Riding long distances on a bike can be tiresome, especially on your upper body, particularly on your right hand. The main reason for this
is because the throttle must be constantly twisted if you expect the bike to maintain speed. One option to reduce the fatigue on the
hand is the Throttle Rocker (discussed elsewhere), which allows you to use the actual weight of your arm to help hold the throttle. While
that will reduce fatigue somewhat, there are a couple better options.
The first option is to get an electronic cruise control installed. This would be a system similar to a car's, in that it would hold you at
a constant speed, adjusting the throttle to do just that. It would also automatically cut out when you apply the brakes or pull the
clutch. These systems, particularly aftermarket systems, tend to be very expensive.
The more economical option available to motorcyclists is that of a throttle-lock. These come in many forms, some even automatically
disengage when the brake lever is pulled, but the concept remains constant. They effectively allow you to hold the throttle at a specific
setting without requiring your hand to keep it there. This is the key, it doesn't keep you at a specific speed, per se, but rather
at a specific throttle position. Obviously you would have to take care when using it in a hilly area or you'll find yourself
crawling slowly up hills and speeding down them like a madman. There are danger concerns involved here, and the manufacturers do
everything they can to make sure you understand what you're getting yourself into by using one of these, and so they should. You should
only use one of these in wide open, flatish highway situations. They should never be used at slow speed, in traffic, on the twisties or
anywhere else you might have to make a quick, unforeseen throttle adjustment. Thankfully, (I believe) most throttle locks have an
override, in that you can still physically move the throttle to wherever you want in the case of an emergency.
So, how do they work, and how do they perform? Well, I can only speak to mine, in the form of the Throttlemeister. This model works by
replacing the stock grip weights with the TM system. The clutch side is a dummy weight. The throttle side is a bit more complex in
design, but simple in concept. If you look at the picture below, you'll see the gap between the black ring on the grips and the brass ring
on the weight. The black part rotates on the handlebar as you twist the throttle, while the brass ring stays in position. since in this
picture you see a gap, there's no friction between these two rings, and the throttle twists freely.
When you want to engage the throttle lock, what you do is grab hold of the weight and turn it towards you. What this does is turn some
internal threads that brings the brass ring over to touch the black ring, removing the gap and creating a friction lock (see below). It's
not unlike like tightening a screw cap on a bottle. Now when you move the throttle, it will stay in position when you remove your hand.
tighter you make it, the stronger the lock holds.
Installation isn't very difficult, and once it's fine-tuned, the system works great. It takes a bit of practice to learn how to smoothly
engage and disengage it on the fly, but it's not that hard. Also, in case you didn't know, the ST1300 has an internal gravity switch to
kill the engine if it tips over about 60 degrees, this is a good thing if the bike tips over while the throttle lock is engaged - think
There's an additional benefit of the Throttlemeister, in that you can get the normal model or spend a few bucks more to get the heavy
model. The heavy model is, well, heavier. This extra weight on the ends of the handlebars tends to reduce vibrations a bit and to a
lesser extent, even help stabilize steering. It's not a huge vibration reduction, maybe 10%, but anything to take away vibrations is a
good thing in my eyes.