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Reviews of Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500

Overall rating:

4.3
110 ratings 58 reviews
  •  5  64
  •  4  26
  •  3  13
  •  2  3
  •  1  4
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 Reviews

Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500

Avg. Ex-showroom price

₹ 1,90,701

Rating Parameters:

  • 4

    Visual Appeal

  • 4

    Reliability

  • 4

    Performance

  • 4

    Comfort

  • 3

    Service Experience

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Reviews on Thunderbird 500

  •  1Looks good works poor !!! 1 year ago by Bhagwatrv
    Owned and using tb500 since march 2016. Average 20kms/day...48000kms approx done. Buying and servicing experiences were good. But the performance of the bike is terrible. Brand new and within 4 months had to replace the fuel pump(costs rs.15000 !!!)...Fortunately it was...
    Owned and using tb500 since march 2016. Average 20kms/day...48000kms approx done. Buying and servicing experiences were good. But the performance of the bike is terrible. Brand new and within 4 months had to replace the fuel pump(costs rs.15000 !!!)...Fortunately it was covered in the 1 year warranty and i was saved. The front mud guard is a joke...Its there only for show, but doesn't do what its supposed to... Bike runs over a small water patch and you have water sprayed on both your feet. Imagine the scene in the rainy season...Your trouser legs as well as shirt front are covered in muddy spray which does not wash off easily....Rear mud-guard also does a good job of spraying the back of the person riding with you... I wonder what kind of donkeys re have in their design department who think only about looks and appeal, but not a thought given to utility and well being of the rider. Also, within 1st year i had to replace ignition assembly as the ignition switch shorted out because of rain water entry !!!...Lots of other bikes around from different companies...They don't get shorted ignition switches. But tb500 does !!!....Replaced fuel gauge (twice !)...Bcoz it just keeps showing wrong level...After 2nd replacement i gave up bcoz it still shows the wrong levels...,and in the next year the chain sprocket assembly, handle fork cone-set, brake pads (twice),...And about 4 months ago, in march 2019 the bike just shut off in mid-ride...Went dead !!!... Rsa technician managed to burn my wiring while checking the fuse box, and there was a battery death due to 2 weeks(!!???!!) bike inactivity when i was out for a holiday in may 2019, and yesterday morning (6 july 2019) the same thing like 4 months ago happened...Bike just went dead in mid-ride. Red ignition switch dead !!!...Self-start or kick start doesn't work...Currently at service center awaiting problem diagnosis from service advisor.I had tvs victor gl for 12years until 2016,...She was a gem...Never troubled me once for first 7 years!!!...Just change oil on time and she was good...Neither my daughter's tvs wego troubled me since 2010. These were cheaper, less powerful, non-premium bikes...But no hassles...And tb500??...2lakhs in 2016 and just look at the headache i brought home !!!I have decided to sell it off asap...Just not sure whether to go for another re model...Bcoz their spares quality doesn't seem to be much, considering the amount of replacements i've had to make. If you're thinking of buying tb500 then think 10times, and be ready to shell out a lot for maintenance, not to mention the headache and irritation !!! stay away !!!
    • 4

      Visual Appeal

    • 1

      Reliability

    • 4

      Performance

    • 4

      Comfort

    • 4

      Service Experience

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    • Used it for

      Daily Commute

    • Owned for

      > 1 yr

    • Ridden for

      > 15000 kms

    • Got mileage of

      28 kmpl

    • Got mileage of

  •  5Undisputed king of Indian bike 2 years ago by Tshering Topgay Bhutia
    Tb 500 is an amazing bike. Own since 2014 bought at kolkata rode more than 25000 plus. In 2016 i took to leh from gtk via kathmandu. Being 500cc i had a great ride at 18000 ft than my friend's 350. I'm using redroster exhaust so it gave 35 ltrs km during 7500 kms journe...
    Tb 500 is an amazing bike. Own since 2014 bought at kolkata rode more than 25000 plus. In 2016 i took to leh from gtk via kathmandu. Being 500cc i had a great ride at 18000 ft than my friend's 350. I'm using redroster exhaust so it gave 35 ltrs km during 7500 kms journey. This is the undisputed king of bike.
    • 5

