How to Adjust Your Motorcycle’s Clutch Cable
One of the most important parts of your motorcycle is the clutch, which connects your engine to the transmission and allows you to change gears. Regular maintenance of the clutch cable can help keep your motorcycle running smoothly, and motorcycle enthusiast Matthew Bochnak offers a few do-it-yourself tips for proper adjustment of this key component.
Hey what’s up everyone, it’s Matt from HowToMotorcycleRepair.com. In today’s video, I want to show you how to properly maintain and adjust your clutch cable.
Before we begin, if you are unsure or uncomfortable with any mentioned in this video, please seek professional help and have it repaired properly.
Now if you are going to tackle this yourself, make sure you are wearing the proper safety equipment. I always wear safety glasses and gloves. Make sure to have a fire extinguisher nearby. It is also a good idea to have the service manual for your model so you can look up certain specifications.
Alright, first let’s cover clutch cable lubrication. Lubricating the cable will prolong its life and also reduce pull effort, which will make riding more enjoyable, especially on long trips.
In order to lubricate the cable, we will have to remove the cable from the lever. Go ahead and loosen the lock nut and screw the perch adjuster all the way in. On some models, there may be an additional adjuster at the other end of the cable near the engine. Loosen the lock nut and screw the adjuster all the way in. With both adjusters all the way in, there will be enough slack to remove the cable from the perch and lever. You might have to rotate the adjuster slightly to expose the slit in order to allow the cable to pass through. Now rotate the cable to release the barrel from the lever.
Now, with the cable end exposed, we can install a cable luber tool, which can be bought for around $10 from any motorcycle dealer. This little tool clamps onto the cable and allows you to force aerosol can lube into the cable without making a mess. Next, take a can of cable lube and insert the straw into the cable luber tool. Here is a quick tip, shorten the red spray straw to make it easier to attach to the cable luber. Go ahead and spray the lube into the cable. You can see that I have placed a rag at the other end of the cable to catch excess lube. Continue to spray lube for at least 10 seconds.
Now that we finished lubricating the cable, it’s time to reattach it and go through the adjustment procedure.
Insert the cable barrel into the lever. Slide the cable through the slit in the perch and adjuster. Turn the adjuster slightly to close up the slit. Begin cable adjustment at the engine side adjuster. Continue adjusting until majority of free play has been removed. Free play is defined as “cable slack” before the clutch is actually engaged.
Now, let’s fine tune the adjustment at the clutch lever. Turn the adjuster out to reduce free play. For this model, a free play gap of 2-3 mm is called out in the service manual. With the free play set, go ahead and tighten both lock nuts, the one near the engine, and the other one at the clutch perch. If you end up with a large amount of threads exposed at both adjustment locations, chances are your cable is stretched out and needs to be replaced.
Alright, well I hope you enjoyed this video and your clutch is now operating smoothly. If you’d like to see more of my videos, head over to how to motorcycle repair dot com, or check out my YouTube channel MatthewMCrepair. I’m also on Facebook and Twitter. Just remember if you are unsure of anything discussed in this video, seek the help of a professional mechanic.
Thanks for watching and see you in the next video.