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Clutch Cable Replacement


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With the installation of new cables, there should be no need to adjust the clutch itself if the clutch was OK before hand. You need the 1/8 to 1/16 at the handle after you are done which is gotten by the adjustment in the cable itself. Really easy to do.

Drain the trans fluid first so it doesn't get messy. The cable change requires removal of the trans side cover (6- 1/4 " bolts) If you cut the short end of the allen wrench down just long enough to seat in the bolt head, you can remove the trans end cover without removing the exhaust by breaking them loose and threading them out by hand. Leave them in the cover and just lift the cover off and up over the exhaust. You can then see the cable end and how it attaches inside the cover. You may be able to unhook it from the ball ramp if you disconnect the upper end first from the handle with the extra slack in the cable. To do this you remove the "c" clip on the underside of the handle perch that holds the pivot pin for the handle in , remove the pivot pin and slide the handle out of the perch after you give it all the slack in the cable adjuster. You'll see the slot in the perch where you slip the cable through to remove the cable from the handle. Replace the clutch cable with the replacement fastenings and routing it the same way as it was previously and grease up the handle pivot pin when reinstalling. Screw the cable end with the "O" ring on it back into the trans end cover like the old one was. Replace the trans fluid after you get it buttoned up and adjust the cable free play as stated above.You can usually get away with reusing the trans cover gasket if the bike is fairly new and hasn't been apart before. It may be a good idea to lube the new cable when you install it being it is all apart now.
I think this covers it but a factory manual would be a great investment if you don't have one.
great tip about cutting the allen head to fit! i'm so-o-o-o-o sorry I did not read this two days ago. i just took the long way :( .

Sammy D
It's a great way to cut down on time and parts removal when doing this job. I have a selection of extra allens cut and bent for various things like tappet allens where you can't get in there with almost anything on the rear allens.
Mr. Data,

Warn your readers about being very easy on the end of the cable jacket that screws in to the transmission side cover. I got a new cable assys. (38667-00) and had it installed and had buttoned up the side cover. Was just making sure that the cable was snug up to the cover when I twisted the screw end off!

Very sick feeling when that twisted off (especially when it was 5:15p and the HD place closes at 5p on Saturdays!). I either got a bad cable assy or the steel being used on this new version is much milder than the old one. There is still an o-ring on the screw end and I felt like I was just snugging that against the side cover. Have to quit eating Wheaties!! Warning is that folks should tighten it up handy, and then very gently compress the o-ring just a bit. If it after running a while it leaks some oil, snug up a bit more, but be very careful. When that screw end shears off, you have no choice but to cut the end off the cable so you can pull it out and back the screw end out of the side cover. Headin' over to get another new one! Crap!!

That's not a good thing to have happen but this is the first one that I have heard doing that.

If it wasn't overtightened, you probably had a bad cable. TQ on that fitting should be 36-60 INCH lbs.You should also tighten it after the cover is installed.
I hope you followed the torque specs on that being it isn't supposed to be a tight fit with the "O" ring on it.

Thanks for the heads up in any event.
Up-date on that saga is that when I took the "new" cable back to the HD shop, we realized that they had given me the wrong cable (gave me a 38667-07!). Oh well, I had butchered it (cut the lead end off) to get it out of the side cover, so too bad.

Bought the right cable and installed it last weekend. Was very ginger tightening it up on the side cover! After adjusting and so on, the clutch hand lever feels much smoother. I think the original cable had worn a groove in the jacket that made it feel stiff and allowed oil to leak.

All fixed now, tho'!

Glad it worked out for you in the end, just can't trust some of those parts guys.:s

It always pays when replacing a part to match up the new one to the old one before installing.
I took the plunge today..

I removed the front fairing, replaced throttle cables, threw out the speakers (Gotta email speaker guy in Barrie Ontario about new speakers) , TRIED TO REMOVE CLUTCH CABLE AND CAME TO A HALT.

I thought I had snap ring pliers that would fit the retaining ring on the pivot pin which holds the cable to the handlever. :bigsmiley30:

Can someone recommend which size I need or better yet a range of smaller size pliers .

Big thanks.
Don't know the exact size but you can remove the ring with a pointed awl, just start it over the pin and watch it doesn't go flying. You have to also hold it so it doesn't spin. Sears sells the combo inside and outside snap ring pliers, they aren't very expensive but get the one with the stationary tips not the interchangeable tips.
I undertook this event on Saturday and the easiest part was the cable replacement. I tried it Mr. Data's way and cut down an allen wrench, but there still wasn't enough clearance to remove the cover and screws from under the exhaust system. So, I took the long way. I removed all the hardware and pulled loose the exhaust system from the heads. This provided enough clearance for me to take out the screws and remove the cover. After that, it was just a matter of replacing the cable. Took all of 5 minutes. Now my question is, what parts of the cable do I need to lube? I lubed the pivot pin on the clutch lever, but do I need to lube the cable elsewhere?