Join Date: May 2016
Location: Green Bay WI
Year/Make/Model: 2003 Vulcan VN1600 Classic
Color: Pearl Ivory
Factory cruise control
Kawasaki has made a factory motorcycle cruise control since the mid-80s,.....on the ZG1200 Voyager. But I'm thinking with the collection of parts, and a wiring diagram, it should be adaptable to the VN1600. Here is what I'm thinking could work with parts off the old, plentiful ZG1200:
1. The throttle actuator is a small electric motor, no need for a vacuum actuator like the old aftermarket car systems used to have. The actuator on the ZG1200 has enough power to open four carbs on the ZG1200, so it should have the power to open two butterflys on the VN1600 throttle body. The old vacuum actuator was the size of about two baseballs, which could be hard to mount, and then to get a consistent vacuum signal off the engine.
2. The switchgear is all handlebar mounted with the exception of the on/off control. But an on/off switch may be easily adapted from all sorts of add-on handlebar switches.
3. The entire system, except for the speed input to the controller is available on ebay. The actuator motor, cable gearset, cruise control "brain", the fharness, the switches, etc.
4. The speed sensor can probably be substituted with a Hall Effect/Magnet sensor mounted on the drive shaft or rear wheel/drive hub. I think the ZG1200 also uses a signal from the speedo cable, which may be an issue since on the VN1600 the speedo is electronic.
5. The ZG1200 used control switch info from the clutch, rear brake and front brake; on which the VN1600 has control switches for all these funcitons.
6. Even though the ZG1200 is an entirely different bike and engine than the VN1600, both are Kawasaki products and both likely share a lot of the electrical harness color codes on the wiring and possibly similar electrical connectors.
So I may be wishful thinking this, but a cruise control system itself doesn't know what its mounted on and since its a motorcycle cruise control off the ZG1200 I think it may be adaptable to the VN1600. All I know is the factory cruise control on my BMW R1200RT is REALLY nice to have and use.
The other side of it; back in the 80's I installed an aftermarket cruise control on my Toyota Celica and it worked great. It was a system for a car with shaft drive, manual clutch and featured switches for the brake and clutch systems. So I know those systems work on an adapted installation. Gadgets web page has instructions to adapt the old car aftermarket systems to the Vulcans, and I have a complete system still in the box since the 80s, so I could go that route. But I still wonder if the ZG1200 cruise could work on the Vulcans.
When life throws you a curve, lean into it!
Last edited by andyvh1959; 08-31-2018 at 06:14 PM.