The Suzuki Cavalcade Newsletter

Issue #1 ~ August, 2000

Jay D. Johnson, Editor


Emailed to you at No Charge.

Faxed or Snail Mailed to you at $25.00 for 12 issues



On the new bike I got on the way home from Americade, the LCD display unit doesn't work. I have the fairing apart, and I am checking all the contacts making sure they are clean etc. Has anyone had trouble with the LCD display unit going out? The manual says that if it is dead the whole combination meter has to be replaced. Is there a secret somewhere? A little known wire that shorts out or something? Thanks in Advance ~Paul


When I purchased my 86LX last year the LCD did not work. Never having had it I didnít spend any time trying to make a repair. When the bike was serviced this spring the technician said there was power going to the unit but he checked no further. A few days later on the way to Americade the LCD started working, did so for three days and then quit. At the same time the interior trunk light started working and then failed. Is their some possible link? Could this be some sort of ground fault or must the OK unit Eugene mentions be replaced. ~Rick Bates, Ontario

Rick I am not a mechanical wizard but I would try tracing the wires and looking for a bad connection before buying new parts. I would try tracing the trunk light, as it would be the simplest. It should run at all times as long as the trunk switch is open. The bike does not have to be turned on for this to work. ~Rick - Toronto

I traced the wiring diagram I have and found no direct connection from the trunk light to the OK display or OK monitor. Sorry. I never noticed, is there a wiring diagram on the CD? ~Gerry in NY

The trunk light has no connection with the OK monitor. When mine went out it showed "taillight out" on the display. My taillights were fine. The reason it was so annoying was that sometimes I would be in 4th gear instead of 5th because it didn't show on the monitor. It isn't hard to change. It plugs in. ~Eugene, San Diego


Does anyone know the vacuum levels in inches of mercury, tors, or whatever, for synchronizing the carbs on an 86 Cade? The procedure outlined in the service manual is very clear but requires a $228 carb synchronizer with bouncing balls. The procedure can be done with a regular carb synchronizer is anyone knows how many inches of mercury each set of carbs should pull. Thanks for any help. ~Ernest

Hi Ernest I use a set of mercury carb sticks on my 86 LXE, works like a charm. You do not need to know what the vacuum in inches is, just follow the procedure outlined in the manual as far as RPM, and sequence of adjusting. The carb sticks are around 50 dollars or so. They have equal graduations marked on the board the 4 tubes are mounted on to give reference for equalizing each carb. I've had my set of carb sticks around 23 years and only had to replace the rubber tubing as it ages. Ride Safe, ~David 86 LXE, Perryville, Ark.



Months ago I bled the clutch along with all the fluids. My clutch used to grab half way out. Now I noticed it seems to grab at its end. Only have 15k miles and I don't think its worn. Is there any type of adjustment on our clutch or should I just bleed it again. Maybe air got caught in the system caused this problem? I am confused! ~bob t

Bob, My 87 has 20K on it and has always taken hold at the end travel. No adjustment that I know of. Anyway ,I think that is normal. ~Stu 87LX

bleed the entire fluid out and replace it with fresh. the clutch should start grabbing 1/4of the way from full compressing of lever. The fluid in the line might be too old. I just had my fluid fail. I was doing the same
thing, bleeding but not replacing it all. Rode in 90 degree weather for 160 miles and went to pull the clutch in and no pressure. The fluid boiled. If it is still grabbing almost all the way out, the clutch springs are shot. hope this helps.
Regards ~mike c. 86lx

I just replaced my clutch spring with after market HD's and all new fluid. It eliminated my 5th gear slip, but it still engages when the lever is almost all the way out. Same as when I fist got it ???? ~Mikeh

Hey Jim, maybe your sweating fluid out of the bleed fitting hidden behind the chrome side cover, Take it off to see if its wet inside their. Better not wait because brake fluid is very corrosive?? ~bob t


My dealer has just informed me that I need a new battery. My experience with dealers is that they will charge twice as much for a battery as what you would spend somewhere else. Any suggestions? ~Bob Morse, 86LX

Bob, When I went for a new battery, I went to my dealer and Sears - both wanted about $80 - however Sears needed to order it... Some others claim to have good luck at their local Wal*Mart (no luck at ours) for about half that.. Had to drop the $80 at my dealer... ~Brian

Bob, From my experience, the Yuasa battery is best. There are three Yuasa batteries to choose from. Made in Japan, made in Taiwan, and made in the USA. I have the best luck with the "made in Japan" version. Old batteries and cheap batteries that cause the stator to work harder trying to charge them is what causes the stator to over heat and go bad. NEVER jump-start your bike when the battery is low and try to charge it with the stator. You will be replacing the stator and the battery. Good luck ~Doug, 86LX

Hi Bob, I get my batteries from J.C.Whitney. It's mail order and available on-line at They even have a cavalcade section and a link under the Cade section for batteries but the link does not take you to the Cavalcade battery. Well anyway, I usually buy the 36-month battery and replace it after 2 years. It is usually around $40.00. This is one 3rd from the dealer cost and I have never had a dealer batter last more than 2 years. I just went to the web site but the link for the batteries is not working properly. You will most likely have to call them unless you have a catalog. If you need any help, let me know. Regards, ~Al A. in CT 86 LXE 63K original miles

