Last weekend I had the Royal Enfield Scram 411 with me for a little over 2 days. And the most obvious question everyone asked me was – How is this different from the Himalayan?
Well, to set things straight right from the start, I have been a Himalayan owner for about 3 years.
And the Scram 411 is DIFFERENT!
So, what’s different you might ask?
The first thing you would notice is the missing trail/headlight frame. The headlight now sits directly on the fork and has an offset mounted speedo. The headlight cowl flows into that design language as well. This takes visibility to a different level. The 21-inch wheel gives way to a 19 which now sports a wider 100/90 tire, adding to the visual appeal. The split seats are gone and in comes a single seat for both rider and pillion, firmer and a new textured seat cover. The new wide handlebar gives the rider a slightly front biased seating posture, making it easy to flick around. So, the frames up front, the seat, and a smaller wheel, is that it? No, let me get to the engine.
Sure, you will jump on and say it’s the same 411 engine from the Himalayan, right?
It is the same engine! But the way it is tuned now, is where Royal Enfield has managed to hit the ball out of the park. Start the motorcycle and you will now hear a smooth thump. It’s a prominent difference from the older generation engine. It does not sound clanky at all. The 410 on the Scram is the best tuned variant of the LS410 till date. I am glad and honestly, pleasantly surprised that Royal Enfield went on to tune the engine to make it suitable for Urban use. Most manufacturers don’t even bother with ergonomics, let alone tuning the engine when they come with stickered variants. You know what I mean!
Take Scram 411 for a spin and immediately you notice how much easier it is to handle and flick around in traffic. The shorter wheeler base owing to the 19-inch wheel makes hell of a difference. The power delivery is on point and all that jerky feeling at lower revs is gone. The engine is a lot peppier and more eager to get going in any direction you point it at. If you want it to, it can behave like the hooligan, you all secretly want it to. You can continue doing the same off road as well, since the off-road tire treads have been retained and suspension travel is same as before. The suspension now is in a firmer state of tune which makes the handling point on and agile.
The braking has improved, and the dual channel ABS works well and is non-intrusive. However, the ability to switch off the ABS has been removed. Not a big concern, we all know pulling out a fuse can fix that for you, if needed 😉. In the list of items dropped, center stand & luggage rack as well. It’s optional and can be added later. There is a provision to add a Tripper Navigation console as optional as well.
Overall, I think this variant of Himalayan, err Scram. It’s called the Himalayan Scram 411 for a reason, right! It’s gone from a functional, purpose-built motorcycle to a peppy multipurpose motorcycle. It still has all the good things of the Himalayan and Royal Enfield just made it better.
And we thought, why fix it, when it isn’t broken?
One of the common concerns a helmet user faces is fogging up of the visors during rains or cold weather conditions. I have struggled with this over the years and tried a lot of DIY remedies and tricks to try and avoid this. They work for a few mins and we are back to square one. Some helmet brands come with pin lock enabled visors, where you can fix pinlock antifog inserts which can help take care of the fogging problem. This was not a viable solution as pinlock enabled helmets were expensive and availability was a concern, especially in India. For example, Pinlocks for AGV, BELL or other premium brands are expensive and not easily available.
This is when I came across Raleri AntiFog inserts. These ‘Made in Italy’ inserts were addressing the issues of affordability as well as availability of anti-fog inserts. And, they were compatible with almost every helmet available today.
The Raleri helmet antifog inserts are available in 4 types – Photochromic, Racing HI Definition, Dark & Clear.
These get attached on to your visor with a special sealing gasket, which does not leave any residue on the visor, in case you need to remove it. The insert has a silicon type edge all the way around which presses against the visor and creates an air-tight seal, thus making it an antifog visor. It is the seal that stops condensation forming on the visor. Thus, providing you with a clear line of sight when you are riding in conditions that can cause fogging of the visor.
Its fairly easy to fix it and anyone with level 1 DIY skills should be able to do it. All you need is to get the sizing right and have a knack for aligning the things, in this case the insert with the visor. I have added a video of the installation below.
I have been using the Racing HI Definition variant for over a year now. After having used it across multiple weather conditions and terrains I can vouch for this as a must buy for every full-face helmet user. This variant comes with a light rose pink color. It can be used in the day and night. Not only does it cut down the glare of the headlights and the sun, it enhances the dark colors in your view making things more visible. Of course, needless to say, it also works as an anti-fog layer as well.
These are optically correct and I did not find any difficult in using them in the day or night. I have also noticed that my eyes do not get as tired as it used to get prior to using this product. I am using these on my Acerbis REACTIVE helmet and I personally know folks who have used it in a range of helmets from the budget helmets from Royal Enfield to the premium AGV, BELL & Scorpions.
Never in my 20 years of motorcycling life did I think that I would need to get a battery charger. I have ridden a motorcycle every day of my life and would never expect it to go down. March 2020 had other plans. India went into lockdown due to the COVID 19 pandemic.
The lockdown went on for almost 100 days. I would ensure that I start my motorcycle at least once a week, so that the battery had some charge left to crank it. I forgot a couple of weeks and finally the inevitable happened. The motorcycle refused to start. I realized that we have no insight of what the days in future hold for us. There was no saying how long this pandemic would continue. I either had an option to give up on the battery and get another one or look for a long-term solution.
This is when I started looking for trickle chargers. Trickle chargers are designed to be left connected to the battery long term, without causing damage, a trickle charge slowly adds and conditions the battery. In many cases these also help revive a dead battery. Now here is the tricky bit, if the battery voltage drops below a level, most available trickle chargers cannot revive the battery. I checked and found that my battery was around 6 volts. Most chargers I read about stated that they can revive batteries only if there is at least 8V left in it. I had almost decided to leave it to the service center to fix it for me.
This is when I found the OptiMate 1 Duo. A quick conversation with Sean from Big Bad Bikes confirmed that this device can revive batteries from as low as 4V. Digging deeper I figured that the OptiMate 1 Duo works on all kinds of 12V batteries. It was suitable for all 12V lead acid and 12.8-13.2V LiFePO4 batteries. The rated capacity was in the range of 2 – 20 Ah. What made this device even better was that apart from reviving almost dead batteries, it would charge, optimize, and once fully charged, maintain it. So essentially you could simply plug in OptiMate 1 Duo, connect the battery, and forget about it. The OptiMate 1 Duo keeps monitoring the health and charge of the battery. When it detects lowering charge, it tops the battery back up to ensure that it is always in perfect condition ready for when you start the motorcycle up again. This was perfect for keeping the battery healthy when you are not using your motorcycle for long durations. I made the order and the product was promptly delivered.
The OptiMate 1 Duo comes with a set of ring loop connectors that can simply be attached to the battery. Plug the unit into the mains, connect the lead to the fitted connectors and it starts charging.
The set also includes a set of crocodile clips which can also be used if you do not want to install the waterproof connector lead. The waterproof connector lead works well. You can always leave it on your motorcycle. You can hide it into a discreet place, that is still easy to access. I routed it under the passenger seat on the Himalayan. It comes with a 6ft lead so it can reach across the garage if you were too tight for space near the plug points. It brought my Himalayan’s battery back to life overnight, in roughly 8/9 hours. After this I ended up helping multiple friends who faced the same dilemma.
The OptiMate 1 Duo comes with everything needed to get connected. It has built in safety features so you can leave it plugged in over long durations and save yourself the trouble of replacing your battery. Instead, buy one of these!