September, 2005

Jay Johnson, Editor




20th Anniversary Cavalcade Rally ďCADE RAID 2006Ē


September 11-15, 2006 ~ Golden, Colorado

Details will be posted to the email group shortly. Or, check next monthís issue of this newsletter.




I'll tell you my story.  I can give my view from the week I was there.  I'm told that at the start of the raid on the Dragon there were around 12 or more bikes...Cades, Harleys and trikes .... The pictures look awesome. When I caught up with the gang Wed. they were in Abingdon , VA.   We had an awesome lunch at an old hardware store that was turned into a restaurant. Lar and Wayne had found a nice twisty turny road from Abingdon to Blowing rock NC. A couple of Cades were being nursed that day with brake problems and tire woes...but we all made it to Blowing Rock for a lovely dinner.  We came down out of the mountain on one heck of a twisty road... under construction in the dark ... As the chaser ... it made me nervous ... but the guys did great.

   When we got up on Thurs am... Lar and I packed a picnic lunch for the gang.  We loaded up and headed back up to the Blue Ridge Parkway on a short cut Lar found. Talk about fun...part paved, part gravel.... but Oh, what a view...   We road solid twistys and beautiful sweeping turns along the Parkway all morning.  Wayne Hughes found us a great picnic spot at the top of a mountain...and we really pigged out.  We resumed the ride after lunch and around 3 we had a run in with a ditch.  Jack lost his ride on a turn...but we are so very thankful that he came out of this accident with no broken bones.  His Harley is in the hospital in Roanoke .  I always wanted to see Roanoke ...and I did .. rather fast following the Ambulance.  After Jack was released from the hospital we met up with the gang in Bedford VA.  

  Friday am we loaded Jack in the van and gathered the bikes.  We headed back to the Blue Ridge for more riding.  After a nice brunch on the Blue Ridge at a great lodge we saddled up again and headed toward the Skyline Drive .  Not far into the ride John made a pilot error on a turn and did some plastic rearranging on the Cade.  I got to hand it to him .. he was dressed perfect with helmet Jacket and jeans .. and walked away with a scrape on his elbow.  He had a wonderful outlook on the whole incident and we kept on riding ... (him driving a U-Haul with Suzy inside).  We met back in Front Royal VA that night and as usual...ate like pigs.

  Sat morning Jim Everett, Larry, Bob Moore and Bob from Nashville tore into Nashville Bob's bike and replaced the stator in the parking lot of the hotel...they did it in record time and we left at 10 Am for the awesome ride through the foothills of Virginia to the Jeffersonville Winery for a afternoon of Food and song by a gal that sounded like Nora Roberts.  It couldn't have been a nicer afternoon under tents with a breeze and great food and better company.  Bob and Mickey and John followed the bikes in my van so they could be with the group.   We rode back to the hotel that afternoon and spent our last night together getting Bob's plastic back on his bike and eating again for our last supper.  The guys stayed up late and exchanged war stories as the gals started packing for the trip home.

    Sun was my birthday so we all had breakfast at the Pancake House in town and then headed on our way home.  It was sad to part with so many old and new friends........we had an awesome time and did some of the best riding around these beautiful states we live in.  I'm sure we won't forget this trip...especially Bob Moore who had a smile on his face the whole ride...  God graced us with beautiful weather and except for things out of our was an awesome Cade raid...and yes...I did get to spend a day riding on the Cade, which made it even better.    Larry and Wayne Hughes did an awesome job finding the roads with the most twistys ... Hats off to you two .......... ~Nurse Ratchet with my view of the ride.



I was planning to do the last touches on my bike the week before the raid, but circumstances intervened (as circumstances often do) in the form of an emergency business trip.  My last three evenings turned into half an evening.  When I got back to the bike, there were switches unwired, plastic pieces lying all over my garage, dirty, oy vey.  I threw the rest of it together, finishing just after midnight the night before leaving.


After riding up from the Bay Area to Roseburg Oregon , across to Twin Falls and on toward Yellowstone , we rolled into Island Park around dusk on Monday, still unable to explain the name of this city in a landlocked state.  Rain, mixed with snow, was falling with the mixture favoring snow.  We made the same mistake that the other approximately 100% of the Cade raiders committed: we failed to realize that the town of Island Park, with its population of 215, is about 30 miles long.  After two U-turns, we finally located the resort.  We greeted old friends, had a nice dinner and swapped Cade stories. 


