New Royal Enfield Thunderbird Spied With New 350cc Engine
The future of the Thunderbird looks like a mix of the standard bike and the Thunderbird X
- Features same split seat, tank and panels as the standard Thunderbird.
- Alloy wheels, shorter handlebars and ergonomics are similar to the X variant.
- The new engine will most likely comply with BSVI emission norms.
- The bike on test could hint at a new 350cc platform.
A new Royal Enfield Thunderbird has been spotted testing just days after the next-gen Classic 350. And, from first impressions, it looks like the upcoming Thunderbird will get an updated motor. Well, it’s about time, considering the last update to the bike was made back in 2009, while the cosmetically updated X variant was launched just last year.
In terms of design, the next-gen Thunderbird looks like a combination of the standard Thunderbird and the Thunderbird X. What reinforces our speculation is the fact that the bike features the same split seat, tank and panels as the standard Thunderbird. However, the alloy wheels, shorter handlebars and by extension, its ergonomics are similar to the X variant. Furthermore, the split grab rails, instead of a backrest hints at a better city-friendly bike.
Coming to the heart of the matter, the engine. The 346cc UCE motor powering the current crop of Thunderbird and Classic 350 is unlikely to comply with stricter BSVI emission norms. Hence, it seems like Royal Enfield might have reworked the Himalayan’s BSIV-compliant 410 LS motor to adapt to the upcoming emission norms. This could also translate to some weight reduction and hence slightly better riding dynamics. Of course, an increase in power figures is always welcome.
While the new Royal Enfield Thunderbird is unlikely to get any mechanical updates, a new suspension tune to handle the suspected weight change is quite likely. In terms of aesthetics though, with Royal Enfield betting heavily on the neo-retro segment, we could expect the future Thunderbird to retain some of its old school appeal.
As for its launch, we could expect the Chennai based two-wheeler manufacturer to unveil the bike right before the 2020 Auto Expo.