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Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500X review: Where's the heartbeat?

By P Tharyan
June 21, 2018 11:00 IST
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The Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500X is sporty and macho. However, several bothersome issues need to be addressed, says P Tharyan.


The Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500X has a smart tank badge. Photograph courtesy:

Styling is the only factor that distinguishes the new Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500x from the existing Thunderbird 500.

Except for the fuel tank, the entire motorcycle comes in black.

The one I got to ride had a blue tank and a thin blue stripe around the tyres.


The Thunderbird 500x comes with a smart tank badge, with Royal Enfield embossed in black on either side of the fuel tank.

Alloy wheels and tubeless tyres add to the look. 

The seat is one single large piece with new grab rails, but there is no back rest.

The handlebars bear a sporty look, indicating that this is meant to be a city bike.

The chopped mudguard, too, adds to the bike's sporty appeal.

The motorcycle also has projector headlamps with a smoked finish that looks good. 

IMAGE: The different colours of the Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500X. Photograph courtesy:

But, beyond this, there is little that this bike can boast of.

The twin pod instrument cluster is a big letdown.

The analogue speedometer and tachometer look dated.

One of the pods houses a digital screen that gives information like trip reading, odometer reading, fuel levels and so on.

The figures on the dial are barely legible, especially when you are riding the bike at speed.

When you start the bike, you notice the bothersome vibrations which only get worse as you ride it.

The foot pegs vibrate a lot, as do the twin pods in the instrument cluster.

Both the wheels come with discs, but sadly there is no option for an anti-lock braking system. This is absolutely unpardonable in a two-wheeler meant for Indian roads.

And then, the thumping sound of the good old Enfield bike, which is its very heartbeat, is missing.

The sound you hear is a lot flatter.

The agile nature of the bike, however, comes as a pleasant surprise once you hit the road.

It has decent acceleration and handles the rough patches with ease.

On the road, the Thunderbird 500x undoubtedly has an imposing presence.

But that's not enough -- not for Royal Enfield, which has a cult-like following.

The makers of the bike must realise this and urgently iron out the nagging issues. 

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P Tharyan
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