At the end of the evening, Tracy had not shown up and we were beginning to worry.  Several of us went up to the lobby to see if he had left a message. The lady at the front desk related stories of a FOAF (friend of a friend) who was riding at night, ran his bike under a moose on the road, resulting in his being decapitated.  Had this woman gone into medicine instead of hotel-front-deskology, one might say her bedside manner needed work.  We left little comforted.


I slept lightly with Tracy 's fate weighing upon my mind.  We wondered if he had he stopped for the night because of the weather, but then he would have called.  Just after midnight , I awoke with an approaching rumble.  Out in the parking lot there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.  A Hardly Ableson, followed by a white cavalcade, woooohoooo!  I ran out to greet the weary travelers, sleeping soundly thereafter.


Although we arrived frozen beyond words, the next day was a bit warmer.  We were then merely frozen within words.  Assuming of course that one knows a plethora of words, all of them synonymous with "brrrrr." We rode up into the park, turned north. 


I had read much about Yellowstone 's famous geysers and wildlife.  We saw plenty of both.  I noticed that everywhere we saw geysers milling around taking pictures, somewhere nearby would be a curious hole in the ground which would periodically spew hot water and steam.  Near the Old Faithful Inn, we observed wildlife in abundance.  These often are seen making the most of the last days of summer, as most colleges start their fall season in late September.  The wildlife seemed to take particular delight in the indigenous beasts which are so plentiful in this park.  With the exceptions of young Kevin the Canuck, young James Presnell and all of our young wives, the west coast Cade raiders could all be safely described as middle aged. The reason this term is appropriate is that in age we are between the old geysers and the young wildlife.


We saw an eagle, a coyote, a badger.  Out on the range, we watched the deer and the antelope play.  The deer were leading by two runs.  The buffalo were racking up roaming charges.  A wolf pack was seen wolfing down some hapless beast they had managed to slay.  An elk herd was seen elking down some hapless grass they had managed to slay.


That evening Tracy was busily fixing motorcycles, as is his custom on these occasions.  So delighted were the Cade raiders that we gathered around with an eagerness that defies description.  We encircled that demonstration like a bunch of guys watching a guy fix a motorcycle. 


The next day we turned south once inside the park.  We went to Old Faithful Inn, where Doug Van Pool purchased a moose for his wife.  Romantic cat, this man!  In twenty one years of marriage, I have never given my bride a moose.

So now I am in the moose market.  Perhaps I can find her a chocolate moose.


All but three of the bikes made a wrong turn and rode out to the wrong park entrance.  The remaining three realized we were going wrong, so they sat patiently and waited for us to discover the error of our ways.  We rejoined shortly and rode out to a falls, hiking down to a stunning overlook at the top of a grand waterfall.  Photos were taken, fond memories were made.


On the return, we allowed the group to subdivide into three subgroups. Shelly and I were with the last, which included John Harelson from Oregon riding last in line, Michael from La Mesa, Jay and Bridget on the blue-on-blue LXE and a couple others.  When we were about 5 miles from the park exit, a buffalo was roaming right down the middle of the road, going the same direction we were in the left lane.  Jay and Bridget were ahead of us and a couple of cars were ahead of them.  A car went by, the buffalo didn't care. Another car, the buffalo didn't care.  Then Jay went by and the buffalo freaked a bit, giving him the sideways eyeball.  Given the way buffalo heads are constructed, that is about the only kind of eyeball he may be able to give, but he did seem to freak out.  We were next, and the buffalo freaked a bit more.  I watched in my mirror as Michael went past, then we proceeded. 


A few miles later, at the park exit in West Yellowstone , we gathered in a parking lot.  No John Harelson!  We waited a few minutes, no John.  No one could account for him after the buffalo encounter, which concerned me, for buffalo are big bearded cows as you know, and John has that beard, and being as it is mating season, I just didn't trust him (the buffalo I mean.) 


Jay, Bridget, Shelly and I agreed to send the others on back, have dinner in West Yellowstone , then if John was not to be found we would ride back into the park to look around.  I walked across the street to the police station. They said they always listened to radio chatter from the rangers and no one was reporting a biker down or any close encounters of the animal kind. Reassured, I went back and enjoyed roast buffalo.  After dinner, I walked back over to the station, still no reports of distressed bikers or buffalo, so I called back to the hotel.  John was found there, alive and well.  Turns out he was in dire need of relief after our ride, and had turned off immediately upon first opportunity.  When we had doubled back looking for him, he assumed he was in last place, and took off in chase, ending up back at the hotel first.


