How to Adjust the Clutch Cable on Your Harley-Davidson

Why would I need to adjust my clutch? There are several important reasons why including wear and excessive movement. Or on the other hand, something known as “clutch creep,” meaning you have the clutch pulled all of the way in and the bike is trying to pull its way through.

In the above video, Patrick walks you through the tools and steps needed to adjust your clutch cable. Our clutch adjustment was performed on a 2008 Harley-Davidson Street Glide and would be similar for all late model Big Twins.

By | 2015-04-15T14:43:21+00:00 March 31st, 2015|Categories: How-To Articles|41 Comments

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41 Comments

  1. Nate w August 5, 2015 at 9:06 am

    I replaced just the clutch cable will I need to do it how you did it in the video I put new bars on

  2. Nate w August 5, 2015 at 9:05 am

    Do I need to adjust the clutch in this order of Iam just replacing ok clutch cable thanks

  3. Vanessa Higdon May 28, 2015 at 8:44 am

    Great video. Thanks.

  4. Dayton Lawson May 10, 2015 at 7:26 am

    very helpful. awhile back I swapped clutch handle for a chrome one and adjusted clutch cable to where I thought it should be and it’s right on the money. After watching video I just went and checked it, it’s all good. definetly going to save this. shoot more videos, thanks guys.

  5. Mark April 26, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    Nice video, helps us men that can’t afford to pay out all the time for Maintenance issues

  6. Rawker Jazzo April 26, 2015 at 8:44 am

    Great info!! Thanks for sharing!!! Gee it was much easier than what I thought!!! Waiting for the next transmission oil drain then do some clutch adjustment!!!

  7. Mike Meziere April 26, 2015 at 7:07 am

    Enjoyed the video. We have a 1975 Shovel. How do we adjust the clutch on an older bike?

    • Patrick Garvin May 5, 2015 at 4:03 pm

      Look for us to make more videos with a variety of bikes. We’ll crank them out as quick as we can.

    • willy August 5, 2015 at 6:13 pm

      On the older shovels you will do the adjustment in the video, but also, you need to adjust the 3 nuts on the outer release plate….you measure from the front of the inner plate to the back of the outer one at the nut. The measurement is 31/32″. You should check each one after adjusting all 3, and readjust as needed.

  8. thomas durante April 26, 2015 at 6:53 am

    Good info on clutch adjustment. I think manual says check at 5 or 10,000 miles when changing fluids.

  9. John May April 25, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    Thanks for the video looking forward to more educational and any thing you want to send
    John May

  10. willy April 25, 2015 at 8:57 am

    Good video….but don’t mean to throw a wrench through your spokes but the adjustment made was actually for the throw out bearing…to adjust the clutch you need to measure and adjust the spring tension on the release plates.

    • Patrick Garvin May 5, 2015 at 3:55 pm

      Willy, if we adjusting a pre-84 clutch you would be correct….but were not. The adjustment was made on a 2008 Street Glide and it is correct.

      • willy May 5, 2015 at 8:33 pm

        Thanks Patrick….yes you are correct…I guess I’m too old school…lol.

  11. Henry Giese April 25, 2015 at 12:09 am

    Also, a good time to check the primary oil level and lube the cable.

  12. George D April 24, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    Excellent video, made so simple

  13. Michael Noftall. April 24, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    If you are experiencing clutch creep. I have it adjusted at three-quarter,,, would you recommend going to one full turn.

    • Mitch May 4, 2015 at 5:03 am

      I have the same issue as above. I backed off 3/4 turn and still have a bit of clutch creep. Do I back off more or less to eliminate it?

    • Patrick Garvin May 5, 2015 at 3:59 pm

      Michael, if you have the screw in the clutch pack turned out 3/4 turn and you still have creep I would back it all the way out then run it down and back off 3/4 turn again. Its a very light feel, when you are turning the screw in go real slow so you can feel it touch.

  14. DREW April 24, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    I was very informed about how to adjust my clutch.

    Thank You .

  15. Peter April 24, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    Good video except he should have mentioned at the beginning that the adjustment must be done when bike is cold.
    Also, once the adjuster screw is lightly seated, he should have pulled the clutch lever 2 or 3 times to verify the balls are seated in the ramps.
    These are 2 very important steps that should have been mentioned.

    • J&P Cycles April 24, 2015 at 12:14 pm

      Peter – Thanks for viewing and for the great tips!

    • Patrick Garvin May 5, 2015 at 4:00 pm

      Both of those are good suggestions, especially the cold bike. Thanks Peter

  16. Tom Fritts April 24, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    Does J&P Cycles only deal in Harley-Davidson? I’m an avid Victory owner and would like to see more items and notices regarding U.S. Victory enthusiasts.

    • J&P Cycles April 24, 2015 at 12:24 pm

      Tom – Thanks for the response! A large part of the aftermarket parts that are available are made for H-D, but we do also carry parts for Metric Cruisers, Victory and Indian. You can view our Victory parts here: http://www.jpcycles.com/victory-motorcycle-parts.

  17. Kevin April 24, 2015 at 11:19 am

    Wow that was ez thanks ride on

  18. Mark D April 24, 2015 at 10:50 am

    Thanks guys! Keep em coming.

  19. George B April 24, 2015 at 9:55 am

    Thanks, Kevin helps a lot,George

  20. john sidock April 24, 2015 at 9:15 am

    I have 07 rd king have Vance an Hines fuel Pac and Porker pipes no baffles. When I set it to settings it runs fast and hot or fuel mileage sucks and yet runs the same I’ve only tried 2 different sets of number settings can u help. Greatly appreciate it. Thank You

  21. Kevin Barry April 24, 2015 at 9:06 am

    Pefect timing I was just talking with a buddy of mine about how to adjust the clutch within a nickel, now I get it=1/8″
    I bought an 02 Electra Glide Classic a few months back and I’m doing a bunch of work to it, this will come in handy, thanks Patrick I’ll check out your other videos too! Kevin.

  22. john sidock April 24, 2015 at 9:05 am

    Great stuff to teach people that want to ride and don’t have the income for shops all the time thanks guys. Live to ride HD

  23. gooch billson April 24, 2015 at 8:51 am

    keep them how to video’s coming thanks.

  24. Ed April 24, 2015 at 8:36 am

    Great videos and topics ; very useful and easy to follow ! Quality , as usual , by J & P .

  25. rick hart April 24, 2015 at 8:21 am

    Excellent video. Thanks.

  26. Garry Florane April 24, 2015 at 7:34 am

    Is the clutch adjustment the same on A 2008 1200L ?

    • Patrick Garvin May 5, 2015 at 4:06 pm

      Its basically the same concept but your ball and ramp set up will be under your derby cover and the adjuster screw will pass through it.

  27. jimmy April 5, 2015 at 12:16 am

    How do u change front bake switch on handle bars 1999 road king

    • Patrick Garvin April 6, 2015 at 8:39 am

      Jimmy you will have to take the switch housing apart. The switch should pop right out, replace it with this http://www.jpcycles.com/product/3700060. You will have to cut the old wires and reconnect (I would solder) the two new wires.

  28. Tom Backman March 31, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    Great stuff (as always)-

    Thanks!

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