The Suzuki Cavalcade Newsletter

Issue #10 ~ May, 2001

Jay D. Johnson, Editor


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CADE RAID ~ 2002

The International Rally for Cavalcades

· CADE RAID 2002 is set for September 16-18, 2002 at the Honeysuckle Inn Resort in Branson, Missouri. You can visit their web site at .

· Plans include exhibits and displays by suppliers; classes and workshops; rides through the scenic Ozarks; evening entertainment packages; an awards dinner and other surprises. Our goal is to gather at least 100 Cavalcades in one location.

· There are only 50 rooms blocked for our group with a special discounted rate. You should get your reservation in early. You must identify yourself as attending the Suzuki Cavalcade Owner’s Group meeting ("CADE RAID 2002") to get our group room rate. The Inn is giving us a tentative rate of $55.00 per night. They do not expect this to change. However they will not be able to guarantee this rate until the end of this year. We suggest you book NOW to hold your room. ~ The room rate includes free continental breakfast, or you can opt for a full breakfast with a discount coupon instead. You can also book extra days at the same rate if you wish to arrive early or stay longer. The toll-free phone number for reservations is 1-800-942-3553.


This year’s Americade at Lake George, NY is the week of Monday, June 4, 2001. Americade has become the world's largest multi-brand motorcycle touring rally, now drawing nearly 50,000. It's a convention of riders and passengers, who enjoy riding touring, sport touring and cruising motorcycles. For complete information, go to the following URL: . Here you can download a printable 2001 Fact Sheet, Registration & Schedule. You will find an online 2001 Registration Form Scroll through & click on the features. Pricing info & options for Americade Week. Cavalcade riders who plan to attend can co-ordinate through Cheryl at .

Cavalcade Owners submit your lodging information and arrival/departure times! Cheryl has graciously offered to compile all information, which will be sent out to those going to Americade. This is very useful in determining whom you want to meet, where, and when. You may even want to provide the route you are traveling and maybe someone may hook up with you for the ride in.

Also included in the report is a daily meeting place. We meet every day at a particular restaurant, place, etc. You are welcome to join your fellow Cavalcade riders and share the day’s adventures, or share experiences over breakfast and then do your own thing. All information to be added to this very useful reference can be sent to . Thanks, and SEE YA THERE! ~ Brian & Cheryl, 87LXE in CT


Mrs. B's Sub Shop will have a message board for us. We'll try to be there about 6 - 6:30 PM each night. Wednesday night is karaoke at the Lobster Pot. Cheryl is putting out a list of where everybody is staying and a few eating spots. Friday morn is the Cade Meeting at the cage (?) and hopefully a ride around the lake to follow. Monday morn 8ish is a trip to Lake Placid and Wednesday morning same time is a trip to Vermont (Teddy Bear Factory and Ben & Jerry's Ice cream factory) Hope to see you at Mrs. B's. There's only one this year and it's the one on the side street.



For those of you planning a trip to Nova Scotia do not under any circumstances fail to tour the Cabot Trail. I will be touring it myself this July on my Cade. My wife and I have done the tour several years ago by car. The route has the reputation as one of the best motorcycle roads in the world. There are also other fine roads in the area. I had a magazine article on them. I believe it was in Cycle Canada but I gave it to a friend who also passed it on. The entire province is a paradise for bike roads. Any route along the coast is twisty and scenic. The provincial government publishes tourist guides and will send them out free. I recommend you obtain them. ~ Rick Bates, Guelph Ontario, ‘86LX


Hi all, My name is Steve and I'm a new member. I have been riding smaller bikes for a while and currently own a Honda VFR750. A co-worker is thinking of selling his 1986 Cavalcade LXE (blue) in real nice shape (he wants one of those new gold wings). It has 35K miles on it, with new Metzler marathon tires, new wheel bearings front and rear. It also has one of those fork braces (it might be original, I don't know if they come with them). My co-worker is the second owner, but I know the first owner. We traded bikes for lunch today and I will be taking it home tomorrow (to show my wife). Once I got up to speed I found it more maneuverable than I thought it would have been for being such a big bike. At street speeds, it rode great, no wallowing in corners or anything.... But in the parking lots at 5mph or so (to slow to counter steer) it would wobble. It seemed that I would try to turn the wheel and it wouldn't turn right away and then I would push more and then it would turn too much and then I would lighten up and so on. It seemed to be real lose in the front end (only at slow speeds). It might have been a more top-heavy feel. Once back on the streets, it would flip back and fourth carve a turn very steady. By counter steering it would flip back and fourth almost as easily as my VFR. But I think that the handlebars are rubber mounted, it seems that you can wiggle them a bit and not move the wheel. Now for the question... Is the low speed "instability" normal? I have never ridden on anything bigger than a 1979 Suzuki GS100GL: and it seemed to have the same low speed handling issues. Is this low speed "loose-ness" normal for a cavalcade or is there something I should check out before I buy it? Also is there anything else I should check out before I decide to buy one of these. I know the guy and he says everything works and it runs fine. Visually it looks in great shape. Any thoughts or comments would be great. Thanks in advance! ~ Steve

Hi Steve ...Yep Mine handled like a overloaded wheelbarrow at low speeds till I discovered bent forks, needless to say bad fork seals, under-inflated rear tire...40 PSI will do nicely, and with a new rear tire for mega-$'s...THEN I was happy! Till last week when I discovered I needed a new rear disk and pads. But don't despair your now hooked up with a great bunch of folks that really care about their rides. P.S. Order the CD if you’re at all in doubt about what kind of special ride this is. I checked out your web site (I’m not alone with lots of scooters, cars, etc.)

Welcome...Bill the Fish Guy <:]{{{{{=<

Steve, Many of the members of this group improved low-speed handling tremendously by turning the handlebar mounts around 180°. It changes the length of the lever arm and most felt as though the low speed handling is much improved. Also, the factory fork brace seems to be too light and most that have installed the after market version have expressed improvements in feel as well. Of course, a check of the steering head bearings and the handlebar mounting bushings probably wouldn't hurt either. ~ Tracy

Steve: Your diagnosis of the low-speed handling seems to be spot-on. Given the high center-of-gravity of these beasts, they do tend to be somewhat unstable in low-speed maneuvers. Like Tracy suggested, check your handlebar mounts and if they are not ‘facing’ backward, give ‘em a twist. I used a large set of vice-grip pliers to turn mine – you may not even have to loosen the bolt that holds them on. Also, after you’ve been riding this beast a while, you really get used to it, and can anticipate what she’s gonna do and how to react. I just got a glimpse of how different she handles on Sunday, cuz I borrowed my best friend’s Honda Shadow 1100 for about 10 minutes… Brian, 87LXE in CT

Yep, I just checked the handlebar mounts and they are facing forward. There isn't much difference between forward or backward. It seems that I would gain about 1-inch rearward if I twisted them around, but I might try it tonight. I hate to work on someone else's bike, but I'll ask him if he minds me doing the work, maybe he will like it too. ~ Steve

Uh Steve, what’s the guy's phone number and what does he want for it! Just kidding,,

Should we say top heavy? The center of gravity is higher on the Cade then any other touring bike, at slow speeds its takes getting used too, I practice each new season in a parking lot, couple hrs of figure 8s an slow s turns an you will get the hang of it. (Slow maneuvers can be fun too, seeing how slow you can go), I find that you can gain some balance by throwing the outside leg out, sometimes I get quite an audience. ~ Larry 86lxe, 33,000 miles



Can any one out there in computer land tell me if the cruise light comes on when sitting still in neutral when you put the cruise control on? We checked the switch and cleaned same and we think its ok. We also re-adjusted the front hand brake... The light still does not come on. It seems like the foot brake is ok also, along with the clutch. Be really glad if any one could help point me in the right direction... Thanks and ride safe, Gary
P.S. This is my first Cade and I am really lost on this bike. My other bike was a wing and I knew it inside out.


Gary in order for the cruise control to work and the light come on you must be in 5th gear above 45 MPH.

As a new owner the best advise I can give you is to get a copy of the CD (see trailers below). The manual on CD tells of the conditions that allow cruise control to work and the ways to stop cruise control when you want to turn it off. I leave my switch in the "on " position all the time. When I want to engage just hit the set button, to turn it off hit the brakes or most often I shut it off by closing the throttle. Good Luck, ~ Al from Mass


My manual for the 86 LX says between 35 and 85 MPH and 5th gear for the cruise to engage. The light is only on while the cruise is in control. ~ Jim

Also if I'm not mistaken if the clutch switch is faulty the cruise control won't work. If the circuit is not open at the clutch switch the cruise won't work. ~ Dick Carter, Beeville, Tex.


When the gas gets high, I make a note to ride my Cade. Getting 38mpg right not, which seems much better than my SUV at 15mpg. ~ Reminds me of a story last summer. Everyone was riding their bikes due to high gas prices where I worked at the time. One of our couriers was riding a softail Harley. Of course when you park a Cade next to a softail, you begin to realize just how big a Cade is. I started joking with him. I said "Wow, that’s a really nice moped you've got there". His comment was "Wow that’s a really nice lazyboy recliner on wheels you have there!" ~ Ever since, I tell my wife I'm taking the "lazyboy" to work. Take care; don't let the gas prices trip you up to much. ~ 



Out of curiosity how many miles can we put on one of these beasts? ~ Randy, Dec, IL

Randy: How many miles DO YOU WANT to put on it????? I plan on putting BOO-KOO miles on mine, don't know what the club record is right now, but sure someone will claim one on future messages. IF proper care is taken should go as long as a WING, and I've seen them up to 100.000.00 and more. the only draw back is parts availability, and repair costs. If you're not lucky enough to do SOME OF YOUR OWN work, or have a fair
sized wallet. I've been able to curb some of the cost by simply, removing the PART that needed fixing as fork seals I took the fork tubes to the dealer and cut more than Half the cost of replacing them, simply by NOT paying $60.00 per hour for removal and installation. The biggest draw back I see is finding someone who knows how to work on
a Cade. Most of the bike shops I've been in don’t know what they are. Take care of that bike. It'll take care of you. ~ Walter n Maryland

Well, I am over 72,000 and still going strong, but there are many here who have much more than that! ~ Brian 87LXE in CT


For what it's worth. I have 87,000 miles on this old 86 LX. beast so far with no major problems and minimal money dumped into her. Still running strong as ever. ~



Came across this web site regarding the helmet laws in 50 States. I always wear a helmet but for those who chose not too should be aware of the laws in each State. You may already know about this site but it never hurts to pass info along. By the way, we really enjoy your site. Thanks for all your hard work in keeping it up to date. ~ Salli & Jon '86 LXE Colorado


86 LXE , Tu Tone Maroon. All the LXE goodies there and work fine. Has front rotor covers (ring of fire), supper brace, extra lights on rear, radio buttons replaced, extra chrome. Passenger arm rest & drivers backrest. Comes with 2 helmets with intercoms & mics. New front tire , (matching Dunlop Q's) back tire about 75% . 24.000 miles, runs and rides great. $4900 Can send pics. located in NW Indiana. Email: 


My friend’s 86 Cavalcade LXE is up for grabs. He lives in northern New Jersey. It is blue/light blue and has tons of extras and lights. It had just over 36K miles and he wants $3900 for it. The seat covers are genuine Muppet Skin too! Very rare! Anyone interested? You can either get in touch with me on this board or...   I made him a web page with my digital camera and posted it there, to try to help get the word out. Tons of pictures, if you don't have fast internet access it will take a bit to download all of them. If you know anyone who would be interested in it, please pass the word along! Thanks all! ~ Steve

Burgundy and Gray, Loads of accessories installed, New Shocks, Progressive Front Forks, New Battery, All serviced & ready to ride. Will deliver within 500 miles of Seattle. With 56,000 miles asking $4800.  Details: Within the last few years in reverse order the following improvements have been made.  1/30/01 Rear Shocks replaced, Rear Brake Pads and Fluid, rotors checked.  12/8/00 Fuel Filter, Plugs, air filter, clutch, Battery, Gear oil, Tune and service.  4/21/99 Steel braided front brake lines, Front brake caliper seals & master cylinder kit, Rear caliper assembly, Rotors checked.
3/8/97 Replace rubber intake manifolds, Thermostat, upper & lower steering bearings, Clutch Slave Cylinder, front fork seals, Install progressive front springs, Reseal secondary & final drives.
A total of $4239 + during this period. All work done by the Cavalcade Expert, Rick Gervasi, Everett, WA. Except for routine oil and filter changes. Garaged and well-maintained with maintenance records. ~ Bill Fargusson, Puyallup, WA ~ Cell 253-229-9265 E-mail  or call the Cell 253-229-9265



I have to ask this to see if I'm the only one... I rode this bike all of last summer not knowing where the 4-way flashers were. UNTIL I hit the button by accident this morning. the turn signal switch. moves up. ~ b decker


Well I found that out the day I bought the bike, but I am the kind of guy that tries anything and everything when it comes to gadgets just to see what happens. you can also make the bike speed up and slow down when the cruise is set by holding the set or resume button in. not even the crew that test drove and reviewed the Cade back in 1987 knew that. I noticed that while reading the review on the Cade CD. ~ Brian in IN, 87 tt Gray LX


Okay, I'll chime in. I was riding with another Cader and he didn't know you could cancel the turn signal by pushing down.....same thing you do to cancel the four way flashers. I read the manual on day one, anyone out there brave enough to admit they never knew how to do this??? ~ B K Walker


That other rider was me (Al California) It was very good information because my Speedo was broken and the self-canceling signals don't work. When the Speedo doesn't work. So I wouldn't use the turn signals because when I would go to cancel the signal I would turn the other signal on and so forth. Pushing the switch down to cancel was so much easier. Thanks Jerry! ~ Al California. ÖjÖ




I'm sending this, not as a self-promotion to push more Cavalcade CDs, but just as an informational piece since we appear to have a few new members. The Cavalcade CD-ROM was put together as a service to the group. Since I had a manual at my disposal, I decided to scan the whole damn thing and turn it into Adobe Acrobat files that can be opened and printed with the free Adobe reader.

Since the original project of including just the factory service manual, I received numerous other documents (some from group members) that I also included on the CD. It now includes the complete service manual, parts book, CB installation, CB service manual, Radio service manual, magazine articles of the day, ads, brochures, accessory installation instructions [about 20 of those] and a few other things I'm forgetting.

I spent a good deal of time working towards the best quality. As some of you may already be aware, it isn't the easiest task to render sharp black and white text and clear black and white photos on the same page. Depending on how one scans and the file type used, you can get either good text or good photos, but generally not both. So, I simply scanned every page that had both text and photos twice. Each page was then reassembled with PageMaker software and rendered into Adobe Acrobat files with no compression on the photos as to retain the best available quality.

Unfortunately, some of the documents weren't that pretty to begin with. The parts book, for example, was printed from a microfiche reader and then scanned so the quality is less than perfect. Also, some of the documents I received were photocopies of an original and, again, are less than perfect.

