November, 2003

Here is the November 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

We now have the entertainment packages in place for our visit to Branson. Here is a brief run-down:

Monday Evening ~ Join us at the Grand Plaza Hotel for our “Welcome to Cade Raid 2004 Pizza Party.” Get to know your fellow Caders.Talk trips and Cavalcades, share photographs, or just hang out. No matter what time you roll in to Branson, if you can get there Monday evening come join the party

Tuesday Evening ~ Dinner and a show at the IMAX. Those who attended our IMAX night at the last Cade Raid will remember the surprise we had for the Canadian table at dinner. Shh! Don’t tell the secret!!!

Wednesday Evening ~ This year our big show feature is the Dinner Cruise and Stage Show aboard the Branson Belle on Table Rock Lake.  Last year several of us attended this the day after Cade Raid 2002. It is a world class night of entertainment. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Thursday Evening ~ The Cade Raid 2004 Awards Dinner.  This is the night that we are the stars of the stage. Will the highlight of the evening be the cage match between the Old Coot and the Thong’d Wonder? Or willcooler heads prevail. Will Jay be the MC and do another standup routine? (Counton it!) Will Motherwind demonstrate her dismounting technique? Who will beawarded and why? You won’t want to miss our night of nights for Cavalcadeowners.

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

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




 November 14th to the 21st my wife and I are going tobe near Gatlinburg celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary. We will be riding our Cade and wonder if there areother riders near there who might want to  ride around with us. If there is just drop us an email. ~Karen& Dale, Michigan

 First off, congrats on 40yrs., that's great. Hope you and your better half have a great time in theSmokies. I live about 3 hrs. from there in middle TN. and go up in there everychance I get. While you are in the area, I hope you will get a chance to ride"The Dragon", U.S. 129, it has 318 curves in 11 miles, a bikersdream,
just be aware of the slick conditions with all the leaves falling, but thisride and the Cherohala Skyway are two biker favorites in this area, beautifulscenery and usually lots of bikes. While in the eastern part of the state, youmight want to trek over to Ashville, N.C. and visit the Biltmore Estate, thelargest private home
in America, one of the Vanderbilt clan, it is gorgeous anytime of the year,but especially now at the start of the holiday season, they have it reallyfixed up and it is unbelievable. Gatlinburg and the Pigeon Forge area arereally nice this time of year, just be prepared for traffic jams in downtownGatlinburg, we usually use the by-pass.

If you get the chance, spring time riding in this area is spectacular withthe bike rallies and the annual Honda Hoot, thousands upon thousands of bikers.Anyway, have a great time and be safe, also watch
out for the local police, they do tend to get a little ticket happy,especially with bikes. ~Ed Ritchison, Dickson, TN.



When I first took my Cade to a Suzuki dealer and parkedit outside while I picked up some parts, a fairly older salesman made a commentthat it brought back old memories, think he stated they sold TWO of them inthis area and when the mechanic inspected it for the state inspector. He statedhe had NEVER worked on one, and stated they didn't have ANY of the factoryspecial tools and if I needed it fixed to make sure I
supplied a manual, that's when I decided to try and do my own work, beingthe mechanic I am, pat. pat.
And to be honest a lot of the problems didn't occur till the bike got inthe hands of us diehard Cade owners. So they probably didn't see a lot of whatwe're going thru. To be honest there haven't been that many plugs found to beDISLODGED, we just replaced them BEFORE and even at that, if the secondarieslocked up on the bike it was probably old enough it was just junked and soldfor parts. There aren't a lot of people who sell a bike to some one, if theyknow their relative was injured on it, much less suffered loss of
life or limb. Just a superstition, I have found to be true. Don’t know why.There probably wasn't that many sold from one dealership to even see anyproblems returned for repair. ~ Walter n Maryland


I had exactly the oppositeexperience -- the local Suzuki dealer was owned by a guy who loved the Cavalcades.This little dealer in New Hampshire claimed to have sold more than any otherdealer east of the Mississippi. Gillie (his nickname), the owner, was the onlyone allowed to sell them - even though only about 5'6" and 150lbs. he told me whenever he and his wife went anywhere by MC it was on aCavalcade. He was a real Cavalcade fanatic.


