Lengthen Vstar Cables

The throttle, photo left, and clutch cables, photo right are visible in this photo.

A V-Star is a cruiser style motorcycle, manufactured by Yamaha, that is designed to mimic the appearance of an American Harley-Davidson. Like Harley, Yamaha encourages owners to customize their motorcycles with aftermarket parts and accessories. The V-Star advertising slogan is “Make it your own” and one popular way to do that is to either change handlebars or alter the location of the bars on the bike with an extension called “risers.” The problem with raising the bars is that afterward the clutch, brake and throttle cables may be too short. If they are, they must be replaced with cables that fit. The trick is knowing measure.


1. Save and measure the clutch, brake and throttle cables you removed to install your new handlebars or risers. Measure the cables with a steel measuring tape. The length of those cables will be the “stock length” and replacement cables are always identified by their length over or under stock. For example, “2 inches over.”

2. Tape a four-foot-long length of piano wire to the throttle control housing on your handlebars using electrical tape. Turn your handlebars fully left because your throttle is under your right hand and the cable will be most fully extended when the bars are turned to your left. Route the wire to the throttle control on your fuel injection or carburetor and mark the spot where the wire reaches the throttle with masking tape.

3. Un-tape the wire from your handlebars.

4. Measure the length of the wire from its end to the masking tape using a steel measuring tape. Compare that length to the length of your stock throttle cable. The difference between the two measurements is the length your new cable must be “over.

5. Repeat the process you used to measure the length of the throttle cable you will need to measure the length of the cables that will reach from your handlebar brake controls to your front brake, and from your handlebar clutch control to your clutch housing. Turn your handlebars fully right when you measure for your new clutch cable since your clutch control is on the left side of your handlebars.

6. Purchase cables of the correct “over” or “under” stock length from a Yamaha dealer or from an aftermarket supplier.