As my Honda HRV had experienced knocking issues while driving, especially when hitting a pothole, feeling wobbly when going on a highway, and the car’s braking power was not sufficient even though I had changed the brake pad currently. After checking with the tire shop,  I knew it was time to change my crippled OEM absorber, which served me for a 100,000km drive.  My first choice was Bilstein absorber or Monroe absorber; however, upon checking with various tire shops, they told me that both of these absorbers are not available for my Honda HRV. With this information, I thought to choose Kayaba as the replacement absorber.

My Honda HRV has two available choices: Kayaba New SR with a high-end absorber that is out of stock for my vehicle and needs to orders, which will take a long time to be delivered. Many shops had told me that it would take 2 or 3 months to receive the absorber as the absorber is not the most sought even though it can improve the driving quality thoroughly. As my crippled OEM absorber had diminished my Honda’s driving quality, I decided not to wait for the New SR and decided to fit it with another choice, Kayaba Excel-G.

On the Kayaba website for Excel-G, https://www.kyb.com.my/excel-product, the Excel G is Twin-Tube Gas Absorber. It is a performance restoration absorber and not a performance improvement absorber. However, the absorber has also been said to improve handling and deliver excellent road control, which for me is a slight improvement from the previous OEM absorber based on the details. In Honda HRV Facebook Group, there is numerous negative feedback on the OEM absorber, which is soft as it is not structured enough to absorb road irregularities. I went to the spare parts shop and ordered four sticks of the Excel-G, which cost me around RM610. The range price of Kayaba Excel G is between RM600 to RM800 depending on the shop and the suppliers.

While purchasing the absorber, the spare part-owner mentioned that this is the last stock for Honda HRV. He also said that these absorbers had been in demand since the price is not on the premium side, and at some time, it can restore and enhance the vehicle’s original performance. Feeling curious and sceptical,  I knew the Excel-G restoration and performance enhancement claim was valid or not only after I fitted it to my HRV.

After purchasing the Excel G, now is time to replace it. I went to a tire shop that I had known for a long time, and he quoted the labour price as RM230, including alignment. He had checked for any fault in my Honda HRV lower arm and bush. To my delight, he said none.  The foreman had mentioned that it would take more than 1 hour; hence I decided to take advantage of the government loosened the SOP where we can now dine in. It had been so long since I had been seated in the shop for dine-in. After several hours, the foreman had fitted the Excel G in my vehicle.

Now, it is time to drove the car with the new absorber. The difference in the ride is noticeable as the ride is firmer. Due to these, I feel the ride is better and feel the vehicle anchored to the road better than the previous OEM. Before replacing with Excel-G, the drive felt wobbly, but now, since the ride is firmly amalgamating with the feeling of the vehicle anchored to the road, the car is feeling faster but steady as the unbalanced feeling had vanished altogether.

With the firm ride, the car’s handling had been slightly better than the previous OEM absorber, which made me feel more secure while cornering. The absorber is made to absorbs the road irregularities, and the Kayaba Excel-G is true to the statement on the website, had absorbed the road irregularities better. The knocking sound which is experienced with my previous OEM absorber had vanished altogether. The Kayaba Excel had absorbed the road irregularities better due to the firm ride and hard-chromed piston road, which upgraded the road absorption.

The most pleasing feel I have after replacing the Excel-G is the better braking performance. The piston absorption had deteriorated to a meagre level since the previous OEM absorber had been crippled and damaged. The braking performance is undesirable as I feel the braking distance is longer. The braking power increased with the Excel G, and the distance was also shortened, making it safer to drive. The feeling of grippy while braking had reemerged back on my vehicle after replacing it with Excel G.

The stable ride, slightly better handling, especially while cornering, and grippier car while braking had restored and enhanced my Honda HRV. Although the Excel-G had been called a performance restoration absorber, the whole experience enhanced my vehicle’s driving experience. With the previous OEM absorber, the handling was not as stable even when it was unimpaired. I still can feel the ride not firm; the braking power is not grippy, although not to a deteriorating level when the absorber was damaged. The annoying part of listening to the loud knocking sound while turning or hitting the pothole had pushed to the past as the knocking sound is nonexistent anymore with Excel- G.

Afromentionedly, the OEM absorber had received numerous negative feedback posted in Honda HRV Facebook Group. Some car owners had changed their absorber to the adjustable or another better brand than OEM. The slight and enhanced improvement in my driving experience left me wondering what type of absorber they had previously fitted in the Honda HRV, making the driving experience undesirable. Even though the Kayaba Excel-G is not the most expensive absorber, it has improved my vehicle massively.  The performance restoration absorber that Kayaba called Excel-G had improved my driving experienced significantly. Now I’m thinking about how the Kayaba New SR could improve my handling as the New SR is built to enhance the vehicle’s performance further and better than Excel – G.

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