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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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)
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 the TB for lazy cruising/touring.
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