The Thunderbird has landed
By Ammar Alvi | Published: 21st October 2012 12:00 AM |
The country’s iconic and legendary motorcycle manufacturer Royal Enfield recently unveiled its latest thunderstorm, its 500 cc Thunderbird besides a revised Thunderbird 350. With new design elements and a more powerful engine the company hopes to elevate its riders to the next level. Ammar Alvi has more.
If you remember this Chennai-based manufacturer gave us a sneak peak of the 500 cc Thunderbird at the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo and since then not just Royal Enfield aficionados but also other bike lovers have been eagerly waiting to see when it finally hits the road. The hype created around this bike had been phenomenal and finally when it was launched recently, the reception it got was even better. Despite ramping up production at its plant in Chennai, it is facing constraints in meeting consumer demand. The company has increased monthly production at its plant at Thiruvotriyur, Chennai, from 7,000 units in January to 10,000 now. It has also added around 100 dealerships in the last one year to 237 locations.
But now let’s get to the business straightaway. The new Thunderbird 500 features a wide range of upgrades such as a 499cc, 27.6PS, 41.3Nm single cylinder engine which is essentially a straight lift from the Classic 500 but now gives better performance and cruising ability. This engine, according to the company, is more frugal and returns a better mileage. Then we also see a new projector headlamp, daytime running lights, LED tail lamp, split seat and a blackened engine. The bike also has broader front forks, a 240mm disc brake at the rear along with a 280mm disc in the front. For better ride and comfort the ground clearance has been increased to 140mm while the overall height of the bike has dropped by 5mm ensuring you get the cruiser feel. The sizes of the wheels have also been changed; there is a 18-inch rear wheel with a 19-inch front tyre. You can also ride more, thanks to a large 20-litre fuel tank available in two shades of black colour.
The company also unveiled the revised version of the Thunderbird 350, 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 besides the engine. Then the company also launched a whole range of accessories and clothing items.
According to Dr Venki Padmanabhan, CEO, Royal Enfield, “We listened very closely to the needs of highway cruisers in India and designed a motorcycle that is extremely suitable for long distance riding.”
The Thunderbird 500 is priced at Rs 1.82 lakh (on road Mumbai) and if you were to see the competition around and the value for money, the Thunderbird 500 is a perfect bike for those who wish to experience a real Royal Enfield biking experience.