The Scram 411 retains a good chunk of an ADV’s capabilities and ditches almost all the flaws of one!
Photography: Amal Ramdas
Much hype had surrounded the Royal Enfield Scram 411, around its launch in March. Everybody knew what was coming, the exact specifications, and the rich lineage, as the Scram was based on the popular Himalayan, an ADV that has been in huge demand since 2016. What remained to be seen was how the reworked design and shift towards the scrambler Bodystyle would impact the rideability and overall livability of the motorcycle. We sampled the Royal Enfield Scram 411 for almost a week to get an idea of the same.
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Royal Enfield Scram 411: What’s Different From The Himalayan?
Think of Scram 411 as a stripped-down Himalayan. The overall structure and stance remain the same. However, the Scram 411 ditches a number of familiar components of the Himalayan such as the side braces, windscreen, luggage racks, etc.
It looks shorter than the Himalayan and slightly subtler as well. The design deviations are the most evident at the front. The halogen headlamp is low set and looks very old-school even with the tiny LED park light. The front fenders are short, to stick to the motorcycle’s ‘Scrambler persona’ and so are the rear ones.
The side view looks fresh with the 15 L fuel tank getting new sleeker side panels in place of the Himalayan’s massive metal frame, a neatly designed single-piece seat (The Himalayan has a split unit), and a reprofiled rear with a smaller grab handle and fresh-looking tail.
Unlike the Himalayan which gets 21-inch wheels at the front and 17-inchers at the rear, the Scram 411 gets a smaller 19-inch front and 17-inch rear rims. The front tyres of the Royal Enfield scrambler are wider as well. The CEAT Gripp XL rubber on these have the same tread patterns as the bigger ADV cousin. With the difference in wheel size and overall wheelbase in place, Scram 411 looks more proportionate than the Himalayan.
In short, Royal Enfield has given the Scram 411 a minimalist, practical design that looks and feels better than the Himalayan, owing to the careful decluttering done. The scrambler-ish design cues are kept safe on this motorcycle.
The instrument cluster sees a major departure in design from the one seen on Himalayan. It is in fact, the same unit from the Meteor 350, but with a different color for the speedo. Himalayan’s overcrowded dials and the compass are no more. The tripper navigation pod continues to be an optional add-on on the Scram 411 as well. There is, however, no tachometer, no USB charger, and no switchable ABS.
The quality of seats and switchgear are identical to those on the Himalayan. There are a few instances of ‘exposed’ welds on the Scram, much like its ADV cousin. But never mind, the motorcycle is quite appealing in the broader picture. Another reason for this would be the interesting color palette on offer- the Scram 411 comes with a choice of 7 colorways.
RE Scram 411 Has Reworked Ergos
Though the headstock angle and rear subframe remain unchanged from those of the Himalayan, the suspension on the Scram has been reworked and so have been the overall ergonomics. The steering rake angle is now slightly sharper and the handlebar feels a tad lower and slightly more reachable. The ground clearance is 200mm from the Himalayan’s 220mm, and the seat too is lower by 5 mm. Scram’s single-piece seat feels comfortable and supportive for most rides.
Scram uses lesser metal parts than the Himalayan, as many of the full-blown ADV’s metal components (like the fenders for example) are made of fiber here. It is thus lighter than the Himalayan by 10+ kilograms!
How Is It To Ride?
Except for the already-mentioned changes to the wheelbase and frame, the overall mechanicals of the Scram 411 are almost identical to those of the Himalayan. It has the Himalayan’s 411cc single-cylinder BS6 engine producing the same output figures of 24hp and 32 Nm. The gear ratios of the 5-speed transmission are familiar as well. Also unchanged is the heavy clutch feel from the Himalayan.
What you would notice while riding the Scram 411 is that it feels smoother and more refined than the Himalayan even with the same mechanicals. While the overall response and delivery remain identical to the larger ADV, the Scram feels slightly more agile and lively than the Himalayan. Unlike the Himalayan, there is no rattling felt on the Scram.
With a decent grunt offered in its mid-range, the motorcycle would pull decently to speeds of over 110 kph. However, we would like to keep it in the 80-90 kph range on highways for the best ride experience. Scram 411’s transmission would require you to fairly work on it in cities.
The ride and handling have also improved a lot on the Scram. The suspension has been reworked on this motorcycle. The front travel is down by 10 mm and stands at 190 mm. The rear shock has an identical spring rate and 180mm travel to the Himalayan but different damping. Courtesy of these, the overall ride has become stiffer. The smaller front wheel works well with these, to make the Scram 411 more dynamic and pleasing for road and highway runs. It feels evidently mature on roads and around corners. It is much nimbler and more agile than the bigger cousin.
The stiffer suspension does affect the ride quality as well, especially for the pillion. The rider and pillion would feel it to be jittery on rough patches and broken roads. However, we don’t intend to say that the Scram 411 is a very uncomfortable place to be on, but that the Himalayan had a more comfortable and settled ride on offer! The overall braking performance is identical to that of the new Himalayan. (You can read our 2021 RE Himalayan review for more insights!)
Scram 411: Can It Go OffRoads?
Before you take the Scram 411 for a clear road bike, let us shout it loud- RE Scram 411 is capable of taking mild and medium trails. With its reworked spring travels and new tyre sizes, it is not as capable as the Himalayan, but can definitely go to most places where you might want to have a weekend getaway at. We did take it to some medium gradients and gravel (Oh! The motorcycle felt more sure-footed on gravel than the Himalayan!) and the reduced vehicle weight and improved maneuverability made it easier for us to succeed. Not having a switchable ABS also limits the extent of off-road fun that one can have with this motorcycle.
The Sense It Makes And Who Should Buy One?
Priced in the 2.03-2.08 lakh range (ex-showroom), the Scram 411 is more affordable than the Himalayan. For someone who is not looking for a motorcycle for hardcore offroading on a daily basis, or for someone who is on the hunt for a motorcycle for daily office runs and occasional weekend getaways to say, a hill station, Scram 411 would make much more sense than a full-blown Himalayan. Better, nicer, and more comfortable road runs and occasional comfortable hill station-runs, all at a lower price.