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Author Topic: Where does the RE Thunderbird fit in -Electra or Classic?  (Read 2828 times)

LJRead

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Where does the RE Thunderbird fit in -Electra or Classic?
« on: August 30, 2007, 12:47:25 AM »
My Thunderbird arrives in Tonga (S. Pacific) in a few weeks.  I chose it because of a recommendation of Lalli Singh from New Delhi, who claimed that the T-bird with AVL engine is more reliable by far than the older iron 350's. The New Zealand dealer warned against AVL because of a sparcity of parts here.  Mine is a 2003 year model.  I will have perhaps the only RE in Tonga, and we are very isolated here.  In the U.S. catalogue I see "Bullet" and  "Electra" listed for parts choices.  Where does T-bird fit in?  Also, consider that you were to be in my position with no dealer, no trained mechanic (on motorcycles), a one month minimum delay in obtaining parts - what spares would you stock up on?  I chose RE because of its simplicity, bought a BMW first but sold it because I didn't think it would fit here, but maybe less need for servicing.
We have maybe a hundred miles of paved roads and a 65 km speed limit, so RE just seemed to fit (plus I had an Indian Enfield back in the sixties). Any suggestions? (like maybe "get a horse"!).

scoTTy

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Re: Where does the RE Thunderbird fit in -Electra or Classic?
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2007, 01:11:22 AM »
wow, so few paved roads.. i like it..  ;D

Quote
Any suggestions? (like maybe "get a horse"!).

 I always shied away from anything with one horsepower and a brain..  :o

speaking from experience as a young person that rode horses and went under one too many low hanging branches ::)
« Last Edit: August 30, 2007, 01:37:40 AM by scotty »

scoTTy

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Re: Where does the RE Thunderbird fit in -Electra or Classic?
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2007, 01:35:41 AM »
whoops double post
« Last Edit: August 30, 2007, 01:37:14 AM by scotty »

LJRead

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Re: Where does the RE Thunderbird fit in -Electra or Classic?
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2007, 05:29:35 AM »
Actually, I've thought of how nice it would be to just ride a horse here.  When I first came here 27 years ago there were lots of horse drawn carts and even wheel makers, but times are changing quickly.  I will soon order a parts book, hoping that it will have all the parts information for the Thunderbird, then I can see what is common in parts and what may be special.  Does anyone have a 350 cc bike or even a 350 cc AVL, and are there parts for them through the main importer?

In looking through Pete Snidal's manual, the main differences I can find in the iron vs AVL is from the cylinder on up, the rest seems to be the same???

Thought that if the engine gives too much trouble in parts, I will order in a Yanmar type diesel as I see there is a site with plans for quite easily installing one in the RE.  Then I can look into processing coconuts for fuel!

Thumper

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Re: Where does the RE Thunderbird fit in -Electra or Classic?
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2007, 11:57:14 AM »
My Thunderbird arrives in Tonga (S. Pacific) in a few weeks.  I chose it because of a recommendation of Lalli Singh from New Delhi, who claimed that the T-bird with AVL engine is more reliable by far than the older iron 350's. The New Zealand dealer warned against AVL because of a sparcity of parts here.  Mine is a 2003 year model.  I will have perhaps the only RE in Tonga, and we are very isolated here.  In the U.S. catalogue I see "Bullet" and  "Electra" listed for parts choices.  Where does T-bird fit in?  Also, consider that you were to be in my position with no dealer, no trained mechanic (on motorcycles), a one month minimum delay in obtaining parts - what spares would you stock up on?  I chose RE because of its simplicity, bought a BMW first but sold it because I didn't think it would fit here, but maybe less need for servicing.
We have maybe a hundred miles of paved roads and a 65 km speed limit, so RE just seemed to fit (plus I had an Indian Enfield back in the sixties). Any suggestions? (like maybe "get a horse"!).

The Electra is the only model here in the US that currently has the AVL LB engine. It differs from the Classic models in other ways too (see: http://www.enfieldmotorcycles.com/forum/index.php/topic,47.msg151.html#msg151 ).

Your Thunderbird is similar to the Electra in the AVL LB engine, front disc brake  and some of the styling attributes.

Carefully compare pictures of the Electra and Thunderbird against the Classics.

Matt

hutch

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Re: Where does the RE Thunderbird fit in -Electra or Classic?
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2007, 01:09:16 PM »
The Thunderbird is the RE version of a cruiser styled bike versus the 50's-60's style of the Classic and Electra.    Hutch
You learn from your mistakes, and I have LEARNED a lot.

LJRead

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Re: Where does the RE Thunderbird fit in -Electra or Classic?
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2007, 06:58:46 PM »
I can see more difference between the Thunderbird and all the others than between Electra and Classic, which to my eye don't seem that much different.  The handlebars on the T-bird seem higher as does the positioning of the tank, and the seat seems lower.  Yes, this might give more comfort in cruising,  However, I'm not concerned with this, so much,  as with the mechanical difference.  The maximum distance I will ride on any given day is only about 20 miles to the end of the island and back home, so any riding position is fine. There are apparently differences in the frame of the Electra as compared to the Classic, such that there are separate parts, in many cases, for the two, designated with a "B" or an "E" in the CMW catalogue.  I'm not at all sure which I would order in these cases, but can probably just ask when ordering.

Thanks for the imput!

Thumper

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Re: Where does the RE Thunderbird fit in -Electra or Classic?
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2007, 07:33:39 PM »
I can see more difference between the Thunderbird and all the others than between Electra and Classic, which to my eye don't seem that much different.  The handlebars on the T-bird seem higher as does the positioning of the tank, and the seat seems lower.  Yes, this might give more comfort in cruising,  However, I'm not concerned with this, so much,  as with the mechanical difference.  The maximum distance I will ride on any given day is only about 20 miles to the end of the island and back home, so any riding position is fine. There are apparently differences in the frame of the Electra as compared to the Classic, such that there are separate parts, in many cases, for the two, designated with a "B" or an "E" in the CMW catalogue.  I'm not at all sure which I would order in these cases, but can probably just ask when ordering.

Thanks for the imput!

Let's see, it shares the engine, ignition, frame, sidecovers, ovum covers, front brake and forks with the Electra and it shares the name "Royal Enfield" with the Classics.

It's the cruiser version of the Electra.

Matt
« Last Edit: August 30, 2007, 08:13:21 PM by Thumper »

LJRead

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Re: Where does the RE Thunderbird fit in -Electra or Classic?
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2007, 08:52:30 PM »
Ah, it is sinking in.  Thanks Matt.  Mine won't have the optional disc brake. My long term goal is to have a very small rental fleet of RE's (3 to 5) in conjunction with my small resort compound here.  Maybe I can have a Classic and see and feel the difference!  Big ideas, little money!

jonapplegate

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Re: Where does the RE Thunderbird fit in -Electra or Classic?
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2007, 09:54:47 AM »
Can I have a job as your cabana boy/RE mechanic?

Cheers!
Jon

LJRead

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Re: Where does the RE Thunderbird fit in -Electra or Classic?
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2007, 08:25:18 PM »
A cabana boy?  Sure, when I build a cabana!