ROYALENFIELD SCRAM 4T

REN

Urban commuter? Gravel road explorer? We didn't quite know what the Scram 411 was meant to be, so we sent two young testers out to get to know Royal Enfield's mini Himalayan.

Royal Enfield's Himalayan Scram 411 is advertised as a scrambler through and through. With rubber-gaiter adorned 41mm front forks and knobbly (ish) tyres it seems to fit the bill too. I'm jumping ahead a little, but, like most bikes of this ilk, the Scram 411 rarely felt comfortable with anything beyond the beaten gravel road. However, that would be at risk of underselling what turned out to be a genuinely fantastic little bike, and a worthy spinoff from the Himalayan that came before it.

 

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After my last foray into reviewing for KR magazine (with the stylish Honda CB300R in November Vol.1), I thought my figurative pen was down, and I considered myself retired. However, when the team invited me back to give the 2023 Himalayan Scram 411 a good run around, I couldn't say no. So, I slung a CE-protected knee over the Scram's roomy seat and set about putting it through its paces.

MID-SIZED SINGLE
At the heart of the Scram is a 411cc, single cylinder air-cooled engine spitting out a seemingly paltry 24.3hp. With such a power figure underpinning the project, it's fair to say that nobody's socks are going to be blown off here. That said, torque is available in abundance in the low end of the revs and to a lesser extent in the mid-range). Acceleration, however, isn't.  I don't think that's what the Scram is about though.

What did impress me was the extremely linear power delivery, and the consistency in which the fuel-injected engine delivered it. A 20-degree turn of the wrist is going to add the same proportion of power, every time, in every gear.

 

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It's smooth. A (predictably) underwhelming top end is the only blemish - but it's still more than enough to cruise along New Zealand's highways, but any more than an hour riding the top of fifth gear has the potential to drive me a little crazy.

It's natural to always want a little more, and, while I can't deny myself that thought, the now-familiar Royal Enfield single cylinder very much feels at home within the Scram 411's chassis.

Some extra cash also felt at home in my wallet.

During the course of my 70-odd test kilometres, the 411 returned a very healthy 3.31/100km average gas mileage.

 

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CHASSIS
There's pleasantly little vibration at any revs, courtes of the counter-balancer tucked awav in the mid-size single, and also in part due to the comfy ergonomics. Comfortable seems the best 

word to describe the Scram 411.

I think it's a bit of a looker, blending the retro-style exhaust and frame with modern-style fairings and paint. Added plastic sticks out near the front of the tank, emboldened with the

'Royal Enfield', which I personally found quite attractive - and the contours on the tank fit my knees just nicely. What didn't fit, though, was the plastic which juts out directly below the seat, which pinched into my calves whenever standing was required. I could relax my legs or shift my feet back on the pegs to avoid it, but both meant relinquishing some level of extra control over the bike.

 

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The single moulded seat is roomy and exceptionally comfortable, the bars are at a comfortable height for standing and sitting, the mirrors sit nicely in the edges of my peripheral vision, and the general build quality seems excellent. This all contributes towards cruisey, relaxed, and damned satisfying seated riding.

Despite the calve killers, the bike felt capable standing too; mounting many inconvenient curbs without issues, with 190mm of front fork travel lazily eating them up, and the 180mm of rear travel spitting them out, with little effect on balance or ride. Suspension as a whole was soft enough to absorb most bumps with nonchalance, but still taut enough to feel attached to the road.

The 19-inch/17-inch wheel size split is sensibly down from the 21-inch/17-inch wheels of the more dirt-focused Himalayan, and still provide plenty of stability on gravel when leaving the asphalt behind.

 

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CONTROLS AND DISPLAY
At the front, a dual piston, floating ByBre caliper (ByBrembo) grabs a 300mm disc, and a single piston ByBre floating caliper grabs a 240mm in the rear. With the steel braided lines, the ByBre's felt plenty capable to me. The obligatory dual-channel ABS system is fantastic; capable of a light touch or heavy smack as the situation demands. admit I lack the knowledge and experience to understand why it felt so good relative to what I've experienced elsewhere, but it nevertheless lent me bucketloads of confidence in grabbing the brakes hard, even on wet asphalt and loose gravel. The front brake lever is fairly responsive, and the clutch pull is light, but the reach is a little extended to be comfortable for both. Reach-adjustable levers would've been nice here.

Also perched on the bars are the analogue-digital hybrid instruments, consisting of a dual mph and km/h readout which I find cluttered and a little annoying; why both?. There's an LCD screen which Royal Enfield claims 'tells you all you need to know' (..except gas mileage), and the now-optional digital pod, which delivers their (surprisingly solid) proprietary Tripper Navigation system via Bluetooth. The noticeable emission is a tachometer, perhaps reflecting the bikes cruisey nature. Definitely a missed feature for me.

 

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HANDLING
On our mix of bumpy asphalt and sweeping gravel, I found the 411 to be really quite planted and stable. There's a flip-side to that, of course, where that stability comes at the cost of nimble agility. I find the 411 somewhat 'reluctant' to lean over. Jump on anything with a shorter wheelbase, skinnier tyres, or even just a sportier outlook and it's a night and day difference. It's not bad, just what it is. That planted handling and consistent power delivery is great fun on gravel roads, and getting the back end loose is joyously easy. As with other modern Scramblers, it's not a bike to go fully off road, where there's a constant battle to stay upright. All of that inertia against lean makes it all the more difficult to correct imbalances back towards vertical. Simply put, it's a modern Scrambler, not from the era when the scrambler was the motocrosser of its day. Understand that and you'll be a happy chappy/ chappess.

THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT
If you're looking for the quick and nimble café racer to whip around tight country roads, the Scram 411 isn't it. Likewise, if you're looking for a road legal dirt bike capable of roosting through a berm or two, the Scram 411 isn't it either. But... if you're looking for a comfortable and capable machine that looks sexy, is a pleasure to ride and incredibly beginner or returnee friendly, the Scram 411 nails that sweet spot. And, to be perfectly honest, If I had the money the Scram 411 is where I'd be spending it. I liked it that much.

 

Article kindly provided by: kiwirider.co.nz

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