Introduced for the first time in motorcycles by Yamaha in a motocross event in 1972, the monoshock suspension we see on the modern motorcycles is nothing but a better engineered version of the traditional dual shock absorber system. In a monoshock suspension setup, the single shock absorber’s swingarm side mount is near the swingarm pivot axis while its other mount is near the center of the motorcycle.
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Inception in India:
Until the early 2000s, the Indian motorcycle market´s only acquaintance with monoshock suspension was in the imported sports and enduro motorcycles. Back in the year 2004 when the other motorcycle manufacturers of India like Bajaj, TVS and the erstwhile Hero Honda were busy providing their customers with gas charged dual suspension on the rear, Honda Motorcycles India decided to provide the Indian market with a first in class monoshock suspension setup in their Unicorn 150. This not only improved the ride quality of the motorcycle, but also improved the suspension life by decreasing the shock absorber travel. Witnessing the huge success of the monoshock setup on Honda Unicorn, the global pioneer of monoshock suspension decided to enter the Indian market with the launch of the R15 and the FZ-16 in the year 2008. Next, the motorcycle behemoth Bajaj introduced the technology for the first time in the Pulsar 200NS motorcycle which was heavily based on the KTM Duke 200. Today, almost every Indian motorcycle has a monoshock linkage suspension setup owing to the improved dynamics it offers as well as the cost advantage of a single shock absorber instead of two.
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Inception in the scooter market:
Monoshock suspension made an entry into the global scooter market with the introduction of maxi scooters. However, the fuel economy sensitive Indian market was almost completely unaware of the existence of maxi-scooters. Now, it´s true that the rear suspension setup of a traditional scooter has a single shock absorber, but it cannot be classified as a monoshock setup due to the placement position and travel of the shock absorber. For a long time, India´s sole familiarity with the use of monoshock setup in scooters was in the various concepts displayed during auto expos. The first production scooter to come with the setup was the Ather 340 electric scooter. The revised suspension setup can be seen only in electric scooters right now. This restriction is mainly due to the placement of the engine and fuel tank in the traditional scooters. With technology reference point set by the Ather 340 and the Ather 450, it won´t be long before monoshock setup becomes a common sight in traditional scooters as well.
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