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Jumpy throttle cable at 30,000 miles


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My 2015 FJ-09 has had an ECU flash of some sort (no idea who did it) and I recalibrated the TPS a little while back with excellent results. So fueling was pretty decent and entirely acceptable, although not as buttery-smooth as a later model (recently rode a friend's 2020).

Anyhoo, things had gotten irritatingly jumpy of late, with the bike at a little over 30,000 miles. I traced it to a physical cause, and then traced it to resistance somewhere in the throttle cable itself. Efforts to lube the cable were fruitless; there's just no way to force lube in, at least from the upper end. It's not wear in the plastic guides at the throttle grip end, which I would have guessed to be the first place to wear out.

A new cable assembly should be here in a few days, and until further investigation and replacement the bike is parked. I'll report back on findings, if any. Fortunately, the part is very reasonably priced, $31.15 with tax, so I just ordered up a new one rather than going to the effort of removing the tank and airbox in hopes of fixing or lubing the cable from the lower end.

 

Anyway: are throttle cables a known issue or am I just experiencing a bit of bad luck? 

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1 hour ago, bwringer said:

Anyway: are throttle cables a known issue or am I just experiencing a bit of bad luck? 

I'm not aware of any issues with the cables on these bikes, and don't recall having seen anything about this pop up on the forum before.   I honestly haven't looked at the details of the setup on mine (so not familiar with the adjustment options), but the first thought would be making sure they're adjusted properly.   I remember two cables, so it must me a 'push/pull' setup, and those can start to bind up if they're too far out of adjustment...  basically they'll start working against each other in light-pressure throttle controls.

That said, for less than $35 to replace, it's probably not worth spending too much time trying to troubleshoot the existing parts.

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Thanks, good to know. I didn't recall seeing anything like this either, but then again I've only had this bike and been on this site for about a year and a half.

And yeah, an adjustment issue would have been nice but it's not that; with the cable detached, the pull cable is "sticky" no matter the position of the adjuster.

I did note that the adjuster near the top is pretty much way at the end of its travel, so I'm suspecting an almost broken cable down in the depths, or perhaps the adjuster down at the sensor end is simply all the way in.

Fingers crossed there's no goofy backorder situation brewing...

Oh well, my other bikes were feeling neglected anyway.

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1 hour ago, texscottyd said:

I'm not aware of any issues with the cables on these bikes, and don't recall having seen anything about this pop up on the forum before.   I honestly haven't looked at the details of the setup on mine (so not familiar with the adjustment options), but the first thought would be making sure they're adjusted properly.   I remember two cables, so it must me a 'push/pull' setup, and those can start to bind up if they're too far out of adjustment...  basically they'll start working against each other in light-pressure throttle controls.

That said, for less than $35 to replace, it's probably not worth spending too much time trying to troubleshoot the existing parts.

I thought there was a known problem with the "original" cable and it was quickly replaced with a newer revision.  So much in fact, I swapped out mine just on that fact..

 

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2015 FJ-09 - Andreani Cartridges, Ohlins 535 Rear Shock, LightTech Chain Adjusters, Yoshi Fender Eliminator, Blaster-X Integrated Tail Light/Blinkers,  Full Yoshi Exhaust, Ivan's Flash, Bagster Seat, Rizoma: (Bar, Grips, Bar Ends, Mirrors, Oil Cap, Rear Pegs) Bremob Corsa Corta Master Cylinder, Bremob RCS19 Hadraulic Clutch, GPR Steering Damper, Speigler Hydraulic Lines, EBC Brake Pads, Puig Screen, HealTech Quick Shifter, MPG Rearset, XSR900 Slipper Clutch, Driven Racing Halo Gas Cap, SW-Motch Front / Rear Axel Sliders,  R1 Rotors / 320mm Kit Conversion. 

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There's definitely a known issue with the original clutch cable, and there's an updated part number (which I installed a few months ago). The new clutch cable has a smoother arc in the upper cable guide.

However, I don't remember seeing anything about a throttle cable issue before, and the part number has not been changed from the original:

https://www.onlinecycleparts.com/oemparts/a/yam/546a26cef87002164cb28030/steering-handle-cable

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20 minutes ago, coachluciano said:

I thought there was a known problem with the "original" cable and it was quickly replaced with a newer revision.  So much in fact, I swapped out mine just on that fact..

I believe you're talking about the clutch cable on the early FJs, which was prone to breaking up near the bars due to an odd shape of one of the bends of the cable...  it was superseded on the parts list with an improved replacement, and many (most?) FJs have already been retrofitted with the new part.  

This is the throttle cables that he's discussing; the mechanical end of the ride-by-wire fuel injection system.   I don't recall this one ever coming up before, but it may be that I just missed it at some point in the past.  

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1 minute ago, texscottyd said:

I believe you're talking about the clutch cable on the early FJs, which was prone to breaking up near the bars due to an odd shape of one of the bends of the cable...  it was superseded on the parts list with an improved replacement, and many (most?) FJs have already been retrofitted with the new part.  

