November, 2004


Jay Johnson, Editor



 ~~~~~~~~~~ RIDES AND EVENTS: ~~~~~~~~~~



 The 2005 tour for those of us in the East to start the weekend of Sept 9, 10th, 11th, 12th, at Deals Gap. Then our ride will progress north along the Blue Ridge, with side trips, ending 2nd weekend Sept 16, 17, 18, 19th near Front Royal Virginia. What's nice for those who can't get time off, you can come any weekend or during the week. Every day we'll have 4-5 hr rides to include food, shopping for the ladies or some local attractions. For more information on lodging and ride routes go to:  Or contact, Larry Dilldine: 




September 12-16 are the dates for our West Coast Cade Raid in 2005. We will tour Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, visit Cody and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. We will also feature evening classes and hands-on workshops on Cavalcade maintenance and repair plus we'll host a Cavalcade Store where you can buy and sell Cavalcade parts and items like we did last year at Branson. Our lodging will be at the Sawtelle Mountain Resort at Island Park, Idaho. We have reserved the entire resort for our Cade Raid. To reserve your guest room, their telephone number is 208-558-9366, email address is . The web site is 


In addition to the guest rooms, Sawtelle Resort has RV sites, tent sites and a bunkhouse. The bunkhouse will be available for solo men at a cost of $210 per person for the six nights we will be at the Sawtelle Mountain Resort. The $210 rate equals $35 per night. If you wish to take advantage of the bunkhouse lodging, you will need to register and make payment in advance to me. . A $50 deposit will hold your reservation until August 15, 2005. Payment in full will be due on that date. Please email me if you'd like to book into the bunkhouse.


If you are planning a ride, rally, or other motorcycle event of interest to the membership of the Suzuki Cavalcade Owners Group, send the information to  and it will be posted in the next issue of this newsletter.

~~~~~~~~~~ TRIPS AND TIPS ~~~~~~~~~~ 


For anyone interested, I have been dealing with a company that makes a product called a "Mic-Mute", which is used to mute your microphone, eliminating wind/road noise as well as allowing you the option of being able to shout over to another bike at a stop sign, sneeze, cough, etc. without blasting into your passenger's ear. The owner actually posted to the group about the item approx 1 month ago. It was designed for the Gold Wing, but looks like it is going to be adaptable to the Cavalcade.

They sent me a prototype of the adapter that will be put in-line with the headset junction lead wires. It worked well & fit well also. Since they know they have the correct pin-out, they can begin work on the control box. To see more about the product, go to .

Anyways, they asked that I just drop a line to the group to update everyone on the progress. It looks like they may have something shortly. ~Mark Musial, e-mail: 





My wife and I took our weekend and went from Tucson to San Diego... it's only a six hour jaunt. We were 50 miles from home on interstate 10 at around 85 mph when the rear valve stem broke on my 97 Wing, loosing all the air. Well now I was doing hokey pokey taking up most of the road while it scrubs off speed... that's the first time I had one fail on a motorcycle. I'm going to change them at tire change time from now on my Wing only has 38k. I hope this might keep someone from having a similar incident. It scares the heck out of you when it's going on. ~Jim

Jim, I had the same thing happen about 10 years ago. The valve stem broke on my front tire at 75mph. I was able to get to the shoulder of the road and down to about 35mph. When I came to I had to have my left shoulder ball replaced. I could not understand this as I had new tires, valve stems, and balanced. I had the stem tested at a lab. I found out the shop decided to charge for new stems but did not change them. At the time all gold wing books stated valve stems had to be changed when the tire is changed. The lab found that the stem broke due to high vibration. Which is why Gold wing said they had to be changed? So everyone PLEASE change all valve stems. ~Jimmy


Jim & Jimmy, I prefer the angled metal ones. They don't rot and it's easier to check the pressure. ~Red

Well, personally, I check the air pressure WAYYYYYYYYYY more than once a month. Tire pressure to me is like the fluid level in the secondary and I try to check it before each ride. I had a valve stem fail also but it did so slowly. At first it was just a persistent slow leak. Then, as I was checking the pressure I noticed a seep of air as I put the gauge on. I had not checked the air before I left home that day but the front end felt funny so I stopped at a station and checked it. Luckily, I was close to home when I found it. ~Tracy


