Lubricating Control and Exhaust Valve Cables

Over time, the controls and Exhaust Valve cables can become sticky and difficult to actuate as the internal lubrication dries out. It is necessary to periodically refresh this lubrication. This must be done for both the accelerator and decelerator throttle cables, the clutch and choke cables, as well as the Exhaust Valve cables.

To make this job easier and to do it properly I obtained a commercial cable luber. The luber came with a can of thin-film cable lubricant under pressure for forcing the lubricant down into the cable. The cable luber and lubricant was about $18 for both. I got these at my local Cycle Gear supply store.

The manual indicates that engine oil can be used as a lubricant. But it must then be dripped into the cable without the guiding benefit of the luber and the effect of pressure. Although I was later to discover that I was not able to take full advantage of this capability with the accelerator cables.

To use the luber:

  1. Insert cable and sheath into rubber housing on luber.
  2. With cable extending from one end of the luber, push cable sheath until snug against the other end.
  3. Turn both tightening screws slowly until the luber is seated uniformly around the cable and sheath.
  4. Alternate further tightening each screw by 1/8 of a turn until the rubber housing and luber clamp is tight around the cable and sheath to minimize lubricant leakage.
  5. Insert snorkel tube from spray can into luber opening as shown below and spray for a minimum of 5 seconds.

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Choke Cable:

Start with the choke cable. You will need to remove the choke cable housing to later access the clutch lever pin nut. Read the section on the clutch lever also before attempting this. Remove the two phillips screws attaching the housing. Be careful when removing the cover, watch how the choke lever is mounted and how the choke cable is attached. This will make reassembly easier.

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Do not reassemble choke cable and housing until after clutch cable has been lubed. When you do, make sure to replace peg in cable housing into notch in handlebar.

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Clutch Cable:

After removing the choke cable housing:

  1. Turn the clutch cable adjusting wheel to maximize slack on the clutch cable
  2. Unscrew the 10 mm nut underneath which holds the clutch lever pivot pin
  3. Pull out the pivot pin watching not to lose the spacer around the pin
  4. Pull out the clutch lever
  5. Turn the adjusting wheel lining up the slot in the wheel with the slot in the bracket
  6. Remove the cable
  7. Lube the cable
  8. Apply grease lightly to the pivot pin and/or the inside of the spacer

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The pressure of the spray can forces the old lubricant out and the new lubricant in. I could see on the other end of the clutch cable that the new lubricant had made it all the way through and was coming out that end.

When reassembling, make sure that you do not overtighten the pivot bolt nut. The clutch cable could bind at the wrong time with undesireable results.

After reassembly, adjust the clutch cable free play. You can reassemble the choke cable housing now.

Accelerator Cables:

  • Remove the top and bottom Allen screws holding the top cover of the right side switchgear.
  • Pull away the top cover revealing the accelerator and decelerator cable ends. It will be held by the electric wire for the engine stop switch.

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I saw that to actually remove the cable ends would require a lot more disassembly. It is possible at this point to simply spray lubricant directly into the top of the cable sheaths. It is necessary to twist the throttle one way then the other to expose the openings of the cable sheaths. I was disappointed I couldn't use that fancy luber but it would not have been worth the extra effort required to disassemble and remove the switchgear and cables.

When reassembling the switchgear, replace the tab in the switchgear into the notch on the handlebar. I found that I had broken mine off on another occasion when I installed the gel grips. Not having that tab made it possible to move the switchgear inwards to acommodate the extra length of those gel grips. The switchgear fits just fine and is very tight without the tab and notch.

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Lastly, after reassembly, adjust the throttle free play.

Exhaust Valve Cables:

I would have preferred to approach this from the top and allow the lubricant to run downwards but the cables are not easily accessed at the top. At least, not without quite a bit of disassembly.

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I decided to try lubricating the cables from the bottom end using the luber and the pressure from the spray can to force the lubricant up the cable. To do this:

Remove the Exhaust Valve valve pulley cover. This is located on the left side of the bike down low just in front of the centerstand. Remove the bottom and left bolts with an 8mm socket head, the top bolt just needs to be loosened. The cover then slips off.

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Next, loosen the Exhaust Valve cables all way. First loosen the lock nuts all the way then the adjusting nuts all the way. Turn both adjusting nuts such that no thread remains showing.

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Next, with the cables loosened, they can be detached from the pulley.

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Attach the luber, placing it as flush as possible to the sheath end of the cable. Do this for the top cable and the bottom cable. The cable will protrude on the attachment end so you can seal that with a rag and your fingers as you apply the pressurized lubricant. I held the spray for a little over ten seconds on each cable. There was a bit of dripping on the floor but I wanted to get as much lubricant as possible to go up the cable. Check the cable ends by the servo motor to see if any lubricant comes out the top.

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After reattaching the cables adjust the Exhaust Valve cable free play and remount the pulley cover.

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Last Updated: 02-19-2003

Copyright © 2001-03, Patrick Glenn, All Rights Reserved.
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The information presented here reflects solely my personal experience with my motorcycle and is presented for entertainment purposes only. No information presented here is to be relied upon for issues of rider safety nor to replace the services of a qualified service technician. Any attempts to follow or duplicate any of these procedures are done so completely at your own risk. By reading the information on this site, you agree to assume complete responsibility for any and all actual or consequential damages that may arise from any information presented herein.