The Suzuki Cavalcade Newsletter

Issue #18 ~ January, 2002
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.


      You should get your reservation in early. There are only 65 rooms blocked for our group with a special discounted rate. Half of those are already reserved. 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 rate of $55.00 per night. 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. Those who wait until the last minute will have a difficult time finding lodging.




European Cade Raid 2002

June 1st to June 7th. at:

Dairyfarm Camping Sotterum

Sotterumerdijk 11

NL 8753 JA Cornwerd

Tel: 00 31 515 231573

Fax: 00 31 515 233211


Internet: Rabobank Bolsward: 308740920





West Coast Caders will gather for a day of riding and admiring each other’s Cavalcades. Everyone should plan to arrive at Tahoe on Saturday evening July 20th. We will have a breakfast meeting from 8 to 10 o’clock on Sunday, July 21st at Mulligan’s restaurant. From 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. , we will take a scenic ride. I have spies in the Tahoe area now who are planning the ride’s route. Everyone will be provided a map just so no one gets lost (mainly me). We will have a social hour from 6:00 to 7:00 and then dinner. Next morning (Monday) we will head for home.


There is NO cost for this gathering other than the normal cost of gas, lodging and meals. We have a group rate for the breakfast and dinner on Sunday at Mulligan’s restaurant. If you think you will come to the West Coast Cade Raid at South Lake Tahoe , please send me an email ( and give me your name(s) and your location. If you want, I’ll see if I can match up riders so you can share the road together. This information will also help me judge how many people we will need to feed at these two meals and how many bikes we will need to plan for the ride.


Riders from Western Washington State and British Columbia will meet at 10:00 a.m. on Friday at the McDonald’s in Fife , Washington . (Take Exit #137 off I-5).


Riders from Eastern Washington , BC or Alberta may want to meet at Kennewick , Washington . If a meeting time and location is decided, it will be posted in future issues of this newsletter.


Many of us will stay overnight Friday at the Super 8 motel in Grant’s Pass, Oregon. It’s across the street from Denny’s. After breakfast on Saturday morning, we will ride on to South Lake Tahoe. ~ Jay



West Coasters, I have arranged our breakfast and dinner for Sunday, July 21 at Mulligan’s Restaurant in South Lake Tahoe. The breakfast will probably be a buffet. Dinner will be off the regular menu. I have scheduled breakfast for 8:00 a.m. This will give us time for everyone to eat, chat and even have a brief meeting if we wish. After breakfast, we will have a group ride to some of the most scenic mountain country in Western America. Because of the number of us on this ride and the remote area we will be touring, I suggest we arrange a box lunch and beverage to pack on the bikes. We can pick a nice spot to park and munch somewhere along the way. I have scheduled dinner for 7:00 p.m. This will give us time to complete a full day’s tour and still have an hour or so to clean up and refresh by dinnertime.


Mulligan’s is next door to the Super 8 Motel. This is my bedroom of choice when I am on the road. I have found the chain to be newer, cleaner and quieter than most Motel 6 locations. The cost is a few bucks more but is still substantially lower than everyone else. I have priced seven motels in South Lake Tahoe including a couple of independents and the Super 8 is the best value. Almost all the rest are priced at $100 per night and up. Our rate for the two nights (Saturday and Sunday, July 20-21) at Super 8 will be $166.00 for a room with a single king sized bed, or $217.00 for a room with two double beds. These figures are for TWO NIGHTS include sales tax. If you want to request to share a room with someone else, I will be happy to try to arrange a roommate so you can split expenses. You will just need to make reservations and payment direct to the motel, NOT through me. The telephone number for the Super 8 is 530-544-3476, or you can reserve your room at their national reservation number, 1-800-800-8000. Reserve the nights of July 20 and 21, 2002 at the South Lake Tahoe Super 8. In addition, if you have a Super 8 Gold Card (which is black, by the way), or belong to AARP, you will get an additional 10% discount. There is no charge for the Super 8 Gold Card. You can go to the nearest one near you, fill out an application and mail it to their franchise headquarters. Several of us will also be using other Super 8 locations on the route to Branson in September. ~ Jay ‘86 LXE, "Blue on Blue," Sammamish, Washington USA




Plans are pending for a Cavalcade gathering in the Lone Star State. The date and location have not yet been selected.




Okay brothers and sisters, I've been doing a lot of blinking lately, especially when those emails with VIN #'s appeared. I just sort of passed them over and went to the next interesting email. Finally it dawned on me that someone is looking for VIN #'s for a reason. If anyone can set me straight as to why we're doing this, I'll be more than happy to contribute mine to the hat. ~ Mikey


Because we wanted to find out how the assembly line ran and if there are any systematic problems in bikes made in a certain month that could be warned against. For instance, on my bike, the rubber thingies that connect the carburetor to the air box wasn't on right. So the breathing was restricted slightly. Also the plug that goes in the center of the drive gear came out and fell into the secondary case. So anyone whose bike was built in May of 85, such as Bob Grzib, Bob Schindler, Doug Jensen, Tracy Presnell, Ray LeTourneau and Bill Thurston, might wanna check that next time they have their bikes apart. If the same thing happened to theirs, then that plug could get caught between the secondary drive bevels, which could lock the back wheel at a most opportune moment, I might add. It could be that they later fired the honorable Sapporo-swilling yahoo that was forgetting to Locktite those plugs in place. But during that month several went through that way. Such a list might turn up some other systematic errors in the manufacturing process. Also, I was kinda hoping to use the manufacture dates to figure out how many Cades were produced. We know it is around 9000, but it was also interesting to learn that the first Cades and evidently the last Cades all went to Canada. Furthermore, I had 11 days off at Christmas and not a blessed thing to do. ~ Spike


I have been compiling my own VIN number file in addition to Spikes and have noticed a couple of things. 1. As most of you know VIN #'s 3764 and above have some different or up graded parts that Suzuki changes. 2. Suzuki must have shut down their lines to make these changes. So far I have Virgil Flaherty's G2103695 built in 7/85. Then the next Cade in line I have Dennis Mack's 2103916 built in 12/85 3. I have also been trying to keep up with colors, mileage, and models but many have not volunteered this info. 4. One thing I have not been able to figure out is the 9th digit in the VIN #. That # could be a zero through 9 or an X or Z. That means that there are 12 variations of this digit. I thought it might mean month of manufacture but that's not it. Maybe someone else has an idea. ~ Dick Carter Virginia Beach.... So to be back in Texas <


Actually this was my second priority in setting up the VIN list, and I still don't know what that digit means. There seems to be no correlation between that and anything else I can find. I once thought it might be a "day of the week" code, since Bryan and Terry, both of Ontario, were 2 numbers apart and both had the X in the VIN. But now there is plenty of counter evidence that these numbers are day of the week code. One such instance is the cluster of bikes owned you, (Dick Carter) Tracy Presnell and Bob Richey, 14 and 12 serial numbers apart respectively, all built in March 85 when the assembly line was churning out 1000 bikes in that one hot month, so about 40 to 50 a day. But the number in the VINs of those three bikes are 1,6 and 2 respectively and all three are LX trim. I suspect the numbers do carry some information that we just haven’t figured out yet. If some yahoo had just randomly guessed that number, we would suspect it to be more randomly distributed than what we see. The number between A and J frequency 0 3 1 6 2 3 3 8 4 5 5 4 6 8 7 4 8 2 9 7 x 9 z 1. Baysian probability statistics would not predict such a scatter. It isn’t obvious that the number is related to color either. Destination code doesn’t make sense either, because there is no reason to think the VIN stage would know where the bike was headed. The mystery is profound, Dick, the world may never know. ~ Spike


Jay and Spike, you are forgetting to include the Cades owned by members of Cade groups in other countries. Can we get this count? Would be interesting to know how many Cades are accounted for. Spike could probably estimate these numbers, but if we got some VINs from the other groups, he would probably get closer to the correct figure. Anyone want to contact them to see?  ~ Brian in IN '87 tt Gray LX


Great idea Brian! Does anyone here have Cavalcade buddies on list in Europe? Or other continents for that matter: are there any Cades in service in Africa? Asia? Australia has a few, but I'm pretty sure there are none in Antarctica. If you have any contacts or anyone has any contacts, it would be interesting to get them on the VIN list and figure out which bikes went where and when. ~ Spike



About the reports of Cades going over 100k: Back in 1988 in CA. I met a guy who's Cade already had 130k + on the Odometer. About 4years ago someone from one of the clubs I belong to sold his Cade with 135k on it. The only reason he did it was because of the lack of support from Suzuki. He still likes it better than his Honda. The bike will do it. The problem is getting the frequent failed parts when the time comes. ~ Mike C. ’86 LX



I saw a Cavalcade for sale at a local Denver area used bike parts place. It caught my interest. It had 77,000 miles on it though, Is that high miles? ~ They wanted $2,900. Paint was faded. The seat was cracked. But over all it looked like a good runner. It just seemed so huge; I ride a 650 single now. I was really looking for a Concours when I saw this one. ~ Charlie T.

Hi Charlie, I can't speak as to the miles, except to say that I've heard stories about Cades going 100k and way above. It depends on how well it's been cared for. $2900.00 could be a bit steep given the cosmetics you spoke of but you did say it seemed to run good so I would defiantly make them an offer. And yes, the apparent size of the thing is a bit unnerving but it handles nothing like it looks. I rode a 750 Yamaha for a year and a half. The Cade, while it is not a sport bike does handle (to me) like a much smaller bike. It doesn't seem as top heave as like say a GoldWing. Hope this helps Ya  ~ Kelly, Gold '86 LX


Just as a reference. I purchased an '88 in good condition (well, speedo gear and carb boots were shot, but I got those parts thrown in for free from the dealer) with 45k miles for $3100. I'd probably offer $2k for it for starters.

Check prices on, I think still has some dealerships used inventories and prices so you can compare. They redesigned somewhere along the line and I can't find anything. ~ Brenden


It is well worth the wait to get the Cade you want. Repair costs can add substantially to the price that you pay after you buy. There are always great Cavalcades, well taken care of at a fair price for those with some patience. I got my ‘88 with the carbs gone over and a new elite II on the back with 6200 miles for $4300. This is a world class find as you could get. Just a month or so ago an ‘88 with 2500 original miles came up for $6300. If it would have not caused a divorce I would have put it on the credit card and got it too. But that would have made me a Cade pig and it would have denied someone an immeasurable amount of pleasure. Whatever the cost you won't regret buying a Cavalcade. ~ Joe (A picture of the Cade that I am caring for is in the photos section of the web site.) ~



We did it! Our newest member, David Candy, has put our membership number at 500. So as long as no one gets cranky and decides to bail out, we remain as the "500 Club." (Haven't I heard that name somewhere before?) David is from the Seattle area here in Western Washington. I have been hoarding an extra Cavalcade pin for a special occasion. So, I think it's fitting to present it to our 500th member. Do you suppose that by this time next year we can grow to 600? That's just two members a week. And that still leaves 8,400 Cavalcades un-accounted for. Sort of makes you think... ~ Jay, Sammamish, Washington


It's great knowing that we are "once again" a 500 club. Now, if the state by state list could reach "half" of that, I might shut up for a few days. The state by state list is a compilation of Caders by state, city, name, and phone number. It also has a coded list of services you can expect by contacting one of these fine people. A = have tools ....H = ask me, we'll see, J= will provide area info, K = will meet for "coffee" and a few in between. My listing goes like this: NEW YORK Geneva KennG 315-781-2356 ALL. Which translates into "If you're in New York, anywhere around Geneva, contact KennG, here's the number, you've got help when you need it and a "coffee" date if you want it. If this looks like something you would like to be part of, contact KennG at I'll put you on the list and the e-mailing list. As others join you'll get the update (new list). One word of caution; I only send the list out to the people on the list. If you want a list, I need your information. Just send me an e-mail to the kgdd addy. I'll get back to you and get you set up. So much for the extended version of my "pitch". Hope to be hearing from the 361 that aren't one the state list...YET! ~ KennG




Due to the kindness of yet another Cavalcade rider, the Cavalcade CD-ROM has once again been updated with new and additional information. Fred Meisenheimer sent me his service manual (and waited quite a while to get it back) which was printed in 1990 (versus mine which was printed in 1986). Surprisingly, there weren't that many differences between the manuals. The changes/additions are:

1) A new section (section 11) specifically for the 1987 model. While there is very little new information presented in this section it does pertain specifically to 1987 models.

