May, 2005

Here is the May 2005 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


Last summer the Cavalcade community lost a champion.  PHIL RADMORE was a genius on Cades (similar to Tracy ) & had a shop near Lacombe Alberta named Cavalcade Motors.  He was kind & generous with his time & knowledge - lending me his beloved Cade on first meeting for a couple of days while he diagnosed a stubborn problem with my cruise control. Unfortunately, Phil crashed his Cade & sidecar near Ashcroft , British Columbia (B.C.) and he did not survive the wreck. ~ Murray Smith, '86 LX, Airdrie , Alberta



September 12-16 are the dates for our rally “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 and 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 and 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.



Running the Dragon: Sept. 9,10,11th. Our overnight venue is The Best Western in Townsend Tennessee . For Reservations call (865) 448-2237 group rate $77.00, under Suzuki Cavalcade. ~ Rides to: Pidgeon Forge and Gatlinburg Tennessee , Deals Gap, the Great Smokey Mountains National Park .

Sat, Sept 10th, will go to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Smokey Mountain National Park . ~ We plan Running Deals Gap both Sunday and Monday, Sept 11, 12th. Everyone will get the chance to ride the Dragon. While along the Blue Ridge and Skyline Drives there will be lots of time for visiting, and shopping, stopping for the sights, and of course eating. All Cavalcaders and Friends are welcome.

Along the Blue Ridge and Skyline Drives:

Sept. 12 & 13th. Lodging is at the Comfort Inn River Ridge, at Ashville NC . For Reservations call (828) 298-9141 group rate $75.00 includes hot breakfast. Rides are to Chimney Rock, Mount Mitchell , and Mount Piscah

Sept 14th, We will be at the Comfort Inn in Lenoir , NC . For Reservations call (828) 754-2090, group rate $56, dbl occupancy. ~ Ride to: Blowing Rock

Sept 15th, We stay at the Days Inn in Bedford , VA. For Reservations call (540)586-8286, Group rate $50. ~ Ride to Natural Bridge

Sept16 & 17th  We are at the Quality Inn Skyline Drive , Front Royal VA. For Reservations call (540)635-3161, group rate $63.75, double occupancy. ~ Ride the Shenandoah Valley

Rides for the different locations are still being put together so if you have any suggestions, contact me. ~Larry:


rides in Ontario , Canada this summer

Ride 1: June 24, 25, 26-trenton Ontario-one hour from Toronto , east on highway 401 on the shores of Lake Ontario Our goal is $1,000,000 this June., a fundraiser and ride for blindness, factory demo rides, bike flea market, 5000 bike mass ride, bike shows, bike games, bands and camping join the fun.

Ride 2: July 5-9, Collingwood Ontario location for the first annual northern bike week (trying for a Daytona)-100 miles north of Toronto party, camping, rides, games and lots of fun.

Ride 3: august 13-burlington, Ontario fundraiser, prizes and tour for breast cancer research




I am putting together the list of Wisconsin Cade owners and a few others surrounding. If you don't want to be on the list, please let me know and I will delete your information. This will only be shared with the people on this list and only with their consent. This info will be used to inform you of the Wisconsin Cade Raid and any other rides that may be offered. You may also find that there is a Cade owner near you that you may want to contact.


I do have 24 Cade owners on my list is Wisconsin , if you know of any more add to the list.


Jerry Tennant

102 W Deerfield St

Deerfield , WI 53531

Home 608-764-5874

Cell    608-575-9802



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.





Just wanted to share this with everyone; I had something rather unsettling happen this weekend. I sold one of my Gold Wings on EBay last week, and the auction closed Sunday evening. The bidding got spirited towards the end, and I was pretty pleased with the result. The winning bidder contacted me promptly, sent the deposit I had requested, and we made arrangements for him to pick up the bike next week.


Last night I received an email from the second highest bidder, asking if it was really true that I was offering the bike on a "second chance offer" that

EBay has available. Fortunately, he had asked a question about the bike during the auction and he had my email address from my response. Since the email addresses didn't match, he sent the response back to my address, along with a copy of the email that he had received. I told him forward everything to EBay investigations, since this was obviously a hoax.


From what I understand this is becoming more of a problem. I figure there are a couple of things that I have learned from this. First, be very wary of second chance offers. Make double sure that any second chance offer is legit. The other thing I won't do any more as a seller is answer questions without keeping my email address private. These con artists will only get savvier as time goes by, and if one would ask a question and obtain the seller's email address, he could use it to spoof the return address and make it look more legitimate. Fortunately the scam looked suspicious enough that the intended victim decided to try to check it out further. Had he fallen for it, he could have easily been out the $500.00 deposit, minimum.


