October, 2003

Here is the October 2003issue of the Cavalcade Owner’s monthly newsletter.  IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO RECEIVE FUTURE MONTHLY ISSUES OF THIS NEWSLETTER, send me an e-mail with the subject field phrase “No Future Issues”. My e-mail address is


CADE RAID 2004 ~BRANSON, MISSOURI ~ August 16-21, 2004

You can take three days to ride to Branson and three days to ride home and still only need a week off to attend Cade Raid 2004 next summer. That is because if you can’t spend a whole week in Branson, you won’t miss the heart of the rally. We will hold our workshops and entertainment events on 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

MONDAY NIGHT GATHERING: We will have a sit-down social on Monday evening, August 16th for everyone attending CADE RAID 2004. If you get to Branson on Sunday, or just roll in late Monday, come pull up a chair and get to know your fellow Cavalcaders.

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 (


just returned from a quick trip to cripple creek co last Wednesday and had a great ride.  the return trip was WET and rather cool until we got to springs. after driving in the rain for a couple of hours I got the feeling
I was only hitting on 3 cylinders as the other bikes were leaving me and for the first time since I got this bike the throttle hit the stop. I rode for a few more miles and my speed picked up suddenly, it was running fine. later, it started missing again (at speed) and I could feel a tingle in my throttle hand that was unusual.  we stopped and looked around the bike and rested a bit.  it would miss at idle and clear up as I raised the rpm's.  we took off again and it never missed a beat and we tested it thoroughly!  is there a certain igniter that is prone to moisture more than the others or is it just chance?  I really like the old Cade and am nearing59000 miles. it had 44000 when I got it two years ago.

A couple weeks ago I was going to go to k-state to a game but went 13 miles and stopped to fill with gasand had motor oil (synthetic) running out on top of the secondary.  I justknew it was gear oil but it was not! I checked the gearbox and it wasfine, but the engine oil was low. I topped it off with oil and parkedit.  came back next day and rode it home and 1000 miles since withabsolutely no oil leakage!  It’s just something to think about. ride safeand often. ~Bruce Renick, Ingalls KS




When I put the wheel back on, I changed brakes. Inoticed that the outer shoes were worn far more than the inners. Any reason forthis, you brake specialists? ~Red


I had the same problem with my brakes. I found thepiston on the good pad side was NOT moving properly.  Cleaned it up inplace and pushed it back into the caliper with the aid of a big "C"clamp.  Worked it a few times, sprayed a little brake cleaner on it andcleaned it off.  Pushed it back, worked it, and bled it again beforeputting it back in service. Hasn't been a problem since. I rememberit was the outside pad because of the scraped "O"  in thehousing where the "C" clamp dug in.  Used the brake pad to landthe clamp on the piston side. Put a piece of wood shim between the"c" clamp and the housing and it won't be a problem. Hope this helps. ~KennG



When adding the coolant, be sure you fill the radiatorfirst, by filling at the radiator cap>>> fill full and wait a fewminutes for it to drain into the block, refill if necessary. Close radiator capand fill overflow reservoir to cold line( about 1/2 full. Start engine and lettemp go up. From this point on you can just add it to the overflow reservoir.You have to make sure you don't have an air pocket trapped in the block.
There are two kinds of bars on the market one has the pellets in it Ipersonally don't like this one. The other is more of a liquid. Your manualgives a part number I think. When I do this procedure I have a 1 liter plasticbottle, with a 3/8  clear plastic hose adapted to the top, as filling fromthe cap is a chore of sorts. And you can sort of squeeze the solution into theradiator fill. Good luck! Check it for leaks when you're done. ~Walter ‘nMaryland



I put a new Dunlop 491 on my spare rear wheel so I don'thave to worry about it 2 weeks before Branson. It went on real easy (about 15minutes). The tire changer with motorcycle adaptor from Harbor Freight is areal help.

For some reason I am having one heck of a time getting the tire to fill upwith air.  Any help/advice will be greatly appreciated in getting the tireto seat on the rim so I can air it up.  I'm assuming it's the tire,because I had no problems changing the front tire. ~Mikey


Remove the valve stem insert before hand.  Put aratchet strap tie down around the tire.  Ratchet it down till the tireswells to meet the rim (both sides).  Apply air till tire pops on. STOP FILLING WITH AIR.  Remove the strap.  Apply air to make sure tireis on rim.  Replace valve stem insert. Fill to proper inflation. Check for leaks. ~KennG


Kenn, I read this post andthen said to myself "Kenn's lost it." How the heck are yousupposed to replace the valve stem after the tire is seated on the rim? Then itcame to me... What you are calling the valve stem insert, most of us refer toas the valve stem core. ~ Brian in IN


For the most part, I agree with Kenn on the method.However, the rear tire is a pretty stiff beast and you may not have as muchluck with a ratchet strap as with more flexible tires.

