2017 SUZUKI GSX-R1000R
John makes the raucous GSX-R a little easier to handle, at the expense of his social media standing...
2017 SUZUKI GSX-R1000R JOHN BENNETT
WHEN I MENTIONED on Twitter that I wanted to fit cruise control to the Suzuki, I was subjected to a healthy dose of piss-taking. Yes, if the bike was a dedicated track machine I would agree, but the GSX-R is my workhorse for all things distance related as well as my Sunday morning speed fix.
That’s the beauty of the blue beastie; it’s a superb all-rounder and, let’s be honest, if there is any type of bike which you’d need to rest your throttle hand on it’s a sportsbike, due to the extra weight on your wrists.
BMW and Aprilia seem to agree as both the RSV4 RF and S1000RR come with cruise control as standard. OK that’s enough of the justification for my old man mods, let’s get on with it.
There are a multitude of mechanical systems to lock your throttle but I wanted one as good as the factory-fit systems. What that means is looking for something which integrates directly with the bike’s ride by wire. Obviously if it was to malfunction it could potentially be rather upsetting (imagine if the system decided I needed 100% throttle while negotiating a roundabout at 30mph, for example). A high quality fully integrated solution for the GSX-R was needed.. Thankfully there is just such a system, from Australian company MC Cruise (no relation to MC Hammer).
It comes with a detailed instruction booklet which is purpose written for each application with photographs for every step of the installation. It also includes all the required hardware elements, even down to alcohol wipes to clean the mounting area for the control module. A quick skim of the 29-page instructions and I soon realised this wasn’t going to be a 20-minute job.
I’d recommend you set aside three or four hours to install the kit; it took me about three, with no real snags. One of the best things is you don’t have to cut any of the original wiring; the kit comes with the matching original connectors so all you have to do is piggy back the system with the OE harness. On some connectors you have to back-out some of the pins from the terminal blocks and plug them into the newly provided connectors. It’s a little fiddly and takes a while to get the feel of how to unhook the latches on the pins.
The system also connects to the brake light circuit so if you press the brakes (front or rear) the cruise control disengages. Once it’s all fitted there is a one-time
calibration procedure to follow to teach it where zero and full throttle are. You can also customise how much the speed will change when you press the advance/ decrease speed button on the switchgear. I left it at 1.5mph per press, which seems about right.
I’ve been using it for about six weeks now and I’m impressed. My only criticism is the buttons on the control module are quite far apart and a bit of a stretch for my thumb. You really have to let go of the handlebars to reach the ON button. The control box is a universal fit so I guess on some bikes it can be mounted closer to your hand, but on the GSX-R it’s a stretch.
Once engaged, speed is maintained beautifully. It will work at any speed and any gear so there are no restrictions in its use. I have had no moments when the throttle has done anything untoward with the system engaged. And longer journeys have now become much more bearable.
MC Cruise sent me their optional Bluetooth module. Operated via a phone app it gives greater flexibility in set-up, and some developmental features such as not being able to exceed the speed of the road that you’re riding on. The kit comes in at around £350, depending on the value of the quid versus the Aussie dollar.
‘Once fitted, a one-time calibration procedure teaches it where zero and full throttle are’
Incremental speed adjustment is a bit of a stretch for Bennett’s stumpy thumb...
Fitment took Bennett around three hours. It’s not clear if that included the time required to read the 29-page instruction manual...
The MC Cruise kit includes connectors to match the Suzuki’s OE components