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Fancy a funked-up sub-species of the Himalayan… then here you have it

WORDS AND PICTURES | MICHAEL COWTON

Do you like plodding along B roads, in no particular hurry, simply concentrating on the road, of course, but admiring the scenery too? Heading into an urban environment, do you like to weave your way through traffic and have plenty of pulling power at traffic lights to show a wee burst of speed to get ahead of the crowd? Or how about jogging along the occasional dirt track and feeling safe and secure whilst doing so? If you nodded your head to any of the above, then I humbly suggest you take a closer look at the Scram.

RE Scram 411

Coming from the Royal Enfield stable renowned for its superbly crafted Himalayan and Continental GT 650, we might have expected the brand to poke its nose eventually into the ADV cross-over market, a trend that, in fact, has been with us for over half-a-century. Deleting the letters ‘bler’ from the word Scrambler was probably a choice marketing decision in order to set it aside from the rest of the field. Still, it doesn’t really matter. The Scram is still a bike built for street, off-road or dirt use, and it does all three very well indeed.

RE Scram 411

The retro styling, spoked wheels, dual-purpose knobbly tyres, upswept exhaust and single cylinder motor kind of give the game away. But most of all, it’s fun to ride. Yes, I know, scramblers are supposed to combine both agility and speed. The Scram certainly has the agility. It’s light and easy to flick around; the gear changes smooth; the brakes adequate; and the seat has been uprated and is decidedly more comfortable. But… don’t expect it to be quick, because it isn’t, and don’t expect to be able to hammer it along the motorway because despite its top speed purportedly to be around 80mph, I didn’t push it to its limit. It felt perfectly at ease at 60. Approaching 70 and the mirrors became a blur, and when I wanted to make faster progress, the bike seemed, well, pissed off that I was pushing it so hard.

RE Scram 411

Check out Royal Enfield’s website, click on the Scram, and a video shows a rider with plenty of prowess tear-arsing around performing ‘Ready, Set, Scram’ circular manoeuvres on a dry dirt bed, kicking up a plentiful supply of ‘grit gets in your eye’ muck into the bargain. Impressive stuff. A kind of reckless ‘Don’t try this at home’ enthusiasm unless you know what you are doing. And that’s the beauty of the Scram, because you can throw it around. It looks nice too, a kind of funked-up sub-species of the Himalayan, if you please.

RE Scram 411

Speaking of which, there’s the same 411cc air-cooled single four-stroke motor as used in the Himalayan, producing 24.3Hp and 32Nm of torque, plus a five-speed gearbox. So, it’s not a nut job by any means, but it’s going to suit both novices and more experienced (read mature there too) riders looking for something separate from the norm. It’s a comfortable, capable machine, and with a price tag of just £4,599 (yes, you read that correctly) it won’t make you wince when you count out the bank notes.

Earlier, I mentioned that the brakes were adequate. The front could definitely benefit from a tweak, whilst the rear proved a real stopper once I had found the toe of my boot resting on the small brake pedal. If you have already ridden or own the more adventure-biased Himalayan, take note of the chassis’ geometry. Whilst the frame remains the same, the only real thing of note is the reduction in wheel size from 21 to 19 inches, which helps in cornering ability.

RE Scram 411

Upgraded forks might make for a more assured ride, although it doesn’t detract from the overall enjoyment of the Scram as it merrily skips along country backroads. And as for the riding position, the seat height, at 795mm, is 5mm less than the Himalayan, meaning the bars are slightly higher, offering a more upright, comfortable stance, so plaudits for that too. I found no issues with the clutch, and the gearbox is as smooth as silk. Well, perhaps not exactly silk, but there’s a nice, positive feel when changing gear.

What you don’t have is a screen or, more relevant in this case, crash bars, so it’s on you if you do take it off-road and end up in a muddied heap. However, it does come fitted with ABS as standard, although the rear cannot be disengaged like the Himalayan, should you want to head down a dirt track.

RE Scram 411

It would be churlish to criticise the motor and question why Enfield hasn’t given it a bit more grunt, because that would only ruin the bike’s easy-going, playful nature. And if the Himalayan’s sales are anything to go by, owners won’t be too fussed about performance.

The Scram is solid, reliable, characterful, built to a budget, and the tank will give you a good run for your money, fuel-wise. So, to recap. The brakes do their job (the single two-piston calliper is built by ByBre, a subsidiary of Brembo, with a braided line as standard, but the front is somewhat lacking in feel); the mirror vibration at motorway speed is a slight issue; the level of finish is up to RE’s usual high standards; and the price speaks for itself. One concerning issue…  my test bike clock was showing early signs of condensation.

Speaking of which, the digital analogue circular instrument cluster provides easy access to essential information, including an analogue speedometer, indicator, trip mileage, time, fuel gauge with a low warning, and service reminder. Another useful asset worthy of note is the Tripper Navigation pod. Housed to the right of the clock and available as standard on all variants of the Scram 411, it is similar in style to the popular Beeline Moto and offers turn-by-turn navigation via Enfield’s free app.

www.royalenfield.com

As the saying goes, it is what it is, and it is a hoot to ride. With the long travel suspension and superb ground clearance paired with the newly-sized wheels, there’s little wonder this is such an engaging, multi-purpose machine, happy in urban environments and will bounce merrily over rugged terrain, taking humps and bumps in its stride. Essentially, when the bitumen stops, the fun really begins. When the trailhead indicates left, instead turn right and you will know exactly what I mean.

RE Scram 411

Lauded globally for its versatility and competence, there is little wonder that Royal Enfield saw the adventure-biased Himalayan as the inspiration to veer towards a cross-over machine. As a result, the company has brought the best of rough-road capability to urban riding with a wide spread of usable power, thanks to some strong bottom-end torque.

RE Scram 411

So, would I have one in the garage? The short answer: yes. The more I have ridden the Scram, the more I have grown to like it. It’s the perfect bike to hoon about on, and it’s a tribute to Royal Enfield that it took the plunge and delivered on its mission to bring to the world market an ADV cross-over bike of such merit, at such a great price.

SPECIFICATION

ROYAL ENFIELD SCRAM 411

  • Price: £4,599
  • Engine: Single cylinder, 4-stroke, SOHC
  • Capacity: 411cc/25.0 cubic inch
  • Cooling System: Air-cooled
  • Maximum Power: 24.3Hp/17.88kW @ 6500rpm
  • Maximum Torque: 32Nm/23.6lb-ft @ 4250rpm
  • Transmission: 5-speed, constant mesh
  • Final Drive: Chain
  • Frame: Half-duplex split cradle
  • Front Suspension: Telescopic, 41mm forks, 190mm travel
  • Rear Suspension: Monoshock with linkage, 180mm wheel travel
  • Front Brakes: Single 300mm disc, 2-piston floating calliper
  • Rear Brakes: Single 240mm disc, single piston floating calliper
  • ABS: Dual Channel
  • Front Tyre: 100/90-19 “
  • Rear Tyre: 120/90-17″
  • Seat Height: 795mm/31.2in
  • Wet Weight: (without fuel) 185kg/407.8lb
  • Fuel Capacity 15 litres
  • Fuel Consumption: 3.18 litres per 100km
  • Warranty: 3-year unlimited
  • Contact: www.royalenfield.com

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