my bike fell in half and i destroyed the clutch cable = help please!

So i just got the 250sx right and i was trying to lube the headset, so i had the bike on 2 milk crates (one ontop of the other bolted together), and was undoing the tripple clamps to try to get to the bearings.

To make it "easier" i had the handle bars tied in midair to the roof, so that they didnt get in the way or bend the cables too much, when BAM! the forks fell throught the tripple clamps, the tyre hit the ground and rolled forwards while the forks fell backwards and slammed into the floor :ride:. the bike now had no weight in the front end and now the rest of the bike was unbalanced and before you could say S%*t (or even think it), the bike fell off the milkcrate(s) and hit the deck :lol:

The bike had slammed into the ground, but the Clutch cable was still attached to the bars attached to the rope attached to the roof and had a ton of force pulling it sideways :D, so now it leaks. - pic showing the angle of the cable coming out of the perch - pic showing where it leaks, shown by rogue drop of oil

when the clutch is pulled in, oil drops come out at that point, and when the clutch is released, the drops go back in, indicating that air and water, etc could get in the system.


btw the bottom of the cable looks like this:, so i think thats good.

can i just buy a new cable, or do KTM only sell it as a system with the perch included or something?

I'm thinking i'd just need a new cable and then bleed the clutch with dot.4 (or whatever it says in the manual) brake fluid, but how much is the bleeding kit? or should i just take it to the shop

what do you think?

thanks, Mike.

PS: i cant believe i let that happen to such a good bike, this is definately the biggest stuff-up ive ever done with bikes, in the past they've just been like pinching tubes while replacing tyres or stuff like that. :ride:

It's a hydraulic line, not a cable. :ride: You'll have to replace it. It's not too terrible expensive. Got to or I think Enduro Engineering sells them also. If you have a local hydraulic hose shop local they may be able to make one just like it.

cant it be a hydraulic cable? :ride:

I guess, if it were one of these. Otherwise, no.

A cable is two or more wires running side by side and bonded, twisted or braided together to form a single assembly. In mechanics cables, otherwise known as wire ropes, are used for lifting, hauling and towing or conveying force through tension. In electrical engineering cables used to carry electric currents. An optical cable contains one or more optical fibers in a protective jacket that supports the fibers.

Nowhere is the term cable used for something caring fluids. Commonly used terms would be Hose, Line, Tube or tubing(usually referring to a rigid line), Flexible hose or line, braided hose or line, etc.

But seriously, I can't see a drop of fluid in the picture(s). Is it leaking at the swaged fitting (where the metal collar is swaged over the line) or the threads. If the threads you might try tightening it and see what happens.

Also be careful with what fluid you put back into it. If it is a Magura (not a Brembo), and in '07 I thought it was Magura, it uses mineral oil (Magura Blood, drug store mineral oil, light fork oil, etc) not DOT brake fluid like the clutch. Newer ones do use brake fluid and I think all are Brembo so check closely. It should say on the reservoir. Using brake fluid in one that is for miner oil (or vice versa) will cause you a whole new series of problems and you would be headed for a lot of trouble. You know, digging a deeper hole, etc.


250/300 2-T's went to the Brembo in 06, and they use DOT 3, 4 or 5.1, brake fluid, NOT 5.0, and not mineral oil.


You get a new one :ride:

the bike is a 2009 and yeah i'll put in the same type of fluid that came out. does it matter what brand i put in? and should i get rid of all the old stuff?


I'm thinking i'd just need a new cable

what do you think? need a new clutch cable. You probably know this by now.

It can be a PITA to drain the system, replace the cable (you have the correct wrenches for the banjo bolt at the bottom...right?) carefully add the replacement fluid...and then bleed the system.

Have fun with that...:ride:


banjo bolt? damn right now i feel like jay's avatar.. :ride:

oh and dad's got lots of old dot3 fluid and wants to know if we can just use this, or should we buy dot 4?

banjo bolt? damn right now i feel like jay's avatar.. :ride:

oh and dad's got lots of old dot3 fluid and wants to know if we can just use this, or should we buy dot 4?

