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My RE TB 500 Motorcycle Diaries

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by , 05-10-2013 at 06:45 PM (10821 Views)
Quote Originally Posted by J.Ravi View Post
A second Royal Enfield entered my family on 15 April 2013. Meet my Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 Twilight.

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My new Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 Twilight poses with my FIAT Linea, the first one being my son's Classic 500 Black.

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I am writing this ownership report after riding my TB500 for 567 km and completing the first free servicing.

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I have been dreaming to own a Royal Enfield since 1970s, when I was a teenager. My dream became a reality on 15 April 2013! Earlier, I had owned and sold many two wheelers, Lambretta, Vijay Delux, Priya, Hero Honda CD100 and Suzuki Fiero.

My desire to own a Royal Enfield renewed again last year, when my son wanted to buy Royal Enfield Classic 500 Black. So, along with him, I test-rode Royal Enfield models Electra and Desert Storm and Honda CBR 250R. I used to ride his Classic 500 during the weekends as my son uses it for commuting to and fro his office during the other days. After riding his bike, I decided that my next bike shall be Royal Enfield! In the meanwhile, Royal Enfield launched the new Thunderbird 500 in October, 2012, which I test-rode for the first time at HSR Enterprises, Rajajinagar, Bangalore. Finally, I took the plunge and sold my Suzuki Fiero and booked a Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 Twilight after test-riding for the second time at Royal Enfield Brand Store, Adayar, Chennai on 16 November 2012 by paying 5,000 by cash towards advance. I was told that I would get my bike by March 2013.

I waited patiently until the first week of March 2013. From the second week, I started calling the Royal Enfield Brand Store to know my status atleast twice in a week. I was assured that I would get my bike by the third week, and then, fourth week and later, the first week of April 2013. But, nothing happened except the false assurances. I had become so famous there that I was identified by my voice!

I got fed up and vented my feelings in xBhp, Facebook, Twitter and other fora. I also emailed to Royal Enfield. Then, the things started moving fast. I paid 1,80,105 inclusive of the advance towards the on-road price by way of demand draft. The prices were revised from 1 April 2013, which could be the reason for the delayed delivery!

I did PDI, when my bike came to Chennai Mandaiveli RTO. The VIN indicated that my bird was March 2013 make. The pollution test was done 23 March 2013. Only after getting satisfied, I signed the RTO forms, afterwhich, my bike was registered.

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I took delivery of my bird the same evening from Royal Enfield Brand Store after waiting for 5 months. The delivery process was smooth. Kamal Pandey, manager of Royal Enfield Brand Store, explained to me all the details patiently, which I had already known. Two litres of petrol were measured and poured into the tank in my presence. I was even given the registration number, but asked me to come the next day for affixing the stickers on the registration number plates.

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After getting the stickers affixed on the registration number plates, I rode to Quality Metal Industries and my TB500 got a newly designed crash-guard. The details are here. The advantage of this type of crash-guard is that the rider's footwear will not foul with it although the front foot-rest peg is shifted towards the front in the new Thunderbirds.

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I rode on my TB500 for about 200 km within Chennai city following all the stipulations specified in the owner's handbook, viz., not exceeding 50 kmph and 10 minutes rest for every hour of ride. However, the fifth gear could not used much in the congested city traffic. So, I rode Chennai>Pondy>Chennai [323 km] with my wife in the pillion on 23 April 2013, when my TB500 was on the fifth gear most of the time on the highways.

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My TB500 went to Royal Enfield Brand Store at Kottivakkam, Chennai, for the first free servicing on 24 April 2013. Earlier, I contacted them and I was told that I could ride into the service centre at 9 am without prior appointment. The bike would be serviced and handed over to me after 2.5 hours. I could wait there in the customer lounge, when my bike was serviced. My TB500 reached there by 9:15 am. Before I was attended by the SA, the security guy opened my bike's tank and measured the petrol level by inserting a dip-stick and noted the level in a register. First time, I witnessed this process. I had difficulty in bring the gear lever to the neutral position. The second problem that I faced was, some 'Dak..Dak' sound emanating from the chain-guard in a cyclic manner. The SA assured me that the issues would be set right.

I waited in the air-conditioned customer lounge, while my Thunderbird was getting serviced. I was served with coffee at 10 am. I browsed the newspapers. Then, I enquired with the cashier about the acceptance of credit card for payment without extra charge. The cashier informed me that additional service charge of about 1.75% would apply. So, I walked to the nearby Canara Bank ATM located on Rajiv Gandhi Salai [Old Mahabalipuram Road] and withdrew sufficient money to take care of the payment. I got back my bird by 12:15 pm. I checked. All the problems were resolved to my satisfaction. I paid 851 by cash and rode back home.

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My son's Classic 500 Black's servicing at the crowded HSR Enterprises, Rajajinagar, Bangalore, takes two days with prior appointment by atleast one week before. Compared to that, my Thunderbird got serviced within 3 hours without any prior booking! The Chennai Royal Enfield Brand Store service centre was spacious. All the bikes were parked in the demarcated grid. The mechanics wore helmet while going for the test-rides. I am fully satisfied with the service rendered to my TB500.

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