Riding smooth: Hydraulic suspension vs. Nitrox suspension systems


12 Dec 2023

Choosing the Right Ride: Hydraulic vs. Nitrox Suspension Systems Demystified

Maintaining a two-wheeler has become a necessity, especially after the Covid breakout. Most of the Indian households own at least one bike. It goes without saying that if you own a bike, you have to maintain a valid two-wheeler insurance policy. With the protection of Kotak bike insurance, the journey becomes smoother. However, understanding the mechanism of the concerned two-wheeler is essential to making an informed purchase.

Hydraulic suspension

Hydraulic suspensions work on hydraulic principles, allowing efficient force management with the oil in the container with comparatively minimal effort. The piston remains dipped inside the oil tube while the springs are visible outside.

You must note that all the other components essentially facilitate the actions of the springs both progressive and linear, and the piston.

In the case of linear springs, unlike progressive ones, the distance between the spring windings remains equivalent from the top to the bottom. In the progressive variant, the bottom windings are comparatively much more compact.

This setup is common and suitable for entry-level two-wheelers.

Nitrox suspension

This is a far more sophisticated variant of rear suspension where a special cylindrical canister containing pressurised nitrogen gas, remains attached. Because of this unique attachment, it has earned its name of nitrox suspension.

The external section of the canister acts as a typical reservoir for both nitrogen gas and hydraulic oil.

This sort of suspension setup is found in more elite two-wheeler variants.

Hydraulic vs nitrox suspension

This bike suspension comparison is essential to understand beforehand to make an informed decision and choice during bike purchase. However, in this context, it must be mentioned that the terms of bike insurance remain unaffected irrespective of the type of suspension present in the concerned bike.



Hydraulic oil is used as two-wheeler shock absorbers. This oil has a unique chemical composition containing 10% air molecules.

Rather than hydraulic oil, nitrogen gas is used here. Compressed nitrogen oil fills a cylinder tube acting as the shock absorber.

Because of repeated compression, the air molecules separate the oil, forming a foam layer called cavitation, inside the cylinder.

Despite repeated compression, no cavitation happens here.

Cavitation prohibits efficient shock absorption.

This system is far more effective and efficient, ensuring enhanced comfort and stability with redefined smooth ride technology.

This comparison establishes that in the case of hydraulic suspension, the formation of air bubbles inside the tube gradually loosens and separates the gas molecules and oil molecules, resulting in cavitation. This effectively reduces the shock-absorbing efficiency. Since this technology is not fool proof, they are installed on novice bikes.

On the other hand, nitrox suspension is free from such cavitation issues. Nitrogen being an inert gas, ensures the accurate pressurisation of the damping oil. This maintains the bonding between the gas and the oil molecules unaffected. Being a more sophisticated technology, it ensures a better riding experience.

To wrap up

This article effectively highlights the major differences between hydraulic and nitrox suspension. Although nitrox suspension is comparatively better, it requires a more careful and efficient pro approach for handling. If you are a novice rider, it is better to begin with hydraulic suspension bikes and gradually move for the better.

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Team Kotak GIC

The content of this blog has been created and carefully reviewed by the esteemed team at Kotak General Insurance, with the sole purpose of providing valuable guidance and sharing insights on the importance of general insurance. Our objective is to assist users in making informed decisions when purchasing or renewing insurance policies for their cars, bikes, and health. Our expertly curated information aims to empower our readers with the knowledge they need to protect their valuable assets and financial interests.