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Thread: Cable lube for Camheads, ETC

  1. #1
    Registered User wvpc's Avatar
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    Cable lube for Camheads, ETC

    I was paging thru the Haynes manual for 2010-2012 Camheads and it mentions on page 1:12 under routine maintenance to lube the throttle cables (if sticky) using a cable lube adapter. Has anyone done this to their Camhead or Hexhead or Oilhead???

    Has anyone had a sticky throttle cable on these bikes??

    Where do you get the cable lube adapter?

    Yes I am bored and do hate Feb in Michigan.
    12 R1200 RT
    83 R100 RT

  2. #2
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Another case of misinformation from an aftermarket manual. BMW cables are teflon lined. Using any lubricant on them causes the teflon lining to swell up and cause binding of the cables. The lubricant can also absorb dirt/sand and turn into a form of grinding paste, causing failure of the liners. This has been true since the later airhead bikes.. would think Haynes would have caught onto that by now.

    What may need lubrication is the cable junction box, although this is actually questionable on the hexhead bikes (which are not known for the cables drifting/wearing out of adjustment.)

    This is a case of LWEA.. Leave Well Enough Alone (was a big sign I made on my lab wall back at Bell Labs, since I had a boss who liked to come in and "tweak" things, usually breaking them.) Or - "don't fix it until it's broken" (and that has two meanings.. think on it.)
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
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  3. #3
    roamingbeemer roamingbeemer's Avatar
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    Cool

    This is enlightening. I have read the same and I thought it should be routine maintenance to lube occasionally. Fortunately, I have never gotten around to doing it. A Teflon coating should act as a permanent lubricant unless the cable wears thru the coating.
    Last edited by roamingbeemer; 02-13-2013 at 08:08 AM.
    Seek Fun. "Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain--and most fools do" BF
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  4. #4
    roamingbeemer roamingbeemer's Avatar
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    Cool Enlightening

    This is enlightening. I have read the same and I thought it should be routine maintenance to lube occasionally. Fortunately, I have never gotten around to doing it. A Teflon coating should act as a permanent lubricant unless the cable wears thru the coating.
    Seek Fun. "Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain--and most fools do" BF
    2009 K1300GT, S1000RR sold, F650 sold
    2011 R1200GSA
    2014 Kawasaki DTracker 250 (Chiang Mai Thailand)

  5. #5
    Registered User b25bsaboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deilenberger View Post
    Another case of misinformation from an aftermarket manual. BMW cables are teflon lined. Using any lubricant on them causes the teflon lining to swell up and cause binding of the cables. The lubricant can also absorb dirt/sand and turn into a form of grinding paste, causing failure of the liners. This has been true since the later airhead bikes.. would think Haynes would have caught onto that by now.

    What may need lubrication is the cable junction box, although this is actually questionable on the hexhead bikes (which are not known for the cables drifting/wearing out of adjustment.)

    This is a case of LWEA.. Leave Well Enough Alone (was a big sign I made on my lab wall back at Bell Labs, since I had a boss who liked to come in and "tweak" things, usually breaking them.) Or - "don't fix it until it's broken" (and that has two meanings.. think on it.)
    +1
    Rick MacPherson
    Success is Not a Destination, But a Journey.
    Accredited Motorcycle Appraiser
    1968 BSA Starfire, 1976 BMW R75/6, 2009 R1200RT

  6. #6
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Both Haynes and Clymer contain sections which they use in almost all their manuals. A section on tires and this section on cable lube instantly come to mind. The mindless editors take these sections and add them to the bike specific writings of the author. I complained in writing about the misinformation about the classic K series bikes back in about 1987 but nothing has changed. They still stick the canned erroneous sections in their manuals.

    As noted above, the lining of the cables can swell in the presence of petroleum products which ruins the cables.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
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  7. #7
    Curmudgeon At Large Bobmws's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    Both Haynes and Clymer contain sections which they use in almost all their manuals. A section on tires and this section on cable lube instantly come to mind. The mindless editors take these sections and add them to the bike specific writings of the author. I complained in writing about the misinformation about the classic K series bikes back in about 1987 but nothing has changed. They still stick the canned erroneous sections in their manuals.

    As noted above, the lining of the cables can swell in the presence of petroleum products which ruins the cables.
    Cut & paste makes everyone's life easier.............
    Bob Weis
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  8. #8
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    ++++ for what Don and Paul said.

    Leave em alone unless repair is needed. If you doubt the wisdom of that, take a look at where the cable junction box is on an RT and imagine yourself wasting time getting to and dealing with cable issues you created. Yes if you're a great wrench its no big deal but do you want to pay one of those folks or mess with it yourself??

    Someone will no doubt point out that there are some potential lubes that don't damage teflon so it might as well be me. But unless you're a trained chemist with full knowledge of all the product ingredients, there's no reason to even be thinking about an unecessary item..

  9. #9
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    I can only comment regarding BMWs back to the 1970s, but none of them get cable lubrication.

    Just recall that BMWs have always been top-of-the-market motorcycles, not necessarily sold to price compete. Consequently they're better equipped.

    In the context of BMW at least, cable lubrication is quaint ancient history.
    Kent Christensen
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    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  10. #10
    Nickname: Droid
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    On my 94 RS that I have owned since 94 I have never lubed any cables. I only replaced the clutch cable at 120,000 miles because I wanted to, not because I had too.

    Now, one area needing proper lube when it comes to cables on Oilheads is the clutch cable pivot barrel at the clutch lever. The barrel, cable end, nylon bushing and receiver in the clutch lever must be properly lubed, If done right, the little barrel pivots in the nylon bushing/receiver as the clutch lever is pulled in, and the cable never gets any bending stress at the end crimp cable end. The cable can live for a very long time, like the original one on my RS did for 120K.

    Improperly lubed or not lubed, and the barrel binds in the clutch lever receiver and puts a bending stress on the wire strands RIGHT at the crimped cable end. A brand new cable improperly installed can fail in less than 20,000 miles or even far less miles. Don't ask how this dumb-s**t home mechanic knows this.

  11. #11
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    The only maintenance thing on my early Japanese bikes in the 1960s that irked me more than what felt like constant messig with chains wa the bit less frequent need for cable lube and period cable failures anyway.
    Thanks to BMW for "the good stuff" on our bikes..I like anything that sensibly reduces maintenance.

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