Question about 2003 Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster Custom

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I have a 2003 XL1200 tried to put old throttle and idle cables back on after switching bars and they are so tight it won't spring back. adjusted all the way down and put on according to manual. What can I do?

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You need to put longer cables on your bike. Anytime you change handlebars, you're subject to run into cables and wiring that are either too long or too short. By the way you're describing the problem it seems your cables are too short due to a set of taller or wider bars installed on your bike. You need a set +6" cables from Barrnett. Go to this site.
You may have to find a dealer in order to purchase the cables you need. Good Luck.

Posted on Feb 06, 2010


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96 Harley Davidson 1200 sportster won't idle down staying stuck half throttle

Hi, Harris and the usual suspects are:
1. Throttle cables improperly adjusted.
2. Pull cable pinched-dirty-rusty needs lubing or replacing.
3. Return throttle wheel spring or cable broken.
4. Idle adjusting screw needs to be backed off.
5. Air fuel mixture adjusted too lean start with 2 full turns.
6. Intake system air leak.
7. Fast idle choke ramp is not releasing.
8. Broken throttle return spring.
9. Damaged diaphragm or slide.
10. Faulty MAP, TPS, ATS, O2, sensors or wiring/connector
For more information about your issue and valuable "FREE" downloads that you will need please click on the links below and for more specific information or questions at no charge please feel free to contact me at Good luck and have a nice day.
If your Sportster won idle right Harley Davidson Forums
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Jan 21, 2017 | Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster Custom...

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How do i replace grips on 2009 electra glide ultra classic

For twist grip equipped motorcycles to remove the throttle or right side grip remove the upper and lower switch housing screws, loosen the upper screw securing the handlebar clamp to the master cylinder housing. Remove the lower clamp screw with flat washer, separate the upper and lower switch housings and remove the throttle grip from the end of the handlebar. (To remove the throttle grip, a slight tug may be necessary to release index pins in grip from receptacle in seal cap of twist
grip sensor.)

With throttle cables, to remove the throttle or right side grip slide the rubber boot off of each cable adjuster, loosen the jam nut on each adjuster, turn the adjusters in the direction that will shorten the cable housings to their minimum lengths. THEN remove the two screws and separate the upper housing from the lower housing, unhook the ferrules and cables from the throttle control grip and the lower housing, (remove friction spring, throttle friction screw and spring from the lower housing only if necessary), (only if and as necessary mark the position of the master cylinder assembly forward position and split line on the handle bars) (to be safe squeeze the front brake lever and place a 5-32 inch thick cardboard insert between brake lever and lever bracket and then release brake lever to hold the lever in this place to protect the brake switch from damage if the switch housing and the master cylinder get separated) (and only if and as necessary, loosen the two perch screws) move the lower switch housing as necessary and remove the grip.

