August, 2005

Jay Johnson, Editor






Time is closing in on the twin Cade Raids coming up in early September. Pick the rally you want to enjoy and contact the organizers for details including the daily ride schedules and registration information.

For the East Coast Cade Raid you need to contact Larry Dilldine:

For the West Coast Cade Raid you need to contact Jay Johnson:


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.






Larry and I took the advanced safety course in New York at Americade a couple of years ago...and Larry did pass the cone course on the Cade.  If you get a chance to take one of these courses offered by the states or Honda...take it.   We both learned a lot.  ~Larry and Nancy...86lxe in Ohio


Yes! Yes!  Me too! Me too! The best part was most of the bikes were Gold Wings - there was 1 Cade (me) 1 Voyager and 1 Harley.  They wanted to do the rear-wheel lockup exercise, but the 'wings had linked brakes, and the Harley guy refused to do it. Between the Voyager & me, the crowd cheered when I had the longest & smokiest (and straightest!) rear wheel skid on the course. ~Brian in CT


In Ontario , Canada , our local colleges offer the advanced motorcycle course that allows you to challenge your final step in Graduated Licensing for your motorcycle license and obtain for "M" rating on your license. The course starts with a half-day in a parking lot doing many of the skills of the beginner's course but using smaller circuits. So, the cone lanes are not as wide, the "figure 8" is a lot smaller, circles are smaller diameter, speeds are increased, etc. Then you do a half-day exercise riding the roads, being followed by instructors in a van while wearing a one-way CB type radio, receiving route instructions.


Yes, it is possible to complete the course on the 'Cade. I did it perfectly, but it was EXTREMELY challenging! Most people on Harleys and other cruisers didn't do nearly as well. The smaller the bike, the easier the course becomes. One exercise has the motorcycle driver starting from a line, hitting around 40 KM/HR (25 miles/hr) while driving directly towards in instructor with two small lanes of cones to his left and right. At the last moment (maybe 20 feet in front of the instructor), the instructor points to one lane or the other, and you're expected to roll off the throttle and navigate successfully into the designated lane. Since my 'Cade is so quiet compared to the Harleys and other loud cruisers at the course, he kept indicating for me to speed up. I was doing about 55 KM/HR by the time he indicated which lane to swerve into. I did it, pretty well taking the driver's foot peg to the ground. He came over to me later and apologized, saying he had me going far to fast and didn't realize the speed because the bike was so quiet. He also said he had NEVER, in his 20 years of instruction, seen anyone handle a bike as big as my 'Cade like that and successfully complete the exercises perfectly.


Grab a smaller bike if you can, if your license qualification is involved. ~Don Sellers



I currently hold a class 1 Commercial License and have for many years and drive a Peterbuilt. I went to the department of motor vehicles (DMV) and requested information to "Add" an M-2 motorcycle endorsement to my current commercial license. Well, I found out it is all about money here in Taxafornia. My current Class 1 license is still good for two more years and in order to get an M-2 motorcycle license, you have to re-qualify for your class 1 first, before they will let you take the test for the M-2 endorsement. If anyone here understands the commercial license process it is intense and expensive and time consuming. When I asked why the process makes you retake the commercial testing process first, they said that, that’s just the way it is. Can someone see $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ for the state? So here you have to pay seventy plus dollars for the commercial testing first and then the fees for the M-2 license. It’s not the money that I have
the problem with; it’s the week long studying that is at issue.


They have redesigned the test to the point that common since answers don't work because too many professionals were passing the tests too easily. So, the bureaucrats in charge decided to force drivers to read the entire manual to be able to pass the test. They designed the test with questions that in some cases make NO sense. Also in order to insure your Cade here in Taxafornia, you must show proof of the M-2 license first to the insurance company. New law!  Just a heads up to those who might be affected by the "New Rules" ~Rick, San Diego  86 LX Brown



