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Old 1st June 2009, 11:42   #1
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Default RE ThunderBird Service : with Pictures.

My Bike.
I Ride, Therefore I Am.

She was made in Chennai in June 2003. I picked her up in July 2003 at Hyderabad. Nothing short of a love affair that remains to this day. She is moody, sometimes erratic and absolutely fantastic. Still draws the stares and although never 100% clean on the outside, her heart beat inspires me to keep on riding.

The odo/speedo console was a major irritant and I never liked the two cups. They were removed a long time back and hence have no idea on how many kms she has run. Estimates are somewhere in the 75k+ range.
She has been thru a couple of Indian states. And has handled a couple of my mental states as well.

This service was long due. Been to Ooty in January 2009. After that in March did a top up of oil as it was low.

Last Saturday decided to try my luck just in case the mechanic was free.

I take a prior appointment but this time was unable to do so.

Anyway, woke up and got her ready to go on Saturday.

Reached the mechanic shed and was very lucky.
He was actually free that day and I called up my wife to forget about me for that day.

I never let my bike out of my sight during service. My mechanic is one of the best there is. And there is simply so much to learn. I eagerly look forward to the bike service and I am never dissappointed.

My mechanic is world famous in Hyderabad.
He is Sudhakar anna and runs his garage at Ranigunj.

With sheer hard work and honesty he has built quite a good reputation for himself.
He was featured in The Hindu, downtown edition as well.
RE ThunderBird Service : with Pictures.-img012.jpg

My bike just before the service starts.
Its been washed and gotten ready.

If you want good service, then get your bike clean before service.
Your mechanic will appreciate it a lot more.
Make it a point to get to the shed. Show the dirty bike.
Tell tale signs of oil stains mean a lot.
Then go and get it washed.
RE ThunderBird Service : with Pictures.-img010.jpg
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Old 1st June 2009, 11:51   #2
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The Service.

The gear oil being drained.
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The Engine oil is drained by removing the nut under the engine.
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Fresh Gear oil being poured in.
(Castrol, she takes in about 1/2 Litre)
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The Engine oil.
Castrol Magnatec.
You only get 3l cans.
They cost almost Rs 1000.
I had about 1.5l of leftover oil with me.
Since I cannot get 500 ml, ended up buying the 3l can.
Got a free sweatshirt with it.
Only one size available and its a couple of sizes too small for me.
Fits my wife.
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The clutch casing removed and being washed with petrol.
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RE ThunderBird Service : with Pictures.-img020.jpg

Fresh fork oil being added to the clutch.
Yes I use fork oil for this and am very happy with it.
Two cans of oil go in.
RE ThunderBird Service : with Pictures.-img021.jpg

Fork oil being drained.
RE ThunderBird Service : with Pictures.-img022.jpg

Fork oil being added.
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Old 1st June 2009, 12:01   #3
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The air filter being inspected.
Was not replaced as it was very clean.
RE ThunderBird Service : with Pictures.-img024.jpg

My steering had gotten loose.
The bolt in the centre was tightened a bit.
The bike feels much better now.
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A leak had set in between the silencer and the head.
The silencer assembly was removed and then the entire area cleared of debris.
New washers placed and the silencer fixed back.
The overall noise has reduced.
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The chain was tightened.
The suspension lowered a bit as I was finding it a bit too bouncy.
My bike had developed a weird issue over the past few weeks.
It refused to switch off.
We remove engine cut off switch and the headlight assembly to access the wires. The wires spark well and cause humming from the clutch assembly side. But the bike does not switch off. Something got messed up while doing this.
The electrical went out when the engine is off.
Normal functioning when the engine is switched on.
Not wanting to create a bigger problem, Anna asked me to take it to the nearby electrician instead.

Did that after the service was over.
The cutout had busted and a wire was disconnected.
The issue was fixed.

Finally all work completed, I get back home by 6PM.
Very hungry as I had only eaten breakfast and a couple of teas in between.
But very happy that my bike is such a charm.
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Old 1st June 2009, 12:22   #4
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Hmmm... only chai? What happened to Mary's little lamb?

That was a very detailed description of the service done on your TB, thank you for that.

Would help others if you could make a mention as to the overall labor cost. Would help in a comparo with the RE service centers for I have noticed most of the new gen RE users trusting the REASS more often.
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Old 1st June 2009, 12:33   #5
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I have been with Sudhakar Anna for more than 5 years now.

