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BiKenG

Look ma! No cables

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Part of Phase 3 of my eVo4 project was to try and eliminate the throttle cables. I realise there will be some who have no problem with throttle cables and can't see any point to my efforts, but I don't care. As far as I'm concerned they get in the way, their adjustment varies as you turn the bars and they have no place on a bike that is in fact Ride By Wire. Honda are not the only manufacturer to have done this as the Aprilia Tuono (at least the later ones) are RBW but until very recently also still have cables.

 

Why Honda decided to use cables I have no firm idea. The most likely reason was suggested to me by a dealer who thought Honda were just being mindful of the conservative nature of motorcyclists and only gradually introducing the concept of RBW and missing throttle cables. So first we get just RBW with cables, then later drop the cables. This is certainly typical of Honda thinking, but as we know, they never changed the VFR1200 in this regard (or any other in fact) and other manufacturers introduced RBW with twist-grip sensors and no one seemed to have a problem with those. Anyway...

 

I don't like the cables and wanted to replace that system with an integrated twist-grip sensor. I studied the BMW and then the KTM systems, but their output didn't match what the VFR's ECU was expecting so some sort of converter would be required and I felt that was a step too far as I figured eventually, there'd be a Honda part that would do the job.

 

First came the RCV thingy, but any parts for that would undoubtedly be a stratospheric price (even more than normal). Eventually in 2017 we got the new FireBlade and checking its Service Manual revealed that despite its different sensor type, the output was in the same range as the VFR's. So although the VFR's TCP Sensor (cable driven, mounted on side of throttle bodies) is a simple variable resistor and the new CBR's twist-grip is a Hall Effect position sensor, they both do the same job. Two independent sensors (for reliability and error checking), a supply voltage and ground connection and the output signal which operates in the same voltage range on both bikes. Not totally surprising really as Honda's designers would be working to the same parameters and the same output voltage ranges would make sense. So...

 

As soon as the new parts became available in 2017, I took a chance and ordered a new 2017 CBR1000RR FireBlade twist-grip and also the LH switch so they would match and I could use the additional buttons for the Cruise Control. Once received I set to modifying things as necessary. This was relatively easy for the twist-grip. There are 6 wires - power, ground and signal for each of the 2 sensors so it just required matching them up between the new twist-grip and the VFR's loom. The LH switch was much more complicated, but not relevant to this thread.

 

Unfortunately, health issues brought this project to a halt last year and I only got it completed a few weeks ago. However, I can report that it works. Perfectly. YAY!

 

I've just returned from an approx. 1000 mile trip without a throttle cable in sight (well, not on my bike 😀) and nary a hiccup. By which I mean that the throttle control has been perfect. I could say that you couldn't tell the difference from a std. VFR1200, but that would diminish the pleasure I get from not seeing those cables flapping about. Truth is there is NOTHING negative I can report about this. The throttle operation is smooth and very direct and of course never varies as you turn the bars etc. Just perfect all the time. I also really like the single combined Kill switch and Start button and the aforementioned buttons on the LHS which are perfect for my needs, although I still added some additional very neat buttons by Motone on the RHS for the handlebar heaters and on the LHS for Cruise Control memory functions.

 

So, anyone who like me would like to dispense with the throttle cables on their VFR1200, a 2017 FireBlade's twist-grip can be used to do so. I expect the latest Africa Twin twist-grip could also be used, but I've not looked into that.

 

I do love it when a plan comes together 😁

 

 

 

eVo4-v3 - 9.jpg

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Sounds pretty cool, but I can't help but note that if you notice throttle changes when you turn the bars, you've got

it adjusted wrong.

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Great job, the cleaner it looks the better in my humble opinion. 

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Sweet. Agree with you and Philois, the cleaner the better.

 

Sebspeed, there's a 7th gen naked project here....

 

Oh, and a couple more photos please?

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Phenomenal job! :fing02:

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7 hours ago, St. Stephen said:

...Oh, and a couple more photos please?

 

I did show more pics in another thread. But here's a link to the whole project if you want to have a look:-

 

eVo4 story so far

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8 hours ago, FJ12Ryder said:

Sounds pretty cool, but I can't help but note that if you notice throttle changes when you turn the bars, you've got

it adjusted wrong.

 

Well whatever the adjustment, it changes as you turn the bars. Just a fact of using Bowden cables. Whether you notice will depend on a number of factors, but particularly so when you prefer to have minimal slack in the cables. I hate a 'loose' throttle, i.e. with a lot of slack. Makes it much more difficult to be smooth when transitioning from off throttle to on throttle and vice versa. But it's impossible to have no slack when riding straight as when you turn the bars, the throttle will open slightly. To avoid that, you have to allow more slack. So you cannot achieve optimum cable adjustment under all conditions.