Could cost from 45 to 80 bucks. Depends. I went to dealers. They give more than manufacturer warranties for over the counter. Here's the part number from J.C. Whitney - VVV- description - SY50-N18L & AT<> or GM18Z-3A; 36 month battery on page 43; cost - $ 34.99 + 4.95 for shipping. Shipping is reduced 'til 7/31.
NEVER jump-start your bike when the battery is low and try to charge it with the stator. You will be replacing the stator and the battery. I can attest to that. ~Gerry in NY

I bought a Champion battery at PEP Boys (East Coast auto parts chain) for about $45 2 years ago. ~Robert Jones

Bob, if you live near a big city there is a good chance there is a battery wholesaler that might be willing to deal
with you. For those in the Boston area check out Atlantic Battery in Watertown. I called in 1995 needing a battery --
closest dealer wanted $74 with a 50% deposit before they would put the electrolyte in which would have meant my
having to make 2 trips about 10 miles each. If I remember correctly Sears wanted about $90 for a Diehard and they
would have had to order it. I called Atlantic told him what kind of bike I had and immediately he asked if I had the one with or without the probe (this guy must live and breath batteries). To make a long story short he had 2 with/probe in stock -- $57. That was 5 years ago and its still in the bike. Try the yellow pages. ~Al from Mass

Hey Gang, As I've been through a battery or two, I asked about battery maintenance at the Yuasa factory when I went on a plant tour (near Reading PA.) Of course they had an axe to grind, but made a lot of sense. Their main point was that, if it's a motorcycle battery and made in the US, it's Yuasa (no matter who it's sold by or badged as.) The cheap ones originate in places like Taiwan or Mexico using local (read: inferior) materials. Yuasa's advice (and my experience bears it out) was that you can nurse 2 good years of touring use out of a cheap import battery. (I'm sure somebody on this list has gotten more, sorry...) But you can keep a Yuasa alive for twice that long with normal maintenance and a lot less worry. So, the economics work out pretty much even; it's just a matter of whether you're lazy like me and don't want to baby-sit a battery that's hard to get to. My $0.02... ~Bob G(D) 86

I have been getting my batteries for the Cavalcade's @ Sam's club, a wholesale division of Wal-Mart for about $ 29.00. They seem to last about 3 years and then it's time to replace them. They also carry a 6-month warrantee


Bob, Cavalcade batteries have that extra hole for the water level sensor. That can be defeated while letting you
still keep the other functions, the gear indicator, etc. That allows you to use a cheaper battery, however thereís another thing you can do: add a battery isolator switch.
The Cade battery is a pain in the arse to get to, so I went to Kragens, bought a battery switch, put it on the positive line, mounted it inside the right side fairing compartment. You need to make sure you take that clock wire and run it through the switch as well, since that clock/computer unit pulls almost 5 milliamps all by itself, which will run your battery down in about 7 weeks all by itself. Then of course you need to set the clock again every time you start up, because it will come up showing 1:00 AM. Otherwise, Cavalcades eat batteries for lunch.
While I was at it, I ran a wire from the positive terminal into that fairing compartment, so now I can attach a trickle charger without taking out several screws, just open the cover with the key. I rigged a trickle charger to the light bulb socket in the garage door opener so my battery gets about a 4-minute charge twice a day. That cheapy battery I bought has lasted like a champ since I made these modifications. ~spike

Hey Spike: How exactly do you 'defeat' the battery probe? ~Brian 87LXE

Get some biggie resistors, such as 100 megaohm, put three in series from the positive to the negative. Attach a bullet connector between the second and third resistor, counting 1 from the positive terminal, 3 on the negative. The voltage at that point should be about what the battery probe expects. You may need to experiment with different resistance values, but make sure you have plenty of total resistance, otherwise the battery will drain. You might want to put a potentiometer in that line, then adjust it until the battery indicator goes happy.
Actually, a better solution is to install an isolator switch, and then go ahead and pop for a $70 battery that has the extra hole for the indicator. With the isolator, the battery should last for 3 or 4 years, maybe more. I only got 2 yrs out of a series of cheepy batteries, but I donít think I saved much in the long run. Isolator switch, 10 bucks, install in a couple hours. ~spike

That's what I have, a Yuasa. Good battery though, that was in the Cade when I got it. ~Brian 87LXE


I do know of a shop that does re-chroming. I called them and spoke of our interest and asked if I could post this information on our e-mail interchange...they said yes and then indicated that they also have a web site. Please note: they DO NOT chrome aluminum (at this time), nor do they chrome plastic. Note this also...if you communicate with them, ask for Dino or direct your communication to Dino...the shop does a lot of car restoration, and Dino is their motorcycle man. The Chrome Shop 540 25th Avenue Rock Island, IL 61201 Phone 309/786-3743 E-mail: Web Site: I haven't used them yet...just located them a few weeks ago...but they have a good reputation. ~Fred L. Meisenheimer