This is the throttle cables that he's discussing; the mechanical end of the ride-by-wire fuel injection system.   I don't recall this one ever coming up before, but it may be that I just missed it at some point in the past.  

Oh Jesus - yes... I'll go back to my rock.....  glad you are still here...

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2015 FJ-09 - Andreani Cartridges, Ohlins 535 Rear Shock, LightTech Chain Adjusters, Yoshi Fender Eliminator, Blaster-X Integrated Tail Light/Blinkers,  Full Yoshi Exhaust, Ivan's Flash, Bagster Seat, Rizoma: (Bar, Grips, Bar Ends, Mirrors, Oil Cap, Rear Pegs) Bremob Corsa Corta Master Cylinder, Bremob RCS19 Hadraulic Clutch, GPR Steering Damper, Speigler Hydraulic Lines, EBC Brake Pads, Puig Screen, HealTech Quick Shifter, MPG Rearset, XSR900 Slipper Clutch, Driven Racing Halo Gas Cap, SW-Motch Front / Rear Axel Sliders,  R1 Rotors / 320mm Kit Conversion. 

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8 minutes ago, coachluciano said:

Oh Jesus - yes... I'll go back to my rock.....  glad you are still here...

Ha!  No worries...  I do stuff like that all the time. 

Your clutch is now cable-free regardless, as I recall.   Still happy with the hydraulic conversion?  

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3 minutes ago, texscottyd said:

Ha!  No worries...  I do stuff like that all the time. 

Your clutch is now cable-free regardless, as I recall.   Still happy with the hydraulic conversion?  

Yes - my Brembo setup is awesome - smooth as butter

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2015 FJ-09 - Andreani Cartridges, Ohlins 535 Rear Shock, LightTech Chain Adjusters, Yoshi Fender Eliminator, Blaster-X Integrated Tail Light/Blinkers,  Full Yoshi Exhaust, Ivan's Flash, Bagster Seat, Rizoma: (Bar, Grips, Bar Ends, Mirrors, Oil Cap, Rear Pegs) Bremob Corsa Corta Master Cylinder, Bremob RCS19 Hadraulic Clutch, GPR Steering Damper, Speigler Hydraulic Lines, EBC Brake Pads, Puig Screen, HealTech Quick Shifter, MPG Rearset, XSR900 Slipper Clutch, Driven Racing Halo Gas Cap, SW-Motch Front / Rear Axel Sliders,  R1 Rotors / 320mm Kit Conversion. 

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Been through this:  

 

Dri Slide was the only lube that worked for me and I have two of the luber tools and lots of different lubes.

I had my throttle body out for the mod to the spring.  I still don't know if the cable can be changed with it installed. The frame is RIGHT THERE.

Take pics of the routing of the old cable, You must do it exactly the same, especially the relation between the other cable, or there will be trouble. Verify it against the manual also.

Mine is also near the end of it's travel.  I was surprised there is no adjustment at the TB end.  All my Hondas had this.

 

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Posted (edited)

New throttle cable is installed, and after a few hours of errand-running and grocery-shopping around town, and lots of roundabouts requiring a deft throttle hand, I can declare the problem officially SOLVED.

A few notes:

- I ordered the cable Tuesday night from OnlineCycleParts.com, which is the online parts sales arm of a large dealer just north of Indianapolis, Westfield Powersports. Wonder of wonders, they called me Friday morning to let me know it was in! I call that fast and flawless. (If you're not local, then they repackage and ship the goodies to you.)

- I could not really figure out why the old cable had added resistance. There was no fraying, kinking, or any visible damage, and the routing was correct. I will also freely admit that I'm very picky about this sort of thing.

- Routing correctly is EXTREMELY important; the cable routing diagrams in the factory service manual are indispensable. It's very tight going past the airbox, so you have to get this right or it'll pinch or kink.

- The factory manual called for applying cable lube, which I did from the engine end before installation while holding the cables over a trash can. Awkward, wasted a lot of lube, but the job was done. Many factory manuals warn against lubing throttle cables, but Yamaha does call for it.

- Displacing the throttle bodies is easy if you JUST HAPPEN to have a super-long 4mm ball-end hex driver. (Bondhus 3760, if you want to know.) You might be able to reach the screws with a 4mm hex ball end bit and some extensions, but it's much easier if you've wrenched on tight motorcycles enough to have weird tools like this lying around.

- There is no way to perform the job without taking the throttle body assembly loose. You don't have to disconnect anything or separate them from each other (so no sync needed); just loosen the upper clamps of the intake boots, going in through the frame from the left side with a looooooooooooooong driver, a bright light, and a pure heart. The clamps are angled just right so they're juuuust barely reachable this way. Then wiggle and pull, and the TB assembly will pop loose and give you just enough slack to reach the pulley, sort of.

- Make sure the TB assembly is seated all the way back into the boots.

- I changed the spark plugs while I was in the neighborhood. It's been about 9.600 miles since I changed them at the first valve check. The old ones were fine, the bike was running fine, it just seemed to be something I wanted to do... FWIW, the cheapest and most reliable way I've found to get these weirdo spark plugs is just order OEM, along with the cable. $5.83 each.

Edited by bwringer
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