September, 2003

Here is the September 2003 issue of the Cavalcade Owner's monthly newsletter.  


send me an e-mail with the subject field phrase "No Future Issues". My e-mail address is




 There will be a charity ride from Hopkinton, MA to Ground Zero on Sunday, September 21st.  The ride begins at 6:30am in Hopkinton and proceeds west on the Mass Pike to I-84.  In Hartford, I-91 will then

be taken down through Meriden/Wallingford to RT 15 (Merritt Parkway).  There will be a final staging

area in Greenwich, CT for the final leg of the journey to Ground Zero.  Various meeting points are identified along the route where riders can join in.  More details can be found at   If any fellow Caders are interested in going, please let me know and maybe we can arrange to get together.

~Dave in Mass., '86 LXE, Blue



BRANSON, MISSIOURI ~ August 16-21, 2004

We are less than a year away from our next big international gathering of Cavalcades. Our goal is to bring 100 Cavalcades for a week of rides, classes, workshops, entertainment packages to top-rated shows, a 

Thursday night awards dinner, group photo and lots of other surprises. Can't spend a whole week? The heart of the rally will be Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, including our big award dinner.

Our home base will be the Grand Plaza Hotel. We have a special group rate of just $55.00 per night for up to 4 people in a room.  And if you want to come early or stay longer you can reserve nights before and after Cade Raid 2004 at the same rate.  1-800-850-6646.

For you campers, contact "America's Best Campground" 499 Buena Vista Road, Branson, MO 65616 

(417) 336-4399 Mark your calendar now for August 16-20, 2004. We want to see you in Branson.


If you are planning a ride or motorcycle event and would like it posted in next month's Suzuki Cavalcade Newsletter, send it to (




Seven Cades (7-1/2 actually, one had a sidecar) met for breakfast on Sat. 7/26 and toured the hills & valleys SW of Madison. We visited Stoughton, New Glarus, Darlington & other communities.  It was a bit windy, but very nice weather in general.  There was great camaraderie during the breaks; a lot a sharing of experience & advice.  There were ten riders & a few friends in sports cars. We put on just under 200 miles & returned to Deerfield for a cookout. Thanks Jerry & Linda for hosting the party.

Most bikes headed home for the evening, but one (mine) stayed over at a motel & we put on another 150 miles meandering home via Lake Geneva the next day. We may do another ride later in the season. If

so everyone is welcome.  Check the daily e-mail group exchange for details. ~Wayne, `86LXE, SE WI


I have always used bees wax to water proof the stitches, seams, and leather. I apply a good thick layer all over the boot or shoe and put in an oven at about 100 degree with the door open. The heat will melt the wax which will run into the seams and pores of the leather.

Keep the boot/shoe on the highest shelf possible to keep the soles from becoming soft. Keep watching the boot until all the wax has melted and ran down on the top of the sole. Then just wipe the excess off following the stitches. This treatment is good or at least one season unless you get into a lot of salt. ~ Keith 



Has anybody had a problem with the rear headset volume control?? We lugged in a couple of weeks ago for a ride and her volume was wide open and it would not turn down. If anyone has a solution to this I would appreciate it. Thanks ~Kevin, Lake Stevens, Washington `86 LXE

Kevin, I own three Cades. and all three ('86,'87,'88) have had the rear volume control go out, and it is always wide open, Tracy sells a replacement switch which is very easy to remove and reinstall if you have any electrical soldering experience. I have replaced all three switches for under $20. The hardest part of this task is removing the controller from the Trunk. I have replaced them in less than 2 hours each. That includes removal, disassembly of the controller, removal of rotary switch and wheel, de-solder, and

reverse order putting back together. ~Bruce Johnson


I'm still having problems with the radio switching between the headsets and the speakers on its own. I replaced the switches (Great picture directions "T"-Man). Unfortunately it did not take care of the problem.  Anybody have any other ideas? Thanks, ~Maury, Auburn, Washington, `86 LXE

Well it doesn’t switch automatically to headsets. You have to hit the HS/SP button to switch from speakers to headsets. Just in case you didn't realize this. ~Brian in IN

LOL...........I know I don't look to sharp BUT............... Yeah, I do know to hit the button.  The problem is I turn the key on and it starts in Speaker mode, then switches on it's own to Head Sets and then sometimes back. If I hit the button, it switches for a moment, and then switches back.............sometimes. And yes, I did

replace the buttons. Hmmmmmmmm.. Possesed?  Any other thoughts? Thanks, ~Maury

Maury, I too, am having the same problem with my head set switch, but mine changes when hitting bumps. I have new switches but haven't changed them. I was hoping that was the problem. ~Frank

Everyone, I have found that on some radios, there are some little squares of stiff paper under a few of the switches. They appear to be thin spacers. If you don't take them off, you run the chance of the new switches sitting too high and the button will press them constantly. However, I don't recall seeing the paper spacers under the switches along the sides, only along the top.