To install the throttle grip apply a light coating of graphite to the handlebar and the inside surface of the upper and lower housings, (if removed, install the spring, throttle friction screw and friction spring in the lower housing) (and, if removed, attach the cable assemblies to the lower housing), (throttle control cable has a 5-16 inch fitting end and is positioned to the front of the lower housing. and the idle control cable has a 1-4 inch fitting end and is positioned to rear of lower housing. Install the throttle control grip over the end of the right handlebar, position the lower housing onto the right handlebar, engaging the lower housing with the throttle control grip, position the ferrules over the cable ball ends, seat the ferrules (with the cables attached) into their respective notches of the throttle control grip, install the upper housing over the right side handlebar and secure it to the lower housing with the appropriate two screws and hand tighten them, then align the brake master cylinder and perch assembly with the marks made prior to loosening them, and beginning with top screw, tighten the two screws to 108-132 inch lbs using a T27 TORX drive head and then tighten the upper and lower housing screws to 35-45 inch lbs. THEN point the front wheel straight ahead and WITH THE ENGINE OFF, adjust the throttle and idle cables by turning the adjuster in the direction that will lengthen the cables. Gently twist the throttle control grip to the fully open throttle position (fully counterclockwise) and hold it in this position and turn the throttle control cable adjuster counterclockwise until the throttle cam on the induction module (or carb) contacts the throttle cam stop, release the throttle control grip and turn the adjuster counterclockwise an additional 1-2 to 1 turn and tighten the jam nut on the throttle control cable adjuster. THEN turn the handlebars fully to the right and turn the adjuster on the idle control cable counterclockwise to lengthen the sleeve until the end of the cable housing just touches the spring within the cable guide. NOW check the adjustment by, with the throttle friction screw loosened, twisting and releasing the throttle control grip two or three times. The induction module throttle wheel must return to the idle position each time the throttle grip is released. If the throttle does not return to idle, turn the idle adjuster, shortening the cable sleeve until the correct adjustment is obtained, tighten the jam nut and slide the rubber boots over each cable adjuster. NEXT start the engine and with it idling turn the handlebars through their full range of travel and if the engine speed changes at all during this maneuver, adjust the control cables according to the foregoing procedure so that there is no change in the idle speed when the handlebars are rotated through their entire range of travel.

To remove the clutch or left side grip remove the two screws and separate the upper housing from the lower housing. Mark the forward position and clutch perch split line on the handlebars and then as necessary loosen the two clutch perch screws and move it out of the way so that you can access the grip end. If you want to save the grip take a small screwdriver with about an eight inch length and insert it into the grip, wiggling it to loosen the glue somewhat and then spray some brake kleen into the space under the grip where the screwdriver blade is inserted and wiggle and twist the screwdriver around to loosen the rest of the grip glue and pull the grip off. Sand down the handle bar area where the grip will rest and apply grip cement to the area and slip the grip on. If the left hand grip is patterned, align it with the pattern on the right hand grip with the throttle in the fully closed position, immediately push the grip completely onto the end of handlebar using a twisting motion. Do not hesitate when installing the grip or the adhesive may dry before installation is complete. Allow 6 to 8 hours to elapse at 70 degrees F to allow the adhesive to fully cure. If a newer non-glue grip is being installed slip it on with the flats properly oriented to fit with the switch housing halves when they are installed. Install the switch housing halves and lightly tighten the two screws and then orient the clutch perch to the previously made alignment marks and beginning with the top screw, tighten the screws to 108 - 132 inch lbs using a T27 drive head and then tighten the switch housing screws to 35-45 inch lbs.

Sep 20, 2014 | Motorcycles

1 Answer

1996 sportsman 400 wont idle. Had the carb cleaned by a "mechanic" after the bike took off wide open and driver was injured. He said the float stuck and he "fixed" the problem. Now...

I have NEVER heard of a float sticking and causing that issue. Sounds to me like the Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) on the right handlebar isn't or wasn't adjusted. There is a thumb nut on the throttle cable coming out of the ETC switch. Loosen the screw and turn the cable in or out to get 1/16 to 1/8 inch freeplay on the thumb throttle. Too loose and it won't idle, too tight and it will pull the throttle cable tight and rev engine. It could also be a carburetor issue if it runs with choke. Either the idle screw isn't adjusted or the pilot jet is plugged. There is a large thumb screw coming off the carburetor, turning clockwise will turn the idle up. Let me know if you need anything else, Daniel.

Sep 18, 2011 | Polaris ATV

1 Answer

2001 vmax My throttle has alot of play in it, which I can adjust, but when I get the bike warm, it won't stay at an idle. The idle will creep up to about 2500 rpm. Almost like the throttle cable...

Try lubing your cables and throttle mechanism first. Do your adjustment when the bike is warm. It sounds like you're making one of the cables too tight.

Jun 27, 2011 | 2001 Yamaha V-Max

1 Answer

2002 Voyager xii on warmer days when coming to a stop the engine goes into a high Idle 2000-2500 rpm. Dragging the clutch enough to slow the engine down will make it idle normally until the throttle is...