The dealershipsold Suzukis and Yamahas. I was afraid I couldn't ride it until hestarted talking and I became convince if he could do it at his size Icould do it at 5'8 and 180 lbs. When Suzuki announced they were discontinuingit, Gillie called all of the dealers he could to buy up any bikes still incrates. He bought 13 -- that is how I was able to buy a brand new 1987 LXE in1990 with 103 miles on it (after my 29 mile test ride). They had justfinished assembling the 87 a few days before and had another one in the crate.An 86 LXE blue-on-blue I put a deposit on the 86 when I saw the color - itwas beautiful. They took the crate off on a Monday only to discover the fairingwas cracked and it would take 8 weeks to get replacement parts - I told themI'd take the 87 and have never regretted buying it.


One last little bit to thestory. Went to pick it up on a Friday and was trading in my 82 GS850L lowrider/ cruiser style -- temperature was 38 I was all bundled up and still froze-- on the way to the dealer it started to drizzle to boot. Got there andcouldn't think of anything but getting on the Cavalcade and getting homebefore frostbite set in.

Got on the Cavalcade andafter about a mile pulled over and took off the scarf and the heavy gloves-- ended up riding all over town to the insurance company, Registry totransfer plate, went for an inspection sticker, and then of course had totake a ride to get used to this new monster.


Every once in awhile I stopand am amazed. This is the end (almost) of my 14th year riding the Cavalcade. Andwhile there were a few hot days I wish I still had the 850L I've neverregretted buying the Cavalcade.

 ~ Al from Mass


P.S. Two of the mechanics andthe parts manager all owned and rode Cavalcades. At that dealership thingshave gone down hill fast since he sold out. Now they won't even let a Cavalcadein for service -- too old and the kids have no idea how to fix it. All of themechanics that did know how have left.



Just a quick note to everybody about a neat substitutepart I found.  About a year ago while my old girl was parked at a functionsomebody pulled off the little rubber boot cover from my trip meter resetbutton on the instrument cluster.  I thought, no big deal, I'll just pickup another at my dealer.  Well, I quickly found out why somebody grabbedit.  The item is not sold as an individual part.  The only way you canget it is to buy the complete instrument cluster.  Ouch!!!!

I tried a number of different things with no luck.  The other day Iwas picking up some electrical items at Home Depot.  There on the rack wasa package of two rubber toggle switch covers.  They had a threaded brassinsert which I did not need but it was covered with hard rubber and flush onthe base.  I don't know why I didn't think of these before but "whatthe hey" it was worth a try.  I took them home and tried one. It fit perfect in the recessed area of the panel where the button sticksthrough.  I smeared a small amount of super glue around the base, placedit over the reset button, and held it in the recessed area of the panel for acouple of minutes.  Result, a perfect button cover, waterproof andall.  Unless you really know what the original looks like it is hard totell it doesn't belong.  You can probably find these switch covers atRadio Shack or any electrical supply house.  Worked for me, hope it helpssomebody else. ~Harry



The stock mufflers from a 1998 Electa Glide fit an 87Cavalcade like a dream.  I used perforated strap to hang the back endtemporarily till I make a better mount.  But I had some copper perforatedstrap once and I think it would work fine and look OK.  Loop it over thesaddle bag pipe.  I'll try to get pictures out soon.  How do theysound?  SWEEEEEEEET.  A little throatier than our stock mufflers butnot so bad you need ear plugs.  I snagged mine off E=bay for $12 plusshipping. It looks like they are a pretty much an available item most ofthe time. Anyone else know of another H-D model we can snag the mufflersoff? ~KennG



There have been a lot of scams in recent times where theseller is contacted and offered as an example 10k for a 3k motorcycle (or car).Certified Bank Check arrives via FedEx or similar, (reason for the 7k extra isfor shipping purposes). After check arrives, buyer contacts seller and saysthat Broker will pickup vehicle plus refund the difference via Western Unionright away. Seller does make the refund. Within 48hours, bank where youdeposited the alleged Certified Bank Check calls and says, Check is bogus. Thechecks are designed, manufactured and produced to actually clear 2 to 3 levelsof your banks security. Enough to buy the bad guy time to get you to refund,REAL money. (i.e. Western Union etc.) Moral of the story, if someone wants topay me 10k for a 3k vehicle, send me the cash in a box, I will take off fromwork to sign for it... ~Bill - NJ




I really have to agree with Jim on acrylic (such as Slipstream uses)even though it does meet DOT regulations. Lexan (or polycarbonate if you like)doesn't shatter NEAR as easy as acrylic does. Acrylic is also much moresusceptible to edge imperfections. Most plastics are generally "notchsensitive" (in other words, if you have a notch or an edge defect and thematerial is stressed enough to propagate a crack at that notch, the crack canrun completely the length of the material in a hurry) however, polycarbonate isway better than acrylic in notch sensitivity. But, if you're going to bend aflat sheet, the edges should be near perfect to minimize the potential forcracking or shattering.

