A sticking throttle can pose a serious threat while riding your motorcycle, potentially leading to an unwanted throttle input that could make you lose control. In most cases, stiction within the throttle grip while making a turn is caused by an over-tightened throttle cable. The throttle cable is pulled tight as a right-hand turn is initiated, preventing the throttle from closing. To make matters worse, an excessively tightened cable will open the throttle mid-turn, disrupting the motorcycle's chassis and causing instability. While the remedy is fairly straightforward, it does require a familiarity with your motorcycle's throttle cables.
Things You'll Need
- Open-end wrench
Start the motorcycle and let it idle in place. Allow the engine to warm until it will idle steadily at the appropriate engine rpm range. Most motorcycles typically idle at 1,300 rpm.
Turn the handlebars slowly from side to side. Listen for a change in the engine rpm, or watch the tachometer. If the idle increases when turning the handlebar in one direction, but decreases in the other direction, then the throttle cables are too tight.
Turn the handlebars to the side that causes an increase in engine rpm. Loosen the throttle cable lock nuts, located near the throttle grips, using an open-end wrench.
Turn the throttle cable adjusters clockwise to loosen the throttle cables, until the engine rpm decreases to 1,300 rpm or the appropriate engine idle speed for your motorcycle.
Rev the engine several times, then let the engine return to a steady idle. Turn the handlebars from side to side again and listen or watch for changes in the engine speed. Loosen the cable as needed. Tighten the throttle cable lock nuts, if the engine idles steadily while moving the handlebars.
Stop the engine.
Tips & Warnings
- Keep your throttle cables lubricated at all times. A lack of lubrication can cause the throttle cables to bind, regardless of steering inputs. The throttle grip will not move easily when the cables need lubrication.
- Do not ride your motorcycle, if the engine speed increases when turning in either direction. Even a small change in engine speed can be enough to disrupt your motorcycle's stability in a turn, possibly leading to a loss of control and a resulting crash.
- The Professional Motorcycle Repair Program: Motorcycle Maintenance, Volume 24; Professional Career Development Institute
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