2) A new section (section 12) specifically for the 1988 model. Again, there is very little new information presented in this section but it does pertain specifically to 1988 models.

3) 3 additional wiring diagrams. One for the GTG model, one for the California model and one showing all the options.

4) A minor change to section 10 concerning the routing of a few hoses

5) An ultra-minor change to section 1 (all that changed was the index page showing the additional sections)

The new CD version will be dated January 2002 (versus the last update, which was July 2001). If you have a CD dated July 2001 or earlier, you can download the updated files at

Also, the original wiring diagram and the three new ones are now offered in two formats. The multi-sheet format that I have been using that allows you to print the sheets and assemble them into a full size wiring diagram and a single-sheet version which opens in Acrobat as a 22" x 22" full-size wiring diagram. You may not be able to print that large of a sheet, but it will allow you to trace out wiring issues by zooming in on the full size sheet without jumping from page to page like before.

I want to thank everyone that has purchased a CD-ROM or offered materials for it's creation. The support for the project remains overwhelming and I trust that each of you have and/or will find the information contained on the CD useful. Thanks,  ~ Tracy


Tracy, As usual, you're CD continues to be the very first MUST HAVE for any Cavalcade owner. I, for one, look forward to the opportunity to shake you hand in Branson. ~ HeyJerr Founding Member '86 LXE San Jose, Calif.



Problem: My radiator leak turned out to be battery water, which went down the right side chrome. The little hose came off letting the over flow spill into the battery compartment. Question: when removing the big plate on the engine side to have rechromed should I worry about any thing falling out? ~ Michael (La Mesa)



I have a great asset in the guy I bought mine from. He has been riding and fixing his own bikes since WWII. So, he is a real treasure and is always willing to help me. Thank God! When I went to look at this Cade, I found it was blowing oil from the air breather on the secondary drive. He said he would find out what the problem was. When I returned after work, here was this 80-year-old, on his back, under the bike in his garage with the bike stripped down in pieces. He replaced the oil seal that was leaking and all the oil and clutch fluid and break fluid. I watched the way he worked and the care he took with the minor details. Knew the bike had been lovingly taken care of by just watching and listening to him. So, I didn't dicker at all, just gave him his asking price. Before I left, he told me to come to him for any help I needed. Just goes to show that the best people around ride Cades. ~ Red 86LX


Red, The best thing about Cavalcades is the people who ride them. Your buddy is living proof and so are you. Thanks for sharing! ~ Jay




I was out cruising yesterday and my speedometer quit. I know I have seen some communication on fixing this problem but cannot find anything on the web site. Can anyone give me some assistance on where to start on troubleshooting and fixing the problem? ~ Bob Morse 86LX


Remove the speedo cable from the gearbox on the side of the front wheel. Carefully attach a reversible drill to the cable itself (you'll only be able to grab on to 1/4" of it tops, make sure it's pushed up in there as far as possible).

Run drill and see if the speedo needle moves. If the speedo needle moves, then your gearbox has a problem. You might be able to patch it up, but probably not. If the needle doesn't move, make sure the cable is inserted as far as possible and try the drill again. No movement, remove the cable (it'll slide out of the housing) and see if it's broken. If it's not broken, well... I'd start to suspect the speedo unit itself. It is possible that you were unable to connect a drill to the cable and have it properly engaged in the speedo at the same time. ~ Brenden


Chances are your speedometer at the speedometer housing came loose, I have experience this. It’s easy to get to and just tighten up you might want to put a medium Locktite on the threads. ~ Rod


Check the cable first and see if by twirling it manually you can get it to work. Most of us have found that it is in the gearbox. Those can be ordered through the dealerships. They aren't too expensive. ~ Nancy

I am trying to find something from the CD that shows me how to get to it but I am not having any luck. Will it be obvious when I am in front of the bike? ~ Bob


Bob, if I remember right it is hooked to the front wheel...on the left side when you are sitting on the bike. I watched Larry work on ours. He used his hand to twirl the cable to see if it moved the speedometer if I remember right. If it turns out to be the cable several of us bought that first before testing them lol...the cable runs around $14 dollars. Hope this helps... ~ Nancy


Service manual, Section 10 page 20 shows the speedo cable routing. ~ Tracy


I just replaced my speedo box. I believe there are some bearings in it that went bad I'm not sure about that but I knew it was going to go. I went to to find out exactly where it was, ordered that part and replaced it in about 30 min. ~ Allen


The problem usually is the small fiber gear inside the axle cover on the front wheel on the left side of the front wheel axle bolt. Remove the small screw and the cable. Check the inside cable. If it’s not broken then it’s the small fiber inside of the cover at the axle. ~ Don in Texas


Does anyone know how to get to the back of the speedometer to disconnect my broken cable? ~ Bob Morse 86LX


Hi, We had a great day for cruising Sunday. I started noticing a faint ticking sound in the area of my speedo dash. Perhaps I should follow the procedures discussed for removal of cable and put some sort of lubricant on the cable. Any thoughts? ~ Michael (La Mesa, CA)


Don't think. Just do it. Lithium based (white) is best since it changes viscosity less with temperature changes. ~ Tracy


I’ve got a piece of broken speedo cable stuck up behind the speedometer. Any tricks as to getting it out? Any help deeply appreciated. ~ Wolf


Try a magnet. I believe the speedo part is made of brass so it might get it out. Dental pick might work as well. ~ Tracy


I lost my speedo Jan. 1, 02. I put in A new cable still don’t work. Would it be at the front wheel gear? Any ideas? ~ khrompaint


That front wheel gear is what the others have found to be the problem. I believe it is still available through Suzuki. ~ KennG.


Well you got it right. It's the front gear. And yes Kenn, you can still get them. Lar got his from Competition Accessories here in Ohio. Do you have around 30 something thousand on the bike? Just that seems to be when most of them are going out ~ Nancy


Hi all. Need tech. info. I live at 4500 ft. out west. Wanting to replace air filter. Was thinking of a Amsoil or a Kn. Doe's anyone know of any problems that I will run into if I just change the filter. Will I be getting too much air for existing carb. settings or the exhaust system. ~ Phenry, '86 LX, br/br


I live at about 5000+ ft near Boulder CO. When I got my Cavalcade I ask the local Suzuki dealer if I could do something about the rich running of the Cade due to too little air and too much gas at this altitude. He said that the carbs were set a little lean from the factory and so the increase in altitude would not make much difference. I don't know but I think it has to do with the jet size? I have always thought that, at an increased altitude, the more air you can get the better it will run. I've had my Cade up on Trail Ridge Road at over 12,000 ft and it ran like a charm. I still run the stock air filter and she will red line in a heart beat at altitude. I noticed almost no loss of power like you do in some autos at that altitude. I would like to put in a K/N or some other less restrictive air filter this spring as I think it would let it breathe better. ~ Joe


The problem is air density and vacuum. The higher up you go the less dense the air, thus less oxygen. When you free up the intake (via better flowing filter for example) that reduces intake vacuum that reduces the amount of fuel that is sucked through the jets. ~ As for the factory jetting, I think everyone will agree that all motorcycles from somewhere around the 80's on have been jetted pretty lean to meet emissions standards. My guess is that at 5k feet your jetting will probably be okay with the factory, and probably still fine with an Amsoil or K&N. ~ Brenden



Hi all, Well it's that time of year to do some maintenance on the Cade. I was looking through Tracy’s great CD for part numbers to order what I need, but am a little confused. On page 46 of the parts book, it lists 2 different clutch switches. My ‘87 will take the latter, but how do I tell which one my friends ‘86 LXE will take? Also, my friend has to replace the carb diaphragms in his Cade, and I was wondering if I should go ahead and order some for mine also. Is this something that goes bad on all our bikes? Or is it just the earlier years, or because they were allowed to dry out? All you owners that have had to replace your diaphragms give us the details. Maybe we can figure this out, or just know when to expect them to go bad. I will post my findings out as soon as I get it all together. Thanks, ~ Brian in IN 87 tt Gray LX


As for the diaphragms, some members have had problems, others have not. I don't think there is any one thing that you could check or do to determine if they will go bad. The assumption is that they will all go bad eventually and when they do, will they still be available from Suzuki? I dunno. They're expensive and if you decide to buy some, make sure you keep them packaged up well to keep the elements (like sun and air) away from them so that when you do have to install them they aren't deteriorated. ~ Tracy



I got the carbs cleaned out & the float unstuck on my new toy yesterday (not bad for a non-mechanic). It runs great but doesn't want to shift up or down much at all. Once I get it out of neutral it's difficult to find it again (at 54 there are a lot of things difficult to find anymore!). I thought today that I would lube all of the linkage. It’s only got 25,000 should I be thinking internal to the transmission? Is it easy to bend the forks on a Cade? I didn't find anything helpful on the CD yesterday, other than the troubleshooting list, but will dig deeper today. Trying to get to Branson! ~ Virgil

PS. I also just remembered that no gear positions were showing up on the display, If that means anything, because I'm thinking they should.


Sounds like your clutch isn’t getting you all the way outta gear. Try bleeding the system. ~ Spike


In regards to your trouble shifting, I had the same problem. I found that it was time to have the fluids changed (I actually had all the fluids changed). After changing the clutch fluid it works fine. It should look clear in the sight window. If that is your problem it’s a cheap fix. ~ Robert


Virgil, Besides the linkage, the type of oil in the motor will have an affect on shifting as will the age and condition of the fluid in the hydraulic clutch system. Change the motor oil to a synthetic or synthetic blend and drain and bleed the clutch system. ~ Tracy


I've had trouble in the past with the linkage needing lubrication on the outside of the transmission. Now I lube it as part of my PM routine. I don't remember specifically the problem it caused, but I do remember difficulty shifting. Use a quality penetrant /lubricant. WD40 is only a temporary fix. Another problem I have is going from second into third without a slight grind. Sometimes I time it right sometimes not. Anyone else have that problem? ~ Ray & Lin LeTourneau "In The Woods" Nekoosa, WI



I need to rebuild my forks because of a leak. Should replacing the oil seal and dust cover do it? Any things to watch out for when I do this. Thanks ~ Mud


I had to pull mine down to have them powder coated. In the process, I replaced the lower bushings/guides also. The Suzuki dealership ordered the lower parts and performed all the work. The fork seals were an 'after market' item ordered out of Dennis Kirk. There's a special fork tool they need to remove the uppers from the lowers so I let them do it instead of trying to find/buy the tool. Check with your trusted shop mechanic. Best bet is to bring a copy of the pages from the CD when you go. Parts list is another good copy to bring. ~ KennG


Mud, Yeah, there ain't much to replace unless the slider bushings are shot. But that doesn't happen much. Getting them apart will be the hardest part as you will need a metric nut welded to the end of a tube or rod long enough to reach in the top end and keep the innards from turning while you unscrew the socket head screw in the bottom. After that, it's bang bang yank yank clean 'em up new seals, bolt together, fresh fluid, reinstall, ride it. ~ Tracy


Is has been a couple of years since I rebuilt my front forks. However not having the factory special tool to remove the bottom inside piece of the front fork, I made a makeshift tool from a broom handle that worked just fine to remove and install the bottom inside part. As I remember, I removed the dust slider/wiper followed by the retaining ring and removed all of the top parts of the fork. The broom handle was slightly tapered on the bottom forming a slight interference fit and lightly tapped in tight into the center of the piece remaining in the bottom of the bottom of the fork. I was able to hold the inside from turning enough to un-tighten the bottom and also enough to tighten the bottom when putting it back together. This allowed complete cleaning and inspection of all parts. I know that it was not spelled out to do it this way in the factory manual; however, it worked for me. I hope that this will be of use or interest to someone. I still have the broom handle tool in a safe place just in case I need to take the forks apart in the future. ‘87 LXE ~ David Williams, Shade Tree Engineer and toolmaker.


