General > The Star and Garter

BSA clutch cable

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My clutch (cable?) is VERY stiff.  Is changing a clutch cable a big job?

Which bike?

Usually easy to change.

Stiff cables can be due to lack of lubrication poor routing,  damage or cable of wrong length. Avoid taping the cable to frame.

Have you lubricated it?

Ive recently found two things contribute to this. First and most likely is as Julian says lubrication. I use a screw operated cable oiler with 20/50 engine oil and its amazing what a difference. Second is the clutch springs in the cups. I have a feeling they graunch and that causes resistance. Its the feel that makes me think this, sometimes its stiff so far then gets easier. Its worth giving them a light greasing if you are taking the clutch apart.
It can take time for the cable to free up. I found the cable on my A50 was mega stiff compared to my Thunderbolt, yet they are both 1970 models with the same 'three balls in pockets' lift mechanism. However, after a good 500 miles the A50 has improved significantly. Give it a try!!

The bike is a '71 Lightning 650. Changes gears nicely, just a really stiff clutch handle. I have a new replacement clutch cable and I'll try installing it. haven't done this before but doesn't look too challenging. (I think)

I remember some time ago fitting a new clutch cable to my A65 and at first it was very stiff tried lubricating and checked the routing but was still stiff was solved by lubricating the nipple in the lever never really thought that could be the problem but ever since I occaisionally put a drop of oil on both lever nipples.


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