Some have asked me to post the shop that treated me so right in case they are ever in this area. It was Mid-Ohio Suzuki-Honda, 494 Harcourt Rd., Mt. Vernon, Ohio 43050, (740) 397-5272. Jim in Ohio



I have always used 93-octane fuel in my bikes. And approx. every 1500 to 2000 miles Iíve dumped 4oz of Marvel Mystery oil in with a fill up, just to ensure upper cylinder lubrication. No, it doesn't make the bike smoke but will burn the carbon off the piston tops, lube the upper rings, valves and seats, I come from the old school and this was done in the olden days, just a practice I've done on carbonated engines, especially of the motorcycle type. to each his own! ~Walter in Maryland

Rick, I was telling Blaine about Canadian Tire having Marvel Mystery Oil in your area, here is his reply..... Dennis....I've checked at Canadian Tire....they only carry Marvel Mystery Oil " GAS TREATMENT" !! Tell Rick not to put it in his Oil !! Methinks...damage would result !! ~Dennis

Dennis / Blaine, I think there may be some confusion. The Marvel Mystery Oil I thought we were trying to find was a gasoline additive not an oil additive. It appears that they have both. In reviewing the emails from members it seems that both products are being used but most members were speaking of the gasoline additive. I am leery to put in an oil additive on the bike as numerous mechanics have warned against it. Now I am really curious - any comments ? ~Rick

Rick....I just did an oil & filter on the Cade this last weekend. I followed the mechanics advice at a nearby shop that I trust....stepped the oil up to 20W50. Bike runs silent as a dream now, save for that glorious exhaust note. Seriously just the heavier oil seemed to get rid of the "tic-tic's" ~boomer


Hey all! Been reading all the comments and questions about Marvel Mystery oil. When I was in Sturgis, bike was acting weird. Sometimes fine --sometimes sluggish till about 3500rpm I thought that maybe carbs were out of sync. Pulled off parts to see carbs and slides were black and sticky.(Bad gas??) Anyway I recalled a friend back home saying that Marvel Mystery Oil (for gas) would clean and lube carb parts as well as top end of engine. I poured about half cup in full tank of fuel and after about 30-40 miles noticed sluggishness had subsided. By the time I got home (WA state) things were running great. Pulled of parts again last weekend to look at carb slides and they were shiny and slick as a whistle. I'm sold on the stuff. ~John K.

There are oil treatments and gas treatments. The gas treatments seem to work fine, but the oil treatments should be avoided. ~Spike

How come we can't add Marvels to the oil ? ~Gerry in NY

Gerry, I only use one Marvel Mystery oil product. Did not know there was a gas additive. Regular Marvel Mystery Oil has been around for many years. I add it to the gas about once a month(about 2 oz.), but it can also be added to the motor oil, and someone I know swears by it as a gas stabilizer(to stop gas from deteriorating in storage). I have used it when no Stabil was handy with no ill results as far as I can tell. ~Al from Mass

To dispel any misinformation as to the use of Marvel Mystery oil used in fuel or crankcase, I've used this product and have had no problems for 15000 miles and will continue to do so as I stated in original message. To each his own and only time will tell. AS to adding it to crankcase, unless hydraulic valve lifters are sticking WHY use thin 20w50 oil, as this product isn't much thicker than 10w oil. And by adding it to the gas you're insuring that those valve guides won't rust up over storage NO run time. THINK ABOUT IT. NO I don't sell the product but I do believe in it. AGAIN to each his own. ~WALTER

I have been adding marvel to the crankcase to quiet down the lifters with no ill effects yet. (About 3 yr.). ~mike c.

Thanks, Rick I had never seen the gas additive before. The Marvel Mystery Oil sold in the US (some one posted a scan of the 1 quart can yesterday) can be added to both crankcase oil and gas. Its about $4.00 a quart red in color and has been sold in the same red can for as long as I can remember. In the past I have on occasion added some to my crankcase at oil change time in the car and truck. Haven't done so on the Cade, but do add a few ounces to the gas tank about once a month. Can't swear that it helps - but have not had any engine/carb problems - bike idles smoothly so I'll keep doing it. My 2 cents. ~Al from mass

I have used marvel mystery oil for 45 years. When we parked the tractors (back on the farm) we first loaded the oil in the crankcase, then in the fuel tank and ran them before turning the motors off for the season. We then took the plugs out and filled the cylinders with mystery oil and cranked them several times, replaced the plugs and in some cases the tractors stayed outside with no protection other than a tarp. Come springtime, Start the engines and we never had a problem with any of the tractors. I also do not have anything to do with the company. I don't even know what's in the bottle. But, I will say this, "it works" I purchased my cavalcade in March of this year and the lifters were loud, especially when just started and at idle. I have used it for the past three oil changes. (added 4 oz. each time oil was changed) and now I have no noisy lifters at all. Does anyone know what the chemicals are that makes this such a good overall protector of engine parts?

