Deciding: Throttlemeister Bar-End Throttle Lock

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SpeedRacerOnline
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Sat Jun 11, 2016 11:43 am

I'm hoping to embark on a long (~4,000 mile) trip here in a couple weeks, and I plan to get a "cruise control" installed before I go. I put it in quotes because I'll be going with a throttle lock, not an actual cruise control. An actual cruise control uses some sort of speed sensor and adjusts the throttle as needed to maintain a specified speed, and automatically disengages when the brake is applied. A throttle lock simply holds the throttle in one position, which will maintain speed on a flat surface, but will fluctuate on hills, and also generally does not disengage with the brakes (except for a couple of expensive options). Cruise control systems cost around $200-$1,000+, and can be complex to install; especially on older non-electronic bikes. Throttle locks can be had as low as $15, depending on the quality and design, and are very simple to install.

Years ago, I had a Virago that had a cheap ~$25 plastic throttle lock that installs between the inside edge of the grip and the controls. With the flip of a lever, it applies compression tension on the grip to keep the throttle from returning when released. To disengage it, just flip the lever back up (but it has to be done manually; no automatic option on the cheap ones). It's a simple concept and a good idea for many riders who only use it occasionally. Unfortunately, because it fights the throttle return pressure with tension, it doesn't hold permanently. Over time, the vibration of the bike allows the throttle to slowly return, thus losing speed. It's handy, but annoyingly less handy than you want it to be eventually; especially on long trips. There are a couple of better versions of them these days, even an expensive $200+ aluminum one that does have a brake disengage. However, after reading reviews, they all still suffer from the same problem; slowly losing speed due to vibration.

So, I've searched for some time for a better solution. I found one a couple years ago, but due to the price and the fact that I haven't really needed it, haven't tried it yet. As I'm actually in real need of one now, I'm seriously considering it. I wanted to put it out here and see if anybody had anything to say, or has had any real world experience.

They call it the "Throttlemeister Cruise Control Kit"
Image


Again, it's actually a throttle lock, not a cruise control, but whatever. What's different about this one is that instead of wedging something between the controls and the grip, this one replaces your factory bar ends, and holds lateral pressure on the end of the throttle tube to hold it in place. While it doesn't disengage with the brake, it is still adjustable even when locked, and due to its design, it disengages when you manually roll the throttle forward (off). It's available in six different finishes, and once installed, looks just like a nice bar end, not a funky mechanical parasite attached to your bike. As an added bonus, they offer them in standard and heavy weights to help improve vibration absorption. Also, it requires no actual modifications to the bike. Some of the cheaper insert-style throttle locks require a screw hole to be drilled in the controls to hold it in place. This one simply installs in place of your bar ends. If you ever want to move it to a different bike, just put the factory bar ends back on, and all is back to normal.

The bad news is the price: $126 - $164 depending on size and finish. Most basic throttle locks run around $30, though the fancy auto-disengage ones can cost $200+. Either way, the Throttlemeister is still around half the price of a cruise control, and a lot easier to install.

The good news is the reviews: I've only found a few reviews here and there, but so far, they've been good. The only negative I've really found is people complaining about paying $150 for a throttle lock, but that has been from long-distance touring riders who upgraded from it to an actual cruise control. Even those people said that it did what it was supposed to do well. From that perspective (and with a wallet that thick), I might say the same thing. However, from my perspective, I see it as a throttle lock that actually works, costs half of a real cruise control, looks nice, and has the added bonus of being a heavier bar end for reducing vibration.

Here's one of the better YouTube reviews I've found (even if you decide to fast-forward through the installation process):
phpBB [video]


Here's a link to the kit that fits our bikes: AY1

So, what do you think? It's expensive, but for the look and reliability, do you think it looks worth it? Anybody ever got to use one before?
"I want to drive. I want to feel all of it: freedom, wind, curves, feedback, acceleration, unsteadiness, fear, joy... I don't want to ride. I want to drive."
- Speed's XJ Journal

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radare
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Sat Jun 11, 2016 11:53 am

These are really nice looking, expensive solutions. In lieu of them, have you considered simply installing an o-ring between the throttle grip and the right-hand handlebar switch? The correct size o-ring would hold the throttle in place while allowing you to easily move the throttle. It might save you some money. It also might be a bad idea.

Edit: Here's a video showing what I am thinking. You could buy a lot of gas for the differences between the cost of an o-ring and the cost of a Throttlemeister.

phpBB [video]

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kscountryboy
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Sat Jun 11, 2016 3:29 pm

My brother has a throttlemeister kit on his bmw r1200rt. He loves it. He told me to look into getting one for my seca II but I haven't had the spare funds lately. Someday maybe.

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SpeedRacerOnline
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Sun Jun 12, 2016 2:37 pm

radare wrote:These are really nice looking, expensive solutions. In lieu of them, have you considered simply installing an o-ring between the throttle grip and the right-hand handlebar switch? The correct size o-ring would hold the throttle in place while allowing you to easily move the throttle. It might save you some money. It also might be a bad idea.

Edit: Here's a video showing what I am thinking. You could buy a lot of gas for the differences between the cost of an o-ring and the cost of a Throttlemeister.
That idea had crossed my mind, but it left on more of the "might be a bad idea" end of the train of thought. That will do the same thing ridiculously cheap, but it also completely takes away the throttle return. With the Throttlemeister, I have to turn it off, but at least I can turn it off. In the case that something does go wrong on the road, especially in a busy town area where I wouldn't be using the throttle lock, I'd be stuck with it anyway which could lead to a very dangerous situation. Sure, I'd just have to remember that and manually twist the throttle back, but where it can be avoided, I'd rather not add one more thing to have to remember 10-ms before an accident. With that one thought in mind, just like the proper riding gear, $150 seems like a small price to pay for that few extra potentially life-saving milliseconds.

Also, I expect it would still suffer from the same problem that most other options have; slowly losing grip with vibration. That's the main thing I'm trying to avoid, and why I'm considering this more expensive option.
"I want to drive. I want to feel all of it: freedom, wind, curves, feedback, acceleration, unsteadiness, fear, joy... I don't want to ride. I want to drive."
- Speed's XJ Journal

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