March, 2004

Here is the March 2004 issue 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

Riding the roads through the countryside and along the many lakes near Branson is going to be a major feature at Cade Raid 2004. We have chosen three routes, each designed for four hours riding time including a couple of breaks. You can ride a different route on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons.  As we did in 2002, we will have groups designed for individual riding preferences. There will be the slow group, the fast group and the half-fast group. Each group will have a ride captain and if our numbers are great enough we’ll have as many as nine groups going each day (three on each route).

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

Be sure to send your registration for Cade Raid 2004.The $50 registration fee for rider and bike and $25 for a passenger covers the expenses for holding this event, including the Monday evening pizza party. Also included is a tee-shirt, pin and coffee mug. For a registration form and current program schedule email the event planner:   



Two Days on Two wheels... or Adventures on EBay...

Hi. My name is Jack. I'm anew Cavalcade owner.

I'm a 43 yr-old technician with the phone company here in Nashville, TN. I am avolunteer firefighter (loved the "fire truck Cade" on this website!), Ham Radio guy, I was a Yamaha factory riding instructor in 1974 (Butthat is another story --Yes, I was 14 yrs old at the time) and a Member of theChristian Motorcycle Association.

Cars: 2001 s-10 pickup, 1989 Mustang GT convertible and a 1974 red Torino witha white stripe (Remember the old TV show "Starsky & Hutch"? --Seepictures of me [Jack G. /Tennessee] and my car

Stickers on my helmet read: "It used to be about the motorcycles, now itis a %@#!* fashion show!" "Cruising Not Using" and... "Sorry,Pal. I'm here for the duration..."

I have ridden motorcycles most of my life (except for the 17 yrs I was married)My grade-school best-friend's dad was the local Omaha, NE Kawasaki/Beemer/MotoGuzzi dealer in the 1970's. (For years, I did not know that BMW even madecars!)

I have owned mostly Japanese bikes. (I have champagne taste --but a beerbudget) I had a 1980 (?) Honda Silver Wing (Moto Guzzi knockoff) that I rodethru: NE, IA, KS, SD, CO, NM, AZ, CA, ID, NV, OR and WA. That bike came to anend when I got run over in LA, CA in 1986.

My wife fired me almost 2 years ago, so I started back up with biking by buyinga 1978 Kawasaki KZ400 in good shape for $600. (Think of the KZ400 as the crouchrocket of 25 years ago. --It even has a cafe racing mini-fairing.) It is moreof a motorbike than a motorcycle. Now, the Cade is a Motorcycle with a capitol"M"! The girlfriend can fit on the back of the Cade, not the back ofthe little Kaw (does that make it a Kalf?)

I was looking for a big, reliable, affordable (AKA: "Cheap") bike. GoldWingsare common and I think of old air-cooled VW's and Subaru’s when I see thatflat-four engine. My spell-checker thinks that "GoldWing" is"Gelding" misspelled. No offense to our Honda friends -- but when Ithink of a gelded horse, I think of strong and reliable but too calm andboring... (I hope I never get gelded!)

Now a Vee-4 --that is half of a Vee-8! (Like half a "Boss-Hoss", aTennessee-made Chevy small-block motorcycle)

Not only did I want to pick a good bike --- I wanted a good bike club --and aquick Google search found this web site and after looking at it and thepostings, I knew I had found my bike!

Harleys don’t "fit" me (or my budget) -- although they are popularamong my phone company fellow employees -- we even have a "Bell'sAngels" chapter at work! I do believe loud pipes save lives, though...(I'm working on a way to way to add a "vent" to the exhaust system[lake pipes?] that I could plug and unplug as I would like.

I like Beemers but can't afford them. --My roommate, Steve, has a Beemer r1100cruiser with a hitch and camping trailer.

Saw an '86 LXE Cade in Denver, Colorado on EBay -- Put in a low bid of $2,750. Iwas VERY surprised to win. Flew out to Denver, saw my aunts and uncle there anddrove the darn thing home to Nashville --1200 miles in January!

