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Old 22nd April 2010, 15:51   #1
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Default Ownership Experience- Thunderbird Twinspark.

Hi All,
Ownership experience for my Thunderbird is pending. now currently running at 2500kms in odo. I believe i qualify to write up my experience.

Showroom experience - RE brand store-Jaynagar.

Wat should i say. Didnot have good experience at all. Dont know if they are really following the booking in order. it took 3 months for them to deliver the bike. and one of my friend took the delivery of thunderbird in flat one week from the same showroom. from where n how i dont know. Anyway dint have good delivery experience either. Bike was kept in service station next to may be some bike getting silver paint touchup. all small particles of spray all over my bike when i went for the delivery. They got some thinner from the service station and tried to remove it. all over tank, seat side shield. they tried there best but still some of them remained in the bike. no other choice had to take the delivery of the bike.

Problems in bike after 1 month of ownership

Now i seriously doubt if RE is really bothered about the quality of the product. The QA becomes such an important factor in all sectors to deliver the right product without making customer run in into any issues on a new product. But RE is other way round. To my surprise all the parts in my Bike had QA OK sticker wherever it was possible but i really feel they have to improve a lot. Ans when i say this i'm very serious about it. Please note that these problems noticed immediately after 2 days of ownership.

1. fuel if put more than 400 Rs. starts leaking from the fuel lid. Went with this problem thrice. they take bike inside and replace the rubber gasket with other bikes but still no resolution. started to live with it.

2. Doesnt hit reserve. this was fixed in first service. Geniunely fixed issue after complaining the first time.

3. Air leak from bend pipe. fixed after two visits. but again cropped up. they replaced gasket twice for this and asked me to pay. and its back again.

4. trip meter stuck at 99 kms. complained. they claim they have fixed it. but still it is stuck.

5. oil filter oil leak. This is the biggest tension among all. 5 or 6 times i have taken my bike the A.S.S. but everytime they do is replace the gasket charge me and send me back. after 2 days the same scene. now i thought of isolating this problem myself. took a spanner tried to tighten the bolt myself. to my surprise one of the nut is slipping when we try to tight this. this couldnot be identified by the folks out there. dont tell me. they are just not bothered really. [Need input on this. what should i do].

6. the head right from sparkplug till bottom has a oil leak marks. first time i complained, he replaced some gasket on top and said its fixed. but i dont think so. dont know what to do. advise or suggestions needed.

7. i noticed the foot rest below the gear lever moving up and down when i change gears. upon closer observation noticed a big bolt has come out n literally hanging. upon showing it in garage we realised this bolt starts from the side stand area and leads till end of the other side where the other foot rest is bolted together. All these days it was resting in bend pipe. now u imagine what would have happened. there is huge impression on the bend pipe.

Riding experience.

too good. no doubt about it. taken her for long drive after proper run in.
she behaved just as the bull should behave,Liked every bit of my ride with her. City riding has not been any concern for me in bumper to bumper traffic.


Apart from pathetic service, moreover pathetic service personal
attitude the bike is great and more than happy with the product.

RE has to buck up when it comes to quality. I can understand the waiting period and crazyness of the people to own RE but they cant really take customer for a ride.

Guys i have following specific thread for mechanic for RE in there respective places. I dont want to go to them so soon as it might void the warranty, but with this pathetic response and service what would RE expect. i dont have an answer. let RE people break their head with this.
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Old 22nd April 2010, 16:41   #2
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Originally Posted by Endofdayz View Post

5. oil filter oil leak. This is the biggest tension among all. 5 or 6 times i have taken my bike the A.S.S. but everytime they do is replace the gasket charge me and send me back. after 2 days the same scene. now i thought of isolating this problem myself. took a spanner tried to tighten the bolt myself. to my surprise one of the nut is slipping when we try to tight this. this couldnot be identified by the folks out there. dont tell me. they are just not bothered really. [Need input on this. what should i do].
.
First of all, good report.

