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Support Your Wrist
To Protect Your Thumb (and Clutch)

By: James R. Davis

I have enjoyed riding motorcycles for nearly 40 years and have tried just about every gadget and accessory ever made at one time or another. Of all of them, electronic, chrome or plastic, one stands out as the best 'add-on' I have ever used: These have various names including 'Cramp Buster' (perhaps the first), 'Wrist Rest', and 'Throttle Rocker'.

As I'm sure those of you who have read any of my other articles know, I prefer to cover my front brake virtually all the time I'm moving faster than I can walk. Whether you use two fingers or four to cover your brake lever, that places rather a lot of strain on your thumb muscles over time. Indeed, I have been so cramped after a few hours of riding, particularly when it's been cold, that I simply had to stop and relax for awhile before I could get back on the bike because of thumb cramps.

Then, about ten years ago I found a Wrist Rest. Since I was driving a rather decked out GoldWing (several thousands of dollars worth of chrome - for show), I elected to buy one made of chrome, but they come in plastic and even rubber as well. This is a simple device that merely clamps onto your right grip near the outside edge and extends towards the rear. It is a platform onto which you place your palm as you hold the grip.

It is positioned so that your hand is exactly where you usually place it while riding. Only the part of your palm that is connected to your little finger covers the Wrist Rest. (For small hands you slide it to the left, for wider hands you slide it to the right.)

Thus, in order to roll-on your throttle all you have to do is press down with your palm. To roll-off the throttle you rely on the throttle spring return and just ease the pressure off the device. For fast roll-off you can always twist the grip normally.

What this really does for you is allow you to completely relax your thumb. You no longer have to grip the handlebar with your thumb muscles in order to control that throttle.

Even with loose fitting long sleeves I have never gotten myself fouled on the device, though I imagine it is possible to do. Still, the only time I can imagine that happening is if I was reaching up to adjust my right mirror, which I prefer to do while the bike is stopped anyway.

I have heard someone suggest that this device is dangerous because it causes you to speed up when making right turns. Nonsense! You do not roll your wrist to turn right - you press on the grip. That does not rotate the Wrist Rest.

Even in bitter cold I have never had thumb cramps after installing my device. And, just as important to me, I have BETTER control of my throttle with the device than without it. Small vernier like adjustments to speed are trivial when using this device. In other words, besides protecting my thumb from cramping, using this device tends to make my clutch last longer for I do not need to rely as much on friction-zone clutch action at slower speeds.

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(James R. Davis is a recognized expert witness in the fields of Motorcycle Safety/Dynamics.)

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