 

Those long throttle cables can also interfere with other parts of the bike as the bars are turned. I was unable to mount my iPhone (for Sat Nav duties) where I wanted to due to the clearance required for the cables when turning. In the end I mounted it higher up and out the way which is actually better, but not always possible on other bikes. For the same reason I prefer hydraulic clutch operation as the hose can be routed almost anywhere, whereas a cable needs a smooth arc and of course can catch when trying to turn the bars.

 

Whether any of this actually bothers anyone is a personal matter, but it's always irritated me. Particularly since the introduction of Drive By Wire on cars as I immediately saw the possibilities for using twist-grip sensors on a bike. Then when Honda finally get around to using RBW, they use cables. Aaarrgghhh! 😧

 

I'll add some more pictures of the cables etc.

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Nice work!

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Great Dropbox history.  Mahalo.

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Brilliant! 

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On 7/11/2018 at 9:15 AM, BiKenG said:

I'll add some more pictures of the cables etc.

 

eVo4-v3_bars - 3.jpg

eVo4-v3_bars - 4.jpg

eVo4-v3_bars - 5.jpg

eVo4-v3_bars - 6.jpg

eVo4-v3_bars - 9.jpg

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Are those without the cables? Doesn't seem to look that much different than with cables. Lots of stuff coming out.

I guess I was thinking you wouldn't see anything, but there's still wires to run.

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1 hour ago, FJ12Ryder said:

Are those without the cables? Doesn't seem to look that much different than with cables. Lots of stuff coming out.

I guess I was thinking you wouldn't see anything, but there's still wires to run.

 

Yes of course there's electrical cables (and hydraulic hose on clutch side), as before and no way to dispense with those. In any case, they're no bother really as they can be tucked in and strapped nice and tight and out of the way. Throttle (and clutch) cables need long smooth curves that means they stick out a long way and flap about and need a lot of clearance to allow the bars to turn.

 

Having said that, electrical cables can be run through the bars which can look even neater, but not only is it a real faff to do, but it's a total PIA when you need to work on them or take the bars off etc. That's simply not worth the effort. Throttle and clutch cables are what needs to be eliminated IMO. Others will think differently, but that's up to them and not my concern. This is my bike and I like it. 😀

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1 hour ago, BiKenG said:

This is my bike and I like it. 😀

 

It is a nice bike and I like it as well, but if the work gives you a sense of satisfaction and you appreciate the changes that is all that matters. 

 

On that note: Do you mind sharing details on the bar ends and reservoir cover screws? I have been looking for hex head screws in red for my bike but haven't been able to find any. 

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25 minutes ago, adkfinn said:

 

It is a nice bike and I like it as well, but if the work gives you a sense of satisfaction and you appreciate the changes that is all that matters. 

 

On that note: Do you mind sharing details on the bar ends and reservoir cover screws? I have been looking for hex head screws in red for my bike but haven't been able to find any. 

 

The reservoir cover screws are just gold anodised Al. countersunk Allen screw, M4 if memory serves correctly. If not available from eBay then I almost certainly obtained them from Pro-Bolt, a UK supplier of fancy nuts and bolts. Great stuff, but they're not cheap.

 

The bar ends were cheap off eBay and I machined them to fit the ends of my bars. They originally used basic rubber blocks that expanded inside the bars as you tightened the screws (cheap and nasty), but now are screwed directly into the bar heaters and both held firmly and securely in place. The plugs on the inner ends of the bars I made in either Delrin or nylon, I forget which but I think the former.

 

Since you likely are using standard bars, I suggest the R&G bar ends. In stainless steel with a black plastic cap at the end. They are made to fit Honda bars and are screwed into the anti vibration weights as standard bar ends do, but I think they look much nicer and in theory if you drop the bike and just damage the plastic end, you wouldn't need to replace the entire metal fitting. I say "in theory" as the only time I've tested this I managed to wear away the plastic and a big corner off the stainless so had to replace the entire assembly, but that was my fault, not R&G's.

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43 minutes ago, BiKenG said:

 

The reservoir cover screws are just gold anodised Al. countersunk Allen screw, M4 if memory serves correctly. If not available from eBay then I almost certainly obtained them from Pro-Bolt, a UK supplier of fancy nuts and bolts. Great stuff, but they're not cheap.

 

Thanks!

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On 7/11/2018 at 4:15 AM, BiKenG said:

But it's impossible to have no slack when riding straight as when you turn the bars, the throttle will open slightly. To avoid that, you have to allow more slack. So you cannot achieve optimum cable adjustment under all conditions.

Yes! This! 😡

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