      Visual Appeal

    • 5

      Reliability

    • 5

      Performance

    • 5

      Comfort

    • 5

      Service Experience

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    • Used it for

      Everything

    • Owned for

      > 1 yr

    • Ridden for

      > 15000 kms

    • Got mileage of

      30 kmpl

    • Got mileage of

  •  4Awesome bike 2 years ago by Asmit Kumar
    This bike is best in each view i.E. In mileage, in looks that is so looks classic bike and in power also. I m using this bike since 3 years and i have not found any problem till date. The first thing i want to say that you have to maintain your bike or vehicle as each a...
    This bike is best in each view i.E. In mileage, in looks that is so looks classic bike and in power also. I m using this bike since 3 years and i have not found any problem till date. The first thing i want to say that you have to maintain your bike or vehicle as each and every vehicle required. So that the bike mileage will boost up second thing is that everyone suggest you to service your bike timely and by professionals that means in registered company service centres only.
    • 4

      Visual Appeal

    • 4

      Reliability

    • 4

      Performance

    • 4

      Comfort

    • 4

      Service Experience

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    • Used it for

      Everything

    • Owned for

      > 1 yr

    • Ridden for

      10000-15000 kms

    • Got mileage of

      40 kmpl

    • Got mileage of

  •  4Re thunder bird 500 7 years ago by Adrian
    Style it has a modern edge to its vintage design. The headlights are really cool with the console being an enticing aspect of the bike. Engine performance, fuel economy and gearbox this bikes massive engine's power is well harnessed as it propels you forward in a way th...

    Style

    it has a modern edge to its vintage design. The headlights are really cool with the console being an enticing aspect of the bike.

    Engine performance, fuel economy and gearbox

    this bikes massive engine's power is well harnessed as it propels you forward in a way that will leave you hanging on to the throttle bars. Such power does not render good fuel economy though its fair to say it gives you a fair mileage. I felt that this gear box is easier to operate compared to the 350cc thunderbird.

    Ride quality & handling

    excellent cruiser capability on the road with an appealing comfort although the bike vibrates blatantly at high revs.

    Final words

    buy it if you have got the budget for the bike and for regular fuel stops and then get ready to leave every other vehicle behind you as you surprisingly zoom by with this cruiser.

    Areas of improvement

    the vintage desgin should recieve a break.

    Pros

    power, pull, comfort, console

    cons

    mileage,

    • 4

      Visual Appeal

    • 5

      Performance

    • 4

      Comfort

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  •  3A wake up call 3 years ago by Gunjan Sinha
    Not a value for money. Very problematic bike. This will not give you the confidence of long riding because of lots of problem like regular problem in chain sprocket..Fuel gauge..Digital clock..And last but not the least..Its service which is very pathetic.The plus point...

    Not a value for money. Very problematic bike. This will not give you the confidence of long riding because of lots of problem like regular problem in chain sprocket..Fuel gauge..Digital clock..And last but not the least..Its service which is very pathetic.The plus point only is comfort riding and cool look.

    • 4

      Visual Appeal

    • 2

      Reliability

    • 2

      Performance

    • 5

      Comfort

    • 1

      Service Experience

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    • Used it for

      Everything

    • Owned for

      > 1 yr

    • Ridden for

      > 15000 kms

  •  5Excellent 7 years ago by Santosh
    Style engine performance, fuel economy and gearbox: excellent pick up ride quality & handling absolutely fantastic, you will get the road clear when you ride this bike final words i love this bike and i suggest everyone to go for it. If you love the power and the ma...

    Style

    engine performance, fuel economy and gearbox: excellent pick up

    ride quality & handling

    absolutely fantastic, you will get the road clear when you ride this bike

    final words

    i love this bike and i suggest everyone to go for it. If you love the power and the manly.

    I drove this bike from delhi to laddakh and has absolute power and performance. Especially i love it's fuel tank. The disk brake in rear adds very much fun. I have also driven this bike from delhi to agra expressway and with ease. You can drive this with the speed of 120 and will not get your legs vibrating which normally happens with pulsar and others.

