Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Get excited: Royal Enfield Scram 411 coming to the U.S.

Royal Enfield Scram 411.
Royal Enfield introduces the new Scam 411. This is the Graphite Red. The other six colors announced and full specifications appear below.

 "The Scram 411 is scheduled to arrive in the U.S. late summer/early fall." 

If you're alive and into motorcycling you've known for a long time that Royal Enfield planned a "street" version of its popular Himalayan adventure bike. 

The announcement from Royal Enfield North America that the Scram is on its way is probably all you still needed to know about what looks like a fun, friendly and affordable new Royal Enfield motorcycle. 

After all, you've seen the Royal Enfield Himalayan and you've been impressed by the Himalayan, which takes on the high mountains and even reached the South Pole. You like it, even though your personal motorcycling challenges are urban potholes, not mountain ranges.

For months you've seen reports that Royal Enfield would build the street version of the Himalayan that would be right up your urban alley.

What was taking so long? You thought, why not just take off the extra front fender, make the headlight turn with the forks, strip off the expedition gear, and scram!

Apparently, what took so long is that the Scram 411 is not just a de-contented Himalayan. As with every motorcycle Royal Enfield introduced since 2009, there's deep philosophy behind it.

Royal Enfield corporate leader Siddhartha Lal needs no help philosophizing.

"This is not just a motorcycle. It's a mindset," he said.

Royal Enfield Chief of Design Mark Wells said it by the numbers at the Scram 411 launch.

"Modern existence demands a multi-purpose tool that is optimized for agility, an ally that is always ready for whatever surprises life has in store. ADVS are too specialized for the city; whilst most road bikes are too soft for the hard realities of contemporary existence.

"We really wanted this thing to look fun and funky, so we took inspiration from flat track, from scrambles, from all over the place.

"Despite this bike has got 19-inch front wheels it's still got 190mm travel at the front and 180mm travel at the back. We've got 795mm seat height, and a really great ergonomics triangle. The dual purpose tires are the perfect compromise, giving confidence on broken loose tarmac and also grip and comfort on the highway.

"The 200mm (ground) clearance, which makes sense on the trails, also when you're in the city.

"This is no cosmetic crossover or pumped up street bike. This is a brand new sub-category, created with legit ADV capability that was cross bred with scrambler playfulness and accessibility.

"The technical term for this new subspecies is ADV-crossover. But we just call it the Scram."

OK. First objection. With all this serious consideration to what the Scram 411 should be, why give it a name that is flip, slangy and just so easy-going that it sounds inconsequential?

The answer to that is the word "young."

"The Scram 411 is the perfect crossover for young city-dwellers, who prefer a motorcycle that is fun and engaging to ride around the city, yet has a rugged appeal," Royal Enfield Executive Director B Govindarajan was quoted, in the press release.

Yup. "Young" means easy-going and carefree. But does it mean "careless"? The launch video depicts Scram 411 riders speeding, showing off and behaving like idiots on city streets. Yes, young people do those things, sometimes. It's painful to think they'd do it on a Royal Enfield.

They mostly won't, of course. They will use the Scram 411 to commute weekdays and ride to fun destinations on weekends.

Still, excitement plays a role in the purchase of any motorcycle, no problem there. The Scram 411 offers impressive capabilities at a likely very reasonable price.

Then why do the seven colors announced for India include three (and it should be five) colors that include the word "Graphite" in their name?

Five gray paint jobs, a meek shade of blue and an actually great looking white are the choices. Even the "Blazing Black" appears (at least on the website) to be yet another gray.

That's my second objection. Does Royal Enfield think young motorcyclists want to blend into the shadows?

Royal Enfield Scram 411 color choice.
Scram 411 Blazing Black color.

Royal Enfield Scram 411 color choice.
Scram 411 Graphite Blue color.

Royal Enfield Scram 411 color choice.
Scram 411 Graphite Yellow color.

Royal Enfield Scram 411 color choice.
Scram 411 Silver Spirit color.

Royal Enfield Scram 411 color choice.
Scram 411 Skyline Blue color.

Royal Enfield Scram 411 color choice.
Scram 411 White Flame color.

Finally, my third objection. Bear with me on this. Royal Enfield is not shy about referring to its Himalayan as the "heart" beating inside the Scram 411. The Himalayan name and equipment carry that reference to the mountains, which is part of Royal Enfield's heritage and brand.

As a near Himalayan look-a-like, the Scram 411 retains a lot of that character but is original and unique in its own right. It is yet another example of Royal Enfield bringing its own special sauce to a new product.

But the Scram 411 also is recognizably a movement toward utility. And utility is something you can buy elsewhere. In fact, almost anywhere.

What brought me to Royal Enfield is something available no where else: an emotional link to the great British motorcycles of the past.

It's a given that Royal Enfield must grow beyond its retro Brit-bike associations to survive. It's not in business to cater to me alone.

Royal Enfield Scram 411 specifications.


2 comments:

  1. Anonymous3/17/2022

    The productioni value of their ads sure has improved. I really agree about the rider doing stupid and dangerous things in the city. It's flat out irresponsible of RE to show that. I'm also surprised at how heavy the bike is. Not much different than the old Bullet. I also agree that the color schemes are bizarre. Now...with that out of my system it's a great looking bike and should sell well.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "it's not a motorcycle, it's a mindset." The guy behind the new Gold Star said much the same thing about his product. If you're a rider and interested in something to ride, in steak and not just sizzle, you have to buy the bike DESPITE the ads.

    ReplyDelete

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