2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411 First Ride

October 1, 2022

The distinctive, tasty topography means that most of the roads are narrow and winding, looping over burbling creeks and rolling hills, some even devolving into long stretches of gravel in the southwestern part of Wisconsin where we found ourselves. It was an ideal, easygoing setting for the versatile Scram, the brand’s first Himalayan-based variant, and the latest in a long line of new releases from Royal Enfield.

We already knew the new bike is based on RE’s popular middleweight adventurer, which has grown to be one of the brand’s bestsellers since its North American introduction back in 2018. The Scram doesn’t hide the fact that it rests almost entirely on the bones of the recently updated Himalayan, using the same rugged Harris Performance–designed chassis and LS 410 mill, an air-cooled single overhead cam two-valve single bolted to a gearbox that makes do with five gears rather than the usual six.

If the exhaust system looks familiar, that’s because it’s also from the Himalayan, updated last year to meet Euro 5 emissions limits. Even the Scram’s power numbers, a claimed 23.9 hp peak at 6,500 rpm and 23.6 lb.-ft. of torque peaking at around 4,000 rpm, are exactly the same as the Himmy’s. For reference, the Himalayan logged 21.8 hp and 21 lb.-ft. on the Cycle World dyno in 2020. Affordability carries over as a key appeal for the Scram as well—it’s priced at just $5,099 US—so those shared parts go a long way toward achieving that goal.

Needless to say a 411cc single pushing out 24 hp won’t get your adrenaline racing, but it was enough to keep up with the flow of traffic we found ourselves in over two days. The engine’s undersquare arrangement makes for a wide spread of torque instead of high-revving power, which suited the Scram perfectly in lower-speed stuff. The two-valve single is in no hurry to spool up, but there’s a nice push of torque along the way to the horsepower peak.

Although I’m tempted to use the word tractable, it’s probably better to call the Scram’s engine tractorlike; its chuggable nature means first-gear climbs on sketchier trails are a cinch. In the hours we spent cruising through random dirt roads in the Kickapoo Valley, the Scram felt right at home, chugging along with all the aplomb of a John Deere farm vehicle, of which we also saw dozens in the surrounding fields. Again, you won’t win any drag races on this thing, but there’s beauty to be had in slowing down to smell the roses.

The most noticeable changes on the new bike are visual. The Scram loses the Himmy’s ADV beak and swaps in a regular fender over the front tire, plus it deletes the windscreen and racks. The headlamp sits lower and the handlebars are pushed down and back (20mm and 60mm, respectively) creating a riding position that’s still upright but more forward leaning than the Himalayan’s.

But the main change is the Scram’s more street-biased geometry, in the form of a 19-inch wheel (the 17-incher out back remains unchanged) which brings a slightly steeper rake and wheelbase as well as fractionally shorter travel for the front suspension.

Join Our Newsletter

Thank you! Your submission has been received!

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form