Cruise Control? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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Cruise Control?

I'm thinking of installing a "real" cruise control on a 09 Versy. Not a Throttle Meiser [already have one of those]. I've looked through the previous postings but most of the information is 4 or 5 years old.

Would like to hear from anyone who has one,,,, Audiovox, Rostra, or whatever. Your opinion, any tips or advice, and especially if you know of anyone in Southern California who does the installation.

I'm trying to set this bike up for long distance riding. Cruise control, Baldwin seat, highway pegs, and any other tips or advice you may have.

Reply to my email; [email protected] Include your phone # if you want and I'll call you to chat.

Cheers,

Trent
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 10:48 AM
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One huge problem with that. The throttle is cable operated, and you won't be able to hold the grip while you ride, because if there is any tension on it when the servo tries to modulate, the cruise servo will kick off. It has to move freely to maintain speed. If you had a drive by wire throttle, like a Harley, then you could do it. I don't think it's very safe to do this on a cable operated throttle. Just get throttle bosses and a NEP throttle lock. I have a few posts in my build thread that might help.


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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 11:05 AM
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Here's an older thread that might point you in the right direction:

http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ead.php?t=1220

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 12:00 AM
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I installed an Audiovox CCS-100 cruise control on a 2008 Nomad, and it worked just fine. About 9,000 times better than a Brake-Away, CrampBuster, Throttlemeister, or any of the other $20.00 devices.

That one used a vacuum-operated servo...don't think they manufacture it anymore.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 07:37 AM
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I have cruise control on my truck (it came with the A/C & power windows). I tried it out on the way home from the dealer (in 2005). I used it again a few years later because I had an itch & had to take my shoe off to scratch it.

On a bike? I guess it could be handy on a Gold Wing to free up another hand for the DVD player or for making Margaritas in the blender... But on a Versys?! Personally I think itd be more fun to ride pillion behind BuffAmazon
.

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 09:13 AM
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On a bike?
I thought the same thing.......Then I purchased my Victory Cross Roads with Electronic Cruise Control. Love it! Never thought I would like it or use it but it is more convenient and useful than imagined.

BTW, Motopsycho, the Victory throttle is cable actuated, not electronic.

John in AZ
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 10:54 AM
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I thought the same thing.......Then I purchased my Victory Cross Roads with Electronic Cruise Control. Love it! Never thought I would like it or use it but it is more convenient and useful than imagined.

BTW, Motopsycho, the Victory throttle is cable actuated, not electronic.
So how does that work? Do you have to move your hand with the grip or what?


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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Motopsycho View Post
So how does that work? Do you have to move your hand with the grip or what?
It overrides your hand unless you make a deliberate move to either accelerate or decelerate. It goes off automatically if you touch the brakes or clutch.

The first few times you use it is a strange senstion but easily adapted to. I enjoy using it far more that I thought I would.


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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-21-2011, 11:17 PM
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So I put the Audiovox on my Versys. It was the one that needs a vacuum. It was the biggest pain in the ass install that I have ever done and I never could get the SOB to work right. I would rather do 5 aux tank installs than a single Cruise install.

It only liked to hold speed constant at 71 or 83. Any other speed and it would slowly drift down. After messing around with it for a season I finally gave up, ripped it out and bought a break-away cruise.

If your like my 12 year old that insists on making his own mistakes by all means mess around with it. However I strongly urge you to STAY AWAY from this mod. If you decide to do it DO NOT go with the vacuum version, I do not think the V has enough vacuum for it to work. Find one of the all electric units.

I thought I would add a little more...

I noticed you said you were looking to have someone do the install. Expect 10-15 hours of labor on this. So a shop would charge about $800 to have it done. This assumes you already have any custom parts that need to be made. If I had to I could probably do it in about 6 hours for a non-vacuum unit as you would not have to pull the tank and I know where every thing fits. However there is no way in hell I would ever attempt to do it again!

Steve

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Last edited by lonerockz; 07-21-2011 at 11:55 PM.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-22-2011, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Motopsycho View Post
One huge problem with that. The throttle is cable operated, and you won't be able to hold the grip while you ride, because if there is any tension on it when the servo tries to modulate, the cruise servo will kick off. It has to move freely to maintain speed. If you had a drive by wire throttle, like a Harley, then you could do it. I don't think it's very safe to do this on a cable operated throttle. Just get throttle bosses and a NEP throttle lock. I have a few posts in my build thread that might help.
Kawasaki has had electronic cruise control on it's voyager line of motorcycles since 1987. I owned a 2001 model. If you were climbing a steep grade you could feel the throttle move under your hand.

The point is that your hands should always be loosely on the controls. Even on a bike with no cruise control. I let the friction created by the leather glove hold the throttle where I want it on the Versys. A light touch on the grips makes controlling the bike so much easier.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-22-2011, 08:11 AM
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So I put the Audiovox on my Versys. It was the one that needs a vacuum. It was the biggest pain in the ass install that I have ever done and I never could get the SOB to work right. I would rather do 5 aux tank installs than a single Cruise install.