I had my fork seals replaced and saved a bundle by removing the fork tubes myself. The book calls for removing a bunch of stuff you don't really have to remove. As I recalled: you strip the tubes off their wheel, brake calipers, fender, fork brace, and removed the upper fairing pieces. Arraign the steering head and was able to get the triple tree locking bolts loose enough to, pull the tubes down and out, saved lotsa time and money. Just be taking the fork tubes to the repairman. Of course the repairman suggested that I replace the inner tubes because they had a few pits (between the tripple trees attach point). I wonder if it ever occurred to him this portion never goes through the seals. Or was he testing my intelligence? ~ Walter n Maryland


I had the same problem (leak); I just replace the seals. It cost me $20.00 plus a six pack. No more leaks. ~ Tony in L.A. LXE 86



I'm sitting here looking at my service manual and wondering how to grease the steering stem bearings. Is there a grease fitting hidden somewhere or do you got to take it apart (Nervous shudder)? ~ Virgil Gold ‘86 in TN



Hi groups! My Cade doesn't have the baffles. Its sound is like a Harley. You can hear it two blocks away. I bought it like that and a really don't like it, especially since my neighbors complaint about it with the local police. They waited for me at 6:00 AM two blocks away from my house and gave me a ticket (that really hurt my feelings) three days ago. I have been looking around, even in the net, and I don't found anything. Does anybody have any idea what I can do? Any help will be greatly appreciated. Tony in L.A. LXE ’86


Go to the local big hardware store and in the paint department there you should find those heavy "stainless steel" scrubbies. It's important to use the stainless curly ones and not the steel wool ones. The ones I use were either purchased at Lowes or Home Depot. I stretch them out and using a long screwdriver insert them into the end of the muffler. I use two per muffler. To date they have stayed in place and have seemed to have not compressed or caused any back pressure problem even after hitting redline. Sometimes a few "pigtails hang out the end but I have yet to drill a hole in the end pipe and use a cross wire to fix that problem. Works for me. If you ever want to remove them use a hooked coat hanger and pull them out. Joe in CO


There are a couple of possible solutions available through JC Whitney. In their motorcycle parts catalogue there is fiberglass muffler re-pack material available for $4.49 (each). It says one pack does one large or two to three small mufflers. Part number is 06RR1536W. Same catalogue also shows internal steel baffles, which slide into the exhaust pipes. They are 4" long and require a hole drilled in your muffler to hold them in place. Part number of 1 1/2" outside diameter pipe is 01RR3522R and for 1 3/4" outside diameter pipes the part number is 01RR3524N. Cost is $3.69 each. Haven't used them myself, but saw them as I was going through the catalogue. ~  Dennis



Hi all those Cavalcade guru's out there. I have a question. I can buy an 86LX with 80kmls on it. The seller says the bearing(s) of the transmission output shaft have gone bad causing a clattering noise. He drove another 10miles after noise started. In the rear engine casing two gears make a 90degree turn to deliver power output? The man says there was enough oil still in the casing. Question: Is this a common Cavalcade ailment? Do you think the output gears got damaged? I understand swingarm has to come off to gain access, but is it difficult from ther on? Special tools? Would appreciate picking your brains on this subject. Regards, ~ Rob


I would suggest the u-joint at the front end of the driveshaft. That's the common failure. ~ Tracy


It also sounds like the common rear seal on the secondary drive leaked and the unit ran dry. If that were the case then yes the gears inside would need to be replaced. It might be cheaper finding a used secondary gear than purchasing the gears new. ~ Mike c. 86Lx


...Depending on how far he went with no oil. He would need to pull it apart and look at em. ~ Spike


“Do you think the output gears got damaged?”


Doubt it. Those final drive gears are tougher than a pine knot. When my secondary case oil plug fell out, my gears eventually started making noise. When I pulled it apart there was no indication of wear at all. The basic design is solid, once you work out that secondary seal problem.


“I understand swingarm has to come off to gain access, but is it difficult from thereon? Special tools?”


No special tools, just a lotta patience. I’ve heard there is a way to do that job without pulling off the swingarm, but I pulled mine anyway to check the final drive assembly at the back wheel hub. That job was more trouble than it was worth. Everything was fine back there. ~ Spike


Spike: You got lucky. Mine froze on me but there was still some oil in the secondary. There are also a lot of ex-Cavalcade riders (once that got hurt from it going out) out there because of frozen secondary gear cases. The hard part is that Suzuki knew of the problem but never had a formal recall for it. What they did have is a memo to the dealers that if the secondary gear was reporting leaking that they should repair it and Suzuki would foot the bill. I saw the memo but could not get a copy of it. Wish I had it when mine went out. Then maybe the lawyer would have told me he was going to make enough money rather then me footing the bill for the repairs. It went out at 50mph on a highway. My insurance blamed the fault on a manufacturing defect and declined coverage for the accident. ~ Mike C. 86LX



I bought the bike last year and have no previous knowledge of the bike's history. I noticed some small things that were in need of attention and since it is an ‘86, I like to know that the bike is sound if I am going to take this on long trips. Since this forum is a wealth of info and the common problems that some of you have been having, I like to take these projects on and be sure of what I have. It is no fun to go away on a long trip to find you sit in some motel for a few days if you have to have your bike fixed. This also allows me to see how the bike is put together I case I do have to get at some thing on the road. I did find that the rear seal on the final drive is leaking, the Drive shaft in my bike is still good and tight, and the biggest thing for me was the exhaust leak, which could have created havoc down the road. I did also find that the hose between the two gas tanks was cracked and was starting to leak, so I will replace all of the hoses and most of the oil seals. If all goes well it will look as good if not better than before, since now I can get at all the hard to get at parts to clean them as well. ~ Terry 86LX




I'm new to the group having bought my 86 LX about 3 months back. I just got back from being deployed for two months under Operation Noble Eagle and now want to get the Cade up and running. One of my problems is I'm missing the right hand antenna, which I believe, goes to the radio. The metal rod (across the back of the bike) that the antenna's mount to is there, as is the mount for the CB antenna and the CB antenna itself. Is there a good after market radio antenna cable and mounting bracket I can get for it? ~ Virgil in Tenn.


Check any truck stop and you can find them with all the truck CB stuff. ~ Nancy

I'm using a set of Twin Trucker's CB antennae from Radio Shack. One for the radio, one for the CB I hook up when traveling with groups. Only complaint so far is they don't swing down like the stock one did. I understand the stock ones are still available from Suzuki and the GoldWing ones will work also. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong. ~ KennG


The left side is your CB antenna, and installing a replacement incorrectly or installing an antenna that's too far outta tune may blow the final RF amp in your CB radio the first time you transmit. ~ Theoretically, you should be able to replace it with any CB antenna, but you must make sure that the coax or antenna isn't shorting out, which will damage your CB. In addition, any replacement antenna will not be properly tuned so your transmission power will be off. ~ The best solution I can think of is to find a reputable local CB shop. You'll need to remove enough of the fairing to get to the CB radio itself, in particular where the antenna coax connects so that an SWR meter can be hooked up to get it all tuned. If you ride two-up mostly, you should probably tune it with the passenger in riding position. ~ Brenden


Brenden, Are you sure about the CB antenna being on the left? Seems to me that mine is on the right side when seated on the bike. The easy way to tell is that the CB antennae is like 2 section having a connector about 1/3 of the way up on it, and the AM/FM antenna is 1 solid rod all the way up. I was able to buy the CB antenna from a dealer. They had to order it, and it cost around $80. Just my 2 cents worth. ~ Brian in IN, ‘87 tt Gray LX

They do have an antenna that allows both AM/FM radio and the CB to use one antenna. I wouldn’t use one myself, but they are available. ~ Brian


If the CB instruction manual is correct, the radio antenna is always on the left and the stock Cade came with only a single mount (the double antenna holder comes with the CB kit). When you install the CB, you also install the double mount to attach the CB antenna and radio antenna. The radio antenna is always on the left and the CB is on the right. ~ Tracy


Thought I could solve a mystery. I went to Bike Bandit and viewed their schematic parts. It shows both with 3-piece antenna. It doesn't even show a plain rod antenna and calls em an antenna ASSY. Mine has one of each and came installed on the bike as factory equipment. I haven't tried to figure which is which, as they both seem to work. I'd think the one with the booster coil is the AM/FM, and that black thing is a booster coil, just a coil of extra wire added in to fool the antenna into thinking it's 30 foot long. I did have to repair mine after a bad case of "TINKERITIOUS" RIDE WARM ~ Walter


The black thing is a coil of wire that makes the antenna think it's 102 inches long (or thereboughts). That's the best length for CB transmission reception since it is close to the wavelength (or some multiple of the wavelength). It's the CB antenna. ~ Tracy



I had the plastic off the Cade yesterday and noticed what looked like an impedance matching splitter unit near the CB. I didn't trace back the wiring to see where it went but feel certain that the ant. is coming into it. Then it looks like there's two outputs coming out, one to the CB and the other to the radio matching the impedance to the two units. That would explain why I've seen a lot of pictures of Cade's with only one Ant. Anybody know this to be true? ~ Virgil


I don't have my CD handy, but I think that's for microphone input. ~ Brenden


The CB install guide shows no antenna connection between the radio and CB. There is, however, a box that both the radio and CB plug into for the headsets. This is required so that the CB will comes through the headsets and for the rear passenger remote control of the CB. ~ Tracy


I did lube the linkage today. It seems that the biggest problem was due to the Cade having set for a long time. The more I exercise the linkage the better it gets. I was told it had set for over a year but I think it may have been a lot more. I'm getting a little closer to Branson. Thanks for the help! ~ Virgil


Since it's been sitting for a long time, I would check the clutch fluid. That is the trouble that I've had when my Cade shifts weird. About six months ago I rode home on the shoulder in rush hour traffic when my clutch fluid went bad. The bike wouldn't shift at all, then I changed the clutch fluid and viola' good as new. ~ Dan



Does anyone out there have a fix for the rear radio volume control? It is at full blast and the volume control turns, but has no effect on the volume. I just got the second headset for my passenger and almost blew out her eardrums testing it. ~ Scott Daily Carrollton, TX


Try Radio Shack for a new volume control. I don't remember the part number but I had the same problem on my 86 LXE. I replaced it and that fixed it right up. Maybe someone in the groups remembers the part numbers. You have to drill a hole in the side of the box where controls are to install it but other than that and soldering three wires that’s all it takes. ~ John in LA


Several people have taken the time to either clean or replace theirs. I just purchased an inline volume control. It's about 8" long and works just fine. I ended up buying mine at Road Rider in San Jose, CA, but you should be able to find it, or order it, from anyplace that sells motorcycle radio parts. ~ HeyJerr



I have tackled the infamous switch replacement problem that afflicts the Clarion radios and I found that the instructions on the web site are not correct, at least as far as mine is concerned. There are more screws to remove than in the instructions and the number of connectors to remove is only 3, not 4. One on the front panel and two on the radio circuit board. Also to remove the faceplate, there is no mention in the instructions about the 8 plastic tabs that hold part of it in place. It appears that only one switch is defective, the TAPE/RADIO switch, as I had suspected. It looks like a fairly easy job to remove and install new switches. Now all I have to do is find a supplier for them in the Toronto, Ontario area rather than ordering them from Digikey in the U.S. ~ Mike



I just got off the phone with J&M Corp trying to buy a headset system for the Cade. I was told that they quit making the interconnecting cables to go from the 6 pin connector on the Cade to the 5 pin that's needed to match up with their headsets about 3 years ago. This guy wasn't too helpful especially for a company that advertises that their 8 pin headsets will connect up to any system. Anybody got any recent experience hooking the Cade to J&M products or maybe someone else? Virgil '86 LX in TN


