Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350 review: 1st service, 1000 kms.

By | April 23, 2014

I am no fan of Royal Enfields, pretty sure everyone knows that! But it remains a fact that there is barely any option for a 6 foot plus guy in India, with a budget under 2 lacs. They look out of place on every bike, with the Bajaj Avenger making things a little better. However, the problem with Avenger is that lanky guys feel very uncomfortable using its rear brake and gear levers, which are placed at a rather awkward angle.

My roomie recently got the delivery of his Thunderbird 350. He assures me the color is blue, but I am pretty sure it is just black. He had to wait more than 4 months to get his baby, which I find rather absurd. Anyway, here’s my Thunderbird 350 review, including 1st service and 1000 kms experience.

Any problems with the bike?

Thunderbird 350 reviewLet’s get right down to it, shall we? The bike has been running rather well till now, with just the right mirror getting loose and needing some love.

The last 2 days there wasย a bit of oil leakage from below the engine block, the service guys said the washer on the bolt that is used to drain the engine oil was missing. He also said that it is a manufacturing defect with all Thunderbirds, something that I don’t belive in. The leak cropped up just a week after the first service, so most likelyย some lazy mechanic forgot the washerย somewhere. Rest everything seems to be in order.

How are the vibrations and overall NVH levels?

The bike was rather harsh sounding when new, and the level of vibrations was also a bit on the higher side, even for an RE. After the first service, things have gone quieter and smoother. The bike accelerates better for sure. There used to be a sudden onset of high amount of vibrations and a weird sound from the engine at around 40 kmph before the service, but now that is also taken care of. Overall, the bike has now the standard amount of vibrations associated with any Thunderbird 350 out there.

What are the positives about the bike?

  1. Huge fuel tank, 19 liters, will make any Duke owner jealous.
  2. Projector headlamp provides very good illumination at night.
  3. Tall gears make riding in any kind of traffic and road condition an easy affair, with minimal clutch use.
  4. Rider and pillion both have very comfortable seats, very rare to find in a bike nowadays. The pillion backrest is just pure awesome.
  5. Very nicely sprung suspension, makes even the worst roads feel like an airport tarmac.
  6. Instrument console is ages ahead of old RE bikes. You get trip meters, time, RPM, speed and odo. Apart from Speed and RPM, all is digital.
  7. Rear tire is much fatter than old Thunderbirds, makes the bike look better and should help a lot with the grip too.

Thunderbird 350 reviewWhat are the negatives about the bike?

  1. Acceleration and top speed are just dismal. Takes centuries to reach 100 kmph.
  2. Level of vibrations in the handlebar and foot pegs becomes unbearable over 80 kmph.
  3. Instrument console vibrates a lot at high speed, which makes it hard to read the tiny odo and trip meter fonts.
  4. Because of the unnecessarily heavy weight, bike is a nightmare to handle in tight parking spots.
  5. Spoked wheels make it impossible to put on tubeless tires, which is very very bad for touring.

How much mileage is the bike returning?

Although mileage can fluctuate a lot till at least the second service is complete, the bike right now is returning about 35 kmpl, which isn’t that bad, from a Royal Enfield standpoint. I don’t think this mileage will significantly improve with time, if at all it does.

How was the first service experience?

It took the guys at Royal Enfield, Nerul, around 4 hours to service the bike, which included oil change, oil filter change, air filter cleaning and general checkup. Cost of service was around 700 bucks.

The good thing was that after the service is done, you get a message on your phone with the details of the bill. The whole thing is quite organized, and everyone needs to wait for their turn. The mechanics are also quite cooperative, and don’t try to shoo you away from the bike, which helped tremendously in making the first service experience a good one, albeit a bit lengthy.

Thunderbird 350 review: Verdict

Well, the initial impression isn’t half as bad as I thought it would be. The bike hasn’t fallen apart into a thousand pieces, and is running well. That small glitch with the engine oil was readily fixed. Top speed attained is about 105 kmph, let’s hope it can do better than that!

If you are a tall and hefty guy, the Thunderbird is the only option for you. But if you aren’t physically forced to buy this bike, and still go for it, I would really like to know your reasons in the comments below. Cheers!

  • MAK

    Hello there bro… Ur review is kool as ****… Bro im planning to buy a bike.
    I love RE Thunderbird 350 , classic 350 and Honda CBR 250r. I want to chooze any one of these beasts and I’m seriously confused. I live in hyderabad i travel locally on shitty roads for around 15-45 kms daily. I’ve driven avenger 150 it’s not matching my expectations of power which I’m expecting from it, pulsar ns and duke are pain in arms and somewhere else , I’ve also done a test ride of UM renegade commando it was ok.
    Bro i seriously want to buy a bike out of my three favorite bikes.I love three bikes equally.
    Please reply…

    • Akhil Kalsh

      CBR is the one.

  • Chrome fan

    i am not as tall as 6 feets, i am only 5’7″ and weigh around 75kgs and planning to buy the machine this diwali… my current ride is pulsar NS200 which is also a heavy bike n not to mention it’s seat height(805cms) that is 30cms upwards when compared to TB350(775cms)… my only concern is the parking of bike in tight spaces as the city where i live in(raipur) has way too narrow roads n in most market areas i need to park in front of the shops where there is almost no gap that makes bike parking a hell tyring job, the problem i am already facing with my NS… also i would like to know whether installing a custom silencer(red rooster performance)will affect the performance of bike? the rear view mirrors that i don’t like at all would be replaced by bajaj avenger’s one, the spoke wheels are to be replaced by alloy wheels and above it i want the dual rounded headlamps one that is seen in harley davidson fat bob instead of stock headlamps provided by RE… will it go fair with it?

    • Akhil Kalsh

      Thunderbird is heavier than the NS.

      Silencers don’t do shit about performance. I’m not sure about the headlights how they will look, haven’t seen that setup on any other Thunderbird.

      I don’t think any of your problems would be solved by buying the Thunderbird.

  • Ramendra Kumar

    Hey akhil I am a very big fan of your article… I am 6″1and weight around 95 kg I want to purchase a bike mostly for touring under 1.25 lakh I am confused between avenger 220 and suzuki gixxer …..plz help I don’t like RE bcoz of its unbearable vibration…..

    • Akhil Kalsh

      Avenger makes much more sense for touring, but a man of your height might look a bit big on it. Have you done a test ride?

      • Ramendra Kumar

        Yes akhil I was there at bajaj showroom today….avenger is looking very small what is your opinion about gixxer….I have already rode gixxer and find it to be much smoother and easy to handle….want should I do?????

        • Akhil Kalsh

          Have you tried the Apache 200 and the Pulsar 200RS? The reason I’m suggesting them is because they have ABS, extremely useful for our highways.

          Gixxer is a nice bike, but on the longer highways you might get bored, the top end isn’t too healthy.

          • Ramendra Kumar

            Akhil I don’t like apache and I test drive pulsar 200 today but I think gixxer is more refined….so I am going for gixxer but one thing I want to know that should I go with dual disc or single disc I have read somewhere that rear disc without ABS is not effective and it better to have drum for any panic situation……

          • Akhil Kalsh

            There’s no situation where drum is better than disc. Go with the double disc one.

          • Ramendra Kumar

            Thank you very much akhil… Going for dual disc gixxer…..

          • Ramendra Kumar

            Hello akhil sorry for taking your time….when I was at bajaj showroom they told me to look at pulsar 220 &pulsar 180….is it good for long distance touring….

          • Akhil Kalsh

            Not really, both of them have extremely uncomfortable seats that can be a huge pain on long rides.

      • Ramendra Kumar

        Thank you akhil for your time….. Going for gixxer

  • Sahil verma

    Hi Akhil,

    My name is sahil(age : 24), I am 5’10, 70 kg and looking for a decent and classy bike which i can use for riding it to my office, which looks good both in formals and casuals.

    my daily travel will be around 13-15km on an average.

    can you please suggest me a better option.
    Thunderbird-350 and classic-350 are in my list.

    duke, i don’t like. it looks more like a collage guyz bike.
    thank you in advance.

    • Akhil Kalsh

      Try the new Bajaj Avenger, classy as fuck and much more reliable than any Royal Enfield.

      • Vels

        What about 3years later, It looks like a scrap.. Before buying avenger just trace the old model.. very rarely u can find.. Try to buy something solid n reliable.. If Mileage is not a constraint pls go for FZ yamaha.. riding for the last 6 years.. even now its racing the new pulsar where the guy who bought a pulsar along with me gifted his old pulsar to his dad and bought the new FZ 2.0.. hope this help..