Also, it could be where the faceplate PC board plugs into the main one. Or, it could be a wire being pinched and grounding which will make the unit think that the button is being pushed since most of the switches go to ground (maybe all of them) when they are pressed. ~Tracy


I see by the posts that there are some Ham Radio operators on here. I would like to know how many, where you are and call sign. I'm just curious. ~Mike VE3FGU ~ Keswick, Ontario, Canada, 26' NS U

#196 "MAXICAT" 

Hello Mike,   G0PHB IN LIVERPOOL   BLUE 86 LXE, ~Andy

N8ZTO   Lincoln, Michigan ~Dale

I am both VE3ORY and VE3GGZ. ~Rick Reeve

W4SCC in Waxhaw, NC, ~Wayne, `86 LX

VE1HD ... I am located in Nova Scotia, along the eastern shore about 120 miles east of Halifax in a little place called Port Bickerton.... 1986 Cavalcade, N5IHD ~Harlan, `86LX, Wharton, TX

AC7OA ~Peter Linden, in Portland Oregon with a 1986 Cavalcade.

VE3FGU ~Mike, Keswick, Ontario, Canada, 26' NS U #196 "MAXICAT"

KA3OAC ~Gary, `87 LXE, Johnstown, PA

KD5UPI ~Tommy, Nettleton, Mississippi, USA


Group, I bought some LED lights from JC Whitney and tried to hook up for extra brakes lights but they do not get very bright.  Not getting enough power. I tried different grounds, etc.  I tried hooking directly to the battery so I know the lights are good and bright. But just can't get them to be bright when I hook up to the rear lights. Any suggestions?  Thanks. ~Kirby, 86 LX, Topeka, KS

Kirby, If you connect them to the same power/ground that feeds the brake lights, then all should be well. Of course back there, there are several black with white tracer wires that all end of in the same place, namely at ground. Have you checked the voltage of the power side of things? You may have something else going on. Also, LEDs MUST be connected in the proper polarity since the D of LED is "diode". Most the LEDs being used for 12v are actually more like 3 volts and there's a resistor inside to limit the voltage to that of 

The particular LED. Conversely, the "reverse voltage" (or that voltage at which the diode will actually pass current in the opposite direction) is fairly low (like 5 volts). So, if they're connected in reverse polarity, the diode will actually allow current to flow but the LED probably won't glow as designed. ~Tracy


Tracy, This is a new one on me.  All of my electrical life I've dealt with voltage drops and never heard of voltage going up when equipment is turned on.  One item we have to agree on is that the r/r's purpose is to charge the battery.  All other electrical items are run from the battery.  When things turn on, we get a voltage drop and the r/r in turn tries to make up for the drop by boosting the voltage/charge to the battery if the system is in prescribed working order.  In my case since the voltage is already higher than the prescribed parameters in the service manual, the voltage goes down (since it doesn't have the capability to charge at a higher rate). The r/r doesn't have the capability to make the drop in voltage up unless there would be a complete r/r failure. Then there would be the possibility of catastrophic consequences to the system if the voltage ran wild (assuming we have a major short with no opens).  If your voltage is going up when the fan is turned on, I'd keep a close eye on the battery electrolyte s. g. But then, if everyone had a VM and hydrometer they'd know what we're talking about (how's that for a plug). ~Mikey

Mikey, I understand it seems unusual to you. But in much (if not all) that you do, you've probably never dealt with a stator type system. When a stator is spinning above a critical RPM (for the Cade let's say 400-600 RPM), it will be making juice. The R/Rs job is to act as a variable resistor to ground (besides doing the job of rectifying AC) so that as acc are turned on and off, the RR compensates by either firing the SCRs more or less often to provide an alternate path to ground. That way, at any RPM, the total system resistance that the stator sees is what is necessary to provide a fairly constant output voltage. At road speed, the potential at the stator outputs is quite substantial and, in most cases anyway, exceeds the total load on the system and the RR is always providing some path to ground so that the stator sees the right amount of resistance to hold voltage.

