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    Royal Enfield launched its new bike the Thunderbird Twinspark in 2008. But it was under some serious scrutiny by Bajaj Auto Ltd because of the name and the twin spark technology. Bajaj patents the twin spark technology and it had previously filed a suit against TVS motors for the same reason. But according to Royal Enfield they have not breached the patent copyrights as it holds good for 75 and 250 cc engine bikes whereas the Thunderbird is of a 350 cc version and they plan to incorporate the same technology in their future series of bikes too.

    Design & Engineering :

    A first look, and you would be hardly able to tell the difference between the Twinspark and any other Thunderbird, till you see the engine. It’s a contemporary looking powerplant with an incorporated crankcase and gearbox projected to lessen oil seepage. Every other bit is similar; the round headlamp, double instrument pods, front disc brake, seat and pillion backrest are all the same as the normal Thunderbird’s. A notable visual difference is the shorter muffler that we received on our test bike.
     
    The panels underneath the seat feature a minuscule ‘Twinspark’ sticker, which is the lone sign of this key technical step forward of the bike. Also on either side, just beneath the tank, are round reflectors; a helpful touch when you’re emerging from a side road onto a highway. 

    The fuel tank is sheet-metal, and the overhang welded below it is a blemish, while the fuel tank cap looks dated. The Twinspark does well to offer slow- cam chain adjusters, as compared to the more predictable system provided on most Indian models.

    Paint and fit-finish is still is not upto the mark.




    Drivetrain & Performance :

    The all-new engine has twin-spark plugs, an automatic decompression facility and unit-construction that the company claims has answered the crisis of oil discharge, a key problem with the old engine. Although a lot does stay alike, other important changes contain a high-flow trichoidal oil pump, hydraulic tappets, an automatic primary chain tensioner and the drive chain assembly shifted to the right side in order to reduce transmission loss. 

    The Twinspark benefits from TCI ignition for a fine spark. You get 2bhp more, for a figure of 19.8bhp, and 2.85kgm of torque, which is a insignificant 0.1kgm more than the older version.

    Start it and you instantly notice a smoother feel near idle. The handlebars don’t judder in your hands just yet. Select first gear and as you let the clutch out, it feels a bit improved. A six-plate clutch instead of four makes the difference. As you hasten through the gears, this smoothness unfortunately diminishes however, to be replaced with Royal Enfield characteristic vibrations, Which is where it goes from bad to worse, and it’s apparent that thrashing the engine is not the way to ride this bike.



    Economy :


    Fuel economy is not a subject of relevance among Royal Enfield bike lovers, who will buy the Thunderbird Twinspark more for its lifestyle value, than economy. 

    For the record, the Twinspark returns 35.7kpl in the city and 36.8kpl on the highway. 

    btw according to company the fuel efficiency ranges anywhere between 45-50 kmpl.



    Ride & Handling :
      
    The riding arrangement of the Twinspark is classic cruiser fare, and its saddle is a sensibly pleasant place to be on long rides.

    The new bike has an integrated gearbox that produces only 10% more power and torque compared to the previous Bullets. So, there is not much to rejoice. It generates a maximum power of 20 bhp and the maximum torque is 28Nm. For an instant halt the bike requires 150/280mm brakes.

    The shifting of the rear brake has become easier. The suspension is not satisfactory; it is slightly stiffer but gets better with a pillion rider. Stability on straight lanes remains good but riding into curves isn’t any great. The front tyre seems to skid while breaking that causes some kind of discomfort. The bike is recommended for city riding and for a rare long drive too.


    The Thunderbird uses known, large, kicked-out forks and an extended single-downtube frame. Its gas-charged dampers at the rear are par for the course for motorcycles in India, but even on their softest setting tend to jump when pushing the bike to its edge. These work best when the bike is overloaded.


    The Thunderbird Twinspark is somewhat a burden in city traffic, but a steady bike on the highway thanks to its 19-inch rims. The handlebars do provide ample weight for city riding, but there is no dodging this bike’s rangy wheelbase and heft in the city.


    Popularity Rating of Royal Enfield Thunderbird Twinspark In India :

    The new Thunderbird Twinspark will not have a mad following like we see for Pulsars or Karizmas but is liked by people who already own a bullet and those who do not have one but have a liking for the brand. You might not see 100s and 1000s of these on roads, but one on road and it is a head turner.

    Price :

    The Royal Enfield Thunderbird Twinspark is available in three colours: Silver, Black and Red and is handsomely priced at Rs 103000.

    At Rs.1,00,000+ the bike is not cheap, but it is a legend cloaked in modern wizardry. Enfield claims the Thunderbird TwinSpark is maintenance free though only time will tell, as it is too early to comment on this.