  • David Edattu Anthony

    Hi akhil,

    I own a tb350, I have completed 1st service and everything seems to be fine now.

    But, whenever I take a ride, I noticed oil getting deposited at the exhaust’s outlet. Other than that, there is no white/black smoke coming out. Is this normal?

    Kindly advise. Thanks in advance!

    • Akhil Kalsh

      Oil as in engine oil at the end of the exhaust? That’s pretty weird.

      • David Edattu Anthony

        Yes, now there is an oil leak at the ride side of the gear box, from top of the break pedal. Such a nightmare! ๐Ÿ™

        • Akhil Kalsh

          Royal Enfields are well known for leaking oil, and I don’t think there’s any way you are going to stop this from happening. But I didn’t know the oil could travel through the exhaust and out the other end, this is new information.

  • David Edattu Anthony

    Hi Akhil.

    Got my bike two weeks back. When I cross 40 kmph @ 3000 rpm, I get a strange noise from the engine. Is this normal and how did you fix it…

    Kindly let me know cuz am freaking out ๐Ÿ™

    • Akhil Kalsh

      No need to freak out man, it’s a Royal Enfield, strange noises are part of the deal.

      What kind of noise? And have you done the 1st service?

      • David Edattu Anthony

        Thanks loads for your response.

        Yet to do 1st service. At your “vibration and overall nbh level?” section, you have talked about the noise at 40kmph+ .. I am having the same exact problem.

        How did you get it fixed??

  • Raul

    DONT ever buy this WASTE Tb 350, RE makes their bikes using pig iron and horseshit. I own this and I get butt raped frequently!! I am currently searching for a bakra as i wanna sell my Tb 350 so I you’re that RE rocks kinda person and dont wanna listen then come and buy mine !!

    • Sambeet Satrujeet

      i want to buy.

  • SivaBalan Kumaravel

    The latest RE TBTS way refined than its predecessor and much improved. Both styling wise and mechanical wise.

    I am a proud owner of RE TBTS 2015 and I am absolutely enjoying the bike. Before this I owned a Honda Unicorn which is a fantastic smooth bike but that didn’t excite me on every ride. But With my RE TBTS I am finding reasons in order to ride the bike. I am enjoying my daily commute to office like never before.

    Most people here highlight the excessive vibration levels above 80 kmph. But there is a reason to it. RE intentionally did not reworked the engine to modern refinement levels just to preserve the legacy of the bike which itself is the selling point. The crankshaft of the engine doesn’t have a counter weight to nullify the force created by the firing cycle hence you get the thump and at the same time the vibrations after 80kmph. Educate yourselves and then write a review.

    All the variants of REs are not for high speed biking and they are here for more relaxed driving

    When Mahindra is able to develope a defined bike called Mojo, do you think RE can’t??

    See the sales figure of REs and compare it with Avengers and you will come to know there is some thing more than brand connection to it!!

    My TBTS 350 is planted to the surface regardless the condition I am driving whether it is hot or rainy.

    The stability of the bike is simply awesome. When I go on road other bikes give me space something I didn’t find when I was riding the unicorn.

    This is a full metal bike unlike avenger which is mostly made up of fiber and hence the weight.

    The mileage is good considering the weight and tyre size of this bike.

    I surely recommend this bike for anyone who is looking for a affordable cruiser when comparing to Avenger.

  • srikanta panda

    bro…I am srikanta…….24years old…height 6 feet and weight 71 kg…..I want to go for a long trip…about 5000 to 6000km ….so which bike is best for me with in my budget of 2 lakhs…..is thunderbird is best for me?

    • Akhil Kalsh

      No, go for the new Avenger.

      • Er Abhishek Vats

        Hello Akhil !
        I have read dozens of your posts as well as blogs which seem to be awesome as well as useful too…..But here,I would like to ask you that is there any special reason for not to prefer RE TBTS???
        I am supposed to buy a cruiser b/w RE TBTS as well as an Avenger since last 1 year and following time period has been spent under a huge confusion regarding the decision to take about new machine to get…..
        After a long case study of 1 year (not excluding even a single news,website reviews ,videos etc. of both these machines),I have come to decide now that i should get RE instead of Avenger as there are various parameters that made me think about to get a RE over Avenger including that atleast RE has shown some R&D with the launch of RE TBTS in form of providing rear discs,a projector lamp,digital instrument console,tachometer and many more……But as far as there is the concern of Avenger,as per my opinion,bajaj hasn’t worked over anything except thinking about a new paint job (as nothing has been changed with the launch of both variants(street & cruise) except cosmetics)…..even still that older mill is working over that machine…..
        so,After considering all these facts,I have finally come to conclude that I should opt for RE TBTS……..
        But above reply of your’s has shocked me upto noticible extent……so,please let me know that considering what factors you are still preferring an Avenger so that I would still get a chance to look over my opinion before it becomes final……

        • Akhil Kalsh

          The reason Bajaj doesn’t need to do much with the Avenger is that it’s an already established, tested bike that people trust. On the other hand, RE could improve virtually everything on a TB, if they wanted to.

          The only reason one would go for an RE is because they feel some kind of connection with the brand. There is no other department where any RE is better than any other bike.

          • Er Abhishek Vats

            Hmmm…..Thanks for the reply Akhil……Alongside I also wanna mention that I am 5’11″…..and as we know that Avenger comprise of low saddle height whereas TBTS is a successor in such parameter, so,still should I opt for Avenger???? Please advice me if Avenger is gonna prove to be a better deal as compared to TBTS…..

          • Akhil Kalsh

            Absolutely, Avenger will be better, by far.

          • SivaBalan Kumaravel

            I am not clear what you meant by “RE could improve virtually everything on a TB, if they wanted to”

            The latest RE TBTS way refined than its predecessor and much improved. Both styling wise and mechanical wise.
            I am a proud owner of RE TBTS 2015 and I am absolutely enjoying the bike. Before this I owned a Honda Unicorn which is a fantastic smooth bike but that didn’t excite me on every ride. But With my RE TBTS I am finding reasons in order to ride the bike. I am enjoying my daily commute to office like never before.
            Most people here highlight the excessive vibration levels above 80 kmph. But there is a reason to it. RE intentionally did not reworked the engine to modern refinement levels just to preserve the legacy of the bike which itself is the selling point. The crankshaft of the engine doesn’t have a counter weight to nullify the force created by the firing cycle hence you get the thump and at the same time the vibrations after 80kmph. Educate yourselves and then write a review.

            All the variants of REs are not for high speed biking and they are here for more relaxed driving

            When Mahindra is able to develope a defined bike called Mojo, do you think RE can’t??

            See the sales figure of REs and compare it with Avengers and you will come to know there is some thing more than brand connection to it!!

            My TBTS 350 is planted to the surface regardless the condition I am driving whether it is hot or rainy.

            The stability of the bike is simply awesome. When I go on road other bikes give me space something I didn’t find when I was riding the unicorn.

            This is a full metal bike unlike avenger which is mostly made up of fiber and hence the weight.

            The mileage is good considering the weight and tyre size of this bike.

            I surely recommend this bike for anyone who is looking for a affordable cruiser when comparing to Avenger.

        • Prof.Amar pawade

          Hello R.E lovers
          R.E TB 350 is an amazing Bike with all the quality of Driving comfort and controlling almost completed 990 km in 2 month but overall experience is a wow factor . I just experienced an average of 46.38 km/ ltr .With an average speed between 60-80 both in mixed traffic condition .Overall it a great bike on highways.
          Now in recent months I am trying with 50-60 speed to check the overall performance on the same road with same traffic condition.to my observation if the RPM is too high at lower gear the bike became more noisy .While shifting gear we have to check the rpm too .Pls don’t exceed your rpm beyond 3K to enjoy riding and to achieve performance.

      • Rahul Singh

        ha ha compare re vs avenger …funny bullet 350 is baap of all indians bikes..avengers is look like a cat…sure u r are a kid or fool..

        • kapil kaushal

          Hahaha…yes you are absolutely right (rahul)…such fool persons who compare RE with another ones

      • Vels

        Hope u r sick of Avenger.. Its not even a cat its a rat to any RE. Life of the vehicle is just 2 years after that no one remember this model, where bajaj will upgrade with some creapy structures… buy if u concern about mileage.. after that nothing to see to it.

