I’m going to start right out by saying I’m no huge fan of the Magura throttle. It has been pretty much the only game in town, unless you happen to have stumbled on some awesome find like one of those Vectrix dual-action regen throttles or paid a crap-ton of money on a custom-built thing that you should have spent on batteries. For normal folk, you suck it up and buy a Magura. If you’re smart, two. No race team worth it’s salt running a Magura will show up at the track with just one. I wouldn’t consider doing a long road trip without a spare in my kit bag.
So, yeah, when the (awesome) boys at Electric Motorsport started talking to me about this new Domino throttle I was getting all excited to, at the very least, have a choice. And I’ve been dying to see one in the flesh. At the very least, read some sort of review of it, which didn’t seem forthcoming. So I got myself a present.
And it’s my birthday. Yup. 29 years old, for the second time now. That deserves a new shiny thing, doesn’t it? So here it is. (Click on any of the shots for full-res images – and they’re all © Ted Dillard, all rights reserved. Contact me if you want to use them,)
Here’s the very first thing that caught my eye when I pulled it out of the box. Yummy, spongy softness. The Magura is, at best, hard. It’s actually hard rubber, but you have to look hard at it to realize it’s not hard plastic. There’s no way you can muckle on to that grip and feel like you’re riding anything but a Chinese scooter, which is really hard to understand since it’s made in Germany. (Both Domino – Italy – and Magura make aftermarket gas bike throttles, which was news to me.)
The enclosure for the guts of the thing is head-and-shoulders more slick than the Magura. It’s more robust, the clamp is threaded with metal machine screw thread inserts, (compare to the Magura self-tapping screws in plastic) and it’s is said to be “sealed”. Even with the little screws and all, I elected to not take it apart to see what sealed meant, because I’ve had a few throttles apart and they like to go “pwang” pretty readily, what with all the springs and contacts. Let’s not forget that the Domino enjoys an IP-54 rating, which means “protection against the elements for your outdoor security equipment, as long as they are not submersed in water”. That must be what they mean by “sealed”. The Magura has no such rating.
Here, in the background, you can see the Magura with it’s snap-together housing and lack of fasteners, compared with the Domino. You can also see a little rubber bumper on the bar clamp – a really nice detail ensuring a good, firm fit without overtightening.
Another nice detail is the Tyco sealed connector with the 5 conductors. And the little Molex-type pinny things. Now, I’m Molex-pin-challenged, and getting only exactly 5 of these makes me squidgy enough to offer my friend David O’Brien some beer to come over and make the connections for me. I know, I’m a wimp, but I’ve messed up far too many of those things to even think about taking a shot with them.
The reason, by the way, you have 5 conductors is that you also have a microswitch built in to the throttle. It’s rated for 2a at 24V and it’s pretty much intended for use with a regen system, but can be used for any type of safety interlock you might want. It’s open at zero throttle and closes the circuit as soon as you crack it.
But that’s not the really coolest thing about the Domino. The really coolest thing is the degree of action from zero to full throttle. On the Magura it’s about 75º. On the Domino it’s noticeably less, and when I measured it out it came to about 60º. That 15º of difference is surprisingly nice.
When I ride with the Magura I’m constantly feeling like the throttle is mismatched for my hand position, and often re-grip when running at a the wider-open speeds just to take it easy on my wrist. Here’s what I mean. These are some shots showing the difference between my hand, arm and wrist position with the Domino and the Magura.
This is the Domino throw- full close to wide open.
This is the Magura action.
Animation of the Domino…
…and the Magura.
This makes me wince every time I see my wrist do that.
The documentation for the Domino is posted on the Electric Motorsport site, and it was also sent with my email order confirmation, and I’m posting it here too: domino-throttle
Now, for the bottom line, here’s the pricing information from Electric Motorsport: Twist Action Throttles The Domino, at $90, is just a touch less than twice the $55 price of the Magura.
Based solely on the build quality, is it worth it? My vote is emphatically yes. If you consider the comfort of both the cushier grip and the actuation angle, then it’s now a slam-dunk. Now, there’s the question of the reliability – and it’s a bit of an unknown, but frankly, even if it’s got the same reliability issues as the Magura, the comfort and quality make it a thumbs up. If it turns out to be more reliable, which I’d suspect it will, then we have a winner.
Stay tuned. I’ll be running this throttle starting tomorrow, and will post updates as it gets some use, as well as keeping an ear to the ground to see what others are saying about it.
(news flash: A little update on the Domino – I just learned they upgraded the pot to IP67 specs.)