Suzuki V-Strom SX Vs Royal Enfield Scram 411: Crossover Contest!
By Preetam Bora
13 mins read
Published on April 10, 2023
- Suzuki V-Strom SX takes on RE Scram 411 in this comparison
- Neo-retro scrambler vs adventure sport tourer
- Similar price bracket, with similar capabilities
A motorcycle ride can only get better if you have the perfect two-wheeled companion. Adventure sport tourers, crossovers and even scramblers, seem to nearly offer that ‘perfect’ blend of versatility, making them suitable for a variety of roles; from the daily commute, the occasional long-distance ride and some mild off-road work.
Also Read: Best Adventure Bikes Under Rs. 3 Lakh
The Suzuki V-Strom SX and the Royal Enfield Scram 411 certainly have different design and ergonomics, as well as engines with different displacement. But both bikes seek to meet the same requirements, at least from the point of being versatile, jack-of-all kind of bikes.
Also Read: Suzuki V-Strom SX Review
The Royal Enfield Scram 411 is sort of a retro-styled scrambler with adventure genes, while the Suzuki V-Strom SX is more of a touring bike, with sport touring DNA.
Different, but Similar
The V-Strom SX is an adventure touring motorcycle based on the Suzuki Gixxer 250. It’s powered by the same engine, has the same chassis, but is dressed in adventure clothing, with proper mid-size ADV looks.
The V-Strom SX is based on the Suzuki Gixxer 250, so shares the same engine, gearbox, chassis and suspension. It's dressed in adventure clothing and sports a 19-inch front wheel.
As the name suggests, the V-Strom SX does look familiar, and looks the part of its bigger siblings in the V-Strom range. The SX has upright ergonomics, and a bigger 19-inch front wheel than the Gixxer 250 it’s based on. So, in a way, it’s a Gixxer 250 on stilts, but with completely different styling and ergos.
Also Read: Royal Enfield Scram 411 Review
The RE Scram 411 is a more approachable and accessible version of the Royal Enfield Himalayan.
The Scram 411, on the other hand, takes a different approach. It’s a more shrunken version of the Himalayan, so it’s shorter, smaller 19-inch wheel than the Himalayan’s 21-inch wheel, making it look less intimidating and more approachable. It’s a friendlier, more accessible model based on the Himalayan, but the Scram also promises decent off-road capability.
Also Read: Best Touring Bikes Under Rs. 3 Lakh
Both bikes are, in a way, crossover models. Pricing is in the same ballpark, and the engine outputs are similar as well.
Both bikes may look different, but both have a few similarities. Pricing is more of less in the same ballpark, and engine output of both bikes are close, at least on paper, even though the Scram 411 has a bigger capacity engine. And both bikes are based on existing models and intend to offer a different flavour based on existing engines and platforms; the Gixxer 250 in the case of the Suzuki, and the Himalayan, in he case of the Royal Enfield.
The Scram 411 has that retro-inspired styling with its simple lines, round headlight and basic features. It has presence all right, but gives out a simple, retro vibe. Not necessarily a bad thing, but lacks premium appeal.
Design & Features
The Royal Enfield Scram 411 is more of a retro-styled scrambler, with its round healight and analogue single-pod instrument console, with a small digital screen at the centre giving the necessary data like fuel gauge, odometer reading, clock, gear position indicator and so on.
The Scram 411 sports a basic round instrument console but has all necessary data in the small LCD screen. The smaller Tripper navigation pod on the right is an optional extra and will cost Rs. 5,000.
Our test bike also comes with the Tripper navigation pod, powered by Google maps which offers turn-by-turn navigation on a separate, smaller screen. The Tripper though is an additional feature and will set you back by Rs. 5,000 more.
The Scram 411 is the longer bike, and gets more suspension travel (190 mm) up front. But it's also the heavier bike with 185 kg kerb weight.
The Scram 411 runs on wire-spoked wheels, with a 41 mm telescopic front fork with 190 mm suspension travel, good enough for more than mild off-road use. Ground clearance is a decent 205 mm, and seat height is very accessible, at 795 mm. The Scram 411 is also the marginally longer bike of the two, as well as the heavier one, tipping the scales with 185 kg kerb weight.
The V-Strom SX looks like a proper mid-size ADV. If it's road presence and build quality one is looking for, the Suzuki has it all!
