A decent cruiser

March 17, 2014 07:13 PMRajeev

Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 Standard

  • 499 cc
  • 32 kmpl
  • 27.2 bhp
  • 195 kgs

Last known Ex-showroom price


Rajeev's Rating

3/ 5
  • Looks4 / 5
  • Fuel Economy4 / 5
  • Performance4 / 5
  • Value for Money3 / 5

Good about this bike

Style, Digital dial, Huge petrol tank, Torque, Decent average

Not so good about this bike

Paint finish keeps peeling, Dial guage malfunction, Inferior quality of rubber parts

Full Review


 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.



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