Single-piston caliper rear disk brake looks good but has very poor grip. Also, I found that the disc makes a squeaking sound during rotation. Planning to get this corrected during the first service. The front disc is far better and using both the brakes in unison saves the day during hard braking.

7. Tyres: The rear tyre is decently wide and has good road grip. Initially the tyres are over-filled with air as they need to compensate for the loss during storage. It is advisable to correct the tyre pressure using a digital meter to 22 psi at the front and 32 psi at the rear. MRF Zappers provide decent road grip in normal riding conditions. Lack of tubeless tyres mean many more visits to the puncture shop, but since the wheels are spoke-based and not alloy, upgrading to tubeless tyres may be tad too costly.

8. Horn: Twin horn does pack a punch to warn the rule-breaking bikers/autos and does not need any replacement.

9. Console: The overall quality of the console is average and plastics looks decent. Chrome rings and blue back-light gives an excellent upmarket feel. The console consists of a digital part and classic analog parts. The digital console has options to display time and odometer in Kms or trip meter with average fuel economy with a not-so-accurate fuel indicator on the right. The fuel indicator keeps fluctuating a lot during the normal riding conditions. The fuel indicator blinks constantly during reserve of around 5.5 liters. The analog speedometer displays speed to a maximum of 160 KPH or 100 MPH, but for a 350 cc RE, I guess it would not be possible to hit that speed anyway (350 cc Re's are said to have a top speed around 120 KPH).

The tachometer has a range from 0 to 8000 RPM and it is advisable to keep it below 3000 during the initial run and below 5000 after that. Below the tachometer are turn-indicators, pilot lamp, neutral, side-stand and high beam indicators.

10. Sloppy wires and insulation: Most of the wires and connections seem to be dangling and there is limited protection. I asked the dealer for a couple of plastic tags to tie the loose wires during the PDI. Wire connectors can be seen hanging and exposed in most of the places. The light and indicator switches do not seem to complement the good looks of the bike, but might last for long due to the heavy plastic used.

The reset buttons on the console are of poor quality and i had lots of issues with the hazard light switch - switches on after multiple clicks and takes a lot more clicks to turn off.

11. Head light and tail light: The throw of the projector head light is excellent and gives an upmarket feel. But the light is adjusted a bit too high and might not be comfortable for oncoming traffic, especially cars that are low. This is one thing I am planning to correct during the first service. Tail light looks upmarket with LED design and looks like an infringement on Harley.

12. Turn-indicators: The indicators look good from a distance, but are actually very fragile. Need to see how they perform over time.

13. Rear view mirrors: The rear view mirrors are not of the best quality and have a plastic feel, but have a decent range.

14. Handling: The overall weight of the bike is a little over 190 Kgs with fuel and is by no means light. The handle position helps in a relaxed ride with out-stretched arms, but increases the turning radius of the bike significantly. This means it is not a bike to zoom around or zig-zag with in heavy traffic.

15. The RE Thump: Due to the updated silencer, new TBs do not have the same thump as their older counterparts. The sound is more on the lines of the initial models of Hero Honda Splendor. Upgrading the stock silencer to an after market silencer is recommended for a decent thump.

16. Heat insulation: There was massive heat generated and I was worried my feet might catch fire during the initial 50-60 Kms of continuous riding. I checked the engine oil level and did not find anything wrong with it. I realized this might be due to the friction of new parts and should settle down in a couple of days and it is actually better now.

17. Drool factor and road presence: Now that we had a good view of the pros and cons of the bike, let us look at the most important part of the bike. According to me, that is the drool factor. The bike with matte finish will definitely ensure a lot of looks from fellow travelers and a lot of envy from fellow bikers.

Technical details for the Mini-Bull:

Engine

Type Single Cylinder, 4 stroke, Twin spark, Air cooled
Displacement 346 cc
Bore x stroke 70 mm X 90 mm
Compression Ratio 8.5:1
Maximum Power 19.8 bhp @ 5250 rpm
Maximum Torque 28 Nm @ 4000 rpm
Ignition System Transistorized Coil Ignition (TCI)
Clutch Wet, multi-plate
Gearbox 5 Speed Constant Mesh
Lubrication Wet sump
Engine Oil 15 W 50 API, SL Grade JASO MA
Fuel Supply UCAL, BS29
Air Cleaner Paper Element
Engine Start Electric/Kick

Chassis & suspension

Type single down tube, using engine as stressed member
Front suspension - Telescopic, 41 mm forks, 130 mm travel
Rear suspension - Twin gas charged shock absorbers with 5-step adjustable preload, 80 mm travel

Dimensions

Wheelbase - 1350mm
Ground Clearance - 140 mm
Length - 2060mm
Width - 790mm ( Without Mirrors)
Height - 1205mm ( Without Mirrors)
Seat Height - 775mm
Kerb Weight - 192 Kgs
Fuel Capacity - 20 Liters