Virgil I ordered headsets (J&M brand) from Niehaus Cycle Sales Litchfield, Illinois 62056 ph. 800 373-6565 less than a year ago. They have much better prices than J&M. Hope this helps! ~ Jim


Jim, I called them and talked to Ron. He had me fixed up and off the phone in five minutes with a better price. Thanks ~ Virgil


I just got a new helmet and Sierra elect hooked up my J&M set to the headset...if you have any questions about the radios or headsets they are a wealth of knowledge. They work on Cade radios and headsets.... Motorcycle audio is their specialty here is their phone number is 1-800-338-6938 in troy Ohio. Hope this might help you. ~ Nancy

There is a wiring diagram on the CD in the CB directory. The filename is CBheadset.pdf and it might be helpful matching the different plugs. ~ Tracy


I bought mine through a year and a half ago. Best price I could find at the time. Get their number off the web site and call to make sure which ones fit the Cade. ~ Brian in IN 87 tt Gray LX


Thanks Tracy (and everyone else) I’ll use it for sure. It shouldn't be a problem they’re marked front and rear. ~ Virgil


The parts you need are at Sierra Electronics . They carry both the cabling harness and the helmet headsets. ~ Micky “Gray 87 LX”



Its been in the 70's and low 80's here in Mississippi and I'm trying to ride everyday, my radio quit working a few months back. It was those buttons that wouldn't work, today while riding down the interstate I decided to open the hatch and just for the heck of it push those buttons again. I didn't pay any attention to the volume control and when my finger pushed that switch it was like an explosion of music hit me right in my face. I damn near came off the back of it while doing 55 mph. just a little shock that it came back on, I'm not pushing anymore buttons except the one that changes stations----

This happened about 3 weeks ago-no joke, while riding down a 4 lane street in a nicer part of Meridian I came up to a red light. A car pulled up in the lane next to me, a pretty young blond said "hi". I replied "hi". She said "what a pretty bike, would you take me riding with you." all of a sudden I felt like "then came Bronson" but my body told me Viagra. As the light turned green she said follow me over to the parking lot but I just waved goodbye and hauled ass. Why didn't this happen a few years back, like 40 years back? --------------Chicken, Richie




It's a shame that the cornering lights (on the LXE) weren't designed to be running lights. I drove a touring R model BMW that had one each high/low auxiliary lights. The high beam really reached out. The road signs reflected 1/2 mile away, and the independently switched low threw an angled beam out to the right. Great deer spotters! Has anyone converted/reangled the cornering lights to be of use during normal running? ~ Roy - MD - 86 LX


A buddy of mine converted his, I think he said he did it with a consistent ground. I never have tried it so I don’t know for sure, I know he has had his converted for about 4 years and never had any problems. ~ Roy in TX


I had some non-stock corning lights in my Cade when I bought it. I took them out and replaced them with small 55 watt driving lights that fit right in place of them. I had to make a bracket to get them shining straight down the road, then used a relay to have them go on and off with the high beam of my headlight. That way they wont drain the Battery down or blind oncoming traffic. It also draws straight from the battery, so I didn't need to worry about over loading any circuits. You can check out a picture of it at my site. If you want more details, email me back and I'll send you the light numbers, diagram, etc. ~ Brian in IN 87 tt Gray LX


I just finished this weekend putting small rectangle 55-watt lights in place of my cornering light area. I took the outer two screws out of the foot rest and extended SS bolts (#8 by 3") through the holes (drilled the thread out of one hole) and used copper tubing for spacers one cut at 1 inch and the other 1/4 inch longer. Placed an SS nut and washer to jamb the footrest then placed the spacer and the light mount with washers and screwed it together with a nylon SS lock nut. I then cut the bolts flush with the nut. The 55-watt light-mounting hole was lengthened to align for the bolts. It seemed to work okay and only took a short time. ~ Don Dorion ‘86 LX



Be careful! You might be rebuilding the stator. Two 55-watt lamps, driving lamps and the headlight is a bit much for the stator. ~ Rod


Has anyone notice if there is any relation to the stator/rectifiers going out and the number of additional lights on a Cade or lights on a trailer. Just wondering if maybe the Cade wasn’t made to light up a small city, like some other Japanese bike that I won't mention. ~ Roy in TX


For what it's worth, my opinion is that stator failure caused by heat. Sure the more light you have the more output is required but I think more so, high engine temps from in town riding and infrequent oil changing is more harmful to stators than too many lights. The stator normally puts out a constant voltage at 3000 RPM and up. The regulator determines the need for juice. I have very few extra lights and my first stator went at 56,000 miles but my regulator lasted 88,000. I did a 70/30 mix of highway/city miles. I'm sure others have a variety of opinions. ~

Ray Letourneau


I had a 65/100 watt headlight, 2 (two) sets of running lights one set 100 watt and the other 55 watt, a third brake light and a cigar lighter front fork lights (three on each side) and ten marker lights around the bag rails. I never had a single problem from the charging system or the battery. At the time I sold it back in 94 I had over 68000 miles. That’s seven years, including winter driving. Lucky maybe or is there a different stator/reg. on a '87 LXEs? ~ Marlon


Just a question, is there not a main fuse which trips if the entire system gets overloaded? Would this not trip to save the stator higher current draw before causing damage to the stator? ~ Don Dorion '86 LX


No, the circuit breakers or fuses are designed for the wiring of the system. When you overload the stator is has no way of protecting itself, it just shorts out. The stator is only designed to handle a designated amount of watts. If you add fog lights, driving lights, running lights, upgrade head light and pull a trailer I can guarantee you that you will be rebuilding your stator. ~ Rod


I've added a ton of lights AND tow a trailer. By the grace of God, I have so far been spared the agony of the dreaded stator replacement. I might also add that the lights were NOT all on the same circuit, each protected by fuses, have separate switches, hooked directly to the battery and run through a headlight relay. I run my trailer lights through a power box that also takes power from the battery for the trailer lights. I've also installed a voltage tester from Radio Shack to keep track of the power drain and battery condition. Yes group, you CAN have too many lights if you just keep adding without planning. ~ KennG


I agree with Kenn, you can have too many if you don't plan and use wisely. All of Kenn's suggestions to wise wiring are good ideas. I think faulty connectors and inferior rebuild units have caused most of my problems. I have since hard wired all connections and have used Electrex regulator with good results. ~ Denny


Regarding the cornering light conversion: Be careful, you might be rebuilding the stator. Two 55 watt lamps, driving lamps, and the head light is a bit much for the stator." "Has anyone notice if there is any relation to the stator/rectifiers going out and the number of additional lights on a Cade or lights on a trailer. Just wondering if maybe the Cade wasn’t made to light up a small city, like some other Japanese bike that I won't mention. " "For what it's worth, my opinion is that stator failure caused by heat. Sure the more light you have the more output is required but I think more so, high engine temps from in town riding and infrequent oil changing is more harmful to stators than too many lights. The stator normally puts out a constant voltage at 3000 RPM and up. The regulator determines the need for juice. I have very few extra lights and my first stator went at 56,000 miles but my regulator lasted 88,000. I did a 70/30 mix of highway/city miles. I'm sure others have a variety of opinions. ~


In answer to the above discussion I submit these thoughts. If you disagree, please respond in precise detail. The stator is excited with a permanent magnet for a compact assembly. So unlike the usual auto set up excited by field windings, where the output can be controlled by adjusting the current in the field windings, there is no way to control the strength of the magnet. From what I see in the wiring diagram, the regulator merely shorts out the stator output that is unneeded as determined by the back EMF (voltage) of the battery. Therefore, the current flowing in the stator is always the same for a given speed. So it would seem to follow that by adding more load (lights etc.) you will be relieving the regulator of some of its work and may be extending its life. The stator; however is stuck with creating whatever power is dictated by the flux being supplied by the revolving magnet. I see Subaru is selling a new portable generator they claim has a permanent magnet and they are controlling the stator output. I would really like to find out how they are doing this and see if the idea could be adapted to our machine. If we could actually limit the current in the stator when it is not needed instead of just shorting it out, the stator truly should run cooler and last longer. I have been thinking about this for a long time; but have not figured out how to check into it yet. Cling to stock or not, this is definitely something I would change! ~ ARC


ARC, I would agree with most of your comments and have a few to add. Yes, because it is a permanent magnet system as long as the motor is running it's making' juice. And, since there has to be a compromise between total available output and "normal" load, most units are capable of machine' more juice than what is used. The rest as you stated is bled off to ground and the reg/rec dissipates the excess energy as heat. Luckily, since all bikes after 1980 or so have always-on lights, the reg/rec is a little less abused since there are always some bulbs draining off part of the juice. However, if you apply too much load (like some of the Christmas tree arrangements of some members), then the path to ground becomes more and more direct. Admittedly, the bulbs are dissipating heat but, as more bulbs are added the resistance to ground (which is controlled by the reg/rec) becomes lower and lower. This, I believe, is where your theory might need a slight adjustment. Think of the reg/rec as a big fat resistor with a minimum ohm resistance of X.  At no time will the resistance to ground be less than X.  But, if the voltage in the system is at or below 14.4 volts (the "ideal charge voltage of a modern 12 volt system), the reg/rec no longer does anything. It essentially turns itself off and the resistance to ground of the stator windings is at the mercy of the sum of the resistive loads in the circuit (or the sum of the reciprocals depending on the arrangement). This could generate more heat in the stator and lead to premature failure. Maybe. I believe the reason most stators fail is due to poor grounding of the reg/rec (or failure of it) or poor connections between the stator and the reg/rec. I also believe that a stator is designed to put out a certain amount of juice and when you approach or exceed the max regularly, it can be as detrimental as poor connections or a bad ground. Also, the Electrex web site discusses the point in the system that the reg/rec sees the system voltage and whether it is looking at AC or DC. The Electrex reg/rec comes with one or two less wires since they see the DC system voltage and the stock system may have been reading the AC voltage or was taking a DC reading from somewhere else in the system. I'm not an electrical wizz by any means. But, if everything is hooked up and grounded well, that could be the best assurance against stator or reg/rec failure. I've even thought of putting a 12V computer processor fan in the fairing to help cool the reg/rec cool at low speeds. ~ Tracy


Tracy, If that is true and the stator is replaced without replacing the regulator, then the new stator would fail as well. I guess it makes a lotta sense to replace the regulator if one replaces the stator. ~ Spike


Wait a minute there, Spikey! If the stator failed due to BAD CONNECTIONS, then the new one might not fail if you don't replace the reg/rec. Personally, I think your selective reading takes over when you want to prophylactically replace things. You must not have enough to do. ~ Tracy


Yah, well perhaps. There should be a way to test a regulator to see if the connections are good. I guess I’m obsessed with not having the Cade conk out on me on some of the roads I've been riding lately. I’m not kidding, some of these places are so remote it might be hours before anyone came along to help, and if they did, one might be reluctant to accept help from em. Some of these same places in the Taxifornia Central Valley and in the mountains are so remote the cell phone doesn’t even work from there. We think of Taxifornia as a crowded state, and it is, but get a couple hours outta town and it is desolate. This does bring up a point I was meaning to ask you. If the stator goes, what indication do you have that you are running on battery power? I want to rig up an indicator of some sort, then if it shows the battery draining, I want to rig up a switch that will allow me to turn off the headlight and hope I can make it to civilization on the battery. ~ Spike


A cheap voltage meter kit from Radio Shack. They were selling them for about $3 or 4 awhile back. Has 4 or 5 LEDs to let you know what's going on. ~ Tracy


