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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Anybody got any tips on the best lubes/methods to use to effectively lubricate clutch/speedometer cables? Any lube I can find at the local auto parts store that will work okay? Is there any way to do it without buying some kind of specialty "lubing tool?" Would just spraying some WD-40 down through them with that red plastic straw thing included with the can work to both clean and lube?
 

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I use tri-flo. Comes with a straw. Little black bottle will last you forever. Any bike shop (bicycle) will have it.
 

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Just about anything oily will work.

What works best I haven't researched but have used
anything laying around without incident. (WD-40, trans fluid,
motor oil, gear lube, spray graphite,etc.)

The main thing is keeping them wet, and crud off the exposed strands.

Just one dude's point of view,
Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeap
 

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Clutch, throttle, and choke cables, I stick to WD40 since it doesn't thicken up or freeze like some of the wax or other thicker products. It's no fun to have to sit beside the highway waiting for your frozen clutch cable to melt. The cable lubers are the most effective method I've found for getting lube all the way through the cable. Yeah, I can sit spraying and working the cable for an extended period of time to make sure the lube gets to the bottom, or I can stick the little luber on there and be done in 30 seconds, and know that I'm doing a reasonable job of flushing contaminants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the recommendations, guys. I guess most anything would be better than nothing, but it would seem something more along the lines of a "lube" would be best.

I'm going to hit the auto parts stores this weekend and see what I can find.
 

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Butter and a pinch of salt.
 

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I have one of those old metal oil cans from my father in-law. I use that sucker all the time. Just undo your cable at the top and make it stand straight up someday when you're doing things around the house. Squirt a little bit, let it run, squirt abit, etc. You can't put very much at all at one time. Nows the time of year when you really notice the difference.
I've used Wd before but I didn't feel it lasted near as long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have one of those old metal oil cans from my father in-law. I use that sucker all the time. Just undo your cable at the top and make it stand straight up someday when you're doing things around the house. Squirt a little bit, let it run, squirt abit, etc. You can't put very much at all at one time. Nows the time of year when you really notice the difference.
I've used Wd before but I didn't feel it lasted near as long.
Hey, I've got a couple of those old oil cans around. Never thought of that. The KLR's up on blocks in the basement so I have a couple of months to do it.
 

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I use a "cable luber tool", that I picked up at Harbor Freight, and a product made by "Protect All" called "CableLife", bought at my local moto shop. The can says it contains Petroleum Distillates. I probably paid twice what it's worth just because it says it's for cables. Oh well.
 

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I use a "cable luber tool", that I picked up at Harbor Freight, and a product made by "Protect All" called "CableLife", bought at my local moto shop. The can says it contains Petroleum Distillates. I probably paid twice what it's worth just because it says it's for cables. Oh well.
Yep, I use a Motion Pro lub tool and Cable Life as well.

PSA. I was driving home from the grocery store this morning (in the car) when I came across a guy on a Harley dresser off to the side of the road. I stopped to ask if all was good to which he proceeded to demonstrate to me that his clutch cable had broke. I asked if he needed help and he said his wife was on the way. I keep cables at home for a couple of my bikes but I don't have an extra for the KLR. This made me think I better get one. Also made me think to raise this with the group. If you've not lubricated your cables in sometime maybe now is the time?
29868
 

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Good thinking!

I've always got a spare clutch cable zip tied right next to the functioning one; when the cable snaps at the very worst time I've got another one right there and can get it hooked up right away. It won't be perfectly aligned in the ferrules, but it works well enough to get me to a spot where I can remove the old (broken) clutch cable and install the "spare" one. Last summer I had a clutch cable snap on a mountain trail, but I got it to the side of the trail, replaced cables, and I was out of there in 10 minutes flat! So much better than "synchro-mashing" it down the hill...:oops:
 

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In my experience, cables rarely break, and when they do, it’s at the handle end or the actuating end where they get frayed from rubbing or pulling at an angle, instead of straight. Inspect your cables once in awhile, replace them if they start to fray, lube the ends, and keep them adjusted to pull straight, and you will never be surprised by one that suddenly snaps.
 

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Yep, I use a Motion Pro lub tool and Cable Life as well.
The original makers (PetroChem) of 'Cable Life' lube invented & patented the clamp on 'tool'. Motion Pro slightly improved the 'tool' from 1 clamp screw to 2 clamp screws after the patent expired.

There is also a newer Motion Pro luber that works on some odd cables as well as on normal cables.
 
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Good idea to lube a new cable too ... they usually come pretty dry ...
 

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I just use a basic store brand lubricating oil. I don’t have a tool, I just let it soak in the end and work it a few times.

Sometimes use a cut off zip-lock and rubber band or cup my hand if I can’t get the little nozzle pointed right.
 

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Dumb thought, an old trick my pappy taught me to get a tight pair of rubber hand grips on was cornstarch... don’t know the science, but it worked. I wonder if a powdered lube would work better? Or maybe graphite? I wonder how they’d work if water got in?
 

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Dumb thought, an old trick my pappy taught me to get a tight pair of rubber hand grips on was cornstarch... don’t know the science, but it worked. I wonder if a powered lube would work better? Or maybe graphite? I wonder how they’d work if water got in?
Or hand sanitizer. Goes on slippery, dries quick! Well, for grips, not cables 🤠
 
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