Bullet 500 vs Thunderbird 350 Comparison Review

Published on: Feb 14, 2017
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350 vs Bullet 500 Comparison:


Pricing & Features Comparison: 
The Bullet 500, retails for 1.75 Lakh Rs on road Delhi, which is just 17,000 Rs. more expensive, than the Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350, costing 1.58 Lakh Rs.
In spite of being cheaper, the Thunderbird 350 is much better equipped than the Bullet 500. It gets a HID Projector Headlamp, LED Angel Eye and a Rear disc brake which is sorely missed on the Bullet 500.

Performance & Tractability Comparison:
 
Power-to-Weight Ratio (PS/ton): Thunderbird 350 - 103, Bullet 500 – 137 (difference 33%) 
Torque-to-Weight Ratio (Nm/ton): Thunderbird 350 - 146, Bullet 500– 212 (difference 45%) 

Power (PS@rpm): Thunderbird 350 – 19.8@5250, Bullet 500– 26.5@5100
Torque (Nm@rpm): Thunderbird 350 – 28@4000, Bullet 500 – 40.9@3800
Kerb Weight (kg): Thunderbird 350 – 192, Bullet 500 – 193

Displacement (cc): Thunderbird 350 – 346, Bullet 500 – 499
Gearbox: Thunderbird 350 – 5 speed, Bullet 500 – 5 speed

Reliability & After Sales Service Comparison: 
It is no secret that Royal Enfield makes the least reliable motorcycles in the market. Worse still, they have been making essentially the same vehicle for over 50 years and still haven’t succeeded in sorting out some of the major issues on their bikes. Apart from the excessive vibrations above 80 kmph, other issues like rusting, starter motor and other electrical failures, chain sprocket wear out, oil leakages, loosening of spokes, brake wear and wobbling continue to haunt RE to this date. There is no logical linkage between these reliability issues and the charm of a 500cc long stroke thumper and the fear of losing that charm as an excuse for not sorting the issues out, can only be believed by low-IQ people.

Fuel Efficiency Comparison:  
The Thunderbird 350 was just under 5 kmpl more efficient than the Bullet 500 in our back-to-back tests.

Test Mileage (kmpl): Thunderbird 350 – 31, Bullet 500 - 26

Fuel Cost (for 60,000 km): Thunderbird 350 – 1.50 Lakh, Bullet 500 – 1.80 Lakh

Resale & Cost of Ownership Comparison:  

Resale Value (after 5 to 7 years):
Thunderbird 350 – 85,000 Rs.
Bullet 500 – 85,000 Rs.

Total Cost of Ownership: (Price + Fuel Cost - Resale Value)
Thunderbird 350 – 2.25 Lakh
Bullet 500 – 2.65 Lakh  

Handling & Ride Quality Comparison:  

Wheelbase (mm): Thunderbird 350 – 1350, Bullet 500 – 1370

Ground Clearance (mm): Thunderbird 350 – 150, Bullet 500 - 135

Tyre Size:  
Front: Thunderbird 350 – 90/90R19, Bullet 500 – 90/90R19
Rear: Thunderbird 350 – 120/80R18, Bullet 500 – 120/80R18

Comfort & Ergonomics Comparison:  

Verdict:

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