Make way for the RE Thunderbird X twins

Royal Enfield has finally given its Thunderbird bikes some much needed updates. Will the new Thunderbird twins finally be able to set RE’s cash registers ringing?

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Royal Enfield is one of the most popular motorcycle brands in India. Its bikes are known for their unmistakable bare-bones design, long-stroke single-cylinder thumper engines and relaxed ergonomics. It has multiple motorcycle ranges like Café Racer, Cruiser and Retro Street. Today, the talk is about its cruiser range, which Royal Enfield has expanded with the introduction of Thunderbird 350X and 500X. These bikes are aimed at urban dwellers and feature some major changes over the regular Thunderbird bikes. The price of Thunderbird 350X starts at Rs 1.56 lakh while that of Thunderbird 500X starts at Rs 1.98 lakh (all prices ex-showroom). What separates the Thunderbird 350X/500X from the regular Thunderbird 350/500?

Specifications Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350X Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500X
Price Rs 1.56 lakh (ex-showroom) Rs 1.98 lakh (ex-showroom)
Engine Air-cooled, carbureted, single cylinder 346cc Air-cooled, fuel-injected, single cylinder 499cc
Power 19.8HP 27.2HP
Torque 28Nm 41.3Nm
Transmission 5-speed manual 5-speed manual
Front Suspension 41mm telescopic fork 41mm telescopic fork
Rear Suspension Twin gas-charged shocks, preload adjustable Twin gas-charged shocks, preload adjustable
Front Brake 280mm disc, twin-piston calliper 280mm disc, twin-piston calliper
Rear Brake 240mm disc, single piston calliper 240mm disc, single piston calliper
Mileage N/A N/A
Fuel Tank Capacity 20 litres 20 litres

What’s new about the Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350X and Thunderbird 500X?

The Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350X and Thunderbird 500X are based on the regular Thunderbird 350/500 motorcycles. This means majority of the components, engines included, are shared between the bikes. However, the two bikes feature ample visual changes to set them apart from the regular Thunderbird siblings. First off, the Thunderbird X twins are available in two colours each – Whimsical White and Roving Red on Thunderbird 350X, and Getaway Orange and Drifter Blue on Thunderbird 500X. However, buyers will get to see these colours on certain parts of the bike, like its fuel tank and the X in 350X/500X badge on either side of the bike.

Royal-Enfield-Thunderbird-500X-2

The Thunderbird 350X/500X ditch the ape-hanger handlebar on the regular Thunderbird twins for a new unit. The new handlebar does not stretch back as much as the ape-hangers did and should help in making the bikes friendlier for urban use. There is a new single-piece seat, the passenger grab rails have been repositioned, and the passenger seat backrest is gone. The bikes feature new nine-spoke black alloy wheels and tubeless tires (RE did take its time in introducing these features on its bikes in India).

Royal-Enfield-Thunderbird-350X-2

The headlight dome of the Thunderbird 350X/500X has been blacked-out but the headlight unit itself is the same regular Thunderbird twins. This means a halogen lamp for low beam and a projector lamp for high beam (with LED DRL surround). The dials have been blacked-out and have chrome garnish around them as well. Also getting the blacked-out treatment are the engine, top and bottom ends of the rear shock absorbers, telescopic fork, exhaust, and fenders.

Are the Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350X and Thunderbird 500X worth consideration?

The Royal Enfield Thunderbird twins are known for their touring ability. In their transformation into Thunderbird 350X/500X, they seem to have become suited to use around town as well. The alloy wheels and tubeless tyres alleviate the unwanted and untimely puncture concerns of touring as well as urban riders. The fact that these bikes are priced Rs 8,000 more than their regular Thunderbird cousins makes them a great deal to go for.

Royal-Enfield-Thunderbird-500X-1

There are disc brakes at both ends to help the bikes come to a halt quickly. The only thing these bikes lack is ABS but that should not be a deal-breaker. After all, the rest of the Royal Enfield line-up does not have ABS either. There are chances of these motorcycles getting ABS but only after the 650cc twin-cylinder bikes from the company come to the market. That aside, these bikes can be customized by owners to their liking with RE’s Genuine Motorcycle Accessories or many third-party ones available in the market.

Royal-Enfield-Thunderbird-350X-1

The Thunderbird 350X and 500X make the Thunderbird range feel more well-rounded than before. For this reason (and the fact that they aren’t as compromised as other REs in crucial areas), they are quite worthy of consideration by both RE die-hards and first-timers alike.

Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350X and Thunderbird 500X – Synopsis

  • Thunderbird 350X price starts from Rs 1.56 lakh; Thunderbird 500X costs Rs 1.98 lakh (all prices ex-showroom)
  • Both bikes share their engines and major components with the regular Thunderbird twins
  • Get two colour options each for either bike
  • Feature nine-spoke black alloy wheels and tubeless tires (at last)
  • Passenger grab rail relocated
  • Single-piece seat replaces the twin-piece unit of the regular Thunderbird
  • Ditches ape-hangers for a new, flatter handlebar
  • Gets blacked-out treatment for engine, exhaust, suspension ends, fenders, headlamp dome, and instruments
  • Twin disc brake setup does not feature even single-channel ABS
  1. […] saw some great automobile stories being covered here. There were the Thunderbird X twins that showed that RE can break tradition too (tubeless tires, ya’ll. Recall the last time an […]

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