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2012 AUTO EXPO! Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 launched

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Royal Enfield, the Chennai-based manufacturer of motorcycles that exude an old world charm, has just launched the new Thunderbird 500 today at the Auto Expo here in Delhi.

The Thunderbird has always been the tool of choice for those who persevere to ride into the sunset and this one will get you there a whole lot faster, all thanks to that unit constructed and fuel injected 500 cc motor that makes good for a wholesome 27.2 bhp.

Available in 3 shades of black for the body work and a blackened engine with polished fins, the motorcycle also features a redesigned seat to compliment the new positions for the meaty footpegs. Speaking of seats, the pillion pad can now be removed to accomodate more expansive panniers.

The handlebars have been tweaked to improve ergonomics, the forks are a girthy 41 mm and finally now you have hooks to er, hook up your bungee cords to tie down those bags, rather than looping them around the tail light bracket or such. Oh, and the forks have grown in girth to end up at 41 mm.

The headlights are really important on our roads and more so for the touring folk. Royal Enfield has endowed the Thunderbird 500 with a new headlight that incorporates a 55W projector lamp for the low beam and for the high beam, it works in conjunction with a 55W halogen. Also adding to the safety factor, the new T'Bird 500 features a disc at the rear, so when you do spot something in your way, you now have an increased capability to stop.

To keep you riding further with the least amount of discomfort, the comfortable riding position works very well with the increased capacity 20 litre petrol tank.

The Chennai based company has also launched its own line of riding kit and clothing, all of which will appeal to fans of the marque.