How to Replace a Dirt Bike Clutch Cable

Replacing the clutch cable on a dirt bike is an inevitable part of routine maintenance. The clutch cable stretches over time and as it does, it changes where the clutch lever actually engages the clutch.

You can use the coarse and fine adjustment to compensate for that stretching, but eventually the adjustment will run out and you won't be able to adjust it any further. At that point the cable is shot and you need to replace it.

Tools - Dirt Bike Clutch Cable Replacement

The specific sizes you’ll need vary by make and model, but generally you’ll need:

  • Wrenches for the coarse adjustment and locking nut
  • Socket and ratchet
  • Pliers
  • Electrical tape

Every make and model is slightly different, but the general idea is the same: get a bit of slack in the cable, remove it, replace it and adjust it. Watch the video above and follow the steps below to learn how to replace a dirt bike clutch cable.

Buy motorcycle clutch cables

Buy motorcycle clutch cable brackets

Dirt Bike Clutch Cable Replacement Steps

Step 1. Loosen the locking nuts at the end of the cable attached to the clutch itself. Most cables have a couple of locking nuts you need to loosen to create slack in the clutch cable.

Dirt bike clutch cable locking nuts

Step 2. Remove the handguard if your bike has one. Next, remove the cable from the clutch lever. Up at the lever, the clutch adjuster should look like a dial, with a channel in it to remove the cable. Rotate it around in line with the channel on one of the levers and lift the cable out. 

Dirt bike clutch cable replacement handguard removal

Motorcycle clutch cable replacement

NOTE: If your bike has a handguard, look up your make and model here on Partzilla to see how it's mounted and to get a clear picture of how to get to the lever. On our Kawasaki KLR650, we just needed to remove a couple of bolts.

Step 3. Lift the cable free from the clutch arm without pulling the cable out. 

Motorcycle clutch cable release

Step 4. Use electrical tape to tape the lever end of the new cable to the clutch end of the old cable. Keep it really tight so the taped-up cables are thin enough not to get hung up as you pull them through.

Dirt bike clutch cable release

Dirt bike clutch cable installation electrical tape

Dual sport dirt bike clutch cable installation

Step 5. Pull the old cable up through the motorcycle from the lever end so it’ll pull the new cable along the same route where it's supposed to be. You might need to help it along from behind and feed it a bit.

How to replace a motorcycle clutch cable

Step 6. Connect the clutch arm in first once the cable is fed through. Feed it through the bracket, connect the clutch arm itself and then tighten down the bolts.

Dual sport dirt bike clutch cable replacement how-to

Dirt bike clutch cable adjustment

Step 7. Slide the lever end into the channel on the adjuster and the lever.

Dirt bike motorcycle clutch cable replacement

Step 8. Adjust the clutch cable and you’re done. 

Need help adjusting the clutch cable? Watch the video above to see how to do a motorcycle clutch cable adjustment









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