Indian motorbike manufacturer Royal Enfield is set to launch two new variants based on its already popular Thunderbird Range. Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500X and its smaller sibling Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350X is to be launched in India on February 22, 2018 (much earlier than expected!).
Both these variants will be available in the bright-colored (very eye catching colors!) tank and blacked-out mechanicals paint jobs. The mechanicals on both the variants will remain the same as the standard Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 and Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350. Some of the changes that set the Thunderbird 500X apart from the standard Thunderbird 500 include a new handlebar, a single-piece seat, black alloy wheels and tubeless tires.
The engine and the exhaust are finished in matte black. The Thunderbird 500X variant also gets bright, contrasting paintwork (in red, white, yellow or blue) and matching rim stripes. Both these motorcycles are set to feature disc brakes at the front as well as the rear. Royal Enfield has also taken away the tiny backrest which we generally see on any Royal Enfield variant. The Thunderbird 500X poses a more sporty look than before. The 350X will also incorporate the same design changes as that of Thunderbird 500X.
We’re expecting the 500X to carry over the same engine that powers the existing Thunderbird 500. The 499 cc, air-cooled, single cylinder engine that produces 27.2 PS and 41.3 Nm, while that on the Thunderbird 350X will be the same 346 cc single with 21 PS and 20 Nm. Either engine comes mated to a five-speed gearbox.
The projector headlamp with LED Daytime Running Lamps and LED tail lamp are similar to the existing Thunderbird. However, I feel that the overall looks of Thunderbird 500X and 350X are more similar to the Triumph Bonneville (minus the tiny backrest) than a typical Royal Enfield!
However, there has been too much of debate going on the social media on Royal Enfield motorcycles missing the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS). All the two wheeler vehicles above 125 cc sold in India need to feature ABS as standard from 1st of April 2018, which has been mandated by the Indian government. This means that your favourite Royal Enfield will also feature ABS as early as possible.