• 2009 Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350

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When we pronounce the word ‘Cruiser’ few things that definitely comes to our mind are big and heavy motorcycles with fat rear tyres, comfortable seating positions and a large fuel tank. One manufacturer who has been successful in fulfilling our Indian dreams of owning a proper cruiser is non other than Royal Enfield, because they have given us Indians some of the best rough and tough affordable motorcycles which can be owned by any person who always dreamed of owning a cruiser for themselves to stand out from the crowd.

Royal Enfield introduced the Thunderbird back in year 2000; it had a blend of both modern and retro styling in one which also made it look very young and appealing. When Royal Enfield introduced the Thunderbird 350, it was such a striking motorcycle that it attracted the younger generation as well beside the regular crowd; this motorcycle became so popular that it went on to become the largest selling motorcycle from this particular manufacturer. The second generation Thunderbird which was introduced in the year 2009, came equipped with twin spark plugs in the UCE engine.

The popularity of Thunderbird forced Royal Enfield to introduce a bigger Thunderbird 500 in the year 2012, equipped with many modern and new features like projector headlamps which are hardly found in any Indian motorcycles, it also had a Keihin electronic fuel injection and the stylish looks came as an extra bonus.

We have already reviewed the bigger Thunderbird 500 in Topspeed.in and today we will be reviewing the smaller and the very popular Thunderbird 350. It is powered by a Single Cylinder, 4 stroke, Twinspark, Air cooled 346 cc engine which generates an impressive amount of power and torque. We will talk about the exact figures later in this review.

click past jump to find out the review of the bread and butter motorcycle from the Royal Enfield’s stable

  • Year:
    2009
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Transmission:
    5 speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    19 @ 5250
  • Torque @ RPM:
    28 @ 4000
  • Displacement:
    346 cc
  • Top Speed:
    75 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    INR 145000

STYLING

Royal Enfield products had a very powerful, reliable and hardy engine to match the rough and tough look of the cruiser, it also had a very well balanced pricing but the thing that was lacking was the modern styling which in return affected its sales figure somehow. So Royal Enfield designers went back to their design boards and designed something which appealed everyone and then the Thunderbird was born and after its launch it started selling like hot pancakes.

The second generation Thunderbird is equipped with front round Projection type headlamp, which has a H7 55 / 55 W lamps just like the bigger Thunderbird. The wider stylish and comfortable handlebars are also the main highlight of the Motorcycle and are found in both in the 500 as well as the 350. The instrument console which is also one of the important equipment of any motorcycle got some new treatment too. The metal fuel tank with the Royal Enfield logo looks classy, the previous seats were replaced with a wider new and stylish split seats. The pillion seats on the Motorcycle can be removed completely to store luggage, the pillion grab handlebar also has some cushion for the comfort of the Pillion riders. The exhaust too looks chunky and new and gives the motorcycle a proper cruiser look.

Both the Thunderbird motorcycles almost shares same styling characteristics and anybody cannot easily differentiate between the smaller and the bigger motorcycle until and unless they take a closer look.

The overall dimension of the motorcycle has been provided below:

Wheelbase 1350mm
Ground Clearance 140 mm
Length 2060 mm
Width 790 mm ( Without Mirrors)
Height 1205mm ( Without Mirrors)
Seat Height 775 mm
Kerb Weight 192 Kgs

ENGINE DETAILS

The Thunderbird 350 is powered by a 346 cc Single Cylinder, 4 stroke, Twinspark, Air cooled engine which generates 19.8 bhp of maximum power at 5250 rpm and 28Nm of maximum torque at 4000 rpm. The engine is mated to a 5 Speed Constant Mesh gearbox which is really helpful in pushing the motorcycle forward. It definitely generates lesser power than the bigger Thunderbird 500 but it is more than enough for this cruiser.

If someone wants a powerful motorcycle which they could use for a long distance then this is the one for you. This motorcycle with such amount of power can easily cruise at high speeds without any trouble but push it hard and definitely it will show some its weak points. The Twin spark technology helped the Thunderbird a lot in increasing its fuel efficiency. Every above point will be complimented with a thumping sound as soon as one pushes the engine start button on the handlebar which also has been one of the specialties of any Royal Enfield motorcycles.

The engine details have been provided below:

Type Single Cylinder, 4 stroke, Twinspark, Air cooled
Displacement 346cc
Bore x stroke 70 mm X 90 mm
Compression Ratio 8.5:1
Maximum Power 19.8 bhp @ 5250 rpm
Maximum Torque 28Nm @ 4000 rpm
Ignition System Transistorized Coil Ignition (TCI)
Clutch Wet, multi-plate
Gearbox 5 Speed Constant Mesh
Lubrication Wet sump
Engine Oil 15 W 50 API, SL Grade JASO MA
Fuel Supply UCAL, BS29
Air Cleaner Paper Element
Engine Start Electric/Kick

RIDE AND HANDLING

The Royal Enfield motorcycles are always known to offer the most comfortable ride ever and they also have the capability of conquering almost any terrain. Our Thunderbird 350 also is fitted with Telescopic, 41mm forks, with 130mm travel at the front and Twin gas charged shock absorbers with 5-step adjustable preload, 80mm travel at its rear. This suspension setup is fit and capable enough to withstand any kind of terrain, the gas charged rear absorbers are used by almost every other premium motorcycle manufacturer nowadays.

Another interesting upgrade that was added to this motorcycle was the use of 240mm, Single piston caliper rear disc brakes alongside the 280mm, 2-Piston calipers discs at its front. The Thunderbird 350 uses 90/90-19, 52P MRF Zapper FM tyres at its front and 120/80-18, 62P MRF Zapper C tyres at its rear which are extremely grippy and provide confidence to the riders especially while cornering.
The wide and raised handlebars, broad seat makes this motorcycle ideal for long rides.

PRICING

The Royal Enfield thunderbird 350 is priced at Rs.1, 45 Lakh (Ex showroom Mumbai). This is available with Twilight and Flicker color options.

COMPETITION

There is no such Cruiser at that price range in India to compete with the Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350, so people will only have to be satisfied with the trusty old Royal Enfied.Still if you have the budget then you can always own the expensive Thunderbird 500.

VERDICT

The Royal Enfield Thunderbird with its improved technology and added features has become one of the most desirable cruisers of the Country; obviously this motorcycle is no match for the bigger Thunderbird 500, when it comes to the torque and power delivery but the smaller Thunderbird is also 40,000 rupees cheaper than the 500. So if this winter someone is planning to cover some distance on road leaving all the worries behind then this is your ultimate ride

QUOTES

“The Royal Enfield Thunderbird, in its second generation, is an able cruiser from the Indian bike maker’s stable”—Zigwheels.com

  • Leave it
    • Quality could have been better

Source: Royal Enfield

  • Horse Power
    Horse Power
    19 @ 5250 HP
  • TopSpeed
    Top speed
    75 mph

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