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Broken clutch cable - ZZR250 2001 model

Discussion in 'Bling and Appearance' started by Zoolander, Mar 7, 2008.

  1. Just pulled into the car park at work and clunk... the clutch lever met the handle bar and stayed there. On closer inpection I found the cable had snapped.

    Has anyone fitted a clutch cable? Any tips for new players??

    The service manual provides details on free play and adjustment but not much else. It looks like I will need to remove the fairing and indicator and then just work it out from there.
  2. Wow man. Must be the time for it. I just came back from a trip to port macquaire via the oxley highway - great trip, anyways, the cable went just outside of taree. Had to ride from taree to raymond terrace with no clutch. not much fun. So while the gurus are there answering the question about the zzr, can you help me out with a suzuki across 95 model.
    I was told that it is not that diffucult to do yourself, how much would i be looking at for parts etc?
  3. I replaced the clutch cable today. Pretty straight forward.

    I unplugged the right hand indicator and then removed the right hand fairing. I then loosened the adjusting nuts at either end of the old cable and unhooked the wire at either end. I then threaded the new cable next to the damaged cable to make sure it followed the same path and then removed the old cable.

    At first I hooked up the lower end of the cable and then tried to hook up the top end near the handle bar but there was not enough slack to hook the lug on the end of the cable into its correct spot.

    I then unattached the lower end and hooked up the top end making sure that all adjusting nuts were at their loosest. I was then able to hook the lower end of the cable in place. I then tightened the adjustor nuts on the lower end first so that it mirrored the position of the old cable.

    Next, I adjusted the ‘nuts’ at the top end so that there was the correct amount of free play as per the Service Manual.

    Took it for a test ride and it feels like the clutch works better than what it did before. The new cable cost $35 and the only tools I required came with the small tool kit stored under the seat.
  4. Except nowhere have you mentioned the all-important part to prevent the clutch cable breaking again.

    Or did you think that broken clutch cables, like accidents, are a necessary part of motorcycling?? ;-)


    Trevor G

    PS The guys at the shop should have told you.

    PPS I'll even tell you if you don't know. ;-)
  5. Just do it Trevor. Don't keep the poor bugger in suspenders.
  6. I am guessing that you are referring to lubricating the cable??

    When I picked the cable up I was told it is easier and cheaper to just replace the $35 cable each year (before it breaks) than spent time and money lubricating it...

    What do you think?? I would be interested in other people's views. If it is lubricated, how long will it last?
  7. Hoho! They must be desperate to sell spare parts...

    Actually, it is all very simple. If the nipple is not properly lubricated in the clutch lever where it resides, as it turns or rotates slightly when you pull in the lever, it catches, frees and catches its way along.

    This results in that slight clicking feeling you noticed in the last weeks or so before the cable broke. It's too late to lube then, do it now.

    A Simple Method To Lube A Clutch Cable Nipple

    You need to thoroughly clean the nipple and its recess. Use a tissue or paper towel at the very least, slightly moistened with WD40 to remove the gunk. Then just a little water resistant grease or petroleum jelly/vaseline on the nipple will do it.

    Modern cables are sheathed and so do not need lube in the cable itself. That will often bring on the same sort of "clicking" in the clutch action as the lined inner cable catches on the inside of the cable outer.

    To test your cable, just pull the lever in slowly - there should be no clicking felt in the travel, it should be really smooth.

    The Easy Way To Remove A Cable

    1) Loosen the cable adjuster at the handlebar lever (screw it in all the way) but make sure the slot is open and to the front.

    2) Pull the clutch lever in to the bars, then grab the cable outer just where it exits the adjuster.

    3) As you slowly release the lever, pull firmly on the cable outer - it should come back out of the adjuster enough to slip through the slot.

    The Easy Way To Refit A Cable

    Getting it out is easy with this method. Getting it back in looks hard but isn't.

    1) Fit the nipple in its recess in the lever and pull the cable outer back until it just sits behind the edge of the adjuster lock nut.

    2) Pull the clutch lever in to the bars, while carefully holding the cable outer against the slot in the adjuster and behind the lock nut.

    3) Slowly release the lever while pulling the cable outer back over the edge of the adjuster until it slips inside it. It's easy once you know how.

    Final Adjustment

    This is equally as important , maybe more so, as anything else.

    1) Adjust for correct free play at the end of the lever - 5 to 10 mm - before setting the lock nut.

    Free play means that the lever will move in and out 5 to 10 mm (measured at the end) without any tension on it. Don't count any wobble up and down due to slop in the pivot bolt!

    2) Before you tighten the adjuster lock nut, turn the adjuster so that the slot faces down or slightly to the rear. This reduces the chance of dirt and water entering, and messing up that nice new feel.

    If this changes the free play too much, adjust the other end of the cable down at the clutch cover or use the in-line cable adjuster to get it right.


    Trevor G
  8. First issue, cause i don't have my bike, i am trying to do this thorugh my dad. from a bike mechanic, he told me to unhook cable from handle bars and try to pull cable through. if this doesn't work, its the actuator that is broken, a common problem with the across. So, yes, cable won't come through, therefore balance of probabilities, it is the actuator.
    i had my mate buy an actuator. i have got it now. i have verbal instructions form everyone of how easy it is to put in, but hello, i am have no bike mechanic experience. anyone give me some simple steps. as much info as possible is ok. i don't give a shit about how simply stupid it sounds. pretend you are telling a retard! lol. thanks in advance
  9. The method you described does not seem right to me - I don't think you have understood the instructions.

    You didn't say what the symptoms were...


    Trevor G
  10. I was just going by his instructions and he was spot on. Maybe it was luck? The part where the cable connects to the actuator had snapped. So the cable was sweet. The only drama was getting the actuator out. It had obviously never been replaced before and the screws had nearly fused themselves on. Finally got it off, replaced it. Put it all back together and bike is safely back home, waiting for the next trip!
  11. Glad you got it solved - I didn't understand the instructions, perhaps because I couldn't see all the hand waving that went with them... ;-)

    Thanks for getting back


    Trevor G
  12. don't worry mate. when it was being explained to me, i had a blank stupid look on my face. thank god my bike was at my parents and my dad helped me out.