In the aggregate, though, the CD turned out to my satisfaction. And, with the editing help of some of the members that found a couple of missing pages, finally became complete. I charge a modest $22 for the CD which also covers the cost of postage to US and Canadian locations. Worldwide shipping is available and is $3 more.

If you would like a Cavalcade CD-ROM, just send me an email to and I will give you the specifics on ordering. I accept just about any form of payment and have several options available if one wants to use a credit card.

Thanks for the continuing support of this great group. And, thank you Bob Ramsey for starting it. ~ Tracy



Riding home tonight ...both turn signals quit....... The fuse is fine........ Would both bulbs stop flashing if a bulb burned out?..... Where is the flasher unit located? I have a shop manual on the way. Have to wait a few more days for it. Don't want to miss riding time. Thanks, ~ Bob Kaps

Bob, There is a self-canceling/control unit device for the flashers that hangs directly behind the left-hand mirror (inside the fairing). ~ Tracy



For all the proud new owners of the Cavalcade, Be extra careful removing the farings especially the ones that are fastened by the plastic studs that slip up into the rubber grommets. If you take a small acid brush and apply some white lithium grease you can pull the studs out or spray them with a little lube. Even liquid soap will work and should you break them off there are some repair suggestions in the archives. This is a very good source of information, as IT IS INSTANT, for all the new members this should be a must learn. You can read and read and read all about this new bike you just acquired, or that you have had for years and are just learning about. RIDE SAFE, REMOVE GENTLY! PS: once you get these parts off, coat those plastic studs with white lithium grease SOOOOOS next time they'll come apart. GOOD LUCK ~ Walter n Maryland SEEEEEEEEE ya at AMERICADE 2001



Just bought a black/gray 87 LXE.......Where has this bike been all my life? BMWs , Moto Guzzi's and always Harleys....I love everything on two wheels.....But my wife and I have never experienced such comfort on a bike.... Anybody here anything about Suzuki re-issuing the Cavalcade? And my only pic is the auto level doesn't seem to quit running when my wife and I are on it, so I have to shut it off. I am big and this is the first bike I have felt really comfortable on...Love it. ~ Bob Kaps

Bob, Welcome to the group. Glad you finally discovered comfort and luxury. Sounds like you compressor isn't working right. putting out enough to bring the level up for the sensor, that's if it will bring just you up...if not I would check the sensor. For more on both of these I would check the archives here and  ~ Dennis Vanill

Hey Group, I've not been able to get air to the passenger seat. The compressor runs and builds up pressure, coils on the valves seem to be good. I have tested the switches located on the trunk, hoses are all in place. I took the compressor connections off and cleaned them. Nothing seems to be inoperative, but still no air to the seat. Any ideas? ~ Dwayne, 86LX


Dwayne, Do you have air to the backrest bladders? It could possibly be a crimped air hose. The one to the seat likes to get crimped when re-installing the seat. Good luck.


Dwayne, There is a hose connection under the right front edge of the seat (as your sitting on it)- 2 in fact. One feeds the drivers seat and one the passenger air control panel. Check to see if the hose connections are tight. There are no clamps - hoses are just pushed onto a barbed connector. If as in my case hose fit after connecting and disconnecting became a loose fit(began leaking). When I had seat recovered cut the hose and added a new connector and made hose a little longer. fixed the leak. If rear shocks and drivers seat bladder is OK this is almost surely the problem. ~ Al from Mass


Bob, My wife and I have had the same problem with the auto leveling system. But what we have found is that if you press the button for the auto level while standing up, this will allow the bike to adjust to your passenger's weight. This usually only takes about a minute or so. If you stay seated on the bike it doesn't seem to work as well. Hopes this helps. Vada & Jeannie Cruzn in VA.


Al, I've got everything exposed. Compressor, hoses, connections the works. I don't seem to be getting anything out of the compressor to the air bladders. I think one of the valves may be stuck and not switching. I've checked all the hoses, some were a pain to trace out, and all seem to be in very good shape considering the age of the bike. I've even cleaned all four banjo fittings. No Luck! Do you know of a way to check the movement of the valves on the compressor. I know the coils move them back and forth, but I'll somewhat "scared" to put any voltage directly to them without knowing how to do it. By the way do you have an Outer Cowling Panel (L)(Gold and Brown). This is the one with the Suzuki name and the signal light on it. It's the last piece I need to finish putting this beauty back together. Thanks ~ Dwayne 86LX


When I go my 87 LXE it had had very little if any maintenance or tender loving care which resulted in many items that required much repair. The air compressor would not even air up the drivers seat or supply air to any other air requiring part. I found that most if not all air lines near the air compressor to be very corroded and clogged with dirt and or rust. I took all lines apart including the air compressor. These were cleaned and lubricated with silicone grease and installed with new O-rings. I really needed new rings for the air compressor (Does any one know where you can get new rings for the air compressor and how much they cost?). Suzuki does not sell rings for the air compressor. After cleaning and slightly lubricating the piston and old rings, the system works great with a pressure greater than 90 psi on the tire valve system and plenty of air volume for inflating the seats and etc. ~ David Williams, Evansville, Indiana, 87 LXE Black


About the auto have to just wait it out. When I'm on mine it takes about 45 sec to get adjusted. Longer when I have my 7 year old with me. It's hard to wait when you’re in a hurry. Sometimes when I can't wait any longer I go ahead and put the thing in gear and the light goes out. ~ Randy, Decatur, IL

After hearing a few lines about the compressor and auto level, I did some poking around on mine. On the top of the compressor unit, there are two short hoses held down with hex head bolts. Looked to me that they could be like the banjo fittings you find on your brake lines. So I took them off while everything else was still onboard. The bolts are hollow, grooved, with three "O" rings on them that move the air from the compressor into the banjo and down the hose. After cleaning the grooves, opening the hollow, replacing the "O" rings AND opening the hole in the banjo (Tip cleaning tool works great), applying a little lube, and putting everything back together, I found I was getting a better flow of air to the seats and the auto level seems to work a little faster. I KNOW there is one more banjo fitting connecting the compressor to the air ride (auto level) but I just have had the nerve (stones etc) to take it apart just YET. If I find the same kind of mess on that line and get the same results, I'm sure everything will be working a lot better and faster. But what I found was a MESS:>) Cleaned up easy enough, nothing tricky, but a mess as far as passing air.

Bob, Let me tell you how the automatic leveling system works. You load the bike with passengers & luggage, hit the auto level switch. The compressor comes on adding the proper air pressure to the rear shocks raising the swing arm to the proper height. When the swing arm reaches the proper height a level switch located on the swing arm turns off the compressor. To lie to the positioning switch would tell the compressor to shut off too quickly resulting in insufficient air pressure in the shocks & too little ground clearance & improper shock performance for the load. You can follow that advice if you want but the result is not a good thing. Happy trails. ~ Darryl


Here's a new one for me, I think I stripped my oil drain plug or oil pan hole for the drain plug. Anyone have this problem ? My thoughts: 1- Teflon tape carefully wrapped on the plug, 2 - helical, 3 - new plug and pan...any responses? ~ Gerry

Concerning striped oil drain hole--Automotive parts houses in Ks carry oversized drain plugs. Take your old plug with you and see if one of your parts houses might have one. ~ Tom Y '86 Blue on Blue LXE


Gerry, Parts book doesn't show an oversize drain plug, but, if you check with a dealer or Dennis Kirk, you may find an oversize metric drain plug like they sell for cars. ~ Tracy


Gentlemen: YA GOTTA REMEMBER>>> RIGHTY TIGHTY.... LEFTY LOOSEY, Unless you're looking at the Drain plug. You were probably upside down and BACKWARDS. PLACE THE WRENCH ON the DRAIN on the LEFT side of the bike and PUSH it TOWARDS the front wheel. If you place the wrench on the plug from the right side of the bike, PUSH IT towards the BACK wheel, now this is sitting beside the bike with your cheek against the side cover fumbling for the Drain plug, and finally getting the right size wrench to fit. NOW have we got this???? I think I'll change my oil tomorrow after I've figured all this out. ~ Walter



Some of you may know I recently bought a parts bike -- a 1988 LX that crashed and was totaled by the insurance company in either 1989 or 1990. It was purchased from the insurance company by someone who was always going to fix it, bought a bunch of parts, and never started. ~ So much for history I brought it home and as part of the deal ended up with a battery some where between 3 and 5 years old. I filled up the very low cells and hooked it up to a battery tender wondering if it was junk after so long. Within 24 hours green light was on the battery tender - strange things sometimes happen right? By the way, no extra hole for the probe on this Yuasa battery. The probe was inserted in one of the cells in place of a normal cell plug. ~ Last Sunday, riding with Bob Lashua he asked if I had tried to turn the engine over - remember the bike has been sitting for 10 or 11 years. Of course, I hadn't even thought of trying it. Well today had a little time, thought "What the heck." I put the battery in the bike, couldn't find any bolts to hook it up so just clamped the wires to the posts wit alligator clamps, After a little fiddling with the clamps, the dash lights came on, headlight, etc. Fuel gauge is showing FULL. – I pushed the start button fuel pump clicking away - pulled in the clutch lever and it turned over great. For a moment almost thought it would start. But I guess that would have been too much to expect. ~ So, I took the battery out. Back to the shed and the battery tender jr. I got tied up and put it out of mind. Later I went back to the bike and began taking some parts off to clean and store. But, then I noticed the gas valve from the tank was shut off. Could it be the reason it didn't start? ~ One night this week may bring the battery out again -- What are the odds??? Stay tuned for the next episode! ~ ALLEN POMERLEAU



Hey Group, I've found out some information on paint for 86-87 gold Cades. Suzuki's name for the gold color is "LeGatto Gold" I'm hoping to get more information, the formula, later this week. Ride Safe ~ Dwayne Breaux 86LX

Blake, The tan colored LX is called Legato Gold metallic, the copper colored LX is called Coconut brown metallic, the grey colored standard is called Light Charcoal metallic, the maroon colored standard is called Candy Bordeaux maroon. The above info comes from the original factory brochure that I got with my bike approx. 10 years ago. I also have a Cavalcade road atlas. The brochure does not give me the accent colors however. Hope this helps to answer your ? ~ Darryl



Hello all. My intake manifold o-rings came in today. The front intake manifolds had a couple small dry rot cracks on the outside of them. Didn't seem to be too deep, but I siliconed them just the same as a temporary measure. Put everything together tonight. There was no change at all. Still has a miss in it when it starts to warm up and idles really badly. The adapter for the compression tester should be in soon. I'll check the compression then. ~ Rick

I've got slight ticking from the right side of engine, thought it was valves but it's definitely coming from the lower part of the engine. First suspicion is one of the chains, but I don't know if an intermittent tick is anything to worry about. If I bring the rpms up a bit it goes away. ~ Branden



I have not received my CD to learn the anatomy of this engine yet.....Is there a separate fill plug for the gearbox? Thanks, ~ Nick


Nick: There are two (2) gear boxes on the Cavalcade. A primary on the rear end of the drive shaft which is filled to over-running (90W) with gear oil and a secondary one behind the left panel at the front end of the drive shaft. When filling this one with gear oil, remove the middle plug so that the oil will only fill to this level. That will be the recommended amount. Hope that this helps. ~ Floyd!


Thank can you tell me just how you check that level ....I am concerned that I might have a slow leak at the gearshift shaft and need to check that level before I have time to fix it. Thanks again, ~ Nick


Nick, Right foot peg. Little window in engine case. Bike on center stand, oil level to middle of window. ~ Tracy



Seems to me we could put a longer filter in (thus getting more media). Anybody try to find one? ~ Brenden


Brenden, Years ago my dad pained over the thought of installing a larger oil filter on his Cadillac. It had one of those half-size filters and he contemplated all manner of ways to get a larger filter on that engine. In the end, though, I told him this; if you change your oil when you are suppose to, and the engine is not destroying itself from the inside out, do you really need a larger filter? He never talked about it after that.

I cannot imagine needing a larger filter for a motor that, during the time between oil changes, would produce enough gunk to stop up that filter. And even if it did, the filter will just bypass anyway. If your motor is in such bad shape that it is plugging oil filters between changes, its probably got many problems; the least of which is the size of the oil filter. ~ There was a time that NO motorcycle had a replaceable paper filter. Be thankful for small favors. ~ Tracy


True, it was just a thought. Seems like there's tons of room down there.

As for the time when they didn't have replaceable paper filter...yeah.. But they had filters you could clean and re-use... just they weren't very good at all. ~ Brenden


I recommend an Amsoil SDF57 oil filter. It's a much better quality filter than the stock filter and its less expensive than then the stock filter, the only short fall is that it's white instead of black. It removes much smaller particles than the factory filter. It retails for about $9.40, the Factory description is below. They Offer all-around better filtration and protection than conventional filters. Full flow design for extended drain intervals and severe service. Contains a high-tech blended filtration media composed of cellulose, synthetic and glass fibers. The media sets the Super Duty apart from conventional filters in capacity, efficiency and service life. Delivers superior filtration and protection. Check out the factory link,   All the references I gave for both Amsoil and Fram are for 1985,86 "G" model Cavalcade's. I don't have numbers for the "H" models and Amsoil doesn't make a filter for the newer models, their tech staff told me that Suzuki went to an odd thread size on the newer models. You can also use the Fram PH3614, TG3614, DG3614, XG3614 oil filters. They are the same filter that fits many of the late model Suzuki cars and they cross-reference to the same Suzuki part numbers for the Cavalcade, 16510-05A00.  Ride Safe, ~ Myles L. McKeone

If they only provided substantive information. Thicker media in many cases can mean less flow and more restriction. They are touting flow-back and bypass valves but do not bother to mention what kind. (Fram for example is just a cardboard seal pressed up against the end-cap, not good).