I contacted the other bidders on my bike to warn them what happened; just wanted to give you guys a general heads up in case you hadn't heard of this.

I've purchased things on second chance offers in the past, but this gives me pause... ~Phil Vorwerk, Courtland , MN




I was out riding around the other day. I pulled over to take a break and stretch a moment. When I fired my bike up and headed down the highway, I noticed that there was no sound coming from the speakers. Also my neutral light was on. When I turned the radio off, the light went out. I repeated this several times for another 25 miles I'd turn the radio on, no sound, and the neutral light would come on.


I stopped in a little town to get some gas. When I rolled out...everything was back to normal (???) Radio was playing fine, no neutral light. Has anyone else experienced this? Is my bike trying to tell me something?? I thought I'd put this out the group and see what kind of feedback I'd get. ~ Feelin' the Breeze; BigD in MidTN,'86 XLE



All right, I've looked, what is the retail model number of the headlight? I know it is a 12V 60/55w. I want to switch to Xenon light. ~Don


Don, It's a standard H 4 motorcycle headlight bulb. I have put a rare gas bulb in my Harley (which also uses the H 4) and you can tell the difference.  In my HD, I installed a 60/55 watt PIAA bulb that puts out the equivalent of 135/80 with seemingly the same heat output. Some of the high wattage bulbs require a metal socket base due to the heat, but the PIAA bulb seems to be

OK.  They cost a little more (approx $40) but it's an easy way to add more light.  I have heard they are difficult to install on the Suzuki unless you have a small hand, but I'm going to try when I get the time. They’re available from Dennis Kirk or J&P Cycles. ~William Calvin



What kind of glue do you use to reinstall the tabs on the side panels?  ~Dave, brown ‘86 LX

What works best is to drill a hole into it so you can install a screw from the bottom side up into the tab, then use epoxy and install the screw. This will hold up longer then anything else.  ~Brian in IN, ‘87 tt Gray LX


I had to re-attach the Tabs on my 81 850 GSL, same tabs. I used a GOOD "Super Glue" and let it sit for almost two days.  The second time I did this, I used a 2-Part Epoxy, much better results. ~Don


Its ABS plastic and I use ABS glue. Works fine. ~Red


If they're the tabs that go into the seat, please just leave them off. ~ Tracy


lubrication and additives

After all the talk about oil additives, I just had to throw in my two cents worth. Pal Oil makes a product called Desert Pal. I put some in my truck when I changed the oil and went from 12-13 mpg to 17-18 mpg. The temp hand started riding at a considerably cooler temp. Sorry, didn't notice the wheels going faster at the same engine speed... (G)


I have been unable to find a distributor selling this stuff and Pal Oil only sells by the case. If anyone on here wants to become a distributor, let me know as I am ready to buy more.


Pal also makes the best penetrant I have ever tried and I have tried many. I thought Kroil was the best penetrant you could get until I tried the Pal. As good as Kroil is, the Pal beats it. I have tried several others of their products with excellent results, but the Desert Pal the penetrant really stand out.


Eureka makes a product call Fluid Film. If you wanna make something slick and keep it that way, Fluid Film is the way to go. You can find it at John Deere dealers. Where I work we have a machine that has high speed cams and plastic dogs run in these cams. We were using a mix (the industry standard) of STP and Castrol 20w50 and oiling these cams twice a day to keep the dogs from burning. Now we spray lightly with Fluid Film about twice a week and it works fine.


I have a sliding glass door that decided not to slide any more. I tried all kinds of "slick'em" on it. They would make it slide for a day or two, the best maybe a week. Then I sprayed it with Fluid Film, lasted about 8 months before

I had to put more. It is a spray like WD40 but so much better that they are not even in the same class. It works great on places on the Cade that need a little spray oil.