Noppers!!! Do not use DOT 3 or 4 or 5 brake fluid!

Dang man! You said this is an '09 model right? Don't you look in the owners manual?

I quote..."Please note that Motrex 75 clutch fluid must be used for the 125/200 models and Motrex DOT 5.1 brake fluid for the 250/300 models."

Motrex 75 is a biodegradeable hydraulic mineral oil equalvalent to SAE 10.

Never ever EVER use DOT 3 or 4 or 5 brake fluid in the Brembo clutches on these bikes...EVER!!!

Got it!

oh the freaking manual!!!:ride::lol: If you don't have one, they (owners manual) can be downloaded for FREE from KTM's web site!


HUM........I've been using 5wt fork oil in mine....wounder if thats OK to use???

The Brembo Master Cylinders on all 250/300 since 06 say RIGHT ON THE MASTER CYLINDER COVER to use DOT 4 brake fluid. DOT 3, 4, and 5.1 are ALL compatible brake fluids, but do NOT use DOT 5.0, which is silicone based based and uses different seal material.

KTM says to use Motorex because they have a marketing agreement with them, no other reason.

The higher the DOT number, the higher temperature they will work with. 5.1 is the highest termperature, but the clutch system has no high heat issues like brakes do, so even your DOT 3 fluid will work just fine. You can spend more money on 5.1, but is TOTALLY UNNECCESARY

Fender Bender

If you have a 125/200 or any other model with a Magura clutch M/C, fork oil will work fine, but DO NOT use it if you have a Brembo M/C, which is what all 250/300's have used since 06. Brembos use brake fluid.

the manual says to use dot 5.1, so thats what i'll use :ride:

can i just get a generic bleed kit from like super cheap auto? i dont need some special ktm one right?

Just an FYI, A much cheaper version of the KTM OEM clutch cable can be found here.

I also picked up a reverse bleed kit from a Animal Feed Store. It is a horse syringe and 6 inches of tubing. $2.50 vs. the KTM OEM kit for $35.

I second the horse syringe. -BIG DAN

well on the clutch perch on the bike it says to only use DOT 4 fluid, but in the manual it says to only use DOT 5.1 fluid, so which one do i use?

if i used dot 4, then i could use the rest later in the brakes aswell and on my dads and brothers bikes if they needed it. would it matter if i put in whatever i put in and there was still some of the other stuff?

superslyko i couldnt find it on their website, but dont they only ship in the USA anyway?

why is the syringe better? why reverse bleed it instead of the normal way?


It would be worth spending some time and getting educated on the various brake fluids especially since you are talking about sharing with other bikes in their brake systems and mixing between brakes and clutches.

well on the clutch perch on the bike it says to only use DOT 4 fluid, but in the manual it says to only use DOT 5.1 fluid, so which one do i use?

As mentioned several times, DOT 3, DOT 4, and DOT 5.1 are all compatible. DOT 5.0 (or just DOT 5 is silicone and not compatible with the others). Brembo original wanted you to use DOT 4 and then later KTM went to DOT 5.1 in the book, but Brembo had already set up their tooling and made parts for the reservoir that said DOT 4.

Note: It is very confusing that there is a DOT 5 and DOT 5.1 and that they are not compatible. The reason is they both meet the DOT 5 spec for boiling point and various things, but 5.1 is the one that is compatible with DOT 3 & 4. DOT 5 is silicon based and not compatible with the others.

The first question was whether you are supposed to use Brake fluid or mineral oil in your clutch. Having established that yours uses brake fluid, all those will work as far as not swelling up your seals and pistons and making them come out like jelly. DOT 5 silicone will not work.

The next issue is vapor lock and brake fade so DOT 3 would probably work in the clutch but see other issues below later. The DOT number is a certification specification from the US Department of Transportation. The higher (later) the number the more demanding the specification. Basically the higher the number the higher the boiling point of the fluid. When you apply brakes you generate heat. When it gets hot enough it boils. When brake fluid boils you get vapor lock which causes brake fade, real bad feel in the brakes, and loss of braking altogether. All that is bad.

