ZX-6R Maintenance: Lubricate Throttle and Choke Cables

The bike in these photos is a year 2000 ZX-6R.

Warning

I am not a mechanic or a representative of Kawasaki 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.

Objective

Lubricating cables makes the associated control (throttle, choke, or clutch) smoother, and extends cable life. It’s relatively easy to do, but, while the clutch cable is trivial, the throttle and choke cables require quite a bit of effort to reach the cable ends, so the task is best combined with other chores requiring disassembly.

Required

Tools Required

  • Rear stand (recommended)
  • Phillips screwdrivers
  • Hex wrenches (metric)
  • Cable lubrication jig

Parts Required

  • Aerosol cable lubricant

Difficulties

Some difficulties could be:

  • Lubricating cables requires access to both ends, so there can be a bit of disassembly involved. The clutch cable is quite easy, but these fuel cables require access to the carburetor assembly.
  • Re-assembling the cable connections on the throttle requires patience and careful alignment.

Procedure

Putting the bike on a rear stand makes this job much easier by leveling the bike and holding it steady.

Throttle and Choke Cables

These cables require more work than the clutch cable because the other ends (and the ends at which it’s easiest to apply the lubricant) are connected to the carburetor, which means some disassembly.

Here are the preparatory steps (click for instructions of these sub-steps);

  1. Remove the Seats
  2. Remove the lower fairing (not strictly necessary but makes things much simpler).
  3. Remove the gas tank.
  4. Remove the air cleaner assembly.
  5. Remove the carburetors. (You don’t actually have to remove the carburetor assembly, but it only takes a few minutes and it makes the job much easier, so I recommend it.)

Finally, we’re ready to actually do the cables. Here is the procedure:

With the carburetor unit pulled out of its housing, it is fastened to the bike by 3 cables: two throttle cables and the choke cable. They are highlighted here.

Throttle Cables

This is the end of the carb unit showing where the two throttle cables come in. The attachment points are circled in yellow. The green circles are the ends of the cable housing, where you will attach the lubrication jig. Don’t try to unhook them yet — there isn’t enough slack.
To create slack and allow the lubricant to flow, you need to free the throttle-end of the cables. Undo the cable housing attached to the throttle grip (two screws).
The housing comes off in two pieces, then the cables can easily be disconnected. Let them dangle freely.
Now you can easily remove the cables from the carburetor. Attach the cable lubrication jig to one cable, at the carburetor end.

Hold this end of the cable higher than the throttle end, and spray lubricant in until you see it drip out the far end of the cable.Repeat on the other throttle cable.

Choke Cable

Here, with the carb unit completely removed, you can see the free end of the choke cable hanging loose.
Attach the lube jig to the carb end of the cable.
Holding the end higher than the handlebar end, attach the spray dispenser and spray until you hear lube spraying out of the choke control on the handlebar.

Reinstalling

The choke cable is easy to reinstall. The throttle cables are easy if you attach the carburetor end first, then reassemble the throttle grip assembly. (In the other order, they will be hard to install.) Be sure to check the throttle grip moves freely, and springs back when released, after you reinstall the cables.


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