It only liked to hold speed constant at 71 or 83. Any other speed and it would slowly drift down. After messing around with it for a season I finally gave up, ripped it out and bought a break-away cruise.

If your like my 12 year old that insists on making his own mistakes by all means mess around with it. However I strongly urge you to STAY AWAY from this mod. If you decide to do it DO NOT go with the vacuum version, I do not think the V has enough vacuum for it to work. Find one of the all electric units.
I had an Audiovox CCS-100 on my FJR that I recently sold. It did work just fine, however, on a motorcycle they need an auxiliary vacuum chamber to help as the throttle bodies don't pull enough vacuum to keep the cruise control consistent. On the FJR, I had a vacuum chamber made out of 2" pvc pipe with a cap on one end and caps/fittings down to 3/16" vacuum line all sealed up nice and tight. It was tee'd into the vacuum line between the throttle bodies and the cruise control servo. The FJR would cruise all day long at any speed and pull up hills without losing speed. If anyone installs one of these on the Versys, I would highly recommend adding the vacuum chamber to the install!

As for the throttle movement, it was never a problem. A loose grip on the bars, instead of the deathgrip some riders like to maintain, and the servo has no problem moving the throttle under your hand.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-22-2011, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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Steve,

I noticed that you've done quite a bit of long distance riding,,,,, all on a Versy? From the photo that is posted it looks like your bike is pretty well set up for cruising. Any tips or suggestions you have about what equipment and "add ons" that makes the Versy better for cruising would be greatly appreciated.

Incidentally, I'm probably going to go with the Global Electronic Cruise Control. It's pure electronic and with no vacuum. I've installed 2 of these, one on each of my Westfalia campers. And I rode a BMW 1200 RT with cruise control a couple of weeks ago. It spoiled me, gotta have it!

Cheers,

Trent
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-22-2011, 02:40 PM
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twizted1, I had the factory Audiovox vacuum chamber on my setup. Honestly I'm not willing to rule out that it was my setup and install that was the problem. However after messing around with it for over 20 hours I no longer cared. Because it would hold at some speeds I knew it could work, but I had reached my level of tolerance for dealing with it.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-22-2011, 03:25 PM
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Trent, yeah I have done all my miles on the Versys (Although the European trip was on a rented Honda Deauville). I mainly do Iron Butt type rides, so my advice will probably differ if your looking to tour. My typical travel day is 16 hours on bike, 2 hours fueling & 6 hours sleeping. If your a 8 hours on, 8 hours looking at scenery & 8 hours sleeping kinda guy my choices may not make sense. I am NOT saying my way is best, and other ways are bad! Just that I've made some sacrifices that only make sense if your trying to do 800+ miles in a day every day.

1. You mentioned the Baldwin seat. Those are better than stock and very attractive looking. I have a Russel daylong. About as attractive as a wart, but my ass is the last thing that starts hurting when I ride. They do add about an inch in height as well, with my 28.5" inseam means that I can't put both feet down.

2. Good hard luggage is a must. I like the Givi's. I resisted this cause of the weight and size, but soft bags are just to big a hassle and don't lock.

3. For IBA rides the extra tank is a real godsend. My range is now limited to my bladder capacity, not the bikes ;-) (5-6 hours for me; 425+ miles for the bike). I did an extensive write up with pics on my fuel rig.

4. Highway bars, foot peg lowering, throttle lock. All of these help with fatigue and the ergos. Being able to find new positions to sit in is essential for keeping the aches & pains away.

5. GPS with Weather. I have a Zumo 665 and the weather maps are a godsend. Knowing if I will hit rain means I leave my heated gear on, or knowing its going to hit 90+ by 10 am, means dont bother putting it on in the AM when its cool.

6. Lights. The Versys lights kinda suck. HIDs use less power (leaving Amps for the heated gear) and are brighter. I use Future Vision HID lights.

7. Water. You must have a way to keep hydrated if your doing multiple 600+ mile days. I have a 1 gallon cooler (Wal-mart) with some refrigerator water line hose (Home Depot) and a Camelbak bite valve (REI). On cool days I drink only 1 gallon for the whole day. On Hot days I fill it every other fuel stop (700 miles or so). I also use the dissolveable electrolyte tabs at about 1/2 strength, mainly for some flavor.

8. A tank bag that can be opened easily at speed. I eat on the bike most times (I try for only dinner as a full meal). I had a tank bag that was great, but was a PITA to open at speed. I now have the Motofizz Multi Tank Bag from Aerostich. Its a little too big, but works well on the road. I mainly eat Clif bars.

9. Good cheap tires. I love the Shinko 009s. They are inexpensive and handle like a dream. At 12-18,000 miles a year I burn up 2 rears and 1 front. Saving $100+ a tire change, while not losing performance seem like a no brainier to me.