My roommate loaned me his electric vest and that made all the difference in thetrip. For every 1 time I said, "Gee, Why am I doing this idioticthing?" --I said 10 times "This, is fun, adventuresome and things areprogressing pretty-gosh-darn-well!"


The Trip! -- Fortune favors the foolish!

The EBay seller said "No known problems" --Of course, he did not ownthe Cade --and he knew nothing of the bike -- so, of course, he did not know ofthe problems --he was not lying, REALLY...

--"Ignorance isBliss"--for the seller, anyway. I had hoped the bike had a Superbrace andthe "Tracy plug" (but it will have soon!) (-- But at least there isoil in the secondary drive!)

Regarding the Super Brace, In the following "chapters" you will seehow stupid I am (-and how lucky-) But also how "odd" I am (I havebetter electronic skills than people skills) But rather than spend money on aSuper Brace I thought I could get some super cheap prices on the factory stockbraces (cheap as in "free") from "Super Brace'd Cade"owners and get longer Allen bolts and "laminate" 2 or 3 factorybraces together and derive a steadier fork that way. Just an idea...

(I know my ideas are not that good -- if they were good, I would be rich and Iam certainly not rich!)

I brought no tools with me to Denver -- whatever I brought would have been thewrong tools anyway... (Murphy works overtime around me) (And I was quoted in"Hot Rod" magazine on a "Power Tour" (cross-countryrod-run) for: "You can't bring too many tools!" (I forget whichissue)

But overall I am satisfied and the bike made the trip and that is whatmatters...

So my uncle gives me a roll of duck tape (later used for loose wires and toseal pants leg and other loose clothing. --you know you are a "longhauler" when you use duct tape as a fashion accessory...)

I stick on my Tennessee license plate from my other bike (Don’t try this athome, kids)--and I roar out of Denver Saturday morning, sunny and 50 degrees(F) Bound for my sister's in Kansas city--Radio full
blast --Feeling like king of the world -- but things were about to get fairlybad, real quick!



Two Days on Two wheels...Part Two

"Rebel without a Brain"

My first hour is "On The Road" bliss (with all apologies to Jack Kerouac)Cade drives well, It fits me well ( I'm 6'3"and 210 pounds -- but I amstill going to move the handlebars back by turning the mounts -- If I don’tlike it, I can always put it back--)

Traffic thins out to nothing on I-70 just outside of Denver and I have a roadas flat and straight as a drag strip --with a 75MPH speed limit to boot!

I am fiddling with all the buttons and not paying attention to the road--so 40miles out I stop in Deer Park, Colorado and gas up. Fiddle with the radio andair compressor and find out that yes, the radio works, but is stuck --tuned toa Denver rock station 99.5 MHz (Nashville has sports talk on 99.7 MHz --and Ihate sports talk!) I can't get the tape deck to play and while the compressorruns, I don't notice any change in seat or rear suspension --and the auto-levelbutton does nothing at all... (But minor issues... -- I just ordered a CDmanual and radio buttons --Thanks Tracy!)

I flick that starter and "click" -- (Funny, started just fine in theseller's yard?!?) Sounds like a corroded battery terminal [I deal with 48 VoltsDC and up to 5,000 amps (non-surge --let's don’t talk about surges at thoseamperages!] at the phone company all day long)... I look for the battery --under the seat, no luck -- Call the 1st Suzuki dealer in Denver (a local call--the friendly 1-armed man and his mom at the gas station loaned me their tools,their phone, their phone book. – God Bless 'em!) The Suzuki salesperson said lookunder the gas tank behind the handlebars. (!) So I remove side covers, radio,tank cover, radio holder box, -- the air filter box looks like a battery box--Imagine my surprise and sinking feeling when I see an air filter! --So Ithink the battery is under the seat (like most motorcycles I've have seen)

Called the SECOND (and last) Suzuki dealer in Denver and I ask how the seatcomes off they said, "Hang on and we'll check the manual --- but buddy,the battery is not under the seat --it's in the right fairing! I thank themprofusely and know they are right, I have run out of places to look!

My flawed thinking was the battery, being so heavy HAD to be in the centerlineof the bike for balance (But I think under the fuse box in the right fairing--opposite the compressor in the left fairing –is a good design, too!)

