DIY Workshop: Throttle Maintenance

7 months ago | Words: Ian Hancock | Photos: Ian Hancock

Maintaining your throttle so that it glides open and snaps shut – never jamming or binding in the process – is not only quick and inexpensive; it will also make your bike easier to control and help fend off arm pump. Riding with a sticky and poorly maintained throttle can make a 12-month-old bike feel like a 12-year-old hack. Set aside 30 minutes and follow our simple steps to achieving throttle-twisting bliss.

This content was originally published in issue #20 of Transmoto Dirt Bike Magazine in June 2012.

Lube or Replace?

Modern throttle cables have a special internal lining that greatly reduces the need to lubricate the lines. If you can feel the cables stiffening up, lubing them every now and then will certainly extend their lifespan. But if you’re going to the effort of pulling the cable ends out of the carby, you’re probably better off spending the coin to replace the lines and have the peace of mind that you don’t have to worry about it for another 18 months.

Reduce Friction

The chances are high that your dinner plate-sized mitts occupy most of the available real-estate on your grips, and that the rubber flange on the inside of your grip is pushed up against the throttle housing; thereby increasing friction when you turn the throttle. Fortunately, the fix is easy. Simply cut a donut-shaped circle from the side of a plastic milk bottle and slide it between the throttle tube and the grip to eliminate the friction or binding

Tools You’ll Need

  • Side-cutter pliers
  • Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Cable luber
  • Steel wool
  • Tie-wire

What It’ll Cost Ya

  • Labour: 30 minutes
  • Cable luber: $7.50.
  • Throttle cable: $45.

Step 1. Disassembly

Firstly, pull the rubber boot back over the throttle housing and remove the bolts clamping the assembly together – allowing the housing to be split in two. Then remove the cable ends from the throttle tube itself.

Step 2. Remove The Cables

Now remove the seat and tank to gain access to the carburettor or EFI throttle body. The cable ends can then be accessed and inspected by removing the throttle cam’s cover and releasing the locking nuts.

Step 3. Inspection Time

The plastic OEM throttle tube tends to wear quickly and can break easily in a crash, so check to ensure that it’s in good condition. Also, check for fraying or rust on the cable ends, and that the plastic nibs at the handlebar end of the cables haven’t snapped in half.

Step 4. Lubricate

If you’ve decided to lube the cables and not replace them, spray a lubricant such as WD-40 or CRC 6-56 into the lines; using a cable luber from the throttle cam end until the spray appears at the handlebar end.

Step 5. Clean Me Up

Give the bare handlebar a good scrub with steel wool to remove any build-up of grime. Also do your best to clean the inside of the throttle tube and assembly with a rag and some contact cleaner to help reduce friction.

Step 6. Reassembly & Tie-Wire

Using a dry lubricant, such as graphite powder, give the handlebar and throttle tube a good covering before reinstalling. Any oil-based lube will only attract dust and turn into a sticky paste. It’s also a good idea to tie-wire the rubber boot to increase weather protection and add strength to the plastic cable ends.

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