Rick, There is another new law that requires insurance companies to notify the State of your insurance status. Then, if your insurance gets canceled so does your registration and you will have to pay both again. And if you get pulled over with no insurance you will get two tickets, one for insurance and one for registration even if the registration is paid! Probably get your car towed and impounded as well. Then you have to get a release from the sheriff for $90.00 pay $750 for a month’s storage of the car and the tow fee and the fine and new insurance and new registration and probably a new smog check and all have to be paid before you can get your car back. The police will have a database in their car that will check your insurance status. They can spend more time writing tickets that way. There is some help on the way. There is a bill now to make insurance not mandatory for illegal aliens because they can’t afford it. I did not know you could get a license or permit to do something illegal but what do I know I’m just a taxpayer. ~Mark



While serving in the Army back in the 80’s, I was stationed in Germany at a NATO weapons site, where I, along with approximately 200 other M.P.s patrolled and stood watch over the afore mentioned site, 24/7, 365 days, round the clock. We were known as “Towerrats”, a term I didn’t give much thought to until I got older and started reflecting on my younger days and adventures. Now there is a brotherhood of these “Towerrats” and every so often, we try and get together for a week end of tall tales and consumption of adult beverages…what’s an old soldier to do? Here the Cade’s story begins…


One of my “rat” buddies calls about 3 months ago and says let’s get together, some place new for all of us, that we can drive to and meet for a reunion. Since all these guys are huge football fans, it was decided upon that we should meet in Canton , Ohio , home of the National Football League Hall of Fame. We could take in the HOF , enjoy some good eating in the Amish country, make a dent in the Canton beer supply, and still be centrally located for all concerned.


Well, for me, the wheels started to turn. I get my trusted Atlas out; begin marking the routes to take, hotel reservations to make, and packing preparations, everything I need for the trip. Then the big decision… I take the Cade, a 19 year old bike with 80,000 plus miles, that I’ve pretty much had rebuilt from front to rear since I’ve purchased it 2 summers ago, knowing that somewhere along the way, something could go wrong, leaving me stranded, angry, and worried, not to mention ruining my whole trip, this….or just riding my dad’s 2003 Yamaha Road Star, in great shape, low mileage, ready for the road. Well, after some thought, I decided,” I bought that Cade for the sheer pleasure of the highway, to ride and enjoy, come what may, besides, I have come to know the bike, it’s feel, it’s handling, when things aren’t right, and when it runs like something right off the showroom floor…no, for me and this trip, the 2-tone blue was going to carry me to Ohio and home.


Weeks passed and the anticipation of the reunion, the time off from my stress filled job and the ride itself had me excited to a point that I almost dreaded it, knowing that things were going so smoothly and coming to pass, that the other shoe just had to fall. No such luck. When the morning finally arrived, I was up early, everything packed, double checked, triple checked, plenty of clothes, clean drawers, enough money…(yeah, right), everything for my person, now the Cade. All “dem levels” checked, tire pressure checked, all signals, lights, flashers, A-O.K. Time for the road. Kiss the wife, pet the dog…..or was that the other way around???  Anyway, doesn’t matter, meeting the guys, road trip, freedom from everything………everything but that darkening sky that lay ahead….As I pulled out of middle Tennessee, the sky was bright, beautiful sunlight and warm temps to travel by, but as I got closer to the Kentucky state line on I-65 North, the skies grew darker, the winds picked up and I knew that I’d better be finding me a piece of shoulder to pull off on and get suited up. I no sooner got these thoughts through my head, then here comes the rain, no small drops, mind you; .these drops hit the windshield and my helmet like they were being fired from a Gatlin gun at close range. Everything got real chaotic really fast; semi’s flying by, the visibility going from good to crap in a few seconds. Thankfully the Lord either rides a Cade or just pities those of us who do, cause in a flash, there was a vacant bridge overpass, complete with a guardrail for setting my nervous old tail down to clear the cobwebs, get my rain gear out and on, and just say a little word of thanks to the man upstairs that everything worked out with all of this. Okay, rain suit on, face shield snapped into place, climb back on the Cade, fire it up and…….uh oh, it’s not shifting and the clutch lever is all the way back against the handle bar, no tension, no engagement, what the heck is going on here? I pump the clutch handle gently and feel the tension coming back and the gears shift normally. I notice as I travel down the highway, rain steadily coming down, that I have to continually pump the clutch handle every few miles to keep the pressure up….(there is that other shoe falling). I pull over at the next exit, gas up, and give my local mechanic a call. He tells me one of two things has happened, one…either the slave cylinder has gone out on the clutch or, two…I have an air bubble in the clutch line…I’m hoping and praying for the latter. So, I follow his instructions to turn the handle bars to the right and slowly burp the clutch line to hopefully move the air bubble into the reservoir…and to my amazement and delight, which took care of the problem….the clutch stayed tight with no other hint of slippage.


