As an avid adventurer and motorcyclist, I have always sought out the best suspension system for my Royal Enfield Himalayan. Not that the stock ones are bad. You see, manufacturers can only do this much when it comes to tuning a suspension. Every one of us uses motorcycles differently. Weigh different and carry different kinds of luggage as well. This calls for a custom tune of the suspension which may be beyond the capabilities of the stock setup. Let me start with two clear concerns I had. One, when doing high speeds on the highway, the front would feel like a pogo stick and give a slight wobble, especially over 110kmph. Those of you who know my motorcycle, are aware that it touches 140kmph with ease, more on that here. I was never able to use the motorcycle to the full potential on highways due to this pogo stick wobble. I tried using a heavier grade fork oil, which sorted the issue out but messed up the off-road handling. The stock rear suspension is not serviceable. Secondly, the suspension would bottom out if I went a tad aggressive on a technical trail. The concern was the default sag was quite high and it left little room for the suspension to play and do its job. You must keep in mind that the motorcycle was designed to keep a low seat height in mind. Also not exactly designed to go all guns blazing on the highway either. What I was trying to do was get more out of an already optimal setup of a suspension. After doing extensive research and talking to fellow rider, Sarath Shenoy, I decided to give aftermarket suspensions a try. And let me tell you, it is probably the best upgrade one can do on a motorcycle.
I took some time to zero in on Zedling Suspension. There were two key reasons I opted for them. Firstly, the cost. The two other brands, imports, were almost double or more than the cost of this one. This being an Indian brand based out of Pune meant cost saving & accessibility. But what made me finalize this brand was how the product is offered to an individual. These were not just off the shelf products for motorcycles that you just buy, fix, and hope it works. The team takes key inputs from you, including your weight, the luggage weight, riding with pillion or not, even on the kind of usage. In fact, I was a little peeved at trying to get all that information they asked for on the product request form. But boy can this information do wonders. They would then customize the suspension tune as per your requirement and set up your motorcycle. This level of customization and the price made me swing to giving this brand a try. Oh, I almost missed out mentioning that the whole suspension unit, front and rear is fully serviceable for life. For the Himalayan, they include preload adjustability at both ends. I have kept them in a balanced state of tune, and they function brilliantly.
Though they are based out of Pune, Zedling Suspension have tied up with various workshops around India to be their service centers. I reached out to Highlander, who is their representative in Bangalore. It is a 3-week process from placing the order online to sharing the attributes and to getting the date of delivery at Bangalore. Once received, it’s a day job at Highlander to get it fixed, up and running.
Over the past 30,000km I have put my Zedling suspension to the test across various terrains, including the treacherous roads of Zanskar, Spiti, the trails of Western Ghats as well as competing in a few off-road events. Add to that a tonne of highway runs too. And through it all, my suspension has held up remarkably well.
To go in detail, I can now see that I am able to maintain much higher speeds on curves or bumpy sections as the motorcycle feels a lot more planted on road. This has helped keep up my average speeds overall. The suspension is progressive in nature, in layman terms, when it comes across a bad patch, the suspension reacts immediately and begins to harden as it reaches the end of its travel, thereby avoiding a bottom out. This nature makes it a breeze on highways, any small undulation or pothole is just eaten up without unsettling the ride. And there is no pogo stick feeling or that wobble I had talked about earlier. Off road as well its handling things very well, no matter what I throw at it. I can carry higher speeds while staying more in control of the motorcycle. As sag is less, the overall seat height is a tad higher than earlier. Honestly, I can’t convey enough on how different this motorcycle feels now.
One of the things I love about my Zedling suspension is the level of customization available. The suspension is tailored to my specific needs and riding style, which has made a significant difference in how my bike handles on different terrains. I can feel the difference in how the suspension absorbs the bumps and rough patches, providing me with a smooth and stable ride. And this can be tweaked every time you service the setup, with varying oil and gas combinations. Oh, yes, the rear suspension uses a combination of oil and nitrogen gas for the right tune.
A standout moment for me was during off-road competitions, the Hill Climb at RE Ride Mania & the Trail Attack V at Big Rock Dirt Park. The suspension proved to be a game-changer, allowing me to take on obstacles and jumps with a lot more confidence. It was a testament to the quality and performance of the Zedling suspension system.
Another thing that sets Zedling apart from other suspension systems is their focus on durability. The Zedling suspension is made with high-quality materials that are built to withstand the wear and tear of rough terrains and long rides. After 30,000km, my suspension still feels as good as new. I have serviced it once recently and it did not cost a bomb. Though it took a little time as the rear shock needs to be sent to Pune for service. So, one needs to plan for the same. The recommended service interval is every 25,000km.
Lastly, I want to mention the excellent customer service I received from the team at Zedling. They were incredibly knowledgeable and helpful in guiding me through the process of choosing and installing my suspension. And even after my purchase, they were always available to answer any questions or concerns I had. Ritesh specifically was ready for every nagging doubt I had. For your service, you just need to log onto the website and raise a service request and go to the nearest representative. They will take care of the service and any logistics required for the same.
In conclusion, if you are looking for a top-of-the-line suspension system for your motorcycle, I highly recommend Zedling Suspensions. It has been a game-changer for me.
Just reiterating I bought this product at full cost and used it for over a year to write this as a first-hand experience.
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.
These are brought in India by Gear & Throttle House and you can buy them from their online store or their dealer network across India.