I am not affiliated with any of these products, just like to pass on info about a good thing... ~hitekrednek


This is the website which I contacted and they say they sell PAL products in individual quantities.  ~Robert Richey



I am trying to put a set of HD mufflers on my Cade to get a little more noise. I believe some in the group have done this. My problem is the HD mufflers don't have the indentation at the swing arm like the stock mufflers; it seems that swing arm will hit the mufflers going over bumps. Did anyone else have this problem and how did you solve it? ~PhilM


Phil, You are over thinking the problem. Do what I did! Take the mufflers out. Cut the baffle out a couple of inches before it bevels into the bottle neck. replace it with a chromed wide mouth baffle you’ll get the most awesome deep sound   at low and high rpm (added benefit you'll improve your gas mileage) I can sell you a set but it will be cheaper to do it your self or have it done at your local muffler shop (parts and labor max a $100.00) the muffler is easy to take off just 3 bolts   . Don’t take the exhausts off the cylinders just the mufflers. the bracket that hold it is under  the passenger foot rest (well under the engine) but you know what I mean  2 bolts  the 3rd one is near the shock absorber  it only takes 10 minutes max. I swear I get compliment from everyone especially from HD riders




I have had problems with my radio receiving FM signals. This problem is now solved.  If anyone has the same problem then first thing to do is get to the top printed circuit board and replace a 16volt 220uf capacitor, position on diagram C31. The colour of the capacitor is light blue.  Make sure that you insert it the right way round as it will explode if inserted wrongly. ~ Dave , UK



I installed the antenna on the dash in the corner where the windshield meets the dash and ran the cable under the fairing. I have used Velcro to make an attaching point for the radio just above the map pocket on the left side of the fairing. Since the radio is not water proof I can take it off with ease. I fished the power cable over from the fuse block thru the false tank cover. If you don't use the map pocket and after you learn what channel you will be listening too the most you can put the radio in the map pocket... I use the cassette adapter for the bike. Remember once activated anyone can "borrow" the radio. If I am not riding then I don't leave it on the bike. ~Keith "86  



I read somewhere that there is a heater? The article said, under the false gas tank, reach in through the black,  plastic, triangle piece and there is a lever???? Any idea?  ~Larry Kannard


Larry, There is a heater vent door on each side. When you reach in through the triangle under the faux tank on each side, you will feel a tab on the slide doors towards the front. Or take a light and look in there, you will see them. ~Jerry, Wisc.


There are two vents, one on each side of the engine.  You can put your hand in through the black plastic triangle piece and you should feel a "tab".  This tab opens and closes the door.  When the door is open, which allows the engine heat to come through the fairing, the tab is towards the outside of the motorcycle.  It is pretty much even with the opening in the black plastic triangle.  Let us know if you find it. ~Tom (1986 LXE in Alabama )



The temperature here in Southern Ontario is 50 degrees. I just could not wait any longer to find out if the old 'Cade would start after another long Winter. After installing the battery, I switched on the ignition and slightly pressed the starter button to get the fuel pump to refill the carbs. Next I pulled in the choke and gave the throttle a couple of good twists to try and get some gas through the system, I did that a couple of times before trying to start it. It started right away after on spinning the engine a couple of times. It never used to start that easily after Winter. I let it warm up until the fan came on and I also topped up the air in the tires.


I took it out for just a short 15 km test ride and everything worked just fine. No clutch slipping. didn't have to pump up the brakes to make them work and no drips under the old machine. Pretty good for a 19 year old bike with only 110k km on it. I can't decide whether to keep it and keep riding it until I can't fix it (haven't really had to fix much on it since I bought it in '86), or sell it and get a new bike that I can get parts for. I'll bet a new bike would not last as long as a well maintained Cavalcade. ~Mike in Ontario


Sell or not to sell, that is the question. Maybe do what I have done. Since you can't get very much for the Cade, buy a new one for most riding and keep the Cade for what it is best at, long distance rides. Takes the wear and tear of daily riding off of the Cade and make it last longer. I put over 13,000 miles on the Cade last year. And when it needed repair, I didn't ride until it was done. Hate that!!!!


My little garage is overly full with my two and my son's bike but, it all works out. Sometime, if someone really wants the Cade, maybe I'll sell it. Until then, I have the best of two worlds. Everybody knows two bikes are better than one. Some people out there feel 3, 4, or 5 bikes are even better, but I have to draw the line somewhere. Even "Spiker" has his bike limits. ~Red


That's not a bad idea. Get the new bike anyway and ride the Cade until it is no longer practical to do so. I don't know if I could convince Lynda that we need two bikes in the garage though. The new BMW's sure look nice. ~Mike (Editor’s Note: “They ride nice too, Mike. They really, really do ride nice!)



