Friday, July 17, 2009

Guest Review: RE ThunderBird - It flies

2002: A Legend is born. A Legend with pride & power.
India's first cruiser - The THUNDERBIRD is launched & BBC Wheels awards it 'The Best Cruiser' 2002 title. Check out the interesting journey of Royal Enfield at

The Thunderbird is built for those who choose to cruise, but believe me it flies. It has a smooth lean burn 350cc engine making it one of its kind in this category. It has a constant vacuum (CV) carburetor for easy starts. Although self-start partially nullifies the charisma of a powerful bike, it helps one to cruise through the city traffic with ease. The ergonomic seat design helps in maintaining erect body posture and thereby avoid strain but at the same time the narrow backseat gives aching backs to the pillions.

Multi focal head lamp
5-Speed constant mesh Gearbox with left foot gear shift
All aluminium lean burn engine
CV carburetor
Gas filled shocks
2 tone colors and graphics

0-60 kmph: 7.7 sec (Robbery made easy)
Max speed: 107.6 kmph (Speedo has read 110 kmph for me)
Engine Type: 4-stroke, air cooled single cylinder
Max Power: 18bhp@5500rpm
Ignition: Electronic CDI
Air Filteration: Paper Oil Filteration
Engine Oil Capacity: 2.25 litre (Adds to high maintenance)
Bike (Kerb) Weight: 175 kg (Dare you stuck up in mud or sand)
Max payload: 175 kg (Long way to go)
Fuel Tank Capacity: 14.45 litres (Reserve: 1.25 litres)
Fuel Economy : 35-43 kmpl
(Drinks a lot of Gas)

> Comfortable on long rides (Restless Ramblers' countless adventures have been in its company).
> Very powerful on high & rough terrain (Ideal for Leh-Ladakh drive)
> Rock steady at both high and low speeds because of heavy weight (Aptly termed as Cruiser)
> Does not lose power if being driven for long hours continuously
> Safe to ride, Safer to be with
> The only bike in its category (No Competition)
> Large diameter of tyres result into smooth ride on slightly rough roads
> Traffic Police doesn't tow these bikes (Compensates for high maintenance)
> Neutral between each gear
> Royal Pride that is Inherited from it

> Low on mileage
> High level of vibration
> High maintanence cost
(Minimum one time service costs Rs.600/-)
> Availability of good mechanical experts
> Pushing this heavyweight, if stuck
> Expensive Accessories (To procure accessories, Sandhya Motors off. JC Road is a good option)

Rating: 4/5 kmph
Ride: 4/5
Handling: 3.5/5
Brake Rating: 4/5
Maintenance: 3/5
Disclaimer: The content mentioned has been contributed by Sumit Banka. For any assistance or performance related queries, kindly write it to
The Guest Reviewer - Sumit Banka is a Business Development Consultant with Oracle (Sales) and a Tour Strategist with Restless Ramblers (