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Thread: Royal Enfield: Thunderbird TS or Electra TS

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    Default Royal Enfield: Thunderbird TS or Electra TS

    Hello everybody,

    I have been desiring to buy a Royal Enfield bike since long. Since quite some time I have therefore been browsing forums to understand what a “Royal Enfield” bike is about. I have also visited a RE showroom and test – ridden a Thunderbird TS, though I am still to book one. To cut the story short, there are two models that have bitten my fancy – the Thunderbird TS and the Electra TS. Before I go ahead and book one, I would like it if someone please helps me with these queries…



    1. I am 5’ 11” and I weigh just about 59 kgs. No doubt, what you would call a think and lanky guy. Would a RE bike suit me. While there are people who are telling me to go ahead with my decision on RE (saying its your life, live it the way you want), there are certain friends of mine who are telling me that I might as well become a laughing stock.. A little advice would certainly help me tilt the balance towards buying/not buying an RE
    2. Which would be a better option considering my body build – TBTS or Electra TS?
    3. I have nil knowledge about maintaining a RE, since uptil now I have just been using a TVS Victor for commuting. Should I therefore think about going ahead with my dream of getting myself a RE? What if a RE breaks down, would I be able to handle it (is the thought that keeps troubling me)?



    This is my first post in this forum, which I have been scourging a lot for info on RE bikes. Advice from the knowledgeable seniors is what I am greatly looking forward to. Thank you

    P.S. Plan to use the bike for daily commute
    Last edited by pacificwaters; 04-02-2012 at 03:58 PM. Reason: Wanted to add the last line

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    Query approved

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    i am 5 ft 5 inches and weigh 60 kgs, I have a Bullet 1978 model........ and dont face any issues....... neither in traffic or otherwise......

    its your call.......

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    Quote Originally Posted by pacificwaters View Post
    Hello everybody,

    I have been desiring to buy a Royal Enfield bike since long. Since quite some time I have therefore been browsing forums to understand what a Royal Enfield bike is about. I have also visited a RE showroom and test ridden a Thunderbird TS, though I am still to book one. To cut the story short, there are two models that have bitten my fancy the Thunderbird TS and the Electra TS. Before I go ahead and book one, I would like it if someone please helps me with these queries



    1. I am 5 11 and I weigh just about 59 kgs. No doubt, what you would call a think and lanky guy. Would a RE bike suit me. While there are people who are telling me to go ahead with my decision on RE (saying its your life, live it the way you want), there are certain friends of mine who are telling me that I might as well become a laughing stock.. A little advice would certainly help me tilt the balance towards buying/not buying an RE
    2. Which would be a better option considering my body build TBTS or Electra TS?
    3. I have nil knowledge about maintaining a RE, since uptil now I have just been using a TVS Victor for commuting. Should I therefore think about going ahead with my dream of getting myself a RE? What if a RE breaks down, would I be able to handle it (is the thought that keeps troubling me)?



    This is my first post in this forum, which I have been scourging a lot for info on RE bikes. Advice from the knowledgeable seniors is what I am greatly looking forward to. Thank you

    P.S. Plan to use the bike for daily commute
    The new UCE engines have been quite reliable. They sustain long distance torture very well. Except for slightly audible tappets, which has never really translated to a mechanical problem, I ve not had any major maintenance on the Classic 500. The 350s I have seen are much more unhurried and relaxed than the 500, making them better to live with in the city. I have seen some of them give 45kmpl with sedate riders. There are a few 350s that manage to tail the 500s on the highway, but if you want to go fast, 500s are better.

    The UCE 350s don't require any attention apart from specified service intervals unless you you start randomly modifying it.

    The Thunderbird riding position and seat are probably the most comfortable and allow you to ride all day without any sort of fatigue. But for those who do not prefer the cruiser looks, Electra is a good bet.

    Advice is free. If you rely on people around you to make a decision for you, it may not have a happy ending.

    Just gather your facts, and go ride each bike again before you write out that cheque.

    All the best!

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    Quote Originally Posted by pacificwaters View Post
    Hello everybody,

    I have been desiring to buy a Royal Enfield bike since long. Since quite some time I have therefore been browsing forums to understand what a “Royal Enfield” bike is about. I have also visited a RE showroom and test – ridden a Thunderbird TS, though I am still to book one. To cut the story short, there are two models that have bitten my fancy – the Thunderbird TS and the Electra TS. Before I go ahead and book one, I would like it if someone please helps me with these queries…



    1. I am 5’ 11” and I weigh just about 59 kgs. No doubt, what you would call a think and lanky guy. Would a RE bike suit me. While there are people who are telling me to go ahead with my decision on RE (saying its your life, live it the way you want), there are certain friends of mine who are telling me that I might as well become a laughing stock.. A little advice would certainly help me tilt the balance towards buying/not buying an RE
    2. Which would be a better option considering my body build – TBTS or Electra TS?
    3. I have nil knowledge about maintaining a RE, since uptil now I have just been using a TVS Victor for commuting. Should I therefore think about going ahead with my dream of getting myself a RE? What if a RE breaks down, would I be able to handle it (is the thought that keeps troubling me)?



