Royal Enfield Thunderbird review / road test ( avl powered engine / without…

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Royal Enfield Bullet Electra X AVL

Royal Enfield Thunderbird / road test ( avl powered / without twinspark )

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Act I, scene 1 takes place on the highway as Sirish puts the Lightning 350 through her paces. was the first bike from Enfield to feature a five-speed with the shifter on the conventional, side of the bike. It’s a change for the decades-old, conservative of the Bullet. The gearbox on the Lightning and forms the high point of the test.

Shifting is smooth, the constant struggle to shift on the Bullet.

Another positive is the absence of false neutrals, a of old gearbox.Yet another boon is the as the Lightning 350 recorded the highest top achieved on a bike built in the having crossed the 110kmph after the RD 350 which to date the fastest bike manufactured in The ultra macho Lightning its thunderous exhaust roar, engine clatter and five-speed under left foot rave reviews but alas! made it to an assembly line.

2 is set in Delhi and Auto Expo where CEO Siddharth Lal unveils the Royal Enfield’s latest into the cruiser segment. His aim is to out a new bike every six months, and he has by his word in the last year. The 350 was followed by the Bullet Electra and now comes the Thunderbird.

Prominent the cosmetic refurbishments on the Thunderbird are the gearbox with shifter on the side, new dials, disc on the front wheel, bazooka-like and lo and behold, a self-starter. As promised by five months down the the Thunderbird wings it to the OVERDRIVE sans electric start but the disc on.

Scene 3 plays out on the Mahabaleshwar highway with truly cruising with the wide grin splitting my Even as I revel in the cruise, the styling, mechanicals and Performance their impact. To list all, there’s the AVL block, by the shifter for the five-speed gearbox on the CV carb, CDI ignition and disc on the front wheel.

As I coast into town I in thoughts of the Performance test morning and my grin only wider.Whatever the model churned out by every one of them has a unified and character.

And what character, up visions of long roads travelled slipshod with leather, sunlight bouncing off shades, scruffy beard with road dust, the beat of the exhaust filtering your brain as the miles get underneath, the short halts to up your brand of smokes as you mile after mile and cafes that serve gut liquid to set fire in your But this necessarily need not that only hard men hard machines and every has been taken to soften the So it is little wonder under the eye of Siddarth Lal, avid and far-sighted economist that company is seeing an about

Styling: Striking enough to envy.

The Thunderbird embodies the image to the hilt with of chrome and what is not chromed is for good measure. The front the city bike or the Lightning 350 the headlamp set high up on tall The indicators get clear glass

The twin instrument cluster lose the black plastic as on the Lightning and now exude class and reaches new high.

It houses a optimistic 160kmph speedometer, tachometer, fuel, odometer and all set against a dull blue with white pointers all work with minimum The ammeter is a thing of the past and the details on the pods are testim ony to the to leave behind the conservative and Upswept handlebars are now closer to the with chrome mirrors chrome stalks.

The front wheel houses a twin pot brake from Pricol is surely one of the finest braking on any bike in the country.Switches for headlamp flasher, horn, indicators, and engine kill are within reach. Quality of switchgear feels tacky. The classy and electric start on the bike at the Expo were absent on our test bike.

No sweat, the CDI has simplified the kickstarting routine.The tank retains its teardrop but there is perceptible improvement. is minimal graphic display and an of cumbersome fuel tank while weld lines are The paint job is eye-catching with vibrant shades.

There are no pannier boxes, a parcel shelf with plastic covers sporting the logo has been inducted, the left side enclosing the The chrome cylindrical casing the parcel shelf is a dummy and no other than a decorative

The side stand is chromed and far to employ.The one-piece stepped derived from the Machismo adequate comfort and a firm backrest in true cruiser has been added for the pillion. The end is similar to the Lightning exc ept for the clear indicators and the Thunderbird logo on the plate of the backrest.Which brings me to seems like an unforgivable flaw: the signature tub-thumping note that’s music to a lover’s ears has been under miles of muffler.

For engine clatter cannot be by the exhaust note however you wring the throttle. Imagine crooning to Backstreet Boys’ However, there is good and reason for the detour which I dwell on later.Fit and finish has improved compared to other in the Royal Enfield fold.

head, block and oil pump no sign of leaks and routing of the cable reduces chances of shear. There is still the fuel leakage from the tank cap though the incessant that loosened most has considerably reduced.

Engine Transmission:

The Thunderbird makes do the AVL reworked A350 cylinder and block. First introduced in 2000, this vertical cylinder unit displaces Though the internal organs the age-old pushrod overhead system, changes have incorporated in the block which now is of an all-aluminium alloy with a iron sleeve.

The height of the head has been increased and to the engine in the same frame the has been pushed further the crankcase, altering its external The same 18bhp max power now at a lower 5500rpm. What translates into is quicker compared to the standard Bullet the same (70x90mm) bore and configuration.

The engine breathe s through a constant vacuum carburettor is yet another first for Enfield. not only aids combustion, initial pick-up but coupled the CDI ignition completely eliminates start problems. An advantage of type of carb is the smooth delivery.

Unlike the old Dell’orto that suffered from spots, the CV carb only a charge into the combustion when the engine calls for it.

One of the AVL block has been the level of noise. The decibel count on stroker has increased considerably and the racket in the case of the Thunderbird is than that emitted by its brings us to the second quirk. The note has been restrained to a extent by employing a longer and wider muffler in keeping the new NVH regulations prescribed for engines 250cc capacity.

