2019-06-18

Motorcycle Throttle Lock aka Cruise Control

If you've ever been out on the highway for a while, you know that it turns into mind and backside numbing boredom, in which your throttle hand remains cracked to perhaps 3/4 rotation... For how long? Until you get there. One, two or three hours perhaps?

Here are a few tips and tricks I've been using over the years to beat throttle cramp:

Cheap Ass Throttle control

A cheap ass throttle lock as seen here. I ran something like this on my GSF600s for a while until I upgraded:
Cheap Ass Throttle Lock

Vista Cruise

On my 2001 Suzuki Bandit GSF600s, I bought it with a Vista Cruise throttle lock like the one below, but it took up a lot of throttle real estate and a sharp edge cut it's way through my leather riding gloves. I was pretty happy when that was sold with my Suzuki and I moved on to a different type of Vista Cruise throttle lock on my 2005 Honda VFR800i

Universal Vista Cruise Throttle Lock


One or two "Cable" Vista Cruise Throttle lock

 The Vista Cruise that I installed on my VFR was much more minimal than that on my Suzuki Bandit. But there are better throttle locks out there, and some are much cheaper.

Go Cruise throttle control

I bought the Go Cruise "Mark I" and fell in love with it, as I could toss it onto the throttle just before getting onto the highway, then pop it back into my tank bag when I left the slab and got back onto more exciting roads. The "Mark II" version is beefed up and looks awesome! They do take up some throttle space though.

Go Cruise Throttle Control Mark I (plastic)

Go Cruise Throttle Control Mark II (aluminum)






The plastic model is brilliant for quick on and off, then into your tank bag or pocket. A brilliant, inexpensive concept.

Throttle Rocker and Cramp Buster

I've had this on my bikes for so long that I can't remember when I first started using one. I recall using it on my VFR, so I've had it on the go since 2007 or longer and it's been a love affair almost from the start.

Throttle Rocker - Mark I
 It clamps onto your throttle, and gives you essentially a wrist rest, so you have an extension that when you twist the throttle, part of the palm of your hand is engaged as well, so the leverage increases a hundred fold, and you are much less likely to have a blistered, red, sore throttle hand at the end of a long ride. This never comes off my throttle. :)

Cramp Buster
I find the ergonomics Throttle Rocker superior to the Cramp Buster, but the Cramp Buster on the left as seen above takes up the least amount of throttle space. Not an issue for me at all, but a new installation might throw you off for a bit. You can always rotate this down and away from your palm temporarily if you need to.

I use my Throttle Rocker with my heated grips

ThrottleMeister Bar Ends and Throttle Locks

On my KLR I had some vibration on the bars, and many of my friends suggested purchasing the Throttlemeister throttle controls, but I ended up going with something similar in function but cheaper called the Manic Salamander

ThrottleMeister Throttle control
 The concept is the bar end on the throttle side rotates, and by means of an shim, puts pressure on the end of your throttle tube and locks the throttle. Of course you can override this by simply rotating the throttle tube back to the off position against the friction resistance. It's easy, and becomes a learned habit in no time as you exit the highway onto a ramp, or over take a slower moving vehicle.



Manic Salamander



Kaoko Throttle Control

Many of my friends left the ThrottleMeister brand behind and went with the Kaoko throttle control. For price, availability, and the fact that they made a version that would fit a bike fitted with aluminum handguards such as the Barkbuster, Acerbis and Tusk lineup, made it attractive and when I saw a "For Sale" post at kawasakiversys.com, I bought one used for a reasonable price and very happily installed it on my Versys that winter, and it's survived 87,000 kilometres of touring and thrashing.

Kaoko Throttle control



Atlas throttle lock

While reseraching this article I came across a mention of the Atlas Throttle lock and how well it was being received by ADVRider inmates, so here it is:






Motorcycle Cruise Control 

electronic, mechanical, vacuum...

