50,000+ km – First Time RE Thunderbird 350 Handle Bar Right-Hand Switch Replacement

50,000+ km – that’s what speedometer was showing and as said before, I was at Ishna Wheels at Nehru Nagar, Vile Parle (West), Mumbai for Royal Enfield Thunderbird Twinspark 350 servicing.. I had already taken an appointment.

Jesu – The service advisor was present at the counter. He came and thoroughly inspected the motorbike.. gave a rough estimate but more than that he showed Handle Bar Right-Hand Switch – which was loose. The lock (red-circle in the below image) was broken and the switch was not available with them.

Right-Hand Switch Module for RE Thunderbird 350

That means I have to purchase it from any other Royal Enfield authorized service centre or from any other Royal Enfield spare-parts shop.

I enquired with Sharda Motors and Sons (Goregaon, Mumbai). They do servicing only for Royal Enfield motorbikes and sell Royal Enfield spare-parts too.

The switch was available with them for Rs. 280/- and it is original – The reception person said.

Before going to Sharda Motors and Sons I enquired with another Royal Enfield spare-parts shop and the switch price was for Rs. 300.. The make – Minda.

I dialed Sharda Motors again and a question – What’s the make of the switch?

The owner of the shop enhanced knowledge by saying – Royal Enfield only make Engines.

But if I remember correctly, Royal Enfield spare-parts are neatly packed inside Royal Enfield marked packets/boxes.

Anyway, whatever.. After servicing at Ishna Wheels, next day I reached Sharda Motors and purchased the switch.

Fitting charges – Rs. 70 which I think is little more. Rs. 50 is Ok.

Anyway, readers – you must be wondering how Handle Bar Right-Hand Switch look like?

Handle Bar Right Hand Switch for Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350

The above shown switch is the original one which came with the brand new Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350 in the year 2010 and the make was – Minda.

Now original one is fixed too and working fine. Thanks to Sharda Motors and Sons.

One request to Royal Enfield – please display Royal Enfield spare-parts at your website with price. Possible?

Note: Royal Enfield display accessories with price at their website but I wish them to display spare-parts and its price also.

One more question to Royal Enfield – How they can help/join so that in coming months..

The journey continues..

50,000 Kilometer – This Time RE Thunderbird 350 Service at Authorized Centre

50,000+ km – that’s what speedometer was showing and it was time for Royal Enfield Thunderbird Twinspark 350 service though as per owner’s manual 51,000 km was the correct time but I thought lets go for service little early because self-start was again not working nor horn was at its best.

But this time not at Sharda Motors and Sons (Goregaon, Mumbai) because I wanted to check the service difference between Royal Enfield Authorized Service Centre and non-official service centre.

I selected Ishna Wheels at Nehru Nagar, Vile Parle (West), Mumbai. Ishna is Royal Enfield Authorized Service Centre.

Upon reaching service centre I was requested to take an appointment. The mobile number was provided.

I dialed and tomorrow appointment at 10 am was fixed.

Thank you – said I.

Tomorrow – service centre opens at 9:30 am. I reached at 9:45 am.

Jesu – The service advisor was present at the counter.

I told him I have appointment for motorbike service.

He inspected motorbike thoroughly …pressed few keys at his tablet and requested to check mobile as SMS was sent.

I checked mobile – There was an SMS regarding cost estimate for the service – Rs. 2849.92. Now it was up to me to go for service or not.

Ok – not too much – km driven is 50,000 plus – just a happy thought.

I told Jesu – self-start is not working…horn also few times not working though neutral light on the cockpit is showing perfect green light. Please note: I have changed battery recently, so I hope there is no battery issue.

He said – Don’t worry, we will check everything and if there is self-start issue and horn issue we will inform you via mobile.

Ok – said I.

He requested to leave the motorbike and by evening the motorbike will be serviced. You will be informed by mobile call.

Ok – said I.

I gave motorbike key to Jesu and started walking for home.