    Areas of improvement

    pros

    cruzer design

    cons

    mileage

    • 5

      Visual Appeal

    • 5

      Performance

    • 5

      Comfort

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  •  3Beauty with power 1 year ago by Sachin Khadtare
    Buying a royal enfield bike is like taking a step into history of bikes. The name speaks everything. Hi i am sachin. I own a royal enfield thunderbird 500cc marine variant. Got impressed by the first look of the bike and decided to go for it. Being 500cc the average is ...
    Buying a royal enfield bike is like taking a step into history of bikes. The name speaks everything. Hi i am sachin. I own a royal enfield thunderbird 500cc marine variant. Got impressed by the first look of the bike and decided to go for it. Being 500cc the average is below 25kmpl but that doesn't matter as the one who goes for enfield mostly the 500cc once don't look into these details. The bike make its mark in design and looks. Performance is good i must say. The only thing one face is servicing and maintenance that's for sure. Its been 4 years i am riding this beauty but never satisfied with the servicing till date. Tried many service stations but no one solved my issues on the first go. Yes when it comes to beauty you have to compromise in some way, i am talking about cons. The bike is good for long distance. You feel the power while riding. The bike needs attention a lot. Don't miss a single service schedule or else get ready the stitch the hole in your pocket. The few things you have to surely change the next year are fuel gauge, spocket, shock absorbers front and display digital meter for sure.
    • 4

