RE Thunderbird 350 Review: Amal shares his story!

By | September 22, 2014

First things first, I don’t own a TB, neither am a Royal Enfield fan. My friend happens to own one and I took it for a spin a couple of days. So here’s my take on the RE Thunderbird 350.

Design

I personally like the design of the TB. It’s certainly is not the best looking bike in the country but still, it does stand apart from other bikes.The big round projector headlamps, the mighty 19 litre tank, the offset fuel lid, the LED tail lamps and the matte finish engine, all do add character to the design. The instrument console and the new exhaust too sync in with the overall design of the bike. The only odd thing as far as design goes are the mirrors, which doesn’t really match the design in my opinion. 

Ergonomics

Hop on and you’ll notice that the bike is heavy, damn heavy(especially for a guy who is not well built). While the other manufacturers try harder to shed weight, people at RE think the other way. Sit on the bike and you will fall in love with the seat, it is well cushioned to give you maximum comfort. The seating position is like a typical cruiser. The front set foot pegs and the redesigned handlebars offers a very relaxed riding position.

THE RIDE

On the go the TB is not an accelerating missile.The Thunderbird 350 accelerates calmly . The gearshifts are smooth and precise, although it’s not the case with every RE. RE is not famous for building well refined bikes. The TB too is not an exception. There are vibrations in the foot pegs and handlebars, but one can live with these vibrations. The TB cruises close to 80kmph with ease and vibrations are minimal at these speeds. Above 80kmph the vibrations starts to annoy you, so it’s best to stay just below that level. The hardest part in the ride was to overtake. It took quite sometime to overtake buses and big trucks. Drop a gear to overtake and all you end up getting is vibrations . The engine heats up quite a lot and that will be an issue if you are wearing sandals

On the highway is where the Thunderbird belongs. It is very stable at high speeds and offer good amount of comfort. The TB doesn’t want you to take it through broken roads. It can handle small potholes and speed breakers. But very bad roads make the TB very unhappy.

Handling

The heavyweight is happy to change directions quickly on the highway. In the city I found it hard to maneuver the bike for the first few kilometers. As I became used to the position I found it easier.

What surprised me the most was the fact the 350 can tackle corners with ease. As I mentioned earlier, RE’s are generally very lazy to turn. The TB leans with very less effort and the foldable foot pegs means the bike won’t lift up while you’re cornering, like it used to be on the older bikes

But while taking a long curve I found the front end unsettles a bit, may be that’s because I am not used to the position. But the fact remains that the bike leans, it leans properly and effortlessly.

Braking

I was happy with the braking on the TB. Comparing with the rest of the RE line up, these brakes do their job pretty well. They provide adequate stopping power. It doesn’t have a very good initial bite but the braking is progressive. The bike stays very stable under hard braking , that too is a surprise from RE.

VERDICT

The TB350 is undeniably one of the best bikes that RE has built. There is considerably good amount of improvement from the old bikes. No, the bike is not as refined as the bikes of other manufacturers, but still the bike is worth paying 1.5 lakhs for a guy who doesn’t want his eyes bulged out every time he twists the throttle.

On my run I got a mileage between 45-50kmpl while cruising just below 80. That isn’t a bad efficiency while you’re touring, is it? That fuel efficiency together with a 19 L fuel tank will give you a very impressive tank range as well. The Thunderbird 350 is built for a purpose, and that’s to cruise on the roads giving the rider a comfortable and effortless ride. It does that well and I would say pretty well.

The TB is for the people whose prime preference is comfort. If you are looking for excitement ,you will be disappointed.

The words and photos in this post have been shared by Amal Ramdas. 

  • Adrian Brandon Rynjah

    Hey @akhilkalsh:disqus wondering if u could add me on facebook https://www.facebook.com/AdrianBrandonRynjah

    would really like to be friends, u might be very helpful, anyway u should seriously do a review of the continental GT please.

  • Harish Kumar

    45-50kmpl!!? That’s a lot man. Are you sure? I have not heard any RE giving anything more than 45. I mean this is not even fuel injected. Confused :/ I too test rode one long back. Same impressions. Except that I have never liked the handle position. I would rather go with the C350.

    • Akhil Kalsh

      I think if it’s in the mood, the TB350 can hit 45 kmpl. Doubt the 50kmpl thingy though.

  • Sourav Ray

    been in love with RE frm the time I hd learnt the word bikes maybe….n bought my 1st ride the TB350 ….delivered on10th sept 2014…..logically I m also a fan of the duke(nt rc coz I hate track bikes) and was abt to have the 390 but…like love is blind and heart always takes over the head…went for the TB. I recently customised it from performance pov and customisation as in fuel intake(carbs upgraded..mikuni),enhanced air intake and a free flow exhaust ….den..have a better sprocket se nw…All in all…I have been able to achieve reponse in post 3.5k rpm range(3.5-5.2k) where it was just noise and no performance with significant enhance in the top speed…Nw I feel…love is blind …and follow ur heart but I add to the saying…don’t forget to take the brains while following your heart…m a happy man nw..hv my love under my ass and yet I can do 130+(with some efforts 140-145) …pls don’t compare wid the duke or RC..jst read from the enfield POV…(and standards of our roads)

    • Akhil Kalsh

      OK.

  • vincent

    1f d worthy report

  • KS

    Hi,
    I was doing some research before buying TB 350. That time I was going through the option like Bajaj Avenger, TB 350 & Aquila 250. In all the reviews says it can cruise at 80 kph. and there is a huge difference in Price. Akhil I think it will be helpful if you give 1 good comparison and why someone should by any of these vehicles.

  • vivian

    Good one Rameta 🙂

    • Amal Ramdas

      Tnkx Vivian