Ultimate Guide to Motorcycle Cruise Control Options: Factors to Consider and Adaptive Technology Spotlight

Let’s talk about motorcycle cruise control. It’s a game-changer for long rides, but choosing the right one can be a bit overwhelming. I’m here to help you navigate through the maze of options available.

In this article, we’ll delve into the different types of motorcycle cruise control systems. We’ll discuss their pros and cons, and what you should consider before making a purchase.

Get ready to make your long rides more enjoyable and less tiring. Stick around and I’ll guide you through your options to help you find the best motorcycle cruise control for your ride.

Types of Motorcycle Cruise Control Systems

When it comes to enhancing your long rides, there’s a variety of motorcycle cruise control systems you can consider. Let’s dig into the three major types: electronic, mechanical, and adaptive cruise control systems.

Electronic Cruise Control

These are high-tech offerings designed to maintain a motorcycle’s speed without throttle input. Engaged using a button, they’re often found in more advanced, feature-rich models. Unlike old-school systems, electronic controls give precise speed control. But this precision isn’t cheap – these systems are typically more expensive and complex to install.


  • Precise speed control
  • Ease of use
  • Usually integrates seamlessly with modern control systems


  • Generally more expensive
  • Complex to install

Mechanical Cruise Control

A simple, time-tested solution. This would be the throttle lock, a device that physically locks the throttle in place. While less precise than electronic counterparts, throttle locks are easy to install, affordable, and work on pretty much any bike with a throttle cable.


  • Affordable
  • Easy to install
  • Universally compatible


  • Less precise speed control
  • Not as user-friendly

Adaptive Cruise Control

The newest player in the game, these systems adjust speed based on the proximity of vehicles in front of you. Currently, adaptive systems are generally limited to high-end touring models.


  • Enhances safety
  • Allows for dynamic speed adjustment


  • Limited to premium motorcycles
  • Expensive and complex to install

Remember, when choosing a motorcycle cruise control system, consider your needs, your motorcycle’s compatibility, and your budget.

Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) Cruise Control

When speaking of superior precision and performance, Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) Cruise Control is a standout in motorcycle cruise control systems. It uses advanced electronic mechanisms to monitor and regulate your motorcycle’s speed.

This type of cruise control is often found in high-end models. ETC integrates sensors and electronic controls, allowing for more efficient engine operation. Through ETC, you can set the exact speed you want and maintain it until you decide to change it or deactivate the system.

Isn’t this great? Just think about it: riding for miles, never having to constantly adjust your speed. The ETC cruise control does that for you! It’s worth noting: ETC is a bit pricier. Yet, you’re paying for the technology and sophisticated controls translating to precision and comfort while cruising.

However, complexity in installation is somewhat of a downside. When planning an ETC cruise control installation, it’s better to let professionals handle it — especially if you’re not tech-savvy.

The ETC cruise control offers:

  • Better fuel efficiency: With precise speed control, fuel consumption reduces as your engine runs more efficiently.
  • Minimal manual intervention: Once activated, it seldom calls for manual speed adjustments.
  • Increased comfort: Long drives become less strenuous as you don’t have to constantly monitor and adjust your speed.

In the realm of motorcycle cruise control systems, Electronic Throttle Control sets the bar high with precise speed control and improved functionality. Increased cost and complexity might make some folks think twice, but when considering the benefits, it presents a solid choice for the discerning rider.

Mechanical Throttle Lock Cruise Control

Moving on from the sophisticated Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) systems, let’s explore more cost-effective options that offer simplicity and ease of installation. Enter Mechanical Throttle Lock cruise control: A twist and go solution appealing to those looking for basic speed regulation.

Unlike ETC systems, which rely on advanced electronics, Mechanical Throttle Lock systems are manually operated by the rider. These systems lock the throttle grip in place and maintain a steady speed until the lock gets released.

Comfort, cost-effectiveness, and simplicity are the main aspects of these mechanical systems. When it comes to fuel efficiency and precision though, they fall short compared to electronic or adaptive systems. They, more often than not, require the rider’s intervention for speed adjustments, especially in varying terrains or traffic.

Installation and cost are where Mechanical Throttle Lock systems excel. They’re likely the least complex motorcycle cruise control system and can be installed in a few hours. While offering less control precision than ETC, their low cost makes them an attractive choice for many riders.

As you can guess, comfort comes at a cost. If you’re on a tight budget or prefer to keep things simple, the Mechanical Throttle Lock system will do the trick. However, for those willing to invest in more advanced functionality, remain patient as you won’t want to miss learning about Adaptive Cruise Control Systems upcoming next.

Electronic Cruise Control (OEM)

Moving past the basic functionality of Mechanical Throttle Locks, I’ll now move to a more sophisticated motorcycle cruise control variant – the Electronic Cruise Control (OEM). OEM, standing for Original Equipment Manufacturer, implies this system generally comes factory-installed on your bike.

The Electronic Cruise Control does not merely lock the throttle at a desired speed. Instead, it uses electronic sensors and a mini control unit to maintain a preset speed, making it more precise than its mechanical counterpart. This system makes riding long distances less tiresome, offering a stable speed that adapts to various road conditions.

However, not every feature is rosy about the Electronic Cruise Control system. It’s not available on all motorcycle models; only certain high-end or touring bikes come with this feature pre-installed. Upgrading to a bike with factory-installed Electronic Cruise Control means spending some significant dollars.

