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Old March 26th, 2009, 11:32 PM   #1
islanderman7
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DIY Replacing the clutch cable

If your clutch cable does not "feel" right it is time to check to see if the cable is frayed or snapped. Hopefully you're lucky that you can catch a frayed cable before your on the road. Mine snapped on me while I was on my way to school so its not a fun feeling.

How to remove the clutch cable from the the lever.

Pictures of my frayed cable




First thing is to have a new OEM clutch cable on hand.


Remove the fairings.

I removed the gas tank because I wasn't sure if the clutch cable was zipped tied to other cables underneath the gas tank. Turns out the cable is not tied to anything and you can leave the tank on. Just be sure to route the new cable in the same way that the old cable is routed.

Pushing the old cable out


Make sure to route the new cable into the the circle (circled in red) which is directly under the gas tank if removed.


The last portion of the cable is routed through the radiator reservoir (hard to see but its under my right turn electrical cable in this picture)


There are two nuts you have to unscrew. Top and bottom.


Both top and bottom nut are unscrewed with a 10mm wrench. Screw the top screw upward as far as it will go.


Unscrew the the bottom nut till it comes off the threaded portion of the cable.




With both nuts loose you can slide the cable out of the cable adjuster neck


Remove the old cable end from the clutch lever clevis and pull out of the housing.






Now finish routing the new cable in place of the old cable. Starting from the bottom end hook the new clutch cable end into the clutch cable clevis.


Pull the new cable into the clutch cable adjuster housing (Forgot to snap a pic so using a repetitive pic)


Screw the bottom onto the threaded portion but not all the way to hold the cable into the cable adjust housing.

Move onto the upper portion of the new cable. LEAVE THE PLASTIC PIECE ON.


Make sure everything is lined up as in the picture when installing the new cable into the lever.


I greased the metal clamp portion of the cable


The handlebar adjuster should be backed off all the way because you need to adjust the bottom end first.

Make sure the clutch lever is pushed up all the way and begin tightening both lock nuts to remove the free play.


After you are satisfied with the bottom portion move onto the upper portion to remove the last of the free play. Turn the adjusting screw out until there is 2-3 millimeters of play at the lever.


Once you are satisfied with the adjustment, double check the cable routing. There should be no binding or pulling of the cable when the handlebars are turned (original source cited).

Dress up your ninjette and start riding again.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf DIY Replacing the clutch cable - ninjette.org.pdf (3.70 MB, 65 views)
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Last futzed with by islanderman7; March 27th, 2009 at 09:24 AM. Reason: Leave the plastic piece on at the upper portion of the cable
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Old March 26th, 2009, 11:42 PM   #2
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Great write up, Jordan.

My only comment is that when you put the new clutch cable onto the bottom clutch lever arm, you should grease the barrel like you did at the top.

did you ever find the source of why the original cable failed/frayed? in your pics, it looks like the clutch lever is positioned so that it is almost parallel with the ground. is it?
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Old March 26th, 2009, 11:47 PM   #3
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Nice write-up! Added to DIY sticky...
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Old March 27th, 2009, 12:09 AM   #4
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Thanks.

Oops, I gotta go back and grease the bottom end then.

Still didn't find the source, but the cable is parallel to the ground. I was playing around with the lever to see how the new cable was rubbing around in the housing, but found nothing. So far I put close to 500 miles on it and the cable "feels" fine.
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Old March 27th, 2009, 12:23 AM   #5
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This just came to me, but is there such thing as over greasing the metal clamp portion? Because I am thinking that since wet paper is easier to rip than dry paper; does this same concept apply to metals?
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Old March 27th, 2009, 12:32 AM   #6
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I don't think so. if anything the grease is acting as a lubricant between the metals to reduce friction between them.

my thought is that the angle at which the cable is leaving the adjustment housing is allowing the cable to rub against the adjuster at the lever end of the adjuster barrel.

can you take some pics of your lever setup where the cable leaves the adjuster?
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Old March 27th, 2009, 01:49 AM   #7
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Just a question. Say one is riding at highway speeds and the clutch cable fails to work properly or snaps for some reason. What can one do to get control of the bike?
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Old March 27th, 2009, 01:52 AM   #8
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just don't come to a complete stop. you can shift without the clutch. when you finally do have to stop, hit the kill switch.

if you are in stop and go traffic, park it.
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Old March 27th, 2009, 05:17 AM   #9
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Your original problem may have been caused by the cable not having the plastic cylinder that you removed in the attached picture. My original cable still has that piece installed at the lever end!

Also, look at the second picture (kkim's cable), it still has the plastic piece attached!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg clutch.JPG (29.8 KB, 31 views)
File Type: jpg kelly.JPG (53.8 KB, 51 views)
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Old March 27th, 2009, 09:21 AM   #10
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Sam I think you're right. The way my original cable frayed, it look like it was "cut" at the neck of the metal clamp. So the plastic piece probably prevents that kind of chaffing.

Originally I took the plastic piece off because on the old cable I did not see a plastic piece on there. I wish the service manual specified about leaving that piece on. Oh well, nothing I can do about right now, but I am glad I know now.
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Old March 27th, 2009, 09:54 AM   #11
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Jordan,

It sounds like you already trashed the plastic piece. If so, you might consider going to a Lowes or Home Depot, etc. Pick up a piece of plastic hose (appropriate diameter) and cut a section out of it. Fashion it to fit like the original. Worse case, you wear it out quicker than the original, but with a 12" piece of hose, you can make a few more. I will bet the inside of the lever is probably worn a bit from the metal contact.
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Old January 4th, 2010, 11:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by islanderman7 View Post
Mine snapped on me while I was on my way to school so its not a fun feeling.
Yep, I busted one in a very remote location some years ago on my Honda CB450.