So, after an hour and a half of playing "find the battery" -- Ifinally find it, pour a can of diet vanilla-flavored coke on the fuzzy-furrypositive terminal and the starter turns the motor over, but will not start.

Yikes, now what? I buy a can of starter fluid (Remember that tank cover and airfilter cover are still off) and the bike roars to life! Hooray! Only lost 2hours, too. I found out the side bags hold nuts and bolts
really well. I buy bungee cords and tie the tank cover to the back rack --butthe bike has started up every time since then -=- (Thanks for the advice onstarting, guys)

I can blame the seller for ancient antifreeze and the other problems --but Ican't blame this battery problem on him... It is just God's way of showing meher great sense of timing and comedy! -- I am just glad it was not a "Darkand Stormy night" when the bike would not start. I don’t think it ispossible to jump start (with jumper cables) the bike thru the fuse box withjumper cables --so I will add a extra heavy extra wire off the positive (Red)battery terminal that has electrical tape covering the exposed wire end --so Ican pull the wire out of the fairing, pull the tape off the wire end and I havea way to add power for a jump start if ever needed.

(Useless Factoid #1: -- Who invented the negative and positive (plus and minussigns) on batteries? Answer: Benjamin Franklin!)

When I cross the Kansas line, I decide to celebrate by exceeding 100MPH. Indefense of myself -- I did check the tire pressures, I kicked the tires!--theyseemed "solid" (WRONG!) At 93MPH the bike started a very spiritedside-to-side and front-to-back "jumping" -- Yep, this cowboy was thestar of his very own rodeo!

I applied brakes and let off the gas, but that made it worse. Finally itsettled down at around 75. I did stay in my lane --not thru any skill but justdumb luck. But there were no cars around for 2 miles and no trees or guardrails for 10 miles!

At the next gas station (Which had a great air hose on an old car rim and agood tire pressure gauge -- just like the good ole days) I found that... (ohheck, I wont even tell the story, y'all know what I found....)

22 PSI front, 25PSI rear

-- Air them up to 32/45 --back on the freeway and back up to 100MPH (either Iam fearless or dumb -- I think it is the latter!) Smmoooooooth sailing! Ithink, "Yup, the guys on the web site 'knoweth of what they speak!"Thanks! Given the choice between "Dead Hero and Live Coward" I knowwhich I'll take.

Two Days on Two wheels...Part Three
"Is There a Problem, Officer?"
Ride on into the Night of the first day -- trying to make Kansas City byMidnight. Rural Kansas is pretty bare. I'd been running 82 MPH – 7 miles overthe speed limit. Two state troopers have a kid in a Camero
pulled over so I think the highway is clear to Kansas City so I wind it up90-95 mph --I'm still very warm -- the Cade really blocks the wind -my enginevents are open but my outer shield vents are open, too. They
wont operate and I figure most of the vents don’t operate after all these years.--If I spent over $10,000 -- I would expect the vents to work.

Again my dumb luck prevailed, I was slowed down by traffic -- to 82 when thetrooper (surprise!) clocked me in a 75mph -- He came after me but followed me amile or two before pulling me over. He walked up to me (as his German Shepardpartner barked up a storm -- His first question was "Where you in anaccident?" (My tank cover is bungee-ed to the back rack) I told him aboutmy battery problems. He said it noticed me wobbling (there was a strongcross-wind) and I told him I had only 300 miles experience on this big bike. Heasked me if I owned another bike and I told the truth and said, "Yes, a1978 Kawasaki KZ400" (and that plate was on the back of the Cade) -- hehad been nice up to the point, but now he became positively friendly! He hadowned a KZ400 once upon a time and really missed it. Good thing I did not lieand said that the Cade was a 400cc 350 lb. motorbike! I'm sure he had a chucklewith his fellow troopers about the madman in the cold on the bike.

