ATV thumb throttle design (Shallow Thoughts)

Akkana's Musings on Open Source, Science, and Nature.

Sun, 12 Sep 2004

ATV thumb throttle design

We had the chance to spend a few hours riding 4-wheeled ATVs with Kerry and Pam. Great fun! And it's easy to see why anyone living in a rural area would want one, especially anyone who needs to carry supplies from one place to another (dirt bikes are great fun and can go anywhere, but it's a lot harder to carry a big spool of wire, a toolbox, and an Australian shepherd puppy on a dirt bike).

The only disappointment was that they sported the same thumb-push-button throttles as snowmobiles and jet-skis use, which makes my thumb ache after only a few minutes of riding. I knew Kerry & Pam had been motorcyclists, so I jumped at the chance to ask: why thumb throttles, rather than a twist throttle like a motorcycle?

Kerry's answer was prompt (it was obvious he had thought about this before): because they're awful, everybody hates them, and that way everyone will spend more money buying an upgrade kit (which costs another $100 or so) from the manufacturer since nobody makes aftermarket kits.

I'm not sure I believe that. If it's true that everybody hates thumb throttles, then wouldn't a company which bucked the trend and offered an ATV or snowmobile with a twist throttle have an instant market advantage? And why hasn't some enterprising aftermarket company come out with a kit if they're in such demand?

But I don't have an alternate explanation. It's some consolation, at least, to hear that I'm not the only one who hates thumb throttles, and that it is possible to buy a twist-throttle kit (perhaps it's even possible to fabricate one out of motorcycle parts).

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[ 20:58 Sep 12, 2004    More travel/southpark | permalink to this entry ]