Motorcycle Ride by Wire Throttle Damping-Case Study
A modern motorcycle ride by wire throttle (sometimes called ‘drive by wire’) refers to the absence of mechanical linkage between the accelerator and throttle. Older and conventional motorcycle throttles utilise a cable twist grip with considerably more friction in the mechanism preventing inadvertent opening of the throttle, for example when going over road bumps or riding off-road.
With ride by wire motorbikes, the twist grip uses an electronic position sensor to determine how much throttle is being applied. There is no friction in the operation and the only resistance felt by the rider is provided by the return spring so the throttle can feel over sensitive.
If riding off-road or over speed bumps a light and sensitive electronic twist grip can make it difficult to control the motorcycle precisely, even potentially leading to an accident.
The biggest challenge for any grease used to dampen the sensitivity of the motorcycle ride by wire throttle system certainly should not adversely affect how the throttle shuts down positively under the action of the twist grip return.
- A synthetic damping grease that should not cause compatibility issues with any plastics.
- A Polyalphaolefin (PAO) grease offers temperature stability and does not significantly change in character when exposed to extreme temperatures.
- The damping grease should be durable and have a long functional life.
- A measure of shear stability is important for any grease used so that the lubricant viscosity change is minimal under mechanical stress (in this case. the rotational movement of the twist grip); the hydrophilic silica thickener in formula assists.
Nyogel 774VH (Very Heavy)
Applying The Grease
The twist grip/ride by wire throttle system will require disassembly for the grease to be applied. First of all, the motorcycle manufacturer’s workshop manual should always be followed when dismantling and reassembling the throttle. The disassembly, grease application and reassembly process took 45 minutes on the model of motorcycle in this case study.
A coating of Nyogel 774VH should be applied all around the metal handlebar surface. The aim is that when when reassembled, a layer of grease will sit between the handlebar and twist grip to dampening/smoothing the movement of the twist grip, offering more rotational resistance.
The application of the Nyogel 774VH damping grease smoothed the operation of the twist grip whilst still allowing the return spring to close the throttle sharply when the grip is released. The damping grease improved the throttle control and rider experience over speed bumps.
Prior to the damping grease application there was a tendency for the throttle to accidentally open if the twist grip is ‘swept’ by a gloved hand; this issue is now much more predictable and manageable.
THE APPLICATION OF NYOGEL 774VH GREATLY IMPROVED THE RIDING EXPERIENCE FOR THE OWNER.
A great example of how a relatively small amount of damping grease can make a big difference to the end user.