Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500: Cruise Missile

Visually, the T500 looks stunning. Unlike the older T350, which has a very ill-fitting fuel tank that looks like an afterthought, the T500’s tank is well integrated and flows nicely into the bodywork. And it’s a bigger capacity – 20 litres! Which stretches its range out to 400km. There’s also clever design, like the placement, or rather displacement of the fuel cap from its conventional position – this not only looks good, it also helps you fill fuel to the brim. Of course, you’re robbed of the whole drama of jiggling the bike to pack in those last few drops more before you shut the chrome lid.

Chrome has always been an essential part of any cruiser and the T500 is no exception. It has been used tastefully all over, so the instrument casing, headlight and exhaust are all dipped in chrome. Adding a dash of 21st century to this classic design is the projector headlamp, single-ring parking light (very much like a daytime running light) and the five-bar LED taillights. Apart from being a styling element, the projector headlamp lights the road well and gives the T500 a distinct identity.