My brother-in-law Kirk bought himself a 2017 Triumph Tiger 800xc that came equipped with factory cruise control, and while he and my nephews were planning their great adventure of 8,000km that year, I talked up throttle locks and the throttle rocker to them. Captain Kirk was very happy with his OEM cruise control, and I could understand, as you could set it for the highway and leave it despite hills and always know you were at the same speed. I would love it for my Versys, but I'll have to install an aftermarket version such as the McCruise aka Motor Cycle Cruise unit i want it on my V, and it's just not going to happen.

The Aftermarket options for electronic cruise control make installation look like a winter time project for those who shelled out the money for new touring bikes, such as Honda ST1300 or Yamaha FJR1300. My friend Matt installed it on his Kawasaki ZX-14 as he loved touring on that bike, and had the spare cash and time to throw at it.

Me, not so much.


2019-06-15

2019 I Picked Up a Nail

So I went out for a wee rip with my girlfriend last week, that got cut short when I found that my rear tire was quite low on air, down to about 20 lbs, when it should be up at 36 to 38 psi for the rear Shinko 705.

I got to my girlfriends place and aired up to 38 psi, then came and parked the bike in the underground only to find out that the tire wasn't holding air and was all but flat again. The flat rear tire put paid to last weekends plans for an overnight camping trip into New Brunswick, and I got sick which didn't help matters much at all, so while CLine was enjoying the wonderful weather and riding to work, I got practive in calling in sick and pulling the covers over my head. But just to be safe, I bought a new Shinko 705 from FortNine.ca and had it shipped to the office this past week.

Right, now that I was ready for all outcomes (I was worried about a bent rim. Don't ask me about spring potholes this year), I got some gear and headed down to the parking garage to find that as soon as I tossed the bike up on my paddock stand and put the Versys into neutral, CLine drew my attention to the nice bright nail head embedded in the tire. I breathed a sigh of relief, for now it was  a straight forward puncture and I felt pretty confident that I could repair this in one go, test it and still get in a couple hours ride with my sweetheart, the Vers.... Oops, CLine. ;)

Yep, that'll do it! 
*sigh* it could be worse. Photo Credit - CLine





Tools of the trade. $13 at Princess Auto
 CLine loaned me the use of her tire patch kit that we had used on her Subaru in April when she picked up a couple of nails, and it did the trick. I actually read the directions for a change! AFTER I'd already performed the repair as I wanted to see how long it needed to cure, but I was told to bring it to pressure and do a leak test.
I'll trim the excess here in a moment
 I sprayed on some soapy water, over the repair, it held, so I lubricated the chain, and CLine helped me clean up my bits and pieces.

It passes the soapy water test!
My nephew rang me up asking if I had a chain riveting tool to loan him, and as that fit into our plans of getting an ice cream from the Somerset Ice Cream Bar in Kinkora, I had the perfect excuse for a test ride.

I cheated, this is from an earlier ride this year. :)


It held air, and it looks like it's vulcanising already, but I hedged my bet and brought along my air pump just to be on the safe side of sorry. It's a good feeling to have that new rear tire sitting down in the storage locker, ready to go on.

Cheers!

Update: 2019-06-18

500 kilometers of riding later and it's holding up well and seems to have vulcanized into the existing rubber. I'm pretty happy for the moment.

2019-05-25

2019 The Fish n' Chips Ride

Fish and chips at the Alma Boathouse Restaurant - 244 km away


Heading out for a 500 km ride for a plate of fish and chips? If you are a fellow rider you get it. If you don't ride, let me illustrate it for you:


Or as CLine and I enjoyed it, Fish n' chips served at the Boathouse Restaurant in Alma, New Brunswick, a favourite spot of mine since Mike T. first showed me and my nephews the road up to Cape Enrage back in 2009.


Charlottetown PE to Alma NB and Return - 522 km, 6 hours, 42 minutes
We chatted up riding a lot harder and further on Friday night to find that we would rather set our sights a wee bit lower and enjoy the ride than to turn the one day with a decent forecast into a "Dawn to Dusk" rally as the weather just isn't quite there yet. Call me lazy, I'm alright with that. In fact, I embrace it. :)

So instead of a ten hour ride to St. Martins New Brunswick and return, we opted for a shorter ride to Alma NB for lunch, and then a bunch of highway back so we could be sitting on the couch with out feet up that evening. :D

And so it was, we woke up at 0600 and slapped the snooze bar again and again...