I recently purchased an ’87 Cade LXE in extra fine condition. It came with two OEM helmets with head sets in excellent condition. The inside of the helmets are deteriorating and I was wondering if there is a place that rebuilds helmets. Or, can I do it? ~ Paul , Maine


The helmets should be relegated to decorative items only. Put them on a shelf and display them but don't wear them. Helmets have a limited life and should be replaced from time to time. They may look pretty but I wouldn't trust my head in them. ~ Tracy



Tom Small wrote: the real reason that I don't buy that Gold Wing is that there are things on the Cavalcade that are not on the Gold Wing.

OK, I'll show my ignorance here.  What does the Cavalcade have that the '05 GW doesn't? I personally still like the 'Cade better, but I have to admit that the new GWs seem to be even better than the 'Cade feature wise now.


Cavalcade has a more cruiser-like seating position, while the seating position on the new wings are more ‘sporty'.

Cavalcade also has more of a plush ride, where the Gold Wing is, again, more sporty.

It also has more trunk space, saddlebag space, and is just a little bigger overall than the wing. ~Brian in CT


And there is the gear position indicator that is really helpful sometimes.  We have the air adjustable seats, both rider and passenger.  Vanity mirror at no extra charge.  These are just a couple of things that come to mind.  One really nice thing is that we are a V-4 and the Gold Wing is a straight six.  That extra distance that the Gold Wings 1800 engine sits out there really makes for a wide spread when trying to get your legs on the highway pegs. 

        These are just a couple that comes to mind really fast.  I believe that there was a comparison done between the Gold Wing and the Cavalcade.  We have a great motorcycle and considering that it is almost 20 years old, as far as I am concerned, Suzuki was way ahead of its time. ~Tom (1986 LXE in Alabama )







Since we have a number of new members on the group, and there is an ongoing need for Cade specific mechanical help since the bike shops generally don't want to, just won't, or charge exorbitant prices to touch one, Jerry had the idea that we could post names and contact info at for those that were willing to offer help or do mechanic work.


The intention is not to create new careers for anyone (even though some may be up for that) but to list those that are willing to actually do repair work on Cades (for profit or not), and those that are mechanically deft that would simply lend a helping hand to someone in need. These would be listed separately so that someone that is only willing to help will not be contacted for major repairs.


A common problem is one that cropped up recently. Guy has a charging system problem, a sticking back brake and another minor issue. Most of us would simply do it ourselves because there are easy checks for each of them. Yes, it could turn out that something actually needs to be repaired but in many cases there are simple maintenance procedures that will eliminate, for the most part, trips to the bike shop which can be frustrating and expensive. If there is someone locally to the guy that can give him some guidance and confidence in doing his own maintenance and safety checks, that is a huge service.


Another common problem is that of the leaking clutch pushrod seal (supposedly) and the mechanic wants to charge $2500 for a $200 repair. In this case, another Cader would necessarily do the work, but maybe just visit the shop with him and give the mechanic the "what for's" about what's involved and the cost of parts and such. There's probably some of that happening already but Jerry thought that making the names and contact info available (as well as the general location) might provide a very useful service.


This is a completely voluntary program and you can take your name off at any time if you feel it's not working out for you. Personally, I like having Cades come through my shop and welcome more but there is a travel issue that can't be ignored and it would be helpful to have more regional mechanics/maintenance buddies to help out those that simply can't haul their bikes to Kansas or Wisconsin for repair. ~ Tracy



I did a lot of work to my bike this winter.  What I am trying to find out is did I change the output to the bike.  While running it today I marked down the speed and rpm of the bike.  What I would like to know is: am I in the ballpark the bike supposed to be turning?


60 mph 3400 rpm

65 mph 3600 rpm

70 mph 3900 rpm


 Mike c. 86lx


That's about right, Mike. However, no matter what you did, unless you made a radical tire size change (unlikely) or your clutch was slipping severely, you have no control over the RPM/speed relationship. You can change the power but you can't do much about a relationship that is fixed by gear ratios and tires size. ~ Tracy


I have found out that when my motorcycle is running really well and with the new Barnett springs in the clutch that the speed versus rpm is about 2:1.  In other words at 70 mph my tachometer is reading 3500 rpm, etc., etc.  Therefore, you are in the ball park with the readings below.  ~Tom (1986 LXE in Alabama )


If you're doing 3500 RPM at 70 you are running a pretty tall tire. Most are running closer to 4K. ~ Tracy


