Some do, some don’t, and there are after-market kits for installing cruise control. There are throttle locks if you have an older bike. If you have a sports motorcycle, the thought of cruise control may make you throw up in your mouth. But for the cruisers and tourers, it can make a world of difference.
If you have an older motorcycle and you have tried the throttle lock, you will appreciate the advantages that this simple device brings and yet understand it can be a pain in the neck because it’s purely mechanical, relying on the rider’s inputs.
This article discusses cruise control on motorcycles, why they have or don’t have the gadget, and if you need cruise control on a motorcycle. We answer frequently asked questions providing factual information for riders.
Let’s get into it.
Do you need cruise control on a motorcycle?
There’s nothing quite like the freedom of a long ride with the open road up ahead, whether you drive a Harley, a Ducati, or even a BMW tourer.
However, a road trip on a bike can be very taxing on the body, even while it can be beneficial for the soul. It can get tricky for a biker’s hand to hold the throttle open after about 100 miles.
The discomfort may even threaten your safety if your bike lacks cruise control.
Why don’t older motorcycles have cruise control?
Due to the dated nature of the technology at the time, cruise control is rarely seen on older bikes.
Vacuum servos, originally used to operate the cruise control on autos, weren’t suitable for motorcycles due to their complexity and the overall size and bulk of the system.
Throttle locks that functioned like cruise control used to be standard equipment on various motorcycles, including Harley Davidsons and Honda Goldwings.
Many newer bikes, particularly touring bikes, have improved cruise control capability. Because contemporary cruise control systems are computer-controlled, installing cruise control is a simple afterthought.
Thanks to technological development, there is a cruise control option these days for every bike.
There are valid reasons that riders of cruisers and tourers love to have cruise control:
Using cruise control on your bike can improve gas mileage like in a car. Better mileage is frequently cited as the top benefit of motorbike cruise control.
Reliefs of sore wrist and hand
The prevention of hand and wrist cramps is one of the most common justifications for purchasing motorbike cruise control.
This is crucial for senior riders who frequently discover that constantly adjusting their speed by twisting the throttle can be more uncomfortable than when they were younger.
Maintain the speed limit (fewer tickets)
The main goal of cruise control is to maintain a constant speed, thereby minimising the need to often modify your speed.
Your speed doesn’t need to alter on some parts of the road where you may be travelling for an extended period of time, and this is still another way that cruise control can be advantageous because it lowers the likelihood of getting a speeding ticket.
Allows the rider to focus on the road
To ensure that you can maintain your concentration on the places where you need it when operating a motor vehicle, driving requires a lot of attention.
When you have cruise control engaged, you have one less item to pay attention to as you drive. It implies that you are paying closer attention to your surroundings, other motorists, and how you are driving.
Your comfort is crucial, so adding features like heated seats or deciding on cruise control will help keep you at ease when riding your bike.
Being at ease encourages safer and more defensive driving habits, which reduces the likelihood of mistakes or accidents. By removing the need to deliberate over choosing exact speeds and allowing your body to rest more comfortably as you travel along the road, cruise control can help with this.
Using it can reduce engine wear.
Because your motorbike engine is continually in use, all of its components and parts will eventually deteriorate over time.
Another advantage of cruise control is that it lessens the engine’s acceleration as you travel along the road. Less engine deterioration results from this, which might help you save time and money while owning the motorcycle.
Decreasing of fatigue
Long periods of time spent riding a bike without taking a break or changing positions might make you more fatigued, just like how your hand can cramp up from clutching the throttle.
By allowing your muscles to rest a little bit when driving on cruise control, you will use less energy and get less exhausted, improving your overall control.
Does Harley Davidsons have cruise control?
Not all models of Harley Davidson have cruise control. Hebrew is a list of motorcycles where cruise control is standard or an option:
- Electra Glide® Standard.
- Road King®
- Road Glide®
- Street Glide®
- Road King® Special.
- Road Glide® Special.
- Street Glide® Special.
- Road Glide® Limited.
Since 1989, Harley-Davidson vehicles have been equipped with electronic cruise control. However, it depends on the model.
Some pre-2000 models with cruise control are known to have problems, so it is worth checking the model and looking on Harley forums for more details.
What is Bike cruise control?
Without using the throttle, you may maintain a specific road speed with a straightforward cruise control system.
This implies that the motorcycle will maintain its current speed even if you depress the button for cruise control and then remove your right hand from the twist grip.
An additional feature of adaptive cruise control is the ability to lock onto the car in front of you. Radar sensors on the motorcycle’s front can both identify and estimate the distance to objects in front of it.
Two components make up the radar unit: a transmitter and a receiver. The receiver receives radio waves from the transmitter after they are reflected back by nearby objects. The device can determine the size and proximity of the objects in front of the motorcycle using the reflected waves.
As a result, the radar sensor can detect when a car travels a specific distance in front of you while on the highway. When you switch on adaptive cruise control, the ECU can use information from the radar sensor to keep the distance between you and the vehicle in front precisely the same.
The radar sensor will alert the ECU if the vehicle in front of you picks up speed, and this will cause the ECU to raise the throttle opening, allowing you to catch up to it. The same is valid for deceleration; when the car stops, the radar unit alerts the ECU, which then applies the brakes on the motorcycle.
The rider can decide how closely he wants to follow the vehicle in front, and the bike will take care of the rest.
With more sophisticated systems, you can adjust the following distance in real-time, allowing you to catch up to the automobile in front as speed drops or fall further behind as speed rises. Adding this functionality to motorcycles shouldn’t be too difficult.
Frequently asked questions
Do you need cruise control on your motorcycle?
You don’t need it, but it does have distinct advantages for raiders on long journeys.
Longer trips can be made easier by just latching onto one of the other vehicles and following them the entire way without manually adjusting the speed.
Long journeys are now even more delightful because of the extremely calm and stress-free riding experience this produces.
This is especially true when travelling in a group with other bikes or cars. Or if you see a bus travelling in the same direction as you and you’re feeling a bit tired after a long day of riding, adaptive cruise control may easily hook onto that bus and follow it home.
Can you put after-market cruise control on a motorcycle?
Yes, having full electronic cruise control on a motorcycle can serve the same functions as in a car, allowing you to unwind, save fuel consumption, and avoid speeding ticket cameras.
Cruise control, however, can be even more helpful because riding a motorcycle is frequently a more demanding, exhausting, and dangerous experience than driving a car.
Is installing cruise control on my motorcycle expensive?
Installing cruise control on your motorcycle is not pricey. The amount of custom work required for the mounting locations for the throttle and brake levers, as well as any wire harnesses that need to be changed or modified, will significantly affect how much the installation will cost.
Depending on what needs to be altered for it to function correctly, a typical installation typically costs between £300 to £500 quid.
What controls the motorcycle’s cruise control? How does it compare to a car?
Because the rider has more direct control over how it functions, motorcycle cruise control differs from cruise control in a car.
The bike’s standard OBD-II port can be used to connect an electronic device to control this feature, which then communicates with the bike’s other electronic components, such as the throttle and gearbox pressure sensors, engine RPM (from crank position sensors), brake force from ABS systems, and others.
Using cruise control on a motorcycle is not always recommended, even if some models may offer it as an option.
The motorcycle’s safety features, including ABS, will be jeopardised, and we need to recognise that motorbikes and cars are just different types of vehicles and should be handled accordingly.
We shouldn’t be trying to incorporate amenities found in cars into motorcycles. What next, seat belts?