That night, Tracy again donated his time and expertise fixing Cades.  This time it was a stator, among other repairs.


The next day, Thursday, was a free day.  Shelly and I rode back to Old Faithful , walking the three mile round trip on the boardwalk past a number of the geological features.  We ended up riding over 300 miles that day, with nearly perfect riding conditions.  We saw Tracy, Darla and James in West Yellowstone , so we had dinner with them.


Friday Harry Lord led a tour south to Mesa Falls where Harry Lord climbed out to the edge of the yawning abyss, to the extreme of the terrifying precipice, to rescue John Harrelson's camera.  Harry is with the Christian Riders Association.  Clearly his guardian angel had him by the collar during that stunt.  We saw an unaccustomed view of the Grand Tetons from the west side instead of the more common east side.  We had a great ride down 32 thru Driggs , Idaho and over Alpine Pass.  We stopped at the top where we noticed Harry's bike was spewing hypoid oil.  You may know that the Cade has a secondary case relief vent with a hose connected to it.  Go out and look at it.  That hose ends about six inches below your left bun, assuming you are sitting on the bike facing forward.  If the engine oil leaks into the secondary, it will get hot enough to cause the secondary to vent.  If that happens, the oil will show up at the top of the left side panel, and will likely end up on your left pants leg and the left side bag. 


We looked it over and discussed our options.  Finally Harry decided to press on.  No one ever accused this man of lacking intestinal fortitude.  The group made plans to meet at the Grand Tetons visitor's center at 1430. Shelly and I had to go to the post office to mail back the souvenirs that we had purchased, as our side bags and trunk were full.  This is where things began to go awry, which wouldn't have happened had my own wife listened to my advice, which I shall explain if one bears with me.


When you start any long bike trip, the luggage starts out full.  You already know you are going to buy a few souvenirs, so my advice is to never throw out your ratty old underwear.  Keep it and take it with you on the bike trip, then throw it away as you use it.  No need to do laundry and it makes room for the new stuff you buy on every trip.  My mother told me to always wear clean underwear when going out riding, in case I crash and get taken to the emergency room.  Clearly this is absurd advice, for one will always soil one's pants immediately before a crash anyway.  Furthermore, emergency room personnel seldom stop the time-critical operation to ridicule the victim's undergarments or inquire as to the identity of the mother that would allow such a travesty to be worn.  Larry and Nancy can confirm that they actually cut away the undergarments to avoid further injury to the patient.  One would not wish to have a perfectly good new pair ruined thus, would one?


This of course does introduce a new risk: if you stay in nicer, more upscale accommodations, the hotel cleaning staff may conclude that you left the undergarments by mistake, and mail them back to you.  I offer two solutions to this problem.  The first, the one I use, is to avoid nicer more upscale accommodations.  The second is to register under the address of your favorite senator ("Teddy, who is Spike Jones, and why is he sending you these ratty used undergarments?)  Or better yet the IRS.  It helps to have a name like Jones or Johnson if you pull that IRS gag.

Otherwise they are liable to audit your ass. 


But I digress.  Where was I?  Motorcycles! Cade Raid! Oh yes, Grand Tetons Park , mailing the souvenirs.  After the post office, Shelly and I assumed we were behind, so we went to my favorite restaurant, Taco Bell.  Some have commented that my choice in restaurants shows no class, but I beg to differ. Low is a class.  Besides, the talking Chihuahua was a delightfully politically incorrect advertising campaign.


After scarfing burritos we hurried to the visitor's center in Jackson Wyoming but no cavalcades were to be seen there.  I was in the parking lot checking dem oil levels (all of dem) when Shelly came back out with the news that we were evidently at the wrong visitor's center.  We hurried on down the road, but by the time we got to the Grand Tetons visitors center in Moose it was already twenty minutes past the time we were supposed to meet.

