of the time we don’t think about how the controls on our bike work, we just expect them to do what we want. The reality is those controls are exactly what is keeping you safe on your road bike, or giving you that extra edge on your dirt bike. If you’re a serious rider then we’re not here to help you get your bike running, we’re here to help you get it running exactly the way you want it to.
If you’re looking for maximum efficiency from your engine then we would recommend checking out our articles about engine oil and air filters. If you’re looking for maximum predictability from your controls, then we would recommend PJ1 Cable Lube.
On your motorcycle cables, hydraulics and linkages are used to get the controls from the device that needs to be actuated to where your hands and feet will naturally rest. Just like you don’t want to have to drag your shoes on the ground to brake in your car, you don’t want to have to reach down and grab your front tire to slow your motorcycle down. The hydraulic system in your brake takes the motion of the brake lever on the handlebar and transfers it via fluid pressure in a hydraulic line down to your brake caliper. Similarly, your shift lever transfers the motion of your left toe to the transmission to sequentially change your gears.
Some bikes have hydraulic clutch actuators while others have cable pulls. If your bike is carburated it most likely has a cable-actuated choke and just about every bike built today has a cable-actuated throttle. If your choke cable sticks a little, it’s often something you can live with but if your clutch or throttle cable sticks it will cause your bike to be unpredictable and therefore unsafe on the road or slow on the track. If you’ve got to drop a gear quickly to get out of the way of someone merging into you on the highway or feather the throttle just right coming out of the corner to maintain traction you need your bike to react the way you want.
A sticky clutch cable can cause a jerky ride shortening the life of your clutch and possibly causing a dangerous condition if the sudden power transfer causes your rear tire to lose traction. A sticky throttle cable can make starts scary and accidental wheelies to throw you right off your seat. If you need your throttle cable or clutch cable to move more smoothly, grab a can of PJ1 Cable Lube today!