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Royal Enfield Scram 411 Long-Term Review: 1500kms in the city

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Neil Nair

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Introduction

Royal Enfield Scram 411 Left Side View

It’s only been a month since the Royal Enfield Scram 411 entered our long-term fleet. But, the service due indicator is flashing already and the odo reads a healthy 1475kms as I write this report. For the entirety of that duration, the Scram 411 has been used predominantly in the city - commuting to office and shoots, or scrambling off the road to avoid Mumbai’s infamous traffic and then some more.

So here’s what appealed to me about the Royal Enfield Scram 411 after using it as my daily ride in the city, and some things that I wished were better...

What’s good?

Royal Enfield Scram 411 Left Side View

While looks are unrelated to how it functions in the city, the first thing I liked about the Scram 411 was its paint scheme and the way it attracts attention. Bright and bold, the Silver Spirit colour our long-termer is adorned in puts the motorcycle in its supposed fun and easy-going element unlike the ruggedness of the Himalayan. That said, it also helps the Scram stand apart from the Himalayan and saved me the trouble of answering whether it was the modified version of the latter.

Royal Enfield Scram 411 Handle Bar

Another reason for it being identifiable is the front end that has been stripped off a few components. But for me, it is the uncluttered cockpit. And each time I get on to the Scram, the view from over the handlebars is somewhat freeing; and not in a dreamy, poetic way. The instrumentation is simple with just the right info, there is no windscreen or the frame that the Himalayan comes with and it all just makes the Scram feel lighter and more accessible. Speaking of which, its seat height is just about perfect for short riders. I am 5’7” and can easily have both my feet flat on the ground. With a bit of tippy-toe, someone measuring 5’5” could manage the motorcycle with ease too.

Royal Enfield Scram 411 Bike Seat

What I also liked was the cushioning of the seat. It might feel firm to touch but even after being forced to linger for hours in Mumbai’s infamous traffic, it felt comfortable while offering room to move and adjust. The revised ergonomics feel comfy too, having you sitting in the bike rather than fully upright and on it.

Royal Enfield Scram 411 Left Side View

And as the traffic moves and the mayhem subsides, the Scram 411 can dart past, thanks to its meaty low-end torque. The shifts are short in the first and second cog, but as you reach the mid-range, the 411cc, single-cylinder engine feels right at home. Since a major chunk of my commute is on a six-lane road, slotting it into fifth gear as the speedo reads 80kmph is like hitting the Scram’s sweet spot.

But it’s not all rainbows and sunshine with the Scram 411 in the city.

What’s not good?

Royal Enfield Scram 411 Front Brake Lever

For one, the gearbox, which it shares with the Himalayan, also comes with the same gripes as the adventure motorcycle. It is clunky and the fact that the lever feels heavy to pull in does not help its cause either. On the other side, the throttle hand is fighting its own battles. With a moody throttle response and excessively wooden feel to the front brake lever, the Scram 411 managed to tire me out quickly in heavy traffic.

Royal Enfield Scram 411 Clutch Lever

Additionally, the motorcycle isn’t exactly agile. Even though it runs on a relatively smaller 19-inch wheel with a softer compound for its tyres, the Scram 411 requires quite an effort to steer. As speeds increase, it gets even stubborn and taut in its handling.

Royal Enfield Scram 411 Right Side View

That said, the 6.5kg drop in weight compared to the Himalayan is hardly noticeable. Moving it around is still a task and so is pulling it out of a parking space. And while I came to like the comfort of its seat and ergos, my views about its suspension setup are contrasting. Royal Enfield seems to have adjusted the rear suspension while lessening the travel at the front end by 10mm. Compared to the Himalayan’s somewhat plush ride, the Scram’s ride is stiff, kicking back on the small troughs and bumps in the tarmac. While I am on the lighter side of things, adding an 82kg pillion did not solve much either. The Scram only bottomed out and felt unsettled.

What’s next?

Royal Enfield Scram 411 Left Side View

Well, with everything said, the Scram 411, didn’t quite blow my mind in the city, which came as a surprise since it has been tweaked to be more of an urban motorcycle than the Himalayan. So for the next report, I will be riding it over a longer distance, say 600-700kms, to know if any of the Himalayan’s famous touring abilities have stuck on at least. And with that, we’re inching closer to telling you whether it makes sense to save a few thousand rupees and buy the Scram over the Himalayan. As things stand, the scores are now 0-1…

Bike Stats

Odometer- 1475km

Kilometres ridden this month- 1125km

Fuel Efficiency- 29.6kmpl

Photos by Kaustubh Gandhi

Gallery

Royal Enfield Scram 411 Left Side View
Royal Enfield Scram 411 Left Side View
Royal Enfield Scram 411 Front Brake Lever
Royal Enfield Scram 411 Clutch Lever
Royal Enfield Scram 411 Right Side View
Royal Enfield Scram 411 Left Side View
Royal Enfield Scram 411 Bike Seat
Royal Enfield Scram 411 Left Side View
Royal Enfield Scram 411 Handle Bar

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