If I told ya, it wouldnít be mystery oil anymore...

{8^D I donít know either but Iím guessing it must contain polyethylene glycol and paradichlorobenzene. This would explain why it stabilizes gasoline and lubes valve guides but still burns without gumming anything up. ~spike



I was thinking last night after our chat of sorts -- you know recently different cities, states, and sports franchises have been selling the naming rights to things like stadiums. (recently naming rights to Foxboro Stadium where the New England Patriots play was sold to an Internet Company named CMGI). New York is always looking for money so itís only a matter of time --- This may be my last chance before they rename them "Viagra Falls". ~Al Pomerleau


I'm planning on taking off on a two up weekend trip & recently have had a problem with my auto leveling not working. The compressor started coming on by itself and the manual inflation button began sticking in. WD-40 & partial disassembly didn't cure the problem so I ended up disconnecting the manual button. Is there a way to manually adjust the air pressure in the shock? Can I charge the system through the tire inflamer without damaging it by limiting the pressure pumped in. I would appreciate any feedback before I attempt this temporary fix. ~Roy 86lx

Roy, You can override the level system by applying 12v power to the - light green wire with white tracer (Lg-W) - on the top solenoid to the back of the compressor and at the same time jumping the manual compressor switch. Or if the compressor is inoperative put air in through the tire filling connection while applying 12v to the same Lg-W wire on the same solenoid. Caution must be used when doing manual operations so as to not over inflate the system!!! To manual deflate the system apply 12v to the - light green wire with the yellow tracer (Lg-y) - on the lower solenoid at the back of the compressor. A double pole double throw momentary switch works well for this as a temporary fix but, by all means get the auto-level working again, it adds to the convenience and character of our machines. Hope this helps

~Phil , 86LX PS: WD40 causes plastic parts to bind.


A great trick is to drape a super damp (wet) towel over the windshield at the end of the day. You would be surprised how easy the bugs come off the next morning. Removing dried bugs cause more scratches than anything else. The wet towel does the trick. Yes, Plexus works great for cleaning and polishing on a regular basis. Use what you swear by and you won't be swearing at any of the others. ~KennG

yes, I also use plexus, not only for the windshield but also on every part of my bike , except for tires .. makes every thing so smooth and shines like hell.... at $8.00 us a can for 13 oz. to me , well worth the price. Now your bike can look as good as mine .... ha!!ha!! ~jim kelly 86lx

Phil, I agree on the PLEXUS. Great stuff. ~Bill, Puyallup WA, 1987 LXE I have but one question....where are you finding Plexus? ~Nancy

Nancy, I found a site online where you can order it direct. Check it out.

~Brian in IN

Nancy, the Honda spray wax is about 6.00 a can and can be used on the whole bike. This will do the same job as the Plexis. ~bob


Hi, Needing some advice as to how to keep my mirror from changing positions on the road. I've taken it apart and knurled the ball and socket joint, which helped some, but still not great. I'm thinking I should squirt something in the joint to help hold it. But, what? Thanks for all suggestions. ~Mark Hohman, 86 LX, Wheeling, WV

Tighten all of the nuts and screws. Also if you put a piece of rubber behind the mirror mount, it will act like a shock absorber and stop the vibration. Regards. ~mike c., 86lx

That works on the LX. Anyone know of a way to tighten up the LXE mirror?

Try Krazy glue. It worked for my wife's truck mirror. ~Gerry in NY


Hello All, It's been observed in the past that the timing and placement of some of our comments is downright eerie. I'll agree. The other day I was looking at the left cowl (black plastic) and the sudden cracks it had developed, as well as cracks in the underlying fairing, and wondered how in the world I would/could fix them, when I opened an old digest and found just such a discussion. Y'all's words got me to thinking, and now I'm slowly repairing/gluing where the pieces haven't fallen off somewhere. I'll reevaluate the repair as I get further along.

Regarding the comments about seats and seat backs and floorboards - after years of increasing back pain, recent discussions with the (witch) doctors has disclosed several causes, not the least of which is arthritis beginning
to fuse my vertebrae and impinging on my spinal canal. Too many years of being young and invincible have finally caught up with me, so no more of the 'active lifestyle.' I will say, however, that making the effort to improve your seat, your sitting position (including handlebar adjustments), and adding floorboards has given me extra time to ride that I might not have otherwise had. 'Course, living in West Texas helps, with it's "dry heat" (has anyone ever heard of the surface of the Sun?)

Regarding the discussions of gas mileage, I've run 25-28 around town for the past 2-3 years, since I've not been able to get away much. As I remember, 35-38 on the highway, although I wanted more. Had to be - gas stations out here are a l-o-n-g way apart.

The newest problem, though is a bit of a surprise to me, is cooling-related. Seems that the last couple of times I've ridden across town (which is about the farthest I can go before being unable to walk well again for a month or so - really ticks off the Drs.!); I've noticed that the cooling fan comes on after a few minutes of low-speed driving, usually at a stoplight. Move away, the fan shuts off and the gauge drops down again.