Now, it’s getting late in the day, rain still falling and I still have to maneuver through the traffic of both Louisville, Kentucky and then Cincinnati, Ohio, which I might add should qualify me for the Wet-Butt patch award, not to mention the “I must be out of my freakin mind” patch, if there is such a thing. Made it through these two cities with minimal difficulty and land navigation and headed northeast to Columbus , really excited because I was nearing my destination with each mile that was turning over. As I neared Columbus , rain began to fall like I have never witnessed it in my 43 years on this earth. I honestly thought the Ark would float by, lightening, thunder, blinding sheets of precipitation until I had had enough, no gathering is worth getting killed for and as I watched the white line of the highway with my head down and eyes darting back and forth, I discovered that Motel 6 really does leave the light on for you, as I moved the Cade into the parking lot. As I got off the bike, I noticed that it was raining so hard, I was actually wet inside my rain suit, the inside of the trunks were damp, and I realized, I hadn’t eaten all day…and at this point, none of this mattered. I was able to get a room on the first floor with the bike right outside, so I moved all my gear inside, took off all my clothes and put them on the heater, with everything else on the other bed nearest the heater to dry and settled down to a generous meal of a Diet Coke and Peanut Butter Crackers, not what I had in mind, but at this stage, I just wanted to dry off and rest. The local news cast showed the severe thunderstorms and even a funnel cloud or two in the area, but I settled in for a great nights sleep.


The next morning, the clouds are still hanging low but the rain is moving off as I gather all my now dry clothes together, load up the blue 2-tone and wipe her down before continuing on. I finally reach my destination at the hotel in Canton, Ohio about 12 noon, a little later than what I had expected, but was met with the smiles and greetings of old friends and comrades and of coarse a cold Bud Light. We enjoyed our visit that weekend, seeing the Hall of Fame, remembering old times, catching up on family and careers, and as always, it all ended way too soon. As we packed up Sunday morning for our trip home, goodbyes said and handshakes and hugs given, I was again looking forward to the return ride home through the Ohio country side and the hills of Kentucky back to Tennessee . On the return ride, I ran into a few small rain showers but nothing of the magnitude that I had ridden up in. As I pulled the Cade into the drive way that same evening, I noted the mileage as being 1201 miles, round trip and could not have been more proud of the Cade and the way it handled the entire trip and except for the slight problem with the clutch, I would have put it up against anything out there on two wheels. I’ve had several people look the Cade over, asking me about it and telling me how much they liked, and even a few telling me to hang on to it and not get rid of it, that it’ll be a bike collector’s prize before long……no, not much chance of getting rid of it, not if it can continue to deliver the smoothness and comfort and the enjoyment I get mile after mile. ~Ed Ritchison, Dickson , TN



I hope I can get some help. my son and I both have 86lx we rode them from Jacksonville FL to Marion NC and back we put 1343 miles on them this weekend the only problem we each had was when the bike got hot after about 1hr or so of driving75 and 80 we lost clutch pressure on the way up to n/c after we got there and bike cooled off the clutch was fine all weekend in the mountains then on the way home we had rain most of the way it kept the bikes cooled, keep pressure. After the rain stopped it got hot again lost pressure again. What I would like to know is... what is the best brake fluid to use so it won’t get hot thin out and stop working? ~Kevin Wisor and Adam Wisor, 86lx, jax fl


You need to use DOT 4 or Synthetic brake fluid. Do NOT use silicone brake fluid, as it is incompatible with the system. What you have is moisture in the system, which causes the fluid to boil when it gets hot. ~Jerry Wisc



