The new Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 was first teased at the 2012 Auto Expo and ever since has garnered quite some interest among prospective buyers. After long-running rumours of the bike’s potential launch date, the Chennai-based manufacturer has finally launched the bike in Mumbai.
Featuring various cosmetic upgrades such as a projector headlamp, daytime running lights, LED tail lamp, split seat and a blackened engine, the Thunderbird 500 also sports a major upgrade in terms of its mechanicals. The 499cc, 27.6PS, 41.3Nm single cylinder engine is a straight lift from the Classic 500 and gives better performance and cruising ability at the same time returning decent fuel efficiency as well.
The bike also gets fatter front forks, an all-new swingarm and a 240mm disc brake at the rear along with a 280mm disc in the front. Ground clearance has been increased to 140mm while the overall height of the bike has dropped by 5mm thanks to the 18-inch rear wheel size along with a 19-inch front tyre. The Thunderbird 500 also features a bigger 20-litre fuel tank and will be available in two shades of black!
Speaking at the launch, Dr Venki Padmanabhan, CEO, Royal Enfield said, "We listened very closely to the needs of highway cruisers in India and designed a motorcycle that is extremely suitable for long distance riding with its range, ergonomics, looks, excellent braking, night riding visibility, luggage carriage capability, even clothing and accessories. We hope that with the Thunderbird 500, our customers will see affirmation of the fact that Royal Enfield is a company bent on listening, imagining and delivering."
Alongside the Thunderbird 500, Royal Enfield has also launched a revised Thunderbird 350, which is based on the same design language as its elder sibling and carries almost all the features that can be found on the new T-bird 500, apart from the EFI. Royal Enfield also launched a range of purpose built motorcycle riding gear including leather/textile jackets with breathable and waterproof liners, riding denims, modular eye wear with anti-fog treatment, riding boots, leather gloves and Royal Enfield branded t-shirts, Polos and logo pin badges.
The Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 (Read : Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 First Ride) is priced at Rs 1.82 lakh on road Mumbai while the revised version of the Thunderbird 350 will now sell at a price of Rs 1.43 lakh on road Mumbai.