  • Shiv Bhattacharya

    Hello All ,
    I am 54 year, Male , 6ft 2″ and weigh 95 kgs …I used to ride Yezdi , when I was in my 20’s and after that I have driven around 500 Kms in various countries, but never in India . I after some thought , purchased a Thunderbird 350 in June 2015 and I ahve been riding since June 2015 , mainly in North India …i must say that inspite of its short coming , TB 350 is sturdy and good to cruise with , espacially at my age and profile ..so far so good ! I have more than 2L km plus 4 wheel driving experience within India and abroad and I wish to regain my biking experience back with TB 350 ….Stay Safe and hope to catch you on roads , somewhere … Cheers !!

    • Akhil Kalsh

      Cheers mate!

  • Abhijit

    Hi Akhil and other experienced bike riders, I am preferring TB 350, I am 170 cm in hight and weight 72 kg, I was riding Std. Bullet years back when gear and brakes were at apposite sides compared to today’s design. I was RE lover but at present I do not know how RE 350 is performing. Mechanic, care to be taken at initial stage etc etc if all these points are taken care, please suggest if really this bike is good to invest in. As far as road conditions here in our country and mechanics at service centres and their strategy is concerned any bike starts giving problem, I have experienced this for bullet, Bajaj and then Honda. Now I am daring to switch back to RE – TB 350. Of course taking right decision is always co-relative, but atleast anyone of you if assures me that this will not be a completely wrong decision… I will go ahead. My usage will not be for city traffic everyday, average daily 20 km in apposite direction of traffic, mostly intend to have weekend rides. Giving preference as after reading sitting comfort and vibrations from road not directing towards back / spine.

    • Akhil Kalsh

      Buying any RE bike is a risk, as I’m sure you have already experienced. I would strongly suggest you check out the new Bajaj Avengers too before going for the TB 350, but if you’ve already made up your mind, who can stop you? ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Sonal

    Heya Vikas,
    Thanks for the suggestion. I’m glad to tell you that I’ve already bought one TB350 and feel super satisfied with it. In fact I feel so comfortable just within a few weeks that I also signed up for rider mania. Hopefully I’ll catch up with you guys too? ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Vikas Jai

      Congrats bawa

      Enjoy ur ride n brotherhood.

      I am riding in himalayas this week so rider mania?

      Officeโ˜บ

      • Sonal

        Braaaavo! Himalayas in this cold? ๐Ÿ˜›
        Where to? All the best. Let us know your experience ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Vikas Jai

          I am from shimla n stay in delhi so cold what’s that?
          Riding from Delhi to shimla rampur kinnaur valley.Approx 1500km. Thanks for the wishes…

  • Uday

    Hello!

    This Is Uday and I’m planning to own a Thunderbird 350 shortly need your suggestions…I’m 5’7height 68kgs…Normal structure and also suggest me if any other bikes are good and well enough to buy in that RE range and accordingly with the specs.

    • Akhil Kalsh

      Go for new Bajaj Avenger.

  • Ksm P Mahanta

    Great review. I am looking for a RE for quite sometimes and got stuck in between RE Classic 350, RE Electra Twin-spark and Thunderbird 350. I am 6ft tall 75Kgs and need my bike on day to day basis. I dont have to travel extensively for my work but I do take a cruise once every month or two. Which model should you suggest I go for?

    • Akhil Kalsh

      Go for the Thunderbird.

    • Vikas Jai

      Buddy TB 350 is the option which suits best for u…

  • Sunil Mishra

    Dear friend..can you suggest the impacts on bike performance if the rear shock absorber adjusted to minimum..I am suffering with back pain

    • Akhil Kalsh

      If you set the shocker towards the hard setting, you will feel the bumps more, but bike will feel more stable on corners. If you setup the shock absorber towards soft, you will be comfy through bad roads but bike will feel unsettled when pushed.

  • Sunil Mishra

    Seating height no problem…heavy vibration impacted into cramping during traffic jams or where more stopping required..this the problems.

  • Sunil Mishra

    Dear friends..I am quiet new for Enfield biking but 30 years with hero Honda etc.
    I am short height person but no problem with seating height..

  • Mohsin Nagree

    Hi all! I’m 23 years old. Height 5.10, weight 68 Kg. I’m looking for a classy bike, majorly city ride of 30KM per day, should suits well to take it to office (In formals) as well as should look good on casuals. I like speeding at times. Budget around 1,5L. Took a test ride of TB350 and Duke200. Kindly give your opinion. (Major Con of Duke- It can be serviced only at their authorized service center) Awaiting your valued feed back. Thanks!

    • Akhil Kalsh

      Duke for sure! Duke can be serviced only at authorised service stations only if there’s a major fault, rest everything you can fix yourself.

  • Sonal

    Hi all,
    I’m a 24 old woman with riding experience of almost 8 years. I own a Discover 100 and my height is 5’4. I travel approximately 30 km through pune traffic everyday and I’m really hung up on TB 350. I like long drives and hence I’d prefer something very comfortable and smooth. I have heard a few say that it’s a good decision while a few who disagree with this! Can you please suggest? My budget is around 1.5… Thanks!

    • Akhil Kalsh

      I never recommend an RE to anybody! It’s all fun and games as long as it’s running, but the moment you have a problem everything goes to shit.

      I would strongly suggest you try out the Bajaj Avenger. It has a low seat, enough power, and reliable engine, plus it weighs much lesser than the TB. Take a test ride of both and then you’ll know.

      • Sonal

        Thanks a lot for the reply. I’ve had shitty experience with Bajaj in the past and so I had ruled out Avenger right in the start. And yea, a flat tire or a mishap with an RE can be literally heavy! So yes, I’ll have a test drive with both and maybe then decide. Is there any other option which I can consider besides these? I aim for long drives between cities and states.

        • Akhil Kalsh

          There are plenty of other bikes in that range, and I’m sure you know that height isn’t really a big problem for riding bikes, case in point: Dani Pedrosa.

          If you are OK with the riding position, check out the R15. It’s an extremely light bike, quick and reliable. A dude did Ladakh with me on that.

          Suzuki Gixxer and SF are also quite nice, both 150cc. Pulsar 200RS I would recommend due to the front ABS.

          Then there’s Duke 200, which is a bit higher than your budget, but probably the most fun to ride bike under 2 lacs. The seat height is more, but it can do everything, track days, off-roading, city, touring.

          The choice would depend on your preferences, what kind of bikes you like, and of course test rides. What location are you at? I can help you with a TD of Duke 390 ๐Ÿ˜›

          • Sonal

            R15? Neva thought of it, coz of its seating. Didn’t consider a Duke either, gotta read about it now!
            And yea, I live in Pune. I don’t know where can I catch up with your Duke 390! Nonetheless, thanks. I’m still latched onto TB though! But I’ll keep ya updated about whatever I end up with.

            NB: Therez a ride this Sunday by team soulriders. ๐Ÿ˜›

          • Akhil Kalsh

            I’ll prefer to strangle myself with my bike’s chain rather than go for these breakfast rides ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Sonal

            Haha..my bad! That comment was before I read your 9 steps towards machismo article! ๐Ÿ˜›

          • Julian Bennet

            I would like to take the courtesy of answering your question if you haven’t decided yet. Buying a thunderbird in this era is not a bad decision like what people say. RE bikes are reliable (given that you take a good care of them) can take you places with less effort on your body as well as your pocket. Hope you make the right decision.

  • Anand yadav

    i have RE THUNDERBIRD . i want to change silancer so wana knw is local silancer effect on engine and milage…

    • Akhil Kalsh

      Don’t.

  • Anjan Chakraborty

    Nice review. Just Got myself a TBTS 350. Original silencer was making out a shrill metallic noise. All that changed when I got the stock silencer changed into an original thump stock. yes, acceleration is an issue but with an RE you rule the road not try to run like a hare. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Akhil Kalsh

      ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Imran

    Have been riding this bike for over nine months now. Already
    clocked 5000+ kms. However not a single day has passed when I have not cursed
    my decision to buy this bike. Possible it is the worst bike bike ever one can
    bye in this market. I have been facing so many problems with the bike, that i
    have lost all love and respect for within a couple of months of owing it. The
    array of problems ranges from vibrations, over heating of engine; perpetual
    problems in the chain leading to various noises, oil leakage, poor battery (self-start
    not working within 9 months. Have been told that battery needs to be replaced),
    engine noise, problems in spark plug and many more, Had tried to sell it,
    but none willing to pay more than a lakh. Canโ€™t afford to take a 55K hit in 6 months.
    Not that I was unaware of the various issues with the bike (had gathered from
    the various reviews online), but the sheer love for the vehicle clouded my
    judgment. Let this be a deterrent for the various individuals who are planning
    to purchase the bike. Purchasing this bike will be a decision you will
    regret.

