Motorcycle Clutch Cable Broke: (Reasons & Quick Fix)

Motorcycle Clutch Cable Broke

Motorcycle clutch cable plays an important while seamlessly shifting gears and if a motorcycle clutch cable breaks, it would be really difficult to continue riding. 

Motorcycle clutch cable breaks due to wear and tear such as fraying of cable, ill-lubrication, or wrongly adjusted cable tension. Continuing to ride with a broken clutch cable with no knowledge of clutchless gear shifting will cause a lot of friction between clutch plates and will lead to severe damage to the whole clutch assembly.

In this article, we will discuss the causes of a broken clutch cable, some early symptoms you should watch out for, how to fix or replace a broken clutch cable easily, and much more.

Motorcycle Clutch Cable Broke While Riding?

If the clutch cable breaks while riding, you can either stop your motorcycle at a safe place or continue to upshift while you roll off the throttle or downshift while you quickly blip the throttle.

And if your motorcycle has come to a stop/halt and the clutch cable is broken, here are some easy steps you could follow to get your motorcycle to start and run with a broken clutch cable.

  1. Turn on the ignition key and press downwards on the kill switch to turn it off.
  2. Put in neutral gear while rocking the motorcycle back & forth.
  3. Push the motorcycle to gain some speed while sitting on it.
  4. Now shift to 1st gear and gently roll the throttle to gain speed.
  5. Finally, maintain an adequate amount of speed to not stall the motorcycle.

Once the motorcycle is running you can do clutchless shifting by rolling of throttle or releasing the throttle for a quick second and at the same time do an upshift.

For downshifting, you would have to quickly blip (roll) the throttle while down a gear. Blipping the throttle for a quick second raises the rpm and matches the revs which match the engine’s speed to the transmission to perform smooth downshift shifts without the rear wheel locking up.

So by following these steps, you can now safely continue to ride your motorcycle if a clutch cable breaks while you are riding on a highway, city, or anywhere for that matter.

Motorcycle Clutch Cable Broke Symptoms?

There are some early symptoms you will experience before the clutch cable breaks or closer to its lifespan. Recognizing these symptoms can help you address the issue before it becomes a major problem.

  1. Stiff or Spongy Clutch: If the motorcycle clutch lever feels unusually stiff or spongy, it’s a sign that the cable might be fraying and can cause friction inside the cable housing.
  2. Clutch Dragging: When the clutch cable has severe fraying or is completely broken, then it will not disengage the clutch plates resulting in a clutch drag.
  3. Inconsistent Engagement: When the clutch cable is failing, it will have signs of corrosion and might have only a few strands of clutch cable intact.
  4. Visible Damage: Examine the cable for visible signs of fraying, corrosion, or damage to the clutch cable nipple.

These were clear-cut direct symptoms/signs of motorcycle clutch cable that is close to breaking or completely broken. 

Keep in mind that the clutch will not slip if the cable is broken or prematurely broken because the broken cable will not let the clutch be able to fully disengage (separate) the friction plates and clutch plates of the clutch. 

And if you don’t know a clutch slipping issue occurs when the steel plates and friction plates have a small gap between them resulting in the clutch not engaging. 

Causes For Motorcycle Clutch Cable To Break?

Now we will dive into the causes for a motorcycle clutch cable to break. Understanding the causes behind this issue can help you prevent it in the future. 

Here are some most common causes for a motorcycle clutch cable to break.

  1. No Lubrication: Clutch cable needs to be lubricated at least once a year for proper movement and functioning of the cable and to avoid friction inside the cable housing. Otherwise the clutch lever will be hard to pull.
  2. Clutch Cable Wrongly Adjusted: Poor cable adjustment can lead to excessive tension on the clutch cable which can lead to cable fraying or breaking prematurely.
  3. Corrosion Buildup: Exposure to moisture and dirt regularly without cleaning will cause corrosion and weakening of the cable over time.
  4. Bending Of Clutch Cable: Sharp bending or kinks of clutch cable near the clutch lever or anywhere along the path will make the cable susceptible to breaking.
  5. Wear Overtime: Over time the clutch cable will wear out and depending upon your riding style it will differ. Replacing the clutch cable every 10,000 miles (16,000 Km) or every 3-4 years is a good practice to follow.

These were the most common causes for a motorcycle clutch cable to break or get damaged.

How To Fix Broken Clutch Cable Of Motorcycle?

If you find yourself with a broken clutch cable, here’s how to fix a broken clutch cable of a motorcycle in a step-by-step process.

  1. Gather Necessary Tools: To loosen up some lock nuts, and adjustment screws you will need some wrenches and to avoid scuffing up the clutch cable ends while removing and installing a new one you will need electrical tape too.  
  2. Locate the Cable Routing: Identify and take note of the path of how the cable is routed for your specific motorcycle, as it depends on what type of bike you are riding (e.g. Sports bike, naked bike, cruiser).
  3. Remove the Tank Cover Or Panels If Necessary: For sports bikes and some naked bikes, the clutch cable is routed from underneath the fuel tank/tank cover or side fairings. So remove these parts to have better access to the clutch cable routing.
  4. Loosen The Lock Nuts & Adjustment Screws: By using a wrench loosen up the lock nuts and adjustment screws of the clutch cable from the clutch lever side and from the clutch cover/case side where it’s connected to the clutch actuator arm.
  5. Remove Broken Clutch Cable: Carefully disconnect the old cable from the lever and the clutch actuator and duct tape the lower end of the cable to avoid scuffs. Now remove or gently pull out the broken clutch cable from the routed path.
  6. Install the New Cable: Route the new clutch cable in the same manner as the old one and avoid any sharp bending or kinks as it can cause cable damage or unwanted cable tension.
  7. Tighten the Lock Nuts and Adjustment Screws: Now tighten the lock nuts and adjustment screws. You can refer to your motorcycle’s service manual.
  8. Adjust The Clutch Cable: Finally, adjust the clutch cable tension as per your motorcycle’s manual and have adequate clutch-lever free play of 10-20 mm for smooth operation.

Note: You can only fix a broken clutch cable if has been damaged or broken from either end of the clutch cable nipples. Broken clutch cable from any other section such as breaking from the middle part of the clutch cable cannot be 100% fixed back to its original state and it is a better and safer option to replace it.

Cost Of Fixing Or Replacing A Broken Clutch Cable

On average, the repair costs can range from $50 to $200, while a full replacement might cost between $100 and $300.

The cost of fixing a broken clutch cable can vary depending on your motorcycle’s make and model and replacing the clutch cable will also depend on the price of the OEM part. Labor costs in your area can also vary whether you choose to repair or replace the cable.

But here is the cost breakdown table for fixing or replacing the broken clutch cable.

ItemApproximate Cost (USD)
OEM Clutch Cable$20 – $80
After Maker Clutch Cable $10 – $30
Labor (if done by a mechanic)$30 – $100
Total $50 – $180


In conclusion, a broken clutch cable is a common issue for motorcycle riders. Understanding the causes and symptoms can help you take preventive measures.

Whether you choose to repair or replace the cable, it’s essential to maintain your clutch cable to ensure a smooth and safe riding experience. If you encounter this problem, consult a professional mechanic to address it effectively.

Remember that safety should always be your top priority when riding, so use your best judgment when deciding whether to ride with a broken clutch cable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts