Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500x Review

Ah! the Thunderbird my first and only¬†(before I saw the Interceptor 650) beloved Royal Enfield model that I’m a big fan of it, rest of its model line-up is just not for me.

Most of the Royal Enfield Thunderbird owners had a simple set of rituals rules, get one, then go the aftermarket to buy the alloy wheels, get an auxiliary lamp with a prayer flag and you’re good to go to your long ride.

Because of this Royal Enfiled knows well there Thunderbird demographics and decided to step up and save their Thunderbird customers from the trouble of a trip down to the aftermarket lane.

So without a further ado meet the new and improved Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500x with a refreshed and urban-focused take on a wannabe cruiser.

Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500x

Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500x |


Thunderbird 500x

So What’s New?

Well, there’s nothing change mechanically so don’t expect any ups in power or torque figures neither the gearbox had any changes to it so it is basically the same as was before.

The Thunderbird 500x is powered by the same 499cc engine which produces 27.2bhp of power and 41.3nm of torque and is mated to a same five-speed gearbox.

Moving on to the exterior,

  • The new Thunderbird 500x offers two new colour options the first one is Getaway Orange and the second one is Drifter Blue.
  • The bright paint colour options only cover the 20-litre petrol tank which is the sole recipients of these colours, while the rest of body has been all blacked out which includes mechanicals, mudguards, headlamp casing, side panels and exhaust pipe.
  • The paint scheme job shares many similarities to the bigger cruiser and motorcycles from Harley Davidson or Triumph Motorcycles.
  • Thunderbirds wheels also get colour matched rim stripes as well as coloured matching seat stitching.
  • The seat now comes as a single piece unit with a fabric piece on a central patch for a comfortable ride during long hours on an urban or rural condition and provides a much-needed grip.
  • The seat height adjustment has seen no changes at all it has the same height as was before which now looks much more sleeker than before.
  • The Thunderbird’s handlebars which have been replaced by flat and low handlebars in a black finished, which now gives a more upright position to navigate through traffic easily.
  • The Royal Enfield finally decided to bring modern features on the Thunderbird 500x which now comes with a 9 spoke alloy wheels¬†(which are factory fitted by the way so don’t worry, applaud them they deserve this after so much thinking and tons of boardroom meetings) and the first time in the history of Royal Enfield the company decided to adopt the tubeless tyres.
  • The pillion backrest that is offered on the standard Thunderbird has been replaced by the two grab rails on both sides of the pillion seat and has a matte-blacked finish to it which looks neatly tucked.
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500x

Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500x |


What’s it like to ride?

Because there are no changes in mechanically and dimensionally to the Thunderbird 500x the motorcycle remains the same as the standard model.

The power comes from the same engine 499cc air-cooled fuel injected single cylinder which produces 27.5bhp of power and 41.3nm of torque and is mated to a same five-speed gearbox.

The Thunderbird 500x gives you an enjoyable ride quality even on the broken roads of our country it didn’t affect the Thunderbird 500x composure or plushness. The suspension setup is well sorted that can absorb our bumpy tarmac.

Thanks to the flatter, lower handlebars it is now much easier to reach and the grip on the handlebars feel more natural than ever. Because of the shorter length of the Thunderbird 500x it offers more direct control and feedback which makes it easier to cut through traffic.

Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500x kerb weight is 197kg which is exactly the same as the Thunderbird 500.

But the 500x brakes did disappoint me to stop from 80kph to 0kph even with discs (280mm at the front and the 240mm at the rear) at both ends it still takes a little bit of time to come to a complete halt and to add a more disappointment to the list there’s is no option for ABS either.

At low revs, you will enjoy its mild-pulse muffled thump but as soon as you go to the higher revs like 3,500rpm the mild-pulse turns into a vibration which feels annoyed and uncomfortable. And the gearshift is also offered needless travel, a tightened unit with more smooth shifts would have been nice.

The Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500x comes with a same 20-litre fuel tank as the standard Thunderbird 500.

Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500x

Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500x |


Final Verdict

The Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500x comes with a great package. It also looks cool and hip and still staying in characteristically laid back and relaxing manner. At 1.98 lakh rupees (ex-showroom) which is roughly 8,000 rupees more than the standard Thunderbird 500.

For that much money, you get 9 spoke alloy wheels, tubeless tyres, a much cleaner look with two contemporary colour options as well. The seating position is well suited for long ride conditions.

While I maybe outgrew myself from the Royal Enfield Thunderbird but there’s a certain younger audience who are willing to buy the Thunderbird 500x just for a relaxed ride throughout the town or the short rides with their friends on twisting winding roads.

What do you all think of this new Thunderbird 500x upgrade let me know on the comments?

Thanks for reading.

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