It would be very unfair on my part to disclose the labour charge because I get special treatment.

The cost of materials was 1430.
It includes 3l Magnatec, 3 cans of Fork oil, 1/2 l gear oil, oil filter.

Labour charges should ideally be under 500.

The electrician charged me 100 bucks to replace the cutout (Rs 60) and fix the wiring.
This is a high charge but he does a great job and I like his quality of workmanship.
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Old 1st June 2009, 12:40   #6
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A good description of servicing..line by line.
This should become a guide to other RE users.
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Old 1st June 2009, 12:46   #7
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Hi,

Can anyone give me detailed directions to his garage. Have heard a lot about this. I recently purchased a 500cc which needs to be tuned up. All my local bullet mechanics have been disappointing.

If anyone could locate his garage on google maps, that would be awesome.
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Old 1st June 2009, 12:54   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokie View Post
Hi,

Can anyone give me detailed directions to his garage. Have heard a lot about this. I recently purchased a 500cc which needs to be tuned up. All my local bullet mechanics have been disappointing.

If anyone could locate his garage on google maps, that would be awesome.
Wikimapia - Let's describe the whole world!

Its around the cross hairs on the map.
If you are unable to locate it then just ask someone. He is quite well known in that area.

His garage if opposite the Hindu Crematorium.
You can aslo stop by Commercial auto spares shop. Its located in the same complex as Helmet World at the Ranigunj signal.
Those guys will be able to give u directions as well.
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Old 1st June 2009, 12:58   #9
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Excellent one Blost. Will post my experience soon with a Chennai mech
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Old 1st June 2009, 14:00   #10
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For a 2003 model, your bike is in decent shape. Do you have pics and details of the bike at the back?!

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Old 1st June 2009, 14:08   #11
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Default Philanthropy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bblost View Post
Wikimapia - Let's describe the whole world!

Its around the cross hairs on the map.
If you are unable to locate it then just ask someone. He is quite well known in that area.

His garage if opposite the Hindu Crematorium.
You can aslo stop by Commercial auto spares shop. Its located in the same complex as Helmet World at the Ranigunj signal.
Those guys will be able to give u directions as well.
You being the philanthropic gentleman, just made sure that the next time you turn up at anna's place unannounced, you don't get anna free for your bike.

Well, jokes apart, bblost had introduced me to anna about a year back. Anna had groomed my little princess to the fine lady that she has become.

Two pieces of advice if anyone is headed to anna for the first time...

1. Even if you are a Bond of engines, do not throw your knowledge around. Anna appreciates people trying to learn as he is one of those rare people who will tell you what was wrong, and how it was fixed, and how to fix it in case you have the same issue on the highway. And he would refuse to change anything for the heck of it.

2. Be prepared for a visual treat...cuz Anna has been working on rare vintages for a while too.

It was heartening to see bblost posting about a mechanic. I remember a day when he was worried that he was not carrying a tool kit, because he had momentarily forgotten that such a thing a mechanics exist in this world.
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Old 1st June 2009, 14:11   #12
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That is a 1951 350 cc bike.

I don't remember the particulars but another biker friend of mine was snapping a lot of pics.
I will ask him for more info and also the photos.

They did mention that is the bike on which the RE Classic is based.
The first bike to have metallic paint.
The shocks were very interesting.
A nut on the top is removed and a couple of drops of oil added every few days.
A drain nut at the bottom to remove used oil once a month.

Was very good looking.

But I don't really have a lot of interest in other bikes.

The guy who owns it has a bunch of other vintages as well.
A true collector.
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Old 1st June 2009, 17:49   #13
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Thanks a lot for the map. It's perfect. I will go visit him once I get back in town.
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Old 2nd June 2009, 10:32   #14
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Default The Classic

Many thanks to my dear friend Deepak Bhat of the InddieThumpers who shared these pictures.
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Old 2nd June 2009, 17:22   #15
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I seriously need another bike. One subtle thing that makes these bikes very attractive is that the body and chassis are painted in the same shade.

How do they manage that chrome stripe, or is it just polished surface?!
Thats an Amal carb?!
How does one recognize the genuinity of a Smith's guage?!
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