Recently I had the classic clutch safety switch failure so I loosened the clamp to allow me to spin the clutch assembly up so I could access the switch on the bottom to by-pass; I twisted the wires together and the bike started right up---but when I drove it today [first time since the by- pass] I noticed the clutch is slipping ---especially in fifth gear under acceleration--- could turning that clutch assembly sideways have allowed air into the line?  ~Mike


Mike, It's a slight possibility that the breather in the cover may be plugged allowing pressure to build in the reservoir. Remove cap, you will see the hole. There is a plate or baffle in the cover to remove to aid cleaning it out. Otherwise you may need to replace you clutch springs with Barnett HD springs. Easy job. ~Jerry Wisc


Maybe you're having a pressure buildup, but most times 5th gear slippage is due to glazed plates over time and too weak clutch springs. For $25.75 you can solve it (Barnett springs and clutch side gasket). For another $17.50 you can solve your clutch switch problem, for good.

Everything you need is at



I just joined the group and I have a couple of questions. I recently 'acquired' an '86 Cavalcade through a series of strange events. There's 45K on the odometer. I have bought the manual on CD from a link off of I've also read quite a few of the articles from the newsletters.

 1) I just replaced the rectifier/voltage reg. as the old one was kaput. I checked the output of the AC generator and it was 90VAC plus on all three leads. The voltage on the battery now reads a steady 13.5VDC regardless of engine speed. According to the manual, it should be 14VDC + ?  Also, the three yellow leads from the generator are pretty toasty (with the engine running), almost too hot to touch. Is this normal? Any other insights?

Are you reading the voltage at the battery terminals? Yes the wires will get hot. But also make sure the terminals are very clean and making good connections at the rectifier plug-ins. Also, make sure you cut out the white connector of the 2 black w/ white strip wires coming off the battery ground. That can also cause stator failure.

2) I believe I have the oil leak described in an article about secondary gears? Leaks right by the kick-stand. How hard is it to fix this leak?

Check your secondary level, is it high or low? Is the engine oil going down? To do the secondary is not too bad, about a 4 hour job. Replace all seals and install the Tracy plug.

3) Carbs - The carbs were way out, balance wise. I've adjusted them by ear and by using a shop rag over the carbs inputs, observing the motion of the rag as air is pulled through it. Crude, but I got it way better than it was. Now, the front left carb is sucking way more air than the rest. I can also see much more fuel entering the carb at idle than the rest. Also the front right carb backfires occasionally. When idling, the smell of fuel almost gags me, like an extremely rich condition
exists, however I can see no 'rich' (black) looking exhaust. Could the needle jets need adjusting? If so, where are they? I can't seem to locate them on the carb breakout. Any thoughts or advice besides a carb rebuild? I don't want to pull the carbs unless I have to.

Carbs need to be synchronized using mercury sticks. I never have had a bad needle or seat. I have had bad o-rings around the seat. May be able to clean by running sea foam through them, but doubt it. In most cases have had to rebuild and boil out carbs. 

4) When I got the bike, the air filter box was off. How it the heck do you get it back on? Nothing seems to line up enough to get the rubber tubes over the necks of the carbs. Do you have to remove the rubber tubes from the air filter box, attach them and then put the air filter box over them??

First off, if you look at the bottom side of the air cleaner, each boot has an index mark to line up, they must be indexed or you will have a hard time getting them on the carbs. Make sure clamps are located the way the CD or book tells you, or you will have the clamps hitting obstructions making it hard to install. ~Jerry Wisc




Is it possible to change the front fork oil without dismounting the fork?


