Measuring Tips

The ordering of cables and lines from this site is relatively simple and intuitive if you understand the basics of its design. You may either search for product information by defining the application of the product by inputing the make, model, and year of the motorcycle in our "Search by Bike" area or, you can custom design the cable, brake line, etc. by using the custom order forms displayed for each product category.  And, when all else fails, please feel free to call us anytime between the hours of 8:30 and 5:00 EST for personalized expert assistance. Customer Service is 585-381-8380. Our Toll Free number is 877-564-8248.

To see a measuring image for each product, view that information on the product page.  Or you can go into Custom Size Ordering and select a custom guide to see what our measuring requirements are for each product.

We do not make recommendations as to how much "extended length over stock" you may require when making handlebar changes.  You can gather that information from:  1) Contact the manufacturer of the handlebars and see what they recommend for your year and make of bike.; 2) You can check on-line on the HD Forums to see if there is a rider that has made the same changes to their bike and see what extended lengths they used.; or 3) Mock up the new handlebars to the current bars and measure the distance from the current controls and master cylinder location.  This should give you an extended length that you would require.  This only works if the cables and lines on your bike are stock lengths.  If they are not, or you are not sure, you may need to measure the lengths needed for each cable/line.


If you determine you do require a custom cable or line, you will have all the information needed to fill out the order forms.


Throttle / Idle / Idle-Cruise Cables

  1. These three different control cables are treated basically the same

  2. You need to determine the bend angle of the tube at the handlebar end

  3. Watch for interference -  the choice of tube may look good, but will it hit the fuel tank or other parts ?

  4. Using the wire, follow the desired routing path – watch out for sharp bends

  5. Watch for rubbing of the cable housing on paint or chrome

  6. Once you have found a good path for the cable, use the diagram on any of the throttle or idle pages to determine the length of the bent tube you will use

  7. Measure your length for wire and subtract the amount of bent tube – this will be your housing length

  8. You can also use your stock cable for a template and measure the difference, whether long or short to determine your new length


Clutch Cables

  1. When measuring a clutch cable, you need to consider the adjuster location, this is important because you want to adjuster to be accessible for maintaining the adjustment.  It is typically located mid-way on the frame down tubes

  2. Usually when designing a clutch cable, the lower leg length doesn’t change because this insures the correct location of the adjuster. Therefore, just the upper leg length and the resulting total length is affected

  3. You can also look up your bike and determine the stock lower cable or measure your cable

  4. Next, you want to plan the routing of the cable – watch for tight bends and rubbing of painted parts

  5. Try to keep the cable away from sharp edges such as the triple trees if possible

  6. You can use heavy or stiff wire to simulate your cable and measure its length or using your stock cable measure the difference, whether long or short relative to the handle bars to determine your new length


Brake Lines

  1. All types of lines are measured the same

  2. Universals are measured “tip to tip”, not to the edge of the nut, but rather inside the nut at the face of the flange.

  3. Make sure you leave room for the adapter fitting you will be using – they can add 2 or more inches to the length

  4. Route your line path with stiff wire to simulate the line – watch for hot or moving parts – the line should have touch points where it can be securely mounted to without creating a tug or pull on the line when steering or compressing the bike’s suspension.

  5. Make sure to leave enough length to accommodate movement of the front forks or the rear swing arm

  6. Custom Single Disc Brake Lines are measured the same way except the banjo fittings are part of the line

  7. The diagram on the products page shows where the banjos are measured from 

  8. Follow the desired routing path from the caliper to the master cylinder and choose the banjo anglethat best fits your application – use stiff wire to lay out your line – measure the wire to get the length needed

  9. Upper Designer Kits are measured from the top of the lower triple tree to the master cylinder -  choose the banjo angle needed to compliment the routing choice

  10. There is a diagram in the Upper Designer Lines page that shows how the line is measured

  11. Rear kits and Lower Designer Kits usually do not change – If you have special requirements for anything other than a stock kit, call or e-mail us regarding ordering these with custom specifications


Ignition Wires

  1. Ignition Wires use the same steps as other line and cables to measure

  2. Make sure they do not touch or rub if possibleThey are measured “tip to tip”

  3. See appropriate page to view measuring diagramYour terminal ends need to match the particular coil you are using

  4. All spark plug ends are the same – just different angles

  5. When routing make sure wires to do not rub against a sharp edge – like a bracket – this may cut the clear dielectric coating

  6. Clear coating should not be cut or split – it will create a static “capacitor leak” and cause electrical interference and possible running issues