The best method I've seen involved a special tank that has a 1 1/4" -11/2" tube welded to the side of it and a 1/4 turn ball valve in the tube.The tank (about the same size as a standard portable air tank) is pressurized
with about 80 p.s.i. of air.

With the rim/tire laying flat and the bottom bead seated by the weight of thetire, an air chuck is connected to the stem and allowed to fill into the rim,even though it's leaking out of the top bead that's no biggie. The tube comingoff of the special tank has a flattened end on it and it's laid right next tothe top bead and the handle of the 1/4 turn valve is blipped open and thehorrific shot of air that comes out instantly seats the top bead.

Takes about 1 second. Our local tire shop has one and they've used it on tiresfor me for no cost. I just carried them in there and they seated the bead justthat fast. ~Tracy




I have this vision that with some ingenuity andpersistence, one would be able to find a way to replace the u-joint on thesedrive shafts of ours. And I wonder if anyone has an old one that theywouldn't mind sending my way to see if it's possible. If it is, then I willoffer a driveshaft exchange program for those in need. But I need one to startwith.  ~Brian in IN, ‘87 tt Gray LX


I will share my thoughts on the subject and then, ofcourse, you can do as you wish. Firstly, the only "used" drive shaftsavailable are ones with the small u-joint. While there may be a few big jointshafts that have been removed due to wear, my guess is it's very not many. And,since the small joint shaft is known for excessive wear and was made obsoleteand updated by the factory to the larger joint, then putting a small jointshaft back in where one has worn out is asking for another failure.

  I looked at doing the same thing. Yes, the u-joint is standard andcan be had for not too much $ however, the stock joint is staked in so thereisn't anything to keep the new joint in once you get the old one out (bygrinding or milling out the stakes). What you would probably end up doing ismilling a slot in the yokes for an external keeper. Can it be done? Yes. Willit work? Probably. However, at the end of the day, when you get done with it, youstill have a small-joint shaft that's now not as strong as it was originallysince you've had to carve around on it to get the new joint in it.

  There's not enough room in the original yokes to install a biggerjoint. It's just too thin to make it any bigger. That's why the new shafts havea little problem with "ting"ing the inside of the driveshaft tube,the yokes are bigger because they have to be to accept the larger joint.

  Also, the cost of repairing the small-joint shaft might be half ofwhat a new big-joint shaft costs so why would you spend the time and effort to rebuildan inferior design. ~Tracy


OK  next question. Was the newer models equippedwith the bigger u-joint??  If so, approximately when did they start puttingin the shafts with bigger yokes? Or are all the bikes equipped with the smallershafts??  I'm thinking that even the Shafts with bigger u-joints will needto be replaced sometime, and I cant believe that the u-joint cant be replacedwithout buying the whole shaft.  Just my thoughts. ~Brian in IN, ‘87 ttGray LX


You will have to look at the parts book, but I think itwas 87 before they started with the bigger shafts. Yes, rebuilding the bigshaft would provide a suitable replacement. That is, assuming you can run downany cores to rebuild. There may be some worn out big-joint shafts out there butmy guess is there won't be many. But, I've been wrong before. ~Tracy




Some time back I sent out an e-mailwith some alternate automotive thermostats and that advice may have turned outto be less than perfect.

I've used a 52mm car stat with the centered pill on my 86 without aproblem, the original stat has an offset pill but I didn't have any problemwith mine fitting. In fact, I actually bought a 55mm stat (all Wal-Mart had andthey were the only thing open) and turned it down the 3mm to match theoriginal.

I was just asked whether the use of the car stat could be the cause of my"overheating" problem. Well, I must first say that I don't believethat I have an overheating problem. I just feel that the system should be ableto keep the motor under 200° running down the highway at 70-80 MPH. It's been alot milder lately temp wise, and today with 80° air temp the fan never ranwhile riding 2 up down the highway. The only time it came on is when goingthrough towns and even then it would run intermittently. As you may recall, Ihave bastardized my bike with an ill-fitting and improper fan switch that turnsthe fan on at an unbelievably low 204° instead of the stock 221°.

My "problem" has been going on even before I changed the stat.Actually, I think I made the most progress when I changed out the radiator forone that didn't look like it had been used for a doormat. Still, I believe thatthere is an airflow issue with the vents and am actively looking for some lowerfairings with the large vents or even just a pair of large vents that I couldadapt to my lower fairings. They're still available new but even with adiscount they are still fairly expensive.