Tracy : I wouldn't say that.  I found an oil additive and it has changed the rpm to mph on all 4 of my cars. I wanted to see if it did anything to the motorcycle. The change I spoke of is my dodge intrepid use to run at 2200 rpm at 60 mph.  It now runs at 1800 rpm at 60 mph. ~Mike


Is there a manual transmission or automatic in the car? It makes a big difference. Sorry, add all the additive you want but you ain't gonna change it in the Cade. It's all set by gear ratios and tire size. ~ Tracy



While going through the connectors to see why when I hit the > start button sometimes nothing would happen I found a large green connector behind the headlight. There is this solid orange wire that looked a little burnt at the connector. It had gotten warm enough that the orange wire and the red and white wire below it had fused together at the insulation layer. When I pulled them apart no wires were exposed. I wrapped electrical tape around the orange wire.


First question is what is this orange wire? It looks like it goes into the key ignition. Second, the connector and wire inside of the plug looked either severely corroded or burnt. Should I cut the wire out and reconnect outside of the factory connector? I am not a wiring genius, so that is why I am asking you.


Since finding this connector, I have only had a minor instance where nothing happened when hitting the start button. I then just reached up between the forks, wiggled that connection and bingo, it started up and has since. Does this make ANY sense?? ~Maury, ‘86 LXE, Auburn , WA


The orange wire you speak of is probably the main feed from the ignition switch that is powered when the key is in the on position. Basically, all of the orange wire on the bike is ignition on power. Red is always power and black or black with white stripe is ground.


Whether you connect it with the existing connector or do in a separate connector will have to be your call based on the severity of damage to the original connector. Obviously, if you can't get it shined and tightened back up to do it's job properly then you will have to do it with separate connector. At least you found something. ~ Tracy


clutch slave cylinder

Where is the clutch slave cylinder located on the bike? Is it a hard job to do? Can you give me a brief walk thru of the task? Do you have the parts needed for the job? ~Michael


It's attached to the secondary drive that has to be removed to rebuild the slave. It's a pain in the ass but doesn't require a 10 skill level but does require a 12 attention to detail level. I have the parts. Complete kit to do the secondary R&R, $56 includes all seals. ~ Tracy



Where can I could get a new pair of fork tubes, I think mine are bent. ~?


A Suzuki dealer might be a good starting place. They won't be cheap. A used set would probably do but they will have to be rebuilt most likely. Or, if there are no worn areas that have cropped up due to the bend (I had a set that got scarred), they can be straightened. Bike Bandit shows them still available for $241 ea. I would have to check but I might be able to beat that by some. ~ Tracy



Tracy , do you or any one out there know why the right side isn’t firing? Is the right side on the same coil? I haven’t checked the plugs. Is there a test? ~Dennis


There are 4 coils on the Cade. You need to determine which one it is that's not firing. Fairly common problem to have one go bad. You can see if it's just where the cap screws to the wire but many times the coil goes craps and has to be replaced.


Test? Let it warm up for 5 minutes and check each exhaust pipe with a little bit of water spray. You should be able to see the bad one. You can meter out the coils but it may not tell you much. ~ Tracy



I hope everyone is getting ready for summer and getting their Cades out with no problems.  Sadly though, I have an oil leak which seems to be a common problem with me now days.  First, I found the leak around New Year when it was warm enough to get the Cade out of the cold for a while.  I found out it was coming from the right side case cover and drain plug.  Well, I replaced the gasket for the cover and got a new washer for the drain plug.  Took it out riding today, and found out, I still have a leak.  So, I had it run for a while in the garage and found out it is coming out of the left side case cover, where I had to replace the stator last year.  Now, it did not start until very late last year, where the stator was already on and working fine.  It looks like it is coming from the area where the wires from the stator are coming out of the case.  That rubber part...  Now, I am hoping I do not have to take that side case cover off again, so I am hoping someone can give me an idea of what to do in order to fix the problem.  If the only option is to replace the gasket and re-seal the cover, then the only words I can say are "son of a blank.  Let me know soon so I can get back out with it.  It is going to be in the 50s-60s this week, so I will be upset for not being able to ride.  ~Sean from Michigan “Seanywog”


Sean, Take the side-cover back off and use a generous amount of gasket sealer around the rubber grommet. It is a little too small and doesn't compress enough to provide a seal. Believe me, I know of what I speak.


