Royal Enfield launches Thunderbird 500 and refreshes Thunderbird 350

After making its die-hard fans wait for 10 whole months since its unveiling at the 2012 Auto Expo in New Delhi, Royal Enfield has finally launched the much awaited Thunderbird 500 in India. With a price tag of INR 182,571 on-road Mumbai, the Thunderbird 500 doesn't come cheap, but there are reasons for it. Armed with an array of new-age features, many of which are available on a Royal Enfield for the first time ever, the Thunderbird 500 represents a major step in the transformation of Royal Enfield into a lifestyle and leisure brand with a rich heritage and legacy to boot.

On first glance, the Thunderbird 500 appears to be an evolution of the regular Thunderbird 350. That is because it actually is, with that muscular fuel tank, the twin-pod instrument cluster and its low-slung stance resembling the older version. Perhaps the most striking elements of the Thunderbird 500 ought to be its lights, both front and rear. While the headlight comes equipped with a projector beam and a neon halo ring, the taillights are fitted with LED. That's not all, the bike also comes equipped with a digital LCD display for the instrument cluster, a 20-liter fuel tank, front and rear disc brakes and even hazard lights, all of them a first for Royal Enfield. The Thunderbird 500 comes painted in 3 different shades of black, with even 'matte finish' offered as an option.

Powering the Thunderbird 500 is the same 499cc, single cylinder, 4-stroke engine that has been a huge success for Royal Enfield in the Classic 500. This air-cooled Unit Construction Engine (UCE) comes equipped with technologies such as an electronic fuel injection system and Twinspark ignition. With a maximum power output of 27.2 bhp at 5250 rpm and a peak torque of 41.3 Nm at 4000 rpm, the Thunderbird 500 has what it takes to become the 'ultimate highway cruiser', a tag that Royal Enfield has rightfully chosen to endorse this model. Further enhancing its touring capability is its twin gas-charged rear shock absorbers with a 5-step adjustable pre-load, a feature that might come in handy for those long trips.

With the traditional Royal Enfield traits like comfortable ride, composed highway manners and the ability to cruise all day long without breaking into a sweat expected to be carried over, the Thunderbird 500 will make an excellent buy for those who love riding on two wheels. Royal Enfield has also taken this event to refresh the regular Thunderbird 350, giving it the looks and features of the 500 version. With an on-road Mumbai price tag of INR 143,346, the new Thunderbird 350 will replace the older model.

As always, expect waiting lists for both models to start as soon as you finish reading this post. Rush to your nearest Royal Enfield dealership now!

EDIT: We have driven the new Thunderbird 500. Read about our riding experience here.


  1. Awosome.... congrats to all Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 team...

    jabardust machine...

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