The Suzuki V-Strom SX has the looks, the dimensions and the presence of a proper ADV. It offers a full-digital instrument console, with Bluetooth connectivity, which opens up a lot of standard features, including turn-by-turn navigation. And it also gets a conveniently located USB charging point.
The Suzuki V-Strom SX gets a LCD instrument console with Bluetooth connectivity and access to turn-by-turn navigation.
Like the Scram, it also has a 19-inch front wheel and gets an impressive 205 mm of ground clearance. But front suspension travel is limited, with just 120 mm travel, same as the Gixxer 250 it’s based on. Overall, it's the Suzuki which exudes premium quality, compared to the Scram 411.
The Suzuki V-Strom SX picks up speed quickly and the free-revving engine offers quite likeable performance.
Performance & Dynamics
On the move, the V-Strom SX immediately comes across as the friendlier, perkier bike of the two. It picks up speed quickly and offers a commanding view of the road ahead. The 249 cc, SOHC, oil-cooled engine, shared with the Gixxer 250, is brilliant and loves being revved. As long as you keep working the six-speed gearbox, you can have quite an engaging experience, in the city, in traffic, or out on the open road.
The Suzuki V-Strom SX has an youthful personality. It's happy to be hustled, and will offer you an engaging experience.
You will feel some buzz at revs over 6,000 rpm, but it’s not something alarming or make you complain, but you will experience some buzz and vibes at high revs. It will hit 130 kmph easily when prodded but is happiest between 95-110 kmph. Beyond that, it will go comfortably, but you will experience the buzz on the footpegs more prominently.
The Suzuki V-Strom SX is a road-focussed bike with slightly more ground clearance. To that end, it offers the best of everything from both worlds; unless you're looking for technical off-road use.
The suspension, tuned for sharp dynamics, feels a tad stiff, but picking up speed, it can still sail over broken patches and small undulations comfortably. And the V-Strom SX is the sportier bike of the two; it’s more planted around corners, and overall, it feels like a better-balanced, more easily manageable bike than the Scram 411.
If it's handling and dynamics one is looking for, the Suzuki V-Strom SX is better dynamically. The chassis is sorted, and the suspension taut, offering very good balance of handling and stability.
The RE Scram 411 is a simple, no-nonsense no-nonsense bike. It can do the everyday commute and the smaller 19-inch front wheel makes it easy to manoeuvre. For the occasional long-distance haul as well, the Scram 411 offers a comfortable option.
The Royal Enfield Scram 411 has a torquey engine and offers a relaxed riding experience. If it's leisurely riding one's looking for, the Scram has the more relaxed and easygoing vibe.
The engine is quite smooth, and it doesn’t require frequent gearshifts, which makes riding the Scram a relaxed affair. But the clutch lever action is slightly hard, and it’s not happy sitting at higher revs. That somewhat takes away the finesse and refinement expected from the Scram.
The Scram 411 is happiest cruising at between 90-100 kmph. That said, it does have a top speed of around 120 kmph. The Scram is designed more for relaxed riding than outright performance.
In terms of performance, the Scram 411 will also do about 120 kmph top speed, if you’re in a tearing hurry to get to your destination. But it’s happiest between 90 and 100; that’s where you feel the engine is relaxed and smooth. The Scram is made more for relaxed riding, but it has the bigger engine of the two, with more torque as well. The advantage is that you don’t need to downshift or work the gearbox too much on the Scram, and it’s got strong pull at low and mid revs.
The Scram 411 inherits its off-road genes from the bike it's based on, the Royal Enfield Himalayan!
The Royal Enfield Himalayan is a go-anywhere kind of adventure bike, and the Scram 411 inherits those qualities. For someone looking to start riding off-road, or to explore off-road trails, the Scram is the better option between the two. It has more suspension travel, and can easily take on light, small jumps off-road. But with 185 kg kerb weight, it’s also the heavier bike between the two.
The Scram 411 certainly has better off-road ability. For anyone looking for frequent off-road excursions, it's the Scram 41 which has the upper hand.
The Scram 411 has satisfactory dynamics, but handling isn’t as sharp and focussed as the V-Strom SX. Performance from the brakes could definitely have been better, and you need to grab a handful on the brake lever, if you want to make sudden, emergency stops. But if it’s go-anywhere ability you’re looking for, as well as frequent off-road excursions, it’s the Scram 411 which makes a better choice between the two.