Anyway, after having it happen again today, I decided to add coolant since the level was nowhere near the 'Full' line. So, coolant in, coolant out - I don't think it even made it to the bottom reservoir. Ran out on the right side almost immediately after adding to the top reservoir. After reviewing both the Service Manual and the Parts Manual (Thanks Again, Tracy!!), it appears that we've got 6 hoses, the two reservoirs, and all their connecting points to check, assuming that there's nothing else wrong. And since the bike runs cool otherwise, I'll make that assumption. Other than removing plastic, is there anything else that I should either remove or be aware of? Has anyone else had the same or a similar problem? ~Andy Anderson, Midland, TX

Andy: You might want to check the reservoir tanks. They have a tendency to crack or separate along their bottom seams. Happened to mine, and I filled the radiator through the radiator cap, by removing the left bottom fairing NOT EASY BUT CAN BE DONE, only until I could repair the tank with J.B. Weld. Carbs are pretty simple to GET OFF. Make sure you follow the instructions. When reinstalling as to how the intake clamps are arranged (could bind LINKAGE) if not positioned properly. If you have to, remove the PILOT adjustment. Carefully remove the plugs and gently screw the pilots in to bottom out counting the exact number of turns. When reinstalling the pilots bottom them gently and back out the same number of turns. Each carb may be different; I did mine one at a time. JUST REMEMBER HOW YOU TOOK THEM APART... GOOD LUCK AND READ YOUR MANUAL.



Question one: will it harm any other systems if I short (by pass) the clutch safety switch? I have a replacement on order, but mine has completely quit working. As of now, I've taken it apart and I short the rails across the handlebars. It works but my left hand is doing that and I can't pull the clutch handle.
Question two: does it hurt a motorcycle tire to use "fix-a-flat"? I carry it in the bike for emergencies on the road and someone recently told me that it shouldn't be used on bike tires. Any comments? Thanks ~Jim in Ohio

Jim, Repair shops detest working on any tire that has had fix a flat in it. It is a real mess to clean up the rim and tire and it makes it real difficult to do a proper patch from the inside. Some shops will even refuse to work on it. The best thing to do is carry a plug kit. You can get a fairly good quality one for around 20 odd dollars. They come with several plugs, a pointed rasp that you push in the whole after you remove the nail and an insertion handle for inserting the plug. I used to own a service station and I've removed totally bald tires from cars that had plugs in them without ever coming out even though there was hardly anything left but the cords. You can get small CO2 tire fillers. My partner has one with his BMW. You may have to get one from a BMW dealer. Someone on this list probably knows more details on these inflation products. ~Roderick Wilde

Jim: I have experience with the clutch switch. I too have had the problem of it not making contact. What I did was I installed a momentary push-button switch in place of the clutch switch, located in the plastic handlebar knuckle

cover. Instead of squeezing the clutch to start, I hold this switch down. The downside is I have to doubly check that the bike is in neutral. The switch ass'y allows me to still use the Cruise Control, which will be disabled if you short the switch out... I have recently purchased a new clutch switch ass'y but just have not gotten around to replacing it (too busy riding)! ~SumoCader 87LXE in CT

Q1 - Well, I'm told that if you bypass the safety switch, the cruise control will not work. However, if you leave the circuit on after you start the bike, I would guess the cruise will work. You shouldn't have to pull the clutch in if you are in neutral. You only pull it if the safety switch is on the bike.

Q2 - I would guess it is ok to use if you are tubeless and it is for a short period of time. ~Gerry in NY

With regard to jumping out the clutch switch, remember that the entire system will think itís engaged. You will lose your cruise control. The easiest thing to do is put a 12vdc rated toggle in line. Close the switch to start the bike. Then once running, re-open the switch to allow all other circuit functions to operate correctly After going through several clutch switches, I've done this to mine and like it much better.

PS hide the toggle and you've got an anti theft device. Good luck! ~mike

For those that have responded with information, I greatly appreciate it. The new clutch switch came in and has been installed. The shop realized during installation that it was adjustable and that they should have done that first. When it was all done, my Cavalcade now starts and runs as designed. They had installed a new ignition switch, which they returned my money for and a new clutch switch, which they also returned my money for. Good place to do business.
~Jim in Ohio

Some have asked me to post the shop that treated me so right in case they are ever in this area. It was Mid-Ohio Suzuki-Honda, 494 Harcourt Rd., Mt. Vernon, Ohio 43050, (740) 397-5272. ~Jim in Ohio


I was wondering if someone could shed some light on the subject of the clutch piston. How difficult is it to get to? Do you have to pull generator cover off? Does drive shaft have to be removed? Does the back wheel have to be removed? Is there a short cut to just get to clutch piston to replace it? Mine has a leak at the piston. Should the piston unit be replaced? The dealer sold me the replacement seal. He said it's the only place it could leak from. I will be looking forward to hearing from the experienced. Thank you in advance for your help ~jim kelly 86lx

Jim: The clutch piston is quite an involved job as it is bolted to the rear of the secondary gearbox. And, the rear wheel has to be removed along with the final drive so that the drive shaft can be pulled back to disengage the splines on the gearbox. The generator cover has to be removed also, By doing it this way, you don't HAVE TO REMOVE the rear swing arms you won't have to get into the passenger foot rests.

