Why We Do Not Sell Control Cables

Why We Do Not Sell Control Cables

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A couple years back we decided not to offer control cables on our website. Some of the cables included brake cables, clutch cables, throttle cables and decompression lever cables. To this day we still get many inquiries regarding cables, but the majority of the time we have to recommend our customers to different manufacturers or company's that offer cables.


Today's blog post I'm going to discuss the reasons why we do not offer control cables for vintage Triumph, BSA, and Norton motorcycles.


I'm sure some of you might be asking "If you do not sell cables, why do I see some cables you have listed on your website"? Correct - we do offer some cables that we have personally used and fitted on motorcycles here at the shop - quality and fitment pass our standards.


Out of all fairness I would love to offer every motorcycle part that I could for all vintage British makes and models but in reality sometimes parts can be more troublesome than it's actually worth (literally and figuratively) - let's begin.



Most manufacturers today are producing control cables to their own specifications despite them claiming to be stock specifications. At this point, one company could be making a cable incorrectly and another manufacture will copy them – this is where the problem starts to begin.


We have had many instances using EMGO or Doherty cables and the outer casing was too long or the inner cable was too short. These are prime examples of why we do not stock cables.



Over the years motorcycle parts that were stock seem to get switched out. When folks are replacing cables they usually will replace the cable that worked with the stock handlebars.
When handlebars are swapped out for lower or taller bars you will have to compensate cable lengths for the different style handlebars.

Figuring out which cable you need for your tall or low bars is where the issues typically begin. Using a tape measure will aide you in choosing the proper cable lengths.


The quality of cables that are produced today are not of the same quality like original cables that were fitted to Triumph, BSA a Norton motorcycles back in the day.


We recently fitted some EMGO cables to a Triumph Bonneville but the adjusters are too shallow allowing the cable ferrules to pop out the adjuster when you turn the handlebar left or right.


That is also another reason why we do not sell cables. Cables play a great role in your bikes handling, if you settle with cheap cables you put your life at risk.


"Did you have a bad cable experience...?"

There you have it - 3 reasons why we choose not to stock control cables. For those in search of cables I recommend contacting Barnett Clutch & Cable in Ventura, California. Venhill also makes great quality cables, they are located in England.


Did you have a bad cable experience? Let us know by commenting in the section below. Don't forget to read some of our other blogs - click here.



  • KJ


    I am restoring a bike I bought in 79, rode to work for a year in 1980, then just left until now.

    I have bought 6 different cables from 2 different suppliers and they are ALL just useless.

    My bike is stock standard, and I have bought them by the part numbers.

    Adjusters that are too slack where males go into females (flop around), front brake nipple far too small, so falls out (dangerous), and ONE (clutch) I was able to adjust gearbox end to compensate – but is far lighter than the old clutch cable.

    I bought two rear brake cables, standard, and “premium” from “genuine English quality cable maker.” On the standard (my bike specific); the lock nut cannot fit, has to be filed down. The outer FAR too long – and because short/stiff = unusable.

    The “premium” one the inner is far too long – it just CANNOT FIT no matter what.

    So – after buying half a dozen cables and spending a lot – I will do what I should have done in the first place.

    1. Clean up old front and rear brake cables and refit. NOTHING made now is the same/as good.

    2. Cut up throttle cable bought and solder my own.

    Ridiculous state of affairs – but the way it is.

    Why should I be surprised? In the last year doing up this bike, I have discovered that half the parts being sold for them around the world on the internet are just no good.

    Great stand by CBS above in refusing to sell sub standard (and life critical) parts.

    Cheers guys.

  • Cris collins

    Every cable I buy is at fault in inner or outer length and have learned to modify them to fit
    Be prepared to cut solder and have a supply of cable ends ferrules etc
    I wish I could find a ferrule crimping tool

  • Classic British Spares

    @Giorgio – thanks for reading and commenting today! I would recommend barnett clutch and cable but make sure you take some measurements and compare with there specs :)

  • Giorgio

    Thank you so much for this post. Just spent the last week scratching my head looking for a clutch cable for my BSA.

    I am a proud new owner of a 1970 Spitfire, my first classic motorcycle.

    Last week the clutch cable broke for the first time since I got the bike a few months ago.

    I looked up the correct part and ordered it. To my surprise not only it didn’t fit in the lever, but it was also too short.

    The problem was that the handle bar and the control levers had been swapped.

    What do you recommend? should I contact Barnett in Cali or should I try and build myself one?

    Do you know where can I acquire good quality cables online?

    Thank you

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