Wrench Tip Wednesday: Throttle Sticking

Wrench Tip Wednesday: Throttle Sticking

One of the scariest “oh sh!t” moments to happen on the bike is the throttle to stick wide open. It is extremely easy to panic in that kind of situation but let’s talk about why it could happen.

  • The throttle cable could be damaged or frayed. So, this needs to be on your list of items to inspect every time maintenance is done.
  • Double check how the cable is routed and what it is next to. Sometimes the cable can get pinched between other things on a bike and it can be caused by a simple wreck.
  • Debris can be caught between the throttle tube and the handlebar.
  • Check the throttle housing for debris.
  • If the cable is applicable, lube it.
  • The throttle slide could be stuck in the carb.
  • The bike could have an air leak:

    • Broken or cracked reeds
    • Loose hose clamps
    • Damaged hoses
    • Loose spark plug
    • Carb insulator
    • Bad gaskets
    • Bad crank seal
    • Crack or damaged head.


Some of the things that can go wrong are not preventative but if a person thoroughly inspects their bike often and makes detailed notes in their “diary” a throttle stuck wide open can be prevented majority of the time.


Sometimes, sh!t happens…. You might have inspected the cable and everything looks good but you get to experience one of those scary moments. Some riders are so in tuned to how their bike is running and acting and can tell the throttle is sticking before its too late. If you are one of these lucky riders, stop and figure out why it is sticking, fix it. What do you do if you are not so lucky? Stay calm and try not to panic. Riders who do not run a Rekluse, needs to pull in the clutch, apply the brakes and hit the kill button. Get the bike to shut down. If you have a Rekluse, lock up the brakes and try to push the kill button or choke it. If you are not capable of doing either of those, jump off the bike. Do not have yourself on the bike straight towards the tree, cliff, or whatever obstacle it might be. I know, easier said than done but be aware a throttle stuck wide open can happen to anyone.

Point is, do not forget to check your cables. Keep dirt out of the carb. Be observant. After every race or ride, inspect the ENTIRE bike. Most manufactures offer a maintenance schedule, it is a good idea to follow their suggestions. Enjoy the ride without a panic attack.


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