He wished me well and did not give me a ticket. I made it to Kansas City atmidnight without further mishap. I had a nice talk with my sister, her husband andmy niece and nephew the next morning. My B-I-L (brother-in-law) and my nephewhad been winter camping with the boy scouts and when they arrived home, thegarage was "full o' Cade" -- My B-I-L (who has a VERY dry sense ofhumor)turned to his 15-year old son and said "Happy Birthday, Son"--

Took off at the crack of 10am the next day. It snowed around St. Louis, butluckily not enough to accumulate on the road. I turned south 55 mile east ofSt. Louis and put the snow to my back.

I was very lucky -- I found out later the antifreeze had no protection left. Soif I had to hole up in a hotel I would have had to start the bike every 3-4 hrsor drain the system. I don’t even want to think about changing freeze plugs orjunking the bike due to a cracked block!

With Colorado, Kansas and Missouri behind me, I was roaring thru Illinois,Kentucky, and on to the home state of Tennessee -- made it home by 9pm. Ididn't even stop for food, just fuel.

And into the hot tub! Ahhhhhhhh! Good to Travel, but great to be home. ~JohnGreen



Well picking up my Cade storywould only be one chapter, as it was only a couple hours from home. But I tellya what, that was one REALLY stressful 2-hour trip. I left home and it wasbeautiful, got there, checked the bike out, and took it for a test drive.Talked with the seller, looked over his records of what he did to it, gave himthe check, and took off for home.


Before I was 1/3 of the wayhome, it started raining. And it didn’t just drizzle, it poured, so hard Icouldn’t see but 2-3 car lengths in front of me. My friend that went with wasdriving behind me in the car and just laughing his arse off, so he says. I hidbehind the windshield as long as I could, but once it fogged up, I had to situpright and look over it. Well it wasn’t long before the visor on my helmet wasso bad that I had to raise it, and then my prescription glasses were exposed.DANG, it just wouldn't let up, so I had to find someplace to duck into until itblew over. Well I did, and dried off my glasses, visor, windshield, andcontinued on my way once it let up, but I was soaked to the bone.


The rest of the trip waspretty good, but I chose to park the bike at my friends and drive the car homerather then chance the other 40 miles and another downpour. When I came back upto get the bike, there was a puddle of oil under it. I started checking it outand found the secondary drain plug was loose. The seller told me he justchanged the fluid in it, and evidently forgot to tighten the plug back up.Imagine what kinda ride it could have been if the plug fell out completely anddrained my secondary??? OOOHHHH don’t even want to think about it.


Well I tightened the plug,checked the oil level and it was fine, so off I went on home. Needless to say Ispent several days learning about the bike and checking it over well to makesure the seller didn’t forget to tighten anything else. Well that’s my story,short and sweet. So anyone else got a story to tell and time to write?? We havenothing better to do seeing as we can’t ride with snow on the ground. ~Brian inIN, ‘87 tt Gray LX



Ok, so you went through thetrouble and toils of replacing the bulb, but here are 2 neat things you mightlike to do since you have the fairing open and your hand is already cut up(besides cleaning years of dust/dirt).
1. Install a Brighter H4 Bulb. I have been using a 90/130 for years since 1986.Yes I am the original owner of my Cade.
Nothing has burned, died, fried or even sautéed. I would upgrade the Headlightfuse from Stock 10 to 15.
2. CUT the low beam wire and run a toggle switch to a nice place for yourfinger. (I put mine inside the left pocket)
What this does (for those non-techy folk) is enable you to shut off a low beam.Great on those bumper to bumper moments or when you want to run your bike andgive the battery a boost after a long sit. Now the 2 nice parts of this switchis:
(a) You can still FLASH your high beam if you want to get someone's attention.
(b) Dash Indicator will say BEAM which is a nice reminder that the low beam isout/off. When you turn on the low beam from your newly installed toggle switch,the Dash returns to normal.

Any comments feel free to contact me OFF LIST at
~Bill, NJ ‘86 Brown


I can relate to JackGreen's story with the battery, I had my Cade for about a week and it died aboutsunset up on a mountain, so there I am taking all the fiberglass off lookingfor a battery with a flashlight. Maybe we can make up a set of decals like theair force has for airplanes to show where stuff is "No Step - batterybehind this panel", "Caution, engine heat vents under thispanel" to sell to new cavalcade owners!

