Today we are going to look at the 17950-385-000 Choke cable Honda XL 250 K3 1976.

It it mounted on a bracket in the centre of the handlebars, and like all the other control cables on the bike it is a Bowden cable, ie an inner and an outer, originally invented for bicycles where it is also still in normal use. See BOWDEN cable . Like most Bowden cables, a little lubrication helps a lot. You can buy a cable oiler cheaply, (they look like this)

which are used with spray lubricant that has a long thin nozzle pipe. When I was at school back in the day (before helmets were required by law) we used to make a funnel shape from plasticine round the top of cables and pour light oil down overnight.

This piccy is from MCN (Motor Cycle News) so presumably people still do that.......

It is no longer made, and hard to find.

The part number is 17950-385-000 and is of course number 1 above.

Let me explain with some embarrassment that I bought a pattern XL250 choke cable (for a later XL250) in error last year, so this will save you doing the same. I did then find a new one in Canada, and the photos here are of the new one unless otherwise stated.

The overall length is just under 1 metre as can be seen below. When new they have a little bag over the knob....

and it has the word choke in white letters on the knob.

The carb end looks like this, note the length of the inner cable:

I put a real one and copy side by side with the knob ends next to each other.

Although the knob ends are not bad at all style wise (though note the pattern one has a choke symbol not the word choke)

the overall length is way too short on the pattern one and there is too much inner showing, so it won't fit. See the picture below:

I find that to start my bike from stone cold I need the choke full on, but it then needs to go off after only 2 or 3 seconds, on a cold day I push it to about half before riding then all the way off when I've ridden maybe 100 yards; if I don't it is then too rich and misses.

Once the engine is even a little bit warm it doesn't need the choke again.

Look at the dealer set up book to see what the correct line is for the cable to take along the frame and under the tank to ensure free and smooth operation. A damaged cable may appear to have pushed the choke mechanism/butterfly off at the knob end, but in reality it may still be on a bit, thereby over-riching the fuel/air mixture. Look out for a kink in the outer cable at the carb end, just under the ferrule where the ferrule clamp attaches it to the carb.

they get kinked when the carb is removed from the engine, so best be careful when doing so playmates. I don't know why the cable clamper is this way round, it was like that when I bought the carb..


Although you can't get the right XL 250 cable (17950-385-000) as discussed above, you can still get the XL 350 one from CMSL for 25.5 euros, or better still £15.42 from David Silver but they order it in. The part number is 17950-356-700. This cable is exactly the same but about 3.5 inches longer. I think that extra bit can be ignored as it will just need to hang a little lower below the carb. The 350 one also says 'choke' on it like the 250 one.

Look at these pictures:

and the other end

Today I did some work on my bike as the bugger wouldn't start last night for the first time in 7 months, so I changed the coil for the 'new' one discussed on the home page, and HERE and also found the plug was sooted, so I also, at last, re-fitted the correct 1976 carb, which I had rebuilt with new everything including a Keyster carb refurb kit.

The kit looks like this:

I must say how lovely it is to be able to adjust the tickover at last without having to remove the seat, because the previous carb was from a 75 model and that's where the tickover screw pointed.

The push pull cables are next, when I can be arsed. US translation 'can be arsed' = 'can be bothered to do so'.

I have been out for a 20 mile ride and all is well; however as I was in the mood and the original choke cable was indeed damaged at the ferule end (see photo above), I decided to fit the new choke cable discussed here (the longer one 17950-356-700) and it worked like a dream. I now smell a lot of petrol but I am pleased with the job.

Well I hope this has been of interest. Happy riding!