WTF is with the "touchy throttle" responses lately?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by SportsGuy, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. SportsGuy

    SportsGuy icanhazdirt?

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    Don't get me wrong...both bikes I own now are "throttle by wire", if you will, so I *understand* the basis for people responding in threads with comments like "the bike sux b/c the throttle is too touchy", etc.

    But holy shit, EVERY bike is different, so YOU have to adapt to EVERY bike that's new to you.

    Now, before I make this next statement, so thoughts:

    1 - I am by no means the best rider around, nor do I claim super-human skills on or off road.
    2 - I have taken several on and off road training classes, which did teach me a few things.

    So...

    Maybe these people are simply lacking some skill?

    I don't really believe that in the vast majority of cases. In most cases, I think its a simple matter of not liking change. THAT is pretty normal for all of us in many cases over time.

    But, I do wonder about some people...

    EVERY class I've taken, and thus every subsequent ride I've taken, I've learned about an used this little thing called the clutch.

    On road its pretty straight forward, but hit the dirt and things DO change, so using that clutch more solves a LOT of problems.

    When people complain about slow speed throttle twitchiness, it makes me wonder if those people are using the clutch effectively? I have to admit, here, that plenty of times I'm lurchy and NOT smooth on my bikes, and its due, at least 50% of the time to either my clutch work or not paying attention to throttle control.

    Yes, newer bikes with throttle by wire can require some changes in approach. Yep, I agree they can have touchier throttles, BUT to me that's just something I need to adjust to - like the new seat, the new windscreen, and new bend in the handlebars, the new grips, he new vibes, etc.

    From where I sit, I'll happily take the benefits inherent with throttle by wire technology. If it means I need to exercise more control over my right wrist and work the clutch in different conditions, then so be it. Happy to adjust for the benefits of new technology. (And I don't just mean the immediate benefit son a given machine, I mean in the overall moving forward of technology.)

    My intent here is "observation", not "judgment", so if you find your nostrils flaring, your blood pressure rising and your anger peaking, well, that's something you'll will need to deal with. ;) I'm not intending to single anyone out personally.
    #1
  2. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    All I know is pretty much all throttles work the same when you're either WFO or shutting it down. So I don't have an issue with twitchiness. :lol3
    #2
  3. SportsGuy

    SportsGuy icanhazdirt?

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    Interesting approach - so you just avoid the middle ground completely! Efficient!
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  4. concours

    concours WFO for 44 years

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    +1
    Made for an exciting test ride... Wheelying the Triumph Rocket III in front of the dealership:lol3
    Seriously, the ride by wire throttle response can be engineered any way you want. Too gradual and it would feel "pokey", experienced riders would be disappointed. People always want to feel like "Ricky Racer", whether bikes, cars, ATV's, sleds, etc. It may not always be best for everyday use, but it's market driven.
    OP, learn to adapt. Crowd the switchgear with your thumb, or use the bar end weight as a "damper" for your hand movement. My Tiger 1050 has a snatchy low end... IF your course with your inputs. Be smooth and it's a tamed beast.
    #4
  5. WormShanks

    WormShanks b00b

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    Like anything, there are good implementations of throttle by wire and there are bad implementations of throttle by wire. I prefer the good ones.
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  6. SportsGuy

    SportsGuy icanhazdirt?

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    Obviously I wasn't clear - I'm not complaining about it myself - in fact, I do state I prefer it and KNOW I need to adapt. I'm shocked to read so many OTHERS here and in other forums, bring this point up negatively and use it to bash solid bikes. ;)
    #6
  7. scottrnelson

    scottrnelson Team Orange

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    My 2008 KTM 990 Adventure isn't throttle by wire, but it's touchy in the transition between closed throttle and opening it a crack. Yes, I can make up for it by using the clutch, but it's still annoying. I've owned 20 other bikes that didn't have that problem, or at least could be easily adjusted to fix the issue.

    I shouldn't have to slip the clutch in EVERY slow corner (i.e., under 20 mph).
    #7
  8. SkiFastBadly

    SkiFastBadly A beer? Yes, please

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    I own three bikes, and among them I've done something like 90K miles in the past 9 years. So I may not be an expert or by some people's definition even an experienced rider.

    I've been sniffing around trying to decide if to replace my Uly, and if so, with what. I have either test ridden or swapped with a buddy the following bikes:
    KTM 990 SMT
    Triumph 800 Roadie
    BMW GS 1200
    Yamaha Super Tenere
    Triumph 1050 Tiger
    Triumph 1200 Tiger Explorer (twice)

    All pretty interesting bikes with different characteristics.

    Having said all that, the first time I rode the TEX the throttle was so twitchy that hitting a bump on the road made my wrist move enough to cause the bike to accelerate. It was scary, and I cannot imagine being on the pegs on that thing. The second ride, no problem, and I understand that it was re-mapped.

    So in my opinion there is definitely such a thing as a poorly designed/configured fly by wire throttle.

    And since this is the internet, you can take my word as gospel.
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  9. SportsGuy

    SportsGuy icanhazdirt?

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    And having just ridden one back to back with my Tenere, I can refute your claims! I rode the Tex, on the pegs, and didn't have this experience - this bike was pre-flash, too, so this is a you & me thing - meaning, I think, different people make a difference in the equation. :)

    I LOVED the feel of the throttle and engine in the TEX, but not the huge price... :(

    Still, the point here is touchy throttles, and here's a perfect case where one person experiences one thing, and a different person experiences something different.
    #9
  10. DC2wheels

    DC2wheels Castle Anthrax troll

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    I think this is what you are describing.

    DISCLAIMER, I am not the smoothest rider out there but have lots of miles in the saddle and many of those are 2-up.

