Which Color KONI Shock Is Right for Your Build?

Which Color KONI Shock Is Right for Your Build?

Last Updated June 13, 2023 | Meghan Drummond

KONI shocks have been a staple for performance vehicles for decades. And they’ve been in business even longer. For over 150 years, they’ve made dampers their specialty. Though they’re most well-known for their performance shocks, KONI makes some of the suspension equipment you’ll find on trains, RVs, and buses.

In short, KONI makes shocks and struts for a wide variety of purposes. And their product lineup is massive.

While you can’t really go wrong with KONI, picking the right shocks and struts can give your ride a performance edge and help you craft the ride quality you want.

Fortunately, KONI’s made the process a little easier by color-coding many of their aftermarket shocks. Here’s what the colors mean and how to know which is right for you.

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KONI yellows are also known as KONI Sport shocks. For most drivers who participate on the track but also daily drive their ride, Yellows are going to be ideal.

These shocks are fully adjustable, so you can create a softer ride for cruising over pavement or stiffen them up before hitting the track.

Adjusting your shocks is done manually but is an easy enough process. Most drivers simply keep their adjustment knob safely stashed in their console or glove box till they’re in need of a change of ride quality.

A single yellow KONI shock


KONI orange shocks are also called the STr.T line. designed for drivers who want performance, but who are on a budget. These are going to be better for performance driving than your stock struts, but they’re not as adjustable as the yellow ones.

Some of the features the orange shocks share with the yellows though is that they’re designed to work with lowering springs, anti-roll bars, and performance wheels and tires. While the STR.T line is geared towards light cars, the STR.T LT series expands the potential applications to include a wide variety of pickups and SUVs as well.

An orange Koni Shock


Red is unfortunately where the color-coding system falls apart. 5 different KONI lines are produced in red.

Here’s what to know about each.

A Koni red shock

Special Active with Frequency Selective Damping

If you’re looking for the most comfortable ride without sacrificing handling, then these are the shocks for you. The damper’s internal valving is designed to automatically adapt to the road. That means rough pavement, steel plates, patched concrete, and other road irregularities won’t jar you or create some of the handling woes you see with OEM shocks.

Special D/Classic

These shocks are designed for vintage vehicles that frequent tracks and curvy backroads. In particular, these shocks are great for when you want better handling, but want to leave the rest of your classic’s suspension as it was.

While these shocks are adjustable, they can’t be adjusted while on the vehicle the way the Sport series can. They have to be adjusted prior to installation or can be removed and adjusted. KONI’s Classic line is the same but comes in both red and black finishes.

Heavy Track/RAID

If you’re an off-road driver, you’re going to want to check out the Heavy Track and Raid lines. Heavy Track offers a good blend of street manners and off-road performance. RAID throws balance out the window and is designed for extreme off-road scenarios.

Fully adjustable, either line will let you adjust as needed to accommodate whatever you’re towing or the trail conditions of the day.

Which KONI’s Right for You?

While each of these lines offers a lot, hopefully, one stood out as being the right fit for you. It may also be time to upgrade if you notice symptoms of bad shocks and struts on your current setup. Browsing through KONI’s full selection lets you see all of the options. Here’s the type of KONI product we’d recommend for each of these common considerations.

If You Love Your Classic

Then the KONI Special D or Classic lines should offer you better handling and performance while preserving what you love about your ride.

If You’re Doing Some Performance Driving

If you’re starting to get involved in Autocross, Road Rallys, or other performance driving, then the Yellow/Sport line is going to be perfect for you.

A blue car on an autocross track

If You’re Mostly on the Highway, but Driving Like You Mean It

Then you should check out the STR.T lineup. These shocks offer better performance at a good price and are right at home on your commute or while you carve some corners on the parkway.

Likewise, if you love KONI’s on your weekend performance ride, the STR.T lineup will give you a little more performance from your weekday commuter without breaking the bank. And the fact it comes in options for so many different vehicles makes it a great option for most.

A small white crossover cruising on the highway

If You Demand Comfort

Then you really should check out the Special Active technology. You’ll get superior handling but also superior comfort.

You’re an Off-Roader

If your off-roader splits its time, then the Heavy Track shocks should be a good choice for you. But if your dedicated off-roader runs beadlocks and rarely sees the highway, check out the RAID lineup for the perfect shocks for you.

An off-roading vehicle with its tires and sides splattered in mud

Source: KONI North America, KONI

This article was researched, written, edited, and reviewed following the steps outlined in our editorial process. Learn more about CJ's editorial standards and guidelines.