A new Royal Enfield Thunderbird has been spied by IndianAutosBlog.com reader Gokul. It seems to be a more affordable variant of the next-gen Royal Enfield 350X.
The camouflaged Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350X has its rear indicators placed next to its taillamps. That is similar to the present iteration of the motorcycle. However, the prototype is shod with the new fuel tank (confirmed by the shape and central location of fuel filling knob). Also, the chain is positioned on the left side of the rear tyre, while the rear brake is based on the right side. Besides that, the camouflaged motorcycle also has a split grab rail.
Interestingly though, all previous test mules of the next-gen Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350X have been seen with new split seats. In comparison, this test mule has a single-piece seat, similar to the one present in the BS-IV version retailed at the moment. Also, the rear suspension is blackened out and misses out on chrome finish.
The current Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350X is powered by a 346 cc air-cooled, carburettor based engine. This will change to a fuel-injected setup as seen in the BS-VI Classic 350 soon. Coupled to a 5-speed gearbox, the engine produces 20.07 PS of maximum power and 28 Nm of peak torque. The next-generation Thunderbird family (of which the spied motorcycle is a part of) is expected to get a bigger overhead cam engine instead of the pushrod based setup moving the intake and exhaust valves of the engine.
Royal Enfield has also confirmed that it will stop selling the Thunderbird 500 (also Bullet 500 and Classic 500) after 31 March 2020 in India. Because of the low demand for its 500 cc range, it doesn't find launching costlier, BS-VI version of the same feasible.