With use, the Harley Davidson Sportster clutch cable will stretch, creating excessive play in the cable that can be felt in the clutch lever and may affect overall clutch engagement and disengagement. This could lead to premature clutch wear or gear damage. Before making adjustments on the clutch cable, remove all play from the clutch with the clutch adjusting screw.
Adjusting the clutch cable on a Harley Davidson Sportster is a straight forward process. On 1988 and later XL models, the clutch adjustment nut is found about half way down the cable under the rubber boot that looks like a crinkle cut freedom fry. On 1984 to 1987 models, the adjustment nut is situated where the cable enters the primary chain case.
Loosen the jam nut below the main adjusting nut (picture shown is a 2006 Sportster) and adjust the cable tension until there is 1/16 to 1/8 travel in the clutch handle. Once the clutch cable has been adjusted, secure the jam nut against the clutch cable adjusting nut and reinstall the rubber boot.