I had to pull the now dead clutch lever in, put the bike in first gear and push the starter button, the bike would lurch forward and begin running, I could then carefully snick it into the following gears and ride otherwise normally.

Stopping was even more interesting... put it into neutral, and kill the engine. When stopped with engine off, kick it into first gear, then repeat the above to go again!
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Old July 16th, 2010, 12:20 AM   #13
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I'm trying to put the clutch cable back on, but no matter how hard I can (safely) pull, I can't get the cable over the lower adjustment area! If I pull any harder, I'm going to knock my bike off my stands! I swear, every time I've messed around with the cable, it's taken me all my strength just to get them on and off the lever!
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Old July 16th, 2010, 05:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soujyu View Post


I'm trying to put the clutch cable back on, but no matter how hard I can (safely) pull, I can't get the cable over the lower adjustment area! If I pull any harder, I'm going to knock my bike off my stands! I swear, every time I've messed around with the cable, it's taken me all my strength just to get them on and off the lever!
Loosen the adjuster at the lower section (near the rear brake lever). Loosen the adjuster at the clipon. Disconnect the cable from the lever on the clipon. Put the cable on the lower. Reconnect at the lever on the clipon. Adjust the cable per the service manual.
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Old July 16th, 2010, 06:39 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g21-30 View Post
Loosen the adjuster at the lower section (near the rear brake lever). Loosen the adjuster at the clipon. Disconnect the cable from the lever on the clipon. Put the cable on the lower. Reconnect at the lever on the clipon. Adjust the cable per the service manual.
I found it about 30 minutes after I posted it. (I was in my garage until about 4:30am.)

The solution wasn't as obvious as it wasn't anywhere in the SM. Apparently, the arm at the bottom where the cable links with the clutch can lock into a certain position if the arm was lifted out of the clutch. Because it was locked in that position, I had no way of pulling it to get the cable through the adjuster at the bottom.

The solution was that arm can be lifted out of the clutch a bit to remove the lock, reposition the arm, then put the arm assembly back into the clutch.
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Old July 16th, 2010, 07:01 AM   #16
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Yep, that arm is a PITA. When I tried to retrofit the ZX-10R clutch lever, I needed another 1" of cable slack, but couldn't find my "cable stretcher"... Never did get the cable end over that arm! Needless to say, I'm not using the ZX-10R setup!
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Old December 14th, 2010, 06:04 PM   #17
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Hey, OP. Wanna send me your old rubber boot piece from your frayed cable? I'd appreciate it! Mine is rotten and only a tiny bit remains.
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Old January 31st, 2011, 04:27 PM   #18
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Update

Just to post an update to the photos, Kawasaki is now making their clutch cables and all replacements with a metal covering over the end rather than a plastic one. I guess the plastic was wearing out too quickly.
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 06:05 PM   #19
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Hey Jordan et al,

Thanks, this really helped. Everywhere I was calling I was being forced to vomit atleast $100 just for the replacement...the wire costed seperate.

Thanks again for the post.
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 07:00 PM   #20
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FWIW, I got mine repaired instead of replacing it at Clairemont Cycle Supply. ~$20 but no waiting.
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 10:34 PM   #21
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hmmm..."repair"...how does that works? Wud be interesting to know....

Over here "Down Under" I had to wait 3 days b4 they could even get me one, and when I finally went to the dealership to pick one, I was told that this one is "allegedly" the ONLY one in OZ currently......it sucked for a moment to think one would have to wait for 3 days to get a wear and tear essential part for 3 days
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Old February 24th, 2011, 03:30 AM   #22
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hmmm..."repair"...how does that works? Wud be interesting to know....

Over here "Down Under" I had to wait 3 days b4 they could even get me one, and when I finally went to the dealership to pick one, I was told that this one is "allegedly" the ONLY one in OZ currently......it sucked for a moment to think one would have to wait for 3 days to get a wear and tear essential part for 3 days
I'm sure they re-used the tube part and I guess they replaced the cable inside with a new end piece for the clutch lever. I'm not sure if they replaced the end piece at the engine side or found a way to detach the old one and attach it to the new cable. I also had the same rotted rubber piece at the end that I've always had.
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Old June 8th, 2011, 11:25 PM   #23
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cheers

Thanks very much for this post, it has helped a lot. "shlokmalhotra", if you are in Sydney, you can order these through Sydney City Motorcycles. They had it in the next day for me.
Thanks again.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 12:45 PM   #24
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When you buy the cable clutch, does it come with the black wire housing (don't know what it's called)? I guess the Cable Clutch Housing? Or does it just come with the clutch "cable" only? Because I couldn't seem to find where I can just slide the cable off the housing. I had to cut the cable to slide it off the housing.

Thank you for this thread. +1

Last night I was riding with my friends and when we were all going home i went to go get gas.. I heard some small snap then my clutch cable felt loose. I had to ride home with my clutch cable messed up. Died out a few times. Luckily it didn't break on me or I would of had to push the bike home.

Edit: Nevermind I don't think there is rep points
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 12:56 PM   #25
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It's sold in one piece.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 01:35 PM   #26
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Thank you.

As for the grease, which grease should I use?

Is Maxima Hi-Temp waterproof grease good?
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 01:44 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyanx217 View Post
As for the grease, which grease should I use?

Is Maxima Hi-Temp waterproof grease good?
yes, that should work fine.
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Old August 22nd, 2011, 10:19 PM   #28
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Is the second to last picture (clutch lever, i think) suppose to be like that? Because won't dirt and stuff go inside the clutch/engine if theres a gap to the lever?

Last futzed with by lilyanx217; August 23rd, 2011 at 08:39 AM.
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