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How do i change a throttle cable on a harley - Harley Davidson Motorcycles

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  • Harley Davidson Master
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Hi Anonymous, for more information about your question please visit the website below. Good luck and have nice day.
Harley Davidson Manuals Mark Workshop

Posted on Jun 14, 2015

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: I have 2000 883C Harley Sportster and my throttle

To replace the throttle cable, it would be best to pull the fuel tank off the bike. Take the hoses loose from the petcock, the fuel hose and the vacuum hose. Loosen the large nut that holds the petcock on and drain the fuel tank. Catch the fuel with a large funnel and an empty fuel can. Remove the crossover hose at the bottom of the front of the fuel tank. Remove the bolt at the front and rear of the tank and lift the tank off the frame. Now, Take the two bolts that hold the right handlebar switch housing halves together out. Carefully lift the top half and remove the throttle cable from the throttle sleeve. Be careful not to lose the ferrel that is on the end of the cable. You'll probably have to loosen the idle cable adjustment. Then take the air filter and the air filter backing plate off the carb by removing the two large bolts at the front and rear of the backing plate that screw into the heads. Then take take the three smaller bolts out of the front of the carb turning them each about couple of turns at the time until the backing plate comes loose. Now, roll the round throttle plate lever up and work the throttle cable out of the lever and remove the old cable. The cable plugs into the lower switch housing using a small lock ring. Work the cable around while pulling on it and it will come out although they can be aggrevating. Installing the new cable is the reverse of removing the old one. Make sure you get the cable routed correctly and you get it adjusted correctly so that the throttle operates like it should. Be careful not to pinch any wires when you put the right handlebar switch housing back together. Failure to ensure a smooth operation of the throttle could result in serious injury or death. Make sure it works right before you ride the bike.

Good Luck

Posted on May 24, 2011

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Changed handle bars on my 1998 heritage and now the throttle isn't closing .

You need to adjust both throttle and return cables. They need to be the correct length and if you installed mini apes you likely also needed longer cables. Cables need to be adjusted so there is not binding and not rpm change when rotating handlebars fully each way with engine idling. If you do not know or cannot figure out how to adjust the cables etc make another post and ask.

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I have a 2000 sportster 1200c and I would like to know why my throttle doesn't snap back like it should.

Hi Anonymous, either your cables are adjusted too tight or they need to be lubricated, for more information on your question please visit the websites below and good luck:
How to Lubricate Throttle Cables on 2013 Harley Softail Deluxe
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Hi Anonymous, your cables are adjusted too tight or need to be lubricated, for more information on your question please visit the websites below and good luck:
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1 Answer

Replace throttle cable

There are two cables leading to the throttle. Both have two pieces.
Cable 1 goes from the throttle about 12" long and connects to an adjustment piece joining it to cable2 which goes to the throttle body.
Cable 3 also goes from the throttle and is about 12" long and connects to and adjustment piece joining it to cable 4 which goes to the spring on the throttle body.
To change any of them you must loosen the adjustment piece until the ends can be removed from it.
Then to change cables 1 and 3 you have to remove the throttle cover on the grip. you will be able to see how they are removed. Then reverse these steps to install the new cable.
To change cables 2 and 4 in no more difficult but more time consuming as you will have to route these longer cables from the adjuster to where they connect to the throttle body.
When cables have been install and all parts reassembled you can carefully adjust the tension on the cables until the throttle responds the way you like it.
Hope this helps

Sep 19, 2011 | Harley Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Hugger...

1 Answer


To change the throttle cables, remove the air cleaner, filter, and backing plate to allow good access to the carburetor. Some bikes even require removing the fuel tank. Then loosen the throttle cable and idle cable adjusters and turn them to their shortest position giving you as much slack as possible.

Remove the two screws that hold the right handlebar switch housing halves together. Carefully seperate the halves and remove the cables from the throttle grip. Do not lose the cable ferrels. The cables should pull out of the bottom of the switch housing now. You may have to put some penetrating oil on the metal ends that are in the switch housing and work them around a bit. They have a little metal ring on them that expands once it's in the hole of the switch houseing. They can be very aggrevating to say the least.

With the grip ends loose, removing the carb ends is simple. Get some slack in the cable, align it with the slot in the carb and remove it. Do the same with the idle cable.

Installing the new cables are the exact reverse of removing the old ones. Remember, the idle cable is the one with the spring on the cable. If you purchased any cable other than a Harley cable, lube the cable with some "Dri-Slide". I always lube any cable (including Harley cables) that I install. Lube the inside of the throttle grip and the outside of the handlebar with white lithium grease. Lube the nylon part of the throttle grip with the same grease where the cables connect to it.

Once you get the cables on, it is very important that you get the cables adjusted correctly. Adjust the throttle cable first so that you have just a bit of slack in the cable. The throttle should open wide open and when shut, you should have a bit of slack in the cable. Then I like to adjust the idle cable tight enough so that I actually starts to compress the little spring on the cable at the carb end. Not much but just a bit of compression on the spring.

Once you're finished, make absolutely certain that your throttle control is working smoothly, freely, and will return to closed position when you let go of it. If it won't do this, it is unsafe. Work with it until you find the problem. Failure to do this job properly could cause throttle stickage and lead to serious injury or death. Make SURE you have the job done correctly before riding the bike.

Good Luck

Jul 12, 2010 | 2001 Harley Davidson FXDXT Dyna Super...

1 Answer

Changing switches on my delux harley davidson

yeah the cable needs to be taken lose at the throttle lever on the engine and then remove the grip and the cable will have to be reapplied to the new grip in its groove and then reattach it at the engine

Jul 11, 2010 | 2005 Harley Davidson FLHRS - FLHRSI Road...

1 Answer

I have a 2005 Vrod. I'm replacing the throttle cable. I've routed it exactly as the previous cable, but it's centimetres from the pullywheel. When I thread the cable through the frame, there is a lodgement...

Put both cables side by side. Are they the same length? Probably not. Go back to the dealer with both cables and ask what's going on with them. It could be that the prior owner installed a non-stock throttle then had the bike shop make a cable to fit, or the longer cable came with the throttle kit.

Your options are to get a new cable made to match the old cable or get a stock Harley throttle. If the throttle already IS a stock Harley part, then I would think the listing of what models the part would fit is incorrect. Have the guy at the parts counter try to match up cables.

Please rate this solution. Thanks!

Mar 31, 2009 | 2005 Harley Davidson VRSCA V-Rod

1 Answer

Mechanical question

That's interesting, I have run throttle cables for many years with minimal stretching. Are you tightening the lock nut at the adjustment? And are you sure you have the cables adjusted properly? Specifically the return cable, if it is too tight it will conflict with the primary cable, this will cause the primary cable to (over time) pull on and eventually stretch the return cable. Try loosening the return cable, then with the throttle wide open ,tighten the return until it has just "a hair" of free play. Then adjust the throttle to where it has just a very small amount of free play ,then tighten the lock nuts. Then check to be sure the return cable has some play when the throttle is closed and if necessary re-adjust.

Nov 20, 2008 | 2003 Harley Davidson FLSTS Heritage...

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