Long-ride review: Royal Enfield Scram 411

The Scram 411 is based on the Himalayan motorcycle, but is it as comfortable on long rides? We ride it over a thousand kilometres to arrive at a conclusion.

The Scram 411 is a unique motorcycle. Give it to a seasoned rider, an adventure biker or someone who has just learnt riding, and all would possibly be at equal ease astride it. It is based on Royal Enfield’s Himalayan motorcycle, gets the same 411cc petrol engine (24.3 bhp, 32 Nm), but is 7.5 kg lighter (at 183.5 kg).The Himalayan is Royal Enfield’s most comfortable motorcycle (on long rides and off the roads). The riding position it offers is textbook-perfect. Weight is equally distributed on the three parts of the body in contact with the motorcycle—hands, buttocks and legs. Vibrations are controlled, and one can comfortably ride for hours at speeds of about 80 km/h.The Scram 411 is developed on the Himalayan, but is it as comfortable on day-long rides? We put it to the ultimate test by riding it from Gurgaon in Haryana to the basecamp of Tungnath in Uttarakhand—the world’s highest Shiva temple—a distance of about 500 km one way, and 1,000 km round trip.

The ride

Gurgaon to Rishikesh is a six-lane highway. Riding the Scram 411 is effortless, and surprising—while it accelerates slowly for a 411cc bike, it’s the 70-100 km/h acceleration, even in fifth gear, where it surprises you with its insane power, and so overtaking long vehicles on the highway is a breeze.

Unlike the Himalayan, however, the Scram doesn’t have a windscreen, and so the wind blast tends to tire the rider. In addition, as compared to the Himalayan’s front 21-inch tyre, the Scram 411 has a 19-inch front tyre, and that means the rider may have to marginally slouch, putting more pressure on the arms.

On wavy mountain roads, the Scram 411 is amazing to ride, especially its cornering ability and the Ceat tyres it rides on are a level above.

Overall, the Scram 411—at least on long, intercity rides—isn’t as comfortable as the Himalayan, possibly because the latter has a more upright riding position for an average-height Indian adult (5 feet, 8 inches), its split-type seat offers marginally better lumber support, and the windscreen reduces wind blast that can both tire and dehydrate the rider.

The end-result is that the Scram 411, at least on long rides, can punish you with sore bottom and shoulders, unless you take enough breaks while riding.

The Scram 411 is quite fuel efficient—on 10 litres of petrol, it travelled 456 km, and so the average fuel efficiency on the highway is 45.6 km/litre (in urban stop-and-go traffic, it might reduce).

The display

The Scram 411 gets the navigation app (Tripper) as an accessory, but during low-light conditions the bright light of the trip computer as well as of the Tripper can dazzle the rider’s eyes; I couldn’t find a way to reduce the intensity of that light (the Night Mode either automatically switches on, or you have to use the Royal Enfield app). In pitch dark conditions, it appears so bright that it can be dangerous riding the Scram 411. It should have a physical light-intensity control button.

The ‘information display’ shows you Trip A and B, odometer, speedometer, fuel-level indicator, time, reserve-trip indicator and gear indicator. But it doesn’t show you engine RPM, distance-to-empty, real-time and average fuel efficiency, compass, etc. A new-age bike should have all this information.

Pricing

Ex-showroom prices start at Rs 2.03 lakh, up to Rs 2.09 lakh. While it is competitive, just by paying Rs 12,000-odd extra you can buy the Himalayan, which comes across as a bigger motorcycle, more comfortable, and marginally more capable both on the road and off it. Similar motorcycles from other companies in its price range include Yezdi Scrambler (Rs 2.05 lakh), Bajaj Dominar (Rs 2.17 lakh) and KTM 390 Adventure (Rs 3.28 lakh).
(Prices are ex-showroom, Delhi)

Scram 411 versus Himalayan: So similar, yet so different

—The most apparent difference is design. The Himalayan looks more like an adventure motorcycle, and the Scram 411 more a city bike but reimagined for today’s taste and age.—The Himalayan has a windscreen, split-type seat, rear luggage tray, centre stand and bigger front tyre (21-inch), and the Scram 411 has none of these (it gets a 19-inch front tyre).—While the Himalayan is a smart-looking motorcycle, the Scram 411 is smarter. It gets a choice of bold new colours—from vibrant red to white and blue and more. It also is marginally easier to ride in urban stop-and-go traffic conditions.

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