How To Lube Your Motorcycle Cables

Two ways to free those sticky controls and prolong cable life with proper lubrication.

how to lube cables
Parody alert: Do not lubricate your cables this way, unless you want to make a mess.©Motorcyclist

If your clutch or throttle feels sticky or has inconsistent operation, or you ride in the rain a lot, or just have a lot of miles on your bike, it’s likely time to give your control cables some TLC. Read on to learn how.

how to lube cables
1 // You can service the cables while they’re installed on the bike, but removing the parts will make the task easier. Take a photo to confirm routing and then remove the cables and inspect them for damage or wear.©Motorcyclist
how to lube cables
2 // Select your lube. Some cables have a slick inner sheath that will gum up if exposed to solvents or harsh chemicals, so do NOT use WD-40 or any other type of penetrating oil. Regular motor oil works great if you don’t have an appropriate aerosol product.©Motorcyclist
how to lube cables
3 // This is the old-school way to do it! Cut a hole in the corner of a small plastic bag and push the cable through the hole. Secure the bag to the cable with a rubber band and then invert the bag to create a funnel.©Motorcyclist
how to lube cables
4 // Add some lube to the funnel (about a tablespoon) and hold the cable vertically so that gravity can pull the lubricant down into the housing. Work the inner wire up and down to help move the lube along. Once the lower end of the wire gets wet, you’re done.©Motorcyclist
how to lube cables
5 // Remove your funnel, wipe down the cable, and reinstall it on the bike. Make sure you return the adjusters to their original positions, or better yet check your owner’s manual and set the slack to the manufacturer’s recommendation.©Motorcyclist
how to lube cables
6 // Want to be done sooner? Motion Pro’s cable luber allows you to inject lube directly into the housing with the cable still on the bike.©Motorcyclist