Hello, friends and avid readers of BikeAdvice. Let me introduce myself. I am Debayan Ghosh. Born and brought up in the city of joy, Kolkata. Currently, I am a IT professional (Web Developer). And of a bike lover, very very passionate about my bike, to the extent of spending sleepless nights if I find a mildest scratch anywhere in my bike until removed.
I would like to assert out that this is my first review on any biking-related site and I would like this to represent this more like how I ended up today with my Black Royal Enfield Thunderbird Twinspark 350cc “Quite a long name for a bike, I love it that way.” And the 8 months of journey till now with this elegant piece of machine, rather than a techspec review, so take your time to read along.
Dormant Biking Dreams: Age 14-15
I would like to start my journey from this stage of my life, because prior to this, I neither had knowledge or dreams of owning a two wheeler that too even a bicycle. Generally, I used to avail local bus. There was no option of any kind of two-wheelers as such.
Biking – It’s A Dream: Age 18-19
Life was good. Enjoying the bicycles. But soon life was changing. Completed schooling, I joined college. Meanwhile, Pulsars, CBZ, Discovers, and Apache were starting to rule the street and so in front of the college gates. People started to think beyond Splendors and Calibers. I thought too that I must own a bike. Friends, a couple of them who already owned Pulsars, boosted me that yes its now times to get a bike.
Gradually I proposed in front of my parents. I actually did not throw my wish on them. Instead I used small tricks, like I used to cut out bike ads off the newspapers, turn the TV volume high during bike ads and even tried to make technical discussions about bikes to them, to make them feel, I really know and care about bikes, hence I deserve one.
But I could not tell them my wish for the next year and had to continue this whole drama for the entire year. So finally, I found out a good time, probably before the 21st birthday, to crack my wish open in front of them. I calmly told them and dad gave a silent smile and said nothing. You got that right.. Proposal somewhat rejected.
A Funny Incident
One day I decided to see whether my parents really don’t want me to have a bike. So, in order to see their reactions, I, with a friend, went to a local dealer, all of a sudden almost booked a Discover 150cc and then told them. As soon as they heard. OMG! Dad tore the booking slip in front of the dealer, leaving me and the dealer speechless. Seeing this, the dealer approached me personally and advised not to go for a bike, at least then!
Ray Of Hope On 22nd Birthday
This was the best birthday in the long 22 years. After seeing my adamant passion for bikes, my parents actually nod for my bike with two simple conditions. I still remember the day when I and my mother quietly sat together and had a discussion that changed things for me. She made me believe that it is not matter of ignorance about the rejections that I may think but of love, care and concern for me.
As I am their only son, it’s definite that they are ones truly concerned about me, and truly she was, for bike accidents are part of everyday news. I was in a dual situation, so I listened to her and quietly promised her to be a good rider. Well, days passed and things began to change slowly and with a ray of hope, 24th birthday being my target, bike choosing and fund raising was my prime motive.
Leaving aside the topic of fund raising, let move with bike choosing. Let me clear something. I was an amateur bike enthusiast. So I had no idea of how Pulsars and Hero and Honda differ in terms of ride quality or technical details. I thoroughly went through every review here in BikeAdvice (Thanks a million!) and came to know a bit about torque, gear, clutch etc.
Choosing A Bike – Real Confusing
It’s a very odd task for me because I have rode TVS Starcity HH Hunk, and Bajaj Platina only. Riding experience accumulated to a merely less than 2 kms Only! The real fact is that neither have I had any relative who owns a bike and asking friends for lending a bike to ride doesn’t seem to be an option for me. You can call me shy for that but I take it as an odd responsibility for if I break his bike I may have to repay him.
Another confusing thing, it’s the real confusing matter “I liked every bike for its looks” so I was like, I wanted to go with Hunk, CBZ, then Pulsar, then discover, then Apache or may be Unicorn etc.. all messed up. Now I have this elder bro, met in the second year of college.
One day I saw a black bike, full metal body, large fuel tank standing outside the college gate. Closing in, I saw the words Royal Enfield emboldened along with Thunderbird Twinspark. Believe me, I have never seen this bike before and was like.. “what is this”. Luckily, I found out that this elder bro owned this bike. It was a 2007 model TBTS standing tall, with its shine and pride.
Now in this part of Kolkata, where I stay, RE bikes was really not an everyday bike. I had merely seen Red Bullet or older models sometimes. That’s some time in 2008-09. Now that’s a different story. Now there Classics everywhere and there are 2 Classics, 1 a 1990 model bullet and a Thunderbird, that’s mine, total 4 RE in my locale.
Well moving on, my mind was set. This is it. If I can (and will) afford, I must have this bike and this one only. This bike has a majestic road presence and a look to die for. I told my parents about my choice and they were like”are there are no options left for you?” They simply felt that how can I manage to ride a 200 kg bike?
They proposed for a different option but I was like.. No, this and this only. In between the arguments and discussion, suddenly my aunt touched height by proposing the first bike she saw in the newspaper, a Platina for me! Platina vs TBTS never mind. Never think of it.