I went and did a little review of some GE info on cold bending and formingof Lexan. Please note, Lexan is a registered product of GE and the informationthey supply will only be applicable to GE products. There are otherpolycarbonate sheet materials out there that may or may not have similarproperties. I can honestly say however that GE is the leader in polycarbonatetechnology and makes the most extensive line of application in specificproducts.

Notched Izod test performance of Lexan is generally pretty good even thoughnot all Lexans are the same. They make numerous different versions that havefairly different properties. For example, the sheet products that have the bestscratch resistance are the least forgiving for forming processes. And, yes,some grades are "cold formable" but, the minimum radii are quitelarge (100 to 175 times the thickness) and for sharp bends in Lexan there arewarnings about stress and loss of chemical resistance and impact resistance (Iseem to recall mentioning those previously).

Hot forming is the best but the material should be pretty dry since toomuch heat will boil out the moisture and bubbles will form. Opacity is also anissue if the forming is complex and requires heating the sheet above about 150°C.

Have I changed my tune on flat sheet windshields for the Cade? No. I stillthink it's a bad idea. However, if the material grade is right then the radiiof the Cade's shield, while much smaller than what is recommended for optimummaterial properties, may not be as big an issue as it will be for some gradesof Lexan or generic polycarbonate sheet.

I wanted to say that I liked mine, but I didn't want to upset Mr. T
and Walter any more than they were over the durn things. LOL ~Jim

Jim,  Don'tget me wrong, I like the idea of a larger shield. In fact, at 6'5" I
would like a taller one to lessen the wind blast over the top of my helmet
that causes a lot of noise. I just didn't think that a"u-bend-it" flat
shield for $140 was much of a value. I know what that material can be bought
for and with a simple plywood pattern and the right router bit; you could
whack them out pretty fast. If you set it up on CNC, you could cut them out
even faster.

I just think that if one is going to pay that much, then one should get a
shield that is bent to fit using the generally accepted techniques as
outlined by the material manufacturer. I know that Slipstreamer usesacrylic
and I know the drawbacks of that material, however, when you buy a
Slipstreamer you get an exact duplicate of the original shield and it fits
perfectly right out of the box. No bending required. And can be bought for
$100. Even a total amateur can cut out a piece of plastic larger that thestock
shield and then cold bend it into position. ~T


Does anyone have guidance on obtaining, replacing the fork seals? Thanks, jac Vinson


Jac, OEM fork seals are available at any Suzuki dealer. 51153-27C20 isthe current part #. Guidelines for replacement are found in the service manual.Here are few tips that may help as well:

When I first got my Cade, the forks were leaking so I did the normal thingand put new seals in (and, of course, cleaned them up). I didn't start ridingthe bike until about this time last year (right before Branson) and by the timeI got back from Branson, they were leaking again. I've been living with themess for a year now and with too frequent bottoming and the constant mess on mypretty 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 werebent. The right one was bent only a little and the left one quite a bit. Thiswas done BEFORE I got the bike. As I chucked each of them the lathe for polishingand spun each up to 1000 RPM the bend was fairly obvious. On the right side, itwas bent right above the seal and had actually caused the upper bushing toscore the hard chrome so badly that there's no way that a seal could do it'sjob. On the left side, the bend was higher. Luckily, I had another set of innertubes 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 forpolishing in, however, it is very important to visually inspect the surface ofthe inners and if there are any pits or lines, new seals wont last 15 minutesand they'll be leaking again. Since the chrome is pretty hard, I spin them upin the lathe and use some 120 or so grit cloth backed paper to start with andthen switch to 220 grit WD-40 lubed wet-or-dry to finish them up. It's veryimportant not to sand lengthwise, all that does is create leak paths. By thetime I was done with the spare inners, the surface looked pretty good. Do itevenly over the length of the seal/upper bushing contact area as you don't wantto 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 checkthe amount of slop because there may be enough wear in the outer tube or on theinner that even new bushings will have too much slop. It's pretty easy to dealwith. 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.