The exception, of course, is when the total system resistance is too low and all of the available stator output is being put to ground through accessories. Some of the discussion in the last few months about low voltage when additional lights are glowing illustrates that at some point, the RR is doing nothing but rectifying AC. The system load is enough (and in some cases too much) and all of the potential of the stator is being directed to the system and is not being passed through the SCRs to ground.

After the bike is started and as long as the RPM is above that needed for the stator to self energize (a stator needs no external voltage excitation) the battery is simply acting as a storage capacitor. And as long as it's fully charged, and the system voltage is high enough, it just sits there and only soaks up enough juice to

offset any self discharge. Since it's in parallel with the RR outputs, it really isn't needed for the bike to run as long as the stator RPM is high enough to energize all of the acc and also supply the igniters with enough voltage to make them happy. Actually, you could put a "disconnect" on one side of the battery and after the bike was started you could simply disconnect it and everything would be fine.

When the system does drop below the battery voltage, it will then discharge into the system to make up for the difference in stator output and load. At that point and when the stator output goes back up, the battery will accept charge again to replace what was discharged.

When there is an excess of output from the stator (as in my case since I have no significant additional acc to burn it off), then as acc are turned on the system voltage will go up in proportion to the load being imposed, to a point. Since the cooling fan is a fairly good sized load, the RR directs enough additional voltage to the

system to compensate for that load. At some point, if I were to get too many things turned on, the system voltage would start to drop until the system load was in balance with the stator output. Since I measure voltage at the source and not at the load, I get a sample of the voltage before any wire losses.

Also, I have an OEM RR; after-markets will act a little differently. Since the OEM RR measures voltage through the orange wire, it is actually measuring loaded voltage, in other words, is seeing some wire losses and might be telling the RR to direct more juice to the system than is really necessary to keep things in balance. If I were to tie the orange sense wire directly to the positive battery lead, my RR would act differently and the overall system voltage would probably be lower. If I were to measure the voltage at that sense wire, I would probably find that it is lower than what my voltmeter is reading. Let’s say that's one of the drawbacks of the OEM RR and is why all of the after-markets eliminate the orange lead as a sense wire and instead sense it though the red wire which is actually a more accurate method of controlling the voltage. In that case, the RR might not spike quite as much when things are turned on since it would be reading actually voltage at the RR output (battery terminals) and would see little if any wire losses. I don't now if any of this helps but I had fun spewing it. ~Tracy


Group, I know that some of you have recently rebuilt your forks and the timelines of this may be too late, but I'm gonna spew it anyway. 

When I first got my Cade, the forks were leaking so I did the normal thing and put new seals in (and, of course, cleaned them up). I didn't start riding the bike until about this time last year (right before Branson) and by the time I got back from Branson, they were leaking again. I've been living with the mess for a 

year now and with too frequent bottoming and the constant mess on my pretty white paint job, I decided to bite the bullet and do it again.

One of the first things I found was that both of my fork inner tubes were bent. The right was only a little and the left one quite a bit. This was done BEFORE I got the bike. As I chucked each of them the lathe for polishing and spun each up to 1000 RPM the bend was fairly obvious. On the right side, it was bent right above the seal and had actually caused the upper bushing to score the hard chrome so badly that there's no way that a seal could do it's job. On the left side, the bend was higher. Luckily, I had another set of inner 

tubes and even though the seal surface wasn't perfect, they were straight.

I know that not everyone has a lathe they can spin the inner tubes up for polishing in, however, it is very important to visually inspect the surface of the inners and if there are any pits or lines, new seals won't last 15 minutes and they'll be leaking again. Since the chrome is pretty hard, I spin them up in the lathe and

used some 120 or so grit cloth-backed paper to start with and then switched to 220 grit. WD-40 lubed wet-or-dry to finish them up. It's very important not to sand lengthwise, all that does is create leak paths. By the time I was done with the spare inners, the surface looked pretty good. Do it evenly over the length of the 

seal/upper bushing contact area as you don't want to have tight spots as the inner moves within the upper bushing.

