by Rick K. (Words) and "Mad Dog" Earle (Installation) for webBikeWorld.com
The throttle that should have been standard on the Multistrada...and many other bikes!
The G2 Throttle Tamer did the job, taming the snatchy on/off "light switch" throttle.
An added bonus is better throttle response at higher RPMs.
The Multistrada 620 is a nice motorcycle and it's now somewhat of a collector's item, since they were only made for the 2005 and 2006 model years.
This Multistrada is more or less the webBikeWorld hack bike, bearing the brunt of every experiment, acting as a photographic model and getting slathered with a variety of chemical concoctions to see what happens, all in the interest of webBikeWorld reviews.
The Multistrada 620 was designed to be a beginner's bike (sort of), bringing the benefits (some would say drawbacks) of the original and controversial Multistrada design at a lower cost.
It does have the benefits of the unfairly maligned Multistrada, but one thing has always puzzled us and anyone else who has climbed aboard: the hair-trigger on/off clutch and throttle are definitely tough on beginners and can flummox experienced riders as well.
Is it any wonder why the bike never caught on with moto tyros?
Everything else about the bike, including the riding position, is fine. Except for one thing (two actually) -- the combination of the light switch clutch with its whisker-thin friction zone and the light switch throttle (0 to 4,000 RPM in about 1 mm) sour the cream.
Feedback from webBikeWorld readers tells me that this problem is fairly common.
Fuel injection has come a long way since the mechanically controlled systems of the 1950's, but many modern systems deliver fuel in a sort of digital on/off fashion compared to what might be called the smoother analog fuel delivery of a well-balanced carburetor.
The Multistrada clutch will get its fair due the next time it's over at Duc Pond Motorsports in Winchester, Virginia (where the bike was purchased) for scheduled maintenance.
But thanks to a tip by webBikeWorlder Mike L., half the problem is solved because the snatchy throttle is hereby tamed.
(NOTE: Chris B. reviewed a similar product, the G2 Throttle Cam, back in 2006. The throttle cam on his FJR1300 was slightly different from the Throttle Tamer reviewed here because different cam profiles are available to slip on over the throttle tube.
The Throttle Cam is also used on dirt bikes.)
Like many brilliant products, the concept is simple, once you think about it -- and once you know what you're doing. The throttle that lives under the right-hand Ducati grip is a cheap piece of molded nylon with a simple radius.
Turn the throttle and the throttle cable rotates around the radius with a constant amount of pressure.
Unfortunately, when this is combined with what feels like the on/off response of the bike's fuel injection system, a pull on the stock throttle with its constant radius yields a too-immediate response just off idle.
Perhaps if the Multistrada 620 clutch had a nice, wide friction zone -- for example, like the clutch on the Harley Davidson Road Glide Custom I reviewed -- I might forgive the snatchy throttle by using the "high speed, high gear, blow the horn at the corners" approach to motorcycle riding.
But not being able to control the amount of fuel in a smooth, consistent manner is both a bother and a potential danger.
I have lost count of how many hillside takeoffs I've flubbed, and I'm not alone, according to feedback we've received from Multistrada 620 owners (see my Multistrada 620 blog).
The G2 Throttle Tamer is to the cheap plastic original equipment Ducati throttle as a candle is to an LED.
G2 Ergonomics machines the Throttle Tamer (officially called the "G2 Tamer Street Throttle") from 6061 aluminum on CNC machine tools, right here in the U.S. of A., and the result is a gorgeous piece of engineering that is a shame to cover up with a hand grip.
The biggest difference, of course, is the cam profile. In reality, there's no reason Ducati (or any other manufacturer) couldn't mold the same profile...unless, perhaps, it has something to do with meeting emissions requirements.
But all you have to do is take a glance at the following photo comparing the OE throttle with the G2 to see the night and day difference in the cam profiles:
The G2 has a two-stage radius, which causes the throttle to turn farther at initial opening but then sharpens up at speed.
This makes a huge difference -- not enough to overcome the flaky on/off clutch on the Multistrada, but it definitely helps. The added bonus is that subjectively, the bike feels livelier at speed.
Roll on the throttle above 3k RPMs or so and the throttle response makes the bike feel like it picked up 10 extra horsepower. Sort of.
(by "Mad Dog" Earle) - There were no instructions included in the Throttle Tamer package purchased. I'm not sure if this was an oversight in this package only or if G2 Ergonomics just doesn't provide instructions with the product.
We searched on the G2 Ergonomics website also and came up empty.
A quick look at the Multistrada 620 shop manual didn't reveal anything unusual with the throttle installation, so it was off to work.
It's a (theoretically) simple matter of unscrewing the housing that holds the original throttle, disconnecting the throttle cable and sliding the throttle with hand grip off the handlebars.
That was the easy part.
More difficult is removing the grip from the throttle without destroying either. A careful application of a Phillip's head screwdriver probe and liberal applications of soap and water quickly resolved that problem.
