After a lot of thought and deliberation I finally went ahead and bought the TB 500 Marine.
The reasons why I finally chose this were the following:
· I wanted a powerful bike
· A cruiser for long distance comfortable rides
· A city bike to use instead of my Cars, whenever possible
· Something that can be fixed by most mechanics around the country
Keeping the points above in mind, the TB 500 was most suited. Off course to RE purists this is blasphemous; however, I wanted to enjoy an RE with the reliability and comfort of something newer.
I have just completed 700kms and returned from a ride from Pune to Ahmednagar and back.
I had completed 330 kms in the city before I ventured on my own to Ahmednagar for the weekend with family. The trip to Nagar was a little frustrating as every vehicle was overtaking me due to the 55km/h limit. I was dying to see what my baby could really do; however, restrained myself. The 120km journey took me close to 3 hrs.
The frustration aside, I found the ride comfortable and stress free. Little issue with rough gears and sometimes finding neutral aside, I found the bike great.
The day after arrival I took the bike for servicing at 480 kms. When leaving the centre I could feel the bike was a different animal, it was now raring to go and show what it could do. The gears were now smooth and slipped from one to the other with little to no effort at all.
A day or 2 in Nagar and I had chocked up another 100 odd kms.
Now it was time to ride back to Pune. This time I was going to ride the beast and put her to the test.
This time the entire 120 kms took me less than 2hrs. The bike handled great on high speeds though I still didn’t stress her out beyond 100-110km/h.
Style: I like the paint and overall look of the bike. The Marine blue gives the bike a Royal look and feel. The chrome with the blue is a nice touch. Most importantly the black engine area adds a nice feel to the bike keeping it bright, yet not too flashy with a lot of chrome. The instrument panel is pretty good; however, the Fuel gauge is not very consistent. Could have come with Alloy wheels like most other bikes today.
Performance: The bike is peppy and has a good pick up. Comfortably able to cross almost all vehicles on the road. As I have kept the default silencer, the bike is pretty quiet and doesn’t have the usual RE “thump”. Personally I don’t see the need to create additional noise if it is not going to improve performance in any way. I filled the Tank before leaving Pune and after almost 400 kms I need to refill the tank. Not bad for the first service and the fact that mileage will improve.
Comfort: I found the TB to be a very comfortable ride. Sitting on it for 2-3hrs wasn’t tough at all, however, I found the seat a little hard and towards the latter bits. Will try and see if one can get soft seat cushioning. The handle is well placed so my back and shoulders felt no stress despite the long ride.
The height and balance of the bike is good and for a short person like me (5Ft 7”) there is no challenge.
Handling: I had always wondered if I would be comfortable handling such a heavy bike and how easy it will be to manoeuvre through traffic. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the bike has great brakes (Front and rear Discs) so you can come to a halt pretty soon, even if riding fast. It is agile and easy to weave through traffic. I felt I was riding a much lighter bike at times. The turning radius could have been better though, considering it is a heavy bike and is challenging when parking in tight spaces. Despite what I’ve heard from other sites, the bike has no vibration at even 110km/h. I didn’t go faster as there was a very strong wind blowing.
Engine: The engine sounds like a purring kitten when cruising and roars into life when you suddenly accelerate. The power is good and so far the engine feels absolutely fantastic
Gear box: The gears are smooth, click into place without a worry. Slight issue before the first service; however, after the service it is great.
Only challenge is that sometimes finding neutral takes a try or two. Also, from neutral to 2nd finds a half gear in between. Not much trouble though.
Over all had a great time on the bike so far. Have felt safe and comfortable at high speeds too. Looking forward to a lot more rides: alone and with groups.
Power, Looks, Handling, Braking, Headlight,
Seat cushion, Horn, Turning radius, Spoke wheels