Aluminum Throttle Tube Worth It?
I’ve run a Tusk aluminum throttle tube on my KTM 450 SXF and my KX450f and I would say if a definite must-have upgrade over stock. Aluminum throttle tubes come in two types, with and without a bearing in it. Either one will be an improvement over the stock plastic tube that is prone to cracking. The Tusk throttle tube I got for my 2014 KTM 450 SXF is the one with the bearing included.
Problems with a stock throttle tube
If you have dropped your bike enough times, your grips eventually look like the photo on the left. I run Pro Taper Pillow Top Grips that has extra padding on the sides, but eventually, they will break through, especially if you drop it on rocks. On the brake side, you will just have to deal with a busted grip end. On the throttle side, you can break the plastic throttle tube and the throttle will get stuck open and closed from jamming up.
Motion Pro Titan Throttle Tube
When I replaced my stock tube, they didn’t have an aluminum throttle tube with a bearing available yet. I decided to give Motion Pro a shot with their Titan Throttle Tube. It claimed to be just as strong as aluminum and resist snapping, so it was the first replacement I tried. It worked well and never gave me problems until eventually, the end wore a hole from being dropped. Sand was able to get into the throttle tube and it started to bind up.
Handlebar Wear From Throttle Tube Grit
Even with new throttle tubes, dust and grit will work its way in. The stock plastic and the aftermarket aluminum throttle tube don’t have any bearing for the throttle tube to rotate around. As a result, they just sit on the bar and the nature of the two surfaces slide over each other. The small amount of dust can wear into your handlebars and causes the throttle tube to have slop in it.
You can see in the pictures below the lip that was worn into my handlebars. I ran my digital micrometer on the wear section and untouched section to give an idea of how deep the groove is. When I replaced my throttle tube, I replaced my handlebars as well. Check out my review of the Pro Taper Evo Handlebar!
Tusk Aluminum Throttle Tube With Bearing
When it came time to replace my throttle tube, Tusk had come out with an aluminum throttle tube with bearing for my 2014 KTM SXF. It’s a direct replacement for the stock throttle tube and fit’s all bars. The only extra step when installing was the need to pop out the bar plug. The throttle bearing is pre-installed and slides into the hollow parts of the bar. The bearing is kept in place by tightening a rubber plug with a hex key.
I’ve run the Tusk aluminum throttle tube on my last 2 bikes and it was the last throttle tube I needed to buy. I haven’t had the bearing ever seize up on me and the throttle tube handles falls and keeps working. It really helps if you race and on long desert rides to not have to worry about a sticky throttle if you fall. The only downfall is that the aluminum tends to rattle a little. It’s not too noticeable but it does happen.