Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 in India
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 Price
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 General Features
Wheel TypeSpoke Wheels
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 Standard Features
Fuel Capacity20 Ltr
Maximum Power27.2 bhp @ 5250 rpm
Engine TypeSingle Cylinder, 4 stroke, Twinspark
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 Overview
When the company calls it a Thunderbird, it must have had something in mind. The bike is short of wings, it has all the power and glides like a bird, but for the lack of wings. As per the original design, the bike is a mix of a highway bike, a chopper and a cruiser, something that stands true for all the variants of Thunderbird. The current version, the one that we are talking of here, Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500, is just a refined version. There still is the same chassis with a differently powered engine. RE has manufactured this bike with highway cruising specially in mind. And has the capabilities to lure the mass segment as well. Being much similar to the earlier version, there still are many things that are highly refined now. The clearly visible change at the very first view is the headlight, now with a projector bulb. The instrument panel has been styled with analog speedometer and tachometer, not to be ignored the digital clock. Grips and control levers are strong, meaty, doing their jobs rather well. For the first time is seen a well-deserved hazard warning switch on a RE bike. The large fuel tank gives it the typical cruising bike look. And to give it a feel of a long-distance tourer is the comfortable seat with the pillion seat being removable, thus increasing the space for luggage.
The large hearted bike, with its 500 cc (499 cc to be precise) engine, air-cooled, 4-stroke engine, is not just named Thunderbird, it creates the typical RE thunder. The real meat of the bike is felt when bird flies at a respectable pace at 2500 to 4500 of RPM. 100-105 kmph comes easy to the bike at 3500 RPM. It can reach 120 to 130 kmph as well, however, the vibrations at this speed would be felt at the footpegs. The seating is pretty comfortable as mentioned above, but the tight cushioning could give a bit of pain to the butts. The stability that the bike offers is much liked by the riders, thanks to the straight line stability. The grip of the tires is enough to keep it well-grounded, quite literally. The total weight of the bike is huge, 195 kg, because of which for once we were in doubts about its ability to turn swiftly on the corners. However, our doubts were soon to be erased. Both the tires, rear and the front, have disc brakes; much is needed here, though!
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 Designing
All models of T'bird shout 'modern', way distant from the retro feel of a RE bike. And with these looks, T'bird has always been a smashing hit. The latest version, Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500, is not much different than its earlier versions, it just an evolution of what has always been there. The appearance is still the same as that of the basic model. The new bird can be recognized with the itsy bitsy modern looks given to it. Like, there is a new headlight, which would grab attention right away; it comes with a projector lamp in the LED ring renders it a handsome look. The shape of the seat is changed, out of which the pillion can now be removed to create larger space. The badges are now with a 3D feel to it. As handsome as the front is, the rear looks heartwarming. Taillight comes with five lines of LED, almost like a magic, which however, would have done better with a more shapely and bigger LED lenses.
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 Appearance
The appearance of the bike is enhanced yet more with the chrome finish on the instrument panel, headlight, taillight and indicator shrouds, suspension springs. Single tubedown body, oval section swingarm at the rear, measuring 2060 mm X 70 mm X 1205 mm, 1350 mm wheelbase, 140 mm of ground clearance, saddle placed 775 mm high, kerb weight measuring 195 kgs, overall, a BIG healthy bike, the measurements of the bike surges the feel of power! Of all the things, the one that most attracted my attention was the footpegs. Even the footpegs would assure you of the RE quality. Others that grabbed eye balls were the highly appealing black colored transmission covering and engine. The engine cooling fins in a strikingly contrasting silver color. The otherwise huge, meaty and shapely fuel tank gets a rather misshaped and odd flap. The seats, along with the backrest, merge quite beautifully with the shapely bike. Overall, the quality of the build material is highly improved, thus impressive.
A bit of details on the instrument cluster, there is this uber cool blue lighting with LCD digital display. Along with the cool factor, there is the traditional RE chrome finished circular pods, with the left one owning speedometer, odometer, trip meters, while the right has tachometer and all other lights.
Colors of Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 Engine & Performance
To be honest, the engine of Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 is the same as Classic 500 Desert Storm; it has the same 499 cc, 4 stroke, twin spark, air cooled, single cylinder engine. Maximum power measured is 27.2 BHP at 5250 RPM and highest torque have been measured to be 4.17 kgm at 4000 RPM. The digits might sadden quite a many; however, not to be so. Once on the road on T'bird, you would realize that these measurements don't matter much. As soon as you hear the ignition thunder, you feel a surge of power, all in your hands to tame. Lots of power could be felt in the gears, thus easily making it one of the swiftest ride, traffic or no traffic, city or highway. It could be braked to a standstill easily and as easy would be to pick it up on second or third gear, without feeling a jerk.
