How to Install a Motorcycle Clutch Cable

What You'll Need
Wrench set
Socket set

Periodically, you’re going to need to change your motorcycle clutch cable. Over time, it will stretch a little or it might even snap. Replacing it can seem like a large job but it’s actually quite simple for anyone with basic mechanical skills. You don’t even need many tools in order to do complete the task.


Step 1 - Starting To Remove the Old Clutch

Before you can install a new motorcycle clutch cable, you have to remove the old one. To do this, start by locating the cable adjustment nut. You’ll find it in the center of the cable. Strange as it might sound, you’ll tighten the cable adjustment nut at this point by using a wrench. With this done, you should find the cable adjuster for the clutch lever and loosen the lock nut there. After that, keep tightening the cable adjuster until it’s up against the perch of the cable lever.

From there, you have to align the cable grooves on the perch and the adjuster. Once that’s complete, you’ll be able to take out the end barrel of the clutch cable from the lever. Pull it through the grooves to free it.

Step 2 - Clutch Plate

For the other end, remove the clutch plate so you can access the adjuster at the motor end. Start by finding the adjuster then loosening the locking nut. You’ll have to turn the adjuster counterclockwise until it’s free of the clutch release. That will let you pull out the cable through the groove and you can release it from the catch. To remove the motorcycle clutch cable, take off any brackets still holding it in place and pull it free.

Step 3 - Starting Installation

Before you begin the installation of the new motorcycle clutch cable, lubricate it thoroughly then tighten the adjuster in the middle of the cable. Begin by working at the clutch plate end. Put the barrel on the end of the cable at the clutch release before you screw in the adjuster to the point that it’s hand tight.

Trace the path of the cable to the lever and run through all the brackets the old cable used, securing it into place. After you’ve pushed the cable through the perch groove, you should hand tighten the adjuster but do nothing with the lock nut for now. Put the cable barrel in place on the clutch lever.

Step 4 - Finishing

With the motorcycle clutch cable loosely in place, you should proceed by tightening the adjuster where the cable meets the engine. When fully tight it should sit against the clutch release. Loosen it slightly to give enough play in the clutch before you tighten the locking nut.

When that’s complete, you’ll have to loosen the adjuster in the middle of the cable. Take up the slack in the cable that leads to the clutch lever. Turn the adjuster at the lever counterclockwise until there’s just a small amount of slack of around 1/8 inch at most. Finish by tightening the locking nut before you put the clutch cover plate back on.