When I re-did my clutch cylinder I replaced the entire unit as it WAS so involved I didn't want to chance the seal not sealing after any attempt to clean it up on MY part.

On re-assembly I sincerely suggest that you replace the seals in the gearbox there are three of them. I did this on my bike and didn't and now I have to tear it down and replace the seals. I also was only replacing the clutch piston. (SLAVE CYL) You will also need a shop manual, will come in very handy. I would be willing to talk you through this through E's if you want. As I have been through it before. Could also supply list of parts you'll need. The secondary gearbox comes off as a complete assembly. IF you follow the shop Manual and remove the right 5 bolts, as I said it is quite an INVOLVED job and there are a couple of troubled areas that you will need to check before re-assembly. ~WALTER IN MARYLAND

Jim, funny you should ask right now, as I was just up to my elbows in the clutch slave cylinder. It is mounted to the secondary gear case, which I am told can be wheedled and cajoled off the bike without pulling off the swing arm, although I pulled the swing arm, for another reason, so the secondary case came off just by removing three bolts. You can see which ones they are, or if you have Tracy's CD, that shows em. I got gasoline on my clutch slave cylinder seals, which ruins it {doh!}, but as it turns out, I woulda replaced it anyway, being as the bike is 15 yrs old and its the original everything down there. Right now Iím waiting for two parts to come in, the shaft boot and the clutch seals. Clean up the slave cylinder using brake fluid before you reinstall it. I donít think you can get the slave cylinder off there without pulling the secondary gear case, if so I sure as heck donít see how. ~spike

Jim, I bought the seal and spring at a very high cost 3 years ago. Took them to my mechanic to install and he stated that it was wiser to replace the whole cylinder. I did. This mechanic is the most knowledgeable in this state of Washington on the Cavalcade. I trust his judgment totally. He has kept my 87 LXE in top condition for the last 13 years and a lot of others. ~Bill, Puyallup WA



Is anybody using the blue light bulb in their headlight? If so which wattage as I have seen at least three different ones, 60/55 to 100/60. ~Dennis Vanill

Dennis, You may want to look at these lights from PIAA. Supposedly they are 'super white' and give off the same illumination as a 100/110w bulb but only use 55/60w. Or you can get 115/135w using 80/80w in their platinum series. They also have the plasma blue lights.

I was thinking of putting in 80/110W bulbs in my headlight. Has anyone done this and did it overload the circuit or was it fine? Thanks for the help ~Rick

Does this bulb use anymore power than our OEM light and burn brighter ? I was looking to get a brighter light.
~Gerry in NY

What they are claiming is that it burns brighter but uses the same power. i.e. the 55/60W bulb gives off light equivalent to a 100/100W ~rick


Has anybody changed the passengerís volume control. Mine is going bad as sometimes the music just comes full volume with no cut back control. If anybody has changed this and found a direct replacement I would appreciate
the info. Thanks ~ Dennis

WOW! My passenger radio just started doing the same thing. It comes on full vol. I wonder if a good cleaning would be in order? Maybe the contacts are just dirty. I have not looked into in depth yet. It is amazing how we will seem to develop problems around the same time on these things. ~Gary, Jax, FL

Dennis, I replaced the passenger's controls last week. I took it apart and hoped I could replace only the rheostat. Couldn't find one to match. I took the part to the Suzuki dealer. It took a week to order it in. It cost about $80 for the complete harness. It took under twenty minutes to install. An easy job!! Really works great now. Nice to talk to my wife at 70 mph. ~Dick

DOUBLE WOW, Mine is doing the same thing also........wife was yelling at me to turn it down and I said I couldnít..............She finally found if she puts it about 2 clicks above the lowest point, it finally was at a reasonable level..............I hope someone has an answer to our problem. ~Brian in IN 87 tt Gray LX

Thatís right Gary, after almost five years with my Cade and no problems, the group started having problems with their radios. I read them all and counted my blessings as I never had any problem. Well...I had to order the new switches because my faithful radio got stuck on a station. It seems strange that so many of us have the same problems in a short time span. My guess is that these things are normal but with the power of the computer people can communicate problems instantly. The dealers always knew of the problems. Yet when you brought a bike into service with the problem they would bullshit you and make you pay for the repairs. The new Suzuki 1500 cruiser had a rear brake wear out problem in only a few thousand miles and due to the computer some dealers started repairing the bikes. ~bob

Ditto on mine, too. I have had the problem for awhile and believe a good cleaning is needed. I have had temporary success with blowing compressed air in there and just moving the volume knob up and down a few times before it
will settle into a normal volume. ~Jerry

I had bought an inline volume control from J&M through Sierra Electronics near Dayton. I bought it because a friend of mine that rides with me is very soft spoken and I tend to be the opposite so we had a difference of opinion on where to put the intercom volume. This little $30 item solved both issues. ~Greg


Hi gang, Thought you'd like to know... I just received (it took 5 weeks) a Utopia Backrest and finished installing it. It's well made and matches the seat perfectly. Rode to work today (50 miles) and it really helps my comfort level. The only problem I had was sticking the "long serrated knife" through my seat. Let me tell you, I thought long and hard before making the plunge. It turned out quite nice and I like it A LOT. ~Mark Hohman, 86 LX, Wheeling, WV

How close do you come to cutting the bladders or air lines when you do that?

