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How To Adjust A Motorcycle Throttle Cable? Loosen Or Tighten

black and silver motorcycle speedometer

If you’re a motorcycle rider, then chances are you’ve run across a few problems that can be a challenge to fix. Here’s how to tackle one of them.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to pay attention to your motorcycle’s throttle cables and ensure they’re in good working condition before riding. In this article, we’ll explain how to adjust a motorcycle throttle cable—the most common type of throttle cable used on motorcycles—in a way that ensures your bike runs smoothly. If you don’t know your throttle cable or how to adjust it properly, you could be putting yourself or others at risk. Here’s how to change a throttle cable properly.

What to check and when?

If you want to be safe when riding your motorcycle, then you should keep your throttle cables clean and well-maintained. It’s essential to check your lines every time you ride so that you can catch any issues before they become serious problems.

Read the manual, and you’ll find that throttle cables are one of the inspections you are supposed to perform every several thousand miles.

When it comes to inspecting your cables, the best thing to do is to check them at the ends because that’s where most fraying will happen. You should also check them frequently, especially if you’ve got an older motorcycle or you use them a lot.

Where to find the throttle cable?

It’s usually hidden under a rubber cover to protect it from dirt and moisture. If there is a need to adjust the throttle freeplay, a barrel adjuster is the best tool to use.

To alter the free play on the throttle cable, loosen the locknut and turn the adjuster in or out to achieve the desired free play. You can either turn it to maxed out position or back out to compensate for the slack.

How long do throttle cables last?

Most of the time, your throttle cables should last at least three years. If you’re riding your motorcycle often, it may be best to replace them before they fail.

Replacing your cable is a good idea. It’s an even better idea to replace both the push and pull cables as it will give you fresh, matching cables that are clean and reliable.

Cable replacement is a good idea for those who ride long distances. You can make sure that your cables will last longer if you change them once in a while.

No matter what cable you have, it’s always a good idea to keep it greased. You can find out what cable you have by checking the manual or asking your dealer or mechanic. Some require frequent maintenance (approximately once a year); others are locked in a Teflon tube that does not require extra lubrication or maintenance.

Replacing your throttle cables

You’ll need to replace the throttle cables if your inspection reveals damage.

Regardless of the manufacturer or brand, the first thing you should look for in a replacement cable is its length and thickness.

Installing cable is difficult, but there are no pinch points, hot engine parts, or other threats when following the original path.

First, take a few pictures of the old setup to visually reference how you need to do it. Then, disconnect the old cable bundle from the throttle body and the bike frame. The next step is to remove any zip ties or tabs that secure the old cables to the throttle body and frame. Once you have completed this, it’s time to install your new cables.

Use zip ties to secure the new cables like the old ones. Connect them to the throttle body, adjust the cable slack, and you’re ready to go.

Some notes:

  • When the cable is connected, make sure you’ve tightened all the screws or bolts.
  • It’s good to start the bike after the installation to ensure everything works properly. If the idle increases, the cable is tight and needs adjustment.
  • It’s essential to make sure that the throttle tube rotates smoothly. If it doesn’t, that doesn’t automatically mean something is wrong. The throttle tube could be dirty. You can remove it and clean it to remove the grime. This may be all you need to restore it to a smooth-running condition.

However, suppose you learn how to repair it yourself. In that case, you may save money because taking the bike to a mechanic is not always feasible. There’s always the possibility that the pull wire may break while you’re riding, and you’ll need to know how to swap it out for the push cable so you can get home safely.


A motorcycle throttle cable is essential to keeping your motorcycle running smoothly. With a bit of practice, you can be able to replace your motorcycle throttle cables on your own.

This is one of the first steps in learning how to work on your motorcycle. If you know how to replace your throttle cables, you can take the next step in learning how to work on your bike.

Do you have any questions about replacing motorcycle throttle cables? Share your questions in the comments below.