Royal Enfield rolled out the new Thunderbird X twins last week. Priced at Rs 1.56 lakh and Rs 1.98 lakh respectively for the 350x and 500x models, these bikes are now available across the country at Enfield showrooms. The company is promoting these as ‘factory customs’ and needless to say, both the model look smart enough. So which version should you buy and why? Without further ado, lets get down to business and talk about the similarities and differences between both the new versions.
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Both the 350x and 500x are mechanically based on the old Thunderbird models which will continue to sell alongside the new X twins. However, as visible, the design is quite different. Both the new versions look identical and there is no differentiation at all. This means both the 350x and 500x get a new shorter handlebar, all-black treatment for the parts and a contrasting color for the fuel tank.
The bikes also get alloy wheels with tubeless tyres, color coded rim stripes, a smaller rear mud-guard and a new single seat. So no matter which model you pick, the design remains same. However, as far as color options go, you can pick between Orange or Blue on the 500x and red or white on the 350x.
This is another area where both the versions score equal marks. This means the 350x as well as the 500x come with front and rear disc brakes, semi digital speedometer console, projector headlamp with DRLs and electric start as standard. Alloy wheels, as discussed above, are also part of the package.
This is where both the models differ a lot. While the 350x comes with a 346cc engine belting out 19.8 bhp of power and 28 Nm of torque, the bigger 500x gets a larger 499cc engine that puts out 27.2 bhp of power and 41.3 Nm of torque. Both the bikes come with a 5-speed manual transmission.
As you can see, the difference in outputs is huge. The 500x get a 44% larger motor, 37% more power and 47% higher torque. Secondly, the 500x gets fuel injection as compared to a carburetor on the 350x. Fuel injection is able to adapt much quickly during changing weather conditions and helps the engine to perform much better at high altitudes and in cooler environments. Ditto for its ability to start the bike easily during winter mornings.
Both the Thunderbird 350x and Thunderbird 500x have a price difference of about Rs 42,000 in terms of ex-showroom price. This means you have shell out a premium of 27% for the bigger 500x version. That said, if you are purchasing the motorcycle on a typical 3 year loan, the difference in monthly EMIs will be under Rs 1,400 and this is a small amount of pay for the extra performance.
To summarize, if you are planning to undertake multiple long trips and ride a lot with a pillion, pick the 500x. That said, you get the same design and features on the cheaper 350x – icing on the cake is the better fuel economy.