The Royal Enfield Thunderbird first arrived in 2002 and the motorcycle has been a strong seller ever since, despite not getting substantial upgrades over time. Nevertheless, Royal Enfield has finally introduced the most comprehensive update to the motorcycle yet with the new Thunderbird X. The Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350X and 500X are the new young and custom-inspired offerings from the manufacturer that add a modern touch on what is otherwise a retro-styled cruiser. The Thunderbird X range will be sold alongside the standard version and is priced at a premium of ₹ 8000 over the regular variants. So what's new with the Royal Enfield Thunderbird X? We find out.
While Royal Enfield has harped time and again about being a retro-cool bike maker, the younger customer base like to mix things up a bit with the motorcycles they buy. The Thunderbird X then, brings a bit of modernity to the offering. RE says that a lot of Thunderbird customers choose to customise their offerings and the X version takes inspiration from that as a contemporary, factory built custom-looking bike.
Both the Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350X and 500X get the same of upgrades including the blacked out paint scheme that is carried over to the exhaust, engine, front forks, side covers, headlamp cover, indicators and grab-rail. In contrast, the fuel tank has been finished in bold and vibrant colours with white and red shades available on the Thunderbird 350X, while the Thunderbird 500X gets orange and blue colours. The fuel tank colours are coordinated with other elements on the bike including the seat stitching and rim-tapes on the wheels.
Speaking of which, the Royal Enfield Thunderbird X gets alloy wheels with tubeless tyres, a first for the manufacturer. Upgrades also include a new and flat handlebar that is shorter and positioned lower than the standard model. This makes for a slightly more aggressive riding position, without sacrificing too much on comfort-ability. Adding a custom touch is the Gunslinger styled single-seat with the new grab rail and shortened rear mudguard for a clean and less cluttered look. The suspension setup remains the same, but the braking performance has been improved with disc brakes at the front and rear.
Powertrain remains the same on both motorcycles with the Thunderbird 500X using a 499 cc single-cylinder, air-cooled engine with electronic fuel injection that churns out 27.2 bhp at 5250 rpm and 41.3 Nm torque at 4000 rpm. The 350X, on the other hand, gets the 346cc twinspark motor tuned for 19.8 bhp at 5250 rpm and 28 Nm of peak torque at 4000 rpm.
Bookings for the Thunderbird 350X and 500X have commenced across all 321 RE dealerships across the country. The 500X is priced at ₹ 1.98 lakh, while the 350X is priced at ₹ 1.56 lakh (all prices, ex-showroom Delhi). For a marginal price hike, the Thunderbird X certainly shaves off some years from the motorcycle, and that will appeal to the younger buyers.