The Suzuki V-Strom SX will not falter off-road. It still gets 205 mm ground clearance, and is adequate for exploring mild off-road trails.
That’s not to say the Suzuki V-Strom SX will falter off-road. But its ergonomics aren’t perfect for off-road riding. The position of the footpegs feel a little too rearset and high for a bike with “adventure touring” capabilities, and the height of the handlebar isn’t natural for stand-up riding off-road.
The V-Strom SX doesn't have the perfect ergnomics. The footpegs are slightly rear set and positioned high up, and the handlebar doesn't offer decent height for comfortable stand-up riding and manoeuvrability.
And then, there’s the limited suspension travel; with just 120 mm travel up front, the V-Strom SX has limitations to take on jumps and go over gnarly stuff, even though the 205 mm ground clearance is more than adequate.
The Suzuki V-Strom SX is the star on tarmac. It offers sharp handling, very good stability, and can also take on the occasional trail duties.
But where the Suzuki V-Strom SX absolutely shines is on the road! If you’re looking at primarily tarmac use and seeking sporty dynamics with the ergonomic comforts of a touring bike, it’s the Suzuki which makes a stronger impression. It’s more engaging to ride and it also offers superb stability and handling, a lot more impressive than the Scram around a twisty road.
Both bikes have their own qualities, and it eventually boils down to personal choice and the kind of riding one does, or intends to do, to choose one over the other.
Choosing a winner between the two bikes isn’t easy, or that simple. There’s no clear, simple, straight forward answer. If you like the way the Royal Enfield engine behaves, and if you want to do some off-road riding, the Scram 411 is for you.
The Scram 411 offers a relaxed, comfortable ride, and is up for some off-road duties thrown in as well.
But if you want a more refined, more modern machine, then it’s the Suzuki V-Strom which has got better dynamics, better build quality; it looks like a proper mid-size adventure bike. So, if all those things matter to you, then it’s the Suzuki V-Strom which should be your pick.
The V-Strom SX is a tall bike, with the standard seat at 835 mm height. An optional lower seat height is available but it's still a tall-ish bike.
But you have to keep in mind a few things. The V-Strom’s got a tall seat height, so you have to keep in mind how comfortable you are straddling a taller bike. Of course, it comes with a lower optional seat but still is a taller bike than the Scram 411. But the Scram is 18 kg heavier as well. On the flipside, the V-Strom SX is about Rs. 8,000 – 10,000 more expensive, with its price of Rs. 2.12 lakh (Ex-showroom).
The Royal Enfield Scram 411 is still a heavy bike with 185 kg kerb weight. The side panels don't offer enough leg room for comfortable stand-up riding.
Prices & Rivals
If you look at rivals, you can look at the KTM 250 Adventure, which is even more expensive, and the Yezdi Scrambler, which has similar pricing to the Scram 411.
Also Read: KTM 250 Adventure Review
|Royal Enfield Scram 411||Rs. 2.03 - 2.09 Lakh|
|Suzuki V-Strom SX||Rs. 2.12 Lakh|
|KTM 250 Adventure||Rs. 2.44 Lakh|
|Yezdi Scrambler||Rs. 2.08 Lakh|
Also Read: Yezdi Scrambler Review
The Royal Enfield Himalan Scram 411 is priced between Rs. 2.03 - 2.09 lakh (Ex-shoroom).
The Royal Enfield Scram 411 with its price tag ranging from Rs. 2.03 – 2.09 lakh (Ex-showroom) depending on the chosen paint shade, is impressive with its low-end grunt and off-road capability. But there are a few squeaks from the bike, and it doesn’t feel as well-built as the Suzuki and neither does it feel as planted, if you push it around corners.
The Suzuki V-Strom SX is the better well-rounded product, even though it's the expensive one in this comparison!
The Suzuki V-Strom SX, on the other hand, looks great, rides well, and handles beautifully. And it’s also up to the task of exploring mild trails, if that’s your kind of thing. In all, the Suzuki V-Strom SX makes a strong case as a great bike, and it’s quite capable at handling different roles and situations. Something which is difficult to ignore, despite its relatively higher sticker price.
(Photography: Apoorv Choudhary)
Last Updated on April 7, 2023
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