WHAT IS IT? A roller bearing-equipped, aluminum throttle tube that holds the promise of friction-free throttle action.
WHAT’S IT COST? $39.95.
CONTACT? www.zaptechnix.com or (760) 599-6091.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here is a list of things that stand out with the ZAP Technix Billet Throttle Tube.
(1) Construction. The tube itself is hard-anodized billet aluminum with a standard knurled outer surface for grip adhesion. The sealed bearing is set inside the end of the throttle tube. Toward the reel end of the throttle tube, there is a Teflon bushing aimed at further reducing friction.
(2) Installation. The ZAP throttle tube is as easy to install as a standard throttle tube. The inner race of the bearing is connected to the plug and rubber O-ring that pops into the handlebar end with a gentle push.
(3) Durability. The MXA wrecking crew has broken dozens of OEM plastic throttle tubes, but never a billet aluminum one. The bearing is an extra moving part that is more susceptible to corruption during installation than during operation or in a crash. It would have to be a pretty hard crash to jam dirt into the inset sealed bearing.
(4) Cool factor. The ZAP Technix red, orange, yellow, blue or silver anodized, roller bearing-equipped throttle tube is the type of shiny motocross toy that jumps out at you. The shame is having a trick part that no one will be able to see on the bike.
(5) Twist. The million dollar question: Is the throttle easier to twist? Perceptually, yes. In reality, not really. The feeling of metal rotating on roller bearings is unique, and every tester immediately felt a smoother quality in the twist. It was debatable, however, if twisting required less torque, and any gains were more psychological than measurable.
(6) Country of origin. Although they are manufactured elsewhere, the throttle tube, along with most Zap Technix products, is designed in Germany.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? We were disappointed by two things. (1) We endeavored to test a ZAP Technix throttle tube to see if it would make a well-used, “heavy” feeling throttle any easier to twist. The answer was no; it only created a smoother, but still heavy throttle. The bearings are a plus, but there is little they can do to improve on a well-oiled tube, clean cables and kink-free routing. (2) The throttle tube we ordered was supposed to fit our KX250F and YZ250F. It did fit the Yamaha YZ250F, but interfered with the throttle housing on the Kawasaki.
The ZAP Technix Billet Throttle Tube gives a smoother feel for the twist and boasts additional crash protection, but is more preference than performance.