Classic 350 vs Thunderbird 350 Comparison Review

Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350 vs Classic 350 Comparison Review:

Introduction:

Well, this is a big one, isn’t it? One iconic brand, one iconic model. To compare anything to a Royal Enfield Classic 350 is never an ‘apple to apple’ comparison. Nothing brings out the passion as much as the Classic 350 does, it isn’t a motorcycle, it’s a lifestyle to many. Indeed, it has been the most successful and top selling model for Royal Enfield. It has carved out a fan following of its own. Thunderbird on the other hand is an equally matched Motorcycle albeit based on a different rider in mind, they are two different ideologies.

Which one should you buy and for what reasons?





 Important Bits:



Royal Enfield Classic 350
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350
Ex –Showroom price (Delhi)
1.31 lacs
1.42 lacs
Engine Displacement (CC)
346 cc
346 cc
Power (PS@rpm)
19.8 bhp @ 5250 rpm
19.8 bhp @ 5250 rpm
Real World Mileage
37-45 kmpl
35-42 kmpl
Top Speed(Km/h) :
130 Kmph
107 Kmph
Colours
Mint
Ash
Chestnut
Lagoon
Silver
Black
stone
marine
lightning
flicker
asphalt



Pricing & Features:

The Royal Enfield Classic 350 retails at 1.31 lacs (ex. Showroom Delhi) and the Thunderbird at around 1.42 lacs (ex. Showroom Delhi). For the extra 11,000 the Thunderbird offers a dual-disc brake, Projection type headlamp, LED tail lamp, a hazard lamp and a larger 20 Litre fuel tank and a more functional Instrument cluster.


Build Quality & Refinement:

Royal Enfield is just not known for its Built quality and refinement. When you compare it to the other international brands, RE still lacks far behind and could see a lot of improvement in this department.

In the older days, if you owned a RE then your mechanic was your best of friend and only he would know what’s the ‘character’ of your motorcycle. That said, the reliability has hugely improved from those times owing to radical improvements in the engine.

Check direct video Comparison review



Performance:

Both Motorcycles have the same single-cylinder 350cc engine which offers decent performance, Power peaks at 5250rpm, however its best not to rev. it to the limit as the engine vibrations become a lot more noticeable. Both are meant to be comfy and bring out a laid back riding experience, therefore the best cruising range is around 3500rpm.


Comfort & Ergonomics:

In terms of the rider, both Motorcycles are very comfortable, yet we found that Thunderbird is more suited to longer rides thanks to its cruiser stance handlebar.  Both have ample saddle and cushioning when it comes to seating.

We found that for a pillion rider the Classic 350 gives more comfort, the Thunderbird could have had a little more space in that department. Also if you are planning to put large saddle bags then the Classic 350 has ample space and room to play with. The Thunderbird 350 offers backrest which comes handy when on a long rider. This backrest is also adjustable/removable to make room for the bags.

The instrument cluster on the Thunderbird does offer more information (again, keeping touring in mind).


Handling & Ride Quality

Ride quality is extremely good and a pleasure if you keep the revs in limits, for longer rides, Thunderbird 350 does offer more comfort. Also, the added disc brake on the Thunderbird offers largely improved braking.

These machines are not meant to cut corners but both navigate them fairly well.


Reliability & After Sales Service: 

Again, reliability can be improved, Royal Enfield has been successful in creating a heritage, however, and this is one department where RE can massively improve. Authorized Service stations network has certainly bumped up as compared to the olden days and many specialist shops have sprung up in almost all the cities who claim to be experts on Royal Enfields and even do a decent job. The core issue is the inherent product quality of the Enfields which can only be improved at the company level.


Verdict:

There is really no clear winner here and this review was not meant to find out one. Technically, both Motorcycles start at the same core level however, both are very differently positioned.

If you are in the market for a Royal Enfield with a budget of around 1.4 lacs then you cannot go wrong with either.

The question that you have to ask yourself is what kind riding you would be doing?

Reasons to buy the Classic 350:

1.    If you are going to commute within the city with short weekend trips then Classic 350 is a good option.

2.    If you want the ‘Classy’ and ‘Macho’ feel of riding a ‘Bullet’ then nothing offers this better than the Classic 350

3.    You can definitely take out the Classic 350 on longer rides (people do it all the time) however the ergonomics were designed keeping in mind Point 1.

