What to do if a clutch cable breaks on a motorcycle?

Is this a nightmare scenario for you? Is it possible to ride without a clutch cable on your motorcycle?

Your motorcycle may need to be recovered if the clutch cable breaks; you can push and gain ground speed and be able to use clutchless upshifting to ride your motorcycle to the nearest garage for repair.

Can you ride a motorcycle with a broken clutch cable?

Yes, you can. Clutchless upshifting is possible, but you need to get your motorcycle moving while in neutral.

If a passer-by can give you a push, you are in luck, but if you are alone, you will need to push your motorcycle and hop on. Not easy on a cruiser or tourer!

If you can get sufficient ground speed to upshift into 2nd gear, then you can limp to a garage and get the clutch cable replaced.

However, if you need to bring the motorcycle to a full stop again, the problem comes back.

What do I do if my clutch cable snaps while riding?

Don’t panic. Your engine will cut out if you need to stop, so try to keep rolling. If you can keep rolling, then you can upshift.

Upshifting is easy. It’s like changing gear with a clutch. You need to have your road speed and engine revs slightly lighter, roll back the throttle and snap the gear in, then ride normally.

Downshifting can also be done, but it needs a little practice. You might find yourself without a choice, so try to downshift and get back to neutral if you need to stop.

If your engine stops, the only way you can upshift again is to get some ground speed to upshift to 2nd gear.

What happens when a clutch cable breaks?

If you are riding and the clutch cable breaks, it will feel like a snap, and the clutch lever will be loose, like floating around loose without any tension.

Your choices are limited if the clutch cable snaps. You have to replace it, which in itself is not difficult but can take time depending on how difficult it is to remove the fairings if you have them fitted to your motorcycle.

Apart from the feeling of snapping and the tensionless gear lever, it now means you cant select 1st gear without the motorcycle rolling.

How do you fix a clutch cable on a motorcycle?

You will need to remove the cable by unthreading the cable from the motorcycle. Once the cable is free of the protective sheath, you need to attach the new cable to ensure the nipple connectors are securely located.

Thread the new cable into the sheath and attach the correct nipple and the lever end of the cable.

Make sure not to kink the cable at any time during the process. It will create a weak point at the kink and may prematurely break again.

Remove all of the excess slack in the cable at both adjusters, job done,