Bike will not start.  I know the battery is good.

If you know your battery is good, but your Cavalcade will not crank, you probably have a bad Clutch Safety Switch.

The clutch switch is a safety feature on the Suzuki Cavalcade and serves 2 purposes.  First, you cannot start the bike, unless the clutch lever is pulled all the way in.  This prevents someone from pushing your start button, causing your bike to lunge forward, if you left it in gear.  Second, when you pull in the clutch lever, the cruise control is disabled.  This prevents you from over-revving your engine, if you pull in your clutch while the cruise control is engaged.

The Clutch Safety Switch is located on the bottom side of the clutch lever, in the area where the lever pivots.  You can identify it easily.  It's a small box, held in place by a single Phillips screw.  There is a black wire that enters the end of this little box.

If you find yourself on the road and your Cavalcade will not start, and you know your battery is good, there are some emergency procedures that are very easy to do.

1.)  Locate the Clutch Safety Switch on the clutch lever housing.

2.)  Remove the single Phillips screw very carefully.  There are a couple of small parts that will fall out when you remove the switch from the clutch lever.

3.)  The wires are attached to a small contact board.  Remove the board from the switch housing, but do not remove the wires from the board at this time.

4.)  Make sure your bike is in neutral.  Use a penny, or another metal conductor and place it across the contacts on the contact board (either side).  Hold the penny firmly in place.

5.)  While holding the penny firmly to the contact board, turn your key on and try to start your bike.  Do not allow the contact board to touch metal parts of your bike.

If your bike starts, you've found your problem.  You now have 2 choices.

First, you can continue to use the penny to start your bike, until you get home, or to a shop.  Using this procedure will allow you to continue to have use of your cruise control, which is nice if you are on a long trip.

Second, you can cut the wires from the board and twist them together.  This method eliminates the need for a penny, but your cruise control will not work until you replace the switch.

Clutch Safety Switches are available from Suzuki for under $20.00, at last check (1999) and are easily installed.

Bob Ramsey

Here are some other words of advice from Don Sellers

Before going to the trouble of installing another switch, remove the clutch lever and inspect the lever and the plastic switch contact piece.  I found on mine that the plastic pin on the contact piece was loose enough in the clutch lever so that it tilted about 20 degrees, causing it to miss the electrical contact plates on the switch base.

As a temporary repair to see if I could fix the problem, I wrapped a piece of black electrical tape around the pin to tighten it up in the hole so that it wouldn't tilt.  That 
corrected the problem.  So, I got some Locktite that is designed to repair stripped threads and filled the hole in the clutch lever and inserted the electrical contact pin with the release agent on it.  Let it dry and it was as good as new.  The release agent still allows the pin to be removed if necessary.

Don Sellers

Still more information from Dennis Vanill

There is a switch that makes contact when you pull the clutch lever all the way in, a safety feature of the Cade.  When you let it out it enables the cruise control.  This is a problem a lot of us have had, some have replaced the switch, some have bypassed it.

 If the dealer replaced the ignition switch I think you wasted good money. If you're so inclined to work on this yourself, under the clutch lever is a small plate with a wire coming from it being held on by two screws.  A tip, I'd loosen the assembly from the handlebar enough to rotate it 180 degrees to make it easier to work on.  If you remove this plate there is a small spring in there, don't lose it.  Inside there is a small piece that moves with the clutch lever (part #57465-18601, price approx. $2.50) which may be worn, or the whole switch assembly (part #57560-24A01, price approx. $15.00) both still available through a dealer. 

Before you buy parts, note the part the wires attach to has slotted holes.  An adjustment may be all that is needed.  I hope this helps.

Dennis Vanill (E-mail)



Last updated:   Wednesday, February 06, 2013

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