FINALLY GETTING MY FIRST CAVALCADE
by Douglas R. Wotherspoon Jr.
1988, I was at the local Suzuki shop getting some parts for my dirt bike, and
spotted this wonderful looking touring bike. I just had to sit on, just for a
minute. I climbed on, and was in love, maybe lust, but I knew that I had to have
one someday. I did not think or imagine that it would take 15 years to realize
A friend of mine took the local
motorcycle safety class at the community college, and after passing the course,
was given a certificate to take to the department of motor vehicles. They gave
her a motorcycle endorsement.
She thought that that was great. A
couple months go by and she decided that if she had a motorcycle license, she
should also have a motorcycle. She went to Honda and purchased a new 600 Shadow.
She had a friend ride it home and then she wanted me to put miles on it so she
could take it in for the five hundred mile service.
Of course, I went and got it, and
rode it. I was out on a long trip, on a 600, a 180 mile trip. While on this ride
two things occurred to me. First thing, this bike is not meant for this. I am
starting to ache, and have 60 miles to go to get home. Second thing that crossed
my mind, I need my own bike and a bigger one.
At that very moment, the Cavalcade
that I sat on crossed my mind. I have to have one of those. I know that Suzuki
does not make it anymore, but I will be happy with a used one, no problem. I
started to dream of rides that I could take with it, where I would like to go,
and was soon quite excited about getting one.
I got home that night, stood for a
while to let my tale end recover, and fired up the computer, I was going to find
one. That turned out MUCH easier said than done. Good lord, there is not one for
sale, but I found a real cool site, Suzuki Cavalcade.
No problem that there is not a Cade
for sale, there may be one tomorrow. Pigs were not flying, Cades were not for
sale. I kept with it though. It became an obsession to find one. I would think
about it at work, I would come and search for hours trying to find one. I gave
up after a couple weeks, thought I would give some folks a chance to realize
that I was looking to buy there Cade.
I came home one day, looking
forward to my next bout with disappointment, and I found one for sale. I sent
out an E mail to the owner asking if he still had the Cade. I was jazzed,
"Yes, I am going to get one. ďI came home the next day to find a
response, I am sorry, but I have already sold it, good luck with your search.
This would be the first of many "sorry, I already sold it" responses.
I gave up.
I knew that I wanted to have a big
touring bike, and that I wanted to ride and see everything. By this time, I had
found Tim Mayhew's site, and was reading all about his rides. I was getting
excited. Now I was looking for a Yamaha Venture. There were lots of those, but
none that I liked. I would change my strategy yet again. I would now look
at Gold Wings, Ventures and Kawasaki Voyagers. I am sure to find one of them.
I found plenty. Lots of them looked
pretty good too. I would call my friend Jacki and tell her all about the new
bike that I found. She would ask me what was it like, I would tell her, it is
like a Cavalcade, just not as nice, but I can still go on long rides." She
would laugh and tell me to call them and talk about the bike. Okay, sure, maybe
tomorrow. As we all know, tomorrow never comes. I never called.
I was still looking for MY
Cavalcade. I started to like the
You know, she is right. To hell
with them all, I am going to find a Cade, and hopefully it is near
I was depressed and came home. Got
on line and said what the hell, I will keep trying. I found another one. "I
was wondering if you still had your Cade for sale, and if so, are you on the
west coast. Probably not, there are no Cades for sale here."
I came home the next day, saw the
return, and thought, here is another "sorry, sold it" response.
"Yes, I still have the Cade, I live in
I talked to Clay almost daily,
actually daily. Yes, I was like a kid at Christmas. I am going to get a Cade. He
told me that it was an 86 LXE, with 64000 miles on it. I am not sure that
bothered me, Doug has one with 170,000 miles and is still going, 64 ain't nothin'.
Send me pictures, how does it run, any problems with it, what color, how does
she ride? Clay must have gotten tired of me.
We finally agreed to meet in
It seemed like the longest week of
my life, but Saturday morning finally came, it was time to fly out. I flew out
Clay, I have to get a bag first.
Hurry up bag! Come up! Let's go! How slow can these people be? Where is that
bag? It finally arrived, grabbed, and off we went. I believe that we started off
on one pace, and I picked it up. I finally saw the bike in the parking lot, and
just wanted to drop my bags and run to the bike to see my new Cade. I held back
though, just walked faster.
Oh my God she is gorgeous. I walked
around her, just gazing at her amazing beauty. She was more than I was counting
on. I could not wait to ride her. He showed me some things about her that I
needed to know, gave me the title, and I was ready to go.
This is where the first problem
occurred. He trailered the Cade to the airport, it was unloaded, and we only had
one parking ticket. $7.50 later I was off seeing the wonderful sites of the
airport. I missed my road out, got to see some new areas of the airport, missed
again, saw some new, and finally just ran out of misses, had not choice but to
leave the airport.
I got on the freeway, and needed to
head to 70 west. I got there, and was looking for a place to stay for the night
before taking off on my 1900 mile journey home to
I stopped for some fuel, in the
middle of the highway. Never saw anything like it. The gas station and McDonalds
is in the median. Pulled across, and got fuel, and ate. Took off, heading west.