In the evening hours I got mobile call from Jesu.

He said – self-start is perfectly fine, horn is also ok. The only issue was with the battery as it was not fully charged and some wiring issues. We have sorted out all the issues and battery is on-charge. It will take 5-6 hours for battery to be completely charged so you come tomorrow morning only.

OK – said I.

I drive only 10 km daily maximum since last almost an year because of pandemic. So that maybe the reason for battery to not fully charged.

Next day, morning hours I visited Ishna again.

Jesu was present. He welcomed and handed over the motorbike. I was requested to pay the service amount.

Total amount – Rs. 2832.38.

Amount paid. Service Pre Invoice was provided which includes taxes.

I was very happy. I check the Invoice and below are the part description and labour description:

Chain Lubrication & Cleaning, Carburettor & Throttle Body Cleaning, Engine Oil Change, Oil Filter with O Ring Kit, Sump Drain Cap Assy., O Ring-Drain Cap, O-Ring Cap Oil Filter, Copper Washer, Tappet Cover, Filter Gauze Washer Copper, Strap Battery, R&R Front Brake Shoes/Pads(inclusive of wheel removal for drum brake), Paid Service, Wiring Harness Troubleshooting and Washing. That’s it.

Jesu showed Switch Module or your can say Handle Bar Switch was loose. The lock was broken but it was not available with them.

Now the question is:

What’s the difference between Royal Enfield Authorized Service Centre and non-official Service Centre?

Almost nothing as per knowledge.

Authorized Service Centre are much much bigger in-space than non-official service centre. Authorized Service Centre at one time service 6 or 7 motorbikes and non-official service less number of motorbikes.

Authorized Service Centre are much more organized and one has to take prior-appointment but as per experience at non-official service centre you may visit any time and after few minutes wait you can get your motorbike issues solved.

Authorized Service Centre have their own parts store and non-official service centre as per experience also have RE original parts available now-a-days.

Authorized Service Centre have motorbike washing facility but as per experience non-official service centre do not have washing facility. So once motorbike is ready, one has to visit washing centre to get motorbike cleaned. And that cost you Rs. 150 extra.

Authorized Service Centre provide invoice and as per experience non-official service centre also provide invoice.

Authorized Service Centre motorbike mechanics are good with their skills and same with non-official service centre.

Non-official service centre provide road-side assistance within few km with charges if motorbike is broken-down and Authorized Service Centre also provides same facility if one has registered for RE road-side assistance for Rs. 1000 per year – valid till 5th year since motorbike purchased.

To be honest, as per experience I found both Authorized Service Centre and non-official service centre excellent. I called Sharda Motors and Sons (Goregaon, Mumbai) for Switch Module and it was available with them for Rs. 280.

So what I want to say is: you have to be in good terms and trust with both centres. You have to keep balance.

When I was at Rishikesh, I have taken motorbike service with Authorized as well as non-official service centre and I found both equally good.

In-short, it depends how your terms and trust with both types of service centres. I suggest, if you want your motorbike to be always fit and fine then do not think too much of money spent on repair and service. Think only about your motorbike running condition.

Finally, as per experience: you may visit Authorized Service Centre or may visit non-official service centre but visit only those service centre who are only into Royal Enfield motorbike service & spares though there are some exceptions.

Here I request Royal Enfield two things – 1. Please display spares parts with rates at your website. And 2. Please provide paid all India road side assistance no matter which model RE motorbike is, because sometimes on city/town road or specially at highways motorbike broke-down and then there is big problem for a rider.

Note: Royal Enfield have road side assistance facility at this toll free number – 1800 2100 007. But it is FREE for first year and from 2nd year till 5th year they provide road side assistance for Rs. 1000 per year, which is very less amount.

After 5th year Royal Enfield do not provide road side assistance which I don’t appreciate. That means we should sell the motorbike when it reached 5 years. Correct?

