Fixing your Sticky Clutch Cable

<img width="200" height="150" class="floatleft" src="" alt="" />On an average ride you use the clutch on your motorcycle thousands of times and if the cable are full of oxidation, gunk and sticky, you'll be working overtime for no reason. Riding a motorcycle in Bangkok is tough enough already without sticky controls. Everyone from the average weekend tour rider to the daily home-work motorcycle commuter can benefit from smooth, flowing control cables.

To start with we're going to fix the clutch. To lube the cable you'll first need to remove it from the clutch lever. (For motorcycles with a hydraulic clutch, this article is not for you...) To remove the clutch cable, first roll back the dust cover and wind the adjuster in to the full slack position, with the little slots facing to the front. If there's not enough free play in the cable to remove it from the lever, you'll need to move on to the next step.

Trace the clutch cable down to where it joins the clutch actuating arm. If you use a shifter to manually operate the clutch arm, you'll find there'll be plenty of free play at the clutch lever and you can remove the clutch cable. By the way, this works just as well refitting the clutch cable. On some motorcycle models the clutch arm can be a bit tricky to get at, so improvise.
When the clutch cable is free from the lever, check both ends for wear and tear. If there are any broken strands of other damage, it's time to fit a new clutch cable.

To lubricate the clutch cable properly you'll need a magic little tool called a cable luber. You can buy one from most automotive tool shops.

Ok, on with the lubrication job. Fit your shinny new cable lubing device on to the cable like the instructions say and give it a good blast out with some lubricant like WD-40. Don't use chain lubrication or any other lubrication that goes sticky or the cable will feel like it's full of glue. Don't be disappointed if the cable luber doesn't seal perfect – they rarely do – and keep on spraying until the lubricant runs out of the bottom end of the cable.

Before refitting the clutch cable you should make sure the clutch lever and perch are in good condition as well. If the lever is sticky, bent or sloppy in the perch, it may be time to replace it with a new set.
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