From Spectro Performance Oils.
Your motorcycle cables play a crucial role in keeping your bike on the road, but most riders neglect them until they fail. A few simple tips can save you time, money and prevent you from being stranded on the road with a broken cable.
When lubricating the control cables on your motorcycle, be careful what you use to lube them with. NEVER use chain lube on a cable. Some people use motor oil to lube their cables. Motor oil does work and is better than nothing at all, however, it does have its drawbacks. Motor oil can pick up road dirt, which will make the cable hang up and wear out faster. Motor oil is also pretty messy. There are much better solutions.
We recommend using a good quality light-weight lube such as Spectro 101. To do a good job of lubricating your cables, first disconnect the cable at the handlebar end, then take a sandwich type plastic baggie and cut one of the bottom corners of the bag at a 45 degree angle leaving a hole just big enough to stick the upper end of the cable through, tape the baggie to the outside of the cable housing, then hang the cable up by the baggie. Spray some Spectro 101 in the bag and leave it sit for a while. The lube in the bag will run down the inner cable lubing it all the way. Remove the baggy, wipe everything off, hook the cable back up and adjust it and you’re done. You may be surprised how much easier your cables are to pull after you have done this. While you’re at it, lube your speedometer and tachometer cables (if they are cable driven). They need lube too! Another tip is to check the rubber boots at both ends of the cable, if they are broken or missing replace them. They play a key role in keeping dirt out of your cable and will extend cable life.