Brakes & tyres

Tyres Fr. 90/90-19, 52P MRF Zapper FM
Tyres Rr. 120/80-18, 62P MRF Zapper C
Brakes Front 280 mm Disc, 2-Piston caliper
Brakes Rear 240 mm Disc, Single piston caliper

Electricals

Electrical System - 12 volt, DC
Battery - 12 volt, 8AH-MF
Head lamp - Projection type headlamp, H7 55 / 55 W
Tail lamp - LED lamp with position light guides
Turn-signal lamp, hazard light

Posting some pictures of the bike with emphasis on the parts that matter the most and are frequently talked upon. Looking forward to a long journey with the mini-twin of the workhorse.
Attached Thumbnails
Ownership Review: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350-front34.jpg  

Attached Images
              

Last edited by Aditya : 30th December 2014 at 16:37. Reason: completing ownership thread with pictures
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Old 30th December 2014, 12:44   #2
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Default Re: Ownership Review: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Motorbikes Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 30th December 2014, 13:39   #3
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Default Re: Ownership Review: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350

Karavadi143,

Welcome to the club and congratulations on your "Mini Bull". I am sure that you will enjoy riding it for years to come. One thing which has helped me in keeping my Bull in good shape is covering it with a bed sheet when I am not riding it. this prevent the dust from setlling in and maintains the paint quality. It also prevents rust formation and and harm from any bird droppings. Use a soft cloth to clea the bull and do not use pressure spray near the instument cluster as the same is suceptible to malfunctioning due to moisture ingress.
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Old 30th December 2014, 14:07   #4
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Default Re: Ownership Review: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350

Quote:
Originally Posted by karavadi143 View Post
Looking forward to a long journey with the mini-twin of the Work Horse.
Congratulations and best wishes, karavadi143. I wish you and your bird infinite miles with smiles in the years to come.
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Old 30th December 2014, 14:36   #5
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Default Re: Ownership Review: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350

Quote:
Originally Posted by karavadi143 View Post
Looking forward to a long journey with the mini-twin of the Work Horse.
Congrats on your acquisition mate. The entire buying process for a RE is a kind of exuberance in itself. Its a completely different state of being (both body & soul)

I bought my Thunderbird 350 in 2009 and the 1st time I would be laying my hands on an Enifeld. My buying exp was also similar, where there were certain confusion about the color choice, but back then delivery was much quicker in 10days total.

Anyways for now, Congratulation on the new friend you have and wish you Godspeed and Happy Munching (Miles of course!)
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Old 30th December 2014, 16:18   #6
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Default Re: Ownership Review: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350

Congratulations,
Hope you have a great time with your new bull, any reason for not checking out with the new re showroom in Yelahanka. All in all nice pics and nice to see a team bhpian and a fellow bull rider in yelahanka, its a first. Happy biking
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Old 31st December 2014, 11:34   #7
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Default Re: Ownership Review: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajneeesh View Post
Karavadi143,

Welcome to the club and congratulations on your "Mini Bull". I am sure that you will enjoy riding it for years to come. One thing which has helped me in keeping my Bull in good shape is covering it with a bed sheet when I am not riding it. this prevent the dust from setlling in and maintains the paint quality. It also prevents rust formation and and harm from any bird droppings. Use a soft cloth to clea the bull and do not use pressure spray near the instument cluster as the same is suceptible to malfunctioning due to moisture ingress.
Thank you Rajneesh. I use a yellow microfiber cloth to clean my bike and looking at a decent all-round cloth cover to protect the bike. Will follow the advice of covering with a cloth till then.
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Old 31st December 2014, 11:38   #8
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Default Re: Ownership Review: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350

Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Ravi View Post
Congratulations and best wishes, karavadi143. I wish you and your bird infinite miles with smiles in the years to come.
Thank You Ravi. Inspiration to write an ownership review for the TB came from the Threads and Travelogues that you have contributed on TeamBHP.

Hoping to post some travelogues very soon.
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Old 31st December 2014, 11:46   #9
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Default Re: Ownership Review: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thebat View Post
Congratulations,
Hope you have a great time with your new bull, any reason for not checking out with the new re showroom in Yelahanka. All in all nice pics and nice to see a team bhpian and a fellow bull rider in yelahanka, its a first. Happy biking
Thanks Thebat. I had a hunch that "Brand Store" would have a better service and ensure quicker delivery compared to other dealerships for a RE (proved otherwise though). Also did not realize that there was a RE showroom in Yelahanka , else I would have checked it definitely.
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Old 31st December 2014, 11:51   #10
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Default Re: Ownership Review: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumping Soul View Post
Congrats on your acquisition mate. The entire buying process for a RE is a kind of exuberance in itself. Its a completely different state of being (both body & soul)

I bought my Thunderbird 350 in 2009 and the 1st time I would be laying my hands on an Enifeld. My buying exp was also similar, where there were certain confusion about the color choice, but back then delivery was much quicker in 10days total.

