Bombing around with a naked Himalayan

 

I was in Birmingham, Alabama for the Barber Vintage Fest weekend with Mike Boyd, and Saturday afternoon I found myself wandering through one of the fan zones near the track. I came upon the Royal Enfield North America tent and display, and struck up a conversation with Nathan, their PR lead. Talking about the bikes we’ve had the opportunity to ride of theirs over the past few years, Nathan asked me, “Have you guys had a chance to ride the Scram yet?“ I told him that we had not, to which he replied, “We’re hosting a Scram demo weekend in Suches, Georgia next month. You should come join us! In fact, if you’ll bring a truck and trailer, we’ll let you take one home for a month or two.” To which I replied, “Let me think about it… heck yeah!”

I arrived at Two Wheels Only of Suches for the Scram demo on Sunday, the last day of the event, and met up with my friend Dave Lunsford, an old school years chum of mine, who along with his fiancé Deborah had ridden over to check out the demo as well. The parking lot and grounds of the motorcycle camping and restaurant establishment was full to bikes and riders, with Royal Enfield North America set up front and center. They had been running demo rides out through the North Georgia mountains about every 45 minutes to an hour, taking riders on a 10-12 mile loop along twisty mountain byways, down several dirt and gravel roads, a few scenic overlooks for photo ops, then back to TWO.

The Royal Enfield Scram 411 demo HQ, at Two Wheels of Suches motorcycle resort.

The ride rosters were full the rest of the day, but I didn’t mind. I was taking one home on my truck and trailer for a month or two, so I spent the afternoon roaming among the Enfields and all the riders gathered at TWO, and enjoyed catching up with Dave and Deborah. By day’s end, The RE folks signed this one out for me, gave it a look-over to make sure everything was in working order, and handed over the keys. It was somewhat dented, dinged and beat up from a year of demos across the country, and was still covered with a layer of dirt and dust from the weekend in the hills.

Perfect. These bikes are built to ridden rough, and they have been. Time to take it home and add my grime to the patina.

Back home with the Scram in it’s natural habitat.

The Royal Enfield Scram 411 runs the same air-cooled 411cc single overhead cam thumper mill as its older sibling, the world-popular Himalayan, powers forward with the same smooth shifting 5-cog gearbox, and pinches on a set of ByBre (Indian division of Brembo) brakes for decent if not precise stops. The Scram rolls on a 3.9 gallon tank, so the range is pretty significant with about 50+ mpg (our calculations) and 190-200 miles on a fill-up. The bike weighs in at 431 lbs “wet”, so its not a lightweight dual sport per se, but I have found it to be a well-balanced, flickable, supremely easy to handle scrambler for around town, down the country lanes that surround our “little cabin in the woods”, and the myriad dirt roads in our native north central Georgia region.

Neale Bayly about to go ramble on the Scram.

Our friend and Road Dirt columnist Neale Bayly of “Neale Bayly Rides” had been desiring to ride the Scram 411 as well, so came down from his home in Charlotte, NC for a couple of days enroute to/from Barber Motorsports Museum to spend some time in the quite comfortable saddle of the diminutive Enfield. It presented a nice contrast of riding styles and experiences in our approach to the Scram, as I’ve got limited off-road chops, being primarily a street rider, while Neale has quite literally ridden the world on dirt, on nearly every continent and in every climate. Yet our conclusions were very similar.

“Go this way” it said. “Okay” he said. Neale rolling the Scram through a roundabout.

“It’s been 24 years since I last rode a Royal Enfield,” Neale reflected. “That was a 500cc Bullet across the Himalayas of northern India, and it was an absolute piece of junk,” Neale chuckled. “I had no front brake, had a rear brake, had my children’s mother on the back, and somehow we survived multiple days on dirt roads in the Himalayas with that bike. But I did come to love it! Just a big single cylinder thumper. I’ve really been looking forward to riding this new Royal Enfield, and it’s everything I hoped it would be- super light, super nimble,… just a really sweet bike.”

A few Scram 411 owner photos, from the Royal Enfield Scram 411 Owners Group. Posted with permission.

I found a Scram 411 owners group on Facebook and hit them up for comments and photos of their bikes, with the question, “Why did you buy a Royal Enfield Scram 411, and what do you love about it?” I got quite a few responses from riders literally across the world, sharing their pics and thoughts on the little scrambler. I’ve chosen a few to share here, with their permission:

“It just keeps going! I live in Nepal, the roads are rough, winding and undulating, and my Scram eats it up, albeit at a slower pace. Easy to maintain and doesn’t look half bad too!” – Steve B, Nepal

“Versatile, comfortable, I call mine the ‘little tractor.'” -Darren C, Australia

“I love my Scram! It takes me anywhere.” -Michael R, USA

“Off road, bad road or no road, the Scram will take you there.” Azim S, India

Rob rolling on the Scram 411. Photo by Neale Bayly.

Every time I throw a leg over and throttle out for a spell, even on colder days (it is mid-December by this writing), the 411 single just fires to life, settles into a familiar “thump thump thump” with a low idle, and in a moment or so it’s ready to roll. The spoked front and rear rims are shod with nice CEAT GR/PP-XL dual sport rubber, 100/90-19 and 120/90-17 respectively, and bombing around dirt roads in the area was confidence inspiring given my moderate off-road chops. Seat height is 31.3 in., and ground clearance is 7.9 in., a perfect set of dimensions for my stature. Neale is a few inches taller than me, but thoroughly enjoyed his time throttling around on the Scram as well. “Simple, affordable, easy to ride- what’s not to love about it?” he mused.

Rob bombing around on the Scram, on a chilly, 45 degree day. Photos by Neale Bayly.

I would agree. If I ever got serious about buying a simple dual sport, I’d certainly consider the Royal Enfield Scram 411. They’ve been retailing for about $5100, but with the recent debut of the 2024 Himalayan 450, we’re wondering (1) will the Scram get a displacement bump in the coming year as well, and (2) will dealerships drop that price on their in-stock Himalayans and Scrams, to make room for the new upgraded models? Deals might soon be had on these excellent little bikes, which makes these current models even more desirable.

Might have to set aside some permanent space in the moto garage for one in 2024.

Rob

For more on the Royal Enfield Scram 411, check it out here:

Scram 411

For our video review of the Scram 411, watch it here without even leaving this page:

Cycle World Athens

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