The most comfortable speed of T'bird 500 is 100-115 kmph, a speed when the bike would seem like a tune right out of Bach's composition. The bike could be rode at 120-130 kmph as well, however, the feet would start feeling jerked, this speed does not seem to be its forte at all. To be noted is the fact that it would reach the maximum speed of 100 kmph in a mere 12.5 seconds. Now since we have earlier likened the bike to Classic 500, it is here a must to mention that this 12.5 seconds time of Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 is a bit slower than Classic. This, and the other fact is that the T'bird 500 would reach from a speed of 30 kmph to 70 kmph, fourth gear, in just 8.72 seconds. Then again, once having gained speed, lowering it down could be a problem. For sure, RE has given an upfront 280 mm disc brakes with twin pot callipers and 240 mm single pot calliper disc at the rear, with a weight of 195 kgs the bike takes some time to slow down. This shows a huge improvement in braking of the bike, however still, scope remains for further improvements. Gears and clutch are absolutely smooth to use, howsoever, some deliberate efforts were to be put in while shifting gears.
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 Mileage
A fuel efficiency of 26 kmpl, which is quite impressive. The bike stretches fuel efficiency a lot better if not revved up too high. The bike has been specially called a highway bike, and for some reasons, one being the well-gripped ride, the seat, the corner-turning ability, and the huge fuel tank 20 litres in a go, making it a true bird!
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 Braking & Handling
Meaty, the first word that comes to mind when you first start braking while flying with the bird. The clutch has been given apt weight, front brakes have been given enough muscles. RE has come a long way now, what with 280 mm disc brakes at the front and 240 mm disc brakes at the rear, along with telescopic front forks, twin gas-charged shocks at the rear make a great combination. Well said. However, brakes is one section where the bike falls short of, minutely though. Though it would glide like a bird, a powerful bird, even in the cities, and would brake smoothly, however, if on higher speeds, the bike lacks the enthusiasm while braking. The RE-typical sound from the discs can be heard or felt while braking.
Handling of T'bird 500 just could not have been better. Twists and turns are smoothly taken care of. Nimble and planted, howsoever steep are the turns, and whatsoever speed the bike is running at. The now fatter front forks have improved the front stability a great deal. And it is the merger of the forks with the box section swingarm, first time ever used by RE, that the bike has such perfect handling especially since it has been tagged a cruiser. The other factors that minutely improve its handling are the new handlebar, it allows smooth direction changing, the foot pegs, placed a bit forward than normal. However, must is to mentioned the minute stiffness felt in the suspension, which might look as good while on the typical pot-holed Indian roads.
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 Safety Features
All the features together make it a superbly safe bike to ride, be it in the cities or the highways. It can be said that brakes in this bike need improvement, however, 280 mm of disc brakes at the front and 240 mm discs at the rear are smart, and conspire good enough with the 41 mm front telescopic forks and twin gas charged shock absorbers to provide safety to the bikers. The backrest and the pillion seat make the pillion comfortable enough. Suspension might get jerky on pot-holed roads, though once the bike gets old and is much rode, no such problems would surface, would rather be a smooth ride for both the rider and the pillion.
I might be biased, but I really liked the rear view mirrors on the bike. Most of the times, the major problem faced is the riders' shoulders view in the rear view mirror. No such thing happens in T'bird 500. The large headlamp, which shines real bright, are just adorable with its shape.
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 Pros
1. Designing: It looks exactly like a classic RE bike should, along with a bit of modern looks added to it.
2. Handling: Smooth handling impresses great deal!
3. Features: The bike is totally loaded with features. The manufacturer has left out nothing in Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500.
4. Stability: There's this simple but superb straight line stability to it, which wows many!
5. Fuel efficiency: Being a typical Indian, the question in my head while riding was “chalti to badhiya h, degi kitna ye?” Trust me, it impressed me!
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 Cons
1. Pricing: True that Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 is overly priced. With this price, there could have been lot more features added to it.
2. Braking: For sure, RE T'bird 500 could have done better with better braking capabilities.
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 Updates
The latest version of Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 was first revealed during the Auto Expo held in Delhi early in 2012, with the original model having been launched in 2002. With this, Siddhartha Lal, the Managing Director, Eicher Group, which owns RE, couldn't have asked for more. This bike brings a kind of fun for riders, bringing it to the leisure segment of biking.
The company has started producing 10,000 units per month and soon will be operating through one more unit, near Chennai. Also, Cafe Racer is soon to be expected, most probably in the year 2013 itself.
Quick Start on Royal Enfield Thunderbird
Research on Royal Enfield Thunderbird
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 Review
GREAT BIKEWaiting to buy it but I feel at any cost this bike should be launched only with ALLOY WHEELS TUBELESS TYRES because of its weight it also enhances looks of the bike moreover spoke wheels are outdated and also the wheel alignment outs very fast whereas in alloys this problem is ruled out
Comments On Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500
Upcoming Bikes in India
The latest pictures, news, specs and reviews about all the upcoming bikes in India are just a click away! Get all the info about all those fascinating rides even before they step into the market. Tracking your favorite bikes prior to their launch was never easier than it is now with BikeDekho!