Shocks: stock vs KYB vs ICON

A

AZROX

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Over the recent months, I have installed 2 different models of KYB shocks on one of my Roxors. My 2nd Roxor had the ICON 2.5 with Compression Dampening Control Valve (CDCV) upfront and Icon 1.5 in the back when I bought it.
Here is a comparison. Little bit scientific, but mostly seat of my pants impression of the shocks.
Also, I tour around in my Roxors, run +200 mile roadtrips on a weekend. In my review, I look at driveability on winding roads and comfort at 45-65 mph on bumpy pavement.

When I struggled through college to get my engineering degree many years ago, I learned that all mechaical systems (no matter the size or complexity) consist of springs, masses, and dampers. Springs have comstants that make them more or less stiff. Masses slow the system down or keep it in motion. Dampers absorb energy. Don't forget friction. Good systems take trial and error or good simulation. Springs, shocks, tire rating, and PSI all matter. I am sharing some of my trial and error with you on this forum.

ROXOR 1: add-a-leaf front, 255-85-16 E-rated (28 psi front, 25 psi rear).

Stock shocks: if anyone on this forum figured out what quality the stock shocks are supposed to add to the ride, let me know. They add the dampening in the physical system, but do a really poor job at it. The harder the hit (e.g. a speedbump ar low speed or a pot hole at high speed), the stiffer these dampers are (poor linear valves). I had moments were the seatbelt kept me in my Roxor hitting a bump at 60 mph I think Mahindra picked whatever they found that was cheap - really cheap.

KYB 343403 Front, 344015 Rear:
Big improvement over stock. The gas charge (a spring itself) assits the leaf spring in both directions. Dampening is better tuned, swallows bumps.
The gas charge is (my seat of pants) a bit too high for the light Roxor. I estimate that it takes about 40lbs to compress a front shock. With the add-a-leaf and the hard E-rated tires, these shocks are almost too stiff (too high charge).
The 343403 (front) is bit short for a lifted front. Side by side, the stock shock is actually 1/4 longer than the KYB. Not an issue for trail and highway use though.
All in all, a great improvement over stock and at $40 a piece not a bad deal.

KYBs from a lifted 2020 ROXOR:
I bought the shocks from another member on this forum. I like these a lot. They are long, have lots of travel.
The dampening suits the weight of the Roxor.
With the add-a-leaf and stiff E-rated tires, the amount of gas charge in these shocks works well. I am estimating that it takes about 20 lbs to compress either a front or rear shock. Rebound is slower than the above KYB's rebound.
I went about 200 miles east of Phoenix Metro through Superior, Globe, Kearny, back to Phoenix Metro recently. The shocks made the trip enjoyable.
These shocks are a good bang for the buck. I think Mahindra spent time working with KYB to identify this setup (trial and error or simulation as I wrote above).

ROXOR 2: On The Rox shackle reversal front, shackle lift in the back, 285-65-17 (28 psi front, 25 psi rear)
Different setup. No add-a-leaf means lower spring rate. Not as heavy duty tires as on the other Roxor. Not apples to apples.
ICON 2.5 VDCV front, 1.5 back: The front shocks are great. 10 levels of dampening adjustment. After 300 miles, I still leave it in lowest dampening setting. The Roxor is just very light. These shocks would be great on a vehicle that is several hundred pounds heavier. The rear shocks are nice, too. There is not a big noticeable difference to the KYBs from the 2020 Roxor, though.
There is a point of diminishing returns - the point where things don't improve no matter how much you spend. The Icon shocks are on the Roxor because it was built as a SEMA show vehicle. The Icon shocks are clearly nicer than the stock 2020 KYBs, but not $1400 nicer. Its hard to get the full benefit of these great shocks on a light Roxor with a short-travel leaf spring. They would be amazing on my 1 ton diesel truck. I still very much enjoy them on my Roxor.
 
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MikeT

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What is the number for the second KYB shocks?
Good review as seat of the pants is a good way to report comfort on it!
 
