How To Measure For Cables

I have aftermarket bars and/or risers. How do I determine what length cables I need? 

We cannot supply a length based on a handle bar description alone. There are just too many variables to account for. For example, positioning the bars differently in the handlebar clamps can affect the length of the cable that is necessary for proper operation.  

One way to proceed is for you to do a full mock up. Leave the stock cables installed on the motor and carburetor or EFI system, install the new handlebars to their desired location, and install the controls (throttle/lever) on the new handlebars.  Then measure how much longer the stock cable needs to be (from the housing end) to reach the new location of the throttle or control lever. During this mock-up process you must make sure the new cable length will allow for full movement of the handlebars from lock to lock. Keep in mind that it is easier to absorb an extra inch or two of cable length in routing than it is to make up for a cable that is too short.  So, if there are any doubts, going a little long is usually the safer way to go. Once you have determined how much longer than stock you need, you can review what we currently offer for your model.  If you don’t see the length you need, please contact us at customerservice@shoptjbc.com with the year make and model of your machine and how much longer or shorter then stock you need and we’ll be happy to provide detailed information on your specific needs.

A simple and cheap method for determining cable length if you don't have your new bars, is to use some PVC and PVC 90 degree connectors. Make a mock-up set of bars out of PVC with similar dimensions, width, and rise, then clamp them up in your risers. They wont fit perfect obviously but this will give you a very easy and cheap means of measuring for new cables! 

Alternately you can use a wire to measure for new cables but this is much less precise and has a larger margin for error. Install your new handlebars on the bike. Run the wire in the desired path that you will want to run the cable. Measure the length of your stock cable.(housing only). Subtract the length of your stock cable from the new measurement that you have made with the wire. The year make and model are important as many different bikes have different amounts of cable feed out at the ends. 

Here are some stock lengths to help you determine where to start. This is by no means a substitute for using stock length cables attached to the bike to properly measure how much more cable you need, but these are the approximate stock lengths of the cables for multiple years   -

 
Honda Shadow VLX600 VT600 

  • Clutch 88-98 - 44.1" 
  • Clutch 99-07 - 38.58"
  • Throttle Pull 88-98 - 33"
  • Throttle Pull 99-07 - 34.25
  • Throttle Push 88-98 - 33.1"
  • Throttle Push 99-07 - 35.24


    Honda Shadow VT750 
  • Clutch 88-98 - 44.1" 
  • Clutch 99-07 - 35 - 38.58"
  • Throttle Pull 88-98 - 33"
  • Throttle Pull 99-07 - 34.25
  • Throttle Push 88-98 - 33.1"
  • Throttle Push 99-07 - 35.24