To what 'other filters' is Amsoil referring? That link is a nice marketing piece without any substance. No offense, I'm sure it's a fine filter. ~ Branden


Does it say what AC Delco uses? I've been using their filter for some time (#1234). ~ HeyJerr

It could be entirely different on motorcycle filters. The only thing I know for sure is that I'll never use another Fram. Years ago they had a big problem with blowing out the o-ring and spewing oil everywhere. There spin-on filters were banned for some time by most racing organizations. Did they bother to recall them? No, it's just a bunch of stupid bikers anyway. ~ So, about a year after they were banned and it was a known issue, I bought one for my 1100 shadow. Imagine that while driving down the road, the filter starts spewing oil.. the Shadow has it at the same place as the Cade. Needless to say it was quite an experience getting oil all over my rear-wheel and tire while driving. Luckily I wasn't on the freeway and didn't spill. ~ So, the ones that J C Whitney sell are Emgo (for now) and I've never had a problem with them. ~ B K Walker

Can anybody tell me why I can't get more than 31 miles to a gallon? And it seems like I got a valve sticking when it's cold. It idles a little irregular too. Misses once in a while. Is it a carb problem or a bad plug or a vacuum leak? I keep running carb cleaner through it, and add mystic motor oil to the gas sometimes. The mechanic that synchronized my carbs told me to add the mystic oil to the gas. HELP! ~ Randy, Decatur, IL

Hi! I could only get an average on 31-33 myself for many years, until getting a higher flow (K&N) air filter. My carbs also required desperately, so after I had that done, I noticed my in town mileage really suffered, but on the highway gas consumption went to 38mpg. The idle jets are too rich, and I've leaned them out by "ear" and will have my shop go over them again at the next service. ~ The carbs on these things are really twitchy regarding gas mileage. They'll run at nearly any setting, but there's a "sweet spot" that will deliver optimum performance and power. The secret is in the idle mixture. My former mechanic had my beast running like a powerhouse at one time but the mileage dropped to 26mph. After reading him the riot act, he changed the mixture back. ~ Don Box


Randy, Everything you mentioned, and more, can cause low gas mileage. Start with the basics (air filter, fuel filter, plugs, idle mixture, etc), then work up from there if things don't improve (float level, slide diaphragms [at least check them], intake manifolds [maybe just o-rings], timing [doubtful, but you can check it], etc.). Hell, your riding style might even be part of the problem. If you're WFO half the time then MPG is going to suffer. In most cases, though, it's something dirty or out of whack. ~ Tracy


Try replacing your air cleaner. I know that on the Gold Wing it causes a mileage problem. ~ Bill Fargusson



Thought I'd pass along a fascinating oil filter study link, thought folks might find this interesting. Granted it's for car filters, but most bike filters now are pretty much the same.

And of course the 'venerable' oil additives article. This link is one of the many reprints all over the net:

The oil additive information is particularly useful, a long time friend of mine is a chemist for Pennzoil, and he says the results of that article are still the case today. ~ Brenden


Group: With all the discussions on motor oil, I just HAD to try Golden Spectro 4. I'm running 10w40 GoldenSpectro4 in mine with 72,000 miles. It may or may not be scientifically better, but I’ll tell ya – The engine definitely appears to run smoother, quieter, tranny shifts better, and I am very pleased with the difference. Was expensive, but I think it’s worth it – and I’ll do it again. ~ Brian, 87LXE in CT


I use Spectro 4 20w50 all year. The bike runs smooth, it takes quite a few minutes to warm up in the winter, but, it's worth it. The additives will reduce friction very well and keep the temp under control. If you can't find it, try Theu sell it for $5+shipping (10% discount to AMA members ). ~ Gerry in NY

Does any one have the horsepower and torque curves for the Cade engine? Someone said that the Cade had a rev limiter. If so, where is it located and what is the maximum RPM that it will permit before limiting the engine? ~ The book lists the type of oil as SAE 10W40. Why are some? Most? A few? Running 20W50 when the engine is water-cooled and the factory suggests that is should use 10W40? So far I have been using a good grade of 10W40 and all seems well. ~ David Williams, Evansville, Indiana, 87 LXE Black


The rev limiter for mine is right at redline – Crack that throttle open in 2nd gear on the throughway and just when it starts to get good the limiter kicks in.:) ~ Brian, 87LXE in CT


David, According to the Service Manual, the rev limiter is a circuit built into the Igniters. It limits revs under load to about 7700 RPM. With no load, revs will go higher, but Suzuki cautions about revving that high. There have been comments that Intruder igniters can be installed, but that's all I've heard. ~ Andy, Midland, TX


I just had a brainstorm today, and after replacing the intermediate gear, drive shaft, clutch shaft seals, I wanted a quicker way to check or stay ahead of these seal problems.

1. I installed a catch tube on the breather for the intermediate gearbox. Theory: if this tube fills up in a short period of time I KNOW the seal between the intermediate gear box and the crankcase has failed, allowing the engine oil to transfer.

2. I installed a small drain hole with a catch tube on the bottom of the LEFT swing arm. Theory: If this tube fills I KNOW that the rear intermediate (driveshaft seal has failed) or Plug in gearbox has fallen out. These catch tubes are my own design and are readily accessible. Very easy to do, and I can check-em at a coffee stop, and know what has to checked more often. Or to cut the trip short, and correct the problem. NOT a worry wart, just don't want to
be on a 500 mile trip and learn I pumped the intermediate dry 150 miles ago. ~ These tubes were made of light colored plastic tubing, with the attachment to the breather and drain hole with very flexible silicone tubing that allows the tubes to be stored in an out of sight location and still accessible, when you want to check on them.

For anyone interested, I would post it on the web site. I know for a fact that the one on the intermediate will work cuz that's how I figured out where the engine oil was going. I realized it was only transferring at high speeds, because the tube would fill up when the engine oil transferred into the intermediate, forcing it out the breather and into the catch tube. Then that night I'd drain the intermediate, refill the engine, and be ready for another run. BABIED IT THIS WAY FOR a year or better. RIDE SAFE CHECK DEM OIL LEVELS ~ Walter n Maryland


Something to think about when you service your intermediate gearbox: If you have drained it and are refilling it, fill to the oil level to the screw bolt hole. IF THAT PLUG HAS FALLEN OUT THE LEVEL it may not reach the fill hole till you have FILLED the ENTIRE LEFT SWING ARM, DRIVE SHAFT BOOT and all. Makes sense to me, and better than twice to three times the amount of oil the manual says will refill it.



Hello, I have a 1986 Cavalcade, with a gearbox oil leak. From reading old emails, I have figured out that the main seal between engine oil and the secondary drive is leaking. I have oil running out the driveshaft cover just above the gearshift lever. I checked the secondary oil level, and it was full. I then checked the engine oil, and it was very low. Am I correct in my guesswork? If I am right, does anyone have step by step instructions? I have the factory manual, but it is not too clear in its explanations. Also, are any special tools required for the job? I am going to try the job, mainly because I cannot afford a mechanic! But I would like better instructions than what the factory manual shows. Can anyone offer any advice? Thanks, ~ John Holbrook


John, I just tore into my final drive and secondary drive units this late winter. I followed the instructions listed on Tracy's CD and had no problems. The instructions were very easy to follow and I didn’t run into any problems or obstacles that I couldn’t figure out with my limited mechanic ability. I replaced all the seals possible so I wouldn’t have to tear it apart again in the near future. I found the best price on the seals at , less then $70 and free shipping for all 5 seals on the final drive and the secondary drive. I didn’t replace any seals on the engine however, didn’t have a problem there. (Knock on wood) you can get the CD from Tracy here- Shop Manual and Parts Manual on CD $22.00 (U.S) Contact Tracy at: Hope this helps. Brian in IN 87 tt Gray LX

IF you remove the bolts securing the SECONDARY gear box to the crankcase as the manual describes there is NO need to disassemble the GEAR BOX itself UNLESS you SUSPECT gear problems themselves. Therefore you won't get into the die color process, gear tolerances, or the shims. however the final drive HAS to be removed to be able to disengage the splines at the U-joint end. The Stator (side cover) has to be removed, you can place it on a bucket as a holder so you don't have to disconnect the wiring (BE CAREFUL with this wiring), clutch hydraulic line must be disconnected (will have to re-bleed, on re-assembly )manual says REMOVE LEFT PASSENGER foot rest (NOT NECESSARY) BE VERY CAREFUL REMOVING U-JOINT BOOT. WHILE YOU HAVE THIS GEAR BOX OFF you SHOULD also check for the PLUG that is located in the gear box itself, also check play in U-joint, splines both ends, lube before reassemble. place lithium grease on side cover holder dowels as well as the rubber grommets that secures the side cover on. removing the secondary gearbox in this manner the REAR SWING ARM DOES NOT HAVE to be removed. You might want to check the CLUTCH SLAVE cylinder while you have this down as it is bolted to the rear, of the gearbox. and future repairs or replacement involves doing this ALL OVER, take it from a dummy who didn't.

For anyone needing this information GO TO ARCHIVED MESG #14987 there is a break down of the gear box, shows seals, plug. this unit comes off in its entirety. i.e.: as a gearbox. Very time consuming job. PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE ~ Walter n Maryland

Thanks for the help. One other question, "Do I have to take off the rear wheel and final drive assembly?" Thanks, ~ John Holbrook


Yes you do, along with the saddlebags and back bumper to get the back tire off. ~ Brian in IN 87 tt Gray LX


The saddle bags and rear bumper section as well as any other added accessories, (i.e.: trailer hitch custom light bars on rear etc) the bags can be removed by the four bolts INSIDE THEM, crash bar (can be left on) the rear bumper separates at the corners. There are two 1OMM (SCREWS EACH SIDE LOOK UP UNDER)>>>RIGHT MUFFLER HANGER BOLT TO ALLOW MUFFLER TO DROP DOWN for rear axle removal. The center section of the rear License plate area. (Whole panel) Four Phillips head screws. To remove final drive after wheel removal Disconnect lower left shock and the nuts on the rear of the left swing arm this will allow you to remove final drive. Drive shaft will not come out rear of swing arm tube, as the u-joint won't allow it. Support this final drive. Don't just drop it. Pull drive shaft rearward to disengage the splines from the intermediate gearbox. Shift rod and linkage left foot peg, in its entirety. Hope this helps, if I were there, I’d give ya a hand. Remember! Patience! ~ Walter ‘n Maryland



Just thought I'd pass this info on to any one experiencing BOOT seam separation. the mold seam, seems to separate after these many years. When running under choke there seems to be a small back fire through the Carb, IF you wrap your fingers around the boots one at a time YOU will find out which one has split, or you might see it as it will open up when it spits back. I have successfully repaired two of mine with 3M MARINE ADHESIVE SEALANT FAST CURE 5200. They have held up now for 2years, this sealant is about the same hardness as the boot it's self when cured. When I repaired mine, I cleaned the splits with acetone/lightly sanded or scraped the area to apply sealant. applied the sealer approx. 3/8 wide by thickness of boot itself. let cure over night, started bike around noon the next day and WA>LA. I tried silicone first (didn't work>> too soft). this repair works, and beats the 65.00 or more each. and did it on the bike. When you start under choke you might hear this small pluff-pluff sounds like in the area of the boots (mine did) soon as I released the choke it stopped. However with these boots split, there is a chance of air entering the split and possibly burning a valve. GRANTED NEW BOOTS are the way to go. this repair can be made over night, carbs left on, and when time and money jive ya can do it right. ~ Walter ‘n Maryland

The boots on the carb are not necessarily cracked on the inside even if they are on the outside. If you happen to take one of these off you will find two tubes one inside the other. Therefore before you lay in silicone or what ever make sure you check for leaks first, you may save yourself a horrible job. ~ neals1


I found the easiest way to check for leaks is to run the engine at idle, wet a finger and hold it near where you suspect a leak. You can easily feel the air moving. ~ B K Walker



Is it possible to remove/test the regulator/rectifier without removing the fairing? It seems like I might be able to get to it from the top by removing the steering head covers.

When I checked mine I had to GET to the plugs they refer to and to do that I had to remove the right side fairing, the plugs were located in behind and close to the main frame in the vicinity of the right turn signal. The bevel gear box is located BEHIND the SMALL chrome cover on the left side of the bike is attached with 4 long bolts remove that and you will see the gearbox. the bottom of it there is a drain plug for that small GEARBOX ONLY. on top is a fill cap, chrome. there is a FILL till drip bolt it is a 10mm bolt, it is located in the center of the aft part of the casting behind the larger part that sticks out. looks like a little cast place was left to facilitate the screw. Remove this screw and fill till it just starts to come out that bolt hole. Don't forget to reinstall the till screw. And Don't STRIP the drain threads GOOD LUCK RIDE SAFE Walter n Maryland


Yeah, problem I have at this point is a (in theory) bad battery. It does seem to charge up but one cell appears to be totally dry. When I check the voltage with the engine running at idle it seems okay, but when I run it up to 1500rpms it'll go up to 16.8 volts. Racing the motor up higher doesn't seem to increase the voltage, which leads me to believe the regulator is working. I'll be picking up a new battery tomorrow (assuming I can find one).

Brenden: how have you decided you need a rectifier if you haven't checked it yet? Make sure the connections on the two small black wires, that come off the negative side of the battery are good also the double connector plug just by the battery. This plug has a tendency to get acid in it and it corrodes causing a bad negative connection to the rectifier, and causing a low voltage charging reading across the battery terminals. The rectifiers you were referring to were listed on e-bay auctions and were used. A lot of your questions can be answered immediately, if you use the archives, as all of these problems have been discussed previously we're all on the same boat, we just have to paddle at different times. ~ Walter n Maryland

Well, the 16-volt charging was a big hint. I just finished removing the right fairing and checked the regulator directly, it's definitely bad.

Check there is some info on Electrex brand, new R/Rs. The price isn't bad and the reports have been good. ~ Tracy

Brenden, Could you specify what battery you were able to get at Advance Auto that had a sensor port? I went to Advance Auto here in Rochester New York, they listed the battery in their book, but when I checked the battery there was no place for the probe. The parts person did notice that the book was specifying a Champion battery and the actual stock was a Challenger brand. I would love to know what brand and what model number you were able to use. ~ Chuck Rudd


Well, the battery I had didn't have a 'sensor port' per se, it just had the sensor plugged in place of the standard plug. The one I got was a challenger and had large green screw in plugs, so I simply drilled a hole to make a snug fit for the sensor. Appears to work fine, I've got about voltage at the sensor. The only down side I can think of is that the sensor may indicate low battery earlier than the actual low mark. Seems like not too big a deal to me. ~ B K Walker


I just recently had the same problem, There was a wire from the rectifier off and the stator was running full tilt. Check the wiring and see if that is the case. ~ Gary 86 LX, Whitby Ontario, Canada

Gary, I have the same problem. What color and where is the wire to the rectifier? Just put a new battery in and no change. Didn't find any loose wires, but didn't know what I was looking for when I made the check. Thanks, ~ Dennis, 86 LX



TICKING noise could be hydraulic lifter? What weight oil are you running, how many miles on bike engine??? If you're running less than 20w 50, and lotza miles might try oil change? Again you can use the old garden hose stethoscope idea to locate maybe where the TICKING is coming from. RIDE SAFE ~ Walter n Maryland


I usually use a long aluminum or steel rod. You know, I'm running 10w40 per the manual....but the bike does have 41000 miles on it. I think I've even got lots of 20w50 (left over from my Bandit)... I'm pretty sure the ticking is coming from the area where the water pump is, I thought it was a lifter at first though. Should I switch to 20w50? I'm thinking I should and I need to do another oil and filter change (I dumped the oil right after I bought it, but no filter).

I recently started noticing the same type of noise on the right engine side but it shouldn't be wear as the bike only has 28k. I bought it 2 years ago at 17k. I'm thinking oil as at the end of last year I switched to a synthetic blend. I like to use a long shanked screwdriver to listen to noises. (Walter - looking forward to meeting you at Americade.) ~ Roy from MD.