    I have owned vehicles of Hero Honda and Honda before. Never faced any problem with
    them. Be wise, refrain from paying a ton of money for a bike worth nothing but
    pain and remorse. The service centres are worthless, mechanics have no idea
    about the bike and any part that needs to be changes, they say it is not
    covered in warranty. Sometimes I feel RE deliberately manufactures
    defective bikes for making money later through service and change of parts.
    Otherwise there is no cohesive reasons having such diverse problems even after
    manufacturing these bikes for so long.

    To conclude I might as well say that I have disregarded reviews and look where it
    has taken me. Despite the same if someone is still interested he shall have no
    one but him to blame.

    • Akhil Kalsh

      I have always believed that RE’s business strategy has always been to milk in the after-sales department. Sad that you had to go through so much shit mate.

  • Rishikesh Kumaran

    i hv.std 500.done straight 200 in 3 breaks when odo was on 170kms.returned in 2 breaks.reached 100 km/hr.given full throttle for little sec.done full rpm till 3rd gear.. my engine is smooth…but i hv done oil change on within days.thing is never baby your bike during initial stages.i think even reaching top speed is not problem if done softly…………………

    • Akhil Kalsh

      I didn’t totally get what you just said, but if you are saying you should’t be too careful during break-in, I totally agree.

  • Srikanta Mondal

    Hi all, I have read this great article also with the other comments. I have some few quires. Please clear them as I soon want to buy a bike. I am very short height guy (5ft 2 inch). Form net searching I have found that TB350 and Apache RTR 160 are be the most suitable bikes for me. Since you people are experienced, please let me know what will I prefer. My budget around 1 lakh. Also is there any difference from old TB to newer one.
    Thanks

    • Akhil Kalsh

      I would definitely prefer the Apache, or even an Avenger for someone of your height. TBs aren’t great, both new and old.

      • Srikanta Mondal

        Thank you Akhil. I have taken your advice. Probably I will go for Apache. Also I have tried one of my friend Honda Unicorn 160CC, and in Kolkata rush traffic hour, I feel OK. Is it truly OK in long term. Please suggest me.

  • Rezr.Amx

    hi, Guys. loved all your reviews and insights on the TB350. i want to buy a TB350 and will primarily use it for daily commute(45Kms) which includes highway and city navigation. in this scenario will the TB350 be a good choice or should i go for something else?
    i’m 6 ft tall weighing some 95 Kgs, so a TB will look suite me right?

    • Akhil Kalsh

      Yes it will look good with you.

  • Varma

    Hi Akhil / others, Im planning to buy a vehicle from RE, consequently i narrowed my interest to Bullet STD 350 and TB350, however im in a dilemma in choosing between these two.

    My interest is to go for Long rides for about once in 3 months (around 800 to 1000kms), despite daily city commuting for about 30-35kms.

    My height is 5’9 with 80kgs weight.

    hence request you to help me choose the wise vehicle between Bullet STD 350 or TB350 with comfort.

    • Akhil Kalsh

      I always prefer the TB, looks slightly better to me, and comes with projector headlight.

  • Varma

    Hi Akhil / others, Im planning to buy a vehicle from RE, consequently i narrowed my interest to Bullet STD 350 and TB350, however im in a dilemma in choosing between these two.

    My interest is to go for Long rides for about once in 3 months (around 800 to 1000kms), despite daily city commuting for about 30-35kms.

    My height is 5’9 with 80kgs weight.

    hence request you to help me choose the wise vehicle between Bullet STD 350 or TB350 with comfort.

  • Prabhu

    Hi Sir,
    what about the pillion seat and the back rest for it?
    (though u mentioned in point 4 in psitives)
    my question is in a family, the ladies(mom) in sarrie will sit “single side” rite, and if she is fat, then the presence of back rest will not provide enough space to sit “single sided”.
    (comparing to unicorn(i’ve now) i’m asking this question)

    • Akhil Kalsh

      Yes, that will happen. You can always remove the back rest.

  • Tharun

    Hi Akhil. I am looking to buy TB350 i am 180cm and 85kg can i go for this bike. I am hearing lots of negatives for the recent release please suggest whether i invest on this beast i am desperately looking for both family as well daily use with in the city….

    • Akhil Kalsh

      For a guy of your size, I don’t think there’s much option. Go for it mate.

  • Flirty ShaGgy

    i am sagar jagtap and planing to buy TB ,i am 6feet tall bt i am nt dat muscular should i buy TB

    • Akhil Kalsh

      Nobody can tell you that, go and give it a test drive.

  • elg

    hai ,
    iam 164 cm height, 56 kg weight and i am planing to buy TB350.
    may i go for it. guide me TB350 is a right choice or not

    • Akhil Kalsh

      I think it’ll be too heavy for you, so not a good choice. Try the Duke 200.

  • akshay kumar bn

    Hey I am 6ft tall and lookin for a bike I recently sat behind a ktm duke 390 at 158 kmph the way it moves accelerates and long kneeling curves Then I rode it it was heck too awesome even the tb350 the same then 3 days before a rc 390 its juat too frickin awesome which would u prefer for long rides and heavy city traffic

    • Akhil Kalsh

      For long rides, Duke 390 would be the best idea! RC is too sporty, and TB is well, a TB.

      • akshay kumar bn

        OK, thankyo for that then what about city traffic an rc 390 or a duke 390 ? from the seating position of the duke u can sit for a long time and wait for the green light and the rc well the lean angle of the hip, isn’t that painfull?? well a tb , the tb heavy duty thingy it’ll take a car’s space in the traffic…cant go through narrow car spaces, cant do lane splitting, so which one will it be for traffic author sir.

        • Akhil Kalsh

          Neither the RC nor the Duke are good for city traffic. Seating position of Duke is much better than that of RC. Duke and RC are much better than TB to filter through traffic!

          • akshay kumar bn

            Thank you for the reply and I just love your articles keep up the good work man adios.

  • Saurabh

    Tb350 is hard too drive in heavy traffic ? Weight issue?

    • Akhil Kalsh

      Yes, hard to squeeze through those small gaps with ease.

      • ran

        Hello akhil…I used Honda stunner and Pulsar 180 few years.
        right now i dont have any of this. due to my work nature very rarely i use bikes. like 1 full month (Mostly long drive 400KM in one set) in every 3 months. from my childhood the Royal Enfield is my dream to drive and now its the time to buy. but i like to know the experts advice before i make commitment. am 162Cms height and 73Kg weight. and i recovered from my back pain (the reason was disc bulge and the reason was my work). Right now I have great confusion between classic 350, desertstorm and thunderbird 350. I strongly believe that you can guide me to choose correct one.”
        Thanks in advance. Others suggestions also welcome

      • Shilpa

        Hi Akhil,
        My husband is planing to buy TB350 , only for local short trips locally in Delhi..please suggest whether its the right option or shud we settle for RE Electra 350

  • I got my re tb350 yesterday. They told me to drive MX 50 kmph for first 1000 kms. Is this number correct. And I can take bike to long drives also right if I maintain speed of max 40 kmph. Or I have to wait for long drives also till I reach 1000 km?

    • Yeah 50 kmph sounds about right. You can take it for long drives no problems.

    • Vijay Kishore

      I was told 60 KMPH till the first service…

      You can take it for long drives and after a couple of services maintain the constant speed (whatever the speed is), may be around 80 for better mileage…

      Maintaining 60 to 70 will be perfect for mileage…

  • aditya

    Hi author, i need your opinion. im 6 ft 4 inches and weigh 90 kgs, will i look out of place on bikes like duke and puslar, r15? if so i got no choice but to buy this bike

    • Yes you will look out of place on an R15 man, and yes it’s a sad fact that you have to go for something like an RE.