Also, it's important to check the amount of slop in the upper and lower bushings. You can get a new set of OEM or Race Tech bushings but you still need to check the amount of slop because there may be enough wear in the outer tube or on the inner that even new bushings will have too much slop. It's pretty easy to deal with. If the lower is too sloppy, you can cut a length of shim material (stainless or brass) and wrap it around the inner tube where the bushing sits. The shim should fit into the slot and cannot overlap on the ends. In my case, I didn't have new set of bushings so I used .003" shim and that was just right.

The upper bushing is a little different. In my case, I took a little off the ends of the bushing (to allow it to compress more) and then knurled the back of the bushing with a center punch. I slid the bushing onto the inner tube and the punched it lightly with a sharp center punch about 3 or 4 times across the face and about every 3/16" around the circumference. Since I took a little off the ends of the bushing, as I drove the bushing back into the lower tube, the metal raised by the punching caused the bushing to tighten on the

inner. To take a little of the bushing ends, I just spread it a little and inserted some 120 grit cloth roll and stroked it back and forth about 10 or 15 times. I did this on both sides of the gap. It's the same as setting the end gap on piston rings except much more crude.

After the lower bushing is shimmed and the upper it tightened up (if needed) there should be very little play in the upper end of the inner tube and it should slide smoothly (and maybe with a little resistance) when stroked in the outer tube.

When installing the seals, always fill the area in the v-notch of the seal (where contacts the inner tube) with grease before sliding them onto the inner tubes. You will lose some of it when you go to put them on, but having some grease in there will make sure that the seal never has to run on a dry shaft. I also like to put a 

thin coat of gasket sealer on the outside of the seal before driving it in. I know that they are generally rubber, but it only takes a swipe and few seconds to do.

Also, we've been talking about why Suzuki didn't put drains on the forks so I decided to go ahead and take care of that as well. For the early 86 style forks (the turned section at the top of the outer tube is about 1 inch long), the measurement I used was 13 1/4" measured from the top of the outer tube. That puts the drain right at the bottom of the cavity so that draining will be pretty complete. I drilled and tapped it for a 6mm x 1.0 screw and used a nylon washer for sealing. WARNING! The fork tube down there is pretty thin so don't drill the hole too big before tapping or you run the risk of shallow threads and a potential stripped hole when you tighten the drain screw. I also spot-faced the fork tube so that the sealing washer had a flat surface to sit on.

We've also had some discussions about air-assist for the front forks as an alternate to beefed up springs (such as Progressive). I had originally talked of having a kit where the bike's compressor could be used to charge the forks for load balancing. However, since that time I have determined that a system like that would be too complex and have decided to drop that project. However, I still wanted to have the ability to air up the forks for a slight firmer ride.

I drilled and tapped the fork caps for 1/8" pipe threads then installed an elbow fitting designed for 3/16" hard plastic air line. The fittings are those used for industrial compressed air applications. You simply slide the tubing in and there's a gripper and an o-ring that holds the tubing in and seals. I then used a tee fitting (actually a Y) to connect both sides together and then to a fill valve that I have temp zip-tied to the handlebars for filling and pressure checking. I will report back later as how I think its working. The added benefit of having the caps drilled is that I can now fill the forks with new lube without taking the caps off. Even if I didn't add the air assist, I could have simply plugged the holes with a 1/8" pipe plug and then simply removed it when I was ready to drain and refill the forks.

I don't have any plans on making any sort of airing kit available but thought that I would simply show what I did. For the moment, I have dry forks (finally), no bottoming and a better ride quality. ~Tracy

DON'T TOSS OUT THAT R/R (YET) My last post I was convinced my R/R was failed. Figuring I 

Had nothing to lose, I decided to cut out the ground connector by the battery negative terminal as Tracy suggested and sure enough the R/R is charging again. Even though the connector terminals were good the crimp connections on the plug were corroded. In fact after cutting out the plug and stripping insulation off the wires, one of them turned out to be pretty badly corroded under the insulation to the extent that I had to separate the strands of the wire, clean and tin them to get a decent solder joint. This was all pretty humbling

since I had checked continuity through the connector to ground with my ohm meter...just goes to show that the meter reading can be deceiving. I guess there is a big difference between the few micro-amps required through the meter to show continuity and the large current flowing through the R/R circuit via that connector. The other perplexing thing was the screwy ohm-meter results that I got when trying to check the regulator as per the trouble-shooting chart in the Suzuki maintenance manual that had me convinced that 

the R/R was faulty. After all diodes and SCRs don't work intermittently...they are either good or failed. Some back-ground here...I work for Hydro and have been a ham radio operator for 35 years, so I have done a bit of playing with diodes and SCRs and have some knowledge of testing them.

