Thunderbird 500 Review: The Mean Machine Thunder

The mean machine is back and its meaner, stronger and classier now. The hulk of the Royal Enfield stable is storming the roads again. If in the last two months you have been scared crazy by a thundering pair of wheels on the road, its thumps matching your heartbeats, well indications are, you have come face to face with the Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500. Much awaited for a long time its one happy thumping thundering machine that means equal delight to the men and even women alike. Believe me when I say I have many lady friends and colleagues who love their mean machines as much as their male counterpart do. The Thunderbird 500 was launched back in October 2012 and with its launch has brought in the highway beast in a hot sexy package that drools class.

Before the Thunderbird 500 was launched there were no real highway rides that could be spoken of in the same breath. There was an attempt by Bajaj on the Avenger(earlier known as Kawasaki Eliminator), Yamaha Enticer (Out of production now), but no decent highway machine had made its way to the roads like the Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 is now doing. To thunder down the roads with this machine check it out in the speak below.



The Thunderbird 500 comes with a relatively more powerful engine than the Thunderbird 350 with a thumping Classic 500 single-cylinder, four-stroke, twinspark, air-cooled 499cc engine that pumps out with a peak power of 27.2bhp@5250rpm and a healthier torque of 41.3Nm@4000rpm. It comes with digital electronic ignition and Keihin electronic fuel injection.

The Thunderbird 500 has been built with the symbolic bullet muscular look. The distinctive feature that is adding  to the bold muscular look is the 20 liters petrol tank that has been upgraded in the thunderbird 500. The three way black tone added is definitely eye catching. The front lamp is a round projection type and a halo around it that gives it a dual purpose of a day lamp. The rear lamp is an LED lamp. Another firsts in this bike is the first bike in India to feature a turn signal lamp hazard light. The instrument console features a blue back-light and the twin console sports a chrome rimmed, round twin pods which display an analog speedometer and tachometer and a digital odometer, tripmeter and fuel gauge.

The Thunderbird 500 features the much needed split back seat implying that the pillion rider has a comfortable ride. This also serves an add on benefit of creating space for baggage while on a highway travel mode, that is if you are alone.


Speaking as a rider the first thing I would like to mention is the uplifted rider footpegs which ensure that the rider has a more comfortable riding experience, especially on those long trips on the highway. The thunderbird 500 does wobble a bit when it is taken beyond speeds of 100kmph plus. However on a longer highway cruise that is hardly noticeable. The Thunderbird 500 delivers a powerful 27 horses of power and can touch top speeds of 130 kmph. The optimal speeds would be in 80-100 kmph. The wheelbase has been shortened so it gives a good riding experience even in city roads and mountain biking trips.


All in all the Thunderbird 500 is a strong cruiser and performer on the roads and undoubtedly its the thunder on roads which would make us all happy and the Rs. 1.82 lakh in India price might look steep, but its worth it. I rate the Thunderbird in:

Design: 4/5

Performance: 4/5

Ride Stars: 4.5/5