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Cable Care And Tips


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Cable Care
Always keep cable clean, properly lubricated where necessary and in proper adjustment. Visually inspect on a regular basis for torn or worn housing, frayed wires, signs of bending or kinking at the controls. Keep free of dirt and grime at the controls and activators. If cable is equipped with rubber covers, boots, etc., make sure no water or dirt has become trapped in them.

When lubricating cables, use a light viscosity oil, or aerosol spray such as Teflon sprays, Dri Slide, WD-40 and others. Do not use heavy oils or grease and especially do not use chain lube, as they can attract dirt, sand, etc., and can bind up the cable.

Most cables fail at the lever or throttle because the fitting does not pivot freely and the cable bends with each movement of the control instead of pulling straight. Make sure the fitting is the correct size and shape for the control and always keep it lubed and your cables will give you maximum service.

Cable Installation
Inspect cable and make sure that you have the correct part for the application-correct cable ends, proper size casing ferrules, that the adjusters/elbows are the correct size, shape and thread size. Also make sure the overall length of the cable is correct.

Make sure all adjusters are in "closed" position.

Route cable from control to actuator in the most direct route available, usually in the same manner as factory cable. Keep cables away from hot surfaces as much as possible, avoid sharp bends, and do not "kink" housing or inner cable.

Throttle/idle cables should be adjusted so that carb(s) return to full close when in off position. Any excessive freeplay should be adjusted out. Be sure throttle action is smooth and free from full open to full close before starting engine. Make sure cables do not bind or hang up with full lock-to-lock movement of bars.

Clutch/brake cables should be routed properly, making sure they will not bind or hang up with full lock-to-lock movement of bars or compression of forks or suspension. Install lever and actuator fittings, adjust freeplay to correct specs and check for smooth-positive action, before starting bike.

Speedometer/tachometer cables - route as directly as possible. On a front wheel drive speedometer cable, make sure that the cable will not hang-up on the caliper when forks are compressed. This is a common problem when aftermarket calipers are used, as they often are larger in size, or a different shape. Make sure the inner cable is well-lubed with a light grease when installing and removing. Also be sure to clean and re-grease it on a regular maintenance basis.

Stainless Steel Braided cables - use caution when installing to avoid contact with painted surfaces. The braided surface is very abrasive. Use shrink or spiral wrap and/or cable guides as needed. Stainless Braided cables are less flexible; take this into consideration when measuring for custom applications. Clean and lube as you would conventional cable assemblies.

Summation - follow the preceding tips and you should get many years of service from your cables. Simply make sure you have the proper fitting cable for the job and always select good-quality, well-made control cables. Cheap, poor quality cables will not last or work as well and may put you, your bike and others at risk on the road or trail!