The upper bushing is a little different. In my case, I took a littleoff the ends of the bushing (to allow it to compress more) and then knurled theback of the bushing with a center punch. I slid the bushing onto the inner tubeand the punched it lightly with a sharp center punch about 3 or 4 times acrossthe face and about every 3/16" around the circumference. Since I took alittle off the ends of the bushing, as I drove the bushing back into the lowertube, the metal raised by the punching caused the bushing to tighten on theinner. To take a little of the bushing ends, I just spread it a little and insertedsome 120 grit cloth roll and stroked it back and forth about 10 or 15 times. Idid this on both sides of the gap. It's the same as setting the end gap onpiston rings except much more crude.

After the lower bushing is shimmed and the upper tightened up (if needed)there should be very little play in the upper end of the inner tube and itshould slide smoothly (and maybe with a little resistance) when stroked in theouter 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 on the innertubes. You will lose some of it when you go to put them on, but having somegrease 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 sealbefore driving it in. I know that they are generally rubber, but it only takesa swipe and few seconds to do.


The other day I had a need toremove the tire from a rim and when I reinstalled it, I took the time to playwith the balancing a little. I didn't need any special fixture, I simplysupported a 1/2" steel bar in the vice and stuck the wheel on there andlet it find its natural balance place. Before I took the tire off, I marked thelocation of the stem on the tire but, when I put it back on, it really wasn'tbalanced at all. There were two weights on the rim both marked "30"(I assume that means 30 grams) and, after removing both of them, the balancewas better.


I let it rotate to so thatthe heavy point was at the bottom and then rotated the tire on the rim so thatit was directly opposite the stem. Please note, I had not aired the tire atthis point and I was able to rotate it on the rim (with the help of a dose ofArmor All). Even after that, it was still a little out of balance. I used oneof the weights and that was too much so I trimmed off some of the weight and itwas still too much so I trimmed more off it (now being about half of the weightit was before) and the tire would then rotate to a random location each time Igave it a little turn.


So, whoever did it beforeobviously just stuck the tire on the rim in a random location and thenused as many weights as necessary to achieve balance. I realize that some(maybe all) new tires are marked with a colored dot for guidance buttaking the time to adjust the location for best pre-weight balance minimizesthe total weight needed. ~T


Tracy, My mechanic has suggested that I replace the stock horns in my Cade with something better. JC Whitney has nice set of electric horns for about $40 which I've considered. Also while surfing the net, I notice that there are several builders of air horns for motorcycles. It seems that a lot of the cost (about $150 a copy) is in the air compressor. Since we already have a compressor on our bikes, it occurred to me that perhaps we could contact the noisy end of the honker and forgo the expense and mounting challenges of installing a compressor. Am I off base here or am I on to something? ~Jay


Air horns require a blast of high volume high pressure air. Something the Cade's compressor won't do unless you could fill a storage tank big enough to do it. There are numerous air horns available for under $50 that are quite loud. They may have plastic trumpets but I'm sure there are some that are chrome plated. Yes, you can spend big bucks but if all you want is the noise then what diff does it make.

I saw some round replacement horns the other day at AutoZone for $20 or $30 each. Just about anything that'll bolt to the stock bracket (even if it has to be slightly modified) is going to outperform the originals. A set for $40 would probably be a good deal. I bought mine from Harbor Freight for $15 and they stick out of the bottom of the fairing a little but I now sound like a car when I honk. I think is makes people pay more attention than if they hear an obvious bike horn. ~T




I’m interested in buying rear lights set up that goes around side bags.If someone would like to contact me at 1-800-523-6344 ext 5075 or my e-mail ifyou can get it thru here. ~ George in Pa.



I have not been in the groupfor some time because we have not been riding due to some health problems. NowI finally have to face the fact that my riding days are over and I need to sellthe bike. This would be a great parts investment. It is an 86 lx and everythingworks. I just started taking all the plastic off to get it all repainted andnever have gotten around to it. Just the front end plastic is off. It even hasa brand new battery. I said everything worked, but I know there were at least acouple micro buttons on the radio that were intermittent and will needchanging. The front forks will need to be rebuilt (seals) and a general goingover. This is not junk though by any means. First $1800.00 takes it. MikeHudson - 1700 Cass Ave- Evansville, Indiana 812-479-6645


Murray, KY

I have an 86 Cavalcade LXE color maroon for sale. If youwere at Cade Raid 02 you may remember the bike from the license plate"FUNYET". If anyone is interested in the bike e-mail me your homeaddress and I will send information and photos of the bike. Use the abovee-mail or my primary e-mail address I live in.