DOT 3, 4, and 5.1 brake fluid are hygroscopic which means they absorbs water when exposed to the air. This is bad too because the more water they absorb the lower the boiling point becomes. They are also designed to disperse the water through the system and have corrosion inhibitors to reduce the change of corrosion in the system. Brake fluid needs to be changed periodical because it absorbs water.

Basically the higher the DOT number the higher the boiling point. There is also a wet and dry boiling point to account for and both become higher with the higher specification so the tolerance for absorbed water becomes greater.

Boiling point ranges

Fluid...............Dry boiling point...Wet boiling point

DOT 3.............205°C (401°F).....140°C (284°F)

DOT 4.............230°C (446°F).....155°C (311°F)

DOT 5.............260°C (500°F).....180°C (356°F)

DOT 5.1..........270°C (518°F)......191°C (376°F)

Motul RFB600...312°C (593°F)......216°C (420°F)

You can see from the table how the various fluids stack up and that the Motul RFB600 DOT 4 Synthetic Fluid exceeds even the DOT 5.1 spec for wet and dry boiling points. The reason it is not specified at DOT 5.1 is it doesn't meet the DOT specs for viscosity at - 40°. Assuming you change the fluid more then once a year I think this is the best. It is $18 US though.

You would probably be fine using DOT 3 in the clutch. Consider how hot the case might get. Probably never gets close to 384°F. Also, you said your dad has some old DOT 3 around. If it has been opened for awhile it is no good anyway as it starts drawing in moisture once opened from the air trapped in the bottle. Corrosion is another issue from old brake fluid.

In the brakes it is a totally different story and it sounds like you might have a tendency to use whatever is around. If you are only riding around the yard DOT 3 would work OK, but have a higher tendency to corrode things over time inside the system. If you ride like a sissy, but don't apply the brakes the whole way on long downhills, DOT 4 might be fine. DOT 4 might work fine most of the time, but then the other times you wont have brakes. Actually a good dry DOT 4 works fine under most trail riding situations. I have seen guys get fade while racing but the fluid was probably old and had drawn in quite a bit of moisture. DOT 5.1 is better. If you are racing the Motul is among the best readily available stuff.

if i used dot 4, then i could use the rest later in the brakes aswell and on my dads and brothers bikes if they needed it. would it matter if i put in whatever i put in and there was still some of the other stuff?
DOT 5.1 is better then DOT 4 so if theirs calls for DOT 4 they can use the DOT 5.1 too.
superslyko i couldnt find it on their website, but dont they only ship in the USA anyway?

I don't know.

why is the syringe better? why reverse bleed it instead of the normal way?

The goal of bleeding is to remove any air bubbles. Air bubbles tend to go up in the system. Trying to bleed them down is difficult (wont work). Sometimes you need to bleed both ways. Like bleeding up to get bubbles out the line and down to get them out of the slave cylinder.

Hope that helps,


Edited by Gary jp4

To the OP: You have a 2009 responses were for your 2009...which may or may not still be under warranty.

Use what the manual tells you to use. And have a professional do this for you.

Fluid types will vary with age and model.

Your $7000 dirt bike is not worth experimenting on if you don't know what you're doing...or are not set up for.

I'm out.


Jay, you are full of it.

You don't need a "professional" to replace clutch fluid and bleed it. And I guess you don't believe all the responses about brake fluids that have been posted on this subject, including the VERY COMPREHENSIVE response and links provided by Gary jp4.

I suppose you also think Brembo would CAST bad information right into the filling cover on a product they build too, especially on a product which is used for braking systems on some applications like snowmobiles, and not be worried about getting sued over crashes from braking system failures. Yeah that could happen!!!!

I suppose you ONLY use Motorex 2-T oil at the 60:1 ratio too?

I don't know ANYBODY who does EVERYTHING the manual reccomends, especially when talking about fluids.

I also highly doubt that an 09 KTM is still within the 30 day warranty period, plus damaging the clutch line is NOT a warranty issue, and I have NEVER heard of any warranty covered clutch actuator service issues on near new KTMs.

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