I finally stopped in a little town called
I woke up in the morning jazzed
beyond belief. Looked out the window, the Cade was fine, and she smiled at me.
Gathered my stuff, stopped for a bagel while heading out the door, and was set
to go. Head across the street, fuel up, and head for the freeway.
As I pulled up on the freeway, I
saw the sign "Denver 456." Okay, that is my goal, to make Denver
today. After all, if I can do 180 miles on a 600, I can certainly do 456 on a
Cade. I made Denver, and kept going. However, heading into Denver, I was heading
straight into some real ugly clouds that looked like they wanted to get me and
the Cade wet. Highway 70 turns left, and we missed the big mean clouds.
As I climbed out of Denver, I
stopped along the highway to take a few more pictures. It felt like it was
getting colder, so I switched to my cold weather gloves. Five minutes
later, I was to ride for ten minutes in hail. That was not fun at all. That
stuff hurts. I cleared that, stopped at a rest stop on top of the mountain, took
a couple more photos and was on my way.
I kept going until I was tired, and
then stopped in New Castle, Colorado and stayed at the Comfort Inn. I asked for
a room where I could see the Cade, and was told by Diana to park it outside the
front door of the hotel under the awning. The front entrance is all glass and
they can watch it. She told me that they let the motorcyclists do that if there
is only a few of them. I will remember this place if I ever return.
I went next door to the shopping
center and ate at a Chinese restaurant. It was pretty good. I was talking to a
man about the ride and the area, and he was telling me to be careful, someone in
a cage hit an Elk a little while ago. I believe that I have not aspirations to
hit anything larger than a grasshopper. I explained that I was going to try and
go into Moab, Utah and check it out. Take the second Cisco exit, and follow the
signs in, you will love the place, the wife and I ride that all the time.
Thanked him for the information and headed back to the hotel.
Got up in the morning, got some
fuel, and was on my way. A tad cold, but what the hell, I have leg heaters on
the Cade, what other bike has that. Stopped for some more photos of the Colorado
River, some nice canyon shots and was on my way.
I continued on down the road to
Fruita for fuel. Not sure how far to Moab, but knew that I was coming up on the
state line soon, and just wanted the fuel. I saw my first highway patrolman near
the Utah line. Speed limit is 75; I have the cruise set on 70. He came flying up
on me, slowed down, waved and took off. He must be one of us when he is not
Found the second exit for Cisco,
turned off, and was blessed with the roughest damn road. If you take this exit
and you see the sign that says "
Got back on the bike, went about
three quarters of a mile and had to stop. I was in awe of the beauty in the
surrounding area. It would be this way for the next 33 miles. It took almost two
hours to do that short distance. I got a lot of photos, took the liner out of my
jacket, it is hot, and enjoyed the best ride of my life. If you can, go to
Fueled up in
I arrived in
I finally made the
I arrived at the motel 6 with a
group of three riding two Harleys, and a BMW. They were giving the clerk, Amanda
a hard time about her asking for "an approved form of ID." She canít
just ask for a driverís license. The next in line was a guy on a BMW who just
came in from
The Holiday Inn, in Ely wanted $75
for just me for a Monday night. I departed and went to that motel 6. The room
was alright, nothing spectacular, but for less than half of what the Holiday Inn
wanted, I was happy.
The next morning I got some
breakfast at McDonalds and headed for
Jacki had mentioned that her boss
just purchased a new Gold Wing, and at four corners, could take off and hit 110
miles per hour by the time he got to the speed limit sign that reflected 65
miles per hour. The first and only crazy thing I did. I came to that stop sign,
checked all around, and got on it. I am pretty sure I did not push the Cade
%100, but came pretty close. I got to about 92 miles per hour. Bastard did
better than a Cade.
I told Lon about that, and he
stated that he may have been lying a bit, but I could never prove it. Lon, I
said, you did that with an empty bike, I did 92 loaded, the Cade, after all
these years is still better. He just smiled, and then he smiled again when he
saw that I have intercoms, self leveling, air seats, and he has none of that.
I finished my 1900 mile trip by
I reflect back on my journey. I
flew on two flights, and rode 1900 miles in four days, and I was ready to go
more. Clay, I thank you for selling me my Cade.
Most of all, none of this would
have ever happened. I would not have had the opportunity to ride those miles and
see those sites if not for Jacki. "I love you for that Jacki; I love my
Cade, thank you for telling me to get the bike that would make me the
In my journey, I broke my radio,
Micky says I should not have pushed the buttons so hard, they are now stuck,
found a short in the tail lights, never burned a drop of oil, have plenty of
power, killed a bird, but still have a smile from ear to ear, cause a 15 year
dream has come true. I am seeín it from a Cade. My plates will be here
sometime "CINIT" I love my Cade, I loved my journey, I now look
forward to more journeys.
1986 Cavalcade LXE, brown on brown
Last updated: Wednesday, February 06, 2013
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