Thunderbird is one of the oldest bike series sold by Royal Enfield; it has been around for more than 15 years. RE uses the same 346cc unit construction engine which powers all the 350cc bikes in its portfolio. Cosmetically, the bike has undergone a visible change as it gets a teardrop fuel tank, digital instrument cluster, LED tail light etc. Power on offer by the 4 stroke, Twinspark single cylinder engine is decent enough.
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350 Looks
Treatment given to the bike is in typical RE fashion, there is no unnecessary styling unlike the new entrants that don an intricate framework. Features that bring prominence to the design are the large fuel tank, upright seating position and wide seat. Chrome is used amply, although it doesn’t look overboard. In fact RE has used chrome smartly on the body skewing focus on the easily visible parts. The traditional multi-spoke wheels are fixed in front and rear, this is something that is associated with the classic RE design. The seat design is a put off, but where RE manages to score is the fit, finish and quality.
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350 Engine Specifications and Transmission
Power is generated by a 346cc, air-cooled, single cylinder engine yielding 19.80bhp at 5,250 RPM. There is enough torque for this bulky motorcycle which develops 28 Nm at 4000 RPM. Weighing 195 kg, Thunderbird 350 has a relatively low power to weight ratio which affects the performance.
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350 Features
Glaring the rider in the eye is the twin-pod instrument cluster that features an analog speedometer, odometer, tripmeter and it also shows low average economy. Other features aboard are fuel warning indicator, fuel gauge, low oil indicator, low battery indicator, engine kill switch and a grabrail for the pillion. Up front a projection type head light is fitted and rear is ornate with LED tail lamp.
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350 Performance and Mileage
Performance isn’t as fascinating as one would expect from a bike belonging to RE clan. Unfortunately, the 350cc engine lacks punch and the hefty weight plays against it restricting bike’s ride quality. Thunderbird 350 shows signs of discomfort when cruised above 90 kmph. As per Royal Enfield’s word, Thunderbird 350 can deliver 23 kmpl of fuel economy which is way too less as compared to competitors in the segment.
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350 Braking and Handling
Power is retarded by 280mm disc brakes in front and 240mm disc brakes at rear. The bike gets a telescopic, 41 mm forks, 110mm travel suspension in front and twin gas charged shock absorbers with 5-step adjustable preload, 80mm travel suspension at rear. The uncomfortable seat adds to the woes of the rider and suspension set up isn’t retentive which results in poor ride quality. Handling is also not impressive as the bike feels lethargic while on the go.
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350 Wheels and Tyres
19 inch, multiple spoke alloy rims are shod with 90/90-19 MRF Zapper FM front tyres and 120/80-18 MRF Zapper C rear tyres.
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350 Competition
The bike competes with rivals like Bajaj Avenger 220 Cruise, KTM Duke 390, Honda CBR250R and Mahindra Mojo.
Well equipped and desirable
Low fuel economy
Uncomfortable seat design and retentive suspension set-up