It could be the water pump. ~ Gerry in NY



After an 85+mph spring weather inspired speed burst I slowed the Cade and was snapped back to reality with a funny noise from the rear. Oh My Gosh! This one really could have spelled disaster. A rear brake rotor ...1986 late model.. mine's shot and I need a new one. The first instinct was to go see a Suzuki dealer...but nah, how 'bout the Cade group, they'll know! Ok Guys where's the best deal on a rear rotor, and while I'm at it some fresh pads. Does anyone have a thread on the various types of pads and rotors and what are the differences? Thanks in advance ...Bill the Fish Guy <:]{{{{{{=<


I just replaced my front brake pads and noticed that there were no shims behind the old pads when I removed them. Is this something that is supposed to be there? The shop manual shows them in the diagram. When I replaced the rear ones the shims were there. ~ Craig

Craig, Maybe the pads are after market and specifically DON'T require the shims. ~ That's just a guess, though. ~ Tracy


Craig, this past winter I changed mine. Front pads were original with 44,000 miles on them. I bought the bike new so I am sure they were stock and original. There were no shims and the replacement EBC's work great. Use Disc Brake Quiet and no more squeals. ~ Al from Mass



Has any one had trouble getting their brake lights to come on? I have put new switches, bulbs & tried to find a short. The brake light will just not come on. This is the only thing keeping me from riding. I have been working on the bike for 4 Months. ~ Dennis R.


Dennis, First you check the light socket see if is getting power if not take the meter and check every plug from the light back to the switches until you find power. You should find the problem. It most likely is a bad connection. ~ Bob


I had problems with lights before on my 86 Cade. Check the brown wire under the ignition switch. Mine broke off. ~ BobL


I've been having a running battle with the right tail light wire, When I got the bike the trailer running lights converter was on it ,. worked fine for awhile then lost power through that wire, indicator showed taillight out. Subsequently, I replaced the converter and routed the trailer lights through the left side. No problem with trailer lights and the wire had power again. It worked ok for a while. Now I have a dead wire, (no power), all along the frame. I'm not going to breakdown the faring at this time' (unless I must) too much riding to do, this summer, Americade, and Canadian Rockies tour), with too many extra shifts to pay for the riding. So I've powered the right tail light with the license plate wiring, but my problem is the ok unit knocks out the indicators, an will only show "tail light out". ~ My temporary solution is to ground the original tail light wire. This does cancel the ok unit telling me I have a light out, so my display is back. ~ Just for insurance I put an inline fuse, 5 amp., on the grounded wire. In case a bounce, jiggle or the ghost of T. Edison puts power back to that line. I figure I got a burned wire somewhere or loose connector at the head, but doesn't the ok unit show there is continuity when I ground the wire??

Someday I’m gonna learn about DC circuits, for now I'm fumbling with what little knowledge I have. All opinions and comments are welcome to this temporary solution. ~ Larry


Corrosion is usually the culprit, either in a connector or a ground where it grounds to the frame. Sometimes, simply loosening and re-tightening the connection will do the trick. Another thing to look at with bulbs is the connections on the bulb. The bulb may be fine, but the connecting point being a bit indented will cause a loose connection. Most times, cleaning up the connection does the trick. A little contact cleaner can help too.

Larry, The part that's giving you the problem is 38860-24A00 -Relay lamp outage warning-. It is located under the left fairing half next to the headlamp. It's called a relay but does have replaceable components in it if you are so inclined. I have found these burned out on 2 Cades both pulling trailers without a load isolation circuit to the trailer lights. If you do replace it, also put some dielectric grease on the 2 connectors on the unit to stop corrosion. These connectors are open to the elements and tend to cause intermittent operation of components such as the headlamp when corroded. ~ Phil, 86LX


OK, we're talking about the same thing, What is replaceable in the box? And why is it that if you ground the rear turn light wire it causes it to work again? ( Is it grounding the hot wire? or providing another ground for the ground wire for the lamp that causes this?) Mine is temperamental at times - shows a fault for the rear lamps, then corrects itself within a few seconds, or minutes. But probably either way on it's way out. I did pick up a used unit from Blair - that I assume works OK. I replaced all of my bulbs this past winter and cleaned all of my connections, changed instrument lights etc. Never knew my instrument panel looked so good! ~Denny Potoczky


Would this have anything to do with an intermittent display? I keep getting the "taillight out" message but the lights are fine. Luckily my voltmeter has a clock on it. ~ Jerry


Jerry, You need to check the wiring to see that no one else has done creative wiring like I did to bypass the system, if not then it could be a ground, or the ok unit (relay). If I was getting an intermittent display, I'd first check for loose connector, also have someone follow me over some bumpy roads and watch if one of the lights flicker. ~ Larry



A friend of mine has a Cavalcade with 56,000 miles on it. He said the shaft and clutch are rattling. The shop nearby said for $2000, they could fix it. Do you have any other options for me to give to him. This seems a little high. Is this a problem common to this model? When I had a Suzuki GK1100 GKD (they’re first loaded tourer '83); someone told me the shaft would go out at 30,000. ~ Dino


That definitely needs more info. Rattling could be anything. Grab the driveshaft housing and see if it moves at all, check all the bolts including the ones at the gearbox. I wonder about the clutch rattling? That's on the other side..... ~ B K Walker


Dino: Can't say as it a problem common to these bikes, and RATTLING covers a lot, could be the torque rod to the REAR Caliper. I'd think that IF the CLUTCH is Rattling It CERTAINLY should be slipping??? However the U-joint could be bad, that has to be inspected you can QUICK check it by placing the bike ON the center stand IN 1 gear and see APPROX. how much slop is there when you rock the rear wheel Back and forth by hand. Intermediate gear box might have been run DRY causing the bearings in there to go bad, while the bike is on the center stand place it in neutral and spin the rear tire by hand and see if you can determine if there is any noise coming from it, as the drive shaft will spin the intermediate gears and bearings. The intermediate gearbox is BEHIND the Small chrome cover left side of bike. would need to know all the SYMPTOMS????? The water pump also has a chain driving it on the RIGHT side of the bike that if stretched might rattle. While bike is on center stand, start it up at idle place it in 1st gear and let the drive line rotate, see if you can locate the rattle. WATCH FINGERS FEET and shirtsleeves. Take a piece of garden hose and use as a Stethoscope, maybe you can determine UNDER which COVER the rattle is coming from. GOOD LUCK & WATCH THOSE FINGERS and BODY PARTS when you do this. ~ Walter n Maryland

Hello Jay, I "m the new owner of 86 LXE, J C Whitney as windshield for it $79.00. But clock does not work. The compressor comes on if I hold the button. But air does not come out the top of he fitting so I can air up a tire or so, I like the web page its been a lot of help fix some of my problems. ~ Milton

Welcome Milton. I have installed the windshield from JC Whitney - they are made by Slipstreamer and are a replacement for the stock Suzuki windshield. Suzuki dealers charge about $140 for one. As for the clock, I have, 2 spare digital panels, but it looks like a real chore to change. If everything else works, buy a $2 or $3 clock and stick it on - after a year or 2 buy a new one seems like the easiest thing to do. If you are a new owner, I would really be helpful to get the CD from Tracy (see trailers at the bottom of the email). The compressors main functions are to inflate the seat bladders and the rear shocks. To use the Schrader valve to inflate tires you need the air hose which screws on then put the bike in neutral, and push the auto-level button and hold it in air should come out of the hose. If not check to make sure compressor is working - will it inflate the seat cushion? Hope this helps, ~ Al from Massachusetts PS Where are you from?



Question, for you Cade riders. Have any of you experienced a problem with your clutch losing pressure. Mine seems to being doing this after riding for about 50 miles or so, especially when the weather is hot or above 60 degrees. Have changed the fluids and have completely bleed the whole system to make sure their is not any air in the lines any were. Lately I've even noticed that I'm losing clutch pressure just from sitting for a short period of time, any assistance would be greatly appreciated. ~ Big V, Cruzin in Va.


Mine did that and I had the fluid changed in it and it stopped! ~ Thunderbat


Big V, I seem to recall some of the other members having clutch woes as well. Firstly, are there any signs of leakage from anywhere in the system? I assume that what you describe as "losing pressure" is the loss of lever (having to pump it once or more times to actually get pressure in the system). From my car brake days, that describes a wear problem whereas the brake shoes are too far away from the drums and it takes a pump or two to get them out to meet the drums. However, since the Cav clutch is "self adjusting", that shouldn't be the case. And, since the Cav master cylinder is much higher than the slave is, any air in the system would naturally gravitate up to the master cylinder. Even after you pump the lever to get pressure in the line, the air that was pushed down the line simply migrates right back up starting the whole scenario over again. I would suggest a thorough bleeding is in order. Some of the guys have even pumped fluid from the bottom up (actually the best way to bleed the system). You probably have just a small amount of air in the upper end of the system that gets into the master cylinder again and again. I just replaced some front brake lines on a Katana and found that I had to go back a bleed them a couple of times to get the lever to feel right. With a clutch, since it doesn't "lock-up" like brakes, is it much harder to discern when there is air in the system. Otherwise, if you're sure you have all of the air out, then you need to either rebuild the master cylinder or the slave cylinder, or both, to get rid of the problem. Another question, did it do the same thing before you changed the fluid????? If it didn't, then I would presume that you have air on the system. ~ Tracy

Are you using DOT 4 fluid ? If not, that may be one reason. If it's not the fluid, check the master cylinder, it may be going bad. ~ Gerry in NY

To find the answers to DOT 3 4 & 5 brake fluids go here,2669,SAV-0104020004,FF.html

~ Jerry 86LX



Hi everyone, I have a problem with over heating, on highway the temperature > stay at normal but driving at low speed in city the bike overheat does anyone know what might be the problem thanks. ~ Jean


Jean, Need more information. Normally in hot weather gauge will read about 1/4 to 1/2 of the range when driving. When stopped or in town, gauge will go as high as 3/4 and then radiator fan should run. So this said, does your cooling fan run when gauge gets to the upper range? If not, could be fan sensor or the fan motor. Also make sure to check coolant level. ~ Jerry '86 LX Wis.


Jerry, the gauge read 1/4 when driving on the highway. In the city I had to stop the bike because the needle was in the red section. I don’t remember hearing the fan. Coolant level is ok. ~ Jean

Jean, When the fans kicks on, you will hear it as well as feel the heat from it. Check all fuses first. The sensor for the fan is mounted in the radiator on the left side under the inlet neck. You can unplug the connector, jumper the plug, start engine and note if fan runs. If it does, sensor is bad. If not, check for power at plug on one wire with engine on. if there is power then check fan motor. Broken wire or bad motor. You can go to the motor connector and jump it off a 12v source to see if it operates independently. Jerry, '86LX, Wis.


Jean, Also for your information; the orange wire comes from fuse block to the noise filter to the fan motor. The black wire with white tracer goes from the fan to the noise filter to the thermostat switch. The black wire with white tracer goes back to the wire harness and is common ground in wire harness, which ends at battery frame ground. You should have 12v at fan motor on orange wire with switch on. If so ground black with white tracer to turn fan on with switch on. hope this explains this a little better. ~ Jerry 86LX Wis.

Jerry, thanks a lot for your help, I bypassed the switch and the filter like you told me and the motor of the fan is working, so it’s probably the switch? Could it be the filter (black box) or for sure it’s the thermostat switch. Do you know if that switch is still available and if I need a part number to order it? again thanks again for your help ~ Jean Quebec city


Jean, Part no. for thermostat switch 17680-24A01 check for availability. I don't think noise filter could cause open circuit. ~ Jerry 86LX Wis.


Hi Jean, I had the same problem and had to replace the noise filter. This is located on the left-hand side of the bike. (As you sit on it). If you take off the little chrome grill on the lower part of the fairing (assuming it is a LX), you should be able to see the fan and the sensor on the radiator. The noise filter is beneath a ledge but you can feel it if you put your hand inside. The easiest way to check if the fan is working is to disconnect it and run take a live feed and a return from the battery or else where and connect straight to the fan, if it turns your fan is OK. If you can bypass the noise filter and see if the fan comes on as the temperature gauge reaches 3/4 up the scale, if the fan comes on you know that it is the noise filter, if it doesn't then it is your radiator sensor. Dave UK


Now that the temperature here in West Texas has reached the century mark for the first time this year, I also have that 'problem,' but I consider it normal. Running at highway speeds, or for a short while around town, the temperature remains normal. However, as I remain caught in slow-speed traffic I can see the gauge climbing, and then the fan comes on. It doesn't remain on for long, and goes off almost immediately as I regain speed in traffic. Considering the climate here, I feel this behavior is normal. ~ H F Anderson



I have Dunlop Elite II's on mine and I love them. They wear like steel too. I think I got about 10,000 miles out of the last rear tire. ~ Rick

I’m new here, but have had my cavalcade nearly two years. I got 24,000 miles on elite II Dunlops, with no tread left on rear, and some on the front. So I just replaced both front and rear with Dunlop Elites, which I mail ordered from Chapparrells. I got good price and good service. ~ Peter Linden



Guys, I've an 86 LX. In a rebuild of the seat done over a year ago, the upholsterer found an extra air bladder in the driver's section of the seat, but not connected. The air bladders in the rear were, and still are, connected to the standard rear control unit. I've now run the air line for the front out the bottom of the seat, but it's still not connected. I've reviewed the Parts Manual and have found a reference to what I believe to be a separate control for the driver's seat, listed on Page 36 of Tracy's CD Parts Manual, however my GDG model doesn't have such a control. It appears that the front control was an option not installed on my bike. Has anyone retrofitted this unit? Does anyone know if they're still available? Has anyone tried splicing into the rear seat line to simultaneously inflate the driver's seat? Does anyone know how many air bladders are in the air seat? I've purchased a spare seat from another member for use as a basis for either a Corbin rebuild or a Day-Long rebuild, and it is a non-air seat. Therefore, I'm assuming it's item 1-1 on page 34 of the Parts CD. My particular Owner's Manual makes no reference to a controllable driver's seat. Does anyone have any such reference? Is it supposed to work like the rear? Since my wife doesn't ride with me for now, I'm thinking of using the rear control exclusively for the front. Has anyone tried such a hookup? Thanks in advance, Andy Midland, TX


Andy: This past fall I replaced the seat on my lx with a new one from Suzuki. But it was for an LXE with bladders in both the drivers and passengers seat. To make the front seat air bladders operational I opted for two squeeze bulbs. I extended the air lines to the rear of the seat and placed the squeeze between the rear of the seat and the trunk. It works fine. I just can't adjust it while riding. The squeezes are like the ones the doctor uses to take your blood pressure. Squeeze 'em up, turn the knob, bleed them down, they can also be purchased from Johnson Controls corp. It beat looking for the switch and wiring harness from the LXE. ~ Walter n Maryland


Walter, Good idea. Hadn't thought of that. Andy idea how to contact Johnson Controls? ~ Andy

Andy: Contact a local company that works on PNEUMATIC building controls (heat or air conditioning) Check your local MEDICAL supply EARLY FORD Thunderbirds say late 70 into 80's with LUMBAR seats used them also. IN the building trades we call them. SQUEZZEE bulbs DUH!!!!! ~ Walter n Maryland



Has anyone here adapted steel braided brake lines to their Cade? The manual recommends changing the front brake lines every 5 years, and my original stockers are 16 years old now. So I’m looking at upgrading the lines if possible. ~ Spike


You can get Goodridge steel brake lines from J & P cycles. They are made by length and by connector. You measure the length and fitting size and order them. I've been told by a couple of Dennis Kirk reps that they did that on their Cavalcades a few years ago and love them., if you have a catalog, they're on page 469. I just tried the web site and they didn't list them. But, they are in the catalog. ~ Gerry in NY

Spike: Al from Mass. Sent an email a while ago about that very thing. Quoted from that email below:

"There has been some discussion lately of stainless steel brake lines for the Cade. Here is what I've learned or have been told by various people:

#1 Suzuki mechanic - he has never known of a Cavalcade brake line to go bad in normal service. His only advice was to check for age cracks in the rubber lines.

