Zipsicle Cruise Control Install

I had been wanting a true, electronic cruise control on the Zipsicle for quite a while. I've read a bout and researched the "friction" type of controls that lock the throttle position but just didn't trust them much - although many use them successfully. And, while a friction lock might function fine in the flatlands it just wasn't going to cut it for the more mountainous terrain we frequently encounter. So, after much reading and research, I found the AduioVox and decided to install one on the Zipsicle

Here's how I installed the Audiovox CSS100 cruise control on our VStar 1300...

Here's the obligatory warning - Please note that this is not a "how to do it" article. This is simply an explanation of how I installed a cruise control on our own 2007 VStar 1300. Installing a cruise control on a motorcycle is a risky business and mistakes made during the installation or while using the cruise control can injure or kill you. I take no responsibility for you or your installation should you decide to install a cruise control on your own or someone elses' motorcycle. You do so at your own risk...

I purchased the Audiovox CSS100 from an eBay seller for a bit over $80 with free shipping. This is a true cruise control. While it's made for cars it's been successfully adapted to many makes of motorcycles. There are several different articles and websites of folks who have done the install on their bikes but there were none I could find who had done the install on the 1300 so I was pretty much on my own. I did meet another 1300 owner on the Delphi VStar 1300 Rider's Forum who was also planning an install on his wife's 1300 and he was an invaluable source of info as we collaborated via cell phone, email and the forum about the install. Thanks, BoomerZoomer! I'd also like to give my thanks to Arlen Bloom (aka Amain) from the FJROwners who back in 2003 wrote of an install he did on an FJR 1300 motorcycle. While my bike is different than the FJR (obviously!) Mr. Bloom's pictures and explanations were a very big help. Thanks!

After removing the seat and gas tank to allow access to the top of the engine and the battery, the first order of business was to decide on a location for the cruise control servo. The VStar 1300 has a false cover on the left side of the bike between the cylinders that turned out to be a perfect spot for the servo. The servo is not waterproof and must be protected somewhat from the elements and the false cover provides very good protection.

I bent the mounting bracket that comes preinstalled on the servo just a bit to fit the curve inside of the false cover. I marked and drilled two holes in the cover and notched the bottom to allow the servo cable to exit. Here's the cover with the servo mounted inside. The correct settings for the DIP switches on the servo for my bike turned out to be:

 

Switch 1 - OFF

Switch 2 - OFF

Switch 3 - OFF

Switch 4 - ON

Switch 5 - OFF

Switch 6 - OFF

Switch 7 - ON

 

 Brand new bike
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 There is a small black jumper next to the DIP switches which must be removed and discarded. Doing so changes the servo so that it works with a manual transmission. This is what the jumper looks like when it's removed...

Brand new bike
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This cable attaches to the servo. The small grey wire (second wire from the bottom) and the small black wire (third wire from the top) that are attached together must also be removed as they're not needed, either. Do not remove both black wires! This image is the cable BEFORE the grey and black wires are removed... Brand new bike
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Here's the same cable after the grey and black wires are removed... 

AudioVox wiring harness modified
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Here's the outside of the fake cover with the servo installed. You can see the two machine screws that hold the servo in place. It really makes for a neat and clean installation.

Vacuum check valve
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Here's a look at the cover mounted on the bike with the servo hidden inside. All that shows are the two mounting bolts holding the servo in position.

V-Star 1300 creuise to upper coil attachment
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The cruise control requires vacuum to function correctly. These two hoses on top of the throttle bodies seemed like the place to get it. I cut them both and installed a 1/8th inch "T" fitting in each line. The new hoses were fed over to the left side of the engine. It may be possible to run the system from one vacuum line but it seemed to me that using both lines might provide a steadier source of vacuum.

V-Star 1300 vacuum hoses
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Each vacuum hose requires a vacuum check valve to keep the vacuum from leaking down. I got the check valves from NAPA. I also made certain that they were installed with the correct side towards the engine.

Vacuum check valve
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I also built a vacuum canister from a 6 inch piece of 1 inch PVC with a cap on each end to act as a vacuum resevoir ensuring a steady supply of vacuum to the servo. I drilled and tapped a 1/8th inch NPT fitting to hose barb in each cap. This would probably also work with just one fitting and a "T" in the vacuum hose going to the fitting. I painted the canister black to make it less obtrusive.