We concluded we were behind and hurried to the entrance gate to the park. The rangers there said there were no bikes like ours that had come thru in the past few minutes, but they had just changed shifts, so they could have come thru.  We made a U-turn and went back to the Moose visitorís center.  I asked around, but they had seen no gang of bikers.  I concluded that the others had met up before the visitorsí center, and then since they were late, had concluded that we were ahead of them, skipped the visitorsí center and had set out in pursuit of us.  So I tore off in wild pursuit of them.  We were chasing each other, but I was confident that I could catch them before they caught me.          


But I never caught them, no matter how fast I went, because they were behind me.  They went thru the entrance gate three minutes after we did.  The rangers told them that a bony guy and a woman apparently his wife, went thru twice looking for them, so they took out after me.  We arrived back at the hotel well ahead of the others.


I enjoyed Yellowstone Park with its famous geysers and wildlife, but in retrospect I really found much more interesting those strange holes in the ground which periodically spew steam and the plethora of indigenous beasts.

Our farewell dinner was a wonderful time with good food and good friends. We agreed that lives have been saved because of what Tracy has done. Unforgettable good times were had because of what Jay and Bridget have done.

A good life made of these kinds of memories. ~spike


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.





I've been wondering in the back of my mind how a person could relieve himself of extra parts, other than paying bloated eBay and Paypal fees. Parts Suppliers are a necessity to those that ride these Classic bikes and will only become MORE critical as the numbers dwindle.
  My first reaction to the post is that I don't like when someone says I have a (part) that I want to sell... who will give me the most for it. Typically, I don't even give a post of that nature the time of day and simply delete it. I prefer that a price be set. A person knows what he needs to make off of a part to break even. Set a price above that and make the offer is my philosophy. If it doesnít sell... back the price up.  If the first person to see it buys it, that's life.  Wal-Mart doesnít send out a circular for discontinued - reduced for quick sale stock. The first one to see it on the shelf buys it. That's supply and demand that dictates the price... check your local gas station for a first hand example.
  I just coming off of Cade Raid East Coast and meeting so many fine people that love their Cades and the people that ride them... it disappoints me to see the bickering among such a fine group of people.  So, I spent about 5 minutes wondering how this could be fixed without so much energy being wasted in the fussing process. 1.) The answer was simple  2.)It took 5 minutes to fix it.  3.) It didn't cost anything!  And 4.)If it's a good idea... Use it.
   So here it is: The Suzuki Cavalcade Parts Group:  Itís an open forum for the BUY- SELL- and TRADE of Cavalcade parts, parts bikes, and ready to ride bikes.  AND, it gives the T-man another outlet for his "magic" parts.

Wayne , you are a genius. I was thinking that we need something exactly like this. Everyone bookmark this site and use it whenever you want to buy or sell any parts.  My gratitude to you Wayne for stepping up and doing what needed to be done. ~Brian in IN



Well guys, this blows my beak. After years of rumors, I have learned that there really were a few Cades built after the 88 series.  A guy from Belgium , Karel De Waele, sent me a VIN that has an L where we all have G, H or J. 
Perhaps all of the 89s or 90s went
Europe ?  He sent a photo of the registration, and it clearly shows an L model. It was bought new in May 1991. Karel, that bike is a valuable oddity. ~spike



The Canadian province of Nova Scotia has a beautiful free Motorcycle Tour Guide. It is a 250 page booklet that is loaded with very useful information for the traveling motorcyclist. I was not aware until very recently that it was available. I went to their website and requested a copy. Well, it is a very well done booklet indeed. As far as I know it may be the only one of its kind in North America . I certainly don't know of any other province or state that publishes one. To get your free copy simply go to and make a request..... ~Clarence



Well, after 18 years and 120,000 miles, I must replace the seat cover on my Cavalcade.  Only the seat part needs to be replaced.  So I have some questions and need some do's and doníts.  My question is where would you suggest that I take it?  Just an auto upholstery place?  What do you think something like this is going to cost?  I will take the seat off and bring it to them.  And lastly, do you have any things to watch out for and to look for?  ~Tom (1986 LXE in Alabama )


Tom: Go to the web site. Under Parts/Vendors. B&H Specialties. Hurst , Texas .  They are a small Mom & Pop business that do a superb job. They do Cavalcade Seat covers. They made one for me a coupla of yearís back. The only thing missing is the Cavalcade embossed emblem on the seat back. But the seat is stitched Leather rather than embossed and looks terrific. If you were in Branson (2002) you would have saw mine.  Cost About $80 plus S&H. Since I live in the DFW area, I called them on Weds, went by their shop on Friday and picked up my seat cover. I recommend these people highly! Just remove the hog rings, pull the old seat cover off and put the new one back on....about a 2 hour task. I did mine out on the patio in the hot Texas sun to help it stretch. ~Bruce


