Custom Motorcycle Cables Measurement

Duration: 6:05

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.

Watch our Multi-hour Handlebar Project Here


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5 Responses to “Custom Motorcycle Cables Measurement”
  1. Jeffrey Miller
    Jeffrey Miller

    Outstanding video. Incidentally, that is a very intriguing “flexible wire”, is that speedometer cable inner cable?

    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hi Jeffrey. No. It is not the internal of a speedo cable. It’s actual wire that we somehow ended up with. Can’t recall where it came from. It’s been around the shop for a long time. Have it cut to exactly 50″.
      Great for tracing cables and gathering measurements.

  2. brian flint
    brian flint

    what is the stock length of the hydraulic clutch and ABS upper break cables on a 2017 road king standard thank you .

  3. mark lewis
    mark lewis

    On front brake cable, do you consider full fork extension. Recently rolled stock bars forward
    (Almost vertical) from very laid-back position. When bike was put on frame Jack (Jack rolled under frame) & bike lifted, front fork fully extended with wheel off ground. At that point, front brake line straightened out with tension on both banjo bolts. Relieved tension on cable, then measured cable length allowing slack for routing. Should that be considered as full extension required for fork oil changes (Softail/Dynas) & wheel removal for tire change?