Bike Is Unstable And Hard To Handle

If you are a new owner of a Suzuki Cavalcade, you may not realize how smoothly this bike will handle, especially if you are experiencing instability and wobbling while you are riding.  This can be a scary experience, even for experienced riders.

Let's face it, the Cavalcade is a very big and heavy motorcycle.  We know if the bike decides to fight with the rider, who will win.  We want all the control we can have.

Usually this problem is very simple to fix and may be as simple as checking the air in the tires.  Proper air pressure is critical for any motorcycle.

Here's the checklist:

The above items will affect handling, but improper air pressure will cause major handling problems.  Improper tire pressure is the most common problem for handling, plus it causes early tire failure.

 

Proper air pressure for the Cavalcade is as follows:  (by the book)

Anything less will make your bike unstable on the road.

 

Also, you may notice "fork walk" or "front-end" wobble when you hit a small bump.  In other words, you hit a bump and your handlebars jerk back and forth several times.  This is caused by the bump forcing your wheel to wobble and your forks to move opposite each other, like legs "walking."  There is a cure for "fork walk."  Check out the Super-Brace on the Parts Information Page of this site.

~ Bob Ramsey


 

Here is some additional information on the handling of the Cavalcade 

Submitted by David, a CUSA member.

 

If the swing arm is not centered in the frame the rear wheel will not be in alignment with the front wheel.  This will make the bike handle a little different than it was designed to.   It will also put side loads on the bearings in the center gear case and differential pinion. 

 

The drive shaft has only one universal joint which allows angle movement of the drive shaft, in one direction only.  The pivot of the universal joint is centered at the swing arm bearings and allows only up and down motion for the rear wheel.  One universal joint will not compensate for sideway offset; you would also need a universal joint at the differential pinion to accomplish that.

You really need to find the cause of the drive shaft rubbing the inside of the swing arm.  Is the frame bent, the swing arm bent, or the motor mounts offset?  Are the frame cradle bolts tight?  Is there a dent in the swing arm tube?  If everything checks out and it is determined to be the pivot bearings being worn enough to require this much offset, they really should be replaced.

Hope these thoughts help, I changed the drive shaft in my 86 LXE last summer and all went back together just like the book describes.