Key Specs of Thunderbird 500
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 Highlights
24 October 2017: The Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 is a laid back cruiser in the product portfolio of the Eicher-owned subsidiary. The motorcycle is a worthy and good companion if long distance trips are on the top of your priority list. The Thunderbird 500 gets its power from a 499cc, single cylinder, air-cooled engine assisted to a five-speed transmission system. The fuel injected punchy motor churns out respective maximum power and peak torque outputs of 27.57PS @ 5250rpm and 41.3Nm @ 4000rpm. It has a claimed mileage of 30kmpl and a top speed of 120kmph (claimed). The stopping power of this motorcycle is handled by a 280mm disc brake up front along with a 240mm disc at the rear. The prime highlights of the Thunderbird 500 include LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) along with an LED tail lamp, digital-analogue instrument cluster and a pillion backrest. The bike has been fitted with a fuel tank of 20litre capacity in favour of the long distance runs. The Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 can be yours at Rs 2.42 Lakh (On road, Delhi) and you can choose from the five colour options available: Stone, Marine, Lightning, Flicker and Asphalt. It competes against the likes of UM Renegade Commando Classic, Royal Enfield Classic 500, Mahindra Mojo and the Royal Enfield Himalayan.
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 Pros and Cons
Things We Like in Thunderbird 500
- Comfortable riding position
- Ample low down torque
- Surprisingly maneuverable in the city
Things We Don't Like in Thunderbird 500
- Tyres could be better
- Soft seat starts to hurt after a hundred kilometres of sustained touring
Thunderbird 500 Price List (Variants)
|Thunderbird 500 500cc35 kmpl, 499ccDISCONTINUED|
|Thunderbird 500 350cc35 kmpl, 346 ccDISCONTINUED||Rs.1,25,459|
|Thunderbird 500 STD30 Kmpl, 499 ccDISCONTINUED||Rs.1,90,872|
|Thunderbird 500 X499 ccDISCONTINUED||Rs.2,00,000|
|Thunderbird 500 ABS30 kmpl, 499 ccDISCONTINUED||Rs.2,07,307|
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 Mileage and Performance
|ARAI Mileage||30 kmpl|
|Acceleration (0-60 Kmph)||4.65s|
Thunderbird 500 Competitors
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The Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 is one of the most comfortable cruisers that one can buy in India. Better known for its laid back nature, a free flowing design language and a bunch of interesting features, the Thunderbird 500 is a well styled and value for money package that one can easily rely upon.
In terms of design, the Thunderbird 500 is indeed a pleasing motorcycle to look at. The overall design is free flowing and the presence of some retro inspired elements like a rounded headlamp offers a touch of elegance. The bike offers a pillion backrest and split seats to ensure that long-distance journeys are comfortable and easy.
The motorcycle gets its power from a 499cc, air-cooled, single cylinder motor that is good for generating 27 PS of power and 41 Nm of torque. The gearbox is a five-speed unit. The bike comes integrated with telescopic forks up front that couple with gas charged twin shock absorbers at the rear to offer a good ride quality. The stopping duties are taken care of with the help of 280mm disc brake up front along with a 240mm disc unit at the rear.
The prime highlights of the Thunderbird 500 include dual disc brake, Daytime Running Lights (DRLs), pillion backrest, rear gas charged shocks and a lot more. The Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 is currently available at the company’s dealerships across India at a price of Rs. 1.88 lakh (Ex-showroom, Delhi). The motorcycle can be picked from five colour options and it competes with the likes of Bajaj Dominar 400 and Mahindra Mojo in terms of price point and the purpose.
Design and Features
The Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 is one of the most loved laid back cruisers in the country when one talks about the mass market segment. The bike comes with a rounded headlamp upfront that has LED DRLs (Daytime Running Lights) housed in a curvy fashion. The motorcycle has been fitted with a cruiser type handlebar due to which the rider sits upright and gets a comfortable riding position. The Thunderbird 500 is now being offered in unique glittery paint schemes, making for another highlight that adds up to its popularity. The motorcycle gets split seats that come well padded and have been designed to offer a decent amount of comfort to the rider and pillion. The Thunderbird 500 also receives a pillion backrest, which is a rare feature to find in a motorcycle of this segment and price.
In terms of features, the Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 comes with dual disc brakes that offer a good stopping power. The bike also receives Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) housed within the main headlamp that look stylish. The pillion backrest along with gas charged shock absorbers are some elements due to which the Thunderbird 500 delivers a soothing and comfortable ride quality.
Engine and 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. Once on the road on Thunderbird, 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 brake 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 Thunderbird 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. 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!
Braking and Handling
Meaty is 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 Thunderbird 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.
Safety and 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.
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