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Honda Brake Cable

'Standard fit' is too short

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Hopper20/01/2020 11:24:52
4110 forum posts
89 photos
Posted by Gerard O'Toole on 20/01/2020 08:20:23:

Is the outer cable fitted correctly into the adjuster on the handlebar lever?

It is hard to tell , but in the photo it seems that it might be sitting proud of the adjuster ring.

I think his main problem is the length of the outer cable is short by severeal inches, causing the sharp bend at the bottom instead of the normal sweeping curve.

Martin Kyte20/01/2020 11:30:54
1635 forum posts
24 photos



regards Martin

Steviegtr20/01/2020 13:56:17
761 forum posts
165 photos

Have you got the brake plate in the correct position, i tried to zoom in on your picture.

Graham Stoppani20/01/2020 14:34:03
48 forum posts
9 photos
Posted by Circlip on 19/01/2020 13:34:49:

Lever on brakeplate looks to be splined to shoe shaft? Have you got the lever on the correct spline position.??

Regards Ian.

Ian beat me to it. You should be looking to have the cable at 90% to the lever on the drum as the brake shoes bite onto the drum to get the maximum mechanical advantage.

Alan Donovan20/01/2020 15:05:58
23 forum posts
15 photos

Hello again.

Thank you for your continued interest in this puzzle.

The outer cable at the handlebar end is correctly engaged. It looks 'off square' because it is being pulled sideways as it is shorter than required. The inner cable terminations connect up with the brake lever and the hub as expected. If the inner & outer were just 100mm longer respectively, it would be prefect.

The brake drum lever is installed as per the pictorial references I have. Thanks to the Grindstone Cowboy for his link, these pictures are very reassuring.

With respect to installing the brake hub itself incorrectly - the brake lever side has a cast U shaped feature that locates with a spigot on the inside of the 'nearside' fork leg. So there is only one way it can be assembled. It is also the reaction point for the torque when braking.

Thank you all.



Michael Cottle20/01/2020 15:23:38
8 forum posts


Are you aware of CSML in the Netherlands? Major historic Honda Parts dealer. (and others)

They have illustrated parts lists for most models. You can check if the different models have different parts numbers for the cables. May give a lead if different forks are fitted.


Hopefully the link above works or Google CSML.

Hope this may help.


Alan Donovan20/01/2020 15:39:32
23 forum posts
15 photos

Hi Michael.

Thank you so much for that lead, the cable being offered by the UK distributors is not the one being offered by CSML for my particular frame number. In fact they offer two alternatives - so I will investigate this.

Thank you again.


Tim Stevens20/01/2020 16:08:43
1135 forum posts

My money from the one photo is that the backplate is not located correctly in the fork. yes, I agree with others who have said this. Leave it wrong and the brake may not work properly at all, or the plate may rotate, destroying itself, the cable, and the speedo cable (which should also be checked - if this seems too short then my suggestion is really the problem.)

Why should I know? - a silver medal inm motorcycle engineering. not that I'm boasting or anything - and working for BSA, Norton, and Hesketh.

Cheers, Tim

Tim Stevens20/01/2020 16:08:44
1135 forum posts

Duplicate post


Edited By Tim Stevens on 20/01/2020 16:09:15

Maurice Taylor20/01/2020 17:05:43
60 forum posts
4 photos

Looking at pictures on Google images of other SL125’s the brake plate is in the correct position ,compared to BSA’s it does look wrong.

Alan Donovan20/01/2020 17:09:01
23 forum posts
15 photos

Hi Tim.

I am sure I have the Brake Hub is correctly located - although I am happy to be corrected on this.

Please see photos below.



Best regards


Alan Donovan20/01/2020 17:10:09
23 forum posts
15 photos


Just noticed on the 'refresh', Maurice beat me to it.


Tim Stevens20/01/2020 17:21:54
1135 forum posts

A photo is worth 1000 guesses. So, we are left with a cable that might be wrongly routed, or non-standard control lever assemblies, or wider than standard handlebars, or forks fitted too low in the yokes, or the wrong fork tubes (too long - any of which might have been a mistake by a previous owner). Fork tubes are the most likely replacements after an accident caused by eg brakes not working.

Do you know of another similar model in your area, to compare with?

And do please check, because any change in the wheel position will affect the steering, as well as the fit of the cables.

Honda used the same or very similar forks and brake drums on a wide range of models, go-to-work road bikes, trail bikes, motocross machines, etc, and a wander round a second-hand bike showrom could well produce similar models with cables just that bit longer - then you know what to ask for. And it is not difficult for an experienced mechanic to make up a cable to whatever length as a last resort. Just make sure that you get the result properly tested so the nipples don't pull off.

Cheers, Tim

PS by fork tubes I mean the chrome steel parts, not the aluminium alloy ones.

Edited By Tim Stevens on 20/01/2020 17:23:08

Alan Donovan21/02/2020 16:03:36
23 forum posts
15 photos

Hi All.

Following on from a few 'dead ends' I have now purchased and fitted a front brake cable to my Honda SL125, and it now looks as it should - to my eyes anyway.

Many thanks to 'jeffhallmotorcycles' who went the 'extra mile' to find me a suitable length cable with the appropriate end fittings. For clarity, I have NO connection with this business other than being a very satisfied customer.

Just in case it is of interest to anyone. The supplied cable is from a Honda CD185 CD200T CM125 - Honda Part No 45450-424-701. The outer cable is 123.5 cms long which is 13 cms longer than the 'standard fit' for my bike.

All the best.


Brian Sweeting21/02/2020 19:30:41
402 forum posts
1 photos

Thank you Alan for the update and I'm so glad that you have resolved the issue.

peak421/02/2020 20:09:51
1041 forum posts
98 photos
Posted by Alan Donovan on 21/02/2020 16:03:36:


Many thanks to 'jeffhallmotorcycles' who went the 'extra mile' to find me a suitable length cable with the appropriate end fittings. For clarity, I have NO connection with this business other than being a very satisfied customer.


All the best.


I hadn't realised they were still going; I used to live just up the hill till we moved to Buxton.
The actual shop closed a couple of years ago, so I guess Kevin must be selling the remaining stock from the closed building.
Always a good firm to deal with.


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