Royal Enfield Scram 411 feels like a Himalayan in most ways yet it is able to please you with its qualities that aren’t like the ADV
Royal Enfield hit a gold mine when it launched Himalayan back in 2016. It was the first true adventure bike for the entry-level segment in India which only had a Hero Impulse (a not-so-worthy predecessor to Xpulse) at that time. Like all Royal Enfield motorcycles, Himalayan too had its limitations.
However, in this case, limitations had more to do with riders than the bike itself. Its daunting appeal, heavy feel, difficulty in manoeuvring and very tall stance, made it a complicated affair for newbie riders. With feedback received from buyers, Royal Enfield decided to offer something simpler to the buyers in terms of accessibility.
Hence, it led to the birth of Scram 411 which is a leaner, a little less sophisticated and a more affordable derivative of Himalayan. It promises to do almost everything that the latter is able to do and offer a bit more. The new bike offers an easier riding experience for someone who is looking to buy his/her first big bike. So is it as fun as Himalayan or does it fall short in an attempt to be something entirely different? Let’s find out.
Design- Same yet Different
At first glance, one can clearly identify its Himalayan lineage with a similar structure and stance. That said, multiple components have been deleted from the package which lends Scram a whole different appearance. For starters, gone are those huge side braces, that large windscreen and beak upfront and a nifty luggage rack rear.
All these deletions have resulted in a more minimalist and simpler design that looks aesthetically pleasing. Scram 411 also receives subtle variations in styling like a retro round headlamp encased within a new metal cowl and a new single-piece seat as compared to a split unit in Himalayan. In a typical scrambler fashion, Royal Enfield has used shorter front and rear fenders.
With the exoskeleton missing, the bikemaker has incorporated a small panel on each side of the fuel tank with the Royal Enfield branding imprinted on it, thus lending a distinct touch to the motorcycle. Other highlights like a sculpted fuel tank, a raised tail section, an upswept exhaust canister and fork gaiters have been carried forward from its ADV sibling.
Another area where Royal Enfield has aced is the colour options on offer in Scram 411. A total of seven paint schemes are on offer with this bike. We especially love the one wrapped around our test bike- Silver Spirit which contains a dark theme with contrasting neon green highlights accentuating the bike’s sportiness.
Ergonomics, Features, Quality
Major differences with Himalayan are felt when the rider takes to the saddle. For starters, the handlebar is now 60mm lower and 20mm closer to the rider which makes for a more comfortable riding posture. Rider’s seat is broad with ample cushioning that comes to aid when touring long distances. However, that comfort doesn’t translate to the pillion thanks to its odd shape and limited size.
In terms of features, it gets bare basic equipment with a halogen headlight and turn indicators, LED taillight, a single-pod semi-digital instrument cluster and a side-stand engine inhibitor as standard fitment. It even misses out on a USB charger which at this segment is a must. Tripper Navigation is offered only as an optional accessory through Royal Enfield’s MIY program.
As far as quality is concerned, Royal Enfield has managed to package it well enough. Quality of seats and switchgear are decent though they lack a premium feel. The offset instrument console has been borrowed from Meteor 350 but gets a different colour treatment. One major drawback is the quality of the Tripper Navigation display which isn’t much of a use when viewed under direct sunlight.
Ride & Handling- Some Changes Felt
Scram gets a shorter 19-inch front wheel instead of a 21-inch unit in Himalayan which results in a smaller rake angle for the front suspension, therefore, leading to a tighter steering geometry. It also translates to a shorter wheelbase and a lower ride height of 200mm as compared to 220mm in Himalayan. As a cumulative effect, all this results in sharper and more precise handling, especially around twisties.
The motorcycle gets a kerb weight of 185 kilos (without a centre stand) which is 14 kilos lighter than its ADV sibling. This reduced weight does not make much of a difference in a static condition as it still feels heavy managing in a tight parking space. However, it does feel a lot livelier when manoeuvring through tight spots in traffic or when pulling the throttle hard thanks to the lighter front end.
Enfield has also stiffened the suspension a bit more to improve its on-road mannerisms. A firmer setup has resulted in a more planted and assured ride on tarmac which incites more confidence in the rider. That said, it also has its downsides, as bumps and potholes are felt more sharply. Front suspension travel has been reduced by 10mm which doesn’t make any noticeable effect on its off-roading capabilities.
During our testing stint, we took the Scram through some very harsh terrains which it was able to overcome with relative ease. Surely the smaller front wheel will have its limitations, especially in extreme rocky terrains but Scram 411 will be able to overhaul most adventure trails depending on the rider’s skill set.
Engine Performance- Same Old, Same Old
Scram 411 gets the same 411cc single-cylinder air-cooled engine that dishes out 24 bhp at 6500rpm and 32Nm of peak torque at 4000-4500rpm. Although output and construction of the engine remain identical, Royal Enfield claims that it has made changes to its ignition timing and this same engine mapping will be available for Himalayan as well.
However, this does not result in any noticeable change in the bike’s performance. As mentioned earlier, Scram 411 feels more agile and slightly livelier thanks to the reduced weight at its front end. Throttle response remains good enough but there is a definite lack of surge felt at the top end.
Ideally, one would want to keep the engine revving in mid-range in order to extract the best out of this motor. Vibrations from the power mill are very well contained and only mild vibes are felt once the speedo needle hits the 100kmph mark. Scram is best enjoyed at speeds between 80 to 90 kmph where one can cruise all day long.
While the engine remains quite tractable in most conditions, for instant overtakes one is often found to be one gear too high for the motor’s liking. Speaking of gearbox, it gets the same 5-speed unit which is quite smooth although positioning of the shifter could have been better as we found it a bit too much inwards. The clutch lever also takes a lot of effort and a continuous long ride throughout the day, especially in city traffic, would lead to an aching left hand.
Braking setup has also been carried forward from Himalayan hence it provides adequate bite. It misses out on a switchable ABS that could have further amplified its off-road credentials but the dual-channel setup does work and provides a more assured riding experience on tarmac. It also receives the same set of rubber from Ceat Gripp that is equally potent on-road as well as off-road.
Scam 411 has been touted as an easier and more accessible version of Himalayan but it manages to fare only slightly better than its ADV sibling in these aspects. Also, priced between Rs 2.03 lakh and Rs 2.08 lakh (ex-showroom), it isn’t significantly cheaper as well. The one area where it clearly trumps its donor model is its looks thanks to the funky paint schemes and compact proportions.
In the process of simplifying the riding experience, Royal Enfield has created a product that isn’t going to set any benchmarks for any of its qualities. However, it will be able to fulfil almost everything that Himalayan does but with slight ease and more comfort and that is where this motorcycle shines.
In short, Scram 411 will mostly attract buyers who love Himalayan for what it offers but it won’t be their preferred choice due to its intimidating and heavy appearance. It is very well known that Himalayan isn’t everyone’s cup of tea because to enjoy its full potential, one needs to develop a certain level of skill set. Hence, amateur riders would find it easier if they upgrade to Scram 411 which presents itself as a more likeable alternative to Himalayan.