Two of the biggest changes on the new Royal Enfield Thunderbird variants come in the form of a new handlebar and seat. The handlebar is shorter, as compared to the ape hangers seen on the regular Thunderbird models. The seat on the motorcycle is also redesigned and is now a single-piece unit. Overall, the shorter handlebar combined with the new seat will be targeted at riders looking for a comfortable, laid-back urban riding package.
The 350X and 500X are available in four bright colours – Getaway Orange and Drifter Blue on the 500X, and Whimsical White and Roving Red on the 350X. The headlight dome on the motorcycle is now blacked-out and features an LED DRL. The digi-analogue twin-pod instrument cluster also gets the blacked-out treatment with a chrome garnish around the dials. Carrying this blacked-out treatment further is the exhaust and the telescopic fork, as well as the top and bottom ends of the dual shock absorbers. The bikes also feature a redesigned grab rail that’s neatly integrated next to the pillion seat and ends in the tail-lamp unit.
The bikes feature nine-spoke black alloy wheels and tubeless tyres (a first for a production Royal Enfield). The only other Royal Enfield motorcycle to feature alloy wheels from factory was the Fury, which has long been out of production. Opting for aftermarket alloy wheels was one of the most popular modifications on Thunderbirds, but this is now taken care of on the new X variants.
The new Thunderbird variants use the same engine and five-speed gearbox as the standard Thunderbird range. The 350X employs a 346cc motor, which makes 19.8hp and 28Nm of torque, and the 500X is powered by a 499cc motor that produces 27.2hp and 41.3Nm of torque.
Price and competition
The new Thunderbird 350X and 500X have been launched at Rs 1.56 lakh and Rs 1.98 lakh, respectively. In terms of pricing, the 350X and the 500X are both more expensive than the standard Thunderbird 350 and Thunderbird 500 by around Rs 8,000. Both motorcycles primarily compete with the UM Renegade Sports S, which is priced at Rs 1.59 lakh (all prices, ex-showroom, Delhi).