Originally Posted by The other Ferret
Well when I worked in the industry from 70 to 89, we had walls filled with cables and people carried spares on vacation because they tended to dry out(remember dri- slide lubricant with the little bb inside and the long metal nozzle? ), quit working and the ends ( barrels) would pull off. I've ridden home several times using vice grips to either pull in a clutch or open and close the throttle. Later cables had a teflon coating which put an end to most of it, but other than your buddies experience Ive never heard of a hydraulic operated clutch failing, especially if they are bled every couple years and new fluid put in. I have no issues with cable operated clutches or hydraulically operated clutches, so it doesn't matter to me one way or the other.
I remember years ago, EX500 guys would zip tie a new clutch cable to the current clutch cable. That way they would not be stranded and could replace the cable in no time. If I remember right, the cable took a 90 degree turn right at the lever and that's where they always broke. It wasn't a matter of "if" it was "when" it broke.
Personally, I've never had a problem with either a cable or hydraulic clutch.