Planning To Buy A Used Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500? Here Are The Pros And Cons

Want to buy a used Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500? Make sure to read our list of pros and cons before you make a decision.

By Carandbike Team


1 mins read


Published on October 26, 2021

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    Long before the Royal Enfield 650 Twins arrived, it was the 500 cc bikes that were the company's flagships. And the Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 remained a popular choice for those looking at a middleweight motorcycle with some serious cruising credentials. The 500 cc motor was known for its thump and strong mid-range while the cruiser riding position meant it was quite comfortable compared to a similar capacity street-naked. Sadly, the Thunderbird 500 isn't on sale anymore but you can get one in the used bike market. If you really are craving for one in your garage, here are the pros and cons about the RE Thunderbird 500 that you should know about.

    Also Read: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500X ABS Launched In India

    royal enfield thunderbird 500x

    You can look for a more modern Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500X in the market, while the more recent examples also came with ABS


    1. The Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 benefits from a larger displacement motor and electronic fuel injection in the more recent years. Compared to the Thunderbird 350, the Thunderbird 500 manages to hit speeds up to 110 kmph with ease and the strong mid-range makes it a great mile muncher.
    2. The ride comfort remains one of the strongest suits of the TB 500. Moreover, even a decade-old example comes with an LED taillight and a projector lens headlamp that offers good illumination.
    3. You can find more recent examples that are the Thunderbird 500X, which not only bring new and vibrant colours but also a slightly more modern look to the motorcycle. Of course, this is more of a subjective choice and will depend on whether you are looking for the traditional look or the X factor.
    4. The Thunderbird 500 fairly holds its value and a pre-owned example about 7-8 years old will be priced between Rs. 1-1.3 lakh. Do make sure to negotiate depending on the condition of the bike. That'll make it more affordable than the entry-level Bullet 350.
    5. The more recent examples were equipped with ABS and that's that version we'd recommend you get.
    royal enfield thunderbird 500

    The Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 offers spectacular comfort, while its strong highway mannerisms make it a mile muncher.


    1. The larger displacement engine also made it less fuel-efficient over the 350 cc version. But it did have a 20-litre fuel tank for fewer stops between refills.
    2. The RE Thunderbird 500 was also notorious for small niggles with the sensors going wrong at the least expected moment.
    3. Parts on the Thunderbird 500 can get expensive, so make sure you do a thorough inspection before picking one up. For instance, the instrument cluster was prone to breaking and a new one would set you back by around Rs. 7,000.
    4. The Thunderbird 500 is heavy with a kerb weight of 199 kg. So be sure if that's what you can manage. The deadweight would seem twice as much during a fall or breakdown.
    5. Older examples of the TB 500 can also turn out to be money pits in terms of maintenance. Rusting, engine misfiring, tappet noise, and vibrations will be common if the previous owner did not maintain one well. Make sure you have a reliable mechanic on speed dial before you begin looking for a motorcycle.


    Last Updated on October 26, 2021

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