I had checked the tire pressure before we left home on Tuesday. On Thursday it blew out. I haven't had to add air in 2or 3 months. I just was glad I had Dunlop 491s. The sidewalls stayed attached to the rim. ~Jim



I just got finished putting the lower overflow tank on (I tried to repair for temporary riding until I can get a new one ordered. It had a pin-hole leak.) I was wondering how I go about filling the radiator. Can I use water at first to make sure all is well? Do I have to fill at the radiator cap to get the system to fill? I took the bolt out of the lower hose connection to drain it completely. I tried to fill through the upper tank and it did not seem to work very well that way. ~Rob


If you take off the left fairing lower, there is just enough room to take off the radiator cap. You don't even need to take the cap completely off, just move it up and out of the way. Then you can fill the radiator from the upper coolant reservoir. ~spike


I use a 1 liter bottle with a hose attached and fill the radiator (through the cap) with a 50/50 mix. I add one small can of Bars leak to the first bottle I put in. When the radiator is full, cap it, and fill the upper tank. Start it up and let it heat up. When it cools down, check the level and fill accordingly. ~KennG


<<Filling the radiator, will that fill the block? >> Yes.


<<And what kind of bars leak should I use? >> The liquid is easiest to use. 2 ounces is all that's needed.


<<What is the best antifreeze to use in the Cade? >> Silicate free is best. Most of the time that's the extended life type (orange?).


Put about 1 1/2 to 2 quarts of antifreeze in then fill the remainder with water. If you are changing colors of antifreeze (green to orange), then a flush is needed. It usually takes a couple of fills with water, run, cool; drain cycles to get the water pretty clear. ~Tracy



It has been a while sense I have talked to you and on I have a little problem now, which I hope everyone can help me with. I just got a new stator for my Cade and everything was going great, until I had to put the case cover back on. As I was tightening one of the bolts, the bolt snapped, and is now suck in the case. It is one of the short ones, on the bottom, in the front. I can not get it into a good position in order to get an easy out in it, and I do not want to drill it out, for fear of damaging the case. I now have it at a dealer and I am hoping it will not take to long, because riding season is half over here in Michigan, and I have not been able to ride at all.

If they are going to take a long time for the bolt, I was thinking of putting some gasket sealer in the location where the bolt is, and hope it works from there. Is this a good idea or not? Also, every time I was trying to put the case cover on, it would never go on straight, and I had to use a rubber mallet in order to get it onto the case. Is there a better way to do this? Please let me know before I have to pay for the dealer charges, which everyone knows is way too high. ~Sean from Michigan


Hi Sean, I had the same problem with a friend's Cade. He was replacing Tracy's plug and broke of a stud. I told him to keep going and we'll get it out later. It scared the hell out him wondering how he was going to get it out from where it was. If you know anyone with a mig welder (and can weld) just buy some nuts a little larger or the same size as the head of the bolt that broke. Then hold it right up to the broken stud (with needle nose pliers) and weld inside the nut to the broken off stud with the heat. The welded nut more than likely it will come right out. Since most of the bolts have Lock Tight the heats melts that and out it comes. Been doing this for 30 years and only had one that I couldn't get out. This has saved me lots and lots of money. ~Dan



I am having a problem getting my Cade started. It had been running fine. I rode it 125 miles or more Saturday. I stopped at a service station and cut it off. When I attempted to start it again it refused to crank, no headlights, no horn, no signal lights! The only thing that works is the audio and neutral light. All the fuses checked out ok. If anyone has had this problem before or could point me in the directions to correct the problem it would be greatly appreciated. ~unknown


It sounds like either the main breaker or a battery connection problem. Read the section of the owner's manual about the breaker. If that isn't it, then check the battery connections along with the white connector in the negative battery cable located about 6-8 inches from the end. If this connection is still there, it should be cut out and the wires soldered back together and then sealed with heat shrink or equivalent. For more on this connector, go to  ~Brian


Yes! I had that same problem last year on a first date! She was a good sport, though. It was back woods here in Maine and a lot of night riding. Stopped at a stop sign and that was it! It was just like you hit the kill switch! It was on a hill so we were able to turn the beast around (pitch black of course!) and jump started it. I limped home in an hour, with my tail between my legs. Can you jump it? I tried to start mine after figuring out my shifter problem, and my new Battery is now dead after 2 weeks of sitting. ~Scott