Anyway, to Walter, no, I don't think that the unauthorized car stat is thecause of my "problem." ~Tracy

OK I looked and according to the CadeCD, 27100-24A05 is for G & H models, and 27100-24A06 is for the J model. Soam I correct to assume that the bigger u-joint came factory on the 88 modelsthen?? of course you already knew that didn’t ya, You just want to teach us touse that CD you worked so hard to put together....   LOL  sorrybig guy, didn’t know it would be on there. Have a good one.  Anotherthought, I have 52k miles on my original shaft with the smaller u-joint, and ifI can replace the u-joint and get another 52k on it, maybe more, cause the newu-joint should be grease-able??,  then that sounds good to me. What’s your feeling on that? ~Brian



There have been a number of youexperiencing squealing feedback when you plugged in headsets for the first timeand turned up the communications volume. It has generally been linked to theheadset cables (one or both) that plug into the connector from the radio boxand extend to the front and rear where you plug the 5 pin DIN into them fromthe headsets.

Well, since I finally finished my home-brew headsets (about $35 for bothfront and rear) and I plugged into the front cord I experienced the samefeedback squeal. It didn't happen on the back plug in so I knew it was a cordissue.

Well, instead of ordering a new set of cords from Sierra, I just dug intothe cord and found that the ground (actually a shield) wire was broken insidethe 5 pin DIN connector. It appears that over the years as the headset cord wasplugged in many, many times, it flexed the metal cable support to the pointthat it bent and caused the wire to finally break after flexing over and over.I simply cut and re-soldered the wires back to the respective terminals andre-bent the wire support straight and it works fine now.

Both ends of the cable can be taken apart and the rubber boot on the 5 pinend simply slides back away to reveal a standard plug. ~Tracy 


Could you get me the part list andwhat you did to make the set I would like to get a system on my Cade I needfrom the radio to the head set.>>
It's not quite that simple. I can tell you that I used a computer headsetwith a boom condenser mic. Cost was $15 ea on sale at RS. Since the Cadedoesn't have power for condenser mics, I milled out a small compartment to holda hearing aid battery and a few electronics for the mic. I made it so when youplugged the cord into the compartment it turns the mic. on. The battery shouldlast several hundred hours of continuous operation so I won't need to change itvery often. I attached the compartment to the side of the
helmet with emblem tape. I used modified computer keyboard cords as connectingcords. I installed a 6 conductor telephone plug on the helmet end and the 6thconductor is used to connect the neg. of the battery to the mic. to turn it on.When I get some time, I will post a webpage with some pictures.

The only problem is that the mic. output is waaaayyyyy too hot for theradio. The mic. is putting out a line-level signal when I need a mic. levelsignal. I will install a pair of resistors to pad the mic. output back about 40db and see if that tones it down a little. Otherwise, it works well. It ispretty awesome to actually have high quality music (full face helmets tend totone down the main speakers). ~Tracy



In the middle of June I broke my footmoving a junk Honda, This meant that I couldn't ride my Cade. so I parked it. Ijust had the cast removed from my foot last week and was ready to go. I wentout to my Cavalcade, started it right up. as I was cleaning the dust off of it,it died. it would not start again. I can get it to start by charging the battery.but soon the battery. light will come on and it will die again. what can thisbe? Stator? regulator? I have not worked on this part of my bike before, whatam I looking for? thanks. ‘86 Cavalcade LXE ~Carl

The battery light means that thebattery is low on water or the system voltage is dropping below 8 volts. Ifit's been sitting, you need to run the fuel pump to fill the carbs by pressingstart button with the clutch out. You will hear a light ticking sound comingfrom under the seat. That's the fuel pump. When it stops clicking, then you canput on the choke and, without twisting the throttle open, should be able tostart the bike with a pretty full charged battery. Maybe you haven't charged itlong enough. The best way is with a 1-2 amp charger for 10+ hours depending onhow far down it was. ~Tracy


I just had a long conversation with the USA EBC rep andhave some fairly good news to report.

Firstly, we can place a special order for the rotors and hopefully get themshipped over here in a decent amount of time. What's a decent amount of time? Idunno. However, they have 6 lefts in stock in the US and the rep is sending mea pair to look at to see if there is, in fact, any difference in them when usedon either side. The stock ones have the counter bore on the opposite side tomake the rain grooves (not actually rain grooves but pad cleaning grooves) facethe right direction when they're bolted on. The rep did explain though thatthere have been occasions where the rights and lefts were simply put indifferent boxes even though there's no actual difference in them.