#2 Stainless steel lines are available from Motorcycle Accessory Wholesale as a special order. $105 for 3 line front set. This is from their web site.

#3 Cost of buying a new standard set from Suzuki: Upper line (If available - currently showing as discontinued) $67. Two bottom lines are $58 each. Connectors on the bottom lines are special - not banjo bolts. Fitting on the end of the lines actually screws into the caliper. This was from the owner of a motorcycle salvage yard. He has a set from a 1988 Cade. Note 85-87 takes one set -- 88's are different. This is verified (?) I think by Motorcycle Acc. Whse their set fits 85-87. I could not see a mention of a set for the 88's. Salvage yard owner's recommendation was "don't fix what isn't broken" and if you are going to change lines MAW prices are a real bargain.

#4 I am assuming LX lines on their site will also fit the LXE's -- Lines are listed as Special Order Items. (05771) $104.95 Russell Front Brake 3 Line Kit Special Order #09046.

Front Rear Clutch
GV1400GD CAV. LX 85-87 R09046 05771 R09069 05730 R09108 05726

Russell Brake and Clutch Lines: Hydraulic lines designed to wear well under pressure. Teflon lined, steel braided lines for smooth fluid transfer. High burst strength and reduced Line expansion. Cadmium coated end fittings to prevent corrosion. Some Russell Brake Lines are Special Order items, which could take 4-6 weeks. You will be informed when you order if your application applies. I've decided to stay with my stock lines for now, but hope this helps anyone looking. ~ Al from Mass" ~ Brian, 87LXE in CT


A few months ago someone, Bob Lashua, found a site that sells braided stainless steel brake lines for the Cavalcade. Fronts are expensive, you need 3 pieces and the connectors are special - not regular banjo bolts. I was told by a Suzuki mechanic I trust that the Cavalcade lines almost never go bad. I was going to change mine and I have a spare set, but changed my mind and did not install them and mine have been in use for 11 years. ~ Al from Mass



Thought I'd pass this on as an informative note. As most of you know POLISHES like Blue Magic, Semi-chrome, and some of the other metal polishes IN reality have NO abrasive material to their media. And the abrasive is simply what you are using to apply the polish, be it NEWSPAPER, PAPER TOWEL, T-shirt, or BURLAP BAG. Can you get the picture? I have been able to bring mirror like life to dingy engine cases by starting out with 00 steel wool and working down to T-shirt or even cotton balls. On MY virago the aluminum had sat under an apple tree for 5 years, it required starting off with 400 wet or dry sand paper, and continuing down with the abrasive media to the flannel shirt. Of course once the anodization that the factory puts on it, or that ever it is REMOVED it becomes necessary to polish more often and to seal it with a good paste wax. The process that these polishes use is instant oxidation as you rub it onto the metal you are polishing therefore the BLACK residue when polishing ALUM. MAG, and the softer metals. try this on a Soda can with OO steel wool and you will see what I mean. When polishing out plastics most plastic cleaners and polishes have a VERY fine abrasive in them esp. the scratch removers, but for SLIGHT stone scratches, you could start with 400 or 600 wet or dry sand paper, and it works the same way decrease the grit of the polishing media. However care must be used in plastics so as not to DISTORT the view, and all polishing must be in the same direction, you can practice this on a small piece of Plexiglas or acrylic. Also, a very fine polish for Plexiglas and acrylic IS BLUE MAGIC applied with a terry cloth towel and polished with the same, also remember ONCE you drop this towel on the ground, it only takes one grain of sand to spider web a BRAND NEW WINDSHIELD. Hope this was good information for some one wanting to polish out those FORK tubes, or attempt to clean up a windshield. RIDE SAFE ~ Walter n Maryland


I found amazing results with just OOOO steel wool and WD40. Talk about a rust chaser! ~ kgdd


Is there anyone out there that might have some information about where one could purchase a dash cover for a 1986 Cavalcade. I seem to remember some time ago that one of our members mentioned something about purchasing a cover in the California area. Any way, if anyone has ant info about this, please let me know. Less than a month till Americade. Is anyone planning on getting together at the Batters Cage for a group ride? I missed it last year because of the awful rain storm that we got caught up in on the way. ~ Butch Trombley


I was the person doing the dash covers. I no longer work where I did when I could get them done. My connection does not at exist at this time. I will attempt to reconnect if I get enough interest, though. ~ Jerry


I went to the local bike shop in Indy and purchased a set of lights that probably go on a crotch rocket for turn signals. They light up the road and dress up the front forks very nicely. They have aluminum backs that match the forks very well. I just used the holes on the side of fenders and taped wires to the brake lines. It looks great. ~ Frank in Indy 86LX



I received my backrest today. Installed in less than an hour. Looks very nice and is built very well. No bars for the wife to bang her knees on, which translates into less pain for me (she gets bruises, I get bruises lol). I highly recommend it to anyone who would like a driver’s backrest. Utopia was very pleasant to deal with. ~ Jerry 86LX



Mine seems to rattle around a bunch, I'm wondering if I'm missing a spring or something. All it's got are two mounts at the top (that allow the bottom to move out) and two hinge affairs attached to the bottom. I wonder if there's supposed to be some sort of hinge? Or perhaps this is normal? ~ Branden


For this mirror to work as designed the hinges should be in the down position. This will give the mirror the two positions of adjustments as stated in the owners manual. Also, the mirror will have less movement when Cade is ridden and bolts and nuts will stay tight. Push the hinges in the up position to compare the two. The magnet on mine is too weak to hold the lid up so I'm using a rubber band until I think of something else. ~ LU


Branden, There is an assembly which attaches to the lower part of the mirror and connects to the trunk lid. If this is in place and functionally correct, friction should hold the mirror at the angle you place it, until you close the lid. If you check on Tracy's CD/ROM you should be able to find this assembly. ~ Jay


I think I'm going to replace the front speakers pretty soon. Anybody have any good suggestions? I presume the speakers are 3.5 or 4"? Is there room to mount those itty bitty tweeters? I have noticed that even with the volume all the way down, there's a bit of hiss coming from the speakers. It doesn't seem to be related to the volume level very much. I'm guessing that this is just noise from the amplifier, but is it normal? ~ Brenden


Brenden: The speakers are indeed 4". When you mention the tweeters are you talking about the coaxial center-mounted ones? If so, then yes they fit fine. ~ Brian, 87LXE In CT


Brenden, I, too, bought 4" woofs and also bought a set of separate, surface-mount tweets. I think that's the way to go for the best sound (I'm an ex-sound engineer for a band and like bi- and tri-amped systems). The real challenge, though, is to fashion a "box" to install the woofs in to get the best bass performance. There's not a lot of room in there, but I think it's worth some effort. The speaker doesn't care what the shape of the box is and it could be fashioned from foam/fiberglass to make up the needed shape and get enough interior volume. Now THAT is something that deserves thought! ~ Tracy


Brenden, I replaced my speakers with Kenwood's KFC-1077 speakers(built-in tweeters)...they work great, especially when I hook up the mp3 player with the cassette adapter. Tunes! Gotta have 'em! Good luck, Dan in D/FW


Brenden, try sierra electronics, they sell helmets with the headsets installed for as low as $200. ~ Bob Tooker

But, did you notice that if you buy the headset and helmet separately it's $10 cheaper? Plus I never buy helmets on-line, if it doesn't fit properly it's worse than not wearing a helmet at all. Perhaps I can find a local shop that stocks Nolan.

True, but I for one would actually spent the extra $10 – that way I am sure they are installed correctly – and if I have any complaints they can receive them. ~ Brian, 87LXE in CT


True.. I just love putting things together though, not to mention I feel they should offer a discount for purchasing them together because it allows them to move more product. One thing that bothers me though, it seems they have a monopoly on this market....barring OEM.

Chatterbox now sells a headset kit for helmets similar to the one sold by J&M and at quite a bit less. They claim it will work on Cavalcades. ~ Rick  It's listed as a Noise Reducing Headset - list price $99.95 Note that if you use Internet Exploder it will try to install a Korean text display component on demand, it's not necessary. Personally I don't think the price is low enough for a headset of unknown quality. Of course that's the list price. So might be available cheaper. ~ b k walker


The set I picked up (not yet installed) was their SKU number 440046, OEM# CBDNR-FFVB. They have both an audio version and a voice version - this is the full face helmet voice version. Their web site is or ~ Rick


Hello Again, I'm Micky "Gray 87 LX" and I'm looking for some additional parts. I was looking to extend the Intercom to the driver and passenger. Does anyone know where I might locate the extensions needed to make the
connections possible? ~ Additionally, The stock speakers on my Cavalcade where in poor shape when I purchased the bike in 2000. I found that the Polk 4" coaxial speakers from Circuit City seem to work real well. The cones are made of a plastic material that is resistant to the weather. I'll keep the group informed if any adverse effects are noticed. ~ Micky "Gray 87 LX"

The local Circuit City is VERY proud of their 4" speakers - both the Infinity and the Polk are $79.95 per pair.

Micky, The DIN connections for the headsets are located under the tank cover. You will need to remove it to plug the extension lead wires into them and then route them to the dash and backseat area for the headsets to plug into.
Where are you from, Micky?? How long have you had your Cade?  I have one just like yours, bought it last year and love it. And this group is a great asset to Cade owners. ~ I got my intercom headsets and cords from ...... or you can check or and I'm sure there are others that other members can recommend. I hope this helps. ~ Brian in IN


Just wanted to say thanks to all the good people that directed me in the repairs on my radio/stereo. The Clarion radio is, to say the least, different. But, the new switches are in place and she is making sweet music again. Thanks ~ T. Moore




Volt Meter - $36.95 (picture) Monitors battery level. Never run out of juice again! Solid state design. It's easy to install. Waterproof. 100,000 hour guarantee. Horizontal and vertical face plate included. Measures 2¼"W x 1¾"H. Suggested Retail $59.95. ¼"W x 1¾"H. Suggested Retail $59.95
See their site: ~ BobL


Bike died, battery drained. charge up the it runs great till battery drains the "little battery light on dash" comes on just before it dies. The manual says low battery water, but it's full. No dealer here in Indy will work on my Cade, says "It's too old." Can anyone help me? Thanks ~ Danny

Danny, It sounds like a stator or rectifier problem. Do you have Tracy's CD or a service manual which outlines a test for output of stator and rectifier? Maybe some of the Indiana or Ohio members can recommend someone to service it? ~ Al

I'm new to this group and a new owner (almost a week now). I bought the 86 LX knowing that it might have problems with the charging system, so my plan was to order a stator and r/r unit and replace them both. I figured that I might end up with a spare part. Called Willie's and he has no core. I haven't had time to trouble shoot the thing yet
so I'm not sure I even need the part, but if not I wanted a spare. My question ... anyone have a spare core that they could part with? My vacation is 2nd week of June, durn it! Let me know if you have one and how much. Thanks ~ Jim

Hey Jim, I just got a stator from Rick’s motorcycle, which is listed at same place as Willies. Give them a call they should have what you need. ~ Tom, ‘86LX



I have been approached by several of the newer members of the group for pins and patches. Any extra which others or I bought when we ordered them are long gone. I posted a message in the early spring about maybe getting another order together but the response at that time wasn't enough to make minimum quantities from the supplier and I said I would try at another time. Well, let's try it again. Anybody who doesn't know what the pin/patch design looks like can see it posted on the site, pictures page 4 at the bottom. The pricing in the order info was for the 10" patch. More popular were the 4" patches that I think cost us $3.10 on the original order, pins being $2.00 each. These prices may be off a little at that was a while ago. Pricing depends on quantities ordered. As before, I'm not looking to make money...just provide a service to our members so cost will be passed on with just postage/shipping costs added. Anyone wanting more information or wanting to be put on a list for the pins and patches please respond to .  I will, in about a month (after Americade), take a total count of what is wanted....maybe this time we can get an order together. If so I will notify all interested in details.

Safe and happy riding to all... ~ Dennis Vanill, 


I have the following body parts for sale: 1. Trunk 2. Saddlebags 3. Fenders (front & rear) 4. Side covers 5. Faux Gas Tank The parts are in excellent condition and are brown & gold. $1,000.00 plus shipping. Rob Wynne, Fresno, California (559) 281-5030


Last call for this newly reconditioned Clarion Radio/cassette and owners manual for the Cade. Three bills for radio, shipping included and 5 bucks for manual. Going to eBay shortly. Thanks. X Cader. Too much bike for me. And too top heavy. I'll stay with Shadow. ~ Stu


I will be selling my rotor covers. They are not OEM Suzuki, but they are nice. They have a few scratches on them but I think you’d have to be close up to see them. I wanted to offer them to the group first, before I ‘eBay them’. I will be looking for about $50 (incl. s/h)… Anyone interested? ~ Brian, 87LXE in CT


Dan Wells he is selling the trailer hitch off 86 Cade I think it is by Markland not sure what he is asking but I believe it is between 75 & 100$ call for sure price. Home phone - 303-933-7464 work - 303-932-9155. Either number is OK through the day. At night (after 5) it is best to use the house phone. Thanks again. ~ Dan


I have a light bar for sale that will fit the LX with the stock front bar with no lowers. light bar is to add extra driving lights. Price is $35.00 plus shipping. (Yep, made by Markland ) Email: 


Folks, I found a heel/toe shifter off a bike in a salvage yard near Riverside, California. Found them on the web; . They were very easy to deal with. I haven’t seen the bike and I got the impression that the plastic parts are all gone. But if you needed switches and such, they might have them.