Thanks to this group my speedo is back alive.  Ricks posting was veryhelpful along with Tracy's comments. I used gear oil and the syringe that comeswith the refill kits for in-jet printers.  The shaft on the syringe wastoo flimsy to push past the seal so I used my woodworkers scratch all (Ice pickto most of
the world) to push through the seal and slipped the syringe along side thescratch all.

The flanged plate that mates with the wheel needed to be pushed down to keepthe worm gear engaged and when I put the wheel back on the worm gear wouldn'tengage.  Using my Father's "farmer’s guide to mechanics" I did avery technical repair consisting of applying a very large screw driver to bendup the tangs so they would push down the plate when installed.  It workedwhen I drove it around at 11PM last night, hope it stays that way.  ~Vaughn in AZ '87



Will the backrest withheadrest from a LXE, fit on the lid (trunk) of an lx? Is the lid stronger onthe LXE for mounting the headrest? ~Tom ‘86 Gold

Tom, The lid is different,but it will fit. There are extra hook pockets on an LXE lid and 4 holes tomount the backrest. You can modify your top to use the 4 screws with spacers.~Jerry, Wisc.



I am new to this group andwould like to know, if you can still get all the decals for the Cade, if so,where? Dealers are very expensive and the one I tried only had a few of them.It is an ‘86 and charcoal gray. ~Scott

Nope, thosedecals are no longer available ....... you are gonna have to paint it 2-tonewith paint.....  I checked on the decals for mine and "notavailable" is what I got. Good luck. ~Brian in IN
87 tt Gray LX


Thanks Brian!Sorry to sound stupid but, paint the decal areas? Too bad, I wanted this to beas close to factory as possible. ~Scott


Computerizedpaint matching and a good painter can make it look just as good as factory.Then apply the pin striping to cover where the 2 colors meet.  So don’tgive up hope, it can be done. ~Brian

Scott, You can find agraphics shop in your area. They can make you new pin striping to match youroriginal. Just a little harder to apply in strips. ~Jerry



I just received the LXEmirrors I bought from an eBay seller. As much as I paid for them, I wish theywere in a little better shape chrome wise. Can anybody tell me if the mirrorlens can be removed from the housing without breaking it? I would like to havethem re-chromed or even sanded down and painted to match the bike. ~Red

It's not easy to do. I useda hair drier at high temp (after making sure the rubber edging and wedge wereremoved) for awhile hoping to make it easier and still ended up breaking theglass (just when I thought I was getting somewhere). The adhesive on mine wasattached for almost the entire circumference of the mirror. Even after theglass was out, it took a bit of work to get all the adhesive off. If you aregoing to try it, you have to be extremely patient. If you break the glass, keepmy experience in mind. The glass shop I used replaced it with normal glass, soit didn't even come out with the "objects are closer than theyappear" type of auto glass. Luckily, I still use spot mirrors. Otherwise,the "cone of blind spots" is much worse on the replacement. ~HeyJerr




I bought one of those radioshack meters and for $6.50 I think it will work just fine. It seems to work OK.I connected it to the fuse block, both sides (- and +) on the accessoriesoutput. Will this give the needed reading of the charging status of the statoror do I need to hook it directly to positive side of battery and a good groundon the frame?? ~Kevin 86 LXE


I hooked mine to the + &-terminals with a quick disconnect. Put an extra end on my battery charger. Justunplug the meter and plug in the charger. Works for me. ~KennG



Hello everyone, new"Cade" owner here in Washington State, Bremerton area, I have aquestion about using J&M Headsets with the Cade radio, When I have theHeadset connected and push the H/S button on the radio, I get sound in theheadset, but the speakers stay on, They do Mute a little but I can hear themjust as well as the headset. Is this Normal?? ~Erroll


That is normal for all late86 and later models. The early 86 shut off the speakers completely. ~Tracy



Just went out and pulled offthe LX mirror and tried the LXE mirror for size. Guess What? The mounting holesdon't line up. Is there an adaptor plate or something I am missing? They fitnice and look nice but mounting them just got harder. ~Red


In answer to both of yourquestions, Yes, I know what the bolt lengths are. Oh, did you want me to tellyou? They are 6mmx20mmx.1 pitch SHCS x 2 and 6mmx35mmx.1 pitch SHCS x 2 (SHCS =socket head cap screw).