The G2 Throttle Tamer has a machined knurled surface, which gives plenty of grip for the grip, but makes it difficult to slide said grip over the tube.
Patience, lots of soapy water and pushing and pulling, along with the Phillip's head and judicious applications of needle-nose pliers took care of all that.
The only other trick is reassembling the throttle parts and getting it all lined up correctly. A slight problem here had to do with the little barrel tip at the end of the throttle cable, which must be inserted into the receiver on the Throttle Tamer.
As you can see in the photo below, the receiver on the G2 Throttle Tamer was machined so that it sits just below the surface of the throttle holder on the Ducati.
This meant that a lot of pulling, twising and head-scratching was necessary to get the barrel to slide into the hole. Again, not a big technical deal; it requires brute force with a dose of patience and sensitivity.
The only other tip is to make sure the throttle cable is correctly situated in the plastic guide built into the cover (photo below, right); this took a half-dozen tries to get right.
Holding the cover in place while the throttle is turned will tell you immediately whether everything is installed correctly (a smooth-feeling throttle) or not (rough, pulling throttle that doesn't return properly). If the G2 Throttle Tamer feels tight or doesn't turn smoothly, there are a few things to check.
First, check to make sure the bar end weights aren't interfering with the rotation of the throttle at the outboard end. Also, confirm that the inboard side at the cam end of the Throttle Tamer isn't binding or that something isn't interfering with the rotation.
Then check to make sure the cable is routed properly; see the photo and note below.
The Throttle Tamer has been tested on many different motorcycles and, based on a perusal of the various owner forums and webBikeWorld owner feedback, there should be no problems with fitment and it should perform without problems.
(by "Mad Dog" Earle) - After the installation, everything was copacetic except for the throttle play, which required adjustment. The shop manual calls for 1-2 mm of play and we measured the freeplay with the G2 Throttle Tamer installed at 6 mm.
I actually took the bike out for a quick ride and I can say that 6 mm is about 4 mm too much play for sure. Time for adjustment.
Adjusting the play in the throttle cable on the Multistrada is pretty easy, although Ducati warns that it may affect the throttle body adjustment.
Both the GT1000 and the Multistrada 620 have a single, rather than dual, throttle cable, so I don't see how adjustment could affect the throttle body synchronization, but who knows.
We have adjusted the throttle cable on the GT1000 and now the Multistrada and -- knock wood -- haven't noticed any fueling problems on either bike.
We described the GT1000 Throttle Cable Adjustment in an early blog entry for the GT1000. The procedure is almost identical for the Multistrada, so I won't repeat it again here.
The major difference is that the right-hand engine cover should be removed first on the Multistrada, although I didn't remove it completely, I just removed the bolts and pulled the cover out of the way enough to access the throttle cable adjuster.
I cut off two small pieces of masking tape and put one on the hand grip and one on the throttle cable holder with the throttle closed. I used a pen to draw a small line on both pieces, lined up so I could measure the amount of play.
It took a surprising amount of adjustment to bring the cable back into spec: 5 complete turns.
This brought the play down to 2 mm and I left it at that. It's interesting how such a small amount of play can be felt, but 2 mm still feels slightly loose and I'll probably bring it down to the 1 mm limit next time I'm messing around down there.
It was obvious that the Throttle Tamer had the throttle tamed as soon as I started the bike. The power delivery seems "softer" because twisting the throttle spreads the engagement over a longer distance, which eliminates the on/off light switch feel of the original throttle.
On the road, this means that the rider has much better and more precise control over the fueling, which really helps during startups from a stop sign or at slow speeds.
It doesn't completely eliminate the problem on this Multistrada, however, because the clutch still has a hair-trigger feel and I will attend to that next. I'd say the problem is about 50% solved at this point; no fault of the G2 Throttle Tamer however.
Again, the other surprise to me was what feels like better response at faster speeds when the throttle cable hits the second profile on the cam; it seems like turning the throttle just a little brings more power faster than with the stock throttle.
This may be an illusion or it may indeed be the revised throttle cam profile and I have no objective data to support this, but there you have it.
The G2 Throttle Tamer is available for a variety of motorcycles, from Aprilia to Yamaha. It worked wonders on the Multistrada and I have no reason to believe that the results wouldn't be the same for any other bike. Now about that clutch...
Master Listing of All wBW Motorcycle Product Reviews
From "T.V." (May 2014): "Just saw your review of the G2 Throttle Tamer and thought I'd shoot you my thoughts in case you wanted to add them.
I purchased the G2 for my 2012 Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom since it was the first fuel-injected bike I've ever owned and I had a hard time at low speeds with the throttle.
I've since learned that my trouble is due to emissions tuning at the factory plus fuel-injection, since the lean condition causes the injected fuel to "explode" in the cylinder rather than have a controlled burn.