Use Yamabond or Suzukibond or the gray import sealer (sold at most auto parts stores). Clean the area well with brake cleaner ($2/can is fine) and apply generously (not sloppy generous but so that it will ooze out when the grommet is placed into the slot in the cover) and where the gasket will sit against it. Reassemble and let it dry FOR A FULL DAY before starting the motor! This is important. If you try and run it with the sealer not fully set it will just leak again.


Bite the bullet and do it right. There's no other way to do it. You can probably reuse the gasket unless you smeared gasket sealer all over it. ~ Tracy



I have a new Reg/Rec to install. I finally got all the body panels off the bike to get at it (sometimes it stinks to have an LXE, but I'm not complaining). My question is: The main connector from the reg/rec has 2 pigtails, red and orange. On my bike, the orange is connected to another wire, but the red is hanging freely. Should this pigtail be connected to something? Or should it be left hanging in the breeze? I couldn't tell from the picture on T's website. ~Craig, Apple Valley , MN ; ‘86 LXE 52k


It's not used. ~ Tracy


Craig, Have you found Tracy 's excellent write-up on the Cade charging system? Have you found the regulator ground wire advice article? If not, I will point you to it, although someone probably has it at the tip of there index fingers more quickly than I do. Also, I do this because I do not trust the integrity of the connector at the regulator any more than I do the one near the battery compartment.


I have 'solder connected' wires from the black wires on the regulator side of that connector and connected those wires directly to a good chassis ground point up near the regulator. That is in addition to implementing regulator grounding advice, (I did NOT eliminate this connector) I don't think I have run this suggestion by the group before, but maybe there will be some good (or bad) feedback.  I see this as a more failsafe protection for the regulator. Anyway if you decide to do it, while the Cade is open is the time. ~Len, 87LXE, MA 


brake disk shims

Tracy, I hold your knowledge of the 'Cade and mechanics in general in very high regard where-as I’m only a part time mechanic from mainly a four wheel background, however, I was always lead to believe that the aforementioned shims were in fact called 'anti-squeal shims' which I had always assumed stopped the pads from squeaking. I may be wrong and will bow to your far greater subject knowledge and experience, but I would be reluctant to leave them out.  ~David.


It would be cool if those shims would, in fact, control squeal to a great extent but, alas, I think they fail more often than not.


If you look at the history of brakes on the Cade you see that Suzuki tried a number of different things to control brake squeal. In case there are some reading this that don't know what the squeal is, I will give a brief explain. For those of you that already know, please disregard.


Squeal, in actuality, is chatter. The reason it sounds like a squeal is because it's happening really fast but isn't fast enough to be out of the range of hearing of most of us. Chatter is when the brake pad grabs the disc and travels for a bit with the disc (since there's some slop in the fit of the pad to the caliper housing) then it slips and shoots back to the other side of the pad groove and then grabs again and repeats, really fast. A number of factors (disc condition, pad condition, pad hardness, slop in the calipers, etc) will determine whether there will be any chatter, a light chatter, an intense chatter or only chatter at certain speeds and or lever pressures.


If you look at the parts book for the Cade, it shows several iterations that Suzuki tried to minimize or eliminate brake squeal. There were pads with partial shims (causing the pads to contact the disc somewhat of an angle), shims and the metal backing on the pads got bigger and they added fairly hard plastic type material pressed into the center of the pistons. All of these were attempts to solve a continuing squeal problem with the Cade brakes, mostly the fronts.


But, at the end of the day, I think it was more due to the configuration of the caliper and the hardness of the pads. The OEM pads were quite hard and would stick-slip badly as the pad couldn't get a really good grip on the rotor before it would slip and start to chatter. Aftermarket pads are generally softer and there's less tendency for the pad to stick/slip at a high frequency. It's still probably happening but at a low enough frequency that it doesn't manifest into a high-pitch squeals. The caliper configuration has a lot of flex in it during braking. The piston size, by today's standards, is quite large and exerts a lot of spread pressure on the caliper. This allows the caliper to open-up and attributes to the stick/slip. Newer calipers use several smaller pistons (2, 3 or 4) so they will spread the caliper less because the centerline of the pistons is closer to the centerline of the bolts that hold the caliper together. They also use a narrower disc and pad. This all helps. 


The problem with shims is that they have to be hard enough not to compress under the pressure of the piston pushing against the pad (causes bad feel at the lever) but soft enough to actually dampen the sound (vibration) that is generating from the chatter. I think they fail pretty much in any damping effect since they have to be so hard and once the pistons push against them, they tend to flare away from the pad except where the piston is pressing them against the pad. So, even if they were soft enough to affect some damping/absorption of the vibration, they don't contact the pad in enough area to actually make much difference. That's not to say that in some instances they may actually have some affect, but as a wholesale statement I would say that they work less often than not.


