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Author Topic: RE Thunderbird  (Read 1704 times)

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Possm_23

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on: April 09, 2015, 03:14:37 pm
Is or will the RE Thunderbird be available in the U.S.?
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ace.cafe

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Reply #1 on: April 09, 2015, 04:50:10 pm
Nope.
India model only.
But, you can order the parts from it, if you want to convert your own.


Possm_23

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Reply #2 on: April 09, 2015, 08:10:02 pm
That stinks....... I wonder why!!!
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Arizoni

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Reply #3 on: April 10, 2015, 04:25:06 pm
I'm guessing but there's about a hundred gizzillion different "Cruisers" available in the US ranging from Chinese knock-off's to Japahondakawyamahas and Harley.

There aren't a lot of large Cruisers to pick from in India.  (500cc in India is large.  Most motorcycles there range from 100cc to 250cc.)
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AmBraCol

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Reply #4 on: April 10, 2015, 06:41:14 pm
They also sell the Thunderbird as the Rumbler.  The Rumbler is sold in Colombia (my current country of residence) in both 350 and 500 cc versions.  It's the most likely model I'll choose once I get the scratch together.  A couple weeks ago the dealer in Medellin let me have a test ride on both the Rumbler (350 version) and mid ride we swapped off so I could get a feel for the Classic 500 (the Chrome version).  Overall experience was quite positive.  Between the two, the Rumbler seemed to handle better for me, plus there's a lot of extras for little more outlay of cash.  Front and rear disk brakes, both tachometer and speedometer, "modern" headlight and LED tail light and probably more.  For me it's the smoothness and the disk brakes and having a tach that push me towards the Rumbler.  We're heading towards the U.S. for a few months so won't be making any purchase 'til we return sometime this fall.  If we end up with the Rumbler (Thunderbird) I'll post info here for those who may be curious and who'd like a U.S. type perspective on the beast.

As Jim mentions, there's a lot of cruiser type bikes in the U.S..  In "third world countries", however, the choices are few and far between.  I'm looking at Royal Enfield due to desiring a better bike for some of my trips than my current ride, a Honda XL200. I think that RE is moving the Rumbler/Thunderbird into markets such as ours as there's a wide open niche there, waiting to be filled.  Our choices are basically either a tiny little 100-125 cc bike or a "mid sized" 135-250 cc.  From there on up there's a big gap 'til you reach the GS500, which is the most "affordable" big bike here, then the various 650's on up - which often run twice or more than the GS500 will.

Siddhartha Lal's statement that he wants to dominate the mid-sized bike market world wide is likely to come to pass if they'll keep their prices down and give reasonable quality.  A few years ago I stumbled across a RE dealer in Bogotá.  Walked in, walked around, asked prices and walked out.  They were too high priced, just like every other "big"  bike around. Then last year one of our largest bike companies started importing RE and brought prices down.  The old dealership is still open, but he's had to bring his prices in line with the company vision.  This is a big thing down here as the middle class basically has no options other than 200-250 cc bikes - many of which cost as much or more than a RE.

Anyway, the Good Lord willing I'll pick up a Rumbler or Bullet or perhaps even a Classic and post pics and experiences riding it in the Andes.  Compared to some of the pics from the Himalayas, the Andes should be a piece of cake.
Paul

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Arizoni

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Reply #5 on: April 10, 2015, 08:51:52 pm
You asked about the EFI on the RE in another post.
Your comment about the Andes reminds me, I forgot to mention the EFI on the
Royal Enfield is calibrated to operate up to over 18,000 feet without re-calibration.  Royal Enfield wanted that because many riders in India do ride up the Himalayas.
That sort of thing is just one of the advantages of FI over any of the carburetor versions of the bike.
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AmBraCol

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Reply #6 on: April 11, 2015, 06:38:54 am
You asked about the EFI on the RE in another post.
Your comment about the Andes reminds me, I forgot to mention the EFI on the
Royal Enfield is calibrated to operate up to over 18,000 feet without re-calibration.  Royal Enfield wanted that because many riders in India do ride up the Himalayas.
That sort of thing is just one of the advantages of FI over any of the carburetor versions of the bike.


Thanks, Jim!  That is something that really appeals to me, although we don't have any roads that get near 18,000 ft.  My little XL200 sputters a bit crossing over La Linea, which is about 10,300 ft - give or take a bit.  A friend up in the US stated once that he'd never get another carburetted bike after riding his new EFI Harley over the Rockies.

I've been cogitating on the original post a bit and another couple reasons they may never get the Thunderbird/Rumbler into the U.S. - they are heavily backordered in India, they aren't making enough for the home market so there's little likelihood of having many on hand for export.  And they've seemed to focus their image on the 50's - 60's "Retro" look, so something more reminiscent of the 80's isn't part of their carefully groomed image.

On the other hand, perhaps my speculating is off by a bunch and once they bring their new plant online they'll be able to fulfill national demand as well as make sure they've got plenty of everything for the export market as well.  I wish them all the best!
Paul

2015 Royal Enfield Rumbler 500


barenekd

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Reply #7 on: September 02, 2015, 02:32:16 pm
Enfields biggest seller is the 350 which aren't even available in the US and will never be. I don't think they would fit in from the current load of circa 300cc bikes available.  I could be wrong, some people might like a slow 350, but they'd never make it on the freeways. Nope, don't think they'll ever bring them over here.
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Reply #8 on: December 16, 2015, 07:13:10 am
The Indian iron barrel 350 is even slower than the original Redditch 350. I loved my 2008 350, in the time I owned it, it was 100% reliable, it was the most comfortable and laid back bike I've owned or ridden, the tank range was 300 miles + and I've done journeys when fuel stops were the only ones made. (Possibly why some of my friends call me iron arse :)) I've done 500 mile day journeys on it averaging about 45mph, my favourite memory of slowness was being overtaken climbing a steep gradient by a tractor. Any journey on fast roads were terrifying and to be avoided. Still if your not in a hurry it's still a great bike.
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