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ADV News2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411 First Ride Review

2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411 First Ride Review

We give the new Himalayan-based Scrambler a spin to see what it’s all about.

Published on 09.06.2022

“What is a Scrambler?” That question was posed to me recently, and my answer was probably a bit rambling since I was figuring it out as I was speaking. What it boiled down to, eventually, was: a Scrambler is a play bike. Something fun, equally willing to shred dirt as it is to hop curbs and navigate the urban jungle. Line that definition up to Royal Enfield’s latest offering, the Himalayan-based Scram 411, and you’ll find a nearly perfect fit.

2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411 Review
2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411 Review

Perhaps the biggest reason the Scram 411 is so true to my definition is that, unlike many of today’s “Scramblers,” the Scram was derived directly from an ADV Bike rather than a Street Bike. That bike, the Himalayan, also happens to have uniquely Scrambler-ready DNA: it’s purpose-built to be ridden in some pretty harsh environments, it’s relatively lightweight, accessible and easy to ride.

Transforming the Himalayan into the Scram 411 didn’t require huge feats of engineering, and in fact Royal Enfield took inspiration from bike builds they’ve seen from Himalayan owners around the world. The Scram 411’s engine, 5-speed gearbox, chassis, rear 7.1 in-travel monoshock, and brakes are all Himalayan—with one major change being that the ABS on the Scram cannot be disabled.

2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411 Test
2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411 Test

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Other notable differences that make the Scram more Scrambler than Adventure Bike include a 19-inch front wheel and slightly shorter front suspension travel (7.1 in compared to 7.9 in), which not only position the rider a bit more forward but also decrease the rake, and contribute to the Scram’s more playful nature. With a new feel comes a new look: the headlight is lower and more tucked in than the Himalayan’s, and it’s surrounded by a cast metal headlight cowl. Vestigial number plates flank each side of the gas tank, while the rider now sits on a new one-piece seat as opposed to the two-piece unit seen on the Himalayan.

2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411 Test

Our test ride aboard the Scram 411 consisted of two days, roughly 180 miles each day that included a wide range of terrain: the potholed city streets of Milwaukee (home of Royal Enfield’s North American headquarters, not just that “other” motorcycle brand), smooth, sweeping curves, long slabs of highway, rough, frost-heaved country roads, and of course some gravel and dirt sprinkled in for fun.

2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411 Test
2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411 Test

Both on- and off-road the Scram 411 is nimble, easy to ride and easy to have fun on. With a claimed weight of 407 pounds without fuel and a seat height of just 31.3 inches (even lower than the Himalayan due to the smaller wheel/lower ground clearance), the Scram is confidence-inspiring and supremely accessible. Need to back it into a tight parking spot? Hop a curb because a UPS truck just blocked your exit point? No problem.

2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411 First Ride
2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411 First Ride

Of course, this is a 411cc air-cooled single, which means top speed is about 80 mph and passing at freeway speeds must be carefully planned. Acceleration on the Scram requires a heavy throttle hand, with the 24-horsepower, 23 foot-pounds of torque long-stroke single revving easily and proving to be surprisingly smooth even when tapped out and cruising at 75. The new seat, which Royal Enfield says was developed using pressure mapping technology, was a pleasant surprise, and even after 10-hour days in the saddle my tailbone was not complaining loudly (although admittedly some of the larger guys in the group had other opinions). Choose your lid carefully, however; with no windscreen, you’ll catch plenty of air and a peaked adventure helmet is going to create some lift (my Bell Moto 3, with its relatively small peak, caused no discomfort).

2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411 First Ride
2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411 First Ride

My one complaint about the Scram’s on-road handling is that when pushed hard in corners it had a tendency to develop a wiggle. If the corner was complicated by the presence of rough pavement, the wiggle turned into a wag that felt like there was a hinge somewhere directly under my rear end. Whether this was due to the suspension settings, the chassis itself, or the tires (we were running with 36 psi up front and 27 in the rear)—or perhaps a combination of all the above—it was disconcerting enough to slow down several riders in the group.

2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411 First Ride

In all other scenarios, however, including the gravel and dirt sections we encountered, the Scram was a model play bike. As a smaller (140-pound) rider, the soft suspension worked well on the gnarly Milwaukee streets and rough dirt; larger riders again may have differing opinions. Despite the slightly lower handlebar height, I also found the Scram to be very comfortable when standing; I am 5’9” and did not have to lean over at all to reach the grips. The narrow tank felt more dirt bike than ADV and is tough to grip with your knees when standing but stays out of your way when bouncing around off-road.

2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411 First Ride

The Scram has but one rider aid, ABS, and unlike the Himalayan it cannot be disabled for off-road use. But given its limited horsepower and modest size, it’s pretty difficult to get yourself into deep enough trouble that aids such as traction control and ride-by-wire throttle mapping become necessary. In my opinion these are attributes that just contribute to the Scram’s playfulness and are what make it such a model Scrambler.

