Royal Enfield has been making a lot of headlines with the long testing procedure of the Himalayan adventure motorcycle model. Now, the Royal Enfield Himalayan is winning the hearts of the adventure loving biking enthusiasts.
The Royal Enfield Thunderbird had made a new segment in the Indian market more than a decade back and it has been a superb player ever since, which still enjoys a peerless market positioning. With the introduction of the updated Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350, the Indian motorcycle giant simply continues with the glorious legend of the Thunderbird cruiser bike.
Here we are pitching the Royal Enfield Himalayan against the Royal Enfield Thunderbird to find out what these two motorcycles come loaded with to charm the Indian bikers:
The Himalayan comes with a neat and clean design with very few body panels in order to avoid any wind noise issues when speeding. Like all Royal Enfield bikes, this model also believes in minimalistic design language that flaunts a large round headlight, a raised mudguard as a good protection for the rider and the instrument console against dirt. Its striking features are its wheels. While its front wheel is huge, the rear one is rather fat and massive in order to offer great difficult terrain performance. It gets a fascinating fuel tank design, a great split seat design, and stylish and smart LED tail lamp to make it a great looking tough motorcycle. When seen from the bike’s right side, its exhaust design is going to grab attention the most.
On the other hand, the Royal Enfield Thunderbird continues with its original design that hasn’t lost its charm over the long period. However, there are some subtle updates on the new model that marks it different from the older model and keep things fresh for the Thunderbird lovers. The Thunderbird 350’s cosmetic changes are similar to that of the new Thunderbird 500. The cruiser now boasts of projector lamp in its headlight unit that is bare with no front cowl and no visor. The bike’s naked styling is accentuated by the turn indicators and instrument console that flaunt chrome garnish. The bike features a front fender that is compact and neatly goes with its multi-spoke wheel rim. There are actually more cosmetic updates that are visibly noticeable such as the bike fuel tank and the side panels that come with a new paint job, a new back rest for the pillion rider and a new split seat. The bikes long silencer with chrome finish adds to the bike’s good looks, while it also gets a shortened rear fender which also flaunts new more attractive and bright LED tail light. These are the main highlights of the updated Thunderbird’s cosmetic changes, while there are some others as well.
Engine and Performance
The Royal Enfield Himalayan is packed with a newly developed powerful 411 cc single cylinder, air cooled petrol motor that has the capability to churn out a maximum power output of 24.5 Bhp at 6,500 rpm along with a peak torque of 32 Nm at 4,000 to 4,500 rpm. The new range of engines from the house of Royal Enfield is more efficient as compared to the older engine series. Thus, these new mills offer better performance along with greater fuel economy. The Himalayan’s potent petrol engine gets skillfully marketed to a 5 speed manual transmission gearbox that is empowered with a carburetor fuel assembly. Interestingly, the Himalayan gets only an electric starter, which makes the motorcycle’s electrical more reliable.
The Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350 on the other hand comes powered by a twin spark 346 cc petrol engine that has been carried forward from the older model. This 4 stroke, single cylinder air cooled petrol mill is good enough to pump out a top power output of 19.8 bhp at 5250 rpm along with a peak torque output of 28 Nm at 4000 rpm. This refined engine has been skillfully coupled with a 5 speed manual transmission gearbox.
Braking & Suspension
The Himalayan being a very powerful bike also comes with powerful and precise braking system. It gets equipped disc brakes on both its front and rear wheels. It features a 300 mm 2-piston floating caliper disc brake up front, while a smaller 240 mm single-piston floating caliper disc brake does the duty for the rear wheel. This braking arrangement offers superb stopping power. The Himalayan is the first bike ever from the house of Royal Enfield that makes use of a mono-shock suspension system. The bike gets fitted with 41 mm telescopic forks suspension up front, while a Mono-shock suspension with linkage does the duty at the back. The bike gets very tough and massive tyres which ensure its true wild nature. It gets a 90/90-21 tyre for the front and a 120/90-17 tyre for the back along with spoke wheels for both the ends.
On the other hand, the Thunderbird 350 comes equipped with 41 mm telescopic forks suspension system for the front and twin gas charged 5-step adjustable suspension for the rear. For great and accurate stopping power, this bike comes braced with disc brakes for both its front and rear wheels. The machine on two wheels gets 280 mm disc brake for its front wheel, while a 240 mm Disc brake takes care of the rear wheel. The Thunderbird 350 gets a 19 inch tyre up front, while at the rear it gets equipped with a smaller R18 tyre.
Mileage & Price
Royal Enfield Himalayan offers a fuel efficiency of 25 km per liter on the city roads, while delivering a max 35 km per liter on the highway stretches, meaning the bike can offer a combined mileage of 30 km per liter. The Royal Enfield Thunderbird has the capability to offer a higher mileage. It can deliver a fuel economy of 30 km per liter in city conditions and 40 km per liter in the highways. Thereby, offering a combined fuel efficiency of 35 km per liter.
The Royal Enfield Himalayan is priced at Rs. 1.56 lakhs, while the Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350 is tagged at Rs. 1.42 lakhs (prices ex-showroom, Delhi).