    Verdict :


    RatingRatingRatingRatingRatingRatingRatingRatingRatingRating  7/10
    The dreary general quality, the heavy price tag and the out-of-date technology make sure you do not buy this bike by using your head. Yes, the new engine is better and more modern, but then these are changes that should have been made a long time ago. 

    But looking at the Thunderbird Twinspark as such is missing the point totally. It is a bike you buy with your heart.


    Technical specifications :
      

    EngineSingle Cylinder, 4 Stroke, OHV, Dual Spark Ignition Engine, Air Cooled
    Displacement346 CC
    Bore x Stroke70mm x 90mm
    Maximum Power19.8 bhp @ 5250 rpm
    Maximum Torque28 Nm @ 4000 rpm
    Transmission5 Speed (left foot gear shift)
    IgnitionDigital TCI (Transistor Coil Ignition)
    CarburetorBS29 / UCAL
    Dimensions
    Ground Clearance135 mm
    Width780 mm
    Wheel Base1370 mm
    Length2120 mm
    Height1080 mm
    Tyres
    Front3.25 x 19", 6/4 PR
    Rear3.5 x 19", 6/4 PR
    Electricals
    Electrical System12 Volts
    Head lamp35W/35W Halogen, MFR
    Brakes
    FrontHydraulic Disc Brake (Disc dia 280mm)
    RearInternal Expansion (Drum), 6"
    Maximum Speed
    Speed120 Kmph
    Suspension
    FrontTele Scopic With Hydraulic Damping. Stroke 130mm.
    RearSwing arm With Gas Shock Absorbers stroke 80mm



    Royal Enfield Thunderbird Twinspark


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    9 comments
    1. surya Said,

      It looks good but I think it would have been better with alloys and a better paint job with some pin stripes and all that stuff..But it is really classy and will make peoples head’s turn for sure.I think they should have had n extra sixth gear..Anyway overall i think it will be a sure hit.

      Posted on 10:32:00 PM

       
    2. anant Said,

      I am a recent bullet convert. But it was not because of Thunderbird. Recently, I had a chance to test ride Thunderbird TSpark. My initial observations have been too much vibration and a rough engine.
      However, I felt it quite easy to ride comparing against the bulky look it projects. Maybe, the low seating also would’ve helped a short person like me.
      My observation about Bullet in general is, it is a much hyped bike which fairs very poorly on quality scale.

      Posted on 10:33:00 PM

       
    3. Today I gave my bike for the first servicing. By all conservative means of calculating the fuel efficiency, I got an average of 45kmpl+. This includes city as well as highway. To be noted is that I have ridden the ‘bird max at only 55-60kmph as stated in the manual for the first 500km. The petrol tank leakage as stated above wasn’t a problem. Actually I had not tightened the fuel cap adequately and hence the leakage. As for vibrations, obviously you don’t expect the bull to be as smooth as a honda or a yamaha. Drawbacks: none except it is very expensive.

      Posted on 10:35:00 PM

       
    4. nadeem Said,

      i bought this bike a month before with lot of expectations. but not even half of it is fulfilled. usually the thump comes frm the silencer but in this bike a noise like diesel auto comes straight frm the engine.. eratic sound not at all comfortable.. that noise comes down only at 70 km/hr.. apart frm that oil leaks easily and the RE people are unable to correct it. i think its not as worth as it was hiped… sooooooo sad

      Posted on 7:35:00 AM

       
    5. fabulous crisp review. I am gaining more confidence and eagerness to drive my new TBTS

      Posted on 7:43:00 AM

       
    6. tigerranch Said,

      I’ve been driving Thunderbird since last 5 years & have planned to buy new TBTS UCE with thorough check. I completely disagree with the above comments where so many problems were highlighted like oil leakage, vibrations etc infact this new Unit construction engine is so reliable and effecient that RE will be introducing it in his all bikes by 2011. I’m die hard fan of RE, they dont produce racing bikes but they produce great bikes. By the way even Yamaha RX 100 too had oil leakage problem if reved over normal limts so does that means it was a crap? Use your brains guys !!! RE is not for everyone, one needs a big heart to sit on it.

      Posted on 7:45:00 AM

       
    7. shreas Said,

      Guys , i agree with you’ll the service cener sucks like its engine , the engine is very noisy , got this TBTS going through its specks , RE 500 is far too good when compared to my bike , I had to change the silencer to a free flow GoldStar , so i could listen to the Thump , but its got good power trust me on that , but then you dont feel like taking this bike on an open highway ,
      any one planing to buy this bike pleas just drop the plan… Go for a Standard Classic or the 500

      Posted on 7:46:00 AM

       
    8. bernard Said,

      can any body help me with first generation tb owner manual ,,,,

      Posted on 7:09:00 AM

       
    9. Jayesh Said,

      @Bernard You can easily get from any RE showroom

      Posted on 8:28:00 PM

       

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