Home-Crafting A Motorcycle Throttle Hold

Cruise control is a common feature on automobiles, though less so in the motorcycle market. Given that continual throttle application on long rides can be a real pain in the wrist, many riders long for such a convenience. As a cheat solution, bolt-on locks that hold the throttle at a set position are available, though quality varies and generally they need to be activated by the throttle hand anyway. [Nixie] wanted a solution that would leave the right hand entirely free, and held, rather than locked, the throttle.

The device [Nixie] came up with is essentially a brake that fits inside the throttle handle and holds it in position. This is achieved with a mechanism that presses a pair of small brake shoes into the inside of the throttle, holding it from rotating back to neutral when the rider lets go. The brake is activated by a control on the left handlebar via a Bowden cable, allowing [Nixie] to activate the throttle hold on the highway and use the right hand to check pockets or simply rest.

It’s a tidy build, and [Nixie] does a great job of explaining the various design choices and the intricacies of the Bowden cable actuated mechanism. It’s anything but a one-size-fits-all build, but other enterprising machinists could certainly duplicate the design for other motorcycles without too many problems.

For those interested in more traditional cruise control, we’ve featured a teardown of a simplistic 90s Jeep system before. Video after the break.

38 thoughts on “Home-Crafting A Motorcycle Throttle Hold

  1. >This is achieved with a mechanism that presses a pair of small brake shoes into the inside of the throttle, holding it from rotating back to neutral when the rider lets go.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    1. I used one for years with no issues. You absolutely don’t use it in town, but out on the highway, it was a nice thing to have. The one that I had was not difficult to overpower and just close throttle, even with the latch engaged. As safety threats go, a well implemented throttle latch is pretty minimal.

      1. Yeah but yours was designed by a specialized engineer, tested, and made by a company that would have liability. Not some home-brew thing that might stick up deep inside the handlebar. I’ve used them on my bikes too, just a thumb-screw type on one and a shim type on another. I would say it’s notable that both these mechanisms were external, and could be wrenched off by hand if they ever seized. But this thing does look fairly well-made.

        Also, sticky throttles are what the killswitch is for.

          1. I clicked on the comments just to watch the drama queens perform. Was not disappointed. My favorite of all time was a posting on the hazards of toxins from wearing a clothing belt made from an upcycled automotive timing belt. First runner up was sanding plastic for a hobby project outdoors=bad.

      2. Also used one for years without issue. I seriously doubt that the company which made it “tested” it beyond “does it hold the throttle or not” and I also doubt they would accept any liability… given that I can crank the throttle lock as tight as I want so it’s up to me if I want to keep living or not. The advantage is that the lock loosens if I unroll the throttle.

        Nevertheless, I disliked the concept of the throttle lock as it doesn’t adapt to the terrain. Meaning if there’s any up-slope, I’ll quickly slow from cruising speed to blocking traffic speed; if there’s any down-slope, I’ll quickly become police fodder.

        Have been working on adapting an automotive electronic cruise control to my ‘bike; will see how that goes.

    2. While it’s a valid concern man, if you RTFA, you’d see his design has multiple foolproofs and redundancy against seizing, and there is a spring that should pop it out of engagement if the bowden cable that controls the thing ever snaps.

      Honestly I find the thing brilliant and his execution is first class. I could honestly really use one of these.

      1. Good luck convincing your insurance that this little home made contraption is safe if you are ever involved in an accident, whether you are at fault or not. My guess is: no matter the circumstances, the insurance will rub its hands with glee and declare your policy void.

        1. I ride a vintage motorcycle that’s already hot wired.
          And I’ve driven it like that for years because Bosch starter relays are expensive and unreliable.

          I expect no coverage if I’m in an accident to cover my bike. And I’m ok with that- because I would never get the money to get back what I had.

          And for the record, the only accident I’ve ever been in was 3 years ago- I hit a deer at 45, and never dropped my bike. Deer skulls at 45 feel like a baseball bat to the shins at that speed. Never looked back, just crushed its head with my shin as it ran straight into the road and into my engine block off a cliff. I had a sheer cliff on one side and a mountain on the other I didn’t really have any choice, there was nowhere to go. I’ve been riding for about 10 years.

          If you want absolute safety in life and coverage for any contingency- don’t ride a motorcycle. It’s not for people like you. Neither is anything intelligently custom.

          Anyone willling to intelligently modify a motorcycle, something already innately dangerous, already realizes this.

          My bike has a throttle lock already- a setscrew. This is actually safer to disengage considering fiddling involved!

          1. Well when you wake up on the road and see your bike lying beside you it’s nice to know that the throttle is not engaged, and yes this has happened to me, but your right riding a bike is different from driving a car (you find that out when your bike hits a car!)