      Visual Appeal

    • 2

      Reliability

    • 4

      Performance

    • 4

      Comfort

    • 1

      Service Experience

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    • Used it for

      Occasional Commute

    • Owned for

      > 1 yr

    • Ridden for

      > 15000 kms

    • Got mileage of

      25 kmpl

    • Got mileage of

  •  3Life after 4 years of re tbd500. 2 years ago by Karan Singh Sahney
    Hi guys!I am heavily built, weighing around 100kgs and standing at 6 feet 3 inches tall. So this bike feels right for me, also its easier for me to maneuver this bike. Do keep this in mind as you read my review. I have owned a re thunderbird 500 since august 2014 and co...
    Hi guys!I am heavily built, weighing around 100kgs and standing at 6 feet 3 inches tall. So this bike feels right for me, also its easier for me to maneuver this bike. Do keep this in mind as you read my review. I have owned a re thunderbird 500 since august 2014 and completed 70000kms on it.Love at first ride:When you take a test ride on this beauty, you will definitely fall in love with the torquey engine, the power range and the comfort. The mild sound of the thump is so masculine. I don't like the louder sound of the modified res so i like the factory fitted silencer, it allows you to have a conversation with the pillion. The bike feels well balanced even with its weight and its quite easy to hit the corners or even lean into the corner while turning. The real meat is between 2nd gear at 30kmph to the 4th gear at 90kmph. The gears are long so don't change the gears too quickly while accelerating, the bike keeps accelerating and gaining momentum without the need to change gears too often.Torque and acceleration:After a few years of riding, all other bikes seem so light and there is absolutely no appeal in using any other bike.The power drive is fantastic between 2500rpm to 5000 rpm. The torque is fabulous. Once i even used it to tow a scorpio out of a ditch.The torque is a big bonus to have when riding in the ghats. You can easily ride on steep slopes without the engine feeling stressed.Unlike other bikes you do not need gear down and get quick acceleration to overtake a vehicle. The acceleration of re works differently and has a lot to do with momentum and rpm range between 2.5k and 5k. For overtaking on the highways you will need a flick of a wrist on any gear and will have to wait back a little and then you will see the magic of the bull pulling you with ease. So steady long unending pull but not quick.Comfort:The riding position is for an average height of 5 feet 8. For me, i had to get the handlebar further extended and get the seat 2 inches higher for it to be really comfortable. That's the good thing about re bikes, a lot of modifications are possible.The back rest is a boon to the pillion and long rides of 300km non-stop in 4 hours are possible.The engine doesn't sound stressed or even in any problem even after touring full day at speeds between 80kmph and 100kmph. No other bike will allow you to scale the roads of of leh laddakh with ease.The bike can comfortably carry the rider, pillion and luggage, totalling more than 250kgs on the ghats, nonstop on the highway for hours at more than 80kmph. Beyond 110kmph the bike seems stressed and the braking seems to take a really long time, i would not recommend frequently riding above the 110kmph mark. Looks and modifications:Having a metal body and big fuel tank, the looks are stunning and there are many 3rd party mechanics offering modifications such as fancy flatter or crossbar handlebars, sharper looking leg guards, wind shields, extra head lights, fog lights, alloy wheels etc. There are mechanics to replace the efi with a carburettor. (if the efi gets spoilt, since carburettor is cheaper and performance can be tweaked).The approximate costs inclusive of fitting are below-Handlebar- 800 to 2000 Headlamp grill and indicator grill- 400 Dry battery -3200 (easy maintenance, better life and lower rate of failure)Alloy wheels - 8000 per pair Tubeless tyres -5000 per pair Pair of led fog lights - 1500 Wind shield - 1500 Leather seats - 2000 to 5000 Carrier at the back - 700 to 1000 Carburettor - 4000 Silencer - 1000 to 2000 Leg guard front - 1000 to 2000Leg guard rear - 500 to 1000 Fuel and performance:I got a mileage between 28 and 30 in the city and 32 on the highway. My zero to hundred timing is 11.6 seconds. Top speed 140 on the speedometer, which seems to be inaccurate, felt more like 125 or max 130.The extra premium or power petrol, i.e. higher octane fuel gives a better feel to the running but make sure you don't mix the fuels up, else you will be paying extra for no boost in performance. The engine life is better with higher octane fuel and trust me, the engine will feel younger even at 70000kms if you use higher octane fuel.Tyre air pressure on tube tyres:Considering my weight, i feel comfortable at 25/35, even though the recommended is 22/32. At the recommended pressure, i tend to get punctures more often. Keep in mind at higher pressure the bike gets lesser grip on wet road or steep turns and also while braking. Do carry a spare tube if possible since the rear tube size isn't readily available. 120/80-18. The puncture mechanics have a difficult time getting the tyre out and the rear disc brake needs to be removed and can gives issues once its refitted, since the road-side puncture mechanics are not used to fixing the re bikes. So it's recommended you learn how to get out from the re workshop.For tubeless tyres, use 22/32. It will be harder to manoeuvre at 25/35.Alloy wheels? (cost 8000 for pair) Alloy wheels and tubeless tyred will save you from the punctures. But if you plan to get the alloy wheels do take into consideration that since the bike is really heavy and if you hit a big pothole, the alloy wheel can likely get a crack, meaning, you would have to get the alloy wheel replaced. Average tubeless tyres cost around 5000. If you stick to spokes and tube tyre, you will end up spending a bomb every alternate servicing on getting the rim out and spokes adjusted. (approx 300 per tyre).Bike common issues/cons:1. The bike seems to get out of alignment needing the spokes and rim to the adjusted 2. Spare parts are too expensive. The life of parts is too little.Example 1 - fuel pump would cost you 15000, fuel filter kit 3000.. That's a total of 18 thousand and will likely get spoilt if you always run on low fuel or the quality of fuel is bad. Even if you take care, the fuel pump might just go bad at 30000kms. Example 2 - efi will set you back by 10 thousand. Can go bad anytime after the warranty period.Example 3 - liquid battery will need replacement every 2 years. Warranty is just 1.5 years. That will cost you 3000.3. Its a very high maintenance bike Servicing labour cost -750 Oil -900 every 3 months.Chain spray - 200 every 3 months (3m spray. Use every 15 days.)Regular parts change in the first 2 years - 2000 to 4000 Regular parts change after 2 years - 4000 to 6000 every year.Regular parts need replacement every 12000 kms to 18000 kms. Like spark plugs, fork oil, would also need over hauling, which is expensive, around 600 to 800 for just the labour. Accelerator cable, fuel pipe, other pipes, bush, bearings etc. The brake pads and bearings need changing often since the bike is heavy and the need a lot of braking for it to stop when in momentum.After 70000km or almost 4 years, i spend on an average, 4000 every 3 months on servicing. A car would likely cost lower in maintenance.4. Very difficult to start if battery is weak, the efi doesn't get initiated. Even if the battery is fine, the kick start needs some getting used to.5. Shock absorbers need an upgrade and don't feel perfect.Overall verdict- If you aren't stingy about maintenance and don't mind shelling out money to buy an expensive bike, you will not regret buying this bike. Else, your life will feel like a torture with this 500cc monster. Feel free to make your bike unique with hundreds of possible modifications and enhancements.
    • 5

      Visual Appeal

    • 2

      Reliability

    • 3

      Performance

    • 5

      Comfort

    • 1

      Service Experience

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    • Used it for

      Daily Commute

    • Owned for

      > 1 yr

    • Ridden for

      > 15000 kms

    • Got mileage of

      30 kmpl

    • Got mileage of

  •  4A decent cruiser 6 years ago by Rajeev
    Style the styling is pretty good. Has a distinct road presence. Projector light and led tail light enhances the over all look. Engine performance, fuel economy and gearbox performance of the engine is pretty good. It has good low down torque and an all day cruising spee...