As for the mounts, there is an intermediate part that is pot metal. It screwsto the fairing mount and then provides the bolt holes for the mirror. I supposethey put it there to break before the mirror does in the event of a mishap. Theyare different right to left (mirrored pairs). They are only shown on the partsbook as coming with the mirror assembly. ~Tracy


Jack~> I soldered a newpositive battery terminal on the battery cable. --I started doing it with thecable on the bike -- but I realized it would be much better to unbolt the cablefrom the starter solenoid and do it on the workbench.>

Tracy~> Please see

Jack~> Any advice would be appreciated! I cleaned the air filter anddrained the tank. Compressor runs when I hit the air "in to seats"But I can’t tell any difference in my seat. It is pulling air in thru thefilter.>

Tracy~> Take off first 2 banjo fittings on the top of the compressor and theother end of that line that connects to the tank. They get plugged badly andmay need to be replaced. I have stainless steel versions in the event they are Fubar.

Jack~> When I button the "auto level" button the light comes onbut the compressor does not.>

Tracy~> If the bike is level, the comp won't run. Also, key on, both centerand side stands up.

Jack~> There is a Shrader (air) valve on a hose -- I hooked a portablecompressor to it and pumped it up to a max of 60PSI. (I believe system max is65) When I run the on-board compressor the pressure goes to zero (?)>

Tracy~> Check fittings from above.

Jack~ I see all kinds of valves, hoses and solenoids -- I guess I'll startwith the dis-assembling compressor (?)>

Tracy~> No. Don't do that. Just check the banjo bolts first.

Jack~> I am trying to check the hoses that go to the seats and the rearshocks for a leak, but they seem to be way down deep in the bike.>

Tracy~> The lines that feed the seat may not be connected. You may have toremove seat to determine that. Normally, they connect on the right side and canbe seen by removing right side cover. If all else fails, just pop the seat off.

Jack~> I may just go the "GT" route and put the rear shock on asimple short reliable 1' of hose and a Schrader valve --like for air shocks fora car system and pump it up while I am parked.>

Tracy~ There's no reason to do that.



I have heardvarious conversations about "the plug" in the rear drive. Mine was/stillis, leaking oil. There was no plug in it to begin with. I bought all the sealsand a new plug; installed them and it still leaks oil. What did I do wrong? Iknow that plug went in hard! Yes, I do have a service manual so I think Idid it right. Obviously something is still wrong. Any suggestions? ~Scott


The rear seal(one around the driven gear that the driveshaft fits into) is a real pain inthe ass to install correctly. You may have popped the spring off of it (insidewhere you can't see it) or you may have driven it too deep or there may havebeen a groove worn in the metal that the seal rides on. If that seal is whereit's leaking from, you won't be the first that had a less than perfect installon it. ~Tracy


Thank you! I didlook at the shaft where it goes through the seal. It looked fine but, I realizea small groove might be hard to detect. A new shaft is what I was looking atnext. The previous owner had replaced the seals 2 or 3 times with no luck. Idon't think I drove it in too deep, (pardon the way that sounds). Whathappened to the original plug? No shavings; no metal of any kind in the gearbox. What now? ~Scott


The seal doesn't sit on theshaft; it runs on the output gear. If there's a small groove worn in the gear,the seal will fall into it and will never seal properly. You can usually savethe gear with some 220 grit wet-or-dry oil wetted. Clean the grit off wellbefore installing a new seal. ~Tracy


See next month’s issue

(Editor’s Note): Because this issue of the SuzukiCavalcade Newsletter is a “catch up” edition caused by the four weeks I wastraveling in February, I am not posting any “Cade for sale” listings becausethey would be out-of-date. Look for the current list of Cades for sale in theApril issue. The April issue will be posted to you in a week or so.