The backrest required one knife thrust approx. 1 1/2" behind where the back of your belt would be. It goes straight down to the underside of the seat, where you bolt the bracket to the bottom of the seat. I believe the air bladders are in the seat portion only. The cut goes directly behind the driverís back. It comes w/ a heavy plastic "boot" that self sticks to the top of the seat around the cut. I then put a bead of black silicone around cut. Looks good, feels GREAT!


Dear fellow Caders...Iím looking for the following parts rusty and unwanted as I plan to start a cavalcade chrome exchange wit the parts and a small investment of my own the parts Iím looking for are ANYTHING CHROME THAT IS METEL! I.e. trunk rail, saddle bag rail, 3 PC driver foot rest both sides, passenger foot rest both sides, lower crash bar le style, kick stand, center stand, front forks, brake calipers, brake rotors, brake levers, shift linkage, shifter, center brace, brake pedal, or any thing else that is chrome. (NO PLASTIC) I have a fabricator working on a trim rail to go on the lid of our saddlebag on the little black cover. Itís an exact replica of the original. After-market also Reuse hitches for the Cade are avail and a cooler caddie has been developed for the Caddies with a Reuse hitch or gold wings too. We are working on producing a cooler caddie that will mount in place of a ball on Markland style hitches. Will any one interested of pricing on re-chroming their parts please email me? Thanks! ~chopper


I am considering a Cavalcade as my next bike. I've read quite a bit

about them and am quite impressed by their specs, looks and the

impressive following they have created. My question is how do they

handle? I have heard some folks say they feel top heavy and are hard

to handle a slower speeds. I'd like to hear from some owners. Thanks,


Dave: Get one. Plain and simple. That's how good they are. However, if you are used to smaller, lighter bikes, the Cade will feel very heavy. It is a little more top-heavy than others, as well as some heaviness at slow speeds. Given that, I absolutely love it. The handling at slow speed isn't bad at all, but that may be because I am used to it. It definitely pays off on the highway, smooth and true. Lots of power and torque. ~Brian 87LXE in CT

Dave: My cavalcade is far less top-heavy than was my 1000. As for slow speeds, I took my driverís test with it and beat points with a guy on a 750 crouch rocket. He couldn't understand how. I have been told from a diehard Goldenwing user who had a chance to ride a Cade. that he could do things with the Cade that he could never do with his wing. Personally I have not had the privilege to ride a wing so I cannot compare. The Yamaha venture is top heavy and also a much higher seat height but a friend of mine likes that. It is up to the user how they like it, what they want to use it for and the size of the user. One can tell you their opinion but the end result; it is up to you.
~mike c. 86lx

I have had an older wing, 82 and a venture 83. Both were great bikes. There are things you can do on a wing you can't do on a Cade, just as there are things you can do on a Cade you can't on a wing.

I have had my 86 LXE for about two years now. I love it. I am a big guy and it handles pretty good except for right hand U-turns. The battery is in the right hand top fairing and you get to a certain point as slow speeds and she will fall right over to the right if you do not have enough momentum. I would recommend the Cade to anyone. You get so much for your money. It rides like a dream and more power than you will ever use. If you desire to pull a trailer I would consider the Cade or a Wing. Either one has plenty of power. I guarantee you, if you park a Cade in a group of wings, the Cade will always attract more attention than the wing. It has more character. It is a larger bike overall too. Itís much more impressive. Size does matter. ~Gary, Jax, FL, 86 LXE

Dave, I owned a Gold Wing before I bought my Cavalcade. They do handle different. The center of gravity is higher. The Cade stands a little taller. It helps to have a 30-inch inseam, although I've met Cade owners that are not that tall. Every model of motorcycle has a different balance and feel. You learn to adjust to the differences in each one. I've never met an owner who didn't love his (or her) Cavalcade. Any heavy motorcycle is going to require care and practice to maneuver easily in parking lots. Some owners have reversed the handlebar mount to improve the low speed handling. Personally, I'm more interested in how it performs on a sweeping mountain curve at 65 mph. Just my opinion, I could be wrong. Ride Safe, ~Jay, "Blue-on-Blue" '86 LXE Sammamish, Washington USA

Gary, just like you have a big mans reclining chair I believe the cavalcade must have been designed as a large manís motorcycle a lot of the people who ride them are king size such as myself I wouldnít trade mine for a new Wing.