These are strictly in tune with the Commission’s latest NVH regulations. Enfield was left with the of employing twin silencers or a large diameter pipe or the length of the current silencer.

we visited the Tiruvottiyar plant in we were amazed to see the flights of taking shape in some out and out silencer designs. There was a pipe unit which along the way found itself into two, a ridiculously fat nicknamed ‘elephant foot’ but in the end the long pipe version won the

Complying with regulations has Enfield to bring about a in the torque characteristics and 26.97Nm max now shoves through at a higher in part by advancing the ignition to 12o BTDC at 1000rpm to 22o BTDC at five-speed gearbox engaged via a shifter on the left side of the will finally see itself on a series. When we tested the 350 there were a few ignorable

On the whole shifting through the was a smooth affair in contrast to the gearbox and there were not too false neutrals. With the Enfield has gone a step in refining this box to perform Shifting into first is and noiseless, it is simpler to find and false neutrals I encountered a couple of times in over of riding.

Chassis Suspension:

Not much has Why tamper with a good that has performed well, The single downtube uses the as a stressed member and exhibits st raight line stability. The like the rest of her kin, is a to ride on highways.Front suspension hydraulically damped telescopic and the rear is outfitted with a swingarm with five way shock absorber.

Adequate most surfaces, pounding the for long over rough will require the softest at the rear. As cruiser her capabilities are compared to the Machismo or even the Bullet. Though ride is handling is an entirely different game.

Turn-in is hampered by the grips being too close to the and cornering with too lean an is a strict no-no.

Royal Enfield Bullet Electra X AVL

The positioning of the in relation to the seat and footrest is as long as roads are straight and gradual. However the best way to sharp curves is to not lean too into the corner but to cut speed, in a lower gear and make a turn.


How does one a cruiser to perform. Sprint, top quarter mile runs are a measure of this class of though they are due their in the overall scheme of things.Roll-ons. class of motorcycle is never to enter a drag meet if put against whatever Indian have to throw her way the Thunderbird outclass many.

As functionality the T’Bird will undertake overtaking maneuvers past trucks and trailers. This is the 27Nm of torque makes all the The new NVH legislation restricts the engine, so now the max has been brought in at a higher

This difference shows up in the where 30-70kmph in third is achieved in just 7.5sec is a whole second quicker the Lightning. However the T’Bird this edge as we shift up, and in fourth is covered in 11.8sec as to 11.4sec taken by the Lightning. In gear the T’Bird covers the in 24.4sec whereas the Lightning did it in

By virtue both engines the same torque at different but the engine that develops max at higher rpm gains the edge in a gear during roll-ons but this advantage in higher By the same virtue the engine generates higher rpm should a higher top-speed. This is not the with the T’Bird as the wider diameter restricts revs to a top speed of 107.6kmph, less the 112.9kmph top whack of the Lightning.

to 60kmph took 7.7sec the T’Bird averaged 22.2sec in the mile run at max speed of 91.0kmph.

is strong in every gear make her ideal for highway figures are nothing short of Above all else is the presence of a 280mm diameter ventilated on the front wheel and the conventional 6 internally expanding single drum brake at the rear. issue dishes out a mechanical expanding 7 twin lead brake.

The disc should found its way onto the Bullet ago, but better late never. The disc brake notched some impressive with the T’Bird stopping on a in 2.5sec within a distance of metres keeping its line minimum theatrics. Now three speeds on this cruiser seem too scary.

Mileage :

a CV carburettor should have a boon to the mileage. But the furthest she a litre was a meagre 40km the worst was a measly 28kmpl. An mileage figure of 34kmpl a 14.5-litre tank gives her a of 491.3km.

The Lightning could go 700km on a full tank.

There is nothing quite as as a ride on a cruiser and there’s no that can hold a candle to the abilities of the Enfield fleet opinion is divided on this There are those who absolutely the Bullet and its kin, spewing filth on the eccentricities that are nature to this family. there is the other side who it on a tall pedestal, stay all night polishing it and set off riding in the wee to escape traffic and noonday sun to get to destination absurd kilometers

The Thunderbird with myriad and shades tries hard to a course all her own but loses track in a few respects. There’s plenty of technology stacked within to it more proficient in its ways the engine and transmission being to appeal to wider audience. is the ‘for men only’ feel nothing can shake that but at the time its gone a little in the head.

There’s a remarkable in build quality of the T’Bird, a both manufacturer and consumer for granted in the past.

By general if it’s a Bullet, it will oil, the bolts will off, the brakes need to be a few miles away, cables snap, the tank will fuel and the sky shall surely on my head (to borrow a phrase in — By Toutasis!) yet I will and live to tell the tale. The has lost the sonorous timbre an part of Enfield’s immortality, so does that leave it.

are design cues that be the cynosure of many a feminine not to mention the myth that real men ride Enfields. She ably as a cruiser, offers ride with sufficient on tap and is able to call it quits at a tap on the brake lever. But the Thunderbird the savage, almost psychotic of the Lightning.At Rs 71,590 ex-showroom this soft-tail presents value for money.

But no matter how this bird flies, not going to be in exalted orbit, eagles dare.

Royal Enfield Bullet Electra X AVL
Royal Enfield Bullet Electra X AVL
Royal Enfield Bullet Electra X AVL


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