I have a set of gold lowers, (Adjustable air Vent Fairing set) to trade. I would like a headset as an even trade. The only thing that I know is missing is part # 17 the left cowl that I needed for my bike. I just don't want to get into tearing down all that plastic. ~ Dan in DFW TX



Hey everyone, has anyone tried these people? They are in Harrodsburg, Kentucky... Lee's Inc.: 859-734-5150 ~ I was on the Suzuki Madura group. That group claims they have hard to find parts at 'reasonable prices'... might be worth checking out... BTW, I've been lucky in the fact that I've been driving JUST within the parameters of my Guardian Angle. 8-) * knocking wood just to be safe* ~ Joe Cader



I've been searching the archives and it seems the only after market muffler option is rather expensive (so far). One message mentioned 2" OD, I couldn't figure out exactly what was measure on that as when I checked the output from the pre-muffler it's 1 3/4" on my '88  Which brings my next thought. JC-Whitney has a 32" long turn-down muffler that will fit 1 3/4" OD pipes. According to my measurements, that puts the output under the saddlebags at the rear. These pipes are ~70, they have 32" fishtails for ~60. The price seems right to me, just wondering if anybody has ever tried this?

I too have seen those pipes and wonder what kind of exhaust tone and effect on performance they (the 32") would have? I would go for a little more rumble myself for the thrill and to be heard by some motorist! ~ Nick


I've used similar 'cheapo' mufflers on a variety of motorcycles (CB450 twin, '67 Triumph T100, KZ750..etc) and found that they tend to sound pretty good and flow okay but not so much extra flow that carb work is required. I have a feeling that we could run straight out the pre-muffler on these babies without much worry due to the very restrictive intake. One of these days I'll get around to putting a couple of big holes in the air box and re-jetting.... ~ b k walker


Just getting a feel for how changing the muffler (and not the pre-muffler) affects jetting on the Cade. I have a feeling that between the pre-muffler and the restrictive intake, no significant flow changes will happen. Ordered the 32" generic mufflers from J C Whitney. As soon as I get them (and get them on) I'll post details, pics and perhaps a sound file. The last is of course assuming I *don't* have to pull the carbs and shim the needles.... and/or change the mains. ~ b k walker

Brenden: No matter how free flowing the exhaust is, there is still restricted intake port of about 1/2" x 4" in the air-box cover. You just ain't gonna get much more air in there if you leave the box lid on. Many in the group have switched to K&N and Amsoil air filters and didn't require a re-jet. Personally, I believe that the less-restrictive air cleaner element is probably affecting airflow in the motor more than your new mufflers will. Some of the members have adjusted the idle screws to gain a little enrichment. Even though they're only good for a little, they will richen the mixture over the entire RPM range. I think that would be more than enough to compensate for the change that you are doing. ~ Tracy


Thanks, that's what I thought. When I was fixing the wimpy HP on my '98 Bandit 1200 (95hp) one of the first things I did was cut a 2" hole in the air box and re-jet. That along with a less restrictive muffler ended up getting my rwhp up to 116. Removing the air box entirely and going to K&N pods pushed rwhp up to 128 and 80ft lbs. of torque.... Much better! If only the carbs on the Cade were easier to get to...and I guess I don't want to do too much performance modifications...mostly just wanted better sound.



I have discovered today that I very much could use a back-rest. So I am in the market for a drivers backrest. Preferably an original equipment piece. I am not very qualified in the manufacturing and installing of anything other. If you have any leads or knowledge of this, please let me know.  Bike-1986 LX tan/brn Cavalcade (Black seats) Thanks, ~ T. Moore


Go Utopia, I've ordered mine it will be built about 6/1/01. They are very accommodating. ~ Jerry 86LX


Jerry: Where did you get those highway boards? The ones I have now will not allow me to install the cornering light panels because the clamp is too thick. ~ Brian, 87LXE in CT


I got them from Road Rider in San Jose. I can't remember the manufacturer, but they fit '80-'87 Honda GL, part # DS-720210. I paid $99.95 last year. You might find them, or at least order them, @ . ~ The clamp doesn't go all of the way around and attached without any modification to the bike. I put them on "backwards" (compared to everyone else who uses them) so I can lay my foot across the top without sliding off. I can get full leg extension this way, when I want to.  Otherwise, it's just a different foot position with the benefit of the wind being able to go around my feet and up my leg. Hope this helps, ~ Jerry



Because of the number of Cavalcade owners we have put together in Cavalcade_USA, we now have a chance to have the Cavalcade Floorboards back in production. Any interest here? Phil Boucher at the Motorcycle Accessory Centre (in Canada, I think) will handle the orders, but I told him I would get things going for him. As I understand it, these will be exact duplicates of the Suzuki Cavalcade floorboards. There IS a catch, at least for one of you. I need for one of you to "donate" your Cavalcade floorboards to use as a template for the rest.  In return, you will receive a brand new set of floorboards free. Your old floorboards will not be returned. As it stands, there are no present plans to make the heel-toe shifter yet, but we'll keep working on it.

One more thing. We need a minimum order of 25, or it won't be worth the manufacturers time. The cost, you ask? As best as we can tell, the cost will be $250 (U.S.) plus shipping. Any takers out there? Good riding, ~ Bob Ramsey
Orlando, Florida


I discovered these at the local flea market, they're a fold up cup holder and are out of a Toyota van. A real neat little item that folds up to about 3/4 inch thick, with a little ingenuity, you could rig one up to fit the saddle bag at possibly the little black cover, maybe removable for when you're riding two up. Purchased them from a guy that works at TOYOTA He seemed to have an UNLIMITED supply. He only had Brown and TAN. They cost me two bucks apiece. The back ONLY mounts VERTICAL i.e. such as on a side wall and opens down. ~ Walter


Walter, Don't those holders make it easy for the Highway Patrol to read the brand of beer yer drinking? ~ Tracy


Why don’t you just get a Bike Buoy?? Go to, it's only $13.95 and they work great. I bought one for my GS850L, then switched it to my 83 Interstate, then to my Cade. I wont give it up.........LOL Brian in IN 87 tt Gray LX



I made lower fork wind deflectors to keep the wind from blowing my pant leg up over my boot. They attach at the TOP caliper bolt and a stainless HOSE clamp around the TOP of the lower strut, again they're of highly polishes stainless for the CHROME look. Patterns are available if you’re nice. The light bar is the one I mentioned in an earlier E-mail, they're 75.00 plus shipping complete, lights, longer bolts, lighted rocker switch, relay wiring and directions, Homemade, polished and shipped by me. the light bar ONLY, is 45.00 drilled and polished plus shipping. As I stated before they're aluminum, angle and can be kept shiny with a normal polishing of SEMI-chrome polish, or BLUE Magic. These are not MASS produced. ~ Walter



We've discussed various add-ons that we've tried on our 'Cades. I'm now trying to put together a list of items that can be added/used on the 'Cade. If any of you have manage to install non-Cavalcade parts, please drop me a note telling me what you did, what you used, how difficult the project was, and how long you took. The results will be given to all group members, as well as supplied for use on the Suzuki Cavalcade web site. ~ Andy, Midland, TX



Hi, One of our members fitted rotor covers and fender trim from a HD. If anyone wants to know more let me know and I will get the information to you via this site. I did have a set of disc covers meant for the 1200 wing fitted to my Cade. The holes for fitting over the caliper are the same, just had to file a groove for the brake pipes. Just check it out before you buy as mine came from a gent in the USA. ~ Dave UK



Has any member fabricated or converted any front Brake Rotor covers for an 86 XLE? If you have please contact me. Thanks ~ MDW,


I have discovered today that I very much could use a backrest. So I am in the market for a drivers backrest. Preferably an original equipment piece. I am not very qualified in the manufacturing and installing of anything other. If you have any leads or knowledge of this, please let me know. Bike-1986 LX tan/brn Cavalcade (Black seats) Thanks ~ T. Moore, PS: I do belong to the club and am on the list. This is one great group.


Hello, I'm Micky. I ride a "Gray 87 LX" and I'm looking for anyone who has knowledge about where I might locate a floorboard and toe/heal shifter for my Cade 87 LX. 

I'm looking for an ignition switch assembly for my brother in law's Cade. His is broke and the person who had the bike before him tried to epoxy it where the contacts are at the bottom. It works ok except that the he contacts keep breaking for the tail lights. I have the tail lights working ok by using the circuit for the license plate light and putting a resistor to ground on the tail light circuit. Only problem is when the switch loses contact he loses his LCD display. Has anybody worked on their ignition switch...? I'm wondering if the key switch can be changed to keep the same key just using the new contact switch...haven't pulled it out yet as waiting till I get another to avoid loss of riding time. ~ Dennis Vanill,


Hi Dennis, Yes, you can remove the switch from the lock assembly and replace it with a new one. I had to buy a new switch and lock assembly for my Cade last year and made the change out so I could use my original key. There are a couple of screws that hold the switch on the lock and tumbler. It's a simple change out. My dealer ordered a new assembly for me and it took a week or two to get it delivered. Ride Safe, ~ David, Perryville, Ark.


I am looking for a LH cowl Panel Part # 94422-24A20-291 and the complete coin box assembly Part # 94660-24A00 both for a 1986 LXE. Brake fluid leaked on them over the winter and destroyed them! Hopefully, ~ Myles L. McKeone


Hey out there I need a right hand side engine fairing both pieces for a 1987 LXE.. Any one have them? ~ Ted in California 87LXE, .

Has anybody ever investigated if any model wing rack is adaptable? ~ Dennis


I wonder if the one I saw in the JC Whitney catalog (page 76, cat num. 02PP6594U) would fit. It's for a HD, it has a raised 'ramp' on the front that looks like it might fit the Cade's hump on the trunk. ~ b k walker


I am looking for a voltage regulator for my Cavalcade. Can someone please tell me the part number or where I can order one? The dealer wants close to $200 but I have heard you can get them cheaper. I would also like to see if I could find a right side upper fairing at a decent price. I bought the bike after it was laid over and have found that I cannot feel up the coolant because it flows out as quick as it goes in from somewhere in the overflow system and I am no mechanic any help would be greatly appreciated thanks ~ Tom


Tom, Go to  and scroll down to the Electrex link. They have a replacement regulator (some claim it's better than original) for $136.

I got a regulator from them and have not had a problem with it in 2 years. Gary '86 LX, Whitby, Ont.


Hi all I am look for A piston for the front brakes and the caliper on the front. One piston is pitted were it might leak. I have 86 LX Cavalcade ~ Dennis R. < 


I'm looking for a black plastic air hole that goes on the top of a helmet. We have dot helmets....and my son in his wisdom to determine if he wanted to paint our helmets removed one of mine...and evidently it didn't go back in tight....and out first trip out it fell out somewhere. I tried the Honda dealership and was told you can't get them anymore. Our helmets are older with the microphone that comes in front... The piece opens and closes to let air in the helmet. If anyone has a spare helmet lying around that might have one of these in it. I would love to buy it from you. Thanks so much. ~


Hello out there! I'm looking for a complete set of original blinkers including the horn and light for my ‘86 Cavalcade. Had 6 month of difficulties trying to find spare parts after a small crash. Now that’s all ready to get it back in shape. Could anyone out there help me? Doesn't matter where you live. But, it’s probably easier from Europe, as it is my insurance company’s responsibility to handle. Every offer is welcome! Micke (Sweden)



How do I go about getting a set of the driving lights Walter? ~ Randy Reiss, Decatur, IL


Part I: An Insomniac's Dream

A certain dream (daydream?) has been in my mind now for months, wakening me from deep sleep on cold winter nights and haunting me with thoughts during the days. As I step into the garage and see by Beloved Behemoth sleeping there, the dream again surfaces, and I wonder "What if..."

With a Dry Weight of approximately 768 lbs. (LX) and a Factory-rated Horsepower of 112bhp @7000 rpm, our fully-dressed machines have a Horsepower-to-Weight ratio of 6.81 with a displacement of 1360 cc. This ratio allows for 1/4-mile runs with a fully-dressed machine in 12.82 seconds @ 101.5 mph. Acceleration for this beastie is nothing to laugh at either. With 0-60 mph times of 4.2 seconds, and 0-100 mph at 11.75 seconds, with a theoretical maximum speed @7000 RPM (rpm limiter) of 129 mph. (Remember, these specifications are for a fully-dressed touring motorcycle last manufactured in 1988/89. (See Factory Specs at )
Now fast forward to the following locations, read them thoroughly, and let your imagination wander.

Land Speed Record Racers and Resources 
Southern California Timing Association & Bonneville Nationals, Inc. 
Utah Salt Flats Racers Association 

That's right - Bonneville Salt Flats. Muroc Dry Lake. El Mirage Dry Lake. According to the Motorcycle Classes page of the SCTI-BNI web site, and without doing wildly-imaginative modifications, the Cavalcade could be run in the following classifications:
1. 1650cc - P-P (Production Frame, Production Engine) Engine displacement above 1350cc and below 1649cc, with the motorcycle frame and fairing as produced by Suzuki, with certain allowable safety-related modifications, and with a basically production engine.
2. 1650cc - M-P (Modified Frame, Production Engine) Engine displacement above 1350cc and below 1649cc, with the motorcycle frame based on the production frame, with certain modifications as allowed
by the rules and without any aerodynamic assistance, and with a basically production engine.
3. 1650cc-MPS-P (Modified Partial Streamlining, Production Engine) Engine displacement above 1350cc and below 1649cc, with the motorcycle frame based on the production frame, with certain modifications as allowed by the rules and with aerodynamic assistance, and with a basically production engine.

Beyond this level of participation, one can advance into the following:

1650cc-S-P (Streamliner - Production engine)

1650cc-M-G (Modified frame - Modified Gas engine)
1650cc-MSP-G (Modified Partial Streamlining - Modified Gas engine)
1650cc-S-G(Streamliner - Modified Gas engine)
And so on. Now bear in mind that the first three classes mentioned are those which may be readily entered. But does that mean one would want to?

1650cc-P-P class: Production Frame, Production Engine 
Bonneville: 133.040 mph, 1999, Honda. (Can a fully-dressed Cavalcade complete two opposing runs across the Salt Flats and average better than the record? Not sure, unless the wind is at our backs both ways, and we've got all fingers and toes crossed.)
However, at El Mirage, no record for that class. Zip. Nada. None. Who wants to be first?

1650cc-M-P: Modified frame, Production Engine.
Bonneville: No record for that class.
El Mirage: No record for that class.

1650cc-MPS-P: Modified Partial Streamlining, Production Engine.
Bonneville: No record for that class.
El Mirage: No record for that class.

~ Andy Anderson

Tomorrow: Part II: Class Envy

Andy, Nice piece of work. Here are a few other things to contemplate. I was flipping through a 1993 Car Craft magazine and read an article on the new Corvette of the day. There was a bunch of hoopla about the new aluminum motor with new EFI and such. It's quarter-mile time 12.84 at 109MPH, it's 0-60 time 4.8, 0-100 time 11.9. Price tag: about $68,000. Interesting

How about this, by opening up that nasty restrictive intake and adjusting the carbs. If only someone were making performance exhaust, a few tweaks on the carbs and these beasts should be easily capable of 130+ rwhp, and perhaps enough torque to scare a Valkyrie.

Sounds like a blast to me! Up the main jets 20 or 30 sizes and shim the needles some holes in the airbox...and vavoom!