10. Automatic Oiler. My bike looks like crap because the entire rear half is covered in oil, but the chain is covered in oil too! Without a center stand oiling the chain is a real chore. Your supposed to oil a chain every 250-300 miles, well I only stop every 300-350 miles, so without an oilier I'd constantly be under lubing the chain. My fuel stops are only 10-20 minutes long, adding another 5 minutes to oil the chain... yeah not gonna happen. I have a Scotoiler. I hear that the Pro Oilier is much better with the extra spray problem. Too expensive a part to write off, so I just ride a filthy bike (Well that and I have never washed it, that's what rain is for).

All told my mods cost about the same as the bike. If you are a more casual tourer and that is what you want the bike for... honestly a used BWM RT with factory cruise... might be an easier ticket and not cost much more!

Steve

Last edited by lonerockz; 07-22-2011 at 03:30 PM.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-22-2011, 09:46 PM
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Great tips sir. I like your style. Your rides sound a lot like mine. Sometimes I have to make myself stop to take a picture.

How did you like the Deauville? I have read many oversea reports of some real high mileage bikes still running strong.

My Versys is sporting a pair of Shinkos as well. $80 for a front in Montana!

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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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Steve,

Thank you so much for the tips. I'm going to go with your advice on the headlight, tires and highway bars/pegs. I ordered the Baldwin seat a couple of days ago.

I already have a modulator on my stock headlight,,, assuming that it will work with the Future Vision HID lights?

Any thoughts on the Shinko tyres vs Michelin 2 tyres?

Regarding the highway bars and foot pegs,,, any advice on which one's to purchase? My bike is a 2009 California model.

I may re-think the electronic cruise control,,,, I have a throttle meiser now,,,, and since my rides will be around 300 miles or so [at which point I will stop for a "barley soda", etc] ,,, I may opt out of the cruise control thing to reduce the complexity.

Thanks again, & cheers,

Trent
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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 09:29 PM
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Siyeh, I have started a write up of my trip to Europe here: http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...d.php?p=163241

I talk about the Deauville and its limitations...

Steve
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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 10:08 PM
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Trent, the modulator will not work with HIDs. HIDs run 12v to the ballast, but then some huge voltage (Like 20,000) ignition pulse and then run at around 85-100v. At best the ballast will simply smooth out the current from the modulator. At worst it will fire the ignition pulse over and over... which could be very spectacular. If you do it make sure you have your video camera handy as it could prove very entertaining for the rest of us. In fact my heated grips and jacket use pulse wave modulation rather than resistance to vary the temp. So when they are on my volt meter jumps up and down. With my old lights they would pulse because of this. They are nice and smooth with the HIDs. I wonder if any one has done a study of modulator vs. HID for visibility. My lights are VERY bright. I have been flashed in the day time cause people think my brights are on. Night performance is more important than daytime visibility to me, so no modulator.

As far as the PR2s are concerned well the rear is $145 & front is $118, the Shinko is $95 & $68. I do way too much freeway and square off my tires. I really cant see paying an extra $100 for tires. Now if I was unhappy with the Shinko I would look else where, but I'm not. My biggest concern is wet performance. I do not stop for rain. I have ridden through some very nasty storms. The 009's are a GREAT rain tire. So I'm not just being cheap. I really like the tire, the fact that they are cheap is just a bonus. Also my front has worn like iron. I need to check my records, but I think it has 19,000 on it, and it looks like it has about 3k left in it.

This said I bought a set of Metzler Z6 Intertec's when I bought the Shinko's last year. I was worried that the Shinko's might be Stinkos ;-) The Shinko's were supposed to be a cheap set that I could burn up between long rides (I did the MN2010 & a round trip to FL last year). However I got such great life out of the front I ordered a second rear 009 and the Z6's have sat (Actually have my third 009 rear on now). I'm about to put the Z6's on in 2 weeks because I'm going to the Beast in the East rally and will do at least 7000 miles in 9 days. So that front has got to come off before then! If I get 13,000+ out of the rear and they are great I might consider them. But I doubt I'll get that many miles.

As for Highway pegs... well I have SW Motech crash bars. I have attached the MFW Super Grip rubberized pegs to them. Up until my last ride I would have recommended them. They fold up, and have a little spring loaded ball that locks them into place when folded. Well after 35,000 miles they have worn and tolerances are not what they once were... So in my case they locked folded up... on a ride... a 1500 mile in 24 hour ride... which was the start of a 3000 in 72 ride. Yeah I was not happy. Now the little F'ers have been glued with gorilla glue. Wont fold up any more, but they'll be there when I need'em.

I think you are so making the right choice on the Cruise.

Steve
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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 11:32 PM
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I too have installed the Audiovox on the versys. The biggest issue was the throttle cable. We machined a clamp for the throttle pulley. if you dont have that, you can dill it and use a flat piece of met with spacers. ALso used a PMR bar switch instead of the stock switch.

NOTE:
I did NOT use a vaccum canister. It works well without it unless you are going over 70miles per hour and have the bike loaded.
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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-24-2011, 12:49 AM
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"It works well without it unless you are going over 70miles per hour and have the bike loaded."

Seriously? See I would define that as works unless you want to use it.
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