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ADV ProductsADV Bike AccessoriesBDCW Throttle Control: Give Your Wrist a Rest on the Highway

BDCW Throttle Control: Give Your Wrist a Rest on the Highway

 The easy way to add cruise control to ADV Bikes that aren't factory equipped.

Published on 01.31.2018

We hear it all the time when evaluating new motorcycles — “Does it have a Cruise Control?”. It seems now more than ever, Adventure Riders expect new models to come equipped with the popular device. Yet many of the top adventure bikes like the Honda Africa Twin, KTM 1090 Adventure R, BMW F800GS and Suzuki V-Strom 1000 don’t have it.

OEMs seem slow to respond to the trend, or perhaps they realize the cost of an electronic cruise control could price their bikes out of the market. Luckily, aftermarket accessory manufactures are happy to step in to fill the void with affordable Throttle Lock devices.

An aftermarket Throttle Lock lets you add Cruise Control-like functionality to a bike that wasn’t originally equipped with one from the factory. While it won’t allow you to maintain a specific cruising speed, a Throttle Lock does help relieve strain and fatigue on your wrist and arm by holding the throttle open for you. That’s the bulk of what a Cruise Control does for you anyway. And when you’ve got hundreds of miles of highway ahead of you, it’s a lot nicer to ride with a Throttle Lock than without anything at all.

Black Dog Cycle Work Throttle Control for the KTM
Black Dog Cycle Work Throttle Control is designed for use with KTMs but also works on many other motorcycles that use dirt bike-style handlebars.

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With several long-distance trips marked on our calendar, a Throttle Lock device was high on the list of upgrades for our KTM 1090 Adventure R test bike. After looking around at various solutions, we decided on the Throttle Control from Black Dog Cycle Works.

Black Dog Cycle Work Throttle Control for the KTM
A clean and streamlined design makes the BDCW Throttle Control an inconspicuous add-on.

The BDCW Throttle Control is designed to work with all KTM adventure bike models. It features a clean, streamlined appearance that makes it easy to miss on the handlebar if you weren’t looking for it. It’s designed to handle the abuses of off-road travel with a robust billet aluminum housing that ensures it can take a hit. Better yet, the Throttle Control utilizes a simple on/off ‘click’ mechanism that locks with consistent tension every time, instead of the variable tension of the typical “Spin-to-Tighten” systems out there.

How it Performed

Riding from Los Angeles to the KTM Rally in Crested Butte, Colorado was the first big test for the BDCW Throttle Control. While we made sure to mix in as much dirt as possible in the allowable time we had, there were several long days when we had to make good time on the highway during the roughly 2,500-mile round-trip journey.

Rushing to get a new farkle installed just hours before departing on a long trip is often a stressful experience. Thankfully, the BDCW Throttle Control was easy and intuitive to install, with meticulous instructions and clear color photos outlining each step. If you can install bar-end weights, you can install the BDCW Throttle control. All you need to do is re-position the throttle mechanism about 1/8″ inward on the handlebar to make room for the Throttle Control.

The only concern we had during the installation was a warning in the instructions to maintain pressure on the components to ensure the springs and plungers don’t come out of the assembly. Luckily we never had a problem with this.

Black Dog makes getting an accurate measurement for the spacing a no-brainer with the included adjustment shim.
BDCW makes getting the spacing right a no-brainer with the included adjustment shim.

It’s not advisable to play with a new throttle lock device for the first time while riding, especially after a hurried install, so we opted to familiarize ourselves with its operation at the shop before heading out the door on our trip. With the BDCW Throttle Control in the ‘off’ position, the throttle operates normally and quickly snaps closed without any drag. With the device on, the throttle stays open in the position you set it. In an emergency, you can always overcome the friction and close the throttle abruptly.

To activate the throttle control you simply slide your outer palm over the device, then grip and twist the ring forward one click. Next slide your hand back over to the throttle and fine-tune the RPMs to reach your desired cruising speed. To disengage the Throttle Lock, simply click the BDCW Throttle Control forward or backward one click.

Getting on the highway, we had our first opportunity for a true test. The BDCW Throttle Control performed flawlessly with smooth operation and a satisfying on/off click. With some of the other aftermarket throttle locks, you need to tighten the device like a nut until the proper amount of tension is set. If not set right, it may be too tight to quickly chop the throttle, or if too loose, it can begin to slip. The BDCW Throttle Control “click on” mechanism applies the same amount of pressure every time for a consistent feel.

KTM 1090 Adventure throttle control cruise control
The “click on, click off” feature takes the guesswork out of adjusting proper tension on the throttle lock device.

During our long highway tests, the device significantly reduced fatigue by allowing us to take our right hand off the throttle for a rest. It also freed up the right hand to do other things like putting sunglasses away, adjusting jacket vents or searching through right-side pockets for items, and all without having to pull over. For those riders with wrist problems, the Throttle Control can also help avoid soreness and cramping.

Who’s It For

Adventure Riders that travel long distances with a fair amount of highway. Those looking to improve highway comfort by adding cruise control-like functionality to a bike that was not equipped with cruise control at the factory. While the device is officially only designed for KTMs (950 Adventure, 990 Adventure, 1090 Adventure, 1190 Adventure, 950 Super Enduro and 690 Enduro), BDCW claims it also works on many other motorcycles using dirt bike-style handlebars with an inside diameter of roughly 0.57 inches (including FLEXX bars).

Our Verdict

After riding with the Black Dog Cycle Works Throttle Control on several trips, it has continued to perform without any hiccups. We’ve had more than a few trail tip overs and many hours of usage, but it hasn’t required any adjustment to throttle spacing yet. At $160, the BDCW Throttle Control offers a big upgrade in cruising comfort for the money, while being competitively priced with other throttle lock solutions that aren’t as robust or simple to operate.

KTM 1090 Adventure throttle control cruise control
A simple and affordable upgrade that offers a big improvement in highway cruising comfort for your Adventure Bike.

What We Liked

  • Rugged build with smooth consistent operation.
  • Quick and easy to install, even for a the novice mechanic.
  • Takes guesswork out of setting the tension on your throttle lock.

What Could Be Improved

  • Make it compatible with more adventure bike models.
  • Eliminate risk of components coming out of the assembly during install.

Shopping Options

Black Dog Cycle Works
Photos by Rob Dabney | Steve Kamrad

Author: Rob Dabney
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8 thoughts on “BDCW Throttle Control: Give Your Wrist a Rest on the Highway

  1. Go Cruise Motorcycle Throttle Control. It’s $10.00 at Amazon, fits any cycle, and installs in about 5 minutes. It’s stupid simple to operate too.

    • Oh, ummm, they’re $20.00 each now on Amazon. That’s how long it’s been since I bought one, mine are still in use and work fine.

    • I’ve bought one of those cheap ones and they suck. It kept getting jammed and I just ended up throwing it away. Waste of money.

  2. I have a system like this on my Triumph Sprint ST and never use it. It doesn’t hold speed well and gets in the way more often than not. Conversely, my Tiger 800XCA has built-in cruise control and I LOVE IT. I’ll never have another bike like this without it. Honda, KTM and others are missing the boat by not including it. I wish I could install real cruise control on my little Versys-X 300!

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