Possibly richening the mixture would provide better throttle performance at low RPM.
I installed the G2 hoping for a miracle, but, frankly, there was NO difference.
I have not felt or seen anything that indicated it is even working. I read multiple reviews on several websites about their poor (non-existent) customer service so I have not bothered to contact them regarding my perceived lack of change.
Had no particular trouble removing the old throttle and installing the new one, if you still wish to try it for your application."
From "D.R." (February 2012): "Rick, after 7 years, 25,000 miles and a perpetually stressed throttle hand I am in Heaven; the Throttle Tamer has transformed my bike into one I shall now call my Ducati/Honda!
Thanks for all your help, your website and for paying some dues to one of Pierre Terblanche's masterpieces, the MTS620.
Installation Notes: No problems in particular, I had a heated grip template on my bike and did end up cutting the grip free, but it gives me the chance put on some new gel dual compound grips I found at the MC Superstore.
It all went smoothly with your review and pictures, and the only issue for a moment was routing the cable properly thru the right angle plastic section, but that was soon sorted.
Overall it took an hour or so, as I am an amateur and had to remove the hand guards (KTM brand, as Ducati doesn't make the OEM ones anymore).
I may tighten the cable but only after reeducating my right hand...a totally different handling bike.
I didn't fully realize how the twitchiness dominated my riding; it did give me an education in subtle throttle control which is not a bad thing.
I also completely agree on how it transformed riding at speed as well, any bump would produce a marginal acceleration and upset the bike a bit; all this perhaps compounded my very light weight."
From "T.O." (10/10):"I agree with your test of the G2. It totally changed the response on my Ducati ST3.
Before, I could not get the power back on smoothly in the middle of a corner and had a very snatchy ride in traffic. My clutch is smooth, so I don't have the second part of the problem you have stated.
It took some getting used to at first because it felt like I wasn't giving it enough gas, starting off, waiting for the whiplash acceleration, but like you said it comes on strong later. I feel like I'm more in control with the G2.
Keep up the good work on this very useful website."
From "D.J.W." (10/10): "I put one of these on a Ducati ST4S with a hair trigger, and it indeed went pretty much like the review. The stock grips even fit back on with exception of the rubber dubs on the flange that were different on the G2 than the stock.
I would comment that it took forever to get the G2 in the mail (2+ weeks). I think, like the first comment, that G2 has a long way to go in the customer service area."
From "S.L." (10/10): "You might have been able to cure your problem for $15 bucks instead of $80.
Do a search for "R1 throttle mod" on Ducati.ms, and many other forums, and you will find an inexpensive Yamaha R1 throttle tube and cam assembly that fits perfectly in late model Ducatis and has significantly improved throttle response for many.
It made a noticeable difference on my GT1000, and many riders have used it on Superbikes, Streetfighters, and other models with great results. It also works for other makes and apparently is popular mod for Hyabusas.
Then again, it might not work for the MS 620, since it is actually a shorter turn throttle, whereas the G2, as least initially, is a longer turn. But for $15 bucks, it's worth a try. If it doesn't work well on the little Multi, give it a shot on the GT."
From "C.C." (10/10): "I purchased the Triumph Sprint ST 2004+ model and (the Throttle Tamer) was so tight the throttle would not snap back. I emailed and called the people at G2 but never got anywhere with them. Very poor customer support. If the product works, it probably works wonders on many fuel injected bikes but beware if it doesn't fit properly you may end up where I did with a part sitting on a shelf in the garage that doesn't work properly.
I tried (to install it) and couldn't get it on at all. When I took it into the shop for its scheduled maintenance the mechanic could get it started and told me he could probably force it on but there would be issues.
I tried contacting G2 in case there was something else to try, I was doing something wrong or I needed to exchange the model but after a few voice mails and emails over a few months I gave up.
My last email to them had a response that one of their staff was in Thailand I believe. It may be user installation error and I would not rule that out between me or my shop, but no help from G2 is what ultimately had me giving up on their product.
Shame as the Sprint has a pretty abrupt and catchy throttle compared to many bikes I have ridden.
Possibly the bike is new to me this year and things are a bit different here and there. The guy I took it too though is a Triumph only mechanic that restores them as well as works on several Triumph track bikes unless this is something specific to the Sprint.
Both of us were a bit puzzled aside from it just being about 1mm smaller in diameter than required to have it slide on without issue.
My guess is they probably have never fitted a Sprint and went with the dimensions from specs which are a tad bit smaller than mine or there is some other issue such as the lip (on the handlebar end)."
From "M.R." (10/10): "I also have the G2 Throttle Tamer on my '06 620 and couldn't agree more with the review. It turned the "off-on" switch of a throttle into something controllable - particularly when accelerating out of a tight turn.
Another addition was the Evoluzione billet slave cylinder to help smooth out the clutch engagement. I now feel that I own the bike instead of the bike owning me!"