  • Sebastian

    i have booked the TB 350 Stone a month back, awaiting the arrival of this beauty. I heard there are a lot of minor issues with the service, rear discs , oil leaks and so on, as well as from the reviews which is all over the place now. above all this is a true king of the roads. after test riding the bike, it makes we want more .. But please advice on the matte paint , on how to maintain it, i hear people keep saying it is pretty much hard to maintain and clean though., it looks pretty solid though.

    • I have no clue buddy! I think matte paint is good because it doesn’t really need wax and shit to make it look nice, so ideally speaking you shouldn’t need to do much to maintain it.

      That of course depends on how good the paint quality is from RE, which if the other components of the bike are to go by can’t be that great.

  • ricky

    hello ,
    i am planning to buy royal enfield…but confused in THUNDERBIRD350 or ELECTRA 350…
    Which one is better ?

    • I’m sure somebody here can help you out. To me they are all the same.

  • avinesh

    hi author,
    to rightly answer to ur question… im nt very tall juz 5’9 n m 60kg which sounds im lean n slim…. but juz couple of months back i got this very same BEAST .. this is one crazy bike let me tell u smethng der can hardly b handful f ppl hating dis bike.. n cmng to the driving experience this bike is a GEM .. u dont get a better seat that this and evrytym u ride this bike its brings u pride.. juz a personal feeling.. i wud say anybdy who even has a thought of buying this bike,,, juz close ur eyes n right away bu this BEAST trust me womens go crazy fa dis bike !!! cheers !

    • LOL, OK!

    • Param

      I have Thunderbird 350 and is 5’9″ however bit heavier than you but still this is good to have, go with it.

  • abhishek

    Hi ..I’m planning to buy a bike .Now I’m confused which bike to choose from below.

    Duke 200
    Thunder bird 350

    My main filters are that I need good fuel efficiency and low maintenance ..
    Parts wise which is low expesive..
    Plz sugest me ..

    • I would definitely suggest the Duke 200. Extremely reliable, cheaper than a Platina to maintain. Fuel efficiency would not be too good though.

  • frank

    I had a tbz till 24 Dec..she was amazing. I just want to tell all people who owns re plz be carefull because there is a lot of robbery.mine got robbed .the robbers had a key.saw it in a ccrv footage.so get a god or some thing.

  • shahnawaz

    hiii, my height is 6.2 and weight around 78 kg and i m confused between thunderbird 350 and classic 350… which one will be more comfortable…

  • Rakesh N

    I Have recently bought the bike TB 350 (5 days ago) and till today have clocked close to 200kms, All i want to know is ,is it advisable if i take the bike for long ride close to 150 Kms in both directions, Or shall i wait till i give the bike for first service.

    • Long rides are the best way to get done with that run-in period. I would suggest go for it!

  • Ashwin Kumar

    My height is 5.6 i weigh around 70 kgs

  • Ashwin Kumar

    My name is ashwin,My budget is 1.4 lakhs. I am confused betweeen,Royal enfield thunder bird, Duke 200,Pulsar 200ns.I heard there is lot of problems in thunderbird 350.I am Looking forward for riding comfort and less height ,more space for pillion rider. Is thunder bird good for city. as i am not touring frequently. I may tour once in month or so.I am looking for bike which is good for touring also and day to day riding also as i travel 50 kms daily.I am also looking for reasonable mileage 40-45. I have been waiting for the delivery of thunderbird from past 4 months. good speed with less vibration and low maintainence

    • I think only Pulsar 200 NS can fulfill all of your requirements Ashwin. I would NOT recommend the Thunderbird, and the Duke is awesome, but won’t give you 40-45 mileage. Hope that helps!

  • Vivek J

    Hi , I am a very lean guy .. Very much interested in TB. Since my budget is low i am looking out only for TB350. My height is 5.6 inch and bosy mass 60kg . Please let me know if TB would be a comfortable model for me . I did a test drive the only struggle i felt was while parking or taking the bike from a slope. I also did a test drive on classic . I felt classic more smooth driving and handy but I would like to go for a cruiser as i am planning to go on long trips. Please suggest me.

    • You can obviously ride one Vivek, but what will happen when the tire gets punctured and you have to push the bike for a few kilometers? ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Kiran Bhabal

    I own TBTS 350 which is 18 months old and so far i have clocked 16500 km on it. As far as fit and finish is concerned TBTS is better that other royal enfield products available in the market, but still is far behind compared to other bikes available today. Though the bike is heavy it has better handling than classic or electra. The most amazing thing i like about it is its stability at high speed and comfort on long ride. Its an effortless mile muncher on highways. Although top speed i achieved so far is 120 km/h and at that speed it was rock solid unlike any 150 cc bikes available. Its not refined or as quick as KTM duke duo or CBR or Ninja but it certainly has character of its own. I found TBTS better accelerating than classic or electra despite sharing same engine.( Ridden electra and classic on long trips) Anyway if you want a bike with presence and good comfort ( if you can handle it) within budget of 1.5 lakhs i will recommend you to go for TBTS without second thought.

  • Vasanth

    Hi I’m planning to buy TB350 (inspired from my father)for daily use and my height 5.8 and weight 56kg. Please tell me the concerns which I will face

  • I own a Thunderbird 350 and I have clocked around 14000 kms in 6months and still cruising with no problems so far. Following were the pros and cons I experienced as a TB owner.

    Pros:

    Royal Enfield is the oldest motorcycle brand in the world still in production with the Bullet model enjoying the longest motorcycle production run of all time. (Src: Wikipedia). It should have something good going on if it stood the changing tides of time.

    1. Thunderbird is very comfortable and I’d recommend it if you do a lot of cruising.

    Thanks to the Large seat and the great suspension. I have driven my bike around 610kms straight from Doodhsagar waterfalls,Goa to My home in Calicut,Kerala with just one fuel stop (and for that too I did’nt get off my bike) and reached home with a very minimal backache. Bikes like duke aren’t actually meant for cruising and hence their seats are very hard and you get back pains easily. In addition to this, my wrists usually hurts after riding duke, NS etc, but i don’t find any such problems with my TB. And it is also one of the best handling cruisers.

    2. It has got a huge 20 Ltr Tank and have decent mileage.

    I did the above trip with just 2 full tanks. On the average, I get around 40-45kmpl mileage while touring. I usually cruise at around 80kmph on the highways. Cruising above 90 kmph reduces the mileage considerably to about 30 kmpl.

    3. The Lights, the Clocks and the 2 disk breaks

    It has got a great projector lamp, which lights up the entire road along with the roadside, and I rarely have to use my high beam. This have saved me from many things like dogs and cats jumping out to the road from nowhere, especially while riding through countrysides at night.

    The clocks with the cool blue backgrounds are eye candies and I often catch myself admiring them.

    The Disk breaks are not punchy like in the Duke, as the TB is heavy. But the Bybre unit does the job well.

    4. The Torque

    The bike is a low revving one with 28nm@4000rpm torque. Duke 200 is a great bike and its torque is 19.2nm and Duke 390 has 35nm torque, both at around 8000rpm. FYI, torque is the turning force. In other words, Duke is a sprinter whereas the Thunderbird is a strong body builder. This difference will be notable when you have a pillion rider or loads of luggage.

    5. Luggage Hauling

    The TB can accommodate loads of luggage and have bars, holders etc for hooking your bungee ropes. Hooking luggage was always a problem with the other bikes I have used while touring.

    6. The Heat from Engine

    Every engine gets hot while running, but even with features like oil cooling, I experience a lot of heat on my legs from bikes like duke, especially while touring the highways and in cities when its hot. It is very discomforting and tiring. But I never had such an experience from my TB. The reason may be the forward placed foot pegs or due to the relatively less power is produced from a larger engine making lesser amount of heat.

    7. Reliability and Durability

    I have seen REs wayyyyy older than me and some of the members of my club still use very old REs for touring. They are still healthy as a horse. In fact one of them took a KLD registration bullet (I think its a 1980 model, not sure, still 11 years older than me) to Ladak, all the way from Kerala and he had no problems at all to complete the trip. Now if he was able to do this, even after a major accident, when he fell off the bike after falling asleep, in Maharashtra, that bike is really really built strong.

    The only thing is that you need to find a good mechanic and maintain your bike well. I’ve heard about shitty service centers throughout Kerala and some very good mechanics in other workshops. (I never give my bike for service in my service center. But this may be true in only some areas. )

    8. The Weight:

    Now this may be stated as a Pro and a Con. The bike is heavy, but while touring, i think the weight will be good when you hit cross winds and when cars or buses fly past you in great speeds. I find the lighter bikes drifting off course considerably when fast vehicles go past me. (Even with this great weight I once found my TB swaying slightly on AH 43, enroute Rameshwaram,in crosswinds.)