There are goo’s that can be spread on the back of pads to help absorb the vibration (chatter) and dampen it enough to partially or completely eliminate the sound. However, as with any "fix in a tube", they work sometimes and other times they don't. In my opinion, pad composition and disc condition is pretty important. Hard, long-lasting pads will be more prone to squeal so will glazed rotor surfaces whereas softer pads and unglazed discs will be less prone. Goo’s work sometimes, sometime they don't. Shims work sometimes and sometimes they don't.


So, I'm no disagreeing with you that shims might be referred to as anti-squeal shims nor that in some instances that they might have some affect. However, I don't believe that they are as effective as other methods and, unless instructed to do so specifically, I don't use them.


And, in my typical fashion, it only took me a couple hundred words to say that. ~ Tracy



Sorry for the delay, but carb kits are finally available and have been added to the shopping cart at


The kits include all of the o-rings in the carbs, float-bowl o-rings, intake manifold o-rings, fuel inlet o-rings, butterfly shaft seals and choke plunger seals. It has been Jerry and Is experience that if you're gonna do a set of carbs right then all these rubber bits need to be replaced. The cost of the kit that does all 4 carbs is $51.50. But, if you want just an o-ring only kit that will be $10 (does all 4 carbs).


Again, I don't recommend the o-ring only kit as the shaft seals are a primary culprit for vacuum leaks and the choke plunger seals will do the same (when the choke is on of course) if they are dried and cracked (which we have seen a lot of). Unfortunately, I have to buy those bits OEM as there are no suitable replacements available elsewhere. That's part of the reason they add so much to the cost of the kits (and the fact that there are 8 shaft seals). The kits will come with a key sheet showing each size of o-ring and it's location in the carb and some general rebuild guidelines for carbs. ~ Tracy





I'm looking for a Cavalcade [reasonably priced]. I presently own an ‘85 1100 Shadow & rode a Cavalcade once and fell in love with it.  I'm 66 years old and would like to get in at least one more road trip on a bike like this.

If you know of anything like this I'd appreciate hearing from you.


Sincerely, Gary Brunk e-mail address: or phone: 636-789-2938





(Editor’s Note: Because I am so late with this month’s issue, the bikes listed below may no longer be for sale. I’ve added the date of posting for your information.)


Greenville , North Carolina ( March 18, 2005 )

Asking $2,500.00. 29,000 miles. Just spent over $400.00 at the dealer getting new front and rear brakes, brake master cylinder, horns, fuse block, battery, state inspection. When I bought it, the previous owner installed an am/fm CD player, so radio controls on passenger seat do not function, or the intercom system. I have replaced the upper fairing cover, (black plastic) that covers the right speaker, covers the fuse box, and down the right side of the fairing. Just had the seat reupholstered looks brand new. Cruise control doesn’t work, just got a replacement unit, but haven’t had time to install it. Clutch master cylinder is bad, waiting on one to arrive. Replaced left and right side chrome covers that are attached under the seat, (I call them shark fins). I am waiting on the right side engine cover that is chrome. The master cylinder covers are special ordered. They are chrome with the cavalcade emblem of the horse and rider, no screws, chrome hex nuts. I replaced the fake gas tank cover. The one that was on it was cracked.

What needs to be fixed? Cornering light on right side wont work, however, I have the relay for it, just haven’t had time to put it on. I need the fuse block cover replaced. I have the original on, but I used Velcro to take it off and on. Left black plastic piece the covers from left speaker down to the cushion controls is cracked, and the right side lower fairing has a crack in it, but not bad enough to be an eyesore. Bike runs well. Just changed the oil last month, along with plugs. All these I have been looking for on eBay to replace. If you want pictures of any angle of the Cade, let me know....the ONLY reason I may sell it if I get an offer is due to a divorce, and if I do have to sell it, I will have another one after the divorce is final. ~Larry Kannard. E-mail:


Western North Carolina ( March 20, 2005 )

I hate to do this but I have to sell my '86 Cade. It's gold/brown LX in good shape. New brakes, front calipers overhauled, new front wheel bearings, good tires, @ 47k miles. I've had some serious mechanical foul-ups on these pesky 4 wheeled critters that I need to tend to, hence the Cade has to go. I've been asking $3500.00 for her but am looking for reasonable offers. I am located in western North Carolina . ~Kelly Myers