        2. On top of that, something you slap together with nails and duct tape is a homemade contraption.

          Before Covid cost me a position, I was an aerospace tool and die machinist with watchmaker’s background who regularly creates his own tooling. I’m quite confident any insurance company inspecting anything I make will immediately recognize my work is above par of backyard gizmo maker. And so is the machining and design behind the creator’s here. There is engineering to this.

          There’s nothing dangerously homemade about the end design. You’d know that if you had RTFA.
          It’s much more professional than most things even sold.

  2. For Hondas, you can get a “vista cruise” which does exactly the same as his design, but it goes on the outside of the throttle tube, between the grip and the throttle housing. It is engaged/disengaged with the throttle hand thumb. Even when the “lock” is engaged, the rider can manually adjust/close the throttle. When the “lock” is disengaged, the throttle moves freely, just like stock.

      1. His design requires the left hand to hold the “throttle brake”, which, I admit, is different from having an “on-off” switch, but functionally, they’re both using selectable friction to hold the throttle wherever it’s set, until the user decides to release it.

        Am I wrong in my assessment of the mechanism?

        1. Yes, you are [wrong].
          Altough both do use friction to do their ultimate job, the ergonomics, operation and safety are different.

          An on-off switch requires two conscious actions, one to set it, and one to release it. It is ergonomically absurd to have that in the same hand as the throttle, it would equate to having the clutch in the right hand instead of the brake. You would not try to accelerate while braking the front wheel /laughable reference to those that crash while trying to do a burnout/, whereas you do require to operate te clutch in unison with the accelerator to change gear. (I know clutchless shifting exists, but not that many people use it, so not a factor).

          This mechanism doesn’t require a second action to stop operating, can’t accidentally be left engaged, nor is in the same hand as the throttle, in essence making it different than the mechanism you pointed, just like a car and a bicycle are not the same, even if both use wheels.

    1. As street legal as a kaoko or any other “throttle locks” out there, just safer-ish, from a mechanical point of view.
      As for the smartphone enabling, I’m sure I could machine a phone holder in the left sleeve…would be weird as fuck, tho.

    2. Why do you want to use your phone to control your bike? Pull it out of the pocket, pull of glove, try at least 3 times until it recognizes the fingerprint or pattern, open the app and disengage throttle brake? REALLY?

  3. Even the most basic electric bicycle has a cutoff switch on the brakes, so as soon as you even put a little pressure on the brake levers, it cuts off the electric motor. This is usually done with a Hall effect sensor. I would have expected at least this must effort on a motorcycle cruise control unit.

  4. I’ve 3D-printed a 2 “wrenches” that are held together with an elastic band, and it just grips the throttle enough to hold it open, but if i roll the throttle back, it will easily get overpowered. When setting it, i just push the “wrenches” down so it rests on the brake lever, and then i can let go and rest my right arm for a bit.
    As others have said, obviously only use it on the highway or back-road where you can be very sure nothing is going to jump in front of you, since the right hand also controls the front brake, but for long trips it can make a big difference.

    The people who say this is dangerous is obviously right, but then again, so is sitting loosely on top of a high-revving engine with a power-to-weight ratio of a fighter-jet, going 80 mph down a cheese-grater with the sleep-deprived parent behind you with a screaming child on the backseat and the anxious grandma or new driver in front of you that will emergency-brake over a squirrel. Motorcycles aren’t safe in general, and especially not around cars, but i don’t think it’s the cruise-control that makes it so much worse. Also, the big red button at the right-hand thump is a kill-switch, and bikes are almost exclusively manual gearboxes, so you can either pull in the clutch or hit the kill-switch. Most bikes also have a tip-over kill-switch, so if the bike is on it’s side it will turn off regardless if it’s in a crash.

  5. My first Jeep was sold with the hopes that maybe people would use it agriculturally, so among the things it had was a second throttle cable in parallel with the foot pedal, that was hooked to a push/pull knob on the dashboard. This had a little screw collet on it, so you could pull it out to a setting and tighten the screw collet by hand, and it would hold there. (And you could then get out of the jeep and hold the steering wheel as you walked beside it, for dragging a plow or harrow along a specific line, although I used it for 35 degree side slopes where I thought the jeep was going to tip over.) It seemed really useful, and we used it as a cruise control pretty often, but I remember it being fairly scary in that you definitely couldn’t control the car with just the foot throttle if you were using it, and had to remember to rely on the knob or let slack the collet.

    1. It was actually to run things on the pto when stationary. Most backhoes have the same arrangement for the same reasons also unimogs and military vehicles that have pto generators or forestry winches etc tend to have it.

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