Long-Term Kawasaki Ninja 1000: Go Cruise Throttle Stop

Long-term update: Adding a Go Cruise throttle stop to the Ninja.

WRIST: Kevin Smith
MSRP (2014): $11,999
MILES: 15,031 MPG: 40
MODS: Go Cruise throttle stop
UPDATE: 9

I am a huge fan of cruise control on bikes. The chance to relax my throttle hand and occasionally shake out my right arm makes a major difference on a trip of any length. And even if your bike lacks the electronic wizardry of proper cruise control, you can fake it just like I did on the Kawasaki Ninja 1000.

The market is rife with throttle stops (I shudder at the term “throttle lock”) of various designs, which approximate cruise control’s benefits by holding the twistgrip in a fixed position. The bike will maintain a constant road speed, as long as you aren’t too finicky about the precision of that hold and the terrain is level. So I went hunting for a throttle stop for my long-term Ninja 1000, a bike that has proven its mettle as a long-ranger.

No ride by wire? No problem! An old-fashioned, friction-activated throttle stop is a cheap and quick way to add the convenience of cruise control to any motorcycle.

For pure, elegant simplicity, you can't beat the Go Cruise throttle stop ( 2wheelride.com). It clamps onto the throttle grip and can bear against the front brake lever to hold the throttle in position. It has to hold the grip tightly enough to resist the throttle-return spring but lightly enough to let you rotate it into position.

In the interest of science, I ordered both styles Go Cruise offers, the hinged clamp with an adjustment thumbwheel ($31.95 in satin black, $36.95 in chrome) and the ingenious single-piece-of-plastic version ($19.95). They both install the same way, simply by slipping the open end over the grip and settling it into place over the supplied vinyl ring.

I started with the adjustable version so I could fine-tune the action, and I easily found that sweet spot in the tension. I could rotate the unit around the grip when I wanted to, yet it would maintain position pretty reliably when pushed down against the brake lever. My right index finger would sometimes contact the protruding adjustment wheel, but I got used to that pretty quickly.

Next I went to the single-piece clamp, whose design and material create the clamping force on the throttle grip. I can’t speak for how broadly adaptable this version is to different grips, but it worked just fine on the Ninja’s. I found a couple turns of tape under the supplied ring could fine-tune the clamping force. (You’ll be tempted to use black electrical tape because you have it and the color will be inconspicuous, but its slick surface works against what you’re trying to accomplish. Cloth athletic tape was better for me.)

A bigger screen and hand guards to manage the wind and taller gearing to reduce vibration make our Ninja 1000 quite accommodating in freeway-cruise mode. Now the ability to rest my right hand briefly helps keep the creeping cramps and tingles away.

No ride by wire? No problem! An old-fashioned, friction-activated throttle stop is a cheap and quick way to add the convenience of cruise control to any motorcycle.