I was not totally convinced with the values I got in comparison to those shown in the maintenance manual and Suzuki's note about the values only being valid using their model of meter. I even tried a whole second set of readings with the meter red and black leads reversed, wondering if they had used a different convention in performing the tests, since changing the polarity is crucial when testing diodes. The bottom line was that none of my readings (with either polarity) came close to the values that Suzuki shows in the

manual. To satisfy my curiosity I did the tests all over again after dispensing with the negative lead connector and got essentially the same results again even though the R/R is now working fine. So I am

not inclined to put much stock in the ohm values that Suzuki reports in the maintenance manual. Interestingly enough, I tried the trouble-shooting logic that Electrex provide on their web-site...using the

diode checking function on my meter and everything checked out ok with that test. I know this has been a bit long-winded but I can't help but wonder how many R/R units have been discarded as faulty because of a combination of that bad ground connection combined with questionable meter readings when trying to test with an ohm-meter. In my opinion the diode test function on a multi-meter is a more reliable test. If you're having charging problems, do away with that connector like everyone recommends and check out that 

trouble-shooting logic on the Electrex web-site, before you trash what might still be a good R/R unit.

Regards, ~Rick Reeve, Oshawa, Ontario Canada

I think the general consensus is that the meter that S recommends may have a different scale setting or something. Many that have tested the RR according to the chart have found that they need to set the meter on a different scale to get fairly close readings. I dunno. As long as it works that's what matters in the end. 




I have an 86 LXE for sale it has 43,000 miles maroon in color I'm asking $ 2,100.00 or BRO. ~Ed Cully


1988 Cavalcade LX, recent forks cleaned and new forks seals, new battery, new calipers and brakes, new air shocks and kit. radio works fine , compressor and air bladders all work great drive cross country tomorrow 42k runs perfect and looks very good  was $4500, now $3795. questions email Frank at


"blue on blue" LXE, excellent condition, would love to see it go to someone who appreciates a Cavalcade!   We are located in Albuquerque, New Mexico -- price is negotiable --  Blessings – Mike Suttle  505-315-6456


I have two Cade's and must sell one. 1986 LX, Dark Brown, gold, Garage kept, Cover, owner's manual, tool kit, after market CB, Many parts replaced. Needs front tire, drive line plug should be replaced

102,500 kilometers, 63,700 miles, $5,000, Canadian Or Best Offer. Milton, Ontario, Canada (1 hour west of Toronto) Tel. 905 854-1454 Best Regards, ~Jerry Dendoff


I still have my '87 for sale. She only has 41 thousand miles and a new clutch. The radio has the normal problems though I had the switches replaced. The only cosmetic problem is the lack of a map cover.

I am asking three thousand dollars and hope to find her a home soon. Thanks again, ~Danny


Mine's still for sale in TX. pictures @ $2200.00, if you need more pictures, email Thanks, ~Dan

A friend of mine was sent to Kuwait for a year and wants me to try to sell his `86 lx for his wife. It is two tone brown with tons of lights and chrome with rotor covers. Caliper covers, front fender rail, drivers back rest, Mark land highway boards, radio with CB, 2 helmets (one with headset) and just 44,000 mi. Let me know.  ~ BIGDOG71162@AOL.COM


I have an 87 LX, silver gray, excellent condition, only 29,000 miles; add-ons are air wings, highway pegs, and floorboards. This Cade is ready to tour! Asking price is $3,500 Email inquiries and requests for additional information to My phone number is 724-962-9107.


I have an 87 LX two tone brown Cade for sale $4000.00 if anyone is interested in it. It is in great shape with 47,000 miles. My number is 859-289-5507 ask for extension 2024 or ask for Kevin.


For sale 86 LXE blue on blue 50K miles highway pegs radio probably needs a button job. C.B. works fine, new Progressive shocks rear, good tires, driver back rest, Markland trailer hitch; everything works O.K. with the exception of the dreaded inner seal on the secondary drive unit leaks a little. Always ran good & got me where I was going and back with no problems. First one to my house with $2500.00 can have it probably worth more than that parted out just don't feel like fooling with it anymore. Located in S/E La, 

Contact me at ~ John