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AZROX

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The factory shocks on the 2020 Roxor have these numbers on them: 343403 front, 344015 rear.
They have KYB stickers on them and say Made in Japan like any other KYB shock. I dont believe you will find that part number anywhere, though.
 
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MikeT

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I'm confused. Those are the numbers you put down for the KYB that improved the ride over the factory shocks. Not OEM. Am I misunderstanding you?
 
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AZROX

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There are two factory installed types:
1. The cheap ones that had just the dampenig (no gas charge). These were on my Roxor when I bought it new. These have Daniel, Made in India stamped and are black (rear), read front (at least on mine).

2. The ones I like came from a 2020 Roxor with the factory lift. They have a KYB sticker and Made in Japan stamp.
I am sure they are not as nice as a Bilstein or other high-end after market shock. However, they are miles ahead of the red and black shocks n 2018 and 2019 Roxors.
 
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AZROX

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Just for curiosity sake, I googled 343403 KYB and, 344015 KYB. These show up on Amazon: $36 each. 😀
 
CJ2Rox

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Would u say the kyb shocks tested would work for stock height?
 
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AZROX

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@CJ2Rox: really depends on how you use the Roxor.
The Roxor where I installed the 343403 and 344015, has the add-a-leaf in the front and is stock in the rear. None to very moderate lift anyway. The shocks (above part #s) do have a lot (several inches) more travel than the stock ones. I did not measure the compressed to fully extended length, but they have A LOT of travel. They have way more travel than I will ever use. Since I use the Roxor on roads (gravel or paved), I see no issue using these shocks.
 
CJ2Rox

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@CJ2Rox: really depends on how you use the Roxor.
The Roxor where I installed the 343403 and 344015, has the add-a-leaf in the front and is stock in the rear. None to very moderate lift anyway. The shocks (above part #s) do have a lot (several inches) more travel than the stock ones. I did not measure the compressed to fully extended length, but they have A LOT of travel. They have way more travel than I will ever use. Since I use the Roxor on roads (gravel or paved), I see no issue using these shocks.
I first the Rough country level kit in front but it came with a bracket extension. If I removed that that's 2" of lift over stock. Glad you put this out there. I was gonna use Ranchos on diesel freak but where I can save is good. I was also supposed to get my tune back on Friday from Gilomen but was pushed to Monday. I was all excited but weather here was snowy anyways.
 
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AZROX

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Hoping my writeups are helpful.

In my reviews, I give as much detail on my vehicle as possible (e.g. stiff add-a-leaf, stiff E-rated tires) so everyone can adjust for how a component could work for their vehicle and application.
It is a bit of trial and error. Everyone's level of comfort is different.

Keep us posted on which way you decide to go with the shocks.
 
CJ2Rox

CJ2Rox

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The KYB Shocks u listed are cheaper on Rockauto.com even after shipping. $118 out the door
 
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CJ2Rox

CJ2Rox

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There are two factory installed types:
1. The cheap ones that had just the dampenig (no gas charge). These were on my Roxor when I bought it new. These have Daniel, Made in India stamped and are black (rear), read front (at least on mine).

2. The ones I like came from a 2020 Roxor with the factory lift. They have a KYB sticker and Made in Japan stamp.
I am sure they are not as nice as a Bilstein or other high-end after market shock. However, they are miles ahead of the red and black shocks n 2018 and 2019 Roxors.
My 2020 had the pointless red shocks
 
A

AZROX

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The nicer KYB schocks came from a 2020 Roxor with the factory lift. Another member on this board sold them to me.
 
ToddBenson

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Over the recent months, I have installed 2 different models of KYB shocks on one of my Roxors. My 2nd Roxor had the ICON 2.5 with Compression Dampening Control Valve (CDCV) upfront and Icon 1.5 in the back when I bought it.
Here is a comparison. Little bit scientific, but mostly seat of my pants impression of the shocks.
Also, I tour around in my Roxors, run +200 mile roadtrips on a weekend. In my review, I look at driveability on winding roads and comfort at 45-65 mph on bumpy pavement.

