Royal Enfield Scram 411 Review: Himalayan Lite

Royal Enfield got the name of this bike wrong. Here’s why

Royal Enfield has been banging out great motorcycles of late, the Classic 350 stealing hearts of many last year. For 2022, though, the company has got a bit wrong. Its first offering for this year has been named the Scram 411, which we believe is the wrong name for the bike.

Why? Well, it is just the Himalayan, innit? Visually, the changes the company has made are just a handful, namely:

  • A smaller 19-inch front wheel
  • No tank brace
  • Lowered placement of the headlight
  • No centre stand
  • A single-piece seat

Are these changes making an impact?

Same Heart
The 411cc long-stroke motor reprises its role here on the Scram 411 as well. While it puts out the same 24.3PS and 32Nm here too, RE claims to have changed its ignition timing to make it slightly peppier than the Himalayan. We couldn’t really feel the difference to be substantial enough like we did between the Meteor 350 and the Classic 350. Hence, this remains something that we will address once we get the Scram for a proper road test.

Having said that, the engine mannerisms remain the same. You can lug this motor from 60kmph easily in top cog, making highway overtaking that much easier. In the city, one has to work the gearbox a tiny bit to keep it in the sweet zone. And that continues to be a pain as the gear shifts are clunky like they were on the Himalayan, and so is the heavy clutch action. It feels a bit smoother but that could be down to the barely-run units that we had on our first ride.

Overall, the good and not-so-good bits about this motor from the Himalayan carry over onto this bike as well.

Improved Ergonomics
We didn’t think it would be possible but Royal Enfield has managed to make the rider’s triangle even more relaxed and easier for the majority of the riders. Firstly, by pulling the bars 20mm closer to the rider and lowering them by 60mm, the leverage on offer has improved. This bodes well for riders with broad shoulders as they will no longer feel constricted on the bike. This makes the Scram 411 more manageable for city riding as well as tricky trail sections.

On paper, the seat height has gone down by just 5mm, and you might be wondering why not more. That’s because the new single-piece seat has been reprofiled with thicker foam. As a result, you don’t end up sinking into the saddle, and thus your bottom stays relaxed on long rides. Plus, there’s enough room for larger riders to move around in the seat as well.

Light And Easy Does The Trick
Without going into the actual physics of it, the Scram 411 does feel lighter to steer and easier to manoeuver through tight spots. The inherent laziness of the 21-inch front wheel has disappeared, making way for a slightly more agile steering. This makes city riding a breeze, helping the Scram get past slow moving traffic or dodge a nasty pothole that much more effectively.

The lightness in steering has a positive impact on off-road riding as well, as the Scram feels more composed and controllable over loose terrain than the Himalayan. The revised ergonomics also help out as the extra leverage makes the job of navigating the bike through some pretty technical sections quite effortless.

And don’t go by the brochure. Even though the front suspension travel is 10mm less than the Himalayan, 190mm to be exact, and the ground clearance has gone down by 20mm to 200mm, there’s no real disadvantage here. It feels just as competent wading through the unknown as its adventure sibling, perhaps even more for a newbie rider.

We jumped the bike, rode it over some rocky sections and even did a few fast-paced rough road sections. Over all of them, the Scram felt solid and composed. Not wishy washy or wallowy, which the Himalayan kinda is. And that’s because the suspension tune has been changed. The monoshock has less sag here and the front end feels tauter.

Lastly, while it feels more manageable than the Himalayan for sure, its 194kg bulk is still quite apparent, especially when you take it through some tricky technical trail sections. And in case you do drop the bike, you better wish you have some large muscles to get it back up on two wheels.

Not Alls Well
With the revised suspension tune, the Scram 411 does make the road surface more apparent to the rider. No longer does it waft over rumble strips or small bumps like the Himalayan. Having said that, it doesn’t feel jarring or crashy either, like some other adventure or scrambler motorcycles of the segment.

We continue to remain disappointed with the braking system on the Scram. There simply isn’t enough bite and stopping power to slow the bike down rapidly, you need to grab a handful of the lever to slow the bike down and even then, the system simply has no feel. What is a bigger hindrance here is the lack of switchable ABS. While off-roading, we did feel the need for the aid to be present and skimping on this front doesn’t serve the company well.

Lastly, Royal Enfield hasn’t been able to deliver on the same build and fitment levels as its more recent products like the Classic and Interceptor. The poor welds, erratic panel gaps and exposed wires does leave a bit of a bitter aftertaste, especially considering that this bike looks so much cooler than the Himalayan.

In this particular red-white combo, it does look smashing. And there are six more equally delightful options available. Even the Meteor-inspired offset-mounted console does add that bit of clean look to the design and is certainly easier to read. The Tripper pod on our test bike will be an optional fitment through Royal Enfield’s Make-it-Yours programme. Given its urban intentions, we just wish Royal Enfield had managed to integrate a USB charger on the bike.

The Lite Choice
Are the changes making an impact? Yes, they are, in a big way. They are making the Himalayan quite pointless actually. It is a great urban bike that you can spend your weekends checking out nearby destinations or even go trail hunting with your off-road buddies. And there lies the issue with the name. Scram. It would have been more apt if Royal Enfield had called this bike the Himalayan Lite. The Scram 411 is doing virtually 95 percent of the job that the ADV does and it arrives at a more affordable price as well. And for those who want a bike for the missing 5 percent aka the more serious off-roader, Royal Enfield has something special planned for next year.

Royal Enfield Scram 411 Video Review

Royal Enfield Scram 411
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