Don't overtighten anything, especially the oil drain plug and the bolts on the crank case as the nuts are made of steel while the crankcase threads are soft aluminum. Always, aluminum goes first and then you will be in a spot of bother. Also, overtightening will warp the aluminum oil filter cover and then it just won't seal. If the nut is slipping, time to use better tools(the tools in the tool kit are of really pathetic quality) or get yourself a different nut, preferably ones by TVS.

Cheers,

Jay
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Old 22nd April 2010, 17:48   #3
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First of all, good report.

Don't overtighten anything, especially the oil drain plug and the bolts on the crank case as the nuts are made of steel while the crankcase threads are soft aluminum. Always, aluminum goes first and then you will be in a spot of bother. Also, overtightening will warp the aluminum oil filter cover and then it just won't seal. If the nut is slipping, time to use better tools(the tools in the tool kit are of really pathetic quality) or get yourself a different nut, preferably ones by TVS.

Cheers,

Jay
thanks Jay. but sliping as in the nut doesnt get tight. means it just freely rotates. so any suggestions.
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Old 22nd April 2010, 18:00   #4
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Endofdayz - I really feel sorry for you and all those who shell out their hard earned money and then end up being taken for a ride by being provided with a pathetic A.S.S. and a ill-quality (spares) product.

After going through various threads on Classics & TBTS and learning about the various issues almost every new RE steed owner is facing, I am contemplating cancelling my CL350 booking and waiting for a better bike to be launched by Honda or Yamaha power plants.

Something that is around a 250cc and falls anywhere between 1.25-1.75L would be just the right ride for me.
My old bull is far better as compared to the new age machines - atleast there is an excuse for accepting that there is an issue that the bike is 30 years old.

Last edited by mantrig : 22nd April 2010 at 18:17.
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Old 22nd April 2010, 18:04   #5
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Haha, welcome to the RE club.
What you have experienced is just the tip of the iceberg, there are many incidents waiting for the long enfield ka "suffer" (hindi word).
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Old 22nd April 2010, 20:17   #6
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thanks Jay. but sliping as in the nut doesnt get tight. means it just freely rotates. so any suggestions.
Looks like stripped threads. Cause: Overtightening. Two solutions to this issue. One is tapping out the stripped threads and making new threads. You will need an oversized nut for the new threads. The other solution is drilling out the hole and using a helicoil insert in the hole. This is the best solution this side of solid inserts but you'll be hard pressed to find anyone in Bangalore who is ready to do this for you. So, stick to the first method and from next time, don't overtighten any fasteners on the bullet, especially anything on the engine or invest in a torque wrench that preferably isn't of Chinese make. I have gone through similar travails when I started working on my LB500.

Coming to the servicing issue, the best way to get around this is by going DIY. As it is Bullets are simple machines, so going DIY for basic service shouldn't be all that difficult now that Pete Snidal's manual for the UCEs is near-about/already ready. I'm not justifying most RE dealers' utter lack of competence in the servicing department here and as a customer paying one lakh plus, you deserve the best service but unfortunately most RE dealers are a little too slothful to change anytime too soon.

Cheers,

Jay
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Old 27th April 2010, 14:17   #7
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Hi Jay and Others,
as you know i have installed short bottle silencer on my bike. Today i had gone out for 1/2 kms to get some eatables. while starting the bike i noticed there is a leak where the bend and the silencer end inserts. I felt the leak on my foot which i didnot notice till now as this is the first time i rode this bike is shorts.i dunno whether standard fitment also had any air leak. is it normal. or tightening of screw is needed. Kindly advise.
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Old 27th April 2010, 16:16   #8
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Endofdayz, hopefully the problems you have had are outweighed by the pleasure of riding the bird. I have started noticing #2 from your list on my bike these days...It started sputtering and to my horror when I opened the tank there was no fuel (and it was set to ON) Luckily I started the bike on the choke and took it to a pump close by and filled her up.

