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Author Topic: Thunderbird......  (Read 843 times)

Joel-in-dallas

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Thunderbird......
« on: April 30, 2013, 06:47:43 PM »
I am curious as to why the thunderbird isn't being imported to the United States. I know Triumph sells a motorcycle under the Thunderbird model name. But surely RE has another name trademarked in the states they could see the bike under.

From what I gather people on this board don't like the Thunderbird. It think its pretty interesting. I wish my G5 had a disc break on the rear.

What do you guys think?
I know people are excited about the factory cafe racer. Its going to be a cool machine.

Arizoni

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Re: Thunderbird......
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2013, 07:14:14 PM »
I think the Thunderbird is a great bike for the people in India where a big 500cc thumper cruiser is in demand.  It's kind of a low cost answer to the peoples desires to own a Harley.

The new UCE Thunderbird isn't the first Thunderbird to be sold in India.  Royal Enfield also offered it with the old engine design.

Why isn't it being imported into the US?
I can't speak for Kevin who decides these things but IMO there are a lot of Japanese cruisers here with more power and features at lower costs so who would buy a machine made in India?

The B5, C5, G5 and Cafe on the other hand are truly unique in the US.
They offer antique styling and handling with modern reliability.  They have no direct competition from other makers and for the people who like true retro styling their prices aren't too bad.

As for the Cafe model, it has a bunch of things that make it attractive to me.
More power, a unique double downtube frame, rear disk brake, classic styling...
On the other hand, I gave up knee dragging years ago and the rear set foot pegs and clip on handlebars and the crouched riding position that goes along with them doesn't suit my antique body anymore. :(
If I bought one I would want to change the bars and rearsets to match the other RE models but I don't think the frame is set up to allow that without welding on some extra mounts.  The hydraulic rear disk brake master cylinder would also require moving so there would need to be quite a bit of revising to get it like I would like it.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2013, 07:30:25 PM by Arizoni »
Jim
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barenekd

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Re: Thunderbird......
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2013, 07:32:22 PM »
Quote
As for the Cafe model, it has a bunch of things that make it attractive to me.
More power, a unique double downtube frame, rear disk brake, classic styling...
On the other hand, I gave up knee dragging years ago and the rear set foot pegs and clip on handlebars and the crouched riding position that goes along with them doesn't suit my antique body anymore. :(
If I bought one I would want to change the bars and rearsets but I don't think the frame is set up to allow that without welding on some extra mounts.  The hydraulic rear disk brake master cylinder would also require moving so there would need to be quite a bit of revising to get it like I would like it.

Ah, Jim, you ain't that old to give up some occasional knee draggin'!
My modded G5 was, to me, more comfortable than the stock G5. The stock one was pretty nice, but I guess I really don't care for the sit-up-and-beg position. I'd buy another G5, but I'd have to put all that time and money into it when I can get the Cafe racer at a much better price! That way I can get all the good stuff in one swell foop! Unfortunately, it's a miserably long wait!
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Ducati Scotty

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Re: Thunderbird......
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2013, 08:38:57 PM »
+1, just another small cruiser here.  In India imports have huge tariffs so the Thunderbird would be competitively priced against small Asian cruisers.  Another reason that RE is looking at a twin engine, to compete with Harleys over there at a much lower price.

Scott

ace.cafe

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Re: Thunderbird......
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2013, 09:52:15 PM »
It's just a matter of style. Some will like it, and some won't.

The importation is a decision that involves the importing agent, and if he wants to pay for the testing to have the bike approved for sale in the US. It's not a cheap proposition to get a model approved. If the importer feels that it won't sell well against the competition in the price range, then it isn't worth it for him to bring the model in.
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Ducati Scotty

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Re: Thunderbird......
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2013, 09:57:34 PM »
Would there be any consideration for certification since other models with the exact same powerplant are already imported?  I can see having to go over everything else but the engine, intake, and exhaust are the same.

Oh, just thought, dual spark.  Yeah, that's different enough unless they wanted to do US models as the standard UCE single spark engine.

Scott

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Re: Thunderbird......
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2013, 12:33:31 AM »
rear disc does sound appealing.
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Joel-in-dallas

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Re: Thunderbird......
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2013, 01:19:48 AM »
Yeah, I would like a rear disc. Cause you have to really push on that petal to get it to bite and even then it doesn't do much. But I want to stay in practice of using both brakes. So far that is the biggest improvement I would recommend to the G5. But I think the C5 series could use that as well.

hortoncode3

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Re: Thunderbird......
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2013, 02:02:23 PM »
I've never understood the push for disc in the rear on a bike so light. On a KZ 1000 yeah..it's heavy and needs some fade proof braking all the way around. But on a B5, the front disc is MORE than adequate. They say 80% of the braking is on the front, and so that rear drum just isn't getting the major use anyway. If you are a lard ass well, I guess I can see it but if that's the case you really need a larger bike unless you like looking like a circus act.

gremlin

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Re: Thunderbird......
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2013, 04:51:05 PM »
........ If you are a lard ass well, I guess I can see it but if that's the case you really need a larger bike unless you like looking like a circus act.

I used to have people tell me I need a bigger bike when I was riding an XS11 with factory Venture package and a Vetter side-car.

There ain't no bike big enough for some of us Lard Asses.   8)

Maybe we'll meet one day and you can instruct me in my choice of motorcycle !  ;)
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Jack Leis

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Re: Thunderbird......
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2013, 04:58:32 PM »
+1 Gremlin. My bike seems to enjoy hauling my big ass around !
I would much rather ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow    Jack

Joel-in-dallas

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Re: Thunderbird......
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2013, 05:02:48 PM »
My G5 seems to be able to get to speed quick and haul all 275 pounds of me around.

I havent taken it to freeway speeds yet, cause it hasnt reached 300 miles yet and had that oil change and service, etc.

But it seems to have lots of torque and is fun to ride. Really fun.

Jack Leis

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Re: Thunderbird......
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2013, 05:05:36 PM »
I hear ya Joel, the G5 is a great , durable bike.
I would much rather ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow    Jack

Ducati Scotty

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Re: Thunderbird......
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2013, 05:45:07 PM »
Is the Thunderbird the same as the Machismo?

Scott

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Re: Thunderbird......
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2013, 05:50:01 PM »
I've adjusted the rear drum on my AVL to bite more - I don't have to push that far to lock it up.  When I put on new K70's and headed out for my first Spring rides, I was practicing short stops and it was grabbing pretty good.

When I first bought it, yes, I had to move it 6 inches to get it to engage. Super easy to adjust - at least on an AVL. 

You want see a nice cruiser, check out Scottie's '58 Trailblazer! It's a beast.

http://www.enfieldmotorcycles.com/forum/index.php/topic,16355.0.html

Bare, I'd be really surprised to see that Cafe this year.  I can remember when it was a 2012 Cafe Racer.
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