Flemington , NJ ( April 28, 2005 )

1987 Suzuki Cavalcade LXE, Maroon, 31,000 miles, Exec+ Condition

Following items upgraded 2004:

New Clutch, Barnett Springs

New Water Pump & chain

New Upgraded Driveshaft

New Brake Pads

New Tires (Dunlop)

New Wheel bearings

Secondary gearbox upgraded ( Tracy ) plug, new seals, and gaskets

New seals, bearings rear gearbox

Replaced all Clutch, Brake, Radiator, crankcase, secondary & rear gearbox fluids

New Sparkplugs

New Air, Gas, Oil filters

Anti-theft switch installed

New Hydraulic Clutch switch

Radio reconditioned

2 full face helmets/intercom

Extra set Harley Dresser mufflers


Bike never had problems, Garage kept, Upgraded everything as a project when first got. Runs fine, no leaks, handles great, electric/audio fine. Have new job, no time to ride. Have to sell and make garage room. ~John Hlasney, 908-788-9182,


Wisconsin ( May 11, 2005 )

My father is selling his '86 Cavalcade and I was wondering if you knew of someone that would be interested in it. Only 40,000 miles ridden. The Cavalcade can be viewed here:


Jay Fowler, phone (715)294-3400;  fax (715)294-3900


? ( May 5, 2005 )

I have an ‘86 blue-on-blue LXE with about 39,000 miles. She runs well and I have no problems taking her out.  Her tires are aged but passable, the radio needs repair and the driver’s seat is split at the seam but still holds air.  Front brake calipers are unserviceable (according to the local Suzuki dealer who could not bleed them) but still stops.  Some body panels are scarred and loose, map case is in sad shape.  She has never been dumped but has fallen over a few times.  She’s been mine since birth, we’ve toured the Midwest and Europe , but it’s time to let her go.  Asking $1,000 OBO, can send pictures.  Contact Dave at or (618) 558-3035.


S.E. Wisconsin ( May 15, 2005 )

1986 LXE / Blue on Blue / 50,000 miles / Asking $2995
Running great, haven't ridden much this spring yet, but everything was okay when I got it on the road.  The job is just continually taking more and more of my time and I am no longer able to properly care for the Cade.  We decided that we would get something newer, so when we do have time we can ride instead of working on the bike.  As I said it has been and still is a great bike, it just does require a little more attention than I am able to give it at this time.  We are hoping that it finds a new owner that can enjoy it as much as we have. ~Ken & Ann E-Mail:


Will Deliver ( May 30, 2005 )

I have for sale a 1987 LXE that runs and drives as good as any thing out there this bike has progressive fork springs and rear shocks all new inner plastic dash panels new seat cover it has a fender rail and is equipped with air horns bike also has a trunk rack this bike was owned by Brian O and is a great ride it also has had calipers and clutch rebuilt along with braided brake lines along with a Markland back rest and new paint work will be completed by 06/11/05 it has a CB as well as a new map case it also has a new oil pan and rear tire Brian put a lot of money in this bike prior to buying his new wing . I'm asking 2500.00 or best offer ill even ride it to you if need be..............thanks chopper. Please e mail me for more info I also have a Vulcan 500 for sale and a drive on lift for sale as well.


Western North Carolina ( May 31, 2005 )

Just to let y'all know I still have 86 LX with sidecar for sale in western N.C. thx ~Mike Greene;


Canadian Cavalcade ( June 3, 2005 )

I have an 86 LX for sale, 50 000 kilometers, some fairing damage to to the front, otherwise mechanically sound, new tires, brakes, etc.  Asking $4500. Canadian.  For details call 1-866-426-7537, ask for Dan.


Trailer for Sale ( May 5, 2005 )

I've got a Bushtec cargo trailer, hitch and wiring harness for sale. I pulled it with my '86 Brown on Brown Cade and have decided to see if anyone else could use it. There is a cooler on the front and has new tires. The trailer is in Arizona , specifically in Lakeside which is near Show Low in the White Mountains . Yes there are mountains in AZ. I'm about 180 miles west northwest of Phoenix . The trailer has the same colors as the brown on brown Cade. I can send pictures if you're interested. I'm asking $1800 obo. Have a grand riding day. ~"Steve G-H"





Last updated:   Wednesday, February 06, 2013

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