ZX-6R Maintenance: Lubricate Clutch Cable
The bike in these photos is a year 2000 ZX-6R.
I am not a mechanic or a representative of any motorcycle or tool manufacturer or anything else official. This page is only my notes on doing this procedure myself. Although I believe what I have documented here is correct, I make no promises and you do this at your own risk.
Lubricating cables makes the associated control (throttle, choke, or clutch) smoother, and extends cable life. The clutch cable is the easiest to do because both ends are readily accessible without having to disassemble the bike. A special tool (cable lube jig) is required.
- Rear stand (recommended)
- Long nose pliers
- Cable lubricant jig and aerosol lubricant kit
Some difficulties could be:
- Re-connecting the clutch cable at the clutch lever takes a bit of practice. It’s tight, and you have to get the angles lined up just right. It goes easily when you get it, so be patient and don’t force it.
Putting the bike on a rear stand makes this job much easier by levelling the bike and holding it steady.
You do not need to remove the fairings from the bike for this work. They have been removed in the pictures below, because I was doing something else too.
The clutch cable is easy to do since both ends of the cable are easily accessed without taking the bike apart.
The lower end of the clutch cable is exposed where it attaches to the transmission, just in front of your right knee when riding. You don’t need to disconnect this — just make note of where it is.
The other end of the cable is attached to the clutch lever. You need to disconnect this. Unscrew the knurled adjuster ring all the way,
and pull and twist it free of the housing. The cable can escape through the slot in the adjuster, and then be removed from the lever.
You’ll end up with the free end of the cable, and the loose adjuster nut. Screw the adjuster nut back into the housing now, and screw it all the way in to prepare for cable re-installation.
Attach the cable-lube jig to the end of the cable. This clever gadget has a tiny hole for spray lubricant, and guides the stream into the end of the cable.
Attach the lubricant tube to the jig (you buy the jig and spray lube together as a set) and spray several seconds into the cable, while holding the cable up so it’s downhill all the way to the other end.
Keep spraying in several-second bursts until you hear and see lubricant spurting out the other end of the cable.
That’s it. Put the end of the cable back in the clutch lever,
and stretch it over the adjuster nut. Now you need to back the adjuster nut out until the cable is the correct tightness.
The service manual specifies how big the gap should be between the clutch lever and the housing when you “take up the slack” by gently squeezing on the lever.
In my manual, it says 2-3 mm, so I back the nut out until the gap is reduced to that amount.
Your clutch cable is now lubricated, easier to work, and healthier. This job only takes about 5 minutes once you get the hang of quickly removing and reinstalling the cable from the clutch lever.