When I struggled through college to get my engineering degree many years ago, I learned that all mechaical systems (no matter the size or complexity) consist of springs, masses, and dampers. Springs have comstants that make them more or less stiff. Masses slow the system down or keep it in motion. Dampers absorb energy. Don't forget friction. Good systems take trial and error or good simulation. Springs, shocks, tire rating, and PSI all matter. I am sharing some of my trial and error with you on this forum.

ROXOR 1: add-a-leaf front, 255-85-16 E-rated (28 psi front, 25 psi rear).

Stock shocks: if anyone on this forum figured out what quality the stock shocks are supposed to add to the ride, let me know. They add the dampening in the physical system, but do a really poor job at it. The harder the hit (e.g. a speedbump ar low speed or a pot hole at high speed), the stiffer these dampers are (poor linear valves). I had moments were the seatbelt kept me in my Roxor hitting a bump at 60 mph I think Mahindra picked whatever they found that was cheap - really cheap.

KYB 343403 Front, 344015 Rear:
Big improvement over stock. The gas charge (a spring itself) assits the leaf spring in both directions. Dampening is better tuned, swallows bumps.
The gas charge is (my seat of pants) a bit too high for the light Roxor. I estimate that it takes about 40lbs to compress a front shock. With the add-a-leaf and the hard E-rated tires, these shocks are almost too stiff (too high charge).
The 343403 (front) is bit short for a lifted front. Side by side, the stock shock is actually 1/4 longer than the KYB. Not an issue for trail and highway use though.
All in all, a great improvement over stock and at $40 a piece not a bad deal.

KYBs from a lifted 2020 ROXOR:
I bought the shocks from another member on this forum. I like these a lot. They are long, have lots of travel.
The dampening suits the weight of the Roxor.
With the add-a-leaf and stiff E-rated tires, the amount of gas charge in these shocks works well. I am estimating that it takes about 20 lbs to compress either a front or rear shock. Rebound is slower than the above KYB's rebound.
I went about 200 miles east of Phoenix Metro through Superior, Globe, Kearny, back to Phoenix Metro recently. The shocks made the trip enjoyable.
These shocks are a good bang for the buck. I think Mahindra spent time working with KYB to identify this setup (trial and error or simulation as I wrote above).

ROXOR 2: On The Rox shackle reversal front, shackle lift in the back, 285-65-17 (28 psi front, 25 psi rear)
Different setup. No add-a-leaf means lower spring rate. Not as heavy duty tires as on the other Roxor. Not apples to apples.
ICON 2.5 VDCV front, 1.5 back: The front shocks are great. 10 levels of dampening adjustment. After 300 miles, I still leave it in lowest dampening setting. The Roxor is just very light. These shocks would be great on a vehicle that is several hundred pounds heavier. The rear shocks are nice, too. There is not a big noticeable difference to the KYBs from the 2020 Roxor, though.
There is a point of diminishing returns - the point where things don't improve no matter how much you spend. The Icon shocks are on the Roxor because it was built as a SEMA show vehicle. The Icon shocks are clearly nicer than the stock 2020 KYBs, but not $1400 nicer. Its hard to get the full benefit of these great shocks on a light Roxor with a short-travel leaf spring. They would be amazing on my 1 ton diesel truck. I still very much enjoy them on my Roxor.
Thanks so much for taking the time to write this super inform info down. Saved me any many other time, money and head aches. Thanks again
 
ToddBenson

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Got my kyb’s that also qualified for the rebate. ive poured a decent amount of cash into my beloved roxor but this may be the best money spend so far. i just dont see how with normal to heavy use these wont make your machine 80% or more better. Azrox is my hero and a true American. Thanks your a true friend and i will forever be in your debt. Thanks brother.
 
A

AZROX

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@ToddBenson: Glad you found my writeup on shocks useful. Keep us posted on all mods, adds, upgrades your dping ro your machine. Hey, or just share your adventures.
 
ToddBenson

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Has anyone found a good replacement for the stock steering stabilizer? Sorry if Im repeating a old question. Thanks
 
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