Once again, the syringe comes into play. A long piece of tubing to reach the bottom and you can suck it out with the syringe.  You can even measure a piece of tubing to the proper length and pull the extra oil out after you over fill it. Plus, you'll know both forks have the same amount in them. ~KennG


Spark plug wire replacement

Since I just replaced all my coil-to-plug wires, I thought I would pass this along. I could not find 8mm wire core plug wire in my area. So I went with 7mm wire core. I found that I could remove the old wires from the coil. I took a screwdriver against the epoxy around the wire at the coil and tapped it loose. Then twisted and pull on the wire to remove it from the coil. On a couple, the whole wire housing came out. On the others, the outside housing was stuck in the coil yet. I took a very small screwdriver to push in and work around the wire housing to break it loose from the coil and pulled it out. There is a post in the center that stabs the wire to make contact with the core. Be careful not to damage it. It took 12ft 2in. of wire to do all four. I then took my small awl to center and make a starting dimple in the wire core for the center post would go into the center of the wire when pushed in. Once ready I mixed some epoxy, coated the wire about a 1/4" from the end and pushed it in. let it cure. Then I also pulled the protective covering off the old wires (with the help of Silicone lube) and reinstalled them over the new wires. They are now back to the original setup and problem cured. The original Bakelite resistor spark plug boots are available from most power centers.


I bought my Cade 4 years ago from a local dealer. From day one it had a bad shudder in it below 3,000 rpm's and in 4th or 5th gear or under heavy load. I had checked out ignition and mechanical problems and found then that I had bad camshafts, which was a problem with some early 86 productions (soft camshafts). I had a spare engine, so I swapped it out, still had the problem. Checked driveline and all components and found bad u-joint, new driveshaft, still problem. In the course of time tried and replace other parts and all coils except for one that I didn't have the right one for. Long story short that one coil had a break in the wire about 8" from the coil, just enough to fire ok, but under heavy load at lower rpm's was not enough power to the spark plug. Tracy helped a lot with steering me back to the ignition system to locate the problem. It also no longer gets heavy exhaust smell, when stopping at stop signs or decelerating. This I have heard others complain about also. Remember these are 20 year old bikes with old and brittle wires that do fail. I hope this helps others as not to have to go through all the aggravation that I did to get it fixed. I believe this problem may have been why the original owner may have traded the bike off and the local dealer could not find the cause either. ~Jerry


PS: Yes Tracy , I do appreciate you being my sounding board to find this problem. ~Jerry



There are a lot of folks in this club that send pictures from time to time. The only problem is that the way YahooGroups is now set up, you can't see them if you get the digest or if you read the mail online.  That means that many of us would love to see the bikes you are showing off, the bikes you are selling, the parts you have, etc., but we can't. ~ There is a way around this without using up club space on yahoo. You can go to and sign up for free album space. Just send an invite to the club when you want us to see your pictures and we can all look. . ~Hitekrednek


Okay serious question. Is there a proper way to take to Cade OFF of the center stand? ~Mark

Well Mark, since you asked, I will volunteer this info. At Branson in '02, I demonstrated how to hoist an overturned Cade, no problem. Then I demonstrated how to center stand the beast, no problem.  Then I nearly strained my wahoonies trying to get her back off the center stand.

Problem was I was sitting on the bike at the time.  So don't do it that way.  Stand alongside on the left, turn the wheel slightly away from you, to the right, so that when the bike comes down it will tend to lean into you instead of away. If it starts to fall away from you, forget it, you cannot save it from falling over.  Or at least I can't. A Tracy-sized palooka might be able to hold her, but my buck and a quarter won't. If she leans toward you slightly you can get your hip into the game and hold her vertical.

Keep your right hand on the brake when you push off the center stand.  You need to apply brake as soon as she starts to go forward on her own. Whatsoever you do, if you see the bike is going to go over, don't get under it, let her fall.  The Cade is set up to where it doesn't do much damage to go over on the bars.  Suzuki really did that right. 

When in doubt get a buddy, preferably a big one, to help you. ~Spike





Unless you are really lucky, I don't see how you can get the drive shaft into the secondary without having the boot pulled apart to see what you are doing.  To me it would be equivalent to trying to put a wet piece of spaghetti through a donut hole in the dark.  It beats me how you could do it.  Even with the boot pulled apart it takes some alignment to get the driveshaft into the spline.  ~Tom (1986 LXE in Alabama )


I guess I was just lucky when I put mine together then.  I just grabbed the end on the driveshaft at the rear wheel and slowly spun it while gently pushing it forward and in about 30 seconds in went right in.  From what I'm hearing it'll probably never happen again. ~Rick


I've done this about 20 times now so I figure I'm an expert. So, here goes.


