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An oxymoron, but the best cruise for the price
By Chet Walters
This works on any bike, these instructions are for Honda Valkyrie
The best, IMHO, "cruise control" or "throttle lock" for any bike is the Universal Vista Cruise (Vista Cruise Universal throttle lock 074043). Mine has been with me for nearly 10 years and has been through three motorcycles. It is now on NightMare and she's happy with it. This item has a collar that slips over the hand grip around which is a friction ring which is attached to a rod and clamp. It does not fit between the switch controls and grip so it works with just about any motorcycle. It is very easy to make minor adjustments to the throttle setting while VISTA is engaged, which is not true of other styles of throttle locking devices. You want the UNIVERSAL Vista. If you have one inch bars (the Valkyrie does), you'll need the extra clamp. Total cost is about $40. I hear there are now two models available and the one for 1" bars is part # 74041 (thanks to Bob for the update).
CLICK FOR A LARGER PIC
This configuration allows one to install the Vista so that it is nearly invisible. As Figure One shows, the Vista on NightMare is barely noticable. It is mounted more or less "upside down." That is, the clamp is on the handlebar with the stalk down and the connecting rod running under the switch housing. The actuating lever is installed so that the rounded part faces the front of the bike and the ribbed part faces the ground. Looking at Figure One, you can see the orientation of the clamp that goes between the switch housing and mirror clamp. Loosen your mirror clamp and move it to provide enough room to install the clamp. Leave the clamp loose for now so we can adjust it later.
|INSTALL THE COLLAR
Put the collar on your grip. If you have stock grips, you can use the rubber inserts that came with the Vista. Choose the one that will let you slip the collar onto your grip most easily. Put the collar on first then stuff the insert under the collar. On NightMare, I don't use a rubber insert since I have large diameter foam grips. What I had to do was install the collar with no rubber insert then run the allens down until they marked the metal part of the grip. Then I loosened and pulled the collar off. Using a 3/32" drill, I drilled out indents (drill just deep enough to hold the screws in place) where the allens made the marks and put the collar back on tightening the allens to lock the collar in place. When installing the collar, it is important that you do not tighten the allens so that the collar gets deformed. It must be round with no "bumps."
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INSTALL THE RING
What is most important when you install the ring, rod and lever is that the ring is straight with the collar. That yields smooth operation more than anything else. This is why we left that clamp loose before. If you look at Figure Two you can see that I had to add a few washers to make this possible. These washers are the same one's used in Shimming the Carbs (Assorted washers Radio Shack Part #64-3022). You will likely not have to add washers, but you may need to add the extender that came with Vista. The extender can be filed or cut to reduce its length so that the ring is lined up perfectly with the collar. If you cut too much off, you can add a washer to fix. Line everything up so that the throttle turns freely and springs back freely (you might have to really squish the wires that come out of the switch housing) and tighten the clamp and the rod screws. A little black paint on the brass screw ends on the clamp finishes the installation.
|To turn on VISTA
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Engaging VISTA is a little more difficult with this upside down installation. It is often necessary to close the throttle so that you can reach the lever with your finger to pull up on it. But, you will find that setting the throttle and releasing the grip will often have you making adjustments anyway because of the minor slop involved. It actually seems it's easier to close the throttle, lock the VISTA and then set your throttle to the desired speed. You can also use your left hand to engage the lever with the throttle set. You pull UP on the lever to engage in this orientation. If you've made the adjustments as noted above, minor changes to the throttle setting are very easy.
The upside down installation shown here makes the VISTA incredibly easy to disengage which is most important for safety when using a throttle locking device. You need merely extend your index finger to push DOWN on the lever as you twist the grip to close the throttle as shown at the right. It is not necessary to reach up with your thumb to disengage which is a boon in emergency situations. This way, you can still keep a good tight hand on the grip in case you are also making hazard avoidance maneuvers while killing the throttle. This is much easier if you don't need to reach up with your thumb and are merely pushing DOWN with your finger.
|To turn off VISTA
CLICK FOR A LARGER PIC
MAKING THE FINAL ADJUSTMENTS
For VISTA to work the best, you should be able to freely turn the throttle even when it is locked. Tighten the ring just enough so that the throttle does not spring back when you let go of the grip. But, do not tighten it so much that you have a hard time turning the grip when the lock is on. As mentioned, this is more a function of the alignment of the ring, rod and collar than it is the tightness of the ring around the collar. You should be able to just whisk (pun intended) the throttle to any position while engaged and the grip should spring back freely and instantly when not engaged. When you ride, you will find that you need to make minor adjustments to the throttle according to the terrain -- increasing for uphills and decreasing for downhills. You should be able to make these adjustments easily while the VISTA is locked. In fact, adding a little 3 in 1 oil to the collar and ring of VISTA makes all this function much better. You'll need to clean out the groove on the collar and oil it from time to time to keep it working smoothly.
With this upside down arrangement and easily adjustable throttle setting even when engaged, I find that I can use the VISTA at any time. Except in heavy traffic, mine is nearly always in use. This leaves me free to release the grip with my right hand and adjust the volume on my stereo, get a stick of gum out, fix my glasses, wipe a bug off my forhead or do anything that requires my right hand to do (I'm right handed and my left hand is "out to lunch" most of the time). The reason I can use it so much is that is it so easy to disengage quickly without having to let go of the grip with my thumb. I feel secure at all times.
|More how-to articles for the Valkyrie|
|Feet Heaters||Extra Horns||Four Way Flashers||Carb shims|
|Signal Buzzer||Driving Lights||Horny Lights||Invisible Vista|
|Back to Chet's Valkyrie Page|