And I think you should take it to a good mechanic (and not the RE service centre/showroom) as I have found that here atleast they do nothing in the Free service period. A friend of mine has had bad experience with electric starter on his TB and will not be going to the service centre anymore. Same with me, inspite of still having a free service coupon I will be taking the bike to a local mechanic.
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Old 27th April 2010, 16:33   #9
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Endofdayz, hopefully the problems you have had are outweighed by the pleasure of riding the bird. I have started noticing #2 from your list on my bike these days...It started sputtering and to my horror when I opened the tank there was no fuel (and it was set to ON) Luckily I started the bike on the choke and took it to a pump close by and filled her up.

And I think you should take it to a good mechanic (and not the RE service centre/showroom) as I have found that here atleast they do nothing in the Free service period. A friend of mine has had bad experience with electric starter on his TB and will not be going to the service centre anymore. Same with me, inspite of still having a free service coupon I will be taking the bike to a local mechanic.
Welcome to RE club. I feel lets finish the 4 coupons for the heck of it. atleast warranty will be intact. After that we need to search a reliable mech in bangalore. my search is on. My frenz who own RE CI's have told me few mechanics but need to try them before i comment on it.

meanwhile what is the standard warranty our bulls come with. i tried to locate and couldnt find this info. do This mean it is not in factory warranty.

my Bad.

I wish these dealers sell the bike and say customer to find the options on their own. rather torturing customer by their shoddy service. i'm already thinking of alternative career. Open a service center for bull. as assistant supervisor. Jay and other bullet experts be the guide. what say guys.
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Old 27th April 2010, 18:14   #10
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end of dayz I agree with career change option
A business opportunity is there to Setup a RE service and spares store across India. Quality service at reasonable prices
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Old 28th April 2010, 00:14   #11
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end of dayz I agree with career change option
A business opportunity is there to Setup a RE service and spares store across India. Quality service at reasonable prices
interesting. pls define quality vs reasonable price in your opinion. curious i am to see what you deem as quality and free service and paid service and reasonable price.
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Old 28th April 2010, 10:19   #12
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interesting. pls define quality vs reasonable price in your opinion. curious i am to see what you deem as quality and free service and paid service and reasonable price.
You are a big RE fan i guess?

Last edited by Spitfire : 28th April 2010 at 10:20.
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Old 28th April 2010, 16:32   #13
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You are a big RE fan i guess?
not a fan of re. but just a businessman and i like to raise a counter point to get justification to posts regarding business viability & profitability vis-a-vis customer service.
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Old 29th April 2010, 10:25   #14
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a counter point to get justification to posts regarding business viability & profitability vis-a-vis customer service.
The firm here is not a good example to start with. Look at Mahindra instead.
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Old 30th April 2010, 14:51   #15
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Looks like stripped threads. Cause: Overtightening. Two solutions to this issue. One is tapping out the stripped threads and making new threads. You will need an oversized nut for the new threads. The other solution is drilling out the hole and using a helicoil insert in the hole. This is the best solution this side of solid inserts but you'll be hard pressed to find anyone in Bangalore who is ready to do this for you. So, stick to the first method and from next time, don't overtighten any fasteners on the bullet, especially anything on the engine or invest in a torque wrench that preferably isn't of Chinese make. I have gone through similar travails when I started working on my LB500.

Coming to the servicing issue, the best way to get around this is by going DIY. As it is Bullets are simple machines, so going DIY for basic service shouldn't be all that difficult now that Pete Snidal's manual for the UCEs is near-about/already ready. I'm not justifying most RE dealers' utter lack of competence in the servicing department here and as a customer paying one lakh plus, you deserve the best service but unfortunately most RE dealers are a little too slothful to change anytime too soon.

Cheers,

Jay
I'll need to be getting one of those for me as soon as it is out.
Jay, please lets us know when it'll be available.
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