CLine and I making our way across the Confederation Bridge...


Stopping to strip off yet another layer... 
When the day starts off below 4 degrees Celsius then climbs up to 16 degrees for a day time high, you are going to need to dress in layers, and wear everything when you start. As the day got warmer, we stopped and shed layers. This seemed to be the practice all day long.








Riding along NB 114 along Shepody Bay, Fundy
The highest tidal falls in the world take place here, and at low tide you can see a scar of mud where streams and rivers carve their way out into the bay.

If it's your first time here, check the tide tables and plan to visit the Hopewell Rocks at low tide... 

Lunch is that-a-way!

The last five kilometres are a real joy to ride as you wind your way into the town of Alma proper.

Caroline heading into Alma New Brunswick (She chose the tune... :D )


CLine & RottenRonnie - Photo credit CLine



Why are we here? Oh yeah, roads and lunch. 
Fundy National Park of Canada takes you up and over the hills with a few laid back switchbacks then down through Mechanic Settlement and back out to the Trans Canada 1 that could take you back to Moncton and the Island



Classic cars?



The objective here isn't to scrape a peg, but to have a blast and refrain from grounding a peg. 
The ground clearance on the 2004 Honda Shadow is quite low, and CLine has more of a problem choosing a good entry speed and line into a corner so she DOESN'T grind her pegs/floorboards mid corner.


And that's about it for the sweet corners... 
New Brunswick roads are a crapshoot this time of year, especially before the road crews can get out and patch winter damage. Take it easy for some of these holes could set you back a tow truck and a damaged rim.


895 just south of TC 1 at Anagance NB

We opted to stay off the 1 as long as possible, so crossed over on 114 then took Portage Vale road as it was heading roughly North East, then 895 North until we hit the Trans Canada and hoofed it into Moncton where we had a date with a full Costco parking lot.

So does this count as "Off road"? 
CLine lost me in the parking lot of Costco. My excuse is that I had to find us a spot, and I found a "pulley throughey" up close to the doors, but I'm a mere wean at 6' and she couldn't see me over all the trucks and SUV's in the lot. It was quite the conversation over the Cardo Scala G4s for a few minutes there...
"Costco on a motorcycle. Guaranteed to be a cheap stop." 
 CLine had a bit of a laugh at herself over on Facebook, as did her friends who asked her to pick up some cat litter on the way home. As it was, we grabbed a package of medium freezer bags, her favourite frozen chinese dumplings, a couple sets of merino wool socks for ladies, and some computer reading glasses, a his and hers set. Most of that fit nicely in my stuff sack, rok strapped to the back seat of the Versys for the trip home, while she refused to let the dumplings out of her sight and tossed them into her cargo pack. I can change dear, honest I can.  

955NB on our way to Murray Corner NB
If you are coming to the Island from Moncton, skip much of 15 and 16 by jumping onto NB 955 just East of Shemogue and ride through Murray Corner and hop back onto 16 just before the bridge back to the Island. You will not only have a nice little ride down some curvy back roads, but beat much of the traffic and the 16 wheelers that hog 16, and are no doubt following someone's gran who is afraid of hitting moose out of season so drives 20 kph under the posted limit. *sigh* Yes, that is how you get to and from the Island. Either race car fast, or painfully slow, and it seems to be in direct proportion to the duration of natural light. ie, Summer vs Winter.  
CLine rocking Cadman Corner on the 955


We ended up back out on 16 just seconds ahead of the conga line of trucks and tourists all bound for the Red Isle, beat them onto the bridge, then stopped for fuel and a cuppa coffee on the other side at the Borden-Carleton Esso.

The bridge awaits!

CLine has the bridge to herself for a few moments
Once back home we both agreed that we'd had a wonderful day, but tomorrow's forecast called for 100% chance of rain, and 0% chance of morning alarms.

Th-th-th-that's all folks