Anyways for now, Congratulation on the new friend you have and wish you Godspeed and Happy Munching (Miles of course!)
Thank You Thumping Soul. I completely agree with the delivery woes that we need to face with an RE. But, riding a RE once we get our hands on it makes us forget the pain. Hoping that the waiting period comes down to 10 days again
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Old 2nd January 2015, 08:34   #11
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Default Re: Ownership Review: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350

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Originally Posted by karavadi143 View Post
Thanks Thebat. I had a hunch that "Brand Store" would have a better service and ensure quicker delivery compared to other dealerships for a RE (proved otherwise though). Also did not realize that there was a RE showroom in Yelahanka , else I would have checked it definitely.
Karavadi, there is a spanking new showroom in yelahanka just after you exit from the Bial expressway, their service centre is close too, I am trying it out this week , will let you know about their performance.
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Old 2nd January 2015, 15:53   #12
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Default Re: Ownership Review: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350

Congratulations Karavadi for the new bird! Matte Black is the colour if you maintain well, looks awesome! A sure head turner.

My 500 Matte Black is treated for paint protection and that helps keep it in pristine conditions. All I do is wash it with plain water once in a month. Yes you read it right And simply dust it off with micro finer towel before taking out. Other than few scratches my 2 year old pulled on it with his naughty hands, the colour and matte finish is factory like till date. I strongly suggest you to do some paint protection if time and money permits. More details on my ownership thread.

The bird will be more fun to drive after it completes few services. And don't bother about all the niggles and issues with bike that you hear around. Not that they they are wrong, but its not really of the same intensity as it sounds. My bull has no issues till date (9 months, 2.5K on odo) whatsoever. Regular use will keep the battery in tact. And longish rides will keep you in tact.

Side note - RE teaches a lot of patience Right from delayed deliveries to un professional wait times at service stations! Things can be a lot better if you know someone who is influential enough to let you cut the queue! After all there are around 20K bulls hitting the road every month in some or the other part of world!

And last but the not the least, please also invest in some good riding gear for yourself. It doubles up the joy of riding!

Happy and safe riding!
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Old 4th January 2015, 01:00   #13
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Default Re: Ownership Review: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350

There is nothing better than a RE Thunderbird in this price range of cruisers I guess. Many Congratulations. The matte black finish looks great. RE surely has grown leaps and bounds in quality over the last few years, but still a long way to go.

Keep us updated with your trips and ownership experience. Will surely help bikers like me for the next upgrade decision.
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Old 8th January 2015, 21:27   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abirnale View Post
Congratulations Karavadi for the new bird! Matte Black is the colour if you maintain well, looks awesome! A sure head turner.

My 500 Matte Black is treated for paint protection and that helps keep it in pristine conditions. All I do is wash it with plain water once in a month. Yes you read it right And simply dust it off with micro finer towel before taking out. Other than few scratches my 2 year old pulled on it with his naughty hands, the colour and matte finish is factory like till date. I strongly suggest you to do some paint protection if time and money permits. More details on my ownership thread.

The bird will be more fun to drive after it completes few services. And don't bother about all the niggles and issues with bike that you hear around. Not that they they are wrong, but its not really of the same intensity as it sounds. My bull has no issues till date (9 months, 2.5K on odo) whatsoever. Regular use will keep the battery in tact. And longish rides will keep you in tact.

Side note - RE teaches a lot of patience Right from delayed deliveries to un professional wait times at service stations! Things can be a lot better if you know someone who is influential enough to let you cut the queue! After all there are around 20K bulls hitting the road every month in some or the other part of world!

And last but the not the least, please also invest in some good riding gear for yourself. It doubles up the joy of riding!

Happy and safe riding!
Thanks Abirnale. Currently I am using a soft lint cloth to dust and clean the bike everyday and a cold water wash every weekend. Already have a pair of riding gloves from eBay and a riding jacket. Next on the list is a full faced helmet to replace the current open faced studds.
I am looking at a decent paint protector for the bike that covers most of the matte parts including the protection that you have for the tank.
Any suggestions on matte paint protection on other parts of the bike ?
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Old 8th January 2015, 21:32   #15
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Originally Posted by justwheels View Post
There is nothing better than a RE Thunderbird in this price range of cruisers I guess. Many Congratulations. The matte black finish looks great. RE surely has grown leaps and bounds in quality over the last few years, but still a long way to go.

Keep us updated with your trips and ownership experience. Will surely help bikers like me for the next upgrade decision.
Absolutely Just wheels. There might be some good competition after looking at the lineup of new entries to cruisers in India this year like Commando. But it will take sometime before people trust the brand and RE has real competition considering the price range.

Getting the first service done this weekend .Will post more pictures and service reviews in a couple of days.
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