He has asked me to test these rotors to make sure that they arefunctionally equivalent on either side and, if that works out, then some of youthat are in dire need could get 2 lefts if the time to shipment on rights istoo long. He's also sending me some HH pads so I can report on those as well.

Also, it appears that the price may be a little less than what I originallyquoted for fronts. I don't have a final price from my dealer yet (that's theonly way I can get them), but I have a call into him to see what it will endup. ~Tracy


Ineed some input re my auto leveler. I just put the bike back together afterhaving the stator rewound and its charging like it should, however the firsttime I took it out I pressed the leveling button, the compressor ran butnothing happened, it should have dropped then recovered to the correct height.Today I went out and pressed the button, the bike dropped and the compressorran for about 1or 2 minutes but the bike didn’t come up at all, I drove itanyway and tried it several times when I was stopped, each time the compressorran but the bike did not come up. now at home and when I press the button itlights up but the compressor does not run. I thought at first that maybe thedrain plug was stuck open but its not. (too easy) Has anyone had the sameproblem or does anyone have any suggestions. ~Hoadley, ‘86 LX

Likely the first 2 banjo bolts off thecompressor. Probably plugged with rust. I have stainless steel versions if youfind yours un -repairable. ~Tracy


Tracy, Would the plugged bolts be the cause of the seats not inflating ? I have never felt the seat or the back rest move since I bought the bike in'96. The air shocks do work fine. I have checked for leaks but no bubbles. Howlong should it take until I feel a difference in the seat? ~Keith Brandon



I have found that, unlike my computer,my 86LX doesn't run totally on smoke. The smoke escaped yesterday, but it willstill run... I fired the little jewel up and at the end of my drive way, smokestarted boiling out of the vent above the headlight. I cut it off and the smokestopped. I cranked it back up, lights and everything worked, but in a fewseconds the smoke started back until I cut it off again. I couldn't see wherethe smoke was coming from, but it was escaping around the headlight. I knowI've gotta take this critter apart to be sure, but would any of you gurus haveany idea of what is the most likely fried part? The smoke had a"different" smell, not exactly like plastic or wiring or antifreezeor oil burning. Any help with what, for me, is gonna be a major mechanicalundertaking would be greatly appreciated. ~Perry



Tracy, Would the plugged bolts be thecause of the seats not inflating ?  I have never felt the seat or the backrest move since I bought the bike in '96. The air shocks do work fine. I havechecked for leaks but no bubbles. How long should it take until I feel adifference in the seat? ~Brandon

If it auto-levels, the banjo boltsprobably aren't the problem. One thing we need to keep in mind in that the seatinflation circuit has a pressure relief valve and it may need to be tweaked upa bit as the spring could have weakened. Also, if you suffer from BAD or MAD orHAD (Big Ass, Massive Ass or Huge Ass Disease) then the system may not be ableto lift your weight. You may need to stand up, inflate it and then sit backdown.

The pressure relief is beside the compressor and it has a cotter pin toretain the setting. If when you air the seat (do it with the motor off) and youhear little puffs of air coming from under the left inner fairing panel,
it may be popping off. You may also have a hose off or one pinched. ~T


Hi, all. I am new (today) to thegroup. I currently own a Yamaha 1978xs750SE, a 1979 Yamaha xs1100F, and rideoften, usually two up with lovely wife Janet.  We have been consideringpurchasing a full-bore touring bike, to improve comfort on long two-up rides. Wehave looked at Gold Wings, Kawasaki Voyagers, and the like. I now have a chanceto purchase a 1986 Cavalcade. It is the two-tone brown. It has 80,000 on theodometer.