Here's my nickels worth on the indication of stator failure. I'm sure everyone will agree a voltmeter is a huge necessity on the Cade. I have an analog unit I got through McMaster Carr that is rectangular and fits into the slot in the fairing on the side that doesn't have the radio display in it. (Mine’s on the right side). It's wired to the ignition and is 'on' when the key's 'on.' I even devised a little LED into it for night use. I can monitor output voltage. When I've had failures in the past and low voltage was indicated, the stator failure causes a very slight but noticeable vibration and whining noise from down under. I believe it's due to one of the windings shorting out and causing an imbalance in the whole assembly. When my regulator failed there was voltage drop but no vibration. Testing AC output of the stator when that happened determined the stator was OK so I replaced the regulator and all was well. ~ Ray & Lin LeTourneau "In The Woods" Nekoosa, WI


The exact thing happened to me in Mississippi last summer. The only indication I had was the bike stalling once I got off the interstate. Luckily my buddy had a CBX that had the same battery as I, and we swapped batteries. He charged my dead battery while I ran down his charged one. I had to push start the CBX to get it started. I took out the headlight fuse to save on power. When I arrived home I placed a panel voltmeter on the Cade's dash to indicate a proper charging voltage. I replaced the R/R with a new one from Electrex. The first ride since the replacement the new R/R went again. The voltmeter told me. I replaced the R/R under warranty and it works great now. ~ Don Dorion '86 LX


Tracy, Thank you for the tip to the generator basics link at Electrex. It is a more thorough explanation of generator theory and states what the regulator does; but it does not say how. Also note that they are showing a star or 'Y' connection 3 phase set up and the standard 3-phase version in our original stock design is the delta connection. More on this later in my story. You are correct about the formula for resistance in parallel which shows the more resistors (a.k.a. lights) you add the lower the resistance goes. This is because there are more paths to ground and the "juice" does not have to be squeezed through fewer pathways. The regulator works via a Zener Diode, which will conduct at or above a specified voltage and not conduct at a lower voltage. I looked at that as regulating voltage. After pondering your statement that the regulator regulates the resistance to ground I think that could also be said. You are also correct about "that a stator is designed to put out a certain amount of juice". But, it is always being produced whether you are requiring that amount for your load or not. The extra is bled off through the regulator to maintain system voltage at 14.X. So, more lights will not cause more heat in the stator; but, will relieve heat in the regulator. And like you say, if there are enough lights the regulator will not be working at all; but, the stator output will not be any different. The penalty for adding too many lights and exceeding the stator output is that the battery will then have to supply the difference and will discharge instead of charge. I think to limit the current in the stator with a fixed magnetic field to current requirements, either a controllable high series resistance or a back EMF must somehow be introduced into the circuit. I was hoping that there might be a practicing electrical or electronics engineer in the group and upon seeing all this might come up with a way to do just that and lighten the load on all our stators. Then if someone added more lights they would be requiring the stator to put out more and develop more stator heat in the process. Back to the two types of windings. My first stator went out at about 38k. When I found I could replace it with a rewound, I could have the choice of regular or high output. That was before I discovered this group and did not know that stators were a common problem. I have had several bikes and biker friends and had only heard of one Gold Wing burning up a stator. I have the entire Suzuki after market light package, which I only turned on at dusk & dawn, in highly lighted city riding and in foggy conditions. That was because of the traditional thinking that more lights caused the stator to make more "juice". Aha! And now here is a high output stator option, maybe it can handle all those extra lights. My thinking was that maybe those extra lights at one time caused the windings to burn and eventually destroyed themselves. Someone realizes that and designed a stator to deliver the load without burning out. With no way to know the differences, I ordered and installed the high output version and all connections were found to be good. That stator burned up in only 2k and took the regulator with it. By that time one of our members had submitted his work on rewinding the stator your self. I had contemplated doing just that; but, was unsure if I wanted to tackle that job and besides the group now had several listings of where to get stators and I could get one much faster now. The stator rewinding submission is excellent work by one of the members and gave me the courage to go ahead and do the job myself. When I got into it, I found the rewound "high output" stator was wound with two smaller strands rather than one larger one. This is called two in hand and may have some advantage other than making it easier to get a tighter wrap around the pole. But, I don't remember and couldn't find anything on that rewinding method. I also found it was wound in a star rather than the delta shown in our schematic or the very detailed instructions from our member. I went to an old textbook and found that the star design puts out more voltage. But, causes more current to circulate in the windings. How silly! We already have enough voltage and are limiting it to 14.X Volts. Why do we want the ability to produce more voltage at the expense of running more current in the windings than we are using in our load including the regulator? With the delta design, the current running in each of the 3 windings is less than the total current running in the load. Needless to say, I wound my stator back to the delta configuration and would not recommend the so-called high output stator to anyone. I also used the larger of the two wire sizes recommended in the instructions. The power produced is dependent on the number of windings and not on the size of the wire. I used the larger size thinking that although harder to wind, it would better handle the current flow. ~ This is starting to look like a Gaza story. You can recall his lengthy dissertations as "he could type faster than he could think". Bye! ~ ARC



ARC ~> Electrex is showing a star or Y connection 3 phase set up and the standard 3 phase version in our original stock design is the delta connection.

Tracy ~> Actually, if you look at Section 8 of the service manual, you see that the diagram for the Cade stator is the same configuration as is shown on the Electrex page. There may be more total poles but they are connected such that only a delta (or triad) of phases remains.

ARC ~> You are correct about the formula for resistance in parallel which shows the more resistors (a.k.a. lights) you add the lower the resistance goes. This is because there are more paths to ground and the "juice" does not have to be squeezed through fewer pathways.

Tracy ~> Actually, whether the resistive loads are in parallel or series, the same thing happens. You just use a different formula to calculate the total resistance of the circuit since parallel and series loads each represent a different load value to the circuit.

ARC ~> The regulator works via a Zener diode which will conduct at or above a specified voltage and not conduct at a lower voltage. I looked at that as regulating voltage. After pondering your statement that the regulator regulates the resistance to ground I think that could also be said.

Tracy ~> Well, there may be a Zener diode in the IC that is used as the On/Off switch but it is not a Zener diode that regulates the resistance to ground directly. The IC controls the SCRs that are used as the "resistive load" to ground that will short out (or shunt) the output of the stator phases to ground (either individually or concurrently) to control the output voltage. The minimum resistance to ground through the SCRs will be dependent on the particular SCRs being used. But, if the resistance goes too low, it will be like shorting a screwdriver across a set of battery terminals (when the motor is whizzing of course) since the output of the stator can be quite high at high engine revs.

ARC ~> You are also correct about "that a stator is designed to put out a certain amount of juice". But, it is always being produced whether you are requiring that amount for your load or not. The extra is bled off through the regulator to maintain system voltage at 14.X. So more lights will not cause more heat in the stator; but, will relieve heat in the regulator and like you say, if there is enough lights the regulator will not be working at all; but, the stator output will not be any different. The penalty for adding too many lights and exceeding the stator output is that the battery will then have to supply the difference and will discharge instead of charge.

Tracy ~> Like any electrical circuit, you are dealing with the movement of electrons. It isn't "always being produced" so to speak. While there is potential energy available when the motor is running, applying a connection across the windings is what releases the potential or completes the circuit. In other words, if the resistance between the phase outputs is high enough (say, through 6 inches of air or essentially infinite). Essentially no current is flowing since the formula is V (volts)/R (resistance) = I (current) no significant (or even measurable by less than the most sophisticated instrument) electrical current is produced since the electrons are being required to jump through 6 inches of air which has such a low resistance. Now, short two terminals together and blammo you have a problem. Now, V/R = I takes on a new meaning. The more current the stator is asked to produce (IE: low resistive load) the more stress that is put on the windings in the form of current. As more current flows through the windings (AKA: electrons) the more heat that is produced since even though copper has an extremely low resistance as compared to most materials, it does have resistance and it is that resistance that produces heat in the windings. The only reason the stator is producing current all the time is because we are asking it to by providing a fairly low resistance electron path through the battery, lights, wiring etc. If we unhook all that stuff, the stator won't produce any current (or essentially none). So, to say that the stator does not produce any more heat with a low resistive load (near 0 ohms) versus a high resistive load (say 100 ohms or more) doesn't wash. Remember, the windings in the stator are being "excited" by the alternating north and south poles of the rotor magnets. That excitation results in the flow of electrons through the stator windings and "abra cadabra" we have the juice.

ARC ~> I think to limit the current in the stator with a fixed magnetic field to current requirements, either a controllable high series resistance or a back EMF must somehow be introduced into the circuit. I was hoping that there might be a practicing electrical or electronics engineer in the group and upon seeing all this might come up with a way to do just that and lighten the load on all our stators. Then if someone added more lights they would be requiring the stator to put out more and develop more stator heat in the process.

Tracy ~> Actually, if you look at the schematic of the reg/rec in Section 8, you will see that there is a return EMF to the stator from the reg/rec. This appears to be following the principle that in a closed circuit, the sum of all voltages will be zero. If you introduce an opposing voltage back to the stator windings, you will offset the output voltage to some degree and lessen the current output to ease the load on the SCRs in the reg/rec.

ARC ~> With no way to know the differences, I ordered and installed the high output version and all connections were found to be good. That stator burned up in only 2k and took the regulator with it. When I got into it, I found the rewound "high output" stator was wound with two smaller strands rather than one larger one. This is called two in hand and may have some advantage other than making it easier to get a tighter wrap around the pole; but I don't remember and couldn't find anything on that rewinding method. I also found it was wound in a star rather than the delta shown in our schematic or the very detailed instructions from our member. I went to an old textbook and found that the star design puts out more voltage; but causes to circulate in the windings.

Tracy ~> Assuming that you have a fixed strength magnetic field (the rotor). And you are limited by physical size as to the amount of wire to be wrapped on the stator (and the number of poles). Then the only way to increase the capacity of the system is to increase the "turns" of wire. Increasing turns requires smaller wire. Smaller wire, higher current load, and you have a burn out. Also, I would suspect that the "star" pattern of winding (since you have 6 phases instead of 3) is simply to connect the phases together to end up with 3. The stock configuration is shown as 3 phases but may in fact be more than that but simply connected together within the stator to add the current from each phase to the 3 output phases.

ARC ~> The power produced is dependent on the number of windings and not on the size of the wire. I used the larger size, thinking that although harder to wind, it would better handle the current flow.

Tracy ~> Yes. More winding length equals more available output but the larger wire is probably best. I wish I could take all the credit for my part of this enlightening discussion, however, I did consult with my son who has a few years of electronic engineering under his belt and is currently a service technician for Compaq (mostly servers). Thanks for letting me spew. ~ Tracy


Wow, Bob, I'm not quite sure what you said - but I agree! ~ I talked with a guy from Alabama that rewound stators (who used to work for Willie's) And he didn't particularly like the hi output one from Willie's because of using two smaller wires - as you pointed out) because they didn't hold up to the heat. He said he used a high temperature wire that was rated at about 30 degrees higher than what was normally used. He had put in quite a few bikes that were owned by local police departments and said that so far he had good results. I'm going to try one of his the next time I need one. I have to do some checking for a name and number. Seem like I found him by advertisement in one of the bike magazines. Pricing was comparable to Willie's. ~ Denny



