How to Lube Motorcycle Cables

Written by chris gilliland Google
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How to Lube Motorcycle Cables
Prevent stiff throttle cables with regular lubrication. (manette des gaz image by Jerome Dancette from

The typical motorcycle is composed of hundreds of moving parts, many of which require lubrication at some point. The motorcycle's control cables, namely the throttle, clutch and the occasional brake cables, tend to get lost in the shuffle. Without regular attention, the cables can bind in their housings and prevent their proper operation. Lubricating the cables is a quick and painless process, but some familiarity with your machine is required to extract and reinstall the cables.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Pressure lubricating tool
  • Aerosol cable lubricant
  • Rags

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  1. 1

    Remove the cable from the motorcycle's clutch lever or throttle tube. Unscrew the throttle assembly, using a Phillips screwdriver, if necessary. Pull the cable's end-barrel out of the catches on the throttle tube or clutch lever. Remove the end-barrel on the lower end of the cable from the clutch mechanism's or the carburettor's throttle. Pull the cable away from the motorcycle.

  2. 2

    Place the upper end of the cable, the section that attaches to the clutch lever or throttle grip, into the groove cut into a pressure lubrication tool. Tighten the tool's thumb screw to secure the cable.

  3. 3

    Attach the aerosol cable lubricant's applicator tube to the lubrication tool's inlet.

  4. 4

    Spray the cable lubricant into the tool. Stop when lubricant drips out of the bottom of the cable.

  5. 5

    Remove the lubrication tool and wipe away any excess lubricant with a clean rag.

  6. 6

    Reinstall the cable onto the motorcycle, following the reverse order of removal.

Tips and warnings

  • Consult a service manual for specific cable removal and installation details for your motorcycle.
  • Tie a plastic bag to the cable and fill it with cable lubricant if you do not have a pressure lubricating tool. Let the cable soak for at least two hours.
  • Wrap a towel around the bottom of the cable if you cannot remove it completely from the motorcycle. Lubricate the cable normally; the towel will soak in excess lubricant, preventing the lubricant from spilling onto the motor or carburettor.
  • Use only a motorcycle-specific cable lubricant to prevent the cable from binding.

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