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Comparison – Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 vs Thunderbird 500X

Royal Enfield is going to launch its latest Thunderbird 500 series this month. Thunderbird 500X will have some improvements. But, what’s new on the bike? What’s the difference with its predecessor? From the design, engine specifications, mileage, technology, and pricing, we have already made a complete Comparison – Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 vs Thunderbird 500X for you. At the end of the article, we will discuss whether you should buy it or not. So, without further ado…

…Let’s start from the comparison!

Specification Comparison – Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 vs Thunderbird 500X

Royal Enfield

The new Thunderbird 500X will be a couple of kilos lighter. It also has longer mileage because it holds 20 litres tank. By having front and rear disc brake spanning 280mm and 240mm in diameter respectively, Thunderbird 500X has bigger stopping power.

What about the engine?

The upcoming bike carries all the mechanical parts with the current model. It employs the same 499 cc single-cylinder engine. It churns out 27.2 bhp of power and 41.3 Nm of torque. So, the engine stays the same. No improvement here.

If we check the suspension, it has 41mm telescopic suspension at front which is worth 140mm of travel. While the rear is powered by twin gas-charged shock absorbers with 80mm worth of travel. There is slight improvement from braking parts. The new model has single piston caliper disc as rear brake while at the front, the 500X has 2-Piston caliper Disc sized 280mm.

For better viewings, you can check the table below.

Engine 499cc, single-cylinder
Maximum Power 27.2 BHP @ 5,250 RPM
Peak Torque 41.3 Nm @ 4,000 RPM
Transmission 5-speed Manual
Suspension Telescopic Forks (Front), Twin Shock Absorbers (Rear)
Brakes 280mm Disc, 2-Piston caliper Disc (Front), 240mm Disc, Single piston caliper Disc (Rear)

Enough for the specification. Now let’s check the design improvement. It has a lot more differences. Royal Enfield puts many improvements for the new model. 

Design Comparison – Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 vs Thunderbird 500X


To get better sense of the differences, you need to realize what’s the design language of the current Thunderbird 500. In a sentence, the current model has a flowing design with raised handlebars to the well-chiseled tank leading to the comfortable seat.

We also know that Thunderbird series has always been a premium product for Royal Thunder. That’s why the company gives “special treatment” to the series over time. You may remember that The Royal Enfield Thunderbird was the first bike that gets projector headlamp with DRL, alloy wheels, and an LED tail lamp with unique design.

So, what’s new on the Thunderbird 500X?

As you can see, the new Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500X appeals to the younger audience, right from the color choice, the flowing design, and the technology. The upcoming bike has same design philosophy as the Bullet Redditch edition which was launched earlier.

Thunderbird 500X features young and dynamic colors such as orange, Blue, Yellow, and Red. You can also look at the alloy that has an accent line matching to the color of the tank. A straight handlebar will replace the traditional model one for easier city maneuverability.

You can also enjoy single seat with a chiseled out section for the rider in the new model. The backrest is now smaller but better integrated into the design. The result? A neater look to the rear. Something you cannot get in the previous model.

Other differences are on exhaust section and tyre type. Check the table below.

Thunderbird 500 Thunderbird 500X
High Handlebar Straight Handlebar
Black engine with silver fins All Matte-black engine
Old color options including Black, Olive green etc. New color options like Blue, Orange, Yellow etc.
Split seat Single Seat with new design
Chrome exhaust Matte Black exhaust
Spoke Rims Alloy Wheels
Tube Type Tyres Tubeless Tyres
Chrome coloured wheels Black wheel with body paint highlight line

 Price Comparison – Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 vs Thunderbird 500X

At this moment, several units have been spotted at certain dealerships and service centers. The new model is expected to launch in this month, January 2018. The upcoming Thunderbird is expected to be price around INR 2.10 lakh ex-showroom. A slightly increase from the current model that retails for INR 1.98 lakh at Delhi dealerships.

Should you buy it?

After reading the comparison above, you may realize that Royal Enfield put heavy upgrade on visual and mechanical section. Including a new headlamp, taillight, fuel-tank, seats, and other alterations.

You may remember that back in October 2012, the outgoing Royal Enfield Thunderbird was first introduced. It featured many revolutionary changes including shift from a semi-unit motor setup to UCE or Unit-Construction Engines. And now, Thunderbird comes with twin spark plugs named Thunderbird Twinspark. It is clear that Revolution is a character that Royal Enfield Thunderbird has, since its first edition.

Not Just The Bike, The Company Also Improves 

If you always follow the launching news, you will notice that Royal Enfield has been busy updating their model lineup. If you have ever visited their dealerships 4 years ago then compare it to current condition, you will also sense the dealership design improvement. Not just the interiors, but also the selling and payment system. Even, they upgrade their business model over the past few years.

Why did The Royal Enfield do it?

The company plans to introduce fresh models each year. It has taken to younger colors and limited editions. The goal is to boost sales amongst the millennials. Royal Enfield has been increasing its dealer base. Both in India and abroad!

They also have been developing Himalayan series to appeal youngsters. The Bullet lineup was amongst the first models to feature new younger color options that sold in mere minutes! And since these two models are clocking satisfactory numbers, Royal Enfield has finally given the Thunderbird attentions it deserved.

So, should you buy?

If you want younger model, definitely YES!

About Abhishek Barmase

Abhishek Barmase is a passionate automobile lover who loves to keep himself updated with the latest development in the Indian Automobile Industry. His love for automobiles made him start his own automobile website, https://indiaautoz.in .

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