I got to searching the net about our bike alternators and came across this tidbit that may be useful for some on the understanding of how they work and what to watch for... I feel I should share some useful information I've picked up about the general operating principles of our alternators and regulator/rectifiers. There has been a lot of recent list activity lately with some rather strange conclusions being drawn and I'd like to help set the record straight. Please don't flame me if you disagree, I'm trying to HELP, not piss people off. The V4 (and most of Honda's other motors, I think) has a 3-phase, delta configuration, permanent-magnet alternator. This means that alternator voltage and current are directly proportional to engine RPM. There is no built-in method of regulating the output of this type of alternator as the magnetic field comes from rotating permanent magnets and not from a controllable electromagnet (as in a cage alternator). This type of alternator does not produce enough voltage/current to run all the accessories and lights at idle speed but it is small, simple, well-proven technology which has served Honda and most other M/C companies well over the years. BTW, some of the newer Suzuki's use a small, cage-type alternator driven off the top of the transmission input shaft which has a rotating field and stationary 3-phase stator coil so it IS controllable (bet they don't have regulator failures & meltdowns). The V4 has a combination rectifier and regulator which "shunts" the excess voltage and current produced by the alternator directly to ground through internal TRIAC semiconductors. These have a low resistance when active but some resistance still exists which is why the regulator/rectifier gets hot. At low engine rpm's the regulator portion does nothing at all and allows all the current to pass through the rectifier portion and into the battery and lighting systems of the bike. As RPM increases, so does the voltage and current coming out of the alternator at a preset voltage, usually around 14 - 15 volts. The TRIAC's are gated (activated) and begin chopping off the peaks of the sine wave AC voltage coming from the alternator by connecting the windings to ground. At above 5000 RPM, most of the current produced by the alternator is being shunted to ground. Where does all this current go, you ask. It heats up the alternator windings (which are cooled by engine oil), the regulator/rectifier, and unfortunately it also heats the electrical connectors and cause meltdowns when corroded connectors are present. On the late-model VFR's the regulator is inadequately cooled as Honda eliminated the finned heat sink and just bolted the metal case to the frame in hopes that it would dissipate enough heat to keep it from frying. (In solid state electronics, cool = good). This is an extremely simple design but it has several weaknesses that can cause catastrophic failure when components fail. 1. Bad regulator/rectifier can either short ALL current to ground causing alternator overheating and connector meltdown or it can short NONE to ground allowing unregulated high voltage to feed the rest of the system and burn up your battery and lights in a big hurry. 2. Bad connectors (high resistance) cause all the waste energy to heat the electrical connectors instead of the alternator windings until it melts and/or burns up the connectors. 3. Weak battery can cause the regulator/rectifier to be overworked causing overheating and failure. The battery acts as an additional regulating component as its low internal resistance tends to try to keep voltage constant relative to its state of charge. Now, as for the other questions I've seen: Some of you seem to be having difficulty with some of the concepts and terms, so here the explanations: I understand what a diode does. The Clymer drawing shows a voltage regulator with rectifier and separately a rectifier. The question came in cause the drawing uses the symbol for a diode in the place labeled rectifier. What I have previously seen labeled as a diode is a solid arrow that butts up against a line perpendicular to the line that the arrow is on, like  --------|------- A diode is a one-way valve for electricity. A "bridge-rectifier" is a combination of 4 or more diodes in a configuration called a "Whetstone Bridge" which make AC voltage into pulsing DC voltage. This is also called a full-wave rectifier. Often, you'll see the two terms "diode" and "rectifier" used interchangeably. The Sab-Mag rectifier uses 6 diodes The little symbol --|-- is the schematic representation of a diode. The rule of thumb for current flow through a diode is that current flows against the direction of the arrow and current flows from negative to positive (none of you physics professors need jump in here with any of your "hole conduction" crap). If you look at the wiring diagram for your Sabmag you'll see a little diode symbol in the circuit between the clutch switch, neutral light, and the starter solenoid. The diode keeps the clutch switch from turning on your neutral light whenever you pull in the clutch.  IIRC, the alternator produces three-phase AC. This needs to be first converted into pulsing DC. This is accomplished by a "rectifier bridge," or rectifier for short. This is normally a set of diodes in a specific pattern. Then, there has to be a way to regulate this. So you create an electronic device that feeds back to the alternator, controlling the fields to keep the voltage somewhat constant. Well, almost, but not quite right... See above: The permanent magnet alternator on a SabMag has no such feedback capability. And then you have the battery that acts as a huge capacitor that smoothes the DC to a nice stable output. Yup! (Except it's more like a constant voltage capacitor). ~ Bob Peloquin Worcester, MA



How can you tell if your voltage regulator has gone bad or is going bad? Is there a chart made up where I can compare ohm readings?  ~ Alvin T.


On our CD-ROM, Section 8 page 4 of the service manual details a check procedure. Also, has a detailed method. ~ Tracy



Last year I bought after market light bar. Really like where is positioned on the bike. I would like to install on it round driving lights. For some reason I think round will go well with the bike. Does anyone know where I can get a set, and how strong they should be, etc? ~ Wojo, ‘86LX


I can’t help with the wattage of lights to use. But, I would like to know what brand and part # of the bar you bought and where it mounts. Personally I would use a rectangle light to go along with the headlight and the cornering lights if it's an LXE. ~ Roy in TX


If it’s an 86 Cade they are noted for bad stators. I went through three on my ‘86 in 48K miles with no added lights. Many other have had the same problem with stators in ‘86. ~ BobL



Can anyone tell me where on the bike the starter relay is? I just tried to start the Cade for the first time since October, and when I let go of the starter, it kept turning over. I removed the key and still it was turning over - I had to disconnect the battery to get it to stop (not before I ran down my battery though... Suggestions? Thanks, ~ Brian 87LXE in CT


Well, folks, Tracy did it again! (This is a good thing)... ~ I was wondering about my starter relay's location & Tracy forwarded me the appropriate page (silly me, I have the CD lol) showing me where it is. ~ If you remember, I mentioned that the relay was stuck closed (on) and the bike would turn over unless the battery was disconnected.

Seeing where the relay is (and after removing all plastic from the bike for other repairs), I gave it a few taps with a screwdriver and voila - works good as new - well, almost:)  "HATS OFF" to you Tracy! you saved me $57 (cost of new relay) !! ! ! ~ Brian, ’87 LXE in CT



Hey all, I have just removed & dissected my OK monitor (the unit which controls the info panel on dashboard) and looks like it was hit by lightning! Not only that, but the entire circuit board is coated in a plastic-like substance (for waterproofing?) making it next to impossible to repair. My question is:

1) Is there a way to easily & safely remove this plastic layer - or-

2) Anyone know where I can get a working unit without having to order new?

Thanks, ~ Brian


The plastic can probably be removed with lacquer thinner or mineral spirits or carb cleaner or tar and bug remover. I would CAREFULLY try them one at a time until you find the one that will dissolve the plastic without damaging everything else. ~ I'm sure that someone out there has a spare (not me, though, I'm keeping my extra in case the bike gets hit by lightening). ~ Tracy



I have two LXE's. Both are that weird brownish/maroonish color (soon to be repainted) The first one was my faithful steed for 10 years until she fried the main wiring harness. She is now the organ donor for her younger sister. So far 'Lil Sister' has not asked for much but the Ol' Girl is waiting with pride to give her all. ~ Robert Garcia

Robert: Would you happen to have any input as to what you think might have fried the harness. In my travels I have run upon a couple of Cades that were burned up in the fairing area, evidently from the same sort of trouble. ~ Walter n Maryland


I have no idea what fried the wires. It was fried basically from the radio area all the way back to the wiring in the trunk. That's how I found out. I opened the trunk after getting home from a ride and noticed what look like a small puff of smoke. Pulling back the trunk liner I found the wires were melted together. I took off the cowling and the seat and found it all melted together. I don't know where it shorted out but after 88K I sure that somewhere along the line I probably didn't have the wires where they were supposed to be after some servicing and the wires rubbed and shorted out. Talking to Rick Gervasi, he states that he has seen the wires fried when people try to add accessories without having a good knowledge of what they are doing. I'm having the same problem right now with my "New" bike as a previous owner (unknown how many) has wired in a voltmeter, an after market CB and some running lights. The job looks great but I keep blowing fuses on the air compressor circuit, and when I turn on the running lights the voltmeter stops working and the neutral light comes on, even when not in neutral. Rick said to take it all out and we'll try it all again, the right way. Sorry that I couldn't pinpoint a problem or design flaw for you but be careful if you are going to wire any accessories onto the bike. FYI, I was talking to Rick 2 weeks ago, while my bike was being serviced, if the standard turning lights on the LXE light bar could be rewired to a switch so that I could use them as running light. He said that yes it could be done but that it would be very hard on the electrical system. Also if it was done I had to be sure to reverse the lights themselves, as the light pattern would be wrong for running lights ~ Bob Garcia, BMC, USN, Edmonds, WA 86 LXE




When painting the plastic parts, can I use a base coat of ordinary primer and then follow it up with regular enamel or do I have to dig deeper and get some Imron or similar? Happy New Year ~ Grandpa86


Painting, If you want to make it look great then use base coat-clear coat, then take 1200 grit water sand paper and sand the clear "not hard" but just to make it real slick. Then you get a rubbing compound and buffer and buff until it has that shine like a baby's ass--wait a minute, that has a hill on it. -- Just polish it real good.

I have a friend that builds these street rods and if you want to do this process I can find out just how he does it -- his paint jobs are like glass ~ Richie


Yah, that's exactly what I did. Ordinary primer followed by ordinary car body paint. As in painting metal, the key is to get the surface smooth as glass. I pre-sanded it smooth, then hit it with primer. I then used 400 grit wet sanding for about 20 minutes, followed by a 1600 grit equivalent abrasive sponge, available at the local hardware store. Then apply the color coat, let it dry and hit it again with 1600-grit wet sanding sponge. Add the final color coat and then several coats of clear enamel overcoat from a rattle can. ~ Spike



Hello, I recently purchased 3 rolling Cavalcade frames and a lot of other spare parts, but unfortunately very little plastic. I enjoy my cavalcade so much and parts are so rare, that I bought these to have spare parts for my bike. I was wondering how to let others who visit your site know that I had parts for sale. I've been in the position of not being able to find parts at a reasonable price, if at all. I would be more than fair with the other riders and would appreciate any help you could be. Thanks and ride safe. ~ Sam Harter, Email:



Speaking of Madura. The clutch from the 1200 will fit in the Cade. The only exception is the first plate. The others fall right in. There are one less drive and one less driven plates because they are thicker. You just need a Cade first (smallest) plate. Had a Madura clutch in my Cade for 20,000 miles. ~ Mikey


If you are inseam advantaged (formerly known as long legged) the foot peg deal doesn't work. I've tried three different ones, including the high priced one from Drag Specialties that was supposed to be made for the Cade. What worked for me was an inexpensive (cheap) set of little rubber pads that I found in a used parts bin at a dealer. I can put my feet on them if I want or lay my legs across them and travel for miles in comfort. If I turn my feet just right, the wind blows right up my pants leg and cools off more than my feet. I was soooooo proud of my unique set up until I got to Niagara Falls. Boomer has a gorgeous burgundy/silver Cade and these little rubber pads mounted on the top of his highway bars. ~ KennG



Gang, Not sure who may be interested, but thought I'd pass on that our local COSTCO (Price Club) had a motorcycle lift in this week for $96. It will hold up to 1500 pounds, is hydraulic, and has wheels so you can move the bike around on the lift. If there's a COSTCO in your area, you may want to check these out. Last one I saw was on the web and went for over $200, without the wheels, with wheels the going price was in the vicinity of $250 and up. ~ Dennis '86 LX


Dennis and All, I suggest caution before buying a cycle jack. I once borrowed a buddy's jack to change my rear tire. I was unable to find enough clearance or frame space to position the jack under. Ended up just using the center stand and returning his lift. ~ Mark H.


