motorcycle 101 guides

Motorcycle Throttle Cable Adjustment Guide

Motorcycle Throttle Cable Adjustment Guide

The most exciting part of riding a motorcycle is twisting the throttle, allowing you to control your motorcycle’s speed. Also, checking your motorcycle’s performance and the engine’s power output will affect throttle response. A motorcycle accelerates faster if it has a quick throttle response. If your motorcycle is accelerating slowly, first check the motorcycle throttle cable to see if it needs to be adjusted. Read this article to learn how to adjust the motorcycle throttle cable.

1. Check for Issues with the Motorcycle Throttle Cable

If your motorcycle is accelerating slowly or the throttle is having some issues, check the condition of the throttle cable to determine whether it is best to adjust or replace it.


2. The Condition of the Motorcycle Throttle Cable

The Condition of the Motorcycle Throttle Cable

Photo credit: Blog.Pro-X

The motorcycle throttle cable requires regular inspection. If the throttle cable is damaged, corroded, and has wear and tear, it must be replaced immediately to ensure safe rides. Check the throttle cable’s housing for any blockage. A broken part of the housing can affect the amount of slack the cable has.

3. Check the Motorcycle Throttle Cable Return

Most automobiles are designed to close the throttle in emergency situations when the throttle cable breaks or the rider loses control while riding. Make sure to check the throttle cable return. When you release the throttle, it should come back automatically. If it gets stuck, the motorbike will not decelerate properly and can stall.

The throttle cable sticking can be due to corrosion and cable binding. Throttle grips can also get stuck due to rust or attachments.

4. Motorcycle Throttle Cable Slack/Free Play

The motorcycle throttle cable slack, or free play, can increase or decrease over time.

Most of the time, the cable becomes loose over time or can make it harder to twist the throttle. Therefore, it requires a constant inspection to avoid poor motorcycle acceleration.

4.1 How to Measure the Motorcycle Throttle Cable Slack/Free Play

  • Refer to the motorcycle owner’s manual to check the recommended amount of slack (it is usually 2-3 mm).
  • To check the amount of slack, twist the throttle to the point where it does not engage the throttle cable.
  • The distance between the fully-closed throttle to the point where the throttle cable is engaged is the amount of slack.
  • To accurately measure the slack, mark a reference line with a marker on the adjacent surface and the throttle grip so that both points meet.
  • Now twist the throttle grip until you reach the point where you start feeling the tension in the cable. 
  • The reference line on the throttle grip will move slightly ahead.
  • Measure the distance starting from the reference line on the adjacent surface to the reference line on the throttle grip by using a Vernier caliper.


How to Measure the Motorcycle Throttle Cable Slack/Free Play

Photo credit: Blog.Pro-X

5. Types of Throttle Controls

There are two different types of throttle controls on a motorcycle: dual throttle cables and single throttle cables.

5.1 Single Throttle Cable

Single Throttle Cable

Photo Credit: Bike Restart

The single-throttle cable is capable of acceleration and deceleration. One end of the cable is connected to the throttle grip, while the other end is connected to the throttle valve with a torsional spring. The spring allows the valve to open when the throttle grip is twisted. When the throttle is released, the spring causes the throttle valve to close.

5.2 Dual Throttle Cable

Dual Throttle Cable

Photo Credit: Bike Restart

Most modern motorbikes are fitted with dual throttle cables; one is the accelerator cable, while the other is the decelerator cable. The dual throttle cable does not rely on a spring and provides better safety in case the cable breaks. The rider can twist the throttle in the opposite direction to close the throttle valve.

6. Adjusting Motorcycle Throttle Cable

There are multiple points on motorcycles where you can adjust the throttle cables. These points may include the throttle cable housing on the handlebars and the carb body. If the throttle cable needs a large adjustment, adjust the point at the carb body; for smaller adjustments, adjust the point at the throttle cable housing. By tightening or loosening the throttle cable adjusters, the length of the cable is increased or decreased.


6.1 Single Throttle Cable Adjustment

Single Throttle Cable Adjustment

Photo Credit: Bike Restart

  • The single throttle cable is easier to adjust than the dual throttle cable.
  • The only tool you need to adjust the single-throttle cable is a wrench.
  • Park your motorcycle on flat ground and rest it on the center stand.
  • Access the locknut and throttle cable adjusters by removing the protective rubber cover.
  • Using a wrench, remove the locknut.
  • After the locknut is removed, turn the cable adjuster inward to reduce the throttle cable slack and turn the adjuster outward to tighten the cable.
  • Make sure to adjust the throttle slack to 2-3 mm or check the motorcycle owner’s manual for the ideal throttle cable slack.
  • After adjusting, put the protective rubber cover on the locknut and cable adjuster.

6.2 Dual Throttle Cable Adjustment

  • The dual throttle cable is slightly harder to adjust than the single throttle cable.
  • Remove the protective rubber covers to access the locknuts and adjusters.
  • Identify the accelerator and decelerator cables.
  • The decelerator cable tightens when the throttle valve is closed.
  • The accelerator cable tightens when the throttle is opened.
  • Using the wrench, loosen the locknuts
  • After identifying the cables, adjust the decelerator cable first.
  • Adjust the decelerator cable by turning the cable adjuster outward.
  • Adjust the decelerator cable until the slack is completely removed when the throttle grip goes back to its original position.
  • Now adjust the accelerator cable to the point where it has a slack of 2-3 mm.
  • After adjusting the cables, tighten the locknuts and put the protective rubber covers back on the adjusters.


7. Takeaway

The motorcycle throttle cable is an essential component that controls the engine’s power output by opening and closing the throttle valve. If there is an issue with the throttle cable, the motorcycle will accelerate slowly. If the throttle cable is too old and brittle, it can break during a ride and result in an accident. Therefore, carefully inspect the motorcycle throttle cable before going for a long ride. Most of the time, the motorcycle throttle cable becomes loose or tightened over time and requires adjustment. Following the tips covered in this article can help you adjust the motorcycle throttle cable by yourself. However, if your motorcycle still has acceleration issues, you should visit a mechanic for further inspection.

Motorcycles should be regularly maintained to make them last longer. You can also install good-quality aftermarket parts to make your motorcycle perform better on long-distance rides. Viking Bags offer specially designed saddlebags, backpacks, and handlebar bags for your specific make and model to carry useful stuff. If you want to improve the safety and comfort of your motorbike, you can also install crash bars, sissy bars, fairings, handlebars, backrests, and seats.

Reading next

How Long Should a Motorcycle Clutch Last?
Best Paints for Custom Motorcycle Fairings

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.