What Makes the 2012 Thunderbird 350 Special?
The Thunderbird 350 that was launched in August of 2012 was the best Indian-made cruiser bike on the road at that time, and it arguably still is today. Along with awesome angel eyes and a projector lamp that was new to the Royal Enfield family, this bike also came with a teardrop-shaped, 20-liter fuel tank, front-and-back disc brakes (which increased braking power and gave extraordinary handling), a thicker and stronger fork, a good-looking analog and digital meters with backlit display. In addition, it was much more comfortable for the rider overall. The front footrests, along with the brakes and gear lever, have been shifted a little bit forward. The front rider's seat height has been reduced a bit and the split seats make it easy to use as a stunning single-seater cruiser bike.
1. Stunning Looks
- The Front and Rear Lamps: The addition of projector lamp and angel eyes brought a completely new face to the Indian cruiser bikes. From afar, it has a very masculine and stylish look. The tail lamp consists of five vertically placed LED bulbs and the combination of the front and tail lamp gives it an extraordinary look.
- Teardrop-Shaped Fuel Tank: Unlike the fuel tank of the previous edition, the 2012 edition came with a teardrop shape and the placement of the fuel tank lid cover was shifted to the top right corner so that even when the bike is kept in its side stand, the tank can be filled completely. Its 3D texture is quite elegant.
- Paint: The first thing you notice is engine colour which is black with a touch of chrome to it. This Thunderbird 350 comes in Flicker Black, Twilight Black, and Stone Matte colours.
- Seats: The split seats and the reduced height of the rider seat provides a great improvement in comfort, looks, and options for double or single-seating. The size of the backrest has also been reduced.
2. Unmatchable Riding Comfort
- New Suspension: The telescopic 41mm front fork with 130mm travel and twin gas-charged shock absorbers with 5-step adjustable preload and 80mm travel provides more comfort and strength.
- New Seating: Front rider seat height has been lowered, providing much more comfort for the driver, especially for long distance travels. The split seats give better comfort for both riders. As usual, this model also has a backrest, providing comfort for the passenger.
- Forward Shifted Front Footrest: The front footrest has been shifted forward, improving the sitting posture and making the ride more comfortable for long trips.
- Improved Braking: The new version of the Thunderbird 350 has rear disc breaks which improve the breaking and handling, allowing the driver to feel more confident in the machine.
3. Engine Performance and Mileage
The RE Thunderbird 350 has the same engine as that of the RE Classic 350. The 346cc UCE twin spark air-cooled engine provides 19.8 bhp power at 5250 rpm and 28 nm of torque at 4000 rpm. This engine has a 5 speed manual gear box and a carburetor instead of fuel injection.
Engine Specifications for 2012 Thunderbird 350
Single cylinder, 4 stroke, twinspark, air cooled
Bore X Stroke
70 mm X 90 mm
19.8 bhp @ 5250 rpm
28Nm @ 4000 rpm
Transistorized Coil Ignition (TCI)
5 Speed Constant Mesh
15 W 50 API, SL Grade JASO MA
With these specifications, look, and comfort, the 2012 model is a good option for those who love long distance rides as well as short trips. The Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350 is worth its price at 136,000 Indian rupees (Kochi on-road price).
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2013 Richards Jose