I never take off the swing arm. I just unbolt the final drive and slide it back (with wheel). When I go to put the driveshaft back into the secondary drive I use a long screwdriver (I have a couple that are about 2 feet long) stuck in the gap between the drive and the swing arm tube (boot is not clamped to the sec drive yet) to support the u-joint and allow it to be moved up and down.


I reach my fingers into the boot on the top side so that I can feel the end of the splines on the d-shaft. I use the screwdriver to move the end of the shaft around until the splines line up and start to go in. I then finish it by pushing the shaft in from the other end of the swing arm tube. I peel the boot back and look in there (a light helps) to confirm that the shaft is fully seated in the drive.


Then you can line up the final and finish it up. Make sure that there is grease on the splines on both ends of the shaft (or in the mating female splines). This not only helps it go together, the grease acts as a cushion to the splines as they work back and forth during drive/coast. The splines don't actually slide (that is taken care of by the spring loaded coupling in the final), they just move within the clearance of fit. ~ Tracy



Tracy : My motor starts missing at about 4000 rpm. I have new plugs and a new battery. About 1/2 the time it runs up thru the rpm range ok, then it will start missing at 4 to 5000 RPMs. Would you think it is electrical? , or is it carbs? ~Terryg


From my personal experience, I had a bike that did something similar except that it did it at different RPMs depending on what gear it was in. It turned out to be a carb problem.

However, that's not to say that it's not a plug wire or a coil or an igniter or a spark plug. Did you check to make sure that all of the plugs that you put in are tight? If one was a little loose it might lose enough compression to start misfiring. Did it do it before you put in the new plugs?? Maybe you need to unscrew the spark plug caps, trim a bit of wire off (1/2" or so) and thread them back
in. Is there something in the air cleaner inlet? Is the fuel filter clogged? Is the fuel pump making enough pressure (procedure in the manual to check)? Will it do it just sitting or do you have to be riding it? ~ Tracy



I am having trouble with my cruise... it will not hold a steady speed. It surges... anyone ever have this problem? .Tracy lubed the speedo drive for me so it has plenty of lube. ~Dave in Ohio



There are a number of things that can cause the cruise to surge. For example, mis-adjustment of a cable or two, faultily pulse generator in the speedo, etc. There’s a complete description in the manual for the cruise.

Also, Suzuki America just blessed me with a cruise control checker and an auto-level checker (both shown in the service manual). These help diagnose problems with both systems. A great big thank you to the guys at Suzuki thinking of us. ~ Tracy




I have 1986 Cavalcade with an intermittent electrical problem. As I ride the “tail light out” comes on the screen. But the tail light is on! If I switch from low to high beam it sometimes does this also. It clears by it self or if I shut down and re-start. Once and a while the head lamp low beam does not light, then it is ok. The high beam works fine. Is this a ground problem and if seen before where can I find it? ~Gary J Ranno


The problem with the “tail light out” monitor is generally in the saddlebag connectors. Some have also solved it by running a ground wire from the harness just in front of the trunk (where the saddlebag wiring is) to the frame. The headlight out might be in the headlight switch or in another connection or ground. I would check the ground connector in the battery compartment as shown at Many times it is melted from a bad connection and needs to be cut out and the wires soldered together. ~ Tracy





Upstate New York

87 LXE   35,779 mi as of 7/23/05 ~ Avon Venom X tires this year ~ Honda Rotor Covers ~ Cade caliper covers ~ Front fender rail ~ SS front & back brake lines ~ Hydraulic brake and clutch switches ~ Chrome "S" reservoir covers ~ Braided clutch and brake levers ~ Recovered black & blue seat, back rests, & head rest ~ Utopia back rest ~ NOT corked (still dry) ~ Some extras to the successful bidder. ~ $4000 or BO ~ I also reserve the right to NOT accept too low an offer. 

Kenz Hemi Blue Harley Cade… asking $4000.   Contact KennG    OR (315) 781-2356.





Last updated:   Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Copyright © 2000-2013  All rights reserved