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Old 25th August 2009, 12:06   #1
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Default The Bird has landed! (Royal Enfield TBTS new ownership review)

or rather the Thunderbird is now ready to fly..

About the TBird -

Model - Royal Enfield Thunderbird TwinSpark
Delivery taken on - 6th August 2009
Colour - Silver
Odo Reading - 570kms
1st Free Service - Done on 25th August (yesterday)
Amount paid - Rs 550 (cost of oil and oil filter)
also changed head gasket/packing to stop oil leakage - is this common for TBs?)


A little background -
I have been a biker for a long time starting in 1994/95 (back when I was in college)
started with a Kinetic Honda+Luna and my father bought me a KB 4s Champion (not a cool bike by any means but then money matters and I was not paying!). That workhorse was ridden around Pune a lot (including trips to Mumbai) and finally sold it off after 45,000kms in 2003. Reason?: By now I had started earning myself and graduated to a Pulsar 150 DTSi.
Had a very good time with that bike (the 4s was problem free for 7 yrs).

During the last year or so, I felt that the bike was losing its punch and on top it was becoming harder to ride longer distances comfortably on it. (My wife especially hated the seat of the Pulsar). So even though it was my daily ride to work (4 days a week, 1 day by car) I dared not take it on any long distance ride. My car would do duty on the highways.
I like to travel a lot and I want to explore my country and my state a lot more than I have managed till now. So was thinking about getting a used SUV (Safari being my choice).
Even took a couple of test rides but the budget was not working out (my criteria being a cheap used car which I can thrash on bad country roads with ample luggage space :-) )

Although I was not a Bullet/RE fan to begin with, over the years I have grown fonder of those bikes and I would look at them in the parking lots and the roads thinking...can I? should I? Surfed on the RE/TBHP sites to find out more and after a couple of showroom visits
and thinking hard about what I wanted from this bike, I settled on the new TBTS. I like the looks of the Electra a lot more but I felt the TBTS suited me more as I wanted as hassle free an experience (I know its not Japanese but still..) as my previous 2 bikes (which aren't known for their reliability it seems but have had hardly a problem in my 75,000kms running on the KB bikes).

To cut a really long story short, booked the bike at the start of August and took delivery in less than a week. It was a little tough to begin with - the gears!
although left sided they are different to the Bajaj bikes not just in the pattern but you literally have to kick them in their place. Plenty of false neutrals, especially between 3->4 and 4->5. Getting the bike to neutral was a pain too at signals. It was heavy but surprisingly nimble when moving. Shocks are pretty good, although the bike does jump on the smaller but tall bumps. Engine response is good although I felt I had to change gears too often for an engine with that much torque. Electric starter is really good too. Horn is weak and not too happy about the headlight throw. Maybe I should put in a bigger lamp.
Front disc brake is adequate and the bike is stable too.

Got the stock silencer changed to the "option" silencer which is louder but not really getting the sound I thought it would have (yes never going to get the Std/Electra thump but still)

Have not been able to take it on any long rides as such (the Western Bypass does not count, max has been 35-40kms) and riding under 50-60kph is a pain so thought I would hold off till its first service. Had that done yesterday and some minor issues solved/looked at.
(footrest gets stuck when trying to close it, fuel tank lid extremely difficult to remove, some oil leakage from head, brake light stays on after applying read brake)

Now it's ready to fly.Well, have to keep it under 70kph until I do 2k (so says the manual)
but will definitely take it on a longer ride this week-end.

I will keep adding more information as I do some trips on it.
Finally thanks for reading a very long post and thank you to all bikers on here for your help (although I did not create a thread asking for it, I got a lot of advice from your existing posts..honourable mention to bblost for his TB related posts and all Enfield owners in general)

Pics are in my garage.
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Old 25th August 2009, 12:29   #2
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Cool. A crisp description there.
I have booked a black TBTS on Aug 24th and waiting for delivery - 40 days expected :-(
Could you please a list for the Pre-Delivery Inspection to be done?
And how about the Crash gaurd, Saree Gaurd which are not part of the company fitting.
Is the optional silencer free to upgrade, if not wats the cost?

Sorry for so many questions, just a bit excited. :-)
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Old 25th August 2009, 12:48   #3
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Congrats Abhay. Good choice . what was the onroad price you paid?? Post atleast one good pic of your bike please (I know its there in your garage, but still) . Why changed the head gasket?? was it recommended??


Have fun, drive safe.

Last edited by mnhegde : 25th August 2009 at 12:51.
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Old 25th August 2009, 13:28   #4
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Well the pics I have here are the same ones in my garage so would be a bit redundant :-)
Although when I take other pics I will surely post a couple on the thread. Well there was some oil leakage from the head so the service guys changed it..also another TBTS for service had the same problem (not sure if this quite common?)