The Bike Booking, Waaaiiitinggg And More
After fundraising was sufficient to own this dream bike I accompanied by my dad went to East India Agro RE authorized dealer across Kalamandir, Shakespeare Sarani. Process was 5 mins. Let me brief it. On road at that time was Rs124,750. I have to pay Rs. 5000/- advance to book the bike which I did.
The person gladly handed over a receipt and in a smiling face said please wait 2 – 3 months for a Black colored bike. God knows how much I wanted to punch on his face. I was also mentioned a strange rule that I have to pay the price at the time of delivery and not at the time of booking. Very strange. Well a month passed. I visited the showroom to enquire.
To my dismay, the price was increase by damn Rs. 3000/-. And upon that I was told to get a Black TBTS I may have to wait even more. Some people get depressed, I got angry. I didn’t show them though. I went home and filed a complaint to RE, Chennai and Regional Manager Kolkata.
Some of you might think that I may have been overreacting but I am stating the fact here that in between my booking and visit to showroom, I happen to visit the workshop of this very dealer where I found adequate number of Black TBTS both fitted and unfitted. This clearly means they had enough supply and can easily provide me the bike in a months time. They were unnecessarrily delaying the delivery to get the increased prices.
However, as expected I received a call in a couple of days from Regional Manager, R.E. and then from showroom and believe me, I finally owned a Black Royal Enfield Thunderbird Twinspark 350cc, costing a Rs. 1,27754, within a weeks time. I had home delivery as I was not confident enough to take the first ride out of showroom. It took a week to learn all about the bike, to manage the bike in motion, to manage it on stands and so on so forth.
What Did I Get ? Love, Respect & Pride
Today, after riding 2700 km on the tacho and completing my third service at 2500kms, one thing I can say with absolute confidence is that I have made a right decision, that I have made the right choice. I will skip the technical detailing of the bike. Just to say, it’s a 350cc twinspark engine, producing 28NM adorable torque.
Now I must say something here. I do not need a everyday bike or a commuter bike. I need something special for my weekends to cruise off. Mileage factor, price factor are not my concern. I needed something that I can wait for the whole week to get on. It’s more than a bike. It’s like my prize for the whole week after the crushing hard work at office.
You know, I just wait when the Saturday will come. For a guy like biking is like meditation for me. I ride through the tree-line highways some times to Diamond Harbour, Kolaghat, or may be Bakkhali. I take out my bike mostly on Weekend so riding is very less, that’s why its only 2500km on third service, whereas my Warranty card says it should be 6000km+.
Riding this bike is a pleasure indeed. I generally cruise at 60 to 70kmph on 5th gear in the highways and 45 to 50kmph in 4th gear in city. I prefer that I will keep feeling the entire distance of my ride, embrace the journey and not just vrooom and gone. I get a decent mileage of 42-43 kmpl in the city and 45+ in the highways. I use premium petrol than unleaded petrol.
As this is my first bike, to be frank I like everything about it. Even if someone says oh this part could be better, I say it’s fine I am okay with this. Its natural, it happens. The sitting posture is very comfortable and I can easily ride for hours. Actually the handle bar and the seat is made as such you can ride for hours, that you just need to hold and relax. I never have to pull the whole body during turnings; a slight turn of hand is all it takes.
Headlights and the horns are a real off bit. I can’t understand the conception of RE engineers that they give dual horns and a 60W headlight to Classic model and single horn and 35W headlight to a highway cruiser. Perhaps they thought this time my way and outcome is the new TBTS with a mighty projector lamp. God! It’s a damn common sense that a highway cruiser needs better headlight and horn.
There is a huge engine running under the hood that makes riding a smooth buttery one accompanied with vibrations. Common, again you’re riding a RE. The heavy feel flies off once you shift to 2nd gear and start releasing the clutch. It feels like feather gliding over the road. You have to be careful about turning though.
This bike will feel heavy at corners for beginners. You can get along with it once you get used to weight of the bike. Once I almost dropped on the corner but skipped falling as I balanced with my leg, so I nothing much to worry about. That happened only once.
Remember, RE do not feature RTR like Apache, so the initial pick is somewhat lazy and takes time. I never push my engine at the start lines of traffic. I feel the power is evenly distributed in all gears, so I give required time to accelerate to proper speed in proper gear. Actually it vitalizes proper acceleration and helps in better mileage too.
Happily riding my Thunderbird for months. Even my dad changed his views about bikes. He is my all-time pillion today and not to mention, I am his favorite rider and me, riding my favorite bike. Now he too recommends RE to all! Being a rider, I feel my bike a part of me. Take care of your bike, to say is nice, but to do is quite hard work.
I regularly use 3M wax. Polish and car shampoo to keep this beauty as it is. Scratches seem unavoidable as they are always attracted to shiny areas. Recently my service center started Teflon coating and polishing for Rs400/- whole bike. Hope I will try it on my 4th service. I have seen RE organizing many tours. Hopefully I can join one someday. Till then live the thump that binds. Wearing safety equipment is utmost necessary. Ride safe to ride long. Hope you enjoyed the pictures along. Please provide feedback.
Lastly, thanks and total respect to Mr. Deepak and Bike Advice. It’s been a wonderful platform and benchmark site for amateur bikers like me. Thanks to all the nice reviews of not only Thunderbird, but all other bikes alike. Happy riding. Signing off.