Scott, First thing I would do is charge the battery, then put an amp meter on the battery cables to see if you have a constant draw on the battery with the key off. If not, then let us know and we'll go from there. If there is, then you need to find out what is drawing on the battery and fix it. ~Brian


Scott, It sounds like the main breaker. Red button pops up beside battery. Push down to reset. ~Tracy


Scott, I had the same problem with my 86 Cade killing the battery in 2 weeks. If you have the LXE with CB radio, try looking under the headlight for a toggle switch. This is the switch for the channel memory. Switch it the other way and your battery drain problem is solved! Also, get a battery tender and plug the bike in when you're not riding. ~JM


Scott, Take out all of the fuses and use the amps function on a DMM and stick the leads into each fuse slot one at a time (key off) until you find the circuit that has some amperage draw. That will at least get you the circuit. Then you just need to track down the device that is causing the draw. Wiring diagram is on the CD or at  ~Tracy


~~~~~~~~~~ TRACY'S BENCH ~~~~~~~~~~



I was starting to get a little worried that the Cade may have a problem when we had a couple of tank-slappers in a short period of time. However, after pondering it a little, I think this is mainly a maintenance issue. There are several important things that need to be addressed with every bike to assure stability, Cade or otherwise. I think that many times these things are overlooked on the Cade because it takes a little plastic removal to get them done. outa sight/outa mind seems to fit this situation.

Steering head bearings (condition, lubrication, preload), fork brace tightness (stock or SB), proper assembly and tightening of axles/wheels, swing arm bearings (condition, lubrication, preload), rear wheel inner bearing race, axle pinch bolts, tire condition (cupping), fork fluid level, auto-level position (if rear end is too high it will lead to instability), wheel bearings, fork straightness (bent tubes), fork slider bushings, etc.

We have to realize that because the Cade is on the heavy side and the forks are a little spindly by today's standards and with the rubber mounted bars, front end feedback can be slightly vague and delayed. That's part of why when an oscillation starts it tends to get worse the more we try to counteract it. Our actions are delayed by the flexibility of things and we can actually do more harm than good because we may actually feed the oscillation by being out of phase with it because of that flex.

The incidents of this past summer should be a reminder to us all that these things need to be checked and kept track of to prevent it to the greatest degree possible. I'm not going to say that you can't trust a mechanic to do it right. However, you need to be armed with the information when you go in to make sure that these are part of the checklist. ~Tracy



My speedo stopped dead on my LXE also killing the radio AVC and cruise control. We have a lack of mechanics in my neck of the woods; does any-one know of a common fault or point me in the right direction, whether it is likely to be in the speedo head or a sender unit somewhere. Cheers, Shyphellow in New Zealand:


When mine stopped, the cable had just come off of the speedo head. Others have had the speedo drive unit at the front wheel dry up and then bend the little tabs that go into the wheel. If that's it then you need to pull the front axle and pull the drive unit, take it apart, clean and grease it, straighten the tabs and reinstall it. Could also be the cable broke. New ones are available still. Hope this helps. ~Brian



 My speed meter does not work. When I took the cable off and tested it then it works so I think there is fault in the connection at front wheel part. ~Tonni


Tonni, The speedo drive (at the front wheel) can be taken apart and lubricated. Most likely, it seized up and the drive tangs bent away from the drive slots in the wheel. It's a common problem that comes about because the drive doesn't get serviced often enough. It should be cleaned and lubed at every tire change.

Here's some info on doing that from an old post: Remove the spring wire retainer. Take off the washer and the drive plate. Grab the drive gear with channel locks and as you twist it, pull it out past the seal. Clean it up good and grease the piss out of the inside of the housing before you put the drive gear back in (again, using a twisting motion to get it past the seal). Grease the piss out of where the drive plate sits and on the washer. Make sure the drive plate is flat (they sometimes get bent when they lock up and the drive tangs push out of the slots in the wheel) except for the drive tangs which are suppose to stick up. Put it back on and clean/grease the speedo cable before you reconnect it. ~Tracy



To find which wires to plug into, I use a test light with a sharp probe. I use the T-tap style of Scotchloks to provide a plug-in for the trailer wiring. You can use a traditional Scotchlok, however, the T-taps have become my preferred method since they're easy to unplug as needed.

Since the Cades uses separate stop/turns, you basically have 2 choices. Install separate stop/turns on the trailer and wire it straight up or, you can install a converter. I saw a converter at NAPA the other day that changes a separate stop/turn input into a combined output so that the stop/turns are handled by a single filament. It was $16 and was smaller than a pack of smokes and appeared to be completely epoxy sealed.

Also, in order to protect the $200+, okay monitor box, I always use relays to operate the trailer lights. That way I can trigger the relays from the bike wiring and draw the current for the trailer lights from a fused wire directly to the battery. I've used both regular sized and small relays. The small ones work great because I can house 4 of them in a 1x2x3 project case and stick it on the trunk behind the seat with some super-Velcro. ~Tracy



Not trying to beat a dead horse here Guy's but as I went through checking some of the stuff Tracy and I talked about it caused another question. When checking the voltage at the ignition lead to the relay, it only goes to 8.2 volts. The battery is fully charged. Could this be a bad contact at the start button? I tried following the wiring diagram but Holy Cow that is small print when you put it on paper!! ~Maury


Maury, You have to be a little careful about where you are measuring voltage. You might be measuring the voltage drop across the coil of the start relay instead of the actual voltage available. If you disconnect the relay hot wire, then measure it, that should give you the correct voltage reading. Also, most relays won't work of the voltage falls below about 9 volts. ~Tracy



