Premium Swedish suspension company Öhlins has developed special suspension for Royal Enfield motorcycles for the first time.
The first models to get the Öhlins adjustable shock absorbers and fork springs with adjustable pre-load caps are the new and very popular 650cc twin-cylinder Interceptor and Continental GT.
Prices are $A399 for the FSK145 fork springs and $A1129 for the RE911 twin shocks or $A949 for the RE912.
They will be followed by full suspension for the 400cc Himalayan adventurer. Prices are expected to be $A399 for the FSK 144 forks and $A1395 for the RE 907 shocks.
They come in either black or yellow with interchangeable springs.
When I tested the Interceptor and Continental GT, I found the standard American-made Gabriel shocks a little on the soft side for my 80kg frame.
I pumped up the rear preload to the fourth of five settings but it still managed to bottom out over some big bumps, bounced around at the rear and wobbled a little over mid-corner irregularities.
Ohlins developed on harsh roads
“Öhlins takes the bike to another level, especially for those that will ride pillion or push their bike to the limits,” says ASEAN Business Development Executive Dale Schmidtchen in Thailand.
“The suspension was developed this year here where the roads are similar in quality to roads in Australia.
“The rear shock option for the Himalayan will be a great option for resolving two concerns with owners.
“Access to the spring preload is very hard on this model, so Öhlins will offer a shock absorber with remote preload adjustment, which in turn allows the rider to quickly adjust for varying load weights and road conditions.
“With Öhlins suspension, firstly you now have the option to adjust spring and preload for varying rider, pillion and loaded equipment. This is not just a comfort feature, but also safety.
“Dynamic ground clearance will be improved, as well as stability through corners. And last but not least, with most of a bikes braking control being a by-product of the compression stroke of the forks, this will allow for better braking, especially over bumps.