It was a stretch of cold, often wet weeks riding around Portland on Royal Enfield’s Scram 411, and despite the gloom, it’s been an enjoyable motorcycle on many levels. But it’s also an unusual motorcycle, especially given the competition.
The Scram 411 is a close cousin to the popular Himalayan dual-sport adventure bike (both below) from India-based motorcycle maker Royal Enfield, which began life in England in 1901, and after folding in the U.K. decades ago, soldiered on in India until it was bought and modernized by the Eicher Group/Eicher Motors Limited, a transport (buses, etc.) and agricultural machinery maker.
The Scram has essentially the same drivetrain, frame and gas tank, but different wheels, instruments and a lower seat height than the taller, more dual-sport focused Himalayan. It even says “Himalayan Scram” on the side panels, so there’s clearly a lot in common.
And while the Himalayan is more of a world traveler, the $5,099 Scram 411 is instead more urban-focused and more approachable, especially for new riders looking to get started in motorcycling, or returning riders looking for a no-frills, easy-to-ride re-entry machine that’s easy on the eyes, wallet and inseam, and maybe even calls back to bikes they rode in days gone by.
The Scram – short for “Scrambler,” which is a street bike with light off-road capabilities – is a definite return-to-roots type of motorcycle that many riders have been asking for. It’s basic yet technically sophisticated at the same time, with fuel injection, ABS brakes, a small LCD info-panel inset in the big round (and digitally driven) speedo and a second “Tripper” pod for GPS pointers (below) when wirelessly tied to the robust Royal Enfield app. But there are no ride modes, adjustable levers, cruise control or other luxuries.
Fancy it isn’t, but it is definitely affordable and undeniably stylish. My review bike was painted in a two-tone shiny metal-flake black and gray with teal highlights, including color matching rim stripes and small accent panels on each side of the tank that would take the brunt of an impact if the bike were to topple over. A wide selection of color options are offered by Royal Enfield.
Black laced wheels (above) include a 19-inch front hoop (down from the 21-incher on the Himalayan) and wear the same 50/50 on-road/off-road tires as