Ask in the bike shops who they have do the seats. Decide beforehand what you want to cover it with, color, texture, material etc. Only go to experienced seat upholsterer. Itís not hard to do but it is easy to screw it up too. I believe you can buy an entire cover for the seat, check on the web site. ~Red


I just swapped the seat cover from my LX seat to LXE. Itís easy but you need an electric stapler. Pull out the old staples carefully and slowly separate the seat from foam glued-on, slowly peeling and separating the foam from the seat cover. Buy new adhesive from Advanced Auto Parts Store by 3m in spray can read and follow instructions. Put on slowly and stretch so there are no wrinkles. Tip over, stretch over the side evenly and staple. You must hold the stapler very tight and hit trigger. They wanted over $100 to switch both.  But I couldnít wait for 1-1/2 weeks. So now itís done. The job was not very hard to do. Just be patient and take your time. ~Frank



How big of a job is it to replace the springs? Where in the manual is this shown? ~Bucky


Bucky, I just did it. No big deal. Get the springs and gasket from your dealer or Tracy. Put the rear wheel on a two by four and the bike on the side stand. Remove the right foot peg. In my case, LXE engine guard, take out the lower mounting bolts to allow the guard to swing forward. Remove engine cover. There are four bolts on the clutch, remove one at a time and replace the spring behind them. Tighten to specs. Cleaning the gasket off of the cover and engine is the hardest part. Do it completely and carefully. Apply gasket maker to left and right sides where the two engine halves meet. Put on the gasket. Put it back together. ~Red



Well after months of cleaning connectors, tracing wires, losing eye sight trying to follow schematic, (Finally paid &1.49 to get the darn thing blown up where you can trace wires)I finally fixed my intermittent starting issue. For future reference if you are having issues with the start button and you have added the hydraulic switches, check to see if the fuel pump will prime the carbs. My pump wouldn't always prime the carbs and it seemed to be about the same time the starter would not engage. I found there was one wire that was common between the starter switch, solenoid and fuel pump relay. It was the Yellow/Green. I then checked the fuel pump relay. Checked out of range, replaced and the ol' girl has fired up as sure as ever since then. Maybe one of you bright electricians can explain it, but all I know is I can count on the ol' girl starting now. Just something to keep in mind if you ever are faced with this. ~Maury, í86 LXE 



After working on the Cade for several weekends, I finally got on the road this weekend. I have always owned smaller bikes (Honda 750 was the largest) and haven't ridden for several years. Impressions and questions: The bike seems to steer VERY heavy when going slow. I feel like I've been steer wrestling. Is this normal? ~ The throttle only turns a little less than 1/4 turn. Very short throw judging from my past experience. It'll still get going decently, but it
seems underpowered, and at 55-60 in 5th, doesn't seem to want to accelerate much on hills. Is this normal? When I had it apart, I could see nothing binding and the carbs/cable seemed to be ok. ~Dan


Dan, The heavy feel could be low air pressure in the front tire or maybe steering head to tight or binding. It does turn hard when sitting still. At below counter steer speeds with feet up should be fairly easy but takes a little muscle compared to small bikes because it wants to fall into the turns just a little and you need to hold it back some.  At counter steer speed and above it's big but not hard to turn. Personally I think the Cade has good manners for a big bike with a high center of gravity. I always have my feet on the pegs before the clutch is all the way out.   

There should be only a little more than a quarter turn of throttle. Check to make sure the butterflies are opening fully. The V-4 has over a hundred horse power and plenty of torque. It should make good power from idol to redline if it is not there is a problem somewhere. Not too much throttle response but builds power nicely. This is all just my opinion of my old bike with Avon tires, older machines seen to take on there own personality and quarks.  You may want to try some MMO in the gas. Mine runs smoother at low rpm with four ounces in five gallons of gas.   ~Mark


Heavy steering can be a number of things. I would look at the steering head bearings, front tire, tire pressure, fork brace etc. If you only have ľ throttle then something is wrong. Lots of power! ~ Tracy