    This is my first post in this forum, which I have been scourging a lot for info on RE bikes. Advice from the knowledgeable seniors is what I am greatly looking forward to. Thank you

    P.S. Plan to use the bike for daily commute

    Well the new Twin Spark engines have a major fault. no resale value and very expensive parts. a 350cc Piston kit costs like 9500 minimum. Both are not a sane purchase. however if you are adamant on the twin spark engines. then an electra is more cost effective. (both bikes have the same engine) parts are more widely available. easily customizable and the TBTS frankly looks very ugly.

    take the electra without the self starter. its about 8 kilos lighter and the self starter anyway conks off after 10k odd kilometers
    Last edited by kartikdhar; 04-03-2012 at 12:07 PM. Reason: More info

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    Quote Originally Posted by indrajeet_thakur View Post
    i am 5 ft 5 inches and weigh 60 kgs, I have a Bullet 1978 model........ and dont face any issues....... neither in traffic or otherwise......

    its your call.......
    Thank you indrajeet..That was a very morale lifting post (atleast for me )

    Quote Originally Posted by the_trooper View Post
    The new UCE engines have been quite reliable. They sustain long distance torture very well. Except for slightly audible tappets, which has never really translated to a mechanical problem, I ve not had any major maintenance on the Classic 500. The 350s I have seen are much more unhurried and relaxed than the 500, making them better to live with in the city. I have seen some of them give 45kmpl with sedate riders. There are a few 350s that manage to tail the 500s on the highway, but if you want to go fast, 500s are better.

    The UCE 350s don't require any attention apart from specified service intervals unless you you start randomly modifying it.

    The Thunderbird riding position and seat are probably the most comfortable and allow you to ride all day without any sort of fatigue. But for those who do not prefer the cruiser looks, Electra is a good bet.

    Advice is free. If you rely on people around you to make a decision for you, it may not have a happy ending.

    Just gather your facts, and go ride each bike again before you write out that cheque.

    All the best!
    trooper..Thank you for your kind words... Advice is free as you rightly said, and that's exactly why since the time I thought of gravitating towards a RE I started getting different opinions from different people. However I like the way you put it..

    From what I have been reading, the TBTS does have a great degree of comfort. I even test rode it (Electra was not available when in the showroom at that time). Felt good. But somehow the very fact that it looks so very similar to the Avenger has put me off. The specifications for a TBTS and an Electra TS are absolutely the same. Also I am more of the kind who prefers the Electra for its rustic semblance to the original REs. The TBTS are more of a modernised RE. Thats the only reason I think Electra would be better.

    But as I said it is my height/weight ratio which makes me oscillate between TBTS and Electra... and hence the indecisiveness

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    Quote Originally Posted by kartikdhar View Post
    Well the new Twin Spark engines have a major fault. no resale value and very expensive parts. a 350cc Piston kit costs like 9500 minimum. Both are not a sane purchase. however if you are adamant on the twin spark engines. then an electra is more cost effective. (both bikes have the same engine) parts are more widely available. easily customizable and the TBTS frankly looks very ugly.

    take the electra without the self starter. its about 8 kilos lighter and the self starter anyway conks off after 10k odd kilometers
    I havent thought about the Electra without the self starter as yet, since as I said I am oscillating between the TBTS and the Electra. As regards, TBTS being ugly, well I wouldn't say that. The only fact that Avenger which I feel is no way comparable to a TBTS looks so very similar to it..
    Last edited by pacificwaters; 04-03-2012 at 12:55 PM.

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    Trust me, I have seen leaner and shorter guys riding a bull..and they look absolutely fine. You at least have good height!.
    Its your attitude towards yourself that defines others attitude towards you.
    And anyways your confidence will improve gradually once you start riding your bull, when people will stare at you...with admiration and jealousy.
    Also do consider the classic 350 as well, it costs same as TBTS. It has got the old world charm and still looks different from Electra, and could be a killer once you have got the rear seat removed.

    But bear in mind below mentioned points before owning a Royal Enfield:
    A) It has got a high rate of manufacturing defects, so do a thorough inspection of the bike before you take the delivery. Even if you find a small defect, document it on the PDI delivery form, at the back of your bike manual.
    B) Free services are very important, any manufacturing defect on engine will be noticed in this period. Again make sure you are documenting every service properly. If you notice something unusual, make sure are marking it on the job card. If the problem is still not solved after the service, make sure you are marking it on the job card. Do not sign your job card until you have taken the delivery of your bike.
    C) Service centers can be a pain in the ass, they are not your usual Bajaj, TVS, or Yamaha guys.
    D) Though the new UCE engines are 90% problem free, but still you need to listen to them and care for it. Its not your fill it shut it forget it types.
    E) Riding a bull is a different experience altogether, you will qualify yourself from just being a commuter to being a bulleteer!!
    F) As soon as you own an Enfield, there is a world of brotherhood waiting for you to join in, just look around.
    G) Love and care for it and it will give you back memories to cherish
    H) You will be fulfilling your dream!! Just contemplate..how many have you till now!!
    Tour de Thar 2014; Exploring the Thar Desert

    A Wet and Wild MMS
    ; A travelogue through Mewar

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    @deejay...

    That was a very boosting post for me.... especially after being told by some about the ridicule I might face..

    Until now had never thought about the classic 350. However I do have to visit the RE store for a scheduled test ride of the Electra today. Will make it a point to check out the Classic as well, provided they have it in stock...!!

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    Unless you have some connections at the RE dealer, don't bother.
    Your dreams of owning an RE bike, any of them, may die of ripe old age before you even hear of your delivery coming soon.
    Let alone the joy of going in and getting out with a bike.

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