Throttle me this:
Why take a chance on a thin tube of plastic to get you to the finish line?
Usually a throttle tube works as advertised with a simple twist of the wrist and off you go. But most stock plastic tubes can't stand up to the rigors of racing or trail riding. Ride too close and an oak tree gets the last laugh. Even bar-banging racing can leave you without means to the end of the throttle cable. A crash? Land the right way (or maybe that should be the wrong way) and expect to damage the tube and a slow walk home.
If you have the plastic kind.
Ordinarily, stock throttle tubes work just fine...for most people. Assuming they stay off the ground and mostly enjoy riding as a casual hobby. Once you get into heavy woods riding or racing on Motocross tracks an upgrade to your current throttle setup might prevent an early end to your day. You also might get a boost in comfort and confidence which goes a long way towards success and enjoyment on the bike.
Aluminum Throttle Tube vs. Plastic
Drawbacks to Stock Throttle Tubes
We don't mean to demonize stock or plastic throttle tubes which, as stated earlier, work for the casual rider and gets the job done. In fact, you might not notice much difference at first when rolling a new stock against a new aftermarket throttle tube.
But, stock throttle tubes wear out quicker and lose the snap that allows for effective operation. Aftermarket tubes also give a smoother and more prominent rotation that provides better control and less energy on your part. Think less chance of arm pump.
When a plastic tube breaks, at best you can manipulate through the damage but with diminished ability to throttle up or down. A hard fall might render the tube completely useless. Plastic tubes also have less defense against rocks and other debris that can lodge underneath the grip and inside the tube area forcing more effort on your part and impacting the throttle operation. The last thing you want is a herky-jerky throttle response because the tube won't roll properly.
Aftermarket Throttle Tubes
Most riders upgrade to aluminum throttle tubes for strength and the more precise engineering aspect that goes into the manufacturing process. For example, the Works Connection Elite Throttle Tube uses sealed bearings inside the end of the tube to "create a buttery smooth throttle action."
Suffice it to say, aftermarket tubes roll better, respond better and stand up to the rigors of racing. Yes they can still bend in the event of an impact but fare far better than its plastic counterpart. And depending on the severity of the buckling you have a better chance of continuing your ride when compared to cracked and broken plastic.
Riders also find aftermarket throttles have less of the on/off characteristics than stock allowing for more gradual power rather than all out or nothing. But for those looking for even more throttle control check out the G2 Ergonomics Throttle Cam System that allows you to adjust the amount of throttle to address track conditions or riding experience. Adjustable cams can help put more power to the ground with less exertion.
Finally, most metal tubes like the Pro Taper Twister feature some type of ridged finish to eliminate grip slippage.
Time to Upgrade the Throttle Tube?
Since changing the tube requires some know-how, upgrading can wait unless your current setup inhibits your performance whether physically or mechanically. Therefore, if you ride just fine with your stock tube then keep rolling for as long as it lasts. Crashes or other impacts aside, throttle tubes eventually wear out so when that time comes, we recommend upgrading to an aftermarket tube.
But if you bring experience to the track or trails and a podium is at stake, then why chance it? Swap out the stock with the rigors of an aftermarket tube and minimize the chance of cracking up.
Check out all dirt bike throttle tubes and accessories here.