Homemade vacuum canister
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I used a zip tie to hold the canister to the left frame downtube for testing. It worked perfectly so I later exchanged the white zip tie for some black ones

Canister mount on frame down tube
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I used one of the short cables provided with the cruise control kit to attach the servo cable to the throttle actuator on the throttle bodies. Here you can see the cable end loop is over the "tang" on the throttle and the throttle is in the wide open position. The cable then hangs down for attachment to the bead chain and the servo cable. It's imperative that this connection not bind or catch on anything as that could cause the throttle to stick. Very dangerous!

Canister mount on frame down tube
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Here's a look at the whole linkage setup before the slack is adjusted out of the cable. Again, it's very important that these cables and beads move freely without binding anywhere or the result could be a stuck open throttle. Not a good thing. Test, test, test, and test again. You can see the new linkage bracket (next) in the lower part of this photo.

V-Star 1300 cruise control throttle linkage
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This bracket comes in the Audiovox kit. I did some cutting, drilling, and grinding to make it fit in the location I wanted to mount it. I painted it black when it was complete. I mounted it at the base between the cylinders to hold the servo cable as you can see in the image above.

V-Star 1300 servo cable mounting bracket
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I was very pleased with my servo throttle connection solution until I went to reinstall the my (at the time) stock airbox backing plate and realized that the new servo connection prevented the installation and was hitting the backing plate. Shoot! However, the answer was to remove some of the backing plate so that it didn't interfere. You can see the portion I removed just to the right of the large diameter air intake opening.

V-Star 1300 airbox mod
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Here it is with the modified air intake backing plate (with stock air filter) installed. You can just see the servo mounting to the left of the round opening in the backing plate. Lots of room for it now.

Canister mount on frame down tube
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I also modified one of the Audiovox provided brackets to mount the controls on the handlebar. Again, I painted it black. The control is not waterproof and should be completely sealed with RTV Silicone sealant before mounting on the bracket.

Canister mount on frame down tube
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Here's how it looks with the cruise controls mounted on the new bracket. The buttons look small but still are easily operated even while wearing heavy riding gloves. Very nice.

V-Star 1300 cruise control mounted
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The blue wire from the servo needs to attach to the negative terminal on one of the coils (only one coil). I didn't want to cut any coil wires so, as suggested in other articles, I made a "Y" connector. This plugs into the coil on the negative terminal and then the original coil wire plugs into this as does the blue wire from the servo. Works perfectly.

Canister mount on frame down tube
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Here it is plugged into the negative terminal on upper coil and ready to go. I wrapped the "Y" in electrical tape just to be sure that nothing touched something it shouldn't. Note that the negative terminal on this coil is the one next to the frame.

V-Star 1300 creuise to upper coil attachment
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The wiring is pretty straight forward but here's how I did it:

From the control switch:
Black - to a good ground
Grey - connect to the red wire from the control (this wire powers the little indicator lights in the control panel)
Red - into the provided, color-coded, plug that connects to the plug from the servo
Yellow - into the provided, color-coded, plug that connects to the plug from the servo
Green - into the provided, color-coded, plug that connects to the plug from the servo
Brown - into the provided, color-coded, plug that connects to the plug from the servo

From the Servo:
Black - to a good ground
Red - to the battery positive post
Purple - to a relay and the yellow brake wire (see Relay wiring below)
Blue - to the negative coil terminal
Yellow - into the provided, color-coded, plug that connects to the plug from the control switch
Green - into the provided, color-coded, plug that connects to the plug from the control switch
Brown - into the provided, color-coded, plug that connects to the plug from the control switch

Loose red to orange wire (with included fuse) - The orange end connects to the blue with red stripe wire that goes to the license plate light. The red end goes to the red wire connection from the control. This way, the unit gets power whenever the bike is switched on.

The purpose of the relay is two fold:
One, to provide a good ground to the purple wire to allow activation of the cruise control.
Two, to provide 12 volts DC to the purple wire when either the brake pedal or brake lever is activated. This causes the cruise control to disconnect.

Relay:
Terminal number 30 - Purple wire from servo
Terminal number 85 - Ground
Terminal number 87a - Ground
Terminal number 86 - Yellow brake light wire on bike
Terminal number 87 - Yellow brake light wire on bike

The install was really pretty easy, once I figured out how to hook everything up and where to mount the various parts. I did spend a lot of time troubleshooting the install because I couldn't get the cruise control to activate on my first trials. Turns out that my "BackOff" brake light modulator and additional LEDs were causing problems for the purple wire from the servo. As soon as I added in the relay everything worked just as it should. So, there it is. The Zipsicle now has cruise control!