Royal Enfield will launch two new variants of its popular Thunderbird, the 350X and 500X. The recent emergence of spy images of the Thunderbird 500X has led to yet another revelation – the 350X. Clearly a less classic but more urban take on its Thunderbird range, the X variants have been configured for a younger and more enthusiastic audience.
Sporting identical visual and ergonomic revisions as the 500X, the 350X will go on sale simultaneously in 2018. The X variants mark the official debut of alloy wheels on Royal Enfield’s motorcycles and the Thunderbirds will get matte-black 9-spoke units, which deviate from RE’s retro design language. Given its expected ‘younger’ target audience, it would be interesting to see if the bike maker has opted for a smaller (and uniform; the present Thunderbird runs a 19-inch front/18-inch rear) 18-inch front wheel to boost its handling and flickability.
The 350X gets a blacked-out headlight dome with an LED daytime-running lamp and is also equipped with a new, shorter handlebar (as opposed to the ape hangers on the regular Thunderbird). The digi-analogue twin-pod instrument cluster also gets the blacked-out treatment with a chrome garnish around the dials. A major change is the all-new seat, a single-piece unit – unlike the split seat on the regular Thunderbird – which looks modern and in-tune with the rest of the motorcycle’s appeal. Interestingly, the pillion seat on the X doesn’t get a backrest. The grab rail is also a noteworthy feature; it is neatly integrated next to the pillion seat and ends in the tail-lamp unit. Also finished in matte black are the exhaust and the telescopic fork, as well as the top and bottom ends of the dual shock absorbers.
The Thunderbird 350X will be available in red and white (fuel tanks only – everything else is uniform, on both variants) while the 500X will be available in a bright yellow as well as blue. Keeping with the Royal Enfield tradition, more colour options will make their way into this range, over time. While the launch details are yet to be revealed, we expect the X variants to be priced at a slight premium over the existing Thunderbirds – which are currently priced at Rs 1.48 lakh (350) and Rs 1.90 lakh (500; all prices ex-showroom, Mumbai).
Also see: New Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500X spied