Despite the limited availability and high cost, I can’t ignore the valuable benefits the Electronic Cruise Control offers:

  • Consistent Speed: No sudden acceleration or deceleration, offering a smoother ride.
  • Automatic Speed Adjustment: Responds to changes in road conditions, maintaining a set speed without manual intervention.
  • Reduced Rider Fatigue: Long rides become less tiring as the system reduces the need for constant throttle adjustments.

Jumping from Mechanical Throttle Locks to an Electronic Cruise Control system certainly comes with a price. Still, considering the added convenience, it might just be a worthy investment for avid tourers. Yet, for riders looking for the most advanced technology available, Adaptive Cruise Control Systems take this technology a step further. I’ll tackle those next, so stay tuned.

Aftermarket Cruise Control Options

After we’ve discussed Electronic Cruise Control (OEM) systems, it’s only fair we examine aftermarket cruise control options. These systems are a beautifully viable choice for those whose rides do not come pre-installed with an OEM system, or for those looking to avoid the steep costs that come with buying a new bike.

One popular aftermarket solution is the Vacuum Operated Cruise Control system. It works by using an actuator driven by the engine’s vacuum. This system offers a middle ground in terms of sophistication and price between the Mechanical Throttle Lock and Electronic Cruise Control systems. Its main benefits include better speed consistency, easy disengagement, and less rider fatigue.

  • However, be informed that like any other system, it has its cons too. Installation can be slightly complicated. Moreover, sudden throttle responses might cause disengagement.

Another aftermarket option worth considering is the Throttle-by-Wire Cruise Control. These systems have seen rising popularity in the market, thanks to their revolutionary design that eliminates the need for a physical throttle cable.

  • Using signals from the rider to control the throttle valve, these systems can give you enhanced precision and an overall improved riding experience. Watch out for a higher price tag though.

A variety of adaptable aftermarket systems are available in the market, catering to the needs and budgets of different motorcyclists. It’s all about finding the system that complements your ride. Adaptive Cruise Control Systems, an even more advanced technology, is something I’ll be discussing next.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Motorcycle Cruise Control

In the quest for the perfect motorcycle cruise control system, several factors come into play. It’s not merely about picking the most expensive or the most advanced – it revolves around choosing what works best for you and your ride.


Foremost, make sure the cruise control system you’ve got your eyes on is compatible with your motorcycle’s make and model. Every system won’t fit every bike – do your homework before diving in.


Consider your budget. Higher-end systems like the Throttle-by-Wire or the upcoming Adaptive Cruise Control systems may be more sophisticated, but they also come with a higher price tag. If you’re working with a modest budget, the Vacuum Operated Cruise Control could be your optimal choice.

Riding Style

Your riding style should also inform your decision. For folks often touring or covering long distances, an advanced system that reduces hand fatigue and enhances comfort will be worth the investment. Conversely, city riders might not find much value in a complex setup.

Installation Complexity

Just as it’s crucial to consider the product’s price, don’t overlook the installation process. How potent is the system if it’s too complicated for you to install? Don’t forget, some systems might require professional help, leading to potential extra costs.

In the upcoming discussion, we’re going to dig deeper into the newest technology in cruise control systems: the Adaptive Cruise Control System. A marvel of modern engineering, it might just change the way we view motorcycle cruising forever.


Choosing the right motorcycle cruise control system isn’t a decision to take lightly. It’s crucial to weigh up factors like compatibility, cost, and your personal riding style. Don’t forget to consider the complexity of installation too. Aftermarket options provide a wide variety of choices, ensuring there’s a system out there that’s perfect for every rider. As technology continues to evolve, we’re seeing some incredible advances, such as the Adaptive Cruise Control System. This new tech promises to revolutionize the way we ride, offering unprecedented levels of control and convenience. So, whether you’re a seasoned rider or a relative newbie, there’s never been a better time to explore the benefits of motorcycle cruise control. It’s a game-changer that’s well worth considering.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the different types of motorcycle cruise control systems?

There are two main types of motorcycle cruise control systems: electronic or throttle-based systems, and mechanical or friction-based systems. Electronic systems use the motorcycle’s electronic throttle control to maintain a set speed, while mechanical systems use a friction mechanism to hold the throttle in place.

2. Can I install a cruise control system on my motorcycle after purchasing it?

Yes, you can install an aftermarket cruise control system on your motorcycle. However, it is important to consider factors such as compatibility with your motorcycle’s make and model, cost, riding style, and installation complexity before making a decision.

3. What is the Adaptive Cruise Control System for motorcycles?

The Adaptive Cruise Control System is the newest technology in cruise control systems for motorcycles. It utilizes advanced sensors and radar technology to automatically adjust the motorcycle’s speed and maintain a safe distance from the vehicle ahead.

4. What factors should I consider when choosing a motorcycle cruise control system?

When choosing a motorcycle cruise control system, it is important to consider factors such as compatibility, cost, riding style, and installation complexity. Ensure that the system is compatible with your motorcycle, fits your budget, suits your riding style, and can be installed easily.

5. Are there any safety considerations with using a motorcycle cruise control system?

Yes, there are safety considerations when using a motorcycle cruise control system. It is important to always remain focused on the road and be prepared to disengage the cruise control if necessary. Additionally, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with the system’s operation and adjust your riding style accordingly.

6. Can a motorcycle cruise control system improve fuel efficiency?

Yes, a motorcycle cruise control system can help improve fuel efficiency by maintaining a consistent speed and reducing throttle fluctuations. This can result in smoother acceleration and deceleration, leading to better fuel economy. However, the actual impact on fuel efficiency may vary depending on factors such as riding conditions and individual riding habits.

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