My guess is that the exhaust would be good for quite a few ponies, slip-ons would help even more. I think we need to experiment. I know where there is this rolling chassis that's sans bodywork. ~ Tracy

Funny you should mention the performance exhaust... When we were at Americade2000, a fellow was there with a Cavalcade Trike and specialty pipes from Matthieu's Custom Exhaust. About $600 for the pair and I don't know if that includes installation or not, but I believe they slip right onto the pre-muffler - Whatta Sound! Just ask Wojo!! The guy now can build these mufflers for our bike with the proper mounting hardware. Next year I think I will have a set. ~ Brian 87LXE in CT


Part II: Class Envy

First, a moderate disclaimer. It's been many years since I've looked at an official SCTI or USFRA Rule Book. But, these organizations being as conservative as most other sanctioning bodies, I've no doubt that the rules haven't changed that much, if at all. The Rules and Regulations for Motorcycles as listed at the SCTI Web site referenced in this morning's post come, as indicated, directly from the 2000 Rules and Records, Southern California Timing Association. This Web site is not to be considered the source for definitive answers regarding Rules and Regulations; that information will come from the Official Rules. I've not yet seen the current Rule Book. Its arrival is eagerly anticipated. Does this discussion have merit? Only the reader can answer that question. But I shall remind you of Tracy Presnell's post today citing information about the 1993 Corvette as published in Car Craft Magazine. In reading, remember the 'Cade's specifications. "It's quarter-mile time 12.84 at 109MPH, it's 0-60 time 4.8, 0-100 time 11.9. " Would I take up a challenge from a driver so equipped? Probably, if both vehicles were stock. Would I take odds? Perhaps. But if allowed to make some subtle changes, I'd have the confidence to definitely take odds, and to bet more than just my pocket money. Just let me lower the windshield, deflate the rear tire a bit, remove the travel trunk, play with some tuning and the like, and we're on! Let me go whole hog, and I'll bet the house! We've bantered about with various ideas for performance upgrades. Would they work? Well, let's talk about that in the perspective of the Classes in which we might compete for a Land Speed Record, for recognition from Suzuki, and for Bragging Rights. Not to mention the leverage to perhaps convince (shame?) Suzuki into the reintroduction of the Cavalcade, or a new variation of the beast. After all, if a bunch of older enthusiasts, using a motorcycle that's at least 13 years old, can compete in Production classes and set Land Speed Records, what else can Suzuki do? Yea, I know. Rhetorical questions have a propensity for answers other than expected. OK, I'll settle for Bragging Rights and the knowledge that we' could prove the 'Cade to be almost invincible. I won't go into specifics tonight, but then SCTA-BNI site ( details General Equipment Standards for all LSR Attempts by all motorcycles, as well as Frame and Engine Classifications. No exceptions, except as allowed. Tires are important as they relate to the prospective record of the class, and their rating is required to increase as the potential record also increases.. Rider Apparel requirements are also covered. Again, these are not the complete set of guidelines, but are somewhat abbreviated. Specific details are to be found in the latest edition of the Rule Book. Classes as defined by the SCTA and the USFRA are also set in stone, for all intents and purposes. There is a set procedure for Rule Changes, which are decided upon by the Rules Committee. For sake of discussion, we shall only consider four types of Frame Class: 1. Production 2. Modified 3. Modified Partial Streamlining 4. Streamliner The reason for discussing these Frame Classes is quite simple. We might want to undertake only those Classifications that would lend themselves to Production Engine classifications. Thereby allowing maximum undertaking of Land Speed Record endeavors with minimum R&D and out-of-pocket expense. I will also interject, at this point, one element that I left out of this morning's post. At neither Bonneville or El Mirage is there a record for the 1650cc-S-P class. That's the class for 1650cc - Streamliner - Production Engine. So, to recap, in four possible Classes of Land Speed Record competition, at two different locations, there are seven (7) unclaimed records. That's right. Open records for the taking. With publicity and recognition for all! Is there a potential for CUSA to put together Team Cavalcade? Tomorrow: Part III: Class 1650cc - P - P

So Andy, I'm just curious about all this talk about setting new records. Are you thinking about doing this yourself? Or are you looking for volunteers? Or are you just thinking about the possibilities?? And with all the detailed messages you write, I am really curious to your line of work. I might consider trying to set a new record myself, but living in Indiana, I doubt it can happen for me. LOL Maybe someone will step up to the plate so we will all know if the Cade is up to it. Keep us posted. Brian in IN 87 tt Gray LX

Andy, Firstly, you have waayyyyyy too much time on your hands. Secondly, I like the way you think and write. Personally, I believe that with minimal modifications (full-flow air cleaner, carb re-jet, less restrictive exhaust [maybe just slip-ons], trimmed windshield, and larger diameter rear tire [in place of a final gear ratio change for increased top speed when the rev limiter kicks in]) the beast, sans any other modifications, would do very well. While it sounds like an interesting endeavor, and I would love to participate just for the bragging rights as well, I would have to limit my participation to moral support. At least for now. Keep it up, Andy. You might just find a few takers out there that are ready to go out and set some records. ~ Tracy


Part III: Class 1650cc - P - P

First, a correction. I overlooked, last night, Muroc Dry Lake's records, or lack of them. To repeat, in four possible Classes of Land Speed Record competition, at three different locations, there are eleven (11) unclaimed records and one that feasibly is within grasp. As I also indicated last night, I will attempt to consider only four types of Frame Class: 1. Production (tonight) 2. Modified 3. Modified Partial Streamlining 4. Streamliner To again repeat from last night, the reason for discussing these Frame Classes is quite simple. We might want to undertake only those Classifications that would lend themselves to Production Engine classifications, thereby allowing maximum undertaking of Land Speed Record endeavors with minimum R&D and out-of-pocket expense. A. 1650cc Production Engine size and type (Production) go hand in hand. Later communiqués will consider other possibilities, as well as other Frame types. Needless to say, costs will escalate according to the work involved. Classes according to engine size are cast in stone. Engine displacement as determined by OEM determines the size class. The fact that our 1360cc is 10cc larger than the next lower class is unimportant. We're in the 1650cc displacement class. "Production engines must be the same model as the model of the frame being used and must have STOCK EXTERNAL APPEARANCE. Production motorcycles must use OEM cylinders, heads and crankcases to comply with this class. OEM engine displacement determines the displacement class for competition. Displacement may not be increased beyond that class limit. Starting mechanism must be retained and operable. Carburetor(s) must be the same model and size as the original equipment on model in question. All production engines run in gas class." So it appears, without going through the Rule Book for specific requirements, that the absolute minimum that can be run is an engine that matches the frame type at time of production, having stock external appearance, and using OEM cylinders, heads and crank cases . Displacement must be at least that at time of production, and the electric starter must be in place and operable. Carburetors must be same model and size as original equipment on the model in question, and the engine must run on gas. "The addition of a power additive or changes of any nature, other than oil designated for lubrication only, to GASOLINE is prohibited. Penalty for violation of this standard shall be disqualification." At a minimum, the Production Engine can be totally stock internally, although changes internally can be made at a later time, with displacement allowed to increase to the 1650cc class limit (oversize Suzuki pistons and rings are available, but not to that displacement). Carburetors can be modified internally. The motorcycle must be identical in all respects to the production model it represents, including the intake airbox and exhaust system. The exhaust system, looking at the end (down its centerline) shall be unmodified, i.e., the exit diameter of the canister (muffler) cannot be enlarged. This comparison will be made when the bike is assembled as ready to run. Any performance modifications must be out of view. This requirement, allowing performance modifications, which are out of view yet, retain stock appearance, dovetails with the CUSA discussion regarding possible performance modifications. Best recapped by Tracy Presnell today, "with minimal modifications (full-flow air cleaner, carb re-jet, less restrictive exhaust ... and larger diameter rear tire [in place of a final gear ratio change for increased top speed when the rev limiter kicks in]) the beast, sans any other modifications, would do very well." Alternatively, since all modifications allowed are internal, it is also possible to remove or modify the rev limiter. This falls into the statement, "Any performance modifications must be out of view." B. Production Frame (quoted from Motorcycle Rules - General Competition Requirements, as previously referenced) A standard production road motorcycle of which 500 or more have been produced and which are available for sale to the general public through retail motorcycle dealers and is completely equipped with full lighting equipment, frame, forks, wheels, brakes, gas and oil tank (if installed), fenders and seat. The only modifications which may or must be made are as follows: 1) Handle bar: Any type may be fitted to original handle bar mounts, except handle bars which extend more than 15" above or 4" in front of or 4" below the original handle bar mounts. 2) Foot rests: Must be the original equipment. Passenger foot rests must be removed. 3) Side and center stands: These may be removed. 4) Air cleaner element, tool box, and license plate bracket: These may be removed. 5) Number/Class: See General Rules-Section VII, Article 2-A. 6) Lighting equipment and instruments: Must be exactly the same as fitted to the original model when it was sold for everyday street use. Headlight lens must be cross taped. Turn signal lights and brackets may be removed only if not integrated with body fairing parts. To avoid heat build up, lamps may be rendered inoperative. 7) Farings, windshields, seats and side panels that are factory equipment standard for the particular model must remain on the motorcycle and be unaltered in height, width, and contour. 8) Tires: Tires used are governed by the record speed in the class entered and cannot be used beyond the speed rating of the tire. Tubeless, bias ply type tires may be run with tubes. Speed ratings will be reduced one speed range, unless otherwise indicated by the tire manufacturer. It is the responsibility of the entrant to check inflation pressures and tire and wheel condition immediately before and after every run. 0 to 125 MPH Standard production tires of road tread are permitted. 126 to 150 MPH Current production V rated or better tires of standard road tread are permitted. 151 to 200 MPH Road racing branded and Z rated tires are permitted. 200 MPH + Must be certified Land Speed Record tires or certified by the manufacturer as to the limits and pressures needed or required. 9) Chain guard: Production motorcycles must have a chain guard (either original equipment or see Modified Production rear chain guard requirements) as a minimum. 10) Wheel rims: They may be changed only if necessary to obtain tires which meet the necessary tire requirements. 11) External view: The motorcycle must be identical in all respects to the production model it represents, including the intake airbox and exhaust system. The exhaust system, looking at the end (down its centerline) shall be unmodified, i.e., the exit diameter of the canister (muffler) cannot be enlarged. This comparison will be made when the bike is assembled as ready to run. Any performance modifications must be out of view. General requirements outline number plate size and shape, mandatory Kill Switch and Fuel Shutoff, Throttle and Control requirements, taping of all glass that is not mandated to be removed. Tire requirements and specifications, including mandatory metal valve caps. Wheels: safety wiring of axle nuts and other nuts/bolts, required steering dampers, and apparel. Comments: As can be seen and interpreted, there are many different changes that may be made, but within the definition of Production, there are also many restrictions. Questions exist, as well. For example, no Cavalcades were produced without a fairing, or with a lowered windshield; therefore these must be left in place, as will be side panels and seats. Not mentioned on this web site are any requirements for leaving saddlebags and travel trunk installed, although a thorough review of the Rule Book may be in order. Absent any specific guidelines, it may be possible to remove these items. Even though there may be some merit to the argument that the fairing and saddlebags, in conjunction with the rider's placement on the seat and pegs as required by the Rules, constitute a form of aerodynamic streamlining, and thereby may be beneficial. Remember, the key words are "stock" and "Production." And since there were models produced without lowers and cornering lights, a 'cleaner' production model can be introduced and run. The question now arises: "Is it worth all the work to create an entry in the 1650cc - Production Frame - Production Engine class?" One would essentially be running a more-or-less stock Suzuki Cavalcade, as from the showroom but with certain internal modifications, for open records at two locations, and attempting to break a record at the third location. Bonneville: Existing record, 1650cc-P-P, 133.040 mph, Honda, set in 1999 (4 mph higher than the theoretical showroom-stock Suzuki Cavalcade, not a Cavalcade prepped for a record run) El Mirage: No record exists Muroc: No Record exists.

Tomorrow: Part IV, 1650cc - Modified Frame - Production Engine (1650cc - M - P)

So Andy, I'm just curious about all this talk about setting new records. Are you thinking about doing this yourself? Or are you looking for volunteers?? Or are you just thinking about the possibilities? And with all the detailed messages you write, I am really curious to your line of work. I might consider trying to set a new record myself, but living in Indiana, I doubt it can happen for me. LOL Maybe someone will step up to the plate so we will all know if the Cade is up to it. Keep us posted. ~ Brian in IN, 87 tt Gray LX


Brian, Actually, I've been thinking about this for a while. Some years ago had some friends who ran at El Mirage and Bonneville, but was too busy partying in LA to bother with all the work. Since I've gotten my 'Cade and seen its performance standards though, I've been reminded of things they've said and done, which has piqued my curiosity. I'd begun to look for a GT model last year, for reasons to be explained further in Part III and Part IV, but I've had to delay or maybe even cancel plans due to medical problems - I haven't yet decided, nor have I let the Dr.’s tell me to stop. We'll see. As for the possibilities, opportunities are always around us. It's just a matter of deciding whether or not to take advantage of them. Of course, even if one or two of us decided to undertake something of this sort, we'd have at least the moral support of the rest of the group, and the collective pride that comes with the Bragging Rights that the Cavalcade deserves. Such a project would start slowly, targeting a given event maybe in the following year; it might take that long to thoroughly understand the Rule Book and meet with its provisions. Remember, ANY two-way run, at ANY location without a record, is a Land Speed Record for that location. Instant Bragging Rights. Assuming success with the first run, and a record to claim, we might then begin an assault on the other locations. One class + three locations = three records. Then we move to the next class. Or begin to attempt to improve on our records in that class. The discussion isn't yet over; there are three classes yet to discuss, each with its own analysis of potential. Can we do it? Do we, collectively or individually, have the time, interest and skills to undertake the challenge? Time will tell. My purpose is to lay out the possibilities of a long-held dream. Cost and time are factors, which is why I've begun with only the four Production Engine classes; they're inexpensive, don't involve extensive development, and would be perfect for Instant Recognition assuming no one else sees the same potential for records. The next installment, Part IV, will cast a light on equipment that some of us already have. ATTENTION: Tracey!! Just imagine: two or three machines, each set for a different class, setting previously-unclaimed records, all at the same meet. Talk about instant Cavalcade publicity! And, if cards are played right, possibly Suzuki sponsorship .... maybe even the potential for the reintroduction of the Cavalcade? Coming soon: Part IV, 1650cc - Modified Frame - Production Engine

Part III.2 - A Review of Production Engine and Production Frame

As we had discussed earlier, Production Engine is basically a classification for a stock-appearing engine. Ditto for Production Frame. In other words, any modifications are to follow the rules and to be below the level of visibility. Everything must appear stock, according to the model produced and presented to Tech Inspection for verification. It is therefore possible to run a totally stock vehicle, without making any changes at all. After all, nothing mandates changes be made to the model in question. For example, if one should choose a GT model, which comes without lowers, without cornering lights, without antenna brackets and otherwise plain, one is beginning the process with a certifiably-stripped model, and have a minimum of changes to make. By removing front brakes, one reduces un-sprung weight and somewhat improves airflow, allowable according to the Rules. One can remove the air cleaner to improve breathing, and can also strip the internals out of the factory-supplied exhaust system while maintaining stock appearance, also according to the rules. One can also change tires and wheels to maintain high-speed certification, thereby perhaps also changing final gear ratios. Again, by taking advantage of all possible exemptions according to the rules, even without making any engine modifications, one can prepare a stock machine for an assault on the 1650cc -(Production Frame) - (Production Engine) class at each of the three locations. By doing so, one will set records in two locations simply by completing the necessary two opposing runs (i.e., simply by showing up). The third location requires simply exceeding the existing record of 133.040 mph. Our discussion of the 1650cc - Production Engine class holds for next three classes to be discussed. All the requirements of the Part III discussion apply. It is therefore possible to run a bone-stock engine in each Frame class, setting records accordingly (baseline records), before undertaking additional changes to the engine within the guidelines of the Production Engine class and applying them in turn to each of the Frame classes. Remember, the 1650cc Production Engine is the same regardless of the type of Frame in which it is installed; as long as the displacement is between 1351cc and 1650cc, the engine appears as originally produced, and the stipulations regarding internal modifications are met, it qualifies as Production Engine. Each Frame Class, however, is a potential new Land Speed Record. Next, we shall discuss the fire-breathing monster under all that plastic.

