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How to Properly Lubricate Motorcycle Cables

Motorcycle cables play a crucial role in the smooth operation of your bike. They are responsible for controlling the throttle, clutch, and brakes, among other functions. Over time, these cables can become stiff and difficult to operate if not properly maintained. One effective way to keep them in good working condition is by regularly lubricating them. In this article, we will discuss the step-by-step process of how to properly lubricate motorcycle cables.

Why lubricate motorcycle cables?

Before we dive into the lubrication process, it’s important to understand why lubricating motorcycle cables is necessary. Over time, cables can accumulate dirt, dust, and moisture, which can cause them to become stiff and less responsive. Lubricating the cables helps to reduce friction, allowing for smoother operation and improved performance. A well-lubricated cable also helps to prevent premature wear and tear, prolonging its lifespan.

Choosing the right lubricant

When it comes to lubricating motorcycle cables, it’s essential to use the right lubricant. Avoid using general-purpose lubricants such as WD-40, as they can attract dirt and grime, leading to more harm than good. Instead, opt for a dedicated cable lubricant, specifically designed for this purpose. These lubricants are typically formulated to penetrate and protect the inner workings of the cables, ensuring optimal performance.

Step-by-step process

Now let’s get into the step-by-step process of properly lubricating your motorcycle cables:

1. Preparation: Start by gathering all the necessary tools and materials. You will need a cable lubricant, a clean cloth, and a cable lubing tool (optional).

2. Inspection: Before lubricating the cables, inspect them for any signs of damage or wear. Look for frayed wires, kinks, or loose connections. If you notice any issues, it’s best to replace the cable before proceeding with the lubrication.

3. Cleaning: Use a clean cloth to wipe down the cables and remove any dirt or debris. This step is crucial as it ensures that the lubricant can penetrate the cable effectively.

4. Lubrication: Apply the cable lubricant directly onto the cables. If you have a cable lubing tool, use it to inject the lubricant into the cable housing. Alternatively, you can manually apply the lubricant by working it into the cables with your fingers.

5. Working the lubricant: Once the lubricant has been applied, work the cables back and forth to distribute the lubricant evenly. This movement helps to ensure that the lubricant reaches all the critical parts of the cables.

6. Wipe off excess: After working the lubricant into the cables, use a clean cloth to wipe off any excess lubricant. This step prevents the lubricant from attracting dirt and debris.

7. Test the cables: Finally, test the cables to ensure that they are operating smoothly. Check the clutch, throttle, and brakes to ensure that they are responsive and easy to operate.

Regular maintenance

Lubricating your motorcycle cables should be part of your regular maintenance routine. Depending on your riding conditions, it is recommended to lubricate the cables every few months or every 3,000 to 6,000 miles. However, if you notice any stiffness or difficulty in operating the cables, lubricating them should be done sooner.


Properly lubricating motorcycle cables is a simple yet essential task that can greatly improve the performance and longevity of your bike. By following the step-by-step process outlined in this article, you can ensure that your cables remain smooth and responsive, allowing for a more enjoyable and safe riding experience. Remember to choose the right lubricant and make regular cable maintenance a part of your routine.