Hope after pandemic, I will re-start journey via other mode of transport if not RE motorbike so that – The journey continues..

50,000 Kilometer – Fourth Time for RE Thunderbird 350 Battery Replacement

50,000 km – that’s what speedometer was showing and it was time to change the battery of Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350. Self-start was not working. Horn was not working. Neutral light on the cockpit or you can say Ignition green light, was also not at its full glow.

Its more than an year or two I changed the battery.

Sharda Motors – The one who always take care of motorbike, after inspection suggested to change the battery. Though Sharda Motors and Sons (Goregaon, Mumbai) is not official Royal Enfield service centre but still I am happy with their motorbike service & repair. They do service & repair only for Royal Enfield motorbikes.

This is the fourth time (including the first battery with the brand new motorcycle – Exide MX Freedom – warranty 12 months) I am changing the battery since motorbike purchased in the year 2010.

10 years journey. Almost like yesterday only I started the journey.

Anyway, two times I have purchased Exide battery and one time it was Amaron, if, I remember correctly.

This time Exide battery for Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350 was not available in the market. I tried hard to find out if any dealer/distributor having any Exide or any other make battery available for RE Thunderbird 350 but the reply was – No.

I contacted Justdial to sms contact numbers of motorcycle battery dealers/distributors. They send the numbers but again after dialing the reply was – No.

Then I got a call from indiaMART and they provided the number of MALLIK POWER from Ghatkopar, Mumbai. I contacted them. The person on the line said – Yes, we have the battery for Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350.

How much the cost? – I question.

3200 – He said.

Costly – I said.

But then he said – its EXIDE Xplore, 14 Ah and with 48 months warranty.

That’s interesting – I thought.

I question – Do you visit home to change the battery? Because the bike is not well in running condition.

He said – Yes.

And what about old battery exchange price?

Rs. 200 – He said.

I said – fine. In the year 2012 when I changed the battery (Exide Bikerz with 15 months warranty for Rs. 2,400), the old battery replacement cost I got was Rs. 180 only. So that means I have to pay only Rs. 3000. I was happy because finally I got the battery which is 14 Ah and with 48 months warranty and during google search I found the price shown by results was high. I told them to visit home and change the battery. The person reached within one hour and changed the battery.

Rs. 3000 paid and old battery handed-over.

They gave warranty card and the Tax Invoice. The motorbike was working fine.

Thanks to indiaMART and thanks to Mallik Power. I was very happy after lots of calls done/received.

Now its time to re-start the journey but pandemic is there.

Maybe after few months, The journey continues..

How to Reach Adalaj Stepwell from Heritage House in Ahmedabad?

Heritage House is in Khadia locality in Ahmedabad – 10 minutes walking distance from Ahmedabad Railway Station. I stayed in Heritage House during my Ahmedabad tour.

Pankaj – my friend had Ola and Uber app in his mobile. So we booked an entire auto via Uber app for Adalaj Stepwell situated in Adalaj village – approx. 19 km (one way) distance from Heritage House.

There are two ways to reach Adalaj village. One is – if you are alone, book a motorbike via Ola app from Heritage House and reach Geeta mandir bus stand. Bike charges will be 17 rupees. And ride 22 number bus to reach Adalaj village.

Second option is – book an Uber auto from Heritage House for Adalaj village/Adalaj Stepwell and reach within 45 minutes.

We paid auto Rs. 380 for to and fro journey to Adalaj Stepwell from Heritage House.

Stepwell is not to be missed if you are touring Ahmedabad because of its history and not to forget, it is a good location for photographers.

Ticket for Indians – Rs. 25 per person and for foreigners – Rs. 300 per person.

Entry free for children and below age of 15 years.

Jail Bhajiya House in Ahmedabad is Run by Inmates serving Life Term Sentences

I was staying at Heritage House in Ahmedabad. I planned to visit Gandhi Ashram at Sabarmati and Jail Bhajiya House. Google map was showing both places near to each other.