Hey all, One major thing to consider when looking at cycle lifts is where it will contact the bike. Those frame lifts will not work on a Cade unless they are modified due to the fact that the exhaust on Cades extends below the frame. Another problem is the stability factor. Big top heavy bike on a little lightweight (cheap) stand. Lift capacity is one thing but center of gravity is another. The best lift for the Cade is the Handy Lift manufactured by Western Mfg. Co. out of Marshalltown, Iowa. (800) 247-7594. They retail for around $600 and are worth every penny. Especially if you hate getting up & down while working on your steed. And if you own a 4 x 4 and park it in the garage, you can park over the lift (check you clearance Clarence) without moving it out of the way. I love my Handy Lift... ~ Ray


Dennis, I bought the $90 Costco lift and it seems to work OK. Others' cautions about stability are an issue for me. I will be modifying the tie downs and the contact points before I am comfortable with using it by my self without the spouse assisting. All in all, it seems to be well built and I think that with modifications it will have been a good purchase. I'll post my future good or bad experience with it. Go safely, smoothly and swiftly. ~ John Harelson


I just bought one for 79.99 from Homers traveling Truck Load Sale holds 1500 lbs. Had to use a 2 x 6 between the pipes and (2 x 3 on top of that, under the rear by the muffler) and it works great. I would not doing any major pushing and pulling work on it thou, its great for taking a rear tire off after its been loosened. ~ Roy in TX



Jay, Think I'd rather sell it as a parts bike. I don't have the room or tools to strip it down. Runs well, no major damage... CB and Stereo work fine. TLC will bring it back to life with a vengeance. Just tired of the oil leaks. See what you can do with that, thanks. ~ Don Box,


I have a complete bike for parts if interested contact me. ~ Robert Sylvia,



Those of you who have ordered the Cavalcade floorboards, the word is be patient (Like me). Gary M. in Canada is on the trail and will report as soon as he hears something. The manufacturer is making 5 extra sets. So as soon as the people on the list are contacted for their payment/ship to information, the rest should be up for grabs. We'll keep you informed as soon as we get information. Thank you for your co-operation and patients. BTW, they're still $250 plus shipping (Last I heard). ~ KennG


I see these are made in Canada. You say they are $250 plus shipping, is that Canadian or USA funds and is shipping from USA or Canada? ~ Terry 86LX


Let's hope it's Canadian...then $250 should cover both. As soon as we know, EVERYBODY will know. I'm the guy who shipped his floorboards off to be used as the pattern.... and I'm trying to be patient. ~ KennG



I'm looking for a map holder cover. Mine just blew off. ~ Tony in L.A.


I’ve heard a lotta guys talk about those map covers blowing off. I never had one of those. So I took a piece of sixteenth inch Lexan I bought down at the local hardware store for 2 bucks, cut it to the size of the right fairing compartment cover, stuck down the 4 corners with Velcro tape and now I have a poor man's map holder. ~ Spike


For those of us that have the map cases, they come with hook latches that are supposed to stop the tops from coming off. It is a good idea to check the little screws that hold the hook on and add a little Locktite. ~ Al from Mass


This is a good reminder for everyone to check the gizmo that keeps that map cover in place. These map covers were available last time I looked from your Suzuki dealer, but are pricey because you have to buy the whole insert (not just the lid). Chances of finding a used one someone is willing to part with are not good. Good luck Tony! We'll see what we can find out there. ~ Jay




I am in need of a part for my trike. I do not know what it is called and have not been able to find on the CD (sorry Tracy) but it is the auto load leveler switch. It looks like a little shock with an electric wire and mounts between the frame and swing arm to level the bike. Am I being descriptive enough? Does anyone have this piece for sale? I need it so I don't have to stop and air up the back of the trike. Thanks ~ Kelly B., Missouri


Page 50 Fig. 69 of the parts book under "rear suspension" (where else?), items 14 or 15 (model dependent). ~ Tracy



I am looking for both mirrors for my 86cavalcade. If you can help or forward info/ request. Thanks ~ Ken,



I am looking for arm rests if anyone knows where I can find a set, thanks. ~ Eddie,


Hey Gang, I would also be interested in armrests if anyone has suggestions not only send to Eddie but to me also. Thanks, ~ Kelly B. ’87, Cadetrike,


Arm rests for the "Cade" are available from for $79.95 plus shipping and handling Part Number(s) 673-819K = Black, L= Blue, N= Brown and 673-819U=wine. Very little if any modifications required. ~ Bud 87LXE



Anybody have a Cavalcade seat they'd like to sell? Actually, I don't really want the seat, just the pan it's on. I wouldn't mind getting the bladders (if any) too. I think the stock seat on my 88 is one of the more uncomfortable seats I've ever ridden if ridden too long. Gonna build me a new one but want to keep my stock seat. I could make my own mold of the top of the bike but not sure of my ability to mold strong hooks like those that the Cavalcade seat inserts into the plastic of the false tank. Bob Hunt Lakewood WA,



Can anyone tell me how I can figure out if I need the Superbrace or not. It seems to me that serial numbers can make a difference but I can find nothing about serial numbers when I look under Superbrace at the Cavalcade web site. Thanks in advance for the help. ~


From "Super Brace Adds stability to the front-end and helps prevent "fork wobble." Part #3310 for late 1986 up. (VIN #103765 or above)" Superbrace also has one for the early 86 before #103765 (part #3300). See ~ Tracy


If your brae looks like a maxi-pad, you have the newer one. If your maxi-pad has wings, it's the older one. Don't mean to offend, it's just the way it is. ~ KennG


I took no offense at all. But I haven’t a clue what a brae is, or what a maxi-pad looks like. ~ Spike


Ok, I have the later model Superbrace (regular maxi) and I would like to know if anyone has any experience with the Superbrace on this model. Does it make a significant difference and is it worth the $250? Thanks in advance for any comments. ~ Dofull


It's only $129. Yes, it's worth it. ~ Tracy


I'm with Tracy -- put the Superbrace on my 87 LXE saw an immediate improvement in handling. Would buy another one in a minute. ~ Al from Mass


I'm trying my best to ride every day I can to catch up with the miles on all of the other Cades out there, I now have 3,834 on my Cade and hope to catch up by 2008 with the rest of y’all. This weather is just great T-shirt riding, I did notice that front wheel wobble a bit today going down the interstate when I would hit some uneven pavement or small ruts. I think I might need that Kotex brace some of you are talking about. Is this very hard to install, I guess it will have instructions with it. I stopped at the local Wal-Mart and when I came out there were 6 guys standing around looking at my bike--- I'm back out of here tomorrow, just going to hit the back roads and ride and look. Who knows, might find one of those country blondes tomorrow ~ Richie


Richard, It takes less than 30 minutes to install a Superbrace. All you really need is a Allen wrench socket style and a ratchet. ~ Al from Mass




The last few months I have had a lot of back and leg pain on the right side. My doctor sent me to a specialist. I have degeneration in my right hip. Eventually I will have to have a hip replacement. For right now I'm doing physical therapy to strengthen the muscles around the hip area. So, my bike-riding days are over. If you know anyone who would like the bike, I'm asking $4000 for it. I haven't damaged it or changed anything. It still starts and runs good. We didn't ride much. Never seemed to get the time to get out on it. We did ride it up to Yellowstone and back. ~ Dan Wells 7232 S. Yukon St. Littleton, CO 80128 home 303-933-7464 work 303-932-9155 e-mail



I have been talking to a very nice Lady in Wyo. who is selling her husbands Cavalcade. This bike has a sidecar, and matching trailer although I have only seen photos of this outfit it looks great. I had fully intended to purchase this rig, unfortunately I have gone over my books with the tax man and I am not "Enron" <G. The price for the package is $6,000.00. ~ Since I am not going to be able to follow through I am sure someone on this list will be able to jump on this. She has sent me photos of the rig, which I would be happy to forward to anyone interested or you can reach her directly at Hell of a buy guy's. ~ Pappy



1986 Suzuki Cavalcade LX. The motorcycle pictured here ( was purchased from the original owner by my father who no longer rides for health reasons. I obtained the bike from my dad, cleaned it up and rode it for the better part of a year. Let me tell you, this is one smooth ride! ~ Currently, it has 24,600 miles on it and is in top running condition. Brakes, rear tire, battery, and Slipstreamer windshield are new. Features include AM-FM cassette stereo with new speakers, CB Radio, air-ride auto level suspension, passenger adjustable floorboards, passenger adjustable air ride seat and backrest, front rotor covers, full tour pack marker light set, Spacious trunk with light and saddle bags with bumper bars. ~ In addition, this 'Cade has been fitted with Custom Chrome rider floorboards, bullet halogen fog lights, and a stout, custom steel trailer hitch with 1 7/8 inch ball and trailer wiring. ~ Asking $4,000.00 or best offer. ~



FOR SALE: 1986 Suzuki Cavalcade LXE Two-Toned Blue Driver's Backrest 42,000 miles Baker Air Wings, New Tires Custom Dash Cover Fresh Radio Shop Service Manual. Asking $2800.00 (needs battery and speedometer doesn't work) Can be reached at: Work (days) 530-534 2337, Home (eves) 530-533 0121. I also have a newly rebuilt "Time-Out" camp trailer if anyone is interested. Make me an offer!  I am located in Oroville, California. About 70 miles north of Sacramento. ~ Rocky Bullard



I have been riding around since I got back into motorcycling last summer in a pair of jeans and an old bomber jacket and one of those half helmets or lots of times no helmet. Now how much money do you think it would cost me for skin grafts if and when I lay it down? So I just told the wife I need pants, jacket and a full-face helmet. She said go ahead. The question is where do I start and to what extent do I take this? ~ Joe in CO


Joe, I'd find the biggest Honda GoldWing dealer in Denver and go try on helmets and riding suits. You might also want to check out the recommended vendors on the Parts and Accessories pages of If you've got a CB (and you should) do yourself a favor and add speakers and a mike to that helmet. ~ Jay


A good helmet, jeans, a leather jacket, chaps, and good leather gloves are second best protection to intuition and practice. Take it from personal experience, leather is great protection. Don't go cheap, but research DOT and Snell ratings on helmets. Leather that isn't lighter than a napkin is better than leather that is. Look around; don't judge a book by its cover. Oh yea, don't go to, I had a bad experience with them. ~ Gerry in NY


I have been thinking about buying new boots and a jacket also. What are our group members wearing and how do they like what they have? ~ Bob Morse, ’86 LX


Well, on cool days I'll be wearing a gabardine over-wrap in light blue with a navy undershirt in silk. Both of these are trimmed in a broad, white lace as an accent. Covering my lower half is a flowing skirt in medium chartreuse with lavender accents. The skirt is a heavy canvas since I don't care for the wind blowing my dress up to my eyeballs. I finish off my ensemble with patent leather closed toe sandals in bright yellow with lime green ankle-high cotton socks. On special days I'll also string some purple ribbons in hair. I like it very well...

Oh. You were asking about riding apparel. OOPS! ~ Tracy


I guess I'm more conservative than Tracy is, I have waterproof boots that come up just below the calf, and wear a vented leather jacket even in the Texas summers. I figure the discomfort from the jacket in 100-degree sun is still better than skin graphs not to mention the hospital bills. Although a skirt blowing up to my eyeballs does sound like fun. ~ Roy in TX


Roy, I've found leather to be uncomfortable at extreme temperatures, hot or cold. There are materials today that are just as strong, but much lighter weight and offer better comfort and protection. I still have my leather jacket and pants, but I can't tell you the last time I wore them. ~ Jay


Different strokes, Jay. I really like the look and feel of my leathers. It’s so macho you know. And I know there
are a lot of others that feel as I do. I have yet to see a cow in Kevlar. ~ Spike

Or on a motorcycle! ~ Jay


I just can't resist wading into this little argument regarding style and fashion over comfort and practicality! I believe leather is over-rated. About the only thing going for it is the fact that you can skid further on leather before the road eats through and starts devouring flesh (yours, for being either unfortunate or stupid on the highway). When it is hot, the leathered rider gets sweaty and sticky and smelly. When it is cold, the leathered rider becomes an human icicle looking for the Guinness record on length of time suffering from hypothermia without dying. When it rains, the leathered rider gets very, very wet and stays that way for days. Unless it is cold, or hot, in which case he/she freezes or boils for days and days, in addition to attaining a near perfect prune-like body. Leather stretches, making the less-than-perfect biker's body look more than ugly. Leather doesn't adapt well, over the years, as the motorcyclist's body "matures". Leather is damn expensive, eats up money one could legitimately spend on a better helmet, better tires, and a longer motorcycle trip! In the 35 years I have been motorcycling, I admit to wearing leather. I was thankful for the jacket, 32 years ago, when I decided to see how far I could slide underneath my motorcycle. After that episode, I bought a leather suit, and wore it for 3 long hateful years. I now wear Carharts - coat with "blanket" lining, and bib overalls, again, with blanket lining. These babies shed water for hours before starting to absorb it, and when the sun comes out, they dry in about half and hour. They are heavy duty and will take a lot of asphalt abuse before opening up to give the road access to my precious skin. My feet are ensconced in a pair of Cabella's hunting boots (Thinsulate and Gore-Tex lined). This outfit lets me ride from spring snow to late fall snow, through rain and wind and sun. They give me the option of wearing clothing underneath that reflects the weather/temperatures I will be riding in that day. I may look like an orange (fading now, due to the years... on both the Carharts and myself!) pumpkin flying down the highway, but I am a warm, comfortable, happy pumpkin and that makes me a happier, safer, more aware motorcyclist. I would like to point out that this outfit has seen a lot of miles (and some asphalt.... stupidity on my part). I like to do a trip per year in the 4,000 to 7,000 mile category and those miles are usually Canadian miles. This can mean snow in June or August. Never once in the years I have ridden with this outfit have I regretted not being in leather. But more than once I have smiled to myself as I passed a leathered rider looking uncomfortable as a result of his choice of riding apparel. But then, what's good for me isn't the answer for everyone! To each his own. Pick your own platitude. For what it was worth, ~ Bryan, Sunset Rider.