    Style

    the styling is pretty good. Has a distinct road presence. Projector light and led tail light enhances the over all look.

    Engine performance, fuel economy and gearbox

    performance of the engine is pretty good. It has good low down torque and an all day cruising speed of 80-100kmph. Considering the bigger 500cc engine, it still gives a decent fuel economy of 31kmpl on highway and 26kmpl in city driving condition which i feel is pretty good. Being fuel injected i never faced starting problem in my last 10,000km drive. Gearbox seems to be a bit knotchy. Flase neutral is more frequent from 2nd to 3rd. Although the bike can reach a speed of 130+, it seems to be more comfortable at 80-90kmph. At that speed the vehicle just glides like butter in a hot pan.

    Ride quality & handling

    ride quality is good but there is still space for impovement. The rider seat is bigger and somewhat comfortable for long drives as compared to the rear seat which is very small with less cusion. As far as handling is concerned it will surprise you with its outstanding cornering speed. The only problem i see is the noise the front fork makes while going through every road bumbs.

    Final words

    over all royal enfield has improved the quality of the bike and thunderbird is very different from the other models...Its comfortable, comes with front and rear disk brake, comfortable foot peg angles, digital guages, bigger tank, efi engine. In my 10,000km ride, i havent faced broken clutch cable, or throttle cable or problems related to cold starting.. So in a way royal enfield has come a long way.

    Areas of improvement

    "quality" --- this is what royal enfield has to improve. The paint quality, nuts n bolts, rubber pipes, tubes, rubber mountings are still of inferior quality and needs constant attention. The digital guage looks good but is inaccurate and has a history of malfucntion. The engine still leaks oil from rocker head. Partial chain cover would have been a better addition. The manual mentions a maintenance free battery ( 12v 14ah mf) but the bike came with an ordinary battery (even dealers has no explanation). Hope royal enfield looks into it and make the necessary corrections. Service quality also needs to be improved.

    Pros

    style, digital dial, huge petrol tank, torque, decent average

    cons

    paint finish keeps peeling, dial guage malfunction, inferior quality of rubber parts

    • 4

      Visual Appeal

    • 4

      Performance

    • 4

      Comfort

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  •  5Thunderbird 500cc  3 years ago by Kishor Gangurde
    In Hindi language the famous sentence " paisa vasool " the cost is also well and good. I love the ride about my thunderbird, it is 500cc so anyone can imagine what will its speed criteria and sound of the silencer, to give a best look i modified my bike .I have been rid...

    In Hindi language the famous sentence " paisa vasool " the cost is also well and good. I love the ride about my thunderbird, it is 500cc so anyone can imagine what will its speed criteria and sound of the silencer, to give a best look i modified my bike .I have been ride a lot on till now 45000km, i have ridden for all purpose travelling to another city or for a long drive.When i ride public are looking my bike continuously till it pass it away, many people ask me about my Thunderbird. It never give me problem anywhere.Servicing and maintenance is costly due to unique bike but no issue i love my bike from bottom of the heart.I have kept name to my bike its "Rampyari"

    • 5

      Visual Appeal

    • 4

      Reliability

    • 5

      Performance

    • 5

      Comfort

    • 2

      Service Experience

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    • Used it for

      Everything

    • Owned for

      > 1 yr

    • Ridden for

      > 15000 kms

    • Got mileage of

      25 kmpl

    • Got mileage of

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Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 Expert Opinion

  • Good Things

    • Offers a comfortable riding position¬†
    • Has good amount of torque for highway touring
    • Easy availability of parts
  • Could be Better

    • Has a vibey engine
    • Could get better brakes
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