Which is a better brake pad of the two EBC ones the organic or the metal Does one last longer? Is one less noisy than the other one Tracy do you sell pads all the places close to me I have to order anyway? ~Keith


Keith, I've used both the Kevlar and HH EBC pads and have the following to submit. The Kevlar pads are less sticky and slightly less noisy. That's not to say that either pad will squeal. They're too soft to do that. They will make a swishing noise as you apply the brakes. It's not annoying, but it does let you know that they are gripping. ~ The HH pads are quite sticky (as indicated by the HH rating which is about as sticky as pads get). Personally, I think they're a little too sticky. I used a set on Kelly's trike front brake since he only has one front rotor (paired with a set of rear drums) and they worked quite well. They react pretty quickly and can haul you down real fast. Again, they're just a little too aggressive for my taste. However, I have stainless braided lines so my lever is rock hard within a half inch of travel. They will probably act a little different with stock lines.

If I had to make a personal choice, I would put on the Kevlar pads because they are a little more controllable with lever pressure. Also, I think they will last a little longer and might be slightly less-hard on rotors. I have a set of SBS ceramics on my bike now and really like them. They have good bite without being overly aggressive. But, when you really crank on the lever they have a nice progressive feel. The last set of pads on the bike was some EBC green pads (sport) which they don't make anymore and they were almost too much. Also, I wore them out in about 7-8K miles. Whatever pads you need I can get. About $28-32 a set depending on which ones you would like. ~Tracy



Clutch slippage after changing to synthetic oil is due, primarily, to the damage that was done to the discs prior to the change over. Dino oils will burn between the discs and glaze them. A change to synthetic will probably make matters worse since the discs don't have any "tooth" in them anymore and they will need to be sanded lightly to break the glaze (friction discs only). Barnett springs will solve a slip issue but resurfacing the discs will eliminate any potential for chatter. While Mobil 1 is one choice for synthetic, Amsoil beats it in every test (and just about every other motor oil). I use 10W40 Amsoil and change it once a year and the filter at 6K miles if needed. My shifting is smoother, my motor is quieter. Others have the same to report with a switch to Amsoil. ~Tracy



Tracy, I had a cooling problem and blew a little coolant out the over flow tube. I thought I had lost the tank above the engine. After tearing it down I have seen no crack in the tank. Tonight I will try to make a fitting to pressure test the tank with air. Since I have done all the work to gain access to the whole cooling system I want to change all the parts I can do to the age of all of them. I will check the hoses for stress cracks tonight. I am seeing no reason to lose fluid over the engine. Is there anything I might look at while I have my baby down? Is there an aftermarket thermostat for the Cade? Are the hoses still available? ~Keith


Aftermarket thermostat? I bought one but others say they won't work. 52mm is what I used. Here's some info that I posted prior. However, you will need to check fit before proceeding with use.

<thermostat with the exception that you need to drill 1 or 2 - 1/8" holes in the face of it for bypass. The NAPA part numbers of stats that are 52mm are #242, #285 and #533090 (this is a heavy duty one). One of the others (#242 or #285) has a quasi check valve in the face of the stat. If you simply snip the end off the brass valve part, you are left with a 1/8" hole in the face of the stat. >>

Hoses? Yes, all hoses are available.

Spit out overflow? 1) the upper tank may have been slightly overfull, 2) are you sure it was from the overflow and not the water pump weep hole in the block, 3) cracks in the lower tank can open up with heat, may be too small to see with the unaided eye until it gets hot, 4) is the fan coming on when it should?, lots of failed noise suppressors and fan switches, 5) Is the radiator cap good. Bad cap will allow premature spitting (and we all know that's a really bad thing). Here's some info on the cap.

<<The radiator cap on the Cade is the same one that's used by a whole slew of small cars. The NAPA/Baldkamp equivalent is 703-1443. It is actually a Stant brand cap. Same size and rating as OEM Cade (13 lbs). >> ~Tracy

STRANGE RIDE Today I rode about 30 miles and when I went to get off the highway a few strange things happened.

1) My clutch felt VERY soft and had almost 3/4" free play before the clutch would start to disengage. After it sat for a few hours it was firm and positive.

2) My front brakes feel soft and make a severe screeching noise. The bike has only 10700 miles and the pads are at least 1/8".

3) At 2K RPM there is an intermittent miss. Above and below I really don't notice it.

As I only purchased this a few weeks ago, any/all help info would be appreciated. ~Don

Don, Change the fluid in the clutch system. Use only DOT 4 brake fluid, purge the system completely and don't get any on the paint or plastic.

Change your brake pads to an aftermarket like EBC or SBS. The OEM pads are quite hard and will squeal like a stuck pig. Change your brake fluid. Same as the clutch. Do the front and rear.

Don, You may have some plugging in the carbs. Run some fuel system treatment (whatever you like even the cheap stuff works) for a few tanks. If it don't clear up try a new set of plugs. If it still don't clear up you may need to have the carbs cleaned. Too few miles for too many years will do that. Might also be a coil but try the easy stuff first. ~Tracy


PS: Please see the article at very important. Also look over some of the other stuff at



My son just bought an 86 lx and the blinkers will not blink all the lights work and come on but will not blink. I looked for a flasher but didn't see one what do I need to look at or replace. ~Keith


Keith, Look to the fuses. If they are all good (and you should meter them) then the flasher may be bad or you may have a problem with the handlebar switch. The flasher unit is behind the left speaker. It's not your run of the mill flasher. It has the emergency and turn-off delay timer built in. A little over $200 new. ~Tracy