Andy, If I am reading and comprehending what you are saying, the limitations on engine modifications could include cam timing changes or different profile cams? If this is correct, then there may be something to be gained that is necessary to make the machine (aka: beast) break and/or set a record.

Assuming that one cannot enhance or modify the existing airbox, and assuming that you open up the exhaust, even though only internally, then it may take a cam alteration (timing or profile) to get the beast breathing hard enough
and making enough power to attain (or exceed) redline when faced with the frontal area of a Mack truck and the aerodynamics of a shoebox. The motor, as stock, it designed to produce its power from low-end to mid and then taper off at the high revs. Since there would be little reason to ride a Cav at 130 MPH, the designers are making the tradeoff that all must; if you want good power on the high-end, you must be willing to sacrifice some power at the low-end and vice versa.

The limitations imposed by fixed valve timing, in my opinion, are the most difficult to overcome to make good power all over the rev band. Some of the newer bikes are attempting to bandage the problem by utilizing valves in the exhaust system, effectively varying the harmonics within the system and therefore the dynamics of cylinder filling and purging, to quasi-overcome the significant limitations imposed by fixed valve timing. Other means, such
as variations in fuel delivery timing and such (available through EFI and the magic of computers), also help but, valve timing is always a tradeoff. The real answer to variable valve timing has been in the works for several
years but has yet to make it to a production motor (that I'm aware of). Two methods that I am aware of use solenoids to actuate the valves and another uses controlled air pressure (in an adjustable lifter type of arrangement) to vary the cam profile. In the old days (and I think you can still buy them), Rhodes made controlled leakage hydraulic lifters to "tame" a wild, high-end cam so that it would idle smoother and make better low-end torque. When the revs went up, the lifters would leak less therefore bringing the actual cam profile into play and producing goo top-end power, also.

So, if you want to meet or exceed redline with that much weight and frontal area (especially if you need to alter the effective final drive ratio), one may need to adjust valve and/or ignition timing to move the powerband (aka:
torque/horsepower) peak up closer to redline. Just a thought. ~ Tracy

Tracy, Unless I'm greatly mistaken, you are correct. While I've not yet received the Current Rule Book for specifics, those modifications may well be allowed, within certain limitations. Remember, there are Modified Engine classifications that I've not yet discussed. However, the basic guidelines, referenced earlier, indicate that Modified Engines are unlimited in design, provided all major components are were intended for motorcycle use. Without specifics, I can't take it any further.

Due to the fact that there are no records for 1650cc - Production Frame - Production Engine at El Mirage and at Muroc, one can simply take a basic machine, with a minimum of modifications and expense, and set and hold Land
Speed Records at each location. And maybe even upset the existing record at Bonneville. With a touring bike! A definite First. Will they last for long? Who knows. But the Publicity generated in the newsstand and trade publications will be enormous, and the Bragging Rights will be Permanent.

Then, as challengers appear or as one might be self-challenged to do better, one can begin to make modifications to push the record higher. That's when time, effort and money come into play. ~ Andy

Andy, I realize that there is a sense of "getting it done with existing equipment" surrounding this project, but I brought up the cam timing issue for a reason. While there are non-existent records ripe for the pickin' without any other potential contenders on the horizon, just setting a record may be a little shortsighted. I guess what I'm saying is that if you're going to set a record, set one that won't easily be broken or at least make the next guy work a little for it. It's kind of like an e-bay auction; if you can't buy it for the price you want, make sure the other guy has to pay as much as possible.

By sitting down and making a list of potential engine modifications that are "legal". Then paring down that list to those modifications that are or will: 1) actually produce additional power or RPM (AKA: a result) given all other limitations on modifications, 2) produce the most bang for the buck (few bucks at that), 3) don't diminish reliability or destroy it all together. I suppose taking a stock Cav to the trip lights is fine, but a record would be short-lived if, once set, it was simply beat by a newer bike in the same CC class. I can see Suzuki, once a record is set, sponsoring a record attempt using current production bikes. Probably won't happen but, I can't see Suzuki even contemplating the reintroduction of the Cavalcade just because a few guys with too much time on their hands went out and set a speed record with it,
either. The fact remains, the Honda GoldWing, as potentially less desirable as it might be compared to the Cavalcade, has the market, had the market, and will continue to keep the market. Suzuki learned that lessen once and
would be foolish to make the same mistake again. Suzuki is in the business to make money. That's why they concentrate so much effort on racing the GSXR line. It sells bikes! Period!

And, when you consider the success of the cruiser line, why would Suzuki waste 15 minutes on a new Cav?

Notwithstanding any of the above discussion, it important to use every available preparation niche that will make the bike go fast. Little things like bearings (wheel, shaft drive, etc), best available lubrication (even resorting to some of the newest super-low-friction products) in or on every moving or rotating part or bearing, prying the brake pads away from the rotors just prior to a run, cam timing, ignition timing, jetting for conditions on record day, etc. all increase the likelihood a record set that will stand for as long as possible. I would dearly love to participate in such an endeavor but, again, my involvement will be limited to e-mails such as this and an occasional at-a-boy. Thanks for letting me spew. ~ Tracy

Tracy, I couldn't agree with you more, and I couldn't have said it better. Given a race between two machines of the same model, the winner will be the rider/tuner who "sweats the details" more than the other. Attention to detail will always win. Your list of matters to check is just the beginning. In actuality, there is no end to the preparations - one simply hopes that his efforts are more complete than his opponent. The CUSA group is, in my mind, the best possible of all forums to which I belong or have belonged to, from professional to shooting sports, from bar none. Your input is as valued as the next person is. While this effort may be cerebral at the moment, perhaps a seed will be planted that we can all be proud of. Meanwhile, let’s talk about that rolling chassis you have. ~ H F Anderson


Part V: Partial Streamlining

As Pointed out in this morning's post, Modified Frame competition merely indicates 'not stock in appearance." It is therefore possible to simply remove the plastic body panels, chrome rails, luggage box and rack. Reconfigure the front seat, remove the drover and passenger footpegs, reverse the shifter, install new brake controls, and remove every possible extra part in order to have a smaller profile bike for straight-line competition. Again, the degree to which the tuner/rider pays attention to details affecting speed and handling will affect the degree to which his
record will remain untouched. ~ Remember, too, that this frame can also be utilized, as modified, in the Partial Streamlining class. This class is strictly about aerodynamics, and may be the same as Production Frame if the motorcycle came with a fairing as standard, such as a Hyabusa. A faring needs to be attached in at least three separate mounting points to the frame. It cannot extend further than the front axle. It must allow the rider to be completely seen from either side as well as from above except for the hands and forearms, and the lower half of
the front wheel must also be visible. There can be no streamlining to the rear of a vertical line through the rear axle except for a seat or tail section, and that seat or tail section cannot extend further to the rear than a vertical line at the rear edge of the rear tire. ~ This would be similar to mounting a Hyabusa on our Modified Frame, and enclosing the top half of the front wheel. Remember, at a minimum, we've already removed our front brakes and installed a custom exhaust after removing everything from the bike that needn't be there. Our engine meets the Production Engine standards. We've simply bolted on a fairing and front fender.

Modified Frame Class bike + Fairing = Partial Streamlining

One location, one bike, two classifications, two possible records. Repeat x2. Dr. Speedfreak's orders.


Part IV, 1650cc - Modified Frame - Production Engine (1650cc - M - P)

In discussing Engine Displacement and Class (1650cc - Production), we've learned that while the engine can be run completely stock while maintaining stock appearance, it can be modified internally within the existing Rules. These same rules continue to apply regardless of the type of frame in which the engine is installed, as long as the engine class remains "Production." ~ Production Frame, however, has its limitations in that it must appear as stock, as it was sole on the showroom floor. Fairing, windshield, saddlebags, and other appurtenances have to remain. A handicap? You bet. Can some things be changed? Only as allowed by the Rules for Production Frame, and by the General Competition Requirements.

Modified Frame, however, is a totally different story. Imagine the following scenario. Tracy has a rolling chassis in his garage, the remains of a parts bike purchased and stripped of plastic. What can we now do without? According to the SCTA-BNI web site (, we can now really play. As long as our frame is based on OEM or replacement and has similar geometry, and meets certain minimum requirements, we're allowed to modify within the reality of safety. We can play with seating and control positions, suspension, instrumentation, forks, exhaust, fenders, gas tank, brakes and wheels. Suppose we now begin to strip Tracy's frame. Everything not absolutely needed comes off. All electrical components except for the ignition system, fairing brackets, center- and side-stand, engine guards, original rider and passenger footpegs as well as the shifter mechanism, luggage rack, fuel tank, handlebar and mounts, rear suspension, compressor, cooling system reservoirs, covers, screens, brake and clutch lines, instrumentation, carburetors, etc., etc., etc. Mark mounting tabs on the frame that will not be used again, so they can be removed. In other words, Remove Everything. Leave the motor and the basic wiring harness, but everything else comes off. Looks kinda different, huh? Now we remove the forks and wheels, and decide if we can build a custom wiring harness. Just the basics, to make the machine run; the ignition system is in place, so we can measure/model as required. So what have we now?

We should be looking at a steel cradle, in which an engine is mounted. Hopefully sitting on some sort of rolling stand. Kinda makes things easier to work on, y'know? A good steam cleaning, and we're ready to make some decisions. Now is the time to remove the engine for internal work, and to look at the frame to see if there are any more brackets and misc. tabs that we can remove. Where else need the frame be strengthened? Where can weight be saved? Since the foot pegs must be at least 6" in front of the rear axle, we need to now look at the swingarm/rear frame and decide on changes, if any. Seat height must be at or above the height of the wheel rims, so look at that portion of the frame, as well. And since the seat may substitute for a rear fender, look there as well. Can we use stock forks, or is substitution in order? What about rear shocks? Wheel rims must be at least 15" diameter, although stock rims may be used. Front brakes are optional, but rear brakes are mandatory. So you must ask yourself about the wheel/tire combinations we will use. Forks must be of sufficient strength for the bike, and must fit our wheel/tire combo. Two file-mile runs in opposite directions, so our gas tank needn't be large. Where to place it? Ignition component locations must be mapped out. And our exhaust system must be mounted somewhere, so it's time to consider that, as well. And also consider our gauge mountings, minimal that they may be.

But that's it. Have I oversimplified? Yes, without a doubt. But as the Rules say:
Primary objectives of the Modified Frame class are:
1. Reasonable costs.
2. Moderate effort.
3. A high degree of stability and safety.

o the next time you remove all that plastic, think of what might be. Now, where did I see that ad for a 'slightly wrecked' Cavalcade?




I would like to relate to you a tire story that is 100% true. Last summer a friend invited my wife & myself to ride with them to Tulsa, Ok. for dinner. Tulsa is an approximate 100-mile ride from where we live in NW AR. As I prepared to make the short journey I performed the regular maintenance & safety checks, checking tire pressures, oil level & such. I can not recall but I possibly added some air to the tires but may have only checked the pressures. We took off on our trip to Tulsa & arrived without significant incident at the restaurant. After dinner we re-mounted for a scenic elongated trip back home to find that at slow speeds my Cavalcade seemed like trying to drive an old "Arkansas Razorback". It was very unresponsive at best & took extreme pressure on the bars to make slow speed maneuvers. At higher speeds it seemed almost normal except I could not get the slow speed sluggishness out of my mind so I knew something was not right. I stopped to examine the bike & could not see any problem. I kicked the front tire & it nearly broke my toe. Since I could not find any thing wrong I mounted back up & headed down the Interstate to catch our friends who were running rather hard down the Interstate at this time. I caught up with them a few miles down the road & finally got them to pull over & help me look for a problem. Neither of us could again find anything that was wrong so off we went again on our journey. We exited the Interstate a few miles down the road for a more scenic trip along curvy, country blacktop toward the city of Tahlequah, Ok. The Cavalcade handled pretty well on the curves at 65 to 70 MPH, which were mostly marked 45 to 50 MPH. You can easily see we were not babying our rides too much, however we were not overly aggressive either. It was just a pleasant ride through the country on a nice day. Upon our arrival in Tahlequah it was immediately quite evident that our handling situation had not improved but in fact had worsened quite a bit. It was now all I could do to steer the behemoth bike around corners at slow speeds. I am 6' 4" tall & weigh around 225 pounds & am in fair physical condition so when I say it was hard to steer please believe me, it was hard to steer. Upon examination we could still see no viable reason for this uncharacteristic behavior. Again the tires were standing tall & the old kick test revealed more hurt toes but no problem. I finally, in all my wisdom, reached for my trusty tire gauge to check the tire pressure & low & behold the front tire had absolutely no air in the tire whatsoever or at least not enough to register on the gauge. I filled the tire to the proper air pressure, checked the valve stem for leaks & hit the road again. PROBLEM solved, Thank goodness. I fully realize my stupidity in not tumbling to the problem sooner but my question is what kept that Dunlop Elite II fully upright without any sign of air? What kept that tire from breaking loose from the rim at those speeds going around curves, up & down hills for approx. 80 miles? Was it the exceptional Dunlop tire, or the superior Suzuki rim design, or was the Lord just protecting one of his idiots too stupid to take care of himself? I don't know but if I was to guess I would say it was a combination of all three. My conclusion is I will remain loyal to all three possible solutions in hopes if I ever need that kind of assistance again I may be in a position to receive it. Please ride safe, we don't want it to be your last. ~ Darryl Coons