    4 years ago I got some stupid bug up my backside and bought a new C-14 Concours. Great engine power, just OK ergo-wise for me but the throttle response was not good.

    Hard to accurately describe, but I'll try.

    Even after fitting a Throttle-tamer I found it very difficult to be smooth at partial throttle- where the bike is right between acceleration and deceleration. It seemed that if I had the throttle twisted so that I was just barely accelerating and backed off very slightly- it made the engine want to slow rapidly, like it was getting very little or no gas at all.

    After one longer ride, SWMBO complained that she had a stiff neck from the frequent accel/decel movement.

    Some of this might have been due to the secondary butterflies and could have been cured or at least lessened by pulling the 'flies and installing a Power Commander. But other forces intervened and bye-bye C-14.

    I never had this trouble with any of the 3 BMW K1100RS that I have owned
    #10
  11. SkiFastBadly

    SkiFastBadly A beer? Yes, please

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    I agree with you on that. In this state, by the time you do the prep and tax, you're at 18K+. I just couldn't see that.
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  12. SportsGuy

    SportsGuy icanhazdirt?

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    Yup - $9k for my FJR on trade, plus another $9,100 to bring home the TEX. Contrast that with the Tenere, at FJR + $3.5k all in...

    Yes, I liked the engine in the TEX. No, I didn't think the throttle touchy at all (I thank the KTM for forcing me to become smoother). No, the cruise control wasn't worth the extra $6 in the price difference between the bikes.

    I have noticed the Tenere can be touchy, but when I'm smooth, so is the bike. Being smooth randomly is the easy part. Being smooth consistently, now that's a whole lot tougher...
    #12
  13. ttpete

    ttpete Rectum Non Bustibus

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    Some of the on-off twitchiness can be blamed on the requirement to comply with emissions standards. Another cause can be that some calibrations cut off all fuel on closed throttle decels and restore it just above idle speed. Another cause can be a throttle position sensor (TPS) that's out of adjustment.

    My Versys had the problem, and I chose to use a Power Commander V to install a performance oriented fuel map. It's in its 5th year now without any problems.
    #13
  14. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

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    While many are perfectly fine, some are remarkably touchy, and some are just plain weird.

    In many cases, idle is set for minimal emissions, so when you come off idle, you can get a very strong lurch or surge. It can be dealt with, but it's not fun to deal with, especially in low traction conditions.

    Another I've run into recently is a steady speed relocation of throttle position, whereby the maintain speed position was just off the idle stop, regardless of vehicle speed. 30 mph, 90 mph, made no difference, steady speed was maintained by just cracking the throttle off idle. Made maintaining speed all but impossible to do smoothly, as the only way to back off when going down a grade was to drop the engine all the way to full idle. Manufacturer claimed this was to enhance the driving experience and maximize gas mileage.
    #14
  15. SportsGuy

    SportsGuy icanhazdirt?

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    What make/model was this?
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  16. DJFlowe

    DJFlowe Ginger

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    I used to have real problems with throttle twitchiness, especially in low-speed maneuvers, till I took a training course.

    Turns out, I was the problem.

    Elbow too high, too much pressure on the bars and not enough using my knees to hold onto the tank translated into what I thought was a twitchy throttle.

    Turns out I was just translating every bump and movement into throttle inputs.

    Some better posture and practice using my knees on the tank, and it hasn't been a problem since.
    #16
  17. Jan from Finland

    Jan from Finland Been here awhile

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    Most often the issue is fuel injection mapping not the ride by wire throttle. To increase mileage manufacturers like to cut the fuel off as often as possible. In addition some older and cheaper systems can't handle the off idle transition even if the mapping were perfect.

    It's completely normal to use the clutch every time you touch the throttle or shifter on dirt bikes. It gives you more control and the bike is designed for it. However, heavier and more powerful street bikes are not meant to be ridden like that. They have heavier pull and constant slipping will burn the clutch. Having to use the clutch at every occasion is a distraction in traffic. It's a fault in a bike. At least I think so. It has nothing to do with my skills. On dirt I use the clutch all the time. I just don't like doing that on a street bike.

    Actually it's not a street vs. dirt riding style. It's more about the engine power and torque. Big adventure bikes are controlled using the throttle even on the dirt. Where as lighter singles are controlled using the clutch. Not all the time but more often than not. Having to adjust a touchy throttle is a liability.[​IMG]
    #17
  18. mrphotoman

    mrphotoman Long timer

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    It is a rider issue, every bike forum has a small group of people that say OMG i kant stand mah bike the throttle is not safe it is too twitchy and on and off like teh light switch!

    I think it is quite funny.
    #18
  19. corndog67

    corndog67 Banned

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    Absolutely correct. Or they read a magazine test somewhere, or hear someone say, it has a twitchy throttle, I've seen people tell other people that is why they didn't buy this or that bike, the throttle was too twitchy, without ever having ridden it! That just tells me they weren't seriously going to buy it anyway, just an excuse.



    I ride my street bikes like my dirt bikes, lots of clutch action. I'm used to it, and I feel it gives me more control. Also, when they are factory mapped, some of them are pretty lean off idle and surge strongly when rolling them on. Nothing that I've ever had a problem getting used to though.

    But, there are differences. My old S4 Ducati has a pretty fast throttle response, when my wife started riding it, it took quite a bit for her to get used to the immediacy of the throttle response, especially after getting on it after her Sportster, which had no throttle response whatsoever.
    #19
  20. fast4d

    fast4d Long timer

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    ask those KTM guys!:rofl

    but seriously they try to pass emissions and lean it out at close/part throttle and it surges. no surprise there.

    O2 simulators/bypass fixed it on my KTMs
    #20