    9. The RE Experience

    Now, owning an RE was a huge turning point in my life. I used to mock these RE bikes in the past and call them lethargic. But now i find it difficult to call them just bikes, I’d rather call it a way of life. I love my bike like I love my girlfriend.I cant help to stand back and admire it, EVERY F**Kng DAY no matter whatever hurry I am in and TBs are natural head turners. The natural thump (not from the noisy aftermarket silencers) on lonely highways like the NH 4 gives you a surreal experience, but again these may be just for me.

    Other RE fans, RE clubs, RE events, REunion, RE accessories etc etc… there are a plethora of things you are exposed to when you start using a Royal Enfield.

    Cons:

    1. Top speed

    The maximum speed I was able to achieve on my TB 350 is around 120kmph. But TB intended for Cruising and it does the cruising job well at 70-100kmph , which you can achieve and maintain effortlessly. And these are the good speeds for touring leisurely, not too slow and not too fast. These are also good/safe speeds on Indian roads. (You don’t hear about RE accidents frequently)

    2. Vibrations

    Going over the cruising speed limit of 100kmph sets off a good amount of undesired vibrations.

    3. City Usage

    TBs are meant for the highway and it takes considerable amount of getting used to when using them in the cities. The city driving is not a huge pain in the ass, but parking is. If you happen to park it on a steep roadside or places having a ridge, you will have a very tough time reversing the bike as its heavy. So you either have to avoid these spots or the bike should face the ridge while parking, so that you can use your first gear to push it out.

    4. Rattling Noises while taking delivery of the bike

    You may hear plenty of rattling sounds when you take the bike from the showroom. So you need to fix these noises , like the tappet sound while taking the delivery. You may either get these fixed from a good mechanic or from the showroom itself, prior to using them.

    Overall, I love the total RE TB 350 package and like I said, owning it was a huge turning point in my life. I am not against other bikes, in fact I love the bikes for what they are built for. I love Duke for the sheer amount of exhilaration it has to offer and I love the TB for lazy cruising/touring.

    • harpreet

      Very very good review……
      This should give anyone moving on from any 150-200 ccs to TB a nice overview of what a lifestyle he is going to enter into.
      RE bikes are way of living, not a simple mode of transport for point A to B.

    • Excellent words Sachin!

    • bhatkar vijay

      liked your views a lot…..

    • Sonu Dev

      wow great review ….. thanx

    • Karan Takulia

      Hi Sachin,
      Appreciate the great review.
      If you and Akhil could also tell us in detail about the ideal way to ride in the Running in Period it would be really helpful as we know that that is a crucial time for the engine.
      I’ve just gotten my first servicing done of the TB500. What would your advice be on way of riding the bike over the next 2000 kms? touching upon the ideal speed, rpm, loading weight, pillion riders etc

      I read a few people asking if they can go on long rides in the running in period as long as they keep in the speed limit… disagreeing with Akhil, with what I’ve read online this is a definite NO NO as one would assume that the speed would more or less be constant say between 40-50kmh… which is detrimental for the engine as one has to keep varying the rpm often during this period, without accelerating harshly.

      If you guys could break it down, would be quite helpful!
      Cheers

  • Raj

    I am planning to buy a cruiser and rich looking bike and fed up of pulsar and other of that likes so going for it

  • Sir,
    Please Tell me one of best Royal Enfield Bike
    (Thunder Bird 350 & Bullet 350)
    I’am Planned for BUY

    • None of them are good, but if you must buy, I would go with the Thunderbird, primarily because of more seating comfort and better headlight.

  • Sir im very confused between avenger 220 and thunderbird 350
    my budget is around 1 lakh can go further if i can get drame bike
    i heard rumors abt bajaj launching new cruiser bike in 2015 so shld i wait or buy
    plzzz help me im getting frusted and tired of reading ratings and review
    waiting for your reply thank yew

    • Go for the Avenger, there is no guarantee if Bajaj’s cruiser will come in 2015! Avenger is the best all – round cruiser available around 1 lac.

      • Hi everyone .. I am Rahul I am planning to buy the all new tb350..
        But few of my friends are telling me that the bike is not well enough to maintainn… the mileage is too low .. near to 15 kmpl ( one of my friend gets it ) … my budget is 1.4 lakh … plz hlp thanks in advance ….

        • I don’t think the TB350 will give you 15 kmpl, even a badly maintained 350 should return 35 kmpl in my opinion.

          For a budget of 1.4 lacs, I would strongly suggest trying out the Duke 200. Much more fun bike, easy to handle and maintain, and looks different.

        • harpreet

          Hey Rahul,

          I’m sure that if you have decided to own a RE then you must have done full research. RE bikes are not really a daily commuter bike. Yes they give low average, but not as low as you have mentioned. The new one give out in higher 30s. Yes they do require little pampering but there maintenance doesn’t cost a bomb if you do not abuse them.

          If you are purchasing it for daily rides and looking for very good average then go straight to any 150 cc bike. RE bikes really are weekend bikes, but you can use them daily only if you maintain them properly.

          On performance vise these are good only till the time you don’t compare them with harleys….
          Should consider the price difference before comparing them.

        • Kiran Bhabal

          Don’t worry TBTS returns mileage of 35 to 40 km/l in city if ridden nicely. Great bike if you love cruising on highways.

    • If you can reach your hands on a thunderbird, just go for it. Avenger is just a wannabe cruiser. Test ride both the bikes and you will understand what these both bikes has to offer. if you can afford a thunderbird, just go for it. Test ride is the best solution and you will understand the capabilities of the bike in your first ride itself.

      • I agree with Bhupi that the first ride impressions of Thunderbird might be better than Avenger. However, you’ll also need to think of the long run, as in which bike will be easier to maintain/run, number of issues, and overall value for money.

  • harry

    Both Duke and TB 350 are nice bikes but it won’t be fair to compare them. Both depict different riding styles. Duke has boyish charm with city looks whereas TB is cruiser with more cult appeal. Duke is for reving it hard for high acceleration and TB is for slow speed rides. Also how many cruiser are available in India, except few fake ones.

    • Yes, they are completely different bikes. Yes, people need to buy them for lack of other options, especially if you are tall.

  • I am looking for a comfortable long distant touring bike. I’m 5.6″ and slim built, will you recommend TB350 for me or shall I go for Duke 200 instead? It would be great if you can suggest the best touring bike for people like me.

    • Hey Suryavardhan, out of these two bikes, I would definitely recommend the Duke 200. It is faster, looks better, and has lower maintenance as compared to TB350. A friend of mine has started his all-India tour on a Duke 200, fantastic machine and great value for money.

      • Thanks for the reply, best wishes for your friend for his all India ride. Duke 200 or RC200 is gonna be my next dilemma. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Lol, yeah, expected. RC would most likely be a track tool, and not very comfortable for touring.

      • sumit

        Both bike are deferent .. duke 200 is good for racing and tb350 slow and enjoy riding. .

  • harry

    Recently my friend booked TB 350 & fortunately, I will say, at delivery date he was out of town so I picked this baby.
    It was with me for more than two weeks and I must say I enjoyed every Inch I rode. It is true that RE bikes comes with legacy of not being perfect and I think it is part of its cult personality. As far as vibration goes I never had any problem as I never rev it hard. Someone said about braking but I found it ok. Yeah there was a oil leak but it was resolved after first service. My advice for anyone going for RE bikes is that don’t go thinking in your mind that you will get a perfectly smooth bike, not even RE guys them self say that. It is like a marriage where you know at some point you will go in that “tu tu main main” but still you marry because of love. Then only you will true enjoy it.

    • Not bad advice Harry, although at some point you’ll be fed up of the “tu tu main main” and want to divorce, especially when you see other married men living the good life ๐Ÿ™‚

  • sampath

    Recently, owned TB 350, got my first service completed. I am getting mileage around 30-32. After my first service planned to go for Shell Super petrol. I am 6 feet tall and i drive 50 Km daily up nd down. I dont have any shoulder or back pain, only thing i feel that need to be improved is seat cushion. I feel my ass paining after long ride.

    • I think your mileage will increase after the first service Sampath. Not sure if the Super petrol will make any difference though. I found the seat to be comfortable on the 350, maybe you will get used to it with time!

