We would understand if you consider a comparison between Royal Enfield Classic 350 and Thunderbird 350 to be a moot point. Some would even say it is comparing apple to oranges, but it is rare when a cruiser and a retro street bike both incorporate the same engine. Motorcycle enthusiasts associate factors like pride, heritage and pedigree with Royal Enfield motorcycles before they ponder upon aspects of performance or for that matter reliability. Therefore, every first time Royal Enfield buyer asks himself/herself this pressing question- “Do I buy the street or the cruiser?”. In the following comparison, we will try and state reasons that substantiate these offerings individually and offer our recommendation to try and answer that very question.
The Classic 350 is available in three variants, whereas Thunderbird 350 cc is only available in the standard model. The variants for Classic 350 are broadly bifurcated in terms of their price on basis of the colour schemes that they are offered in, however, the top-of-the-line model does get some additional features.
Prices (Ex-showroom, Delhi)
Prices (Ex-showroom, Delhi)
|Standard||Rs. 1,47,818||Rs. 1,37,213|
|Gunmetal Grey||N/A||Rs. 1,45,289|
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350cc
The modern iteration of this motorcycle now comes with a more rounded headlamp cluster which incorporates H7 55 / 55 W projector headlamps. The dials feature both analogue as well as digital gauges. Also seen on the bike is a high handlebar, teardrop fuel tank and LED taillight.
Thunderbird also comes with a hazard feature which intermittently flashes the side blinkers to ensure that the motorcycle is visible on highways and dark routes.
Royal Enfield Classic 350 cc
Royal Enfield Classic is a retro street bike and the keyword here is ‘Retro’. The instrument cluster is analogue and in terms of features you broadly get style accents like chrome headlamp casing, exhaust and rear view mirrors. The bike is available in a single saddle layout and comes with self-start ignition.
As compared to the cruiser, Royal Enfield Classic 350 doesn’t come with digital gauges.
In terms of safety, both bikes come with AHO (Automatic Headlight On) and are also available with BS-IV compliant engines.
Engine and Specifications
Since both the motorcycles are powered by the same engine, it must come as no surprise that both these motorcycles share the exact same specification in terms of the performance. Classic 350, however, manages to achieve a slightly faster acceleration time with an unsubstantial margin. Classic 350 also comes with a smaller fuel tank as compared to the cruiser-spec teardrop shaped tank on the Thunderbird, which means that in terms of the riding range, Classic 350 users will have to make more fuel stops.
|Specs||Classic 350||Thunderbird 350|
|Engine Displacement||346 cc||346 cc|
|Engine Type||Single cylinder, 4-stroke||Single cylinder, 4-stroke|
|Power||19.8 bhp||19.8 bhp|
|Gearbox||5-speed constant mesh||5-speed constant mesh|
|Start Mechanism||Self/ Kick start||Self/ Kick start|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||13.5 litres||20 litres|
|Reserve Fuel Capacity||2.5 litres||3.5 litres|
|Top Speed||130 kmph||130kmph|
|0-100 kmph||16 seconds||17 seconds|
Royal Enfield claims that Thunderbird 350 can deliver a claimed fuel economy of 53.4 kmpl and the Classic 350 fuel economy stat stands at 45 kmpl, which coupled with their fuel tank capacity will give you a riding range of 1068 km and 607 km, respectively.
Braking and Handling
At the front, both Royal Enfield Classic 350 and Thunderbird 350 come with 90/90 – 19 front tyres but at the rear Classic 350 is offered with 110/80- 18 rubber whereas, Thunderbird comes with a marginally bigger 120/80 – 18 rear tyre.
The standard Thunderbird model features disc brakes on both front and rear wheels but the dual disc brake setup is only available only on the Standard variant, whereas both Redditch and Gunmetal Grey models only come with rear drum brakes.
|Variant||Thunderbird 350cc||Classic 350cc|
Tyres and Wheels
|Tyre||Thunderbird 350||Classic 350|
|Wheels||Front: 19 inches
Rear: 18 inches
|Front: 19 inches
Rear: 18 inches
Royal Enfield Classic 350 is available in the Redditch colour scheme which is offered in Redditch Red, Redditch Blue and Redditch green. The Gunmetal Grey variant as the name suggests is only available in Gunmetal Grey colour scheme and finally, the standard model is offered in Black, Lagoon, Ash, Silver and Chestnut. A grand total of 9 colour schemes.
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350 is available in 5 colours viz. Flicker, Marine, Lightning, Stone Asphalt.
Royal Enfield Classic 350 and Thunderbird 350 face competition from the likes of UM Renegade Commando, Bajaj Intruder 150 and the new Bajaj Avenger and Dominar.
- Updated design, colour scheme and features
- Fuel tank capacity
- Comfortable riding position
- Heavy build
- Retro styling
- Good low-end performance
- Lack of digital gauges