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The McCruise Cruise Control Review by Guest Reviewer: Evan Rubenstein

Evan says:

“Since I started riding 30 years ago, I have been bothered with a sharp pain in my right shoulder blade after about 30 minutes of riding and so on all the bikes I’ve owned over the years, I have always had a throttle lock. These are inexpensive and quite effective but are not at all precise. They are good for relieving the pressure needed to keep cruising but not much good at maintaining a set speed. A slight downhill will easily result in you speeding up by 10-15 kph and conversely, an uphill will slow you down significantly.  With speed enforcement in Victoria so strict – you are constantly fiddling with the throttle lock to maintain a steady (legal) speed. It’s a real pain.

After being caught 4 k’s over the limit while returning from Sydney in 2005 wile using my throttle lock, I decided it was time for a proper electronic cruise control. For a short while I contemplated adapting an automotive cruise control as they are cheap, but reading through the forums I concluded that they were tricky to get working properly and I would waste too much time stuffing around with it. So I decided to get an MCCruise Unit – the only aftermarket cruise control that I came across.  At first I struggled to justify the investment, but considering that I had spent over $20k on the bike and that bikes with this facility as standard are many thousands of dollars more, I felt it would be worth it. It was a good decision!

Fortunately the device is made in my home town (Melbourne) and so I called round to the guys at McCruise to make my purchase in person.  The guys were super helpful and configured the unit specifically the way I wanted it for fitting to my then brand new 2006 Yamaha FJR 1300. (see below)

I undertook the installation myself, which if you are mechanically orientated is not too difficult, but takes a good few hours (9 in my case, but I was also installing a couple of other bits and pieces while the bike was disassembled). The instructions are magnificent in that they are bike specific, very clear and fully detailed. At no time during the installation was there any confusion nor any need for telephonic assistance, which was available. The kit itself is superbly made with minute attention to detail.  Every single screw, washer, nut, hose, connector, cable tie etc. was in the box along with a few spares too. They even supply the special cable-end grabbing tool you need for the installation. 

The four main components are:

1:The electronic control unit into which the wiring harness connects, with connections to the front and rear brake light switches, clutch, wheel speed sensor, handlebar control and power. I located this out of the way in the taillight enclosure.
2:The vacuum actuator which connects to the inlet manifold of the EFI. The standard FJR configuration is to locate this in the storage compartment under the seat, but in my case I located it under the right hand side fairing, which is where it is normally located for the electric gearshift version of the FJR.  In this way I kept  all the storage space under the seat available for the bits and pieces that I like to keep on the bike.

 Cruise Control Vacuum Actuator

The Vacuum Actuator mounted under the fairing.

 Actuator for Cruise Control

The Actuator seen through the fairing once mounted.

3:The handlebar control; a neat, three button piece that can be factory configured to fit on either the left or right, top or bottom of the handlebar. In my case I wanted it below the left hand handlebar.


 Cruise Control Handlebar Controls

The neat controls on the handlebar!


4:The cable interface unit which links the vacuum actuator to the throttle control so that the cruise control can adjust the throttle opening.


 Under seat view of cruise control

The control unit mounted under the seat.

There are quite a few cables that you have to route back to the electronic control unit but these are quite long enough and easily dealt with. The final result was neat and professional and frankly looks and performs like original equipment.

The best part is how good the unit is to use. The three control buttons are On/Off, Set/Accel, Resume/Decel – very much the same as a car. Careful attention has been put on the safety aspect of the device both in terms of design and function.  The cable interfaces unit is unique and is designed to ensure reliable and smooth consistent operation. Once the cruise control is on, you press the Set/Accel button when you reach the desired speed and you can let go of the throttle grip. You can adjust your speed to within 2 kph by pressing the Accel or Decel buttons once the unit is engaged. I use this in conjunction with my GPS to set my speed quite accurately. If you grab either brake or the clutch the cruise control is disabled. If you accelerate quickly with the cruise control engaged, it will also disengage. In 15,000 km of use, I have never not had full control when I expected it.

The bike holds it speed well even when fully loaded with a pillion passenger and luggage going uphill. The FJR has plenty of torque available in fifth to maintain speed without changing down, this may not be the case with some lower powered bikes. The only thing you have to be careful of is going down steep hills where gravity is stronger than your engine braking. Obviously the cruise control does not apply your brakes for you to keep your speed constant. I use it all the time even around town. It’s much easier to set it to 60 and relax than to constantly have to keep your eye on the speedo.

At highway speeds (80 – 110) the unit holds its speed to within about 5 kph. The 2006 FJR’s throttle response is rather abrupt at the best of times, particularly at low speed. This does impact the accuracy of the cruise control at 60 k’s but this is clearly an issue with the bike.

If you tour on your bike, then I cannot think of any accessory I would rather have. You are able to relax your grip and enjoy the ride. This in addition to my Airhawk has increased my comfort immeasurably, with 800-900 km’s a day now a breeze.”

 Note from Andy: [XMLLINK0000000010]

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I have thought about this cruise control for the R1200GS (yes they do make one for that model) for some time. But living in SA has kept me from it. No way would I opt for self install (not as handy as Evan) It sounds VERY good though!