  • Mayank

    Sir
    First of all i like all your rides stories which you have written
    I Was planing for buying royal enfield classic 500 preasnt iam having fzs and i have crossed 6000 km in 6 months but because of its 150cc small engine now iam planing To shift to more powerful bike below 2.5 lacs with less maintaince and good milage after couple of month i will be of 18 and i willing to go on long rides sir please can you suggest me which will be best bike for me which fulfill all my requirements of for long rides as you have done of 4000 kms

    • Thanks Mayank!

      I would not recommend buying a Royal Enfield! In that budget, you can easily go for Duke 390, which is an awesome machine!

      • Mayank

        Sir any other bike in one of your article you have already told about the clucth fuel tank tiers etc of disadvantage of buying duke 390

        • Yes Mayank, that article lists the potential problems that you might face with the 390. However, if you weigh these flaws with the advantages, you’ll find that the Duke is the best balance of everything. You can tour on it, can go really fast, looks good and is easy to maintain.

    • dev

      [Thunderbird-500]
      don’t be carried away by promotional videos on you tube..this is covering all the substandard bulls*** with fancy words..over priced underpowered fuel-guzzling bike with terribly bad quality..matt black paint on engine is liable to peel off pretty early..mine started peeling off in the first wash..engine oil leaks..most service personnel at most places aren’t competent at their work..just feels powerful when yu move at first gear..not comfortable to ride beyond 90kmph low on mileage..12-17..none of the fancy blue lit meters other than speedo actually work properly..rear disks dont release properly…dont fall for such glam videos..the shorter wheel base is not cos they intended to design it tht way but cos the new front shocks dont ‘ve the one inch offset at the axle as on old front shocks and actually makes the front look bad with the front wheel coming closer to the chassis as a result….the foot pegs ‘ve been moved forward and isnt very comfortable on long rides…the switches for lighting on handle is of low quality too..yu are lucky if they work well..if you drive fer more than 100/150 kms at more than 90 engine sound changes for the worse..if yu want to spend 2 lakhs and spend time at service station from the first week [oh you’ll ‘ve to wait and wait] and contribute to RE to deliver more substandard stuff to ppl, you can buy this awful overpriced machine..

    • sumit

      If you love fast bike u go for duke 390 .. duke 390 speed 0 to 60 , 2.6sec , 0 to 100 , 5.7sec …

  • Raghu

    Hi Akhil, I just about to book Thunderbird 350 but post researching and reading so many reviews (+ & -ves) I’m still hesitant to go for it. I’m 5.8″ tall, weighs abt 75kgs; I love TB and desire to own one crusier. I’m confused whether should go for TB, if yes then 350/500, which colour is best (going for marine blue) and what abt maintanance.

    Thanks for the great help..!

    Regards

    Raghu..!

    • Hey Raghu, I will never recommend a Royal Enfield to anyone, simply because they are archaic, obsolete, purposeless machines built only for fanatics.

      Having said that, there is no alternative in that price range. If you must go for a TB, go for the 500, it at least has some grunt! From what I’ve seen, the marine blue is basically a black, very hard to tell the difference. I personally like the matt black look ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Piyush Shinde

        Hi akhil, I read your article above and thank you for an honest review. Though, what I feel is that your are baised towards duke which I think is your penchant. I completely disagree with your above comment that the RE is merely for fanatics. It is an affordable cruiser and a boon to Indian bikers who cannot afford highly priced cruisers. What do you mean by “Purposeless”? No bike in this world is, for there is a rider who looks for a particular riding style. I agree with the archaic looks, but Mr. Akhil they have been designed that way to be different. I mean, there is no point RE geeting into the market with sports bike like Pulsar( as u suggested in one of the comments) which are only hype and no substance with life not beyond 2 years with all the body parts “Vibrating”. And just to let you know, I do not own any of the bikes we are talking about here. What I want to point out to the guys asking you here is that a bike reviewer should not be baised.And I am afraid you are.

        • I am definitely biased against REs, I really really hate them. It is also a fact that it is one of the most affordable cruisers around, especially for tall guys. But that doesn’t change the fact that it is an obsolete machine in today’s time.

          I am not looking for RE to get into the sports bike segment, I just wish they made bikes that didn’t break apart into a million pieces at the slightest blip of the throttle.

          I have a 5 year old pulsar, done 50,000 kms, and still running like a dream.

      • Boo

        Hey Akhil. I own a duke 200 and my brother owns a tbts350. After seeing your posts and your views, I really feel you are jealous about thunderbird just like me. You call It purposeless? What do you call duke then? It’s completely not a practical bike at all! It’s a complete waste of money! Pillion comfort is zero which is absolute non sense. What did they have in mind while designing this bike? Pillion seat is almost non existent. Leave about pillion, rider comfort is also useless! It’s a pain in the ass! You travel for 30-40kms in heavy traffic, your ass will be dying to take a break. I have a real bad experience! Except for the over powered tuning, there’s nothing to boast about this bike. Think about taking your mom or any adult? Lol! They’d prefer travelling by bus! What’s the use of this so called power machine? If it’s not practical? Now I use it only on weekends when I go out alone. And on weekdays I use thunderbird. I really feel ppl should think about the practicality of duke before buying. My gf never sits on my duke cos of it’s excellent pillion comfort ๐Ÿ˜‰ 200ns is a better option if you want a similar powered PRACTICAL bike. My advice to you is please don’t mislead people. I’ve seen that you feel we can tour on a duke. But we can not! If travelling 50-60kms is touring, then duke is a machine for you. Planning on 500-600? None other can beat the comfort and power of a thunderbird. Even after cruising all day long, it never retires, where as duke requires frequent breaks.

        • Hey Boo, I have done Bombay-Bangalore (1021 kms in a day), 5 times now, the least time I’ve taken is about 12 hours, the max is about 20. So I can’t agree with you when you say the Duke (200/390) is not comfortable for long rides and requires frequent breaks. It has one of the most rider-friendly position on a motorcycle.

          As far as pillion comfort is concerned, Duke is the worst bike out there. They really should have just cut off the rear section, just to make sure people don’t get false hopes. I think I’ve always mentioned that Dukes are not good for carrying your family/gf/anyone, but if someone misunderstood that, I would like to say that again – Dukes suck for pillion comfort.

          I really wish I could say I am jealous of the 350, just to make you feel better! But dude, what could possibly make a Duke 390 owner jealous of a Thunderbird 350? (apart from if the Thunderbird owner has a 50 inch dick).

          • Boo

            Don’t compare a Duke 390 with a Thunderbird 350. That’d be utter foolishness. Owning a (Royal Enfield) Thunderbird needs it’s owner to have a dick. If not, go for a Duke. Just because you don’t like RE, nothing’s gonna change. A Royal Enfield is a anyday head turner. Duke is for kids and Royal Enfield is for real men!

            Long ride on duke? Man you really have chubby ass. No other person in the world would recommend a track machine to touring. Duke is a street bike and a powerful track machine(RC). No other bikes in this price range can give you as comfortable ride as a thunderbird. And there’s hell lot of things that RE should improve, especially the quality of chrome parts. RE is atleast better now. Especially the New versions have least compliants.

          • Lol! Ok.

          • Boo… This is for you… REs make only sound… And they need help of such comments… Really tell me what is in RE that is better than Duke? I agree REs turn heads and that’s because it makes too much sound… Same thing happens when a stray dog barks… And that stray dog then gets pelted with stones… This infamous stray dog (RE) can’t even run fast… It is heavy and sluggish… Result is that the head turning people pelt this stray dog bad… Now if Duke makes sound no one can even catch it and pelt stones at it… So REs keep boasting your sluggishness and get pelted with stones because of your sound…

      • sumit

        Bro aap logo ko to 14lac ki bhi bike me aap logo ko complain hogi..

        • Bilkul hogi sir.

        • Mr. Akhil seems like you are not a rider but a racer most of the people asking for advice are are daily riders , before u give them an advice please stick to their needs other than something which is already inside ur mind.I was using a duke as my daily commuter (120km daily) it totally ruined my body (back pain) u may be okay now but i am sure u will change ur opinion soon wow still surprised to hear u rode that much distance on ur duke 5 times Really !!! ,Also now i feel much comfort with my TB. No way please donโ€™t even dare to even compare those two machines both are of different Levels.And if some of the die hard fans of TB heard what ur friend #Akshay told , i am sure he wouldnโ€™t see lights anymore Because he was insulting a company which marked a signature in the biking history in INDIA and even we are proud to say that we are the proud owners of the bike which is Loved & Used for decades by the largest armed force in the word INDIAN ARMY Riding a bullet is a feeling. Its something else u wonโ€™t understand Because u r still a kid .
          Bullets are 4 real man.
          Its made like a gun.

