Regular readers may have noticed that I’m partial to cruise control, to the point where I may have stated I wouldn’t buy a new motorcycle without it. Cruise control, in fact, is one of the best things the new Aprilia Tuono 660 in our lead photo has going for it. When I complained that the new Ducati Monster doesn’t offer the magic button in our May First Ride, I suffered the slings and arrows in the Comments section. The new Monster is now a ride-by-wire affair, and I’d heard from various knowledgeable sources that when ride-by-wire is already present – ie, the throttle is controlled by the ECU instead of the rider’s wrist – it’s a simple affair to add cc, mostly a matter of just adding the button and switchgear.

Born to Ride took me to task, as usual, pointing out that adding cruise control to any vehicle is way more complicated and expensive than that, in a torrent of officious comments that forced me to seek expert advice.

So we got hold of Stuart Wood, Chief Engineer at Triumph Motorcycles, who informs us:

Ride by wire is an enabler for cruise control but is not the only cost. If you have to write and develop cruise control software there is a lot of detail work, development and prove-off testing to do. If you already have cruise control software written and in production, it may be a case of developing and tuning it for a new application. But even this is time consuming and costly: You have to ensure that all functions work correctly for a particular bike with its individual combination of electrical and electronic components. The way the bike sets, cancels and resumes cruise control is critical and is thoroughly developed, tested and validated. 

Every feature that is added to a new model is subjected to the same degree of rigour and diligence in the design, development and prove-off process. I can’t give you numbers but there are real costs involved in adding any feature to a new model.

 Hope that helps,

Best regards,


Stuart Wood Chief Engineer, Advanced Engineering Triumph Motorcycles Limited

I hate it when other people are right, but I suppose I should just be happy it so seldom happens. Anyway, since cruise control seems to be increasingly common on new bikes, I’m just going to start complaining about the ones that don’t have the adaptive variety. 

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