How to Install a Motorcycle Throttle Cableby Chris Gilliland
Wear and tear is the motorcycle's worst enemy, affecting both large and small components. Brake pads and spark plugs are among the most commonly replaced wear and tear items, but over time the cables that control the motorcycle deteriorate and have to be replaced. The throttle cable or cables (larger motorcycles have more than one) open and close the throttle valve on the carburetor or throttle body. When these break, acceleration control is seriously affected or completely lost. Replacing and installing a new throttle cable can be tricky without proper preparation.
Determine the length of cable needed and the proper route for the throttle cable to follow. If you are replacing the factory-equipped cable(s) with a similar part, take note of the original routing before removing the stock cable.
Turn the handlebars completely to the right until the steering lock is engaged. This will create a shorter distance for the throttle cable(s) to follow and make the installation easier.
Install the accelerator cable (pull cable) onto the throttle housing, running the cable end into the mounting hole farthest from the rider. Screw the metal cable guide into the throttle housing completely and lightly tighten the guide lock nut.
Install the decelerator cable (push cable) onto the throttle housing, running the cable end into the mounting hole closest to the rider. Screw the metal cable guide into the throttle housing completely and lightly tighten the guide lock nut. Omit this step if your motorcycle requires only one cable.
Route the cable(s) to the carburetor or throttle body, keeping the cables from twisting around each other or binding against other components.
Slip the barrel at the end of the accelerator (pull) cable into the catch of the throttle tube/sleeve farthest from the rider. Then slip the decelerator (push) cable's barrel into the catch closest to the rider. Finally, route the exposed cable(s) through the channels in the throttle tube/sleeve.
Install the opposite ends of the throttle cables to the carburetor or throttle body, tightening the threaded ends of the cable guides into the cable bracket completely. Slide the cables' barrels into the valve catches and twist the throttle tube slightly to check that the valves open and close properly.
Adjust the cables by loosening or tightening the cable guides until the cables operate the throttle smoothly without binding or sticking. Tighten the guide lock nuts once the cables are adjusted.
- The Professional Motorcycle Repair Program; Professional Career Development Institute; 1995
- Lubricate the cable(s) with a motorcycle cable-specific lubricant spray before installation.
- Refer to the service manual specific to your motorcycle for in-depth adjustment details and installation information.
- Take your time. Rushing the installation can create more problems.
- If you are uncomfortable performing this task, or lack the necessary tools, have the work done by a qualified technician.
An avid motorcyclist, Chris Gilliland has immersed himself into the two-wheeled world while balancing work life and raising three daughters. When he is not managing the parts department of a local, multi-line motorcycle dealership, Gilliland can often be found riding, writing or working on his motorcycle blog, Wingman's Garage.