  • Ajeeshkrishnan

    Hi, I would like to buy a new Thunder Bird 350, I just confused with you post, which one is better Thunder bird 350 of Bullet 350 ??
    Kindly let me know the reason also.
    If RE is not good , which bike you can prefer ??

    • As you can see from this article, I won’t recommend an RE to anyone. In that budget, Duke 200, Bajaj Avenger, and even Pulsar 220 are extremely good bikes. Might I ask what is your riding style?

      • Mr. Akhil seems like you are not a rider but a racer most of the people asking for advice are are daily riders , before u give them an advice please stick to their needs other than something which is already inside ur mind.I was using a duke as my daily commuter (120km daily) it totally ruined my body (back pain) u may be okay now but i am sure u will change ur opinion soon wow still surprised to hear u rode that much distance on ur duke 5 times Really !!! ,Also now i feel much comfort with my TB. No way please don’t even dare to even compare those two machines both are of different Levels.And if some of the die hard fans of TB heard what ur friend #Akshay told , i am sure he wouldn’t see lights anymore Because he was insulting a company which marked a signature in the biking history in INDIA and even we are proud to say that we are the proud owners of the bike which is Loved & Used for decades by the largest armed force in the word INDIAN ARMY Riding a bullet is a feeling. Its something else u won’t understand Because u r still a kid .
        Bullets are 4 real man.
        Its made like a gun.

  • Hi Guys, I am going to get my Desert Storm & Thunderbird 350 in next 7-8days. Desert Strom i will use mostly for touring and Thunderbird more regularly for city. Nerul guys said after payment it takes 6-7 working days. But now I am seriously confused by reading all above comments, is it really going to give me all these troubles like oil leak, rear disk break is not proper, vibrations, mileage variations for every individual. So is it a good Idea to buy Harley Street 750 instead of any one of the Enfield as one of it I am surely going going to buy. and which bike is better Thunderbird or DS.
    Please Help guys your suggestions may save my few bugs..Thanks

    • I would ANYDAY recommend a Harley over an RE. The Street 750 has got overall good reviews, with minor issues of build quality and wires sticking out. For the price point, it is incredible value for money.

  • Anuj Mukne

    Hey Akhil .. I am done with my thunderbird 350’s first service.
    And yes there are lot of small issues which creep up every now and then.I had oil leaking from around the engine block and this time it looks like the oil seal was the culprit.the tappet noise was evident right from the first 350kms.Valve clearance check required. Somebody mentioned about the rear disc,,yeah it sucks!!.
    These issues were sorted to a extent after the first service but there’s no assurance that they wouldn’t come back anytime soon.
    Sadly,, with the royal enfield you have to live with these problems which come along with the brand..

    • Yup, and that’s why I’ll never buy one! Too many problems for one bike ๐Ÿ™‚ My roomates TB350 is now daily leaks oil.

      • Anuj Mukne

        My ownership exp with the 2011 honda cbr250r abs and 2008 pulsar220 disfi is anyday better.
        Dudes at royal enfield don’t just add waiting list to your account please work on these issues… They totally spoil the royal enfield charm..

  • Manoj

    Akhil Kalsh… seems like I heard that name somewhere.. Pardon me if I am wrong but..did u at any point of time write an article on why u would never buy a royal enfield?

    • Akhil Kalsh

      As a matter of fact I did Manoj ๐Ÿ™‚ This Thunderbird doesn’t belong to me, it’s my roomate’s.

  • Completed over 6k kms
    Here are my observations:
    Don’t worry about vibrations they will lessen(not completely go away) after 2 nd 3 service.
    The mileage your friend is getting is way lower than average .I get round 40-45 in city(and I am not one to ride below 60 all the time)
    Is your friend sure about rear suspension being comfortable ? coz for me it’s real pain in ass (rather back).Thinking bout some custom suspension to replace it.
    (Akhil your help would be appreciated in this matter)

    Rest everything’s fine till now.Going Great.

    Btw I am another 6 ft 90 kg guy.

    • Akhil Kalsh

      You are getting 40+ average? Nice man!

      I don’t think Thunderbird’s suspension is adjustable, and have never heard of or seen anyone going for a different set of springs. One option would be to get the seat foamed up, but I doubt that will help with back pain, but will surely make the ass pain go away.

      One reason for back pain on long rides is carrying a backpack or something else on your shoulders. Have you tried riding without it? Does the pain still persist?

  • KS

    Thanks Akhil, for the nice review on TB 350. Hope will get my TB 350 by next month. I have read in lot of reviews that the rare break on current TB are worse then the regular RE drum break. Is it true?? if “yes” then do you have any suggestion to improve it. Also hows is the road grip. Do we need to replace the existing tire to get a batter Grip??

    • Akhil Kalsh

      Hey man, the rear brake on this bike was a bit loose, after tightening it is working fine. I don’t think you’ll need to change it, as front disc is good enough.

      Road grip is good, better than old TBs for sure. The weight of the bike helps too! I would not suggest changing the tires for grip, rather after some time, you can simply go for alloy wheels and put on tubeless tires for more puncture protection.

      And I also checked for gloves, Rynox Rampage cost 1650 bucks and have good reviews. Do try them out!

      • KS

        Thanks Akhil…:D

        • Akhil Kalsh

          My pleasure. Do let me know how your experience goes with the TB, or any other questions/help you might need ๐Ÿ™‚

          • KS

            Sure will do…. ๐Ÿ˜€

          • KS

            Hi Akhil, got my bike last Friday…so, past 1 week am enjoying riding my bull…they asked me to keep the speed limit to 60KPH till i complete my 1000km. My 1st service is after completing 500km. One of my friend told me that it is not Speed but the RPM I need to maintain to 3 till I complete my 1000km is it true. I am eager to go to Mysore in coming weekend. Is it advisable before I complete my 1st service??

          • Congrats man!

            Your friend is right, it’s the rpm and not the speed. All you have to do is not rip the throttle.

            Yes you can go anywhere as long as you stay under the rpm limit. Better to go on a long ride and get the run-in period done with. Keep me posted how it goes ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Surajit

    Well, I was of the opinion that spoked wheels and tubed tyres are the only way to tour. Tubeless may be easy to fix but after 2-3 punctures the integrity of your metzelers are at the mercy of the top floor resident. You tour a lot, be very very aware of tubeless tyres with multiple puncture repairs.

    P.S. Enjoyed your website, your writing has both swagger and passion.

    • Akhil Kalsh

      Na Surajit, tubeless tires can take many more punctures than tubes, without much trouble.

      Glad yoy like my work! Cheers.

  • Bibhas

    ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Akhil Kalsh

      Hope everything is under your approval, it’s your bike in the end!

      • prateek

        hi akhil..can you plz help me to find a good bike.budget is 1.5k .hence i am doing marketing job , daily approx100 km running going on..plz suggest which bike is better for me. ..at present i have bajaj discover 125.and every month i am spending 1000 rs on maintenance. evertime after a long drive of 200 km i am facing a problem in my discover.

        prateek.

        • For daily 100 kms running, you better stick to the 150-200cc segment for better mileage.

          Pulsar 200NS is a nice bike within 1 lac. Goes fast, easy to handle, and good fuel economy. Looks nice too!

          The latest Suzuki Gixxer is also a very nice looking bike. Japnese bikes are known to be very reliable too, so check it out once.

          TVS Apache 180 is an amazing package, nimble, fast, and also has ABS option, which is really great for road safety.

          I don’t think you need to spend anything over 1 lac, doesn’t make sense for your requirement. Test ride the above mentioned bikes and pick whatever you like. Buy good riding gear from the remaining amount, you need protection for that much riding everyday!

          • prateek

            what about pul 220..and royal enfield 350

          • Pulsar 220 is good, but not better than the 200NS.

            I won’t really recommend an RE, simply because they are unreliable. For your kind of usage, stick with brands that are known for reliability.

          • prateek

            what about karizma r

          • Not a bad bike, comfortable too. I personally don’t like the way it looks. Take a test ride of that too, see if you like it.