Hello Everyone, Travis in Tennessee here. I have been trying to get in this group for a week or so and appreciate what you are doing. I have an 86LXE for sale; I have applied for my Social Security Disability

and need the money now, just to see me through. I have a full sized trailer and two matching helmets, size large that will go with the bike. It has a new battery and all fluids have been changed. Primary and secondary gear case oil, oil and filter, radiator flushed and all. It is a very nice motorcycle. I would not be selling it if I didn't need the money so bad. If anyone is interested or knows someone who might be interested let me know. ~Thanks


Miami, FL

It is with deep regret I'm putting my 'Cade in themarket. But I'm a cruiser, not a long distance tourer. I ordered the new VulcanVN2000 and have an Intruder 1400 and no space (or time) for three bikes. I justrode it to Biketoberfest with out a hiccup. (650 miles.) The bike looks goodrides super and everything works. Before the trip it was successfully pluggedwith Tracy's plug and seal and gasket sets. Bike has no leaks anywhere. Has thenew model (fat) shaft. Also was outfitted with new Avons and battery made byYuasa. New windshield, cable clutch, brake and clutch switches, whatever itneeded. Has a very sturdy trailer hitch and a few extras. Very stock lookingbike except for silver stripping a la Jay's bike only single. Trunk rack, mudflaps etc. Since I don't want to loose it all, I'll take best offer over 3K. Mycell # is (305) 968-7122. Feel free to ask questions or visit  Miami and meet me. This bike can beridden back to anywhere in both continents. Thanks for your time; I hope itgoes to a good home. ~Carlos


Louisville, CO

It looks as if I am going to have to sell my 88LX. Ithas 13,300 mi. on it. My bad back and some $ problems have to be taken care of.I only rode it 3 or4 times this year. I still have an 82GS to ride if I
get back in gear to ride again. Here is the photo link.
My e-mail is 303-665-9589 in Louisville, CO$4500 ~Cree Fetterman


Anacortes, Washington

I have a 1986 LXE cavalcade for sale.  She has 3kon the Dunlop 941's, has new intake manifolds, recalibrated and set up one yearago. She has 25k original miles. She never has been down. The bikehas just normal wear. Paint is in good shape and there’s no rust. She wasalways stored inside. All together this is a very nice and clean Cavalcade. Inow have one too many motorcycles and will sell this one to the right personfor $3,800, cash or certified check. You pick up and transport from Anacortes,Washington. If she doesn't sell before X'mas I’ll take her off the markettill next spring when the price will go up.  This is a very nice Cavalcadeand will make someone a happy rider. ~Kip Lewis ~ p.s. for any questions call360.293.4222.



Should be 9 out of 10 when done! Has not been crashed!Will be a turn key sale. New 2ndary plug, fork seals, all synthetic fluids,Spit and polished, fork rail and fork [3] lights, rotor and caliper covers, trunkrack, back rest, original paint, plastic as near to a "10" as thereis., map case, coin holder, even if I have to buy a new one, great chrome!!,manuals, complete tool kit, near new elite 2 tires, ext air hose, Cavalcade mudflaps, Can we finish it for YOU? Do you want soft luggage included? How aboutan original zuki tire pressure gauge? ~ This WON'T be cheap, but, it WILL bethe one you WANT! DT 608-846-4494 eves I can e-mail pictures as it looks nowand more as it gets the finishing touches.  Another twin to the above is spread out all over my shop.Should be an "8-8.5". not crashed! Ginger if you want it. Ready inDec-Jan
"Dedicated to keeping em on the road" ~ DWAINETU" <


New Hampshire

I’m thinking of selling my Cade.It’s an 86 LXE in showroom condition.  32k on it, has everything on her and it all works. $3800 afair price for a beautiful bike 


Southern California

I'm at the end of my rope and I have chosen to sale my'86 Cade. It's probably better if someone in southern California purchases it. youcan see pictures in the photos area in the folder "My Old Girl"e-mail me at if interested.