4.    If you just love the Classic 350 but are still considering Thunderbird then heck, go for the Classic 350. Enfields anyways carry that legacy and passion so go for what you love.



Reasons to buy the Thunderbird 350:

1.    The Thunderbird platform was evolved for a more serious tourer in mind. It is evident from the way its handlebars are positioned, a 20 Litre fuel tank, and projection type lamps. This does not mean that it is not suited for the city. If long rides is your thing and you’re not particularly bothered about the Classic image then go for the Thunderbird.


Always use a chain cleaner and lubricating agent with a brush, refer below link for the products



Complete Tech. Specs.: 


Royal Enfield Classic 350
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350
Engine
Type    Single Cylinder, 4 stroke, Twinspark, Aircooled
Type    Single Cylinder, 4 stroke, Twinspark, Air cooled

Displacement  346cc
Displacement  346cc
Bore x stroke  70mm x 90mm
Bore x stroke  70 mm X 90 mm
Compression Ratio     8.5 : 1
Compression Ratio     8.5:1

Maximum Power        19.8 bhp @ 5250 rpm
Maximum Power        19.8 bhp @ 5250 rpm

Maximum Torque       28 Nm @ 4000 rpm
Maximum Torque       28Nm @ 4000 rpm

Ignition System           Transistorised Coil Ignition
Ignition System           Transistorized Coil Ignition

Clutch  Wet, multi-plate
Clutch  Wet, multi-plate

Gearbox          5 Speed Constant Mesh
Gearbox          5 Speed Constant Mesh

Lubrication      Wet sump
Lubrication      Wet sump

Engine Oil       15 W 50 API, SL Grade & above, JASO MA
Engine Oil       15 W 50 API, SL Grade & above, JASO MA

Fuel Supply     29mm, Constant Vacuum Carburettor
Fuel Supply     29mm, Constant Vacuum Carburettor

Air Cleaner      Paper Element
Air Cleaner      Paper Element

Engine Start    Electric/Kick
Engine Start    Electric/Kick

Chassis & Suspension
Type    Single downtube, using engine as stressed member
Type    Single downtube, using engine as stressed member

Front suspension         Telescopic, 35mm forks, 130mm travel
Front suspension         Telescopic, 41mm forks, 130mm travel

Rear suspension         Twin gas charged shock absorbers with 5-step adjustable preload, 80mm travel
Rear suspension         Twin gas charged shock absorbers with 5-step adjustable preload, 80mm travel

Dimensions
Wheelbase      1370 mm
Wheelbase      1350mm

Ground Clearance      135 mm
Ground Clearance      140 mm

Length 2180 mm
Length 2060mm

Width   790 mm
Width   790mm ( Without Mirrors)

Height  1080 mm
Height  1205mm ( Without Mirrors)

Seat Height     -
Seat Height     775mm

Kerb Weight    187 Kg (with 90% Fuel & Oil)
Kerb Weight    192 Kgs

Fuel Capacity  13.5 Ltr
Fuel Capacity  20 Ltrs

Brakes & Tyres
Tyres Fr.         90/90 - 19
Tyres Fr.         90/90 - 19

Tyres Rr.         110/90 - 18
Tyres Rr.         120/80 - 18

Brakes Front   280mm Disc, 2-Piston caliper
Brakes Front   280mm Disc, 2-Piston caliper

Brakes Rear    153mm Drum, Single Lead Internal Expanding
Brakes Rear    240mm Disc, Single piston caliper

Electricals
Electrical System        12 volt - DC
Electrical System        12 volt - DC

Battery 12 volt, 8 Ah
Battery 12 volt, 8Ah

Head Lamp: 60 W / 55 W, HALOGEN
Head Lamp: Projection type headlamp, H7 55 / 55 W

Tail Lamp: 21 W / 5 W
Tail Lamp: LED lamp with position light guides

Turn Signal Lamp       -
Turn Signal Lamp      
Hazard Light featured for the first time on an Indian motorcycle



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