Speaking of leather, I have a Vent Tech jacket for sale it's an XL and is like new. It has vents under the arm and at the top of the elbows, it also has a zip out liner and extra chest piece that snaps over the front zipper for added warmth. Originally sold for $360.00 five years ago, I'll take 200.00 (like I said it's like brand new). My wife bought me a new one about 2 years ago and I can only wear one at a time. ~ Roy in TX




Contrary to popular belief, there are hills in Florida. The tallest is the overpass at the intersection of 75 and 95. The second tallest is the bridge over the Caloosahatchie River. (Don't ask me how to pronounce it, I just cross over it and smile.) That doesn't even include the speed bumps located in a few of the trailer parks. Nothing like stopping at the top of one of the bumps and admiring all the surrounding garbage cans, it's breath taking. Wish they would put the lids back on. The strange wear on the tires where only the very center of the tread shows signs of wear, maybe to the lack of curvy roads. To compensate for this deficiency, I drive around in circles most of the day. When painting the plastic parts, can I use a base coat of ordinary primer and then follow it up with regular enamel or do I have to dig deeper and get some Imron or similar? Happy New Year ~ Grandpa86



I rode the Cade to the Olympics torch run through Topeka, KS last night between 1:00 AM and 4:30 AM to see somebody I know carry the torch. A few Harleys (I want HD someday for cruising around town) in the parade with Christmas lights but no other Cades. The weather was not too bad, 30 degrees with no wind. Some people thought I was crazy, but they don't understand the love of the motorcycle ride. I’m looking forward to meeting a lot of you in Branson. I went there in the car after Thanksgiving. I should have known better. The traffic was terrible but what beautiful country to take a ride in this September. PS. Tracy, the CD-ROM sure has come in handy, thanks. ~ Kirby, 86 LX




Editor’s Note: The story of Gary Goetz was written and posted by Spike Jones. Because of its length we have not reproduced it in the newsletter, but you can read it at the web site: in the “MOTORCYCLE STORIES” section. The title there is “WHATEVER GARY WANTS.”


I really enjoyed the story of Gary Goetz. It did bring back a few painful memories. I survived two bad bike wrecks, one in 1971 with a couple of Volkswagens and one in 1981 with a semi. Both tore me up badly and both about ended my days. But as they say, " I'm feeling much better now". Spike, your right, the story is sort of a downer. It does however do two things. First, it reminds all of us to ride safe. Second it reminds me why, afar two bad wrecks, I bought this Cade. I love to ride! I had suppressed it for so long. 20 years in fact. Remember that it's not how you die, it's how you live. ~ Red 86LX


Nicely written Spike! I got in to accident on my second ride on my Cavalcade. Going too fast and ran into incoming traffic (Ford truck). Didn't get hurt, just put more scratches on the bike. As I get older I don't worry how long I am going to live, but rather try to enjoy life as much as I can. Seems to me that your friend was doing just that. Ride On ~ Wojo   PS: The only worry I have...I can't take all my "stuff" with me!


Not to worry Wojo, the stuff that's there is probably pretty good. ~ Jay


Thanks for the Story, Spike. Sounds like you and Gary were very special buddies and it takes a special person to write that story. ~ Art in IN 86 LX

You are some author, wish I were that talented. ~ Grandpa86

You are too kind Grandpa. But I just wrote the story. Gary lived it. ~ Spike

Spike, I take it you have written other books. I too have a few behind me, with little luck in the publishing area. It's still a rewarding hobby. All of mine are novels. It would be neat to read your stuff. ~

As for luck in the publishing area, mine went this way: I wrote an article for Road Rider magazine about 8 or 9 years ago. They sent me a notice saying they wanted to print the article and would give me 200 bucks for it. About
3 weeks later I heard Road Rider folded, outta business, dead. To this day I have worried that I was the one who killed Road Rider. ~ Spike


This story of a ride back in the ’80’s by Jay Johnson is now posted in the “MOTORCYCLE STORIES” section of the web site, This could also be titled “One of My Most Memorable Rides” or “One of the Stupidest Things I Ever Did on a Motorcycle.”


Dear Bunch, When I ride here in southwest Florida, I put on elbow protectors, two pair of long sleeve workout shirts, a world war two flak jacket, full face helmet with a hockey goal tender's face mask, two pairs of chaps and thigh high leather boots. On my hands are a pair of welders gloves and around my neck is a protector that some of the pro football linemen wear. ~ Yesterday, I left the house and tried somehow to waddle over to the Cade. I lifted my leather-clad leg high over the seat and settled down for an hour’s ride. It was really hot that day and sweat was pouring down my forehead, preventing me from seeing much. With all the stuff on my head, I couldn't hear much either. Regardless, I settled down for a short ride. ~ Cars were passing me like I was standing still, but I persevered and steered my way through the traffic. With sweat pouring down my face, I noticed that I must be riding with the wind as it was as still as a summer night in August. ~ Just as I was about to un-straddle and park the Cade, my neighbor came over and said, "Lots of traffic on the side street today. You've been sitting on that thing for a half-hour, aren't you going to start it up and go somewhere?" ~ Maybe I'll not use the neck protector next time.

~ Grandpa86
As I finished my ride and began to un-straddle the mechanical beast, I noticed the engine was still cool and the mileage on the odometer hadn't changed.



Jay, you are forgetting to include the Cades owned by members of Cade groups in other countries. Can we get this count? Would be interesting to know how many Cades are accounted for. Spike could probably estimate these numbers, but if we got some VINs from the other groups, he would probably get closer to the correct figure. Anyone want to contact them to see? ~ Brian in IN


Great idea Brian. Does anyone here have Cavalcade buddies on list in Europe, or other continents for that matter? Are there any Cades in service in Africa? Asia? Australia has a few, but I’m pretty sure there are none in Antarctica. If you have any contacts or anyone has any contacts, it would be interesting to get them on the VIN list and figure out which bikes went where and when. ~ Spike


Spike, I've been to McMurdo Station Antarctica with the 109th Air Guard unit for the past 3 years. Didn't make it this year because of our involvement with "Noble Peace". You have it on good faith that there are no Cade's in Antarctica (yet). Virgil Can we go over the cold start thing again?


Brian, Representatives of most of the European Cavalcade clubs are already members of our group. Dave Hebblethwaite in UK, Roel Robbers in the Netherlands and Tommy Karlsen in Norway, for example. We could contact them and ask for a count of their groups by country. In addition several other European Cade owners are in our group now. We know there are a couple of Cades in Sweden, as there is in Finland. Our friend Gazza in Australia has found three Cavalcades down under and there are two or three in New Zealand. We have not heard from anyone in Germany, but I'm guessing that with our military presence in that country, a few Cades must have found their way there and stayed. I seem to recall receiving an email from a gentleman in Poland who was trying to rebuild a Cavalcade, but the cost was way beyond his resources. I suggested he sell the bike for parts, but I never heard what happened there. Tommy Karlson has a plan to organize a world wide computer bank of Cavalcade bikes and parts. It seems like a very ambitious project, but would certainly be an asset if it could be accomplished. Anyone who wants to research this will have a lot to work with. ~ Jay


Hi Jay, There are 67 Cades in Norway and the same in Sweden and about 10 in Finland. In England there are 24 that I know of but unlike the other countries, the Cade was not an official import to our shores. Only Holland, Belgium, Norway and Sweden imported the Cade. This and poor marketing may account for its demise. Suzuki says that Honda has the market for the large touring class with the GoldWing. But, last year 48 wings were sold but over 100 BMW K1200LTs were sold in the whole of GB, thus laying the ghost of nothing can compete with the Wing. ~ Dave




Sunday, 9/15/02

Arrival and Check-in at the Honeysuckle Inn Resort

5:00 pm – 10:00 pm Exhibitor Set-up  (Exhibitors Only)


Monday, 9/16/02

8:00 am – 10:00 am      Exhibitor Set-Up

9:00 am – 5:00 pm       Registration Open

9:00 am – 1:00 pm       Self-Guided Tour of Branson

10:00 am – 5:00 pm     Exhibits Open

1:00 pm – 4:30 pm       Classes or Workshops

4:30 pm – 5:45 pm       Reception in the Cardinal Room

6:00 pm – 9:00 pm         Welcome Dinner and Imax Theater Show


Tuesday, 9/17/02

9:00 am – 5:00 pm  Registration Open

9:00 am – 5:00 pm  Exhibits Open

9:00 am – 12:00 am  Classes or Workshops

12:00 pm – 2:00 pm  Ride the Ducks to Lunch:

2:00 pm – 5:00 pm Group Rides


Evening (7:30 – 10:30 pm) “Country Tonite” Live Music & Comedy Show


Wednesday, 9/18/02

9:00 am – 12:00 noon  Registration Open

9:00 am – 5:00 pm  Exhibits Open

9:00 am – 12:30 pm  Classes or Workshops

2:00 pm – 5:00 pm  Group Rides  





















Evening 7:00pm – 10:00pm Awards Dinner ~ Prizes and Awards


Thursday, 9/19/02  (Optional Day)

Spend the day at Silver Dollar City Theme Park and enjoy an evening dinner cruise and a show aboard the Showboat Branson Bell Cruise


Friday, 9/20/02  (Optional Day)

Enjoy a second day free at the Silver Dollar City Theme Park. OR, ride to Lake of the Ozarks or another area that provides us a day’s ride through the Ozarks before heading home. Over-night stay at a local resort or motel.




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Shirts are included with pre-registrations received by August 1, 2002

All fees go to the expenses for Cade Raid 2002.


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PLEASE MARK OPTIONAL CHOICES BELOW. Registration Fees Do Not Include Lodging or the following Optional Events. Complete this Form by Marking the Following and Calculating Your Total Payment Below.


____ Monday Evening Dinner & IMAX Theater @ $20.00 per Person: $ _______


____  Tuesday Noon, “Ride The Ducks” Lunch @ $21.00 per Person: $ _______


____  Tuesday Evening Show “County Tonite” @ $22.00 per Person: $ _______


____  Wednesday Evening Awards Dinner @ $20.00 per Person: $ _______


____  Thursday & Friday Optional Days at Silver Dollar City Theme Park with Dinner Cruise and a Live Show aboard the Showboat Branson Bell @ $75.00 per Person: $ _______


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___ Check # _________ (Payable to Tree Farm Communications, Inc.)


___ To Charge to your Credit Card Please Include Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express Card Number:


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Return Completed Form To:           Cade Raid 2002

PHONE: 425-868-0464                    c/o Tree Farm Communications, Inc.

FAX: 425-868-2495                          23703 NE 4th Street

          Sammamish, WA 98074-3612  USA           


Last updated:   Wednesday, February 06, 2013

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