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Royal Enfield launches Thunderbird in Kolkata

Posted on Nov 03, 09:56AM | IBNS

Motorcycle company Royal Enfield on Friday launched the new Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 and 350 motorcycles in Kolkata.

"We listened very closely to the needs of highway cruisers in India and designed a motorcycle that is extremely suitable for long distance riding with its range, ergonomics, looks, excellent braking, night riding visibility, luggage carriage capability, even clothing and accessories," informed CEO Royal Enfield, Venki Padmanabhan.

"When we launched Thunderbird in 2002, it was one-of its-kind motorcycle on the Indian roads that redefined the cruiser segment."

"Today, with the launch of the Thunderbird 500 with its unique torque 360-degree design language and its higher powered engine that has our signature flat torque curve, Royal Enfield has again upped the ante in leisure motorcycling," he added.

The motorcycle has 500cc Unit Construction engine, a 27.2 bhp power output being fed through an electric fuel injection system and 41.3 Nm torque built in for very accessible power.

"To complete the Royal Enfield range of highway cruisers, today we are also launching the all new Thunderbird 350 that rides on the same design principle as that of the Thunderbird 500," said Padmanabhan.

The company that only caters to a niche customers, vested a lot of attention into the lighting structure with unique LED ring endowed headlamp and LED tail lamps, 55W projector lamps (that deliver white lights differentiating it to the yellow lights of bikes) and high as well as low beam light to do away with the night time visibility problems.

When it comes to mileage, Thunderbird ensured it with a large 20L fuel tank covering a range of over 500 kilometers.

Thunderbird also delivers a macho look with high rise handlebars coupled with forward placed foot pegs and a low seat height to enable the rider to cover long distances.

"You can never have a motor cycle which doesn't have an emotional appeal and the brand has been associated with strong responsible personalities like police and military. Therefore, much effort was given to the designs," asserted the CEO.

The safety of the motorcycle has been taken care of with 41 mm thick forks in the front end, augment handling with back-lit blue digital trip meters that allows riders to keep track of total trip mileage, central steering lock and a disc brake at the rear.

The brand has included hazard lamp for the motorcycle which is for the first time manufactured in India.

"The new feature to the vehicle is availability of bungee hooks to provide the much needed bungee points for an Indian rider to tie luggage and a pillion grab rail, which is an all new pressure die cast component and lends to modern design of the vehicle," claimed Padmanabhan.

The motorcycles are priced at Rs.1,82,784 for Thunderbird 500 and Rs.1,43,726 for Thunderbird 350, both on road Kolkata.

While Thunderbird 500 will be available in Stone black, Flicker black and Twilight colours, Thunderbird 350 will be available in just the later two colours.

The brand has also launched an array of accessories starting from Toughmax denims with T40 Lycra from Investa with removable CE protectors at hip, leather jackets, to UV protected eye gears, AGV helmets, boots with dual lacing and zipper puller in addition to tee shirts and logo pin badges.

The company has been growing at a pace of 50pc every year with the Eastern region sales growth of 65pc in 2011, and 85pc over the average monthly sales volume of 2011.

"By the end of this year we will sell more than a lac motorcycles, while we started with just 7,000 at the start and registered a sale of 10,000 over the last couple of months," informed Padmanabhan.

The company still operates from the 10 acre plant in Chennai and is about to open a new 50 acre plant by the first quarter of 2013, investing a total sum of 150 crore to enable the manufacturing of 1,50,000 motorcycles in both plants combined, informed official.

"While Electra adds to 40pc , Classic contributes about 45pc and Thunderbird adds to 10pc of the total sales for Royal Enfield, the company has finally manged to have grabbed 1pc share of the total market," added Sr. Vice President Sales and Marketing, Shaji Koshy.

"With 180 dealers in the country, the company, in order to keep up with the growing demand, expanded its footprints aggressively with 2 new dealerships in the beginning of 2011 in the Eastern region and will also be adding 3 more dealers here," added Koshy.

"We already have over 100 authorized service centers along with two training centers in Chennai and Chandigarh. We are about to open one at Howrah in the East to empower the service persons more," asserted Koshy.

"With touring enthusiast forming the core of our customer base, the Thunderbird 500 gives them more power, comfort and style for long-distance riding," promised Padmanabhan.