Royal Enfield Thunderbird 650 - IAB rendering
Praveen M, Engineer-turned-motorcycle journalist. I'm a sucker for cruising down the highways, and twisties in the hills.
IAB’s in-house designer, Shoeb Kalania has made a speculative rendering of the Royal Enfield Thunderbird 650. There is no official word whether the brand will introduce this variant in the future.
The Thunderbird range is synonymous with laid-back cruising. With the arrival of the new 650 cc parallel twin engine, the bike’s cruising capability could go up a notch if Royal Enfield decides to plonk it in one. The rendering gives a fair idea of how the bike would look, if Royal Enfield makes one. Based on the rendering, the motorcycle’s frame shall be a double cradle unit, tuned as per the cruiser’s character. The ape-hanger handlebars would complement the cruiser image while providing easy-going ergonomics. Expect official accessories like saddlebags, windshield which would enhance the mile-munching quotient of the motorcycle.
The suspension would be the same as the Interceptor INT 650, but the front rake angle would be modified for the Thunderbird 650. For a traditional cruiser design, the front end bears a larger rim than the rear. The tyres would be from Pirelli, and brakes include discs with ABS on both ends. The Thunderbird’s massive 20-litre fuel tank should be sufficient for this motor as well. The twin-pod instrument cluster could have a distance-to-empty (DTE) indicator, which would be useful on long stretches on the highway. Interestingly, the 2015 Thunderbird 350 had the DTE provision in the digital display but was never functional. Later, Royal Enfield removed it altogether from the display unit.
The Royal Enfield Thunderbird 650 would be apt for customers who want an inexpensive cruiser that is even more highway-friendly than the Interceptor INT 650 and the Continental GT 650. It would lock horns with the Kawasaki Vulcan S, and the Harley-Davidson Street 750 in the Indian market.