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Kaoko Throttle Control for the Kawasaki Versys

Once More With the Kaoko Throttle Control

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by Rick K. for webBikeWorld.com

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Summary

One last time -- I promise!

We originally reviewed the Kaoko throttle control fitted to a BMW C 650 GT scooter (Blog)

After that, we did a second review of the Kaoko throttle control on the Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS (Blog).

And once more for the special Kaoko throttle control for use with Barkbusters (and other) hand guards.

Each installation was different; some easier than others.

And since I helped Kaoko with feedback when they developed their first BMW scooter throttle lock, they asked if I could do it again on the then brand-new 2015 Kawasaki Versys 650.

As it turns out, there were a few quirks we had to figure out.

So let's take a really quick look one more time at installing it on the Kawasaki Versys 650 LT (Blog).

At first, I couldn't figure out how to install the Kaoko on the Versys. It just didn't seem to fit correctly under the thick shoulder of the hand grip that Kawasaki uses on the latest versions of the 650 and 1000 Versys.

But after some back-and-forth correspondence with Kaoko HQ in SA, we figured it out.

I'll be honest, it fits easily enough once you know how.

But there's a slight issue with the design of the rubber throttle grip on the Versys that makes using the Kaoko throttle control not quite as smooth as it was on the BMW scooter or the big V-Strom.

Here's the story in photos:

Kawasaki Versys 650 LT Throttle
The stock hand grip, bar end weight and hand guard on the 2015+ Versys 650 and 1000.
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Kawasaki Versys Bar End Weight Close Up
The end weight is easy to remove via the bolt on the right. There's a silver-colored collar inside -- don't lose it!
Kawasaki Versys Bar End Weight Removed
The threaded insert for the bar end weight is welded to the handlebar and mine had some rust.
Kaoko Throttle Control Spacer
The Kaoko nylon thrust washer for the Versys didn't fit smoothly over the welds...
File the Welds on the Versys Handlebar
...so I lightly filed the outside in a cone shape. That was the first problem with fitting the Kaoko to the Versys.
File the Welds on the Versys Handlebar
The rubber throttle side grip has a wide end that nearly touches the throttle tube.
File the Welds on the Versys Handlebar
There's less than 1 mm of clearance, not enough to fit the nylon thrust washer for the Kaoko.
File the Welds on the Versys Handlebar
The first suggestion from Kaoko HQ was to trim the rubber, but this proved impossible (or at least very difficult) and I quickly abandoned the idea.
File the Welds on the Versys Handlebar

(Photo Above): The solution is to simply push the thrust washer with its small collar under the end of the rubber hand grip. This makes for a less smooth Kaoko throttle control application, but it does work.

Fit the Kaoko throttle control into the end of the bar end weight, then reassemble the end weight on the handlebar.

Kaoko HQ initially thought that the Versys would require a hex head cap screw that was longer than stock to fit the bar end weight with the throttle control installed, but the stock length works fine on my bike.

File the Welds on the Versys Handlebar
Here's the completed Kaoko throttle control on the Versys. It requires just the single thrust washer with the narrow shoulder. Do not add the other washers that come in the kit.
Video

Here's the quick video that illustrates how to use the Kaoko throttle control.

wBW Video: Kaoko Throttle Control
Conclusion

I have installed the Kaoko throttle control on the scooter and two motorcycles, plus the special Kaoko kit for adventure-touring bikes with the Barkbusters or other hand guards.

It's easy to install, but there are a few tricks.

At first, the Kaoko kit doesn't seem to fit the newer Kawasaki Versys, but it's simply a matter of forcing the shoulder of the thrust washer under the tight lip of the stock Versys hand grip.

The Kaoko doesn't quite work as smoothly on the Versys as it does on the BMW scooter in my experience, but it does work.

Once you practice a few times with the Kaoko throttle control, using it becomes second nature.

It's not a true cruise control, but it is a nice addition to any motorcycle and it takes minimal room and unless you look for it, you'd never know it's there.

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wBW Review: Kaoko Throttle Control
U.S. Importer: Twisted Throttle
List Price (2014): $126.99 to $144.99 (here), varies by make and model.
Made In: South Africa
Colors: Black or chrome
Sizes: Various
Review Date: August 2016

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From "J.R." (August 2016): "I'm just no getting something here. Unless I am much mistaken, this is an awful lot of work to achieve a throttle hold, something an Omni-Cruise, or Go Cruise 2 (I've had excellent results with both) does in about 30 seconds of set-up or removal time.

What am I missing?"

Rick's Reply: The Kaoko is actually very easy to install, other than the off problem I had with the Versys, you unscrew the bar end weight, attach the Kaoko and you're done.

It's a very clean installation, it looks like original equipment and you simply slide your hand over, palm the Kaoko and the throttle together and it's set. Take your hand off the throttle and holds position.

It's just much cleaner than the Go Cruise (review) or Omni Cruise and works better in my opinion, I've used them all and I don't like the Go Cruise clamp type throttle locks at all, they always slip on me and get in the way.

But, no question the Kaoko is a lot more expensive. However, you don't have to worry about forgetting it or losing it either and it will probably outlast the bike.


From "M.H." (August 2016): "I'm pleased that you've had positive dealings with Kaoko however, my experience was less than stellar.

I'd tried multiple times unsuccessfully to work with them in order to resolve a fitting problem with my '08 VFR, equipped with Heli Bars. In the end I gave up in frustration, which is a shame because I really liked the product.

Luckily for me the vendor who sold the unit to me provided a full refund and I purchased another Throttlemeister (got one on the ST).

Very pleased with the TM unit, no installation issues and the support provided during the purchasing process was fantastic."