How to Install a Twist Throttle on Your ATV & Should You?

You've probably heard fellow ATV lovers talk about installing a twist throttle on their machine to limit thumb fatigue and recreate what they are already used to with other outdoor hobbies and sports. This post will go over how to install a twist throttle and how to determine if you should.

How to Install a Twist Throttle on Your ATV

 twist throttle

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It isn't hard to install a twist throttle. The cost isn't prohibitive. Kits usually range from $70 to $150. The actual installation of a twist throttle isn't too difficult either.

For this project, you'll need a new throttle cable, throttle tube, and tube housing. When you purchase a twist throttle kit, make sure it contains everything you need. All of them don't, and you don't want to get started only to realize you can't finish.

Before you can get to the throttle body, you'll probably have to remove some combination of the seat, gas tank, and fenders, depending on your ATV model.

You'll then remove the throttle body assembly. While removing it, take note of the routing of the cable so you can put it back. Taking a photo can give you extra security.

Remove the stock cable and route the new one.

Remove the old thumb throttle body, and the handlebar grip on the throttle side.

Install the twist throttle assembly and put the cable in the new housing. Make sure the cable doesn't bind and that the throttle closes and opens all the way. If it doesn't, play around with the cable a bit and try again.

Install the screws on the throttle body just tight enough to seal it up and prevent debris from getting inside.

You're done and ready to ride!

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Should You Install a Twist Throttle on Your ATV?

a thumb throttle

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Before getting a twist throttle and installing it, you need to know if you really want to.

The argument for installing a twist throttle

People who are used to riding motorcycles and dirt bikes approach an ATV more comfortable with twist throttles. It can take some getting used to, and missing out on some satisfaction, to go from a twist throttle to a thumb throttle.

Also, thumb fatigue is real. When you're riding for hours, your thumb can get really tired, even weak, from working the thumb throttle that comes standard on an ATV. This is uncomfortable and distracting, and a weak thumb could limit your ability to use the throttle.

The argument against installing a twist throttle

ATVs come with a thumb throttle for a reason. These four-wheeled machines don't turn into curves and react to angles like motorcycles or dirt bikes do. Your body doesn't stay in line with the ATV in these situations like it will on a bike. Sometimes the ATV is going one way and your body has to go the other to maintain balance. It is easier in all of the situations you can find yourself in on an ATV to reach and operate a thumb throttle than a twist throttle.

You also often need to have a firmer grip on your handlebars when riding an ATV that isn't optimal for twist throttle use. And just turning the handlebars can make you naturally want to start twisting the twist throttle. Both of these factors can result in distracting situations and unintended throttle use.

Throttle use needs to be quick and reliable, and it is harder to achieve that with a twist throttle on an ATV. They are often given as reasons for ATV accidents.

Deciding between a thumb throttle and a twist throttle

Supporters of the twist throttle ATV upgrade claim that there isn't any reason you can't use a twist throttle, that you can adjust to it and it's all about the right amount of gas. If you are prepared to take the risk, you are not alone.

If you are not fully prepared to take on the risk or the ATV will be ridden by someone else, you should stick with the thumb throttle.

You can reduce thumb fatigue with a thumb throttle in other ways. Riding more often for shorter periods of time or using hand strength exercises that include the thumb can reduce fatigue. Many people also vary the part of their thumb and the part of their hand they operate the thumb throttle with so no one part has to do all the work.

There are also upgrades, thumb levers and throttle converters, that make working the thumb throttle easier on your hand or temporarily replace the thumb throttle. You can install one of these instead. A thumb lever prevents thumb fatigue without reducing safety, and a throttle converter makes it easy to switch from a twist to throttle converter on shared ATVs.

The choice is up to you, but now you can be empowered with knowledge of the considerations and your options before you install a twist throttle on an ATV.

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