Completing the touring capability of an already super-versatile motorbike.
I have been riding motorbikes since I was 16 and have owned many kinds of bikes - loving them all. I think I could be described as one of those “hard-core” riders: I have never accepted not riding just to avoid highways even when I had the possibility of “transporting” my motorbike on a car trailer or a train Even when if I commute every day on roads I am not fond of riding, many times I take the long way home and enjoy the sense of freedom that only the two wheels can give.
After more than 29 years riding I finally got to put a leg over a very nice bike: relatively light, comfortable (after changing the seat), with almost electric engine torque and which is cheap enough to pay for a nice one week adventure with the price difference with its competitors - The Yamaha MT-09 Tracer MY 2017.
One thing I was really missing on this bike was a cruise control: the bike is so torquey that it is very difficult to avoid playing with the gas and so responsive you feel it always pushing you forward and back. And of course Cruise Control comes in very handy when riding to your destination on highways.
I had two solutions: wait for the new 2018 Touring Tracer with an out of pocket expense of 3200 Euro taking into account the discount I could get on MY 2017) - or find a way to adapt the MY 2017 to my needs and save big money for my next trip to Spain.
I knew MCCruise from a Webbikeworld review more than two years ago and I even contacted them to see if I could set up something on my beloved Moto Guzzi Stelvio at that time. This time, I started to dig on the internet and ask in some forums and in few minutes, I realized that there was a completely new electronic kit for my Tracer with the possibility to use the XT1200 switch! Sweet and Clean and it also fit my budget!
I ordered the kit the same day I paid for my new 2017 Tracer and purchased the XT1200 left handlebar switch from eBay in Germany.
After receiving the installation instruction manual pdf I decided that the installation was not too difficult and the instructions were very clear, so I went for DIY.
The kit was shipped 10 days after ordering and arrived only 4 days after despatch(Australia-France… well done TNT!), Just two days after that, the XT1200 left-hand switch block landed on my workbench.
The day after, my bike was stripped down and I was already installing the kit. All cables and connections are very well crafted, and following the instructions was not difficult at all, even when English is not my mother tongue. I think that I installed everything in less than three hours, not sure about timing, but it was in one single morning between breakfast and lunch during one of my vacation days (late wake-up…). It could have been less - I spent time double checking, triple checking and checking again.
That morning I should have drunk my second espresso, because when I finished everything and all seemed to be ok… the unit did not turn on! Checked again… nothing. I reassembled the bike for a test ride and noticed that the speedometer was not reading!
Here I realized that I needed some help, so I wrote an email and the feedback from MCCruise was quick, kind and clear. Two day afterwards, Tony helped me to troubleshoot my installation and in less than 20 minutes we realized that I connected one of the two-way plugs to the wrong place!!! In fact, in the instructions it clearly states the color of the wires of that connector, but… I did not do my espresso break that morning!!! Click! Clack! Everything on properly!
We went also through the main steps of the calibration and I finally put back the fuel tank and all the chassis pieces. That was 5 days ago when the bike odometer read around 500 km. Today I have 1200km and tested the cruise in a variety of situations and “smooth” is the word I may choose to describe it.
The cruise control can be customized on the speed increment and on other parameters, but I found the standard values work fine for me.
The Tracer engine can push the bike with no effort and the cruise control masters the throttle much better than me (sigh!). When engaging it while decelerating it will remember the speed where you press the Set switch and after one or two second the bike gently speed up to that speed, as I said just here above: “smooth”. Disengaging the cruise control is very easy and intuitive, either brake or press the clutch or press the On/Off switch of the cruise control. (Brakes are recommended.)
After the first full tank with the MC Cruise, I also realize that I am saving gasoline in my day-to-day commuting, where 70% of the 50 km is on a metropolitan highway (110 Km/h speed limit). I calculated that I reached 24Km/l vs the 20 Km/l I calculated before the MCCruise control was installed. I can also guarantee that the kit is showerproof, a fundamental attribute for anything moving around Paris in fall, winter and spring time.
In the end, I saved a lot and I am very happy with my choice: I completed the touring capability of a very versatile motorbike, I saved money, I came out with a clean installation of an XT1200 left control switch and I am saving gasoline! What’s more to desire?
…only one or two months of vacation getting lost in an unknown, distant country?
Paris, April 10 th 2017