2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411 First Ride

Inevitably, I think potential Scram buyers will want to know what makes it different from the Himalayan on which it is so heavily based. It is true that, on paper at least, the two bikes are nearly identical. They are more like fraternal twins, however, each with its own personality and mission. Want to go places, especially places requiring carrying plenty of gear, crawling over obstacles, and dealing with inclement weather? The Himalayan is your huckleberry. Looking more for an around town, slide around on some dirt while grinning like a little kid experience? I’ve got one word for you: Scram!

2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411 First Ride

The 2023 Scram 411 will be available in seven colorways, three matte (Graphite Red/Yellow/Blue) and four glossy (Skyline Blue, Blazing Black, White Flame, and Silver Spirit), all of which will retail in the US for just $5,099 ($6,749 CAD in Canada). That’s $200 less than the Himalayan and Royal Enfield says the first models will start showing up in dealerships in September, with the first 1,000 units featuring Tripper, a simple turn-by-turn navigation system that pairs with smartphones via the Royal Enfield app. Due to supply chain constraints, Tripper will be an optional accessory after those first 1,000 units. There is also a large catalog of accessories available for those looking to customize their ride.

2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411 First Ride

So what is a Scrambler? If the answer is a fun, confidence-inspiring, easy to ride–and push the limits on without fear of taking out a second mortgage or scaring yourself silly, off-road capable let’s-just-go-have-fun bike, I would say the Royal Enfield Scram should have its picture next to the word in the dictionary. It’s a lot of fun for the money and, I’ll be honest, that Silver Spirit colorway is just really sweet. What can I say, I’m a sucker for blue.

Photos: Kings Media | Joshua Ship | Jenny Smith

2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411 Specs

ENGINE TYPE:SINGLE CYLINDER, 4 STROKE, AIR COOLED, SOHC, FUEL INJECTION
BORE X STROKE:78MM X 86MM
DISPLACEMENT:411 CC
COMPRESSION RATIO:9.5:1
MAXIMUM POWER:24.3BHP (17.88KW) @ 6500RPM
MAXIMUM TORQUE:32NM @ 4250±250RPM
IDLE RPM:1300±100RPM
STARTING SYSTEM:ELECTRIC START
AIR FILTER ELEMENT:PAPER ELEMENT
LUBRICATION:WET SUMP
ENGINE OIL GRADE:SEMI SYNTHETIC SAE 15W 50 API SL GRADE JASO MA 2
IGNITION SYSTEM:DIGITAL ELECTRONIC IGNITION
CLUTCH:WET MULTI PLATES
GEARBOX:5 SPEED, CONSTANT MESH
FUEL SUPPLY:ELECTRONIC FUEL INJECTION
FRAME:HALF-DUPLEX SPLIT CRADLE FRAME
FRONT SUSPENSION:TELESCOPIC, 41 MM FORKS 190MM TRAVEL
REAR SUSPENSION:MONOSHOCK WITH LINKAGE, 180MM WHEEL TRAVEL
WHEELBASE:57.3 IN (1455 MM)
GROUND CLEARANCE:7.8 IN (200 MM)
LENGTH:85 IN (2160 MM)
WIDTH:33 IN (840 MM)
HEIGHT:45.8 IN (1165 MM)
SEAT HEIGHT:31.3 IN (795 MM)
KERB WEIGHT WITHOUT FUEL:407 LBS (185 KG)
FUEL CAPACITY:4 GAL APPROX. (15 LITERS)
TYRES FR.:100/90-19″
TYRES RR.:120/90-17″
BRAKES FRONT:300MM DISC, 2-PISTON FLOATING CALIPER
BRAKES REAR:240MM DISC, SINGLE PISTON FLOATING CALIPER
ABS:DUAL CHANNEL ABS

Author: Jenny Smith

After riding strictly sportbikes for more than ten years, Jenny got her first taste of adventure when she picked up a KLR650 in 2009, and she never looked back. Her early adventures took her all over the American West and Northeast, and later Africa and Europe. She spent ten years working in the motorcycle industry, including a five-year stint as the Managing Editor of Rider magazine, where her focus was — and still is — inspiring others to discover the same joy and excitement that captured her heart way back when.

Author: Jenny Smith
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2 thoughts on “2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411 First Ride Review

    • +1
      The tyre air pressures make zero sense. Request Jenny to shine some light on this discrepancy.

      Great review. I love my 2021 Himalayan 411 to bits. The Scram 411 is attuned for the city commuter with the occasionally travel / light offroading stint.

      I’m waiting for the MY23 Himalayan 450 (40 bhp) and 490 Adventure (>=60 bhp) to be showcased at EICMA 2022.

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