Shootout: RE Thunderbird 500X vs Bajaj Dominar 400
Shootout No. 172
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 1.87 lakhs (Bajaj Dominar 400), Rs. 2.30 lakhs (RE Thunderbird 500X)
The Thunderbird 500X looks like a custom-made motorcycle while the Dominar 400 looks impressive with better fit and finish levels
Cruiser bikes. What comes to your mind when you think of cruiser bikes? Lots of chrome, laid-back riding position and gruff motors. However, both the motorcycles we’re comparing today miss out on the chrome and the gruff motors aspect but have the laid-back riding position part spot-on. Assuming that you’re not an RE fanboy (because no matter what bike is being launched in the market, an RE fanboy will settle for an RE only), we tell you which among these two cruiser bikes you should be putting your money on.
Motor Quest: The Thunderbird has been on sale in Asia for a lot more than a decade and finally, in its X avatar, the motorcycle gets tubeless tyres and alloy wheels to make it look like a modern cruiser. The Dominar 400 started its journey as the Pulsar CS 400 Concept at the 2014 Auto Expo and is Bajaj’s take on building a modern performance motorcycle.
Styling – In terms of styling, both the Bajaj Dominar 400 and Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500X look appealing and handsome. For the year 2018, both the bikes here get only cosmetic changes. However, it is the Dominar 400 that looks more stylish thanks to the gold-coloured alloys and the attractive paint schemes. Besides that, the Dominar also gets a full-LED headlight which makes it stand out during the night. The Thunderbird 500X, meanwhile, gets a projector headlamp with a circular LED DRL which does look good. Both the bikes get an LED tail-light and split grab rails. Alloy wheels on the Dominar 400 look better than the ones on the Thunderbird because of the gold finish and the design as well. The Thunderbird 500X is available in two youthful colours – Drifter Blue and Getaway Orange while the Dominar 400 is available in three colour choices – Canyon Red, Rock Matte Black and Glacier Blue. Overall, the Thunderbird 500X is a modern cruiser but only on the outside while the Dominar is a proper modern cruiser inside out.
Instrument Cluster and Switchgear – Both these motorcycles have completely different approaches when it comes to the instrument console. On one hand, we have the Thunderbird with its rather simplistic analogue dials with a compact digital display. The Dominar 400, on the other hand, has an all-digital console which looks completely different from that of the Thunderbird. The Thunderbird’s two-pod console features a tachometer on the right while the left pod houses a speedometer and a digital display. The digital display features an odometer, fuel-level indicator, clock, two trip meters and average speed.
The Dominar 400’s fully digital console looks more modern and offers pretty much the same information as that of the Thunderbird 500X. The tell-tale lights in the Dominar 400 have been placed on the fuel-tank which contains a side stand indicator, ABS light and the backlit Bajaj logo. Both the Dominar and the Thunderbird offer similar switchgear controls, however, the buttons on the Dominar have a sweet backlight and feel easy to operate after the sun has set.