Hi Dave, the Cades handle just fine. As with any touring bike everything should be done without rushing. This meaning parking, turning around, backing up and most definitely riding on sloped areas. I have had different
big bikes the past five years and the Cade is the Lincoln town car on the road. ~bob

My first bike was a Sears MoPed back in 1960. It handled like a heavy bicycle. Through the Honda 160, 350, and 750 to a couple of big Harleys and a few rides on GoldWings, I can honestly say that the Cavalcade handles as easy as the easiest and my confidence in the Cavalcade's abilities far surpass all of the rest. But, let's face it, it is a big machine and you'd better not forget what you are doing or it, like all big bikes, will make a waffle out of your backside if you aren't careful. On the riverfront here in Memphis there are some cobblestones. The police dept takes their motorcycle trainees down there to learn how to control a big machine in very difficult circumstances. I've ridden my Cavalcade on those same cobblestones with only one problem. Don't park between two cars with your front wheel heading towards the river and not leaving yourself sufficient room to turn around. Those things are really difficult to push backwards up a slope while wearing leather-soled cowboy boots.

I'm happy you said that about being designed as a "large mans motorcycle" because, in my earlier reply, I was going to say that it takes a real man to hold it up. Everyone I've ever seen on a Cavalcade was a little bit bigger than the average bear (as Yogi used to say). I'm 6'5" and it is an absolutely wonderful fit. I don't feel that my backside is dragging along just above the pavement and when I stop I don't have to hold it up with my legs bent at the knees. I rode a Harley once and when I put my foot on the ground my knee was still almost in a 90-degree angle. When you are that close to the ground it takes both feet on the ground to balance them That can become irritating if you want to change gears or use the foot brake. ~SuzyKee

Well, I'm 5'10 and I hold it up fine. "Large" is too vague a term, a bike should fit correctly, feet flat and knees slightly bent when they're on the ground, not quite 90 degrees when on the pegs or floorboards. This is what
I've been told by NY highway cops. "If it don't fit, don't ride it !" ~Gerry in NY

Prior to riding the Cavalcade I rode, and still own, a Kawasaki Concours 1000 sport-tourer. First riding impressions Goldwing - early 80's big bike with so-so brakes ridden in Watkins Glen, NY area; 1984 Yamaha Venture ridden on Skyline Drive - felt good right away; 1986 Cavalcade LX, which I now own, (had only 18k on it in May of 1999). Western PA mountains - most awkward top-heavy bike I'd ever been on. By the end of the day I was sparing with an Aspencade, me 2 up him riding single, down a mountain. On this trip my buddy had previously dropped the Cavalcade on his foot - he rode home in a car & we trailered the Cavalcade. His broken foot ended in me getting a good deal on the Cade - now I whip the Cade around, as much as you can on an 850 lb. bike I call Big Bertha, while the Kawasaki tends to gather dust in the garage. Mileage now just short of 27k.


I have an '86 Cavalcade LX, it has about 63,000 miles on it, 59,000 when I bought it this summer. Some friends have been advising me to get rid of it and get something with less miles. The bike runs great and everything works as designed. I'm looking for opinions on the reliable miles I should be able to get. Or, should I think about trading it off. I like the bike and it runs great at this time. Opinions? ~Jim in Ohio, also a retired Navy vet.

Jim, Why don't you ask something simple? Like, why did kamakazi pilots wear parachutes? My best advice to you is to buy a 2 gallon gas can, fill it with gas, fill the Cade's tank, put the 2 gal in the trunk, and drive till your butt hurts or you run out of gas (should be about 200 miles). Put the 2 gal in the Cade, find a place and gas up then head for home. Park the bike. Think about your experience... Next weekend, choose another bike and do it all again. Keep doing that till you make YOUR decision. Let us know how you make out. ~KennG

Hey Jim, As far as rebuilds etc, you're probably within 10,000 miles of machine work of some kind (top ends get tired, lose tolerances.) As a group, with no bike newer than 12 years old, there are a myriad of little things that start to go bad (seals and rubber parts, mostly.) But, if you're geographic area is similar to mine here in Phila., PA, any reasonable replacement (i.e. used touring bike that everything works OK) starts singing a tune of $10,000. I plan on riding my '86 until it can't go no mo. Just my $0.02... ~Bob G(D) 86

Jim, several of the group have over 100K miles on theirs. As with any machine (specially one 14 years old) it needs
tender loving care at times, but the Cavalcade will stay with any touring bike, you will be comfortable, and have
plenty of web friends. Some may become real close friends if you wish to get together. When it does break you'll get
lots of free (but valuable help) from Tracy's CD and this group. I only have 42, 000+ miles on my '87 with any luck at all (read lack of stupidity on my part) I hope to see 59,000 soon. You can trade it, but you may never get another chance at owning a true classic. Good Luck, Jim and welcome. ~Al from Massachusetts

Hey Jim, I bought my 86 last fall in bad need of TLC I worked on it all winter doing maintenance and cleaning and cleaning but havenít put a wrench to it since the 8th of June and been over 5000 miles worry free and donít expect to have a problem and can run 80 85 with the new ones all day including 640 miles and seven states in one day and one heck of a ride it is... ~chopper