Royal Enfield has never officially imported its Thunderbird “cruiser” into Australia, but could the new Thunderbird X models be the first?
The updated 500X and 350X Thunderbird models feature cast alloy wheels and tubeless tyres for the first time on a Royal Enfield and have classic 1970s cruiser styling that could make them appealing to young Aussies.
Last year the Indian company cheekily opened its importing headquarters in Milwaukee, home of the Harley-Davidson, with brave plans to conquer the US market.
RE have now announced they will import the new X models to the USA at $US3050 for the 500X and $2400 for the 350X.
That should cause President Trump apoplexy as he grapples with import duty issues!
So what about Australia?
We asked importer Urban Moto Imports and Royal Enfield Australia brand manager Mal Jarrett said: “no plans to import the Thunderbird X at this stage”.
“At this stage …”
Watch this space, because we reckon they could be a hit!
New Thunderbird X
Enfield’s Thunderbird was basically a Bullet with a larger 20-litre tank, longer suspension and cruiser styling.
The new X models now look more like the classic Triumph America and Speedmaster, but with the single-cylinder 500cc EFI and 350cc carby engines from the Bullet, Classic and Rumbler models which are imported here.
They have a blacked-out look, new seat, lower and sportier handlebars and fresh new colours: orange and blue for the 500, red and white for the 350.
But the biggest change is the tubeless tyres which would be handy on some of Australia’s craggy road surfaces.
The new X models should also appeal to a younger demographic attracted to the classic 1970s cruiser looks.
They would also come in at a decent price as the current 350 Rumbler is $6490 ride away and the Classic 500 is $8790.
Royal Enfield has expanded its model line-up in the past couple of years with the new Himalayan 400cc adventure bike and the parallel-twin Interceptor INT 650 and Continental GT 650.
The twin-cylinder models are expected in Australia some time this year but there is no word yet on price from Urban Moto.