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Comparing Triumph's new Speed and Scrambler 400s to Royal Enfield's Hunter 350 and SCRAM 411


Triumph has finally dropped its new 400cc range which is set to arrive in early 2024. Aimed at giving Triumph a more approachable entry-point to the range, the new Speed 400 and Scrambler 400 X bring impressive spec to the sub-400cc category along with killer modern classic styling.


But in case you’ve been living under a rock, there is already a classically inspired British heritage brand in the segment - ROYAL ENFIELD. So how do the up-and-coming Triumphs compare to their most direct global market competition - the Royal Enfield Hunter 350 and SCRAM 411? Let’s dive in.


HUNTER 350 VS SPEED 400



As a modern-classic-styled roadster, both brands have an option now. But both bikes are very different in a number of ways, so it’ll be very interesting to see what the pricing of the Triumph Speed 400 is once that is revealed around December 2023.


However, as you’ll see when we start comparing the specs, it is fair to say that the Speed 400 will carry quite a price premium over the Royal Enfield Hunter 350.


Let’s start with the heart and soul of the bikes - their engines.


Royal Enfield’s Hunter 350 utilises the brand’s 349cc SOHC J-Series engine. It’s a loveable little thing if a bit on the low-powered side for many, but it’ll run on 91RON fuel (or worse) thanks to a low 9.5:1 compression ratio. Being air-cooled, also means it doesn’t have the added maintenance of a water-cooling system and is tough as nails. Power is a claimed 20.2 BHP @ 6100 rpm, but thanks to its long-stroke design - a classic Royal Enfield element – it’s got 27Nm of torque which really helps it hold speed once it gets up there. The transmission is a 5-speed unit.



The new Triumph Speed 400 on the other hand is almost the complete opposite to the Enfield, with the only real similarity being that it is also a single-cylinder engine. The new Triumph TR-series engine at the centre of both bikes measures in at 398cc and puts down a very healthy 39.5hp and 37.5Nm of peak torque. That’s thanks to a four-valve head, dual overhead cams and a 12:1 compression ratio. Naturally being a much more modern design it also includes water cooling to keep things in check.


So it comes to 20.2hp vs 39.5hp in the power stakes, old-school vs modern engine design, what about weight?


Both bikes utilise a 13-litre fuel tank, yet the Hunter 350 tips the scales at 181kg wet with a full tank of fuel while the Speed 400 measures in at a low 170kg.



In an interesting move, Triumph has gone pretty premium on the suspension side, with 43mm big-piston USD forks with a monoshock rear with an external reservoir and 140mm/130mm of travel. Braking is also pretty high-end for a LAMS class bike and comes in the form of a 300mm disc with a four-piston caliper on the Speed 400. The Hunter 350 from Royal Enfield, keeps things simple with a traditional 41mm fork with 130mm travel and Twin tube emulsion shock absorbers with 6-step adjustable preload.


Tech-wise both are quite similar, with the Enfield and Triumph both sporting analogue speedos with in-built LCD displays or other info. The Royal Enfield, however, can be fitted with the cool little Tripper navigation pod, which gives it a level of connectivity and function that the Triumph simply doesn’t have. Both are backed by ABS braking as safety tech with the Triumph also scoring switchable traction control.



It’s looking clear at this stage the Triumph is going to be the sportier bike to ride, but that will come at a yet-to-be-determined cost. The big selling point for the Royal Enfield is that is costs just $7,590 plus on-road costs. It’s insanely good value as a commuter, and as I found out while I had it on test it’ll happily cruise along the expressway at 110kph and it is an utter joy in the city. It’ll be really interesting to see how the Triumph compares in that regard.


SCRAM 411 vs Scrambler 400 X



When it comes to the scrambler game, both manufacturers are fronting with decent Learner Approved models in the form of the Royal Enfield SCRAM 411 and Triumph Scrambler 400 X.


Engine-wise, the Triumph utilises the exact same TR-series engine as the Speed 400. That once again translates to a single-cylinder DOHC engine with water-cooling and a power output of 39.5hp and 37.5Nm.


The Enfield, however, uses the firm's slightly older 411cc platform, with 24.2hp and 32Nm of power from the SOHC air-cooled engine. Like the J-series engine found in the Hunter, the SCRAM 411 engine is low compression at 9.5:1 and features a long-stroke meaning it lopes along at a gentle pace.


When it comes to weight, again, things are a little different. The SCRAM 411 tips the scales at 185kg with a full 15-litre tank of fuel. The Triumph weighs 179kg by comparison, but just like the Speed 400, the Scrambler 400 X only holds 13 litres of fuel. Fuel economy stats aren't yet available for the Triumph, but that could potentially be limiting.



Suspension on the Triumph is the same as the more road-oriented Speed 400, albeit with extra travel at both ends (150mm travel front and rear). The SCRAM 411 goes old-school with its conventional 41mm forks, but it outshines the Triumph in terms of travel with 190mm at the front while the monoshock at the back has 180mm of travel.


Again the instruments are quite similar, with the SCRAM also having the option for Enfield's cool Tripper nav pod. The Scrambler 400 X has the same electronics as the Speed 400, but its ABS is switchable for off-road use. The Enfield has ABS, but it is NOT switchable (in the traditional sense). You can do a burnout to confuse the computer, but this also turns off the speedo as well so it's not an ideal solution.



It's hard to say how far you'll actually take the Triumph off-road, however. Unlike the Royal Enfield which features tough spoked wheels and tubed tyres, the Triumph uses cast-alloy wheels with tubeless rubber. Both bike's wheels are nearly identical in size, with 19 and 17 inches in circumference and slightly different tyre sizes or each model.


The SCRAM 411 is priced from $8,290 here in NZ, while the Scrambler 400 X is yet to have its pricing announced. Either way, it looks like the Enfield is the way to go if you want to just get out there, but if you want a bit more of a premium feel and a bit more tech the Triumph could be the way to go.



So what can we take away from this?

While Triumph is clearly after a similar rider to Royal Enfield, they're not after THE same rider necessarily.


Going through the specs, Triumph's new 400s are much more modern and premium bikes than the simple and affordable Enfields.


Royal Enfield make terrific transportation and beginner bikes. They're easy to ride, simple to own and quite a lot of fun in the right circumstances.


The new Triumph 400s appear to be slotting in above the Royal Enfield position in the market and will offer a lot of what we've asked Royal Enfield for, but at a more premium price point (if the price match the RE bikes I'll happily eat my helmet lining). It's a smart move by Triumph, as Enfield really has that first rung of the market locked up, so building machines that slot into the gap between the Enfields and their own larger displacement models should find them plenty of riders who want a modern classic, but for whatever reason can't get on to a 900 or 1200cc Triumph.


Hopefully, we'll get a good ride on both the Triumph Speed 400 and Scrambler 400 X once the launch to get a handle on exactly where I'm the motorcycling ecosystem they'll fit in.

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