Best Suspension Review Project
© 2014 Chris Shenefield and RedShift Motorsports, Inc. All rights reserved.
2006-11 Honda Civic
HFP vs Koni Sport Shocks
What's the difference???
Bottom line? The Koni Sports are more comfortable. Having spent several months with an HFP suspension on my Civic, I can tell you without question that it is not a comfortable setup. On the up side, it handles great. So, is the discomfort worth the great handling? I don't think so. Why? Well, I love a car that handles great, but I am not willing to get bounced around constantly when the benefit is relatively small.
So, without changing anything else, I removed the HFP shocks and installed the Koni Sport shocks (on the HFP Springs). And what happened? The Civic became so much more comfortable!
Why? The shock dyno graph comparison tells the story well.
Amazing to see in front that the HFP shocks are stiffer in every way compared to the Koni Sport shocks, even at full stiff. So, that makes the HFP front shocks quite uncomfortable. Perhaps a great handling shock, but terrible for comfort. The question emerges immediately for me.... why are the Konis at full stiff still softer than the HFP shocks in front? Not sure. But I can say that the Koni Sports are softer than HFP, no question about it. And this is the single biggest reason that the HFP kit is not very comfortable. The HFP shocks in front are REALLY stiff.
The adjustment on the Konis is still significant, but it appears that the Koni engineers have opted to provide less rebound damping in order to keep the car a bit more comfortable. This also keep the inside wheel on the ground better at corner exit. Race guys take notice.... traction in front is important, and the Koni Sports un-weight the front tires less than the HFP shocks do in transition, and that helps traction at launch and corner exit. For street guys, it just means better comfort... much better comfort actually.
In back, the adjustment range of the Koni Sports is really huge. Still, at full soft, they are much softer than the HFP shocks at low velocity (1-5 in/sec), and that equates to a more supple feel. Obviously you are able to turn the Koni Sports up, and when you do, you will be rewarded with significant handling improvements for spirited weekend jaunts or track/autocross. Furthermore, higher spring rates (like Neuspeed rear springs or coilovers) require more rebound damping, and these Konis provide adjustment beyond what most people will ever need. That's what we are used to seeing with Konis... soft when you want them for daily driving and firm when you need them for a day of autocross or mountain fun. And note that because the compression damping doesn't change with Koni's adjustment, the shocks remains able to absorb bumps and stay reasonably comfortable, even with the rebound is turned up.
So, the bottom line is that the HFP Suspension for the Civic is good for handling, but it is uncomfortable. The discomfort comes from the shocks. The HFP springs are not overly stiff at 215 lb/in front and 270 lb/in rear. Compare that to the stock Civic Si springs at 200F/230R, Tein S.Tech springs at 235F/274R, and Neuspeed Sport springs at 220F/440R. As you see, the HFP spring rates are not the issue. The HFP Shocks ARE the issue, which is why understanding what I've written here is important if you are considering the purchase of an HFP suspension for your 06-11 Civic. Who will want to purchase the HFP kit? Only those who want to have 1) a stiff ride that 2) handles well but 3) with no damper adjustment that 4) doesn't drop the car much. Almost nobody.
*** My experience has shown that most "street" guys with Civics want one of 2 types of setups.
Thanks for reading... I hope this has been helpful to you.