Something we commonly see at the shop are bikes that come in with cables that are the incorrect length. Most commonly, this is the aftermath of a handlebar change, where incorrect measurements were taken, or somebody just estimated what they thought was needed to complete the job.
Custom motorcycle cables measurement, throttle, clutch, and brake line lengths, are not only important for neat appearance but are vitally important for proper and safe function of the motorcycle. These cables are essential for moving and stopping the motorcycle – definitely important!
When it comes to changing handlebars, we always suggest holding off on ordering cables until the new bars can be mocked up on the motorcycle. Yes, the majority of the time a six inch over (stock) cable/wiring extension kit will work fine on a set of bars that are approximately six inches longer or taller than stock. The only way to be confident you are ordering what you ultimately need, or want to see you should be mocking up and performing a custom motorcycle cables measurement first.
This is especially important with some of the radically shaped bars available today. It is also very important to plan how you will be routing your cables and brake line. Use can your old cables to help you measure and plan your routing.
In this video, Bob shows us how he and Mark perform custom motorcycle cables measurement
They use a flexible length of wire that can be traced over an existing cable, or simply routed (like a cable) and then measured. If working alone, you can tape the wire at one end while you run your best path.
Remember, try routing your cables so that they are relaxed and flow naturally. Don’t force them into tight bends or tight spaces and always keep in mind that the cables need to flow with the movement of the handlebars.
Overall cable length or custom motorcycle cables measurements will vary amongst manufacturers. If uncertain, contact the manufacturer before placing your cable order so you receive exactly what you expect. Cables can not only be expensive and time consuming to install; they are essential for safe motorcycle operation. Certainly not something to take lightly.
Order the correct cables for your motorcycle. When completed, you will better appreciate both form and function on a job well planned.