I started walking till Ahmedabad railway station to hire an auto. Ahmedabad railway station is 10 minutes walking distance from Heritage House. If I had Ola or Uber app I would have hired auto from Heritage House. Anyway, I ask an autowala – How much for Gandhi Ashram?

He said – 150 rupees. I sense that he is charging more. I keep walking and ask another autowala – How much for Gandhi Ashram?

He said- 70 rupees. I hired him.

Within 15 minutes I reached Gandhi Ashram. After visiting Gandhi Ashram I question another autowala – How much for Jail Bhajiya House?

He said – 20 rupees. I hired him.

Jail Bhajiya House near Subhash Circle, Ahmedabad, Gujarat
Jail Bhajiya House near Subhash Circle, Ahmedabad, Gujarat

Within 5 minutes I reached jail bhajiya house. I regret why I hired an auto. Jail Bhajiya House is 5 to 7 minutes walking distance from Gandhi Ashram. Anyway, it was my first Ahmedabad visit. These things will happen.

The best way to travel anywhere in Ahmedabad is via Ola or Uber auto. Download Ola or Uber app on your mobile and book your auto. You can even book motorbike via Ola or Uber app. The best conveyance mode in Ahmedabad.

Jail Bhajiya House is a popular place if you are looking to visit something different place in Ahmedabad. Here prisoners prepare Bhajiya for normal people like us. I purchased bhajiya.

Bhajiya with Kadhi at Jail Bhajiya House, Subhash Circle, Ahmedabad, Gujarat
Bhajiya with Kadhi

It was given on a plain white paper. I walk towards sitting arrangements to have hot bhajiya with kadhi. Kadhi was there in a jug and unlimited for eaters.

The taste of Bhajiya was good. This place is well maintained and run by prisoners. Currently they serve two types of Bhajiyas, potatoe bhajiya and Methi Bhajiya.

You get the bhajiys by weight – 100 gms, 200 gms. You buy a token for the amount you want and then you stand in a short queue to get your freshly fried bhajiyas.

The restaurant isn’t in the jail. Life term convicts are given the freedom to come and work here. The idea behind this Jail Bhajiya House is to help inmates to earn money for them and their families, and it also help these inmates to reform themselves and lead a decent social life once released from the jail.

Jail Bhajiya House timings: 8 am till 8 pm 24x7x365 days open.

I was happy after visiting Jail Bhajiya House. Something different I visited.

Now it was time to return to Heritage house.

An autowala was standing outside Jail Bhajiya House. I ask him – How to go to Khadia?

He said – cross the road and wait for a sharing auto. Auto will charge 15 to 20 rupees.

Thank you – said I.

I cross the road and waited for an auto. A sharing auto came and he dropped me at Ahmedabad Railway Station for just Rs. 15. So cheap. I was happy because I reached railway station for just Rs. 15.

And now I started walking towards Khadia to reach Heritage House with the memories of Jail Bhajiya House. The journey continues..


Lucky Tea Stall in Ahmedabad Built Around Graves and Coffins

During tour of Ahmedabad I was staying at Heritage House in Khadia locality. Jagdip Mehta is the owner of heritage house. I question – How far is Lucky Tea Stall? He said – approx. 15 minutes walking distance. And I decided to go. I along with Pankaj my friend took the help of google navigation map and started walking towards Lucky Tea Stall. Google navigation map was 100% accurate. We reached Lucky Tea Stall nearby Lal Darwaja.

Menu was displayed on the wall.

Menu - Lucky Tea Stall, Ahmedabad, Gujarat

Menu was displayed on the wall but still I question waiter – What is Lucky Tea Stall favourite item?

He said – Lucky Special Tea and Mix Fruit Jam Maska Bun.

I requested for two Lucky Special Tea and two Mix Fruit Jam Maska Bun.

Within minutes order was served.

Lucky Special Tea and Mix Fruit Jam Maska Bun at Lucky Tea Stall in Ahmedabad, Gujarat

Tea was hot and mix fruit jam maska bun delicious. I noticed we were having tea and bun with the people who have long passed away. There were graves around us. We were dining with the dead. Chai in the company of the dead in Graveyard.

Rs. 20 for special tea and Rs. 28 for bun maska. Paid.

Lucky Tea Stall, near Lal Darwaja, Ahmedabad, Gujarat

Now we were walking towards the cash counter to know more about the tea stall. I question – How old is this tea stall?

It was established in 1950. It was a 26 graves graveyard.

And whats the timings of the shop?

The shop opens at five in the morning and open till one in the night. 24x7x365 days open.

If you are in Ahmedabad and did not visit Lucky Tea Stall, your tour is incomplete. The popularity of Lucky Tea Stall is well known as the heritage of Ahmedabad.

Interested in art? You will find M.F. Hussain’s painting here hanging on the wall.

One of the oldest tea stall in Ahmedabad and world’s only tea stall built around the graveyard. A visit one simply cannot miss.

A tree growing through a restaurant – another attraction.

One of the unique restaurant in Ahmedabad where living come to dine amongst the dead.

Thank you – said I for the great information. Thanks a lot.

One must visit Lucky Tea Stall if touring Ahmedabad. The journey continues..

Chandravilas Restaurant serves The Best Crispy Yummy Jalebis in Ahmedabad

I was on Amdavad (Ahmedabad) Morning Heritage Walk with Professional Tour Guide. The Heritage walk started from Swaminarayan temple at 8:10 am and finished at Chandravilas restaurant 10:10 am.

Because I opt for luxury package which includes breakfast thats why the tour was ending at Chandravilas restaurant.

Chandravilas Restaurant, Gandhi Road, Old City, Khadia, Ahmedabad, Gujarat

I enter. Upon request from our tour guide Vishal, I was served thali full of fafda, khaman (dhokla), methi bhajiya, kadhi and chatni.

fafda, jalebi, khaman, methi bhajiya at Chanravilas Restaurant, Gandhi Road, Old City, Khadia, Ahmedabad, Gujarat

Fafda was very crispy and jalebi was too good but the only regret – there was only one jalebi. One was not enough. I wish 3-4 pieces of jalebi was there because it was too good in taste and crispy and hot.

The best about Chandravilas restaurant is that it is 120 years old. Imminent personalities like Mahatma Gandhi, Indulal Yagnik, Sardar Patel, Bollywood showman Raj Kapoor, superstar Amitabh Bachchan, Asrani and many more also visited this place to have hot and crispy jalebis.

famous personalities visited Chandravilas Restaurant at Gandhi Road, Old City, Ahmedabad, Gujarat

A man was sitting at the cash counter. I enquired him about the timings of the shop. He said – shop opens up at 8 in the morning and runs till 7:30 in the evening. Sunday the shop is open only till 4 pm.

customers at Chandravilas Restaurant, Gandhi Road, Old City, Khadia, Ahmedabad, Gujarat

And whats the kilogram price of Jalebi?

640 rupees a kilo – He said.

making jalebis at Chandravilas Restaurant, Gandhi Road, Old City, Khadia, Ahmedabad, Gujarat

Thats the reason I was served only one jalebi in thali. It is costly.

I decided to re-visit the shop to have hot jalebis. The shop is only half a kilometer from Heritage House where I stayed.

After two days I re-visited shop with one of my friend – Pankaj. We had two plates of jalebis. Each plate consist of 4 jalebis. And the price – Rs. 50 each plate. Worth spending because jalebis are too good in taste and very crispy.

I will suggest – if you are visiting Ahmedabad and going for Heritage Walk, select luxury package because it is with breakfast. Charges for Indians Rs. 350 per person and for foreigners – 450 rupess per person.

Enjoy your jalebi during your visit. Thank you.