On Road = Rs 1,09,290
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Old 25th August 2009, 13:42   #5
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Its a brilliant bike. Rode one all the way to Leh Ladakh and back. The only grouch i found was a leak from the fuel filler cap.
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Old 25th August 2009, 13:59   #6
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Yes balenopower..forgot to mention that, whenever the bike was on main stand overnight when I did not use it , there would be some fuel leakage from the cap. Also the mechanism to open the cap is weird (after using the Pulsar for 6 years, its unbelievably stupid!) as is the separate handle lock/ignition. Apart from that not too many issues.
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Old 25th August 2009, 16:15   #7
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Could you please answer my questions, if you dont mind?
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Old 25th August 2009, 17:08   #8
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sorry about that bheem!! Somehow I completely missed your earlier post *slapping forehead - sorry*

I don't mind at all-

40 days for delivery? - Err, my bike would have been available for delivery within 2 days in case I paid cash, since I paid by cheque and the showroom's bank was some silly co-op bank it took about 4 days to clear and for the RTO passing to go ahead.


Pre-Delivery Inspection - the usual oil levels, battery charge, take a small ride so incase any small issues are there you can get it fixed immediately.
Other bike gurus can add more I'm sure.

Crash gaurd, Saree Gaurd - Yes those are accessories. There are 2 types of crash guard (atleast here) Air Fly (Rs 800) and Diamond (Rs 600)
I went for the Diamond (Air Fly is the one which is more common on Bullets though) and did not opt for Saree guard (Rs 400, my wife will never ride on it in a saree..on those rare occasions its always the car hehe)

optional silencer - short silencer (Rs 2400), I paid Rs 2000 (400 back for stock silencer)

Hope that helps. I know that feeling of waiting for the bike to be delivered. Especially if its your first bike.
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Old 30th August 2009, 22:06   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abhay View Post
sorry about that bheem!! Somehow I completely missed your earlier post *slapping forehead - sorry*

I don't mind at all-

40 days for delivery? - Err, my bike would have been available for delivery within 2 days in case I paid cash, since I paid by cheque and the showroom's bank was some silly co-op bank it took about 4 days to clear and for the RTO passing to go ahead.


Pre-Delivery Inspection - the usual oil levels, battery charge, take a small ride so incase any small issues are there you can get it fixed immediately.
Other bike gurus can add more I'm sure.

Crash gaurd, Saree Gaurd - Yes those are accessories. There are 2 types of crash guard (atleast here) Air Fly (Rs 800) and Diamond (Rs 600)
I went for the Diamond (Air Fly is the one which is more common on Bullets though) and did not opt for Saree guard (Rs 400, my wife will never ride on it in a saree..on those rare occasions its always the car hehe)

optional silencer - short silencer (Rs 2400), I paid Rs 2000 (400 back for stock silencer)

Hope that helps. I know that feeling of waiting for the bike to be delivered. Especially if its your first bike.
Hey, thanks a lot Abhay. No probs.
Ya., They say demand is high and the month's batch got over!
This is my first bike. Riding my relative's Activa for the past 4 yrs!
Thanks.
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Old 31st August 2009, 12:07   #10
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Have done about 750kms by now (3+ weeks). Bike seems to be running pretty well. Still need to keep it under 70kph till about 2000kms. That will be tough!

Also early mornings when I kick-start the bike, just when it idles, there is a tick-tack sound (quite loud) which goes away when I give more throttle. Any idea what that could be?

There is also this weird chhhooo-chhheeee sound whenever you decelerate which apparently is expected (not explained that well by the service guys, something about Euro3 norms and some component making that noise) but should reduce over time.

Not liking that sound though :-s
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Old 31st August 2009, 12:47   #11
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The tick tack sound might be from the timing spindle which may have to be replaced/repaired. The service station might ask you to cought up Rs 350 even thought your bike will be under warranty. Debate hard & you might save on this charge. If it is Chooo chheee... hope its not from the head gasket...
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Old 31st August 2009, 23:11   #12
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Nice writeup...really enjoyed reading that. Pics please
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Old 31st August 2009, 23:48   #13
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Shoot the bird Abhay (with the camera I mean ) Nice write up man, Congratulations on owning a legend amongst bikes. Please post some pics.
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Old 1st September 2009, 13:16   #14
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thanks NIP & sammy, will add a few pics this week-end when I take her out on her first real long run. Also was at the RE showroom this morning with a friend and asked about that tick/tack sound after the engine start. I was told it is due to the auto-decompressor which the TBTS has and it happens when the oil has not reached everywhere (during the first few seconds on idle)

Anybody know anything about this?
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Old 2nd September 2009, 17:43   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abhay View Post
thanks NIP & sammy, will add a few pics this week-end when I take her out on her first real long run. Also was at the RE showroom this morning with a friend and asked about that tick/tack sound after the engine start. I was told it is due to the auto-decompressor which the TBTS has and it happens when the oil has not reached everywhere (during the first few seconds on idle)

Anybody know anything about this?
the tik-tac noise at idle is due to too low an idle rpm. set the idle at 900 and the noise will go away. note that the idle rpm for the uce is higher than the cast iron old bullets. and do not let an 'old' bullet hand advice you too much about the new uce engines.
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