Do you mean that where the cable end connects to the gear drive is at the eight o'clock position? What year is your bike? On both my '94 and '01 it connects to the gear drive in front of the fork, the threaded part on the gear drive points up at almost exactly the same angle as the fork. Somewhere near the 11 o'clock position. It sounds like your gear drive is not installed correctly. There should be a little projection on the gear drive itself that fits into a boss on the inside of the fork leg, so the gear drive cannot move. It's possible that could be broken off, and if it is you would need to replace the gear drive. It can only go on one way. However, someone may not have lined that little projection up with the fork when they installed the front wheel. Loosen the front axle and try to turn the gear drive that the cable attaches to. If it turns on the axle, there is something wrong.

The above is my opinion. Your mileage may vary.
1994/2001 custom built XT225 with a ton of aftermarket parts.