Hi, Vetter596 and the usual suspects are:
1. Throttle cables improperly adjusted, pinched or need lubrication.
2. Idle adjusting screw needs to be backed off.
4. Air fuel mixture adjusted too lean start with 2 full turns.
5. Intake system air leak.
6. Fast idle choke ramp is not releasing.
7. Broken throttle return spring.
8. Damaged diaphragm or slide.
9. Faulty MAP, TPS, ATS, O2, sensors or wiring/connector.
10. Multiple carburetors not in sync.
For more information about your issue and valuable "FREE" downloads that you will need please click on the blue links below. Good luck and have a wonderful day.
American Voyager Association
American Voyager Association
2003 Patrol RPMs will not drop to idle when warmed up
Kawasaki Voyager XII Service Manual
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Jun 15, 2017 | kawasaki KZG 1300 Motorcycles

1 Answer

My throttle won't snap back. I recently packed the end of the handle bars with silicon to help with vibration. Now my throttle sticks and won't snap back right away. How can I fix this?

I'd be willing to bet that you have gotten silicone on the outside of the bars between the handlebar and the throttle sleeve. But, let's try this first. Loosen the two screws that hold the right handlebar switch halves together. Once you get them loose, slide the throttle assembly and the switch housing towards the end of the handlebars about an 1/8" or so. Not much, just a bit to make sure the end of the handlebar is not rubbing inside the throttle grip at the very end. Tighten the screws and try the throttle now. If it works, tighten the two screws securely and loosen the bolts for the front brake master cylinder and slide it down against the handlebar switch housing so you brake light will work correctly.

If this doesn't work, try loosen the cables just a bit. If they're adjusted too tight, the throttle will stick.

If that doesn't work, you'll have to take the throttle sleeve back off the handlebars. Clean out the inside of the sleeve and the handlebars good. Then apply a thin even coat of white lithium grease to the inside of the throttle sleeve and on the outside of the handlebar. Slide the sleeve uo on the handlebar and work it around to make sure it moves absolutely freely. Then reconnect the cables and reassemble the switch housing. Adjust the cables and make sure the throttle works as it should.

Good Luck

Feb 11, 2011 | 2003 Harley Davidson XLH Sportster 883...

1 Answer

Hi I have a 2007 model that I recently purchased and cant get it to idle less than 3000? RPM. Doesnt matter whether the choke is all the way on or off . I have taken the CARB off and cleaned and blown...

Well have you checked the throttle cable connection, are they tight or you have some free play? Ensure your throttle return spring is correctly pulling the throttle back .
Your problem is mainly a stuck cable.

Sep 01, 2010 | Honda CRF 100 F Motorcycles

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...

2 Answers

How to adjust the throttle cable on an 2002 HD Sportster XL1200? I recently swapped out the stock grips with a custom pair and there seems to be alot of play in the throttle.

Look under that throttle grip. You will see a pair of cables comming out. The one towards the front of the bike is the pull cable (opens the throttle) the other is the push cable (closes the throttle in the event the spring fails the return the throttle to the closed position) You will be adjusting the pull cable towards the front of the bike. You will see 2 nuts there. a long one and a short one. I think its a 10 mm wrench in size. Either way find a pair of wrneches that fits those 2 nuts and losen them turning the upper nut counter clock wise and the lower clockwise. Now you will be able hold the cable to spin the large nut to tighten the cable. as you do that periodically wiggle the throttle to check tightness. DO NOT overtighten or the bike will idle up when you turn the handlebars. A little bit of play 1/8" to 1/4" is normal free play. Its a good idea to start the bike and idle it while turniking the handlebars back and forth to make sure you have not gone to far. Once you have got it where you want then tighten the little lock nut in place and you are done.

Jul 09, 2009 | 2002 Harley Davidson XL 1200 S Sportster...

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