~~~~~~~~~~  CADES FOR SALE  ~~~~~~~~~~

North Carolina 

ALSO SIDE CAR FOR SALE Bike is an `86 cavalcade LX motor shows 34,000 miles with some TLC can be up and running. We have put new front brakes new starter new starter solenoid. We bought another bike and don't have the time to put into to get it running again. GREAT BIKE ASKING $1,000.00 or best offer.


2000 Velorex Universal fit side car will fit any bike over 400cc used two months been in garage since does need a windshield was cracked in storm. Otherwise great condition color is black comes with mounting hardware and all. MAKE BEST REASONABLE OFFER if interested in either or both, contact me at  or call 910-237-7917I. We reside in North Carolina however we do drive a truck for a living. We go as far as NYC PA NJ and also Georgia, Florida and Alabama occasionally so if interested we can work out deliver options. 



Parts Bike I'm sorry to say it, but I'm parting out my Cade on eBay. I don't have money to fix it and I don't want to see it just rust away. I know it's hard to find the parts so I'm going to help everyone by parting it out. I love the ride that bike and I will buy another one. ~rob stickrod, email:  


Augusta, Maine 

1987 - Cavalcade LX - 26K miles - Mint Condition - Blue - Including helmets -- $3200.00 Firm -- Contact:  or


Lower Delaware 

I have an 86 LXE for sale. It only has 38300 miles and runs great. The color is blue on blue. I will be glad to send pictures. It is a great bike and a good buy at $3000.00. I live in lower Delaware if you want to stop by and take it for a ride. 


Southeast Wisconsin 

F/S 86 LXE Beautiful bike 23,000 miles, loaded w/ options, everything works as intended, full set of Cavalcade soft luggage for bags, repair manual, cavalcade cover. Bike has never been down and is in excellent condition. $4000. Pictures are available upon request. Email:


Last updated:   Wednesday, February 06, 2013

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