– by Roger Trendowski
After having an electronic cruise control on my 2004 R1150GSA, I decided I couldn’t live without it on my new F800GSA. It feels “so good” on those long trips. I figured that there must be more units available in the past 9 years since I installed my last one… “wrong.” There is only one fully electronic cruise control unit specially built for motorcycles… made by MC Cruise company in Australia, http://www.mccruise.com. Other units by Fox or no-name companies on the web are geared for cars but only the MC Cruise unit comes with detailed motorcycle wiring and installation instructions for each particular bike.
Mounting plates, screws, hoses, heat-shrink tubing are provided and even the MC cruise computer is specially programmed for my bike. Over the 9 years on my old bike I experienced no quality or operational problems except for loss of a magnet (for the speed sensor) every once in awhile when the dealer or Mikey would change a front tire or work on the brakes. The cruise control unit requires only three connections (splices) to wiring in the bike: for power, tach and brake light. I also had to tap into the vacuum line which connects the “carbs” (injector housings) to the “airbox.” This supplies vacuum to the Actuator (the thing that pulls open the throttle when the bike speed drops).
The Actuator is the black upside-down cylinder shaped device (tin can) that has a cable protruding from it. The actuator cable, supplied as part of the kit, connects to a hockey-puck sized device called the CIU – Cable Interface Unit.
The CIU connects to the throttle grip cable, the vacuum actuator and the “carbs.” Through magic (and great engineering,) the CIU allows you to twist the throttle grip (thereby pulling open the carbs), allows the actuator to pull open the carbs, and also allows you to overpower (accelerate over) the cruise control actuator setting. For safety purposes, the cruise control unit has three “vacuum dump valves” in the actuator that release the cruise control if the front or rear brake is pressed, the engine over revs, or you press the control ON/OFF button.
A complete wiring harness is provided. At first look, it seem complex but all the cables which connect the computer plug to various sensors and controls have unique (different) connector plugs so they are easy to plug (and not mix up). All of the cruise control parts are mostly hidden from external view… the CIU, computer, and vacuum actuator. The cruise control switch with ON/OFF, ACCEL/RESUME and COAST buttons is apparent since it is mounted on the handlebars near the left mirror:
It took about 7-8 hours to install the unit, working about 1-1/2 hours per night over a week. (I still work full time you know.) Most of the time is not actually installing the cruise hardware, but is in the removal and re installation of the bike top and side faring panels, fairing duckbill, airbox, and other pieces.
Upon completion of the project I had only 4 or 5 screws left over which means I ‘ll have to go over the bike in detail to see where they are missing.
Speed sensor and 5 magnets
As far as cost, I purchased the unit directly from the company in Australia. There was about a 25% discount for conversion to the American dollar so the net was about $750 including shipping. They delivered the unit in only 4 days directly from Australia which has to be a record since it takes 4 days to send US mail across NJ.
The company is great… very responsive. I emailed them with an issue regarding my 2014 bike vs. the instructions they sent which was for an F800GS a few years older. Believe it or not, within 15 minutes of sending my email, the owner and salesman called me from their home turf. I am very pleased with the unit and their service.