Royal Enfield Scram 411 first ride review | A more accessible Himalayan?
When leaked images of what would eventually be christened the Royal Enfield Scram 411 started to surface a few months back, a lot of questions started to arise — is it going to have a different engine, will it have different kit, what front wheel will it have, will it be lighter, is it even necessary? Then, we finally got the call to pack our bags and head to Bangalore to put all these questions to rest. So let’s find out what the Royal Enfield Scram 411 is all about shall we?
Royal Enfield Scram 411 design
The Royal Enfield Scram 411 is basically a Himalayan in Scrambler format. So, let’s look at what RE has done differently on the Scram 411 over the Himalayan. Taking a look at the bike from the front will reveal that the Scram 411 has ditched the windscreen, beak and fuel tank rails that lent the Himalayan its identity. What Royal Enfield has gone for is a more bare-bones minimalist bike. There now is a cast aluminium cowl to fill the space around the headlamp unit. On the tank, you have this new panel on either side with different graphics based on which variant you choose. Speaking of variants, there are three to choose from, the base variant which is available in three single-tone schemes with a single accent colour and then there are the mid and top-end variants which get two tri-tone models each. The next big change is the instrument cluster. You get the same off-set instrument cluster found on the Meteor 350 with a different graphic insert, adding to the bike’s scrambler stance. The Tripper Pod navigation unit that you see in the images is an add-on that is a part of the Make It Yours catalogue and doesn't come as standard even on the top-end variant. The instrument cluster does the job well but if I were to nitpick, I would have preferred if Royal Enfield stuck to the Himalayan’s more purpose-built instrument setup. The next change is the single ribbed seat over the split setup that the Himalayan uses. Now, despite being a single-seat, it follows almost the same profile as the Himalayan seat. Meaning it doesn’t have a bench-type profile that you would expect from a Scrambler. But, the seat is comfortable. We did a 70km ride on the highway and I felt zero fatigue or soreness so no real complaints on that front. In continuation with the Scrambler theme, The rear end i.e. the taillight has been tucked under the seat and the indicators are now mounted on the rear fender. The design of the Scram 411 is fresh but familiar and it is a handsome package overall.
Royal Enfield Scram 411 Chassis
The Royal Enfield Scram 411 sees the biggest changes in this department. To alter the temperament of the Himalayan and to make it one more suited for the urban jungle, Royal Enfield has ditched the bigger, off-road focussed 21-inch front wheel for a more on-off road style 19-inch unit. This switch has translated to a bike that is significantly easier to steer and manoeuvre in general. This is also down to the wheelbase being 10mm lesser than that of the ADV. Now I’m not saying that the Himalayan was a lazy bike by any means but the Scram 411 just has a livelier front end. It responds faster to steering input making it that much easier to live with as a tool to commute on daily and also have fun in the corners. The Himalayan was always a fun bike to ride in the twisties despite its off-road intentions and the Scram 411 takes that fun quotient one step further. Apart from this, the handlebar is also now 60mm lower and 20mm closer to the rider making it more comfortable for seated riding.
In terms of suspension, the bike uses the same mechanical setup as the Himalayan but the change of the front wheel and an alteration in the sag settings has resulted in a loss of 10mm of suspension travel on the front but it still stands at a healthy 190mm upfront and 180mm at the rear. The smaller front wheel has also resulted in 200mm of ground clearance which is just 20mm less than the Himalayan and still a whole lot more than even some ADVs out there. The seat height has gone down by 5mm to make it an even friendlier 795mm. Okay, so now that we know that the Scram 411 is more comfortable on the road, what about off it? After all, it is a scrambler. Well, I’m extremely happy to report that the Scram 411 is every bit as fun of a bike off the road as the Himalayan is, almost as capable too. The 19-incher didn’t really hinder my progress off-road and by off-road I mean the trail section at BigRock Dirtpark in Kolar, so you know it is serious. It was only in the places of the course where there were bigger boulders and obstacles where I had to wrestle the bike a bit, but then again how often would you actually be riding the bike in terrains like that. Despite the handlebar being lowered, the standing position doesn’t feel compromised and you can still straddle the bike with ease. Now, the changes to the bike have translated to a roughly 6.5kg weight savings, but this difference isn’t extremely apparent. The savings come from the removal of the tank rails, the windscreen, the redesigned grab rails and the removal of the centre stand. In my opinion, Royal Enfield should have done more and reduced the weight further but considering that it is basically a Himalayan without a few bits and bobs, I can understand why they didn’t mess with the platform too much. On the braking front, you get the same brake setup with a 300mm front disc with a two-piston calliper and a 240mm disc with a single-piston calliper at the rear. The brakes work well but what’s disappointing is the lack of switchable ABS which is a feature that shouldn’t have been slashed, considering how capable the bike is off-road.
Royal Enfiled Scram 411 engine
This department is where you will probably see the least changes in comparison to the Himalayan. The Scram 411 uses the same long-stroke 411cc single-cylinder air-cooled engine that produces 24bhp at 6500rpm and 32Nm of torque between 4000 and 4500rpm. It also gets the same gearing. In terms of changes, Royal Enfield says that they have tuned the fuel injection system and the fuelling of the bike to be slightly more aggressive and that this same map will be used on the Himalayan henceforth as well. Now in terms of noticeable differences, the low-end and mid-range does feel a bit more potent than on the current generation of the Himalayan. Refinement levels wise, the engine is one sorted package. Over the years Royal Enfield has put in a lot of effort to make this engine as refined and smooth as possible and that is certainly noticeable here. You barely feel any vibes unless you’re really thrashing it, which on this engine layout is pointless anyway. The lack of wind protection doesn’t really come in the way of highway cruising and the only time I can see it make a difference is if you are riding in sub-zero temperatures. Speaking of highway cruising, comfortable cruising comes at around 95-100kmph and this leaves you with enough room to make quick overtakes. The better defined low and mid-range performance really comes in handy when you are tackling slower paced trails and that will be a beneficial upgrade for the Himalayan as well.
Royal Enfield Scram 411 Make It Yours
As has become customary with all other Royal Enfields, the Scram 411 also gets a bunch of accessories and modifications under the ‘Make It Yours’ portal. These include most of what is already available for the Himalayan plus a few extra components like a new seat, a centre stand and the tripper navigation pod.
Royal Enfield Scram 411 verdict
Has Royal Enfield delivered on its promises of making the Himalayan a friendlier, more approachable bike to take on the urban jungle and everything in between? The short answer is yes. The 19-inch front wheel has made the bike one that is much easier to ride on the roads while still retaining at least 85 per cent of the Himalayan’s off-roading prowess. Who is the Royal Enfield Scram 411 for then? Essentially, the Scram 411 is for someone who doesn't want to commit to a full-blown ADV like the Himalayan and wants something that can handle a bit of everything. That is exactly what the Scram 411 is, a perfect tool for someone who wants to conquer the city on the weekdays and kick up a cloud of dirt on the weekend all in great style. Considering that the Scram 411 will cost a bit less than the Himalayan I sense that Royal Enfield has a winner on their hands. My only concern is that people might just pick this over the Himalayan because that’s just how good it is.