Condition is as follows... Bike starts and runs fine, uses no oil. Allinstruments/gauges work fine. The compressor works fine. The radio turns on,but does not work (no sound out of the speakers, other than the"click" when the radio is first turned on)-- not a big deal to me, asI almost never listen to a radio when riding. The tape player runs, but again,no sound. The clock has been removed from the mounting near the steering head.There is just an empty black housing. I could not check the intercom, as thereare no cables for it with the bike.
The body work is all solid, no cracks, but needs a serious buffing job toclean it up. Inside the trunk and hard bags is clean, and the latches all work.The soft liners for the hard bags are inside them, and are in good shape.Chrome work needs a serious cleaning, but seems solid.
The exhaust--surface rust on the header pipes, but they are solid. Prob.need to be cleaned and painted with high-temp. black paint. On the underside ofthe bike, both the right and the next inside pipe have holes in them...not rustthrough--they look like the PO ran over something which punched small holes inthe pipe. These could be patched with welded on metal. The Mufflers are cleanand solid, but seem to be replacement units, that are mounted to the head pipeswith muffler clamps. The connection looks ugly, and leaks, but I think I couldfix that without too much trouble. The cross-over unit is covered with surfacerust, but I could not poke a screwdriver through it even using a fair amount offorce, so I believe it is solid. I could wire brush it down and paint it blackwith high temp paint, and it should last for several more years.
Tires are very recent Dunlop Duo-Tour Elite, with no weather checks, andlots (prob. 90%) of the tread left. The wear on them is even, with no cupping.
The main problems seem to be that the steering head bearings areshot...Really loose and sloppy when the front wheel is centered, and for a fewdegrees to each side, then really tight for the rest of the way in bothdirections. The bike is scary to ride at low speeds, due to (I assume) the slopin the bearings. After reaching 40mph or so, the bike feels much more solid,and handles pretty well (as far as I can tell with my very limited experienceon this machine). The fork seals are shot, especially the left one, which isleaking like crazy. However, the fork tubes are nice and smooth. Checking witha micrometer should no variation in tube diameter, so they are not worn. Avisual inspection indicated that the forks are straight. There is no sign thatthe bike has ever been dumped or dropped. The windscreen is fogged, but notyellowed, and has no deep scratches, so I think it will clean up well.
With 80,000 on the odometer, what problems/repairs can I expect in the nearfuture. Is there anything in particular I should look out for? How long can Iexpect this motor to last before needing major work (assuming normal maintenance,lube, oil, filter, fluids, etc)? I can purchase this bike (clean title) for$1000.
What is the general consensus about this bike for this price? Thanks inadvance for any advice or opinions. ~Kirt Howe


Kurt for a $1000 if its anywhere near Massachusetts andyou decide not to buy it please let me know.
It sounds like you are a pretty fair hand mechanically -- with the help andadvice of those in the group I don't think you'll have any problem taking careof what should be taken care of. There may also be members living close by thathave worked on the Cavalcade. Lastly the engine should be your last worry.there are quite a few that have gone past 100K. ~Al from mass







Hi guys and gals just letting you all know I am sellingmy ‘87 LX gray on silver this is a very nice bike the radio buttons are new andit has got the cork now it do's have a little oil leak around the shift rod. WhenI put the bike back together I could not get the compressor to pump up theshocks. I may have not plugged something in or some other dumb thing. Now Ihave all the parts to re-do the seal around the shifter but have not got thetime or the health to do this anymore. It will also come with an extrasecondary gear box and some other extra parts just thought I would offer ithear first I want $3800.00 This is a great bike it also has the louder pipes onit sounds good. But I do have the stock ones for you old farts out there if youwant them too. I can send pic's my # 1-815-393-3274 ask for Chuck there aresome pic's on groups site in pic's thank you all very much Oh ya,, it has about57,000 on it.



Beautiful ‘86 Cade LXE black and silver and chrome. Everything still works including the radio, cruise, 22000 miles,$4500. Located in Glasgow, KY-USA 270-659-9444


St.louis, missouri

1986 lx, twotone brown, lots of chrome and lights, drivers backrest, highway boards, CB,am/fm cassette, custom etched windshield, good tires, 44,000 miles in goodcondition $3,000.00 or best offer. The bike is in St. Louis, MO. My number is(636) 673-1126. My name is Bob Cox. 



I have a 1987 LXE black and silver with 55,000 miles,drivers back rest, highway pegs, new rear Metzler, front Metzler has about5,000 miles on it. Nice bike in very good condition. I am asking $3,500.00.Call me if interested. Bob Cox 636-673-1126.




My 1986 GT Cade is for sale. It has 23,000 miles in verygood condition, maroon on maroon, lots of extra chrome and lights. Never beenrained on, or wrecked, tires new about 2000 mile back. Price is $3500. firm,This bike is about as near new as you will find. There is picture of my Cadeat: is on the first page left hand side
of page. ~Rolland Meismer, Burlington, Iowa U.S.A.



Time to sell my 86LX two tone brown. 76,000 km. Goodcondition and never misses a beat. Located in SW Ontario. Cdn. $4350 Mail medirect for information and pictures or call (519) 843 2051 ~Dave, Fergus ON



‘86 LXE. has 70k on it. Everything works and just putnew tires, plugs and air filter. It’s in great condition and runs great. I’ve neverhad a problem with it. If interested you can call 801 447-4157 for details. ‘86LXE blue on blue. $3500. ~ART DAVIS