Motorcycle cables such as brake, throttle, speedo and clutch work hard for a living and are some of the most likely parts on your bike to need replacing regularly.

Cables are used multiple times every time you ride anywhere, and they can get frayed or acquire a gritty load of dirt and salt from the road, causing corrosion which damages their performance.

It is generally a good idea to change your clutch, throttle, speedo and brake  cables every 10,000 miles, every three years, or more often if you really do a lot of miles. Obviously the higher the mileage you do the more quickly your cables will get worn. You do have the option to try to clean and oil your cables, if so then be aware that many modern cables have a lining of some sort so check whether they can be oiled or not. If you do decide to oil them then there are some good products out there which you can use like WD40 and GT85 and a cable oiler is a good investment to help with this job.

You can usually tell if your cables are not performing at their best because they start to feel stiff or unresponsive. At this point you can save yourself a world of pain by simply replacing them. One simple check you can do is a visual one, inspect your cables regularly, in fact casting your eye over them every time you go out is no bad thing, but check at least weekly.  Have a good look at either end of the cable as this is where most of the wear happens and where breaks are most likely to occur.  If the cable looks frayed anywhere then don't leave it, replace it immediately as it could be at risk of snapping while in use which could be really dangerous.

There are many good quality replacement cable options available such as Slinky Glide cables which are quality tested and have a polyimide (PI) coating on the inner lining of the cables and on all the metal components, which minimises friction and wear.  Many Slinky Glide cables now come with a stainless steel inner cable which reduces the chances of the cable stretching or seizing and  gives it greatly increased resistance to water ingress and rust, thus extending its working life.

It is quite an easy job to replace your cables and many cables are made to measure before they are sent out so that they offer a perfect fit when they arrive. Just be sure to look at the routing of cable when you install it and make sure that it is routed correctly as this is really important, bad routing can cause stress at either end of cable and lead to unnecessary wear at the cable adjuster, resulting in frayed or broken cable.

You can get many great quality replacement cables made to OE specifications, for under £10 and it can make a huge difference to the performance of your motorcycle for a relatively small outlay.

So - new cables – a replacement job which can pay dividends in your bike's performance, without breaking the bank – what's not to like!

IMPORTANT - Always seek the assistance of a professional if in any doubt about correct and safe fitment of parts to your vehicle

What are some of your tips on cable maintenance? Let us know at or drop us a message on Facebook.

Posted by Lucy England
for Wemoto News on 12 March 2021 in How To Guides



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