Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350; an outright touring bike

Tuesday 10 September 2013, 10:47 AM by

Royal Enfield is a brand that is known for manufacturing bikes that are stylish and have a certain level of class. The company has a long withstanding history in India since its inception in 1949. Till now the auto maker has been manufacturing different types of bikes for its customers in the Indian auto market and has found the critical acclaim of industry experts. At present, Royal Enfield manufactures three models namely Thunderbird, Classic and Bullet under which different variants are available, ranging from 300 cc to 500 cc bikes. One of most prolific motorcycles of Royal Enfield ever to mark its presence in the Indian market is Thunderbird, which has captured the imagination of bike enthusiasts all over the country, owing to its superior engine performance and cruiser shape.

Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350; an outright touring bike |
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350; an outright touring bike

In order to cater different demands of price sensitive Indian buyers, Thunderbird has been offered in two ranges, first is the 500 cc model while the other one is 350 cc one. Both have almost identical appearance and the sole difference lies in specifications of their engines. In particular, the 350 cc model has majorly contributed to the fortunes of the company in India. This offering of Royal Enfield had recently gone upgrades last year and was provided with enhanced features while minor tweaks were made in its engine. As seen in the current generation model, it features an all black distinctive styling, which is further accentuated by the use of chrome on several parts of the bike.

As far as engine specifications of Thunderbird 350 are concerned, the bike is equipped with a single cylinder 4-stroke Twinspark air cooled engine, having a displacement of 346 cc. The maximum power of this engine stands at 19.8 bhp at 5250 rpm while the amount of torque generated equals to 28 Nm at 4000 rpm. Its engine has been mated to a 5-speed constant mesh gearbox, which transmits all the produced output to its rear wheel. Talking about the dimensions of Thunderbird 350, it has a wheelbase of 1350 mm and an impressive ground clearance of 140 mm.

In terms of appearance, the bike scores high with its unique black styling and enhanced features like digital meter console and LED tail lights. Furthermore, the fuel tank of the vehicle carries 3D motifs of the company name. On the grounds of comfort and convenience, the bike features split seats from which the rear one can be removed to use it as a luggage carrier while travelling on long journeys. Thunderbird 350 is fitted with rear disc brakes to offer additional safety to the passengers during emergency braking situations. The suspensions offered in previous generation model of Thunderbird 350 have been replaced with a new one for enhanced performance when riding on uneven terrains. With all these features and specifications, Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350 carries a price tag of Rs. 125000 (ex-showroom Mumbai), which makes it a good deal to go for.

In the meanwhile, the competition in the motorcycle segment is fast increasing and with new bike makers entering into the Indian fold, things have certainly become all more competitive. Now with Triumph motorcycles planning to start their Indian operations by the end of 2013 and Harley-Davidson aiming to launch a domestically made 500 cc bike, it will put more pressure on Royal Enfield. Industry experts are of a view that in order to take on the growing competition, Royal Enfield needs to launch its Continental GT bike soon in the Indian auto market.