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Throttle cable question


awagnon

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I recently bought back my '02 1150RT with 75,000 miles and thought the throttle felt really stiff or hard to turn. ( I had replaced the cables at 40,000 miles when I previously owned it.) I removed, cleaned, and lubed the twist grip and removed/cleaned the Bowden box. Not much better, if at all. In about 2004 BMW changed the cable on all 1150's except for the RT. The new cable has a metal 90 degree turn on the upper end and uses a modified throttle deflector kit. I've put the new cable and kit in a GS and I've heard it will work on an RT, but isn't designed for it. Has anyone tried the new "improved" cable on the 1150RT? Did it help? Can't find answer with searching forum, which only allows searching for 5 years back. Thanks, Al

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Yes, there is a Throttlemeister, but it isn't touching the grip which can be moved back and forth freely several millimeters. In fact, while cleaning and lubricating the grip, I tested it without the Throttlemeister in place. No different.

 

It may be that I've just forgotten that the 1150RT has a stiff throttle because of the way the two springs on the throttle bodies work against it. Still, I'd consider the improved throttle cable if I thought it would help. That's why I'm asking if anyone has done it. I must say, it did help my 1150GS when I put the "improved" throttle cable on it.

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Sounds to me like you need to replace the cables. I don't remember the RT cables being particularly stiff.

 

Jim, neither did I. I plan to replace the cables. I'm just not sure about using the "improved" upper cable which fits the 1150RT, but wasn't made for it.

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Although it is not condoned, have you tried lubing all the cables with bicycle cable lubricant (like TriFlo's products).

At this stage I see you have nothing to lose.

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Andy. I agree. I have some TriFlo which I'll give a try. I just changed all the cables except the "choke" cable less than 30,000 miles ago. I'm not entirely sure how to get the TriFlo down the cable. I have a cable lubing tool, but it requires lubricant under pressure to work. I guess just drip it into the end and hope it spreads by capillary action.

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Hi Al

I use a small alumninium clamp style lubing tool. I buy the TriFlo in aerosol form and punch it down the cable using that.

I suppose drip feeding it will eventually work, but for the hassle factor, i'd just go and buy another lot of the TriFlo.

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Andy. I agree. I have some TriFlo which I'll give a try. I just changed all the cables except the "choke" cable less than 30,000 miles ago. I'm not entirely sure how to get the TriFlo down the cable. I have a cable lubing tool, but it requires lubricant under pressure to work. I guess just drip it into the end and hope it spreads by capillary action.

 

Morning Al

 

It's possible the last owner used a petroleum based cable lube (like standard cable lube)--if so that swells the Teflon inner liner & makes the cables drag & stick.

 

When I have a BMW bike with the possible use of standard cable lube the first thing I do is flush the cables out (thoroughly) using WD-40 & low power compressed air--(WD-40 makes a good cleaner but won't lubricate anything for long)

 

To get the WD-40 & then the Tri-Flow into the throttle cable I unhook the cable from the twist grip then point the cable & housing up. Now I slide a 2" long piece of thin hose over the cable barrel & onto the cable outer housing. (if the hose won't make a tight seal on the outer cable I use a small "O" ring around the hose at the housing area)

 

Next, I slide the cable upper adjuster boot down the cable (boot is on cable just below the twist grip) THEN tape up the cable to adjuster joints on both ends of the adjuster body.

 

Now, I spray the WD-40 into that 2" (vertical) hose & allow to wick down the cable. After a couple of applications go down the cable I then work the cable by band (either re-attach to twist grip or use pliers on the cable barrel).

 

Then lightly use compressed air to blow most of the WD-40 out the bottom & into the Bowden box.

 

Next--(if possible) allow to sit overnight or longer until the WD-40 flashes off & dries up.

 

Then re-attach that 2" rubber hose to cable housing & spray full of Tri-Flow then work the cable to allow the Tri-Flow to wick down the cable.

 

The only down side to the above is some dipping from the Bowden box for a ride or two but (IF) the inner cable is not frayed, or the inner liner is not worn through, or the liner severely damaged from incorrect cable lube usage then the above usually leaves the cable smooth & sweet feeling after that.

 

If the lower cables are suspected of being sticky then disconnect from the TB's , point the cable up, then spray a little Tri-Flow on exposed cable the lightly blow the tri-flow into the cable/housing using low power compressed air.

 

 

 

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Thanks so much, DR, for the instructions on cleaning and lubing the throttle cables. I don't believe the interim owner did anything to the bike. In fact, he hardly rode it. I have the bike apart for the spline inspection and lube and re-installing the ABS. It's easy to get to the Bowden box and cables at this time. In fact, a few days ago I removed the Bowden box and cleaned the dust out of it. I understand it should not be lubricated. Correct?

 

Thanks again for the tips. -Al

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I have a question for DR: At 97,000 miles, I replaced the two short cables and cleaned the Bowden box, but couldn't figure how to unhook the upper cable from the throttle grip. I still have the (unused) upper cable, and will be doing 120,000 mile service this winter. Should I replace? Does this cable tend to fray? Throttle action is very smooth.

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Since I'm hoping to ride to Red Lodge next summer, it sounds like, at minimum, I should examine the throttle end of the cable, and probably replace.

 

I guess if the throttle feels fine and you don't find any wear on the ends, you can watch it. However, a friend of mine had a long trip come to a halt when his upper throttle cable broke at the grip. I'd rather change it in my garage than on the side of the road. Hope to see you in Red Lodge.

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  • 1 month later...

I opened up the throttle grip assembly yesterday, and everything looks fine at both ends. I really don't look forward to all the steps required to get to the Bowden box, so I think I'm going to leave it. From original owner records, all cables were replaced @ ~60,000 miles.

 

But I do have a remaining question: to lubricate or not to lubricate? As far as I can see, it's never been lubricated, but I have a can of Tri-Flow. Throttle action is currently light and smooth, and it snaps back freely.

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I opened up the throttle grip assembly yesterday, and everything looks fine at both ends. I really don't look forward to all the steps required to get to the Bowden box, so I think I'm going to leave it. From original owner records, all cables were replaced @ ~60,000 miles.

 

But I do have a remaining question: to lubricate or not to lubricate? As far as I can see, it's never been lubricated, but I have a can of Tri-Flow. Throttle action is currently light and smooth, and it snaps back freely.

 

Morning Selden

 

If your "Throttle action is currently light and smooth" then I wouldn't add anything, lube wise, to the cables.

 

Tri-Flow does work on sticky cables though.

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Just a followup on my throttle cable issue. I was the original poster of this thread. I ended up just replacing the main (upper) throttle cable with a new one I carried for emergencies and now carry the old one as a backup. I cleaned the other cables with WD40 and then lubed them with TriFlo, and the throttle is now smooth as silk and easy to turn. I also removed the grips and cleaned-lubed the bars under them. I replaced the grips rubber while at it. Now it's like new.

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I don't know why I couldn't figure out how to remove the upper end of the throttle cable 23,000 miles ago when I had everything apart to replace the clutch. Perhaps I was just too tired to think straight by then. At that time, I replaced the lower two cables and cleaned the gunk out of the Bowden box, so I know the lower end is fine.

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