I've noticed that the Cade overheats eventually, no matter. Even at highway speeds, the needle slowly creeps up to the "H". I know the sensor that turns on the fan is shot and I have one on order. I've rigged a manual switch for when it gets high and that helps in the short term. What I'm observing is that once it gets hot, even running the fan won't cool it down much. It drops to about 3/4 up the temp gauge but will never go below that. Could it need a thermostat? ~ I read in a recent post that there was a cheaper alternative for the fan heat sensor switch. I searched through old posts but could not find the answer. I have one ordered through BikeBandit, but they're back ordered. ~Dan


Dan.  You may look for something else to cause the overheating.  I just returned from a 3000 plus mile trip up and down hills and temperatures in the 90's.  Whenever I was running at speed (sometimes 75 mph for an hour) my motorcycle would be in the cool range.  I know that the gauges are notorious for inaccuracies but definitely in the lower third of the range.  When in stop and go traffic, the needle would creep up to the upper third of the range and the fan would come on lowering the temperature.  Could your radiator be blocked not allowing the coolant to circulate?  Or the water pump?  Just a couple of thoughts. ~Tom (1986 LXE in Alabama )


Sounds like your radiator is plugged up either internally or the front of it is caked with crap or the fins are all bent not letting air thru it. ~Brian in IN, 87 tt Gray LX


There are several other models of switch that are also direct screw in replacements that can be had at your local NAPA parts store (or any automotive store for that matter). NAPA 's FS198 (actually an Echlin part number), is also the same 14mm x 1.5 thread and also has spade terminals. I priced it at $14 from my local store. The on/off temps are 201 on and 186 off. There is also a FS197 that is $22 but it's on at 212 and off at 206. The NAPA/Echlin part number for the Volvo part that Kenn has referenced is FS234. ~zukicade


Forget the water pump, it's not your problem. If it's an LX it's going to run hotter than an LXE. The size of the vents in the lower fairings are about 1/3 the size of those on the LXE and that's part of the problem. I run the FS198 switch that turns on the fan quicker and mine runs cooler than it used to simply because the fan comes on at a lower temp. Check the fins, but I doubt there's anything that can be flushed out of the inside. I've worked on a lot of these bikes and the cooling systems don't get gunked up generally.


You can also run a little Water Wetter in the system and that helps to transfer heat. It doesn't work miracles but it can't hurt. Change the coolant (use a no silicate formula like the extended versions that are orange in color). Takes 3 drainings to do it right. Drain, fill with clean water, run for 15 minutes, let cool for a bit, drain, fill with clean water and run for 15 minutes, let cool for a bit and drain again. The drain water should be fairly clear by that point. If not, do it again.


Drain the overflow tanks (have to disconnect the small hose at the radiator filler). Replace the fan switch. Start by filling the system with about 1 1/2 quarts of antifreeze, put in 2 ounces of Barsleak, some Water Wetter (read the container for about 3-4 quarts capacity) and then top it off with distilled or RO water. Cap it and let it run for a bit, let it cool, top off with water again. Mix a 50/50 solution and refill the overflow tanks. Watch the level of the upper overflow tank for a few days and refill it to the mark as needed. Or, you can just fill it up past the mark and let it puke out on the ground when it gets warmed up. It will find its own level that way. ~ Tracy



Friends I am here to testify: that fuel stabilizer called Sta-Bil works exactly as it says on the bottle. I bought a second Cade in February 2004, and spent the next couple rainy months working on that, then the next several sunny months riding it.  Short version of the story: the original Cade went 17 months without being started.  I suspected it would be a while before I got back to it, so back then I added an ounce of Sta-Bil to the fuel.

Yesterday I charged the battery.  This evening she started right up with about 3 seconds of cranking.  That same bike fell out of service for about the same time span back in the early 90s (graduate school and other messed-up priorities).  It was a helllllll of a job to get her back on her feet.  This time, nooo problem at all. Sta-Bil fuel stabilizer, thatís the ticket. ~Spike


Been using that stuff for 35 years in anything that uses gasoline as fuel. It works great!  ~Mike


Spike, up here in the North, you know where it actually gets cold, Sta-bil is standard every year. Lawn mower, bikes, trimmers, etc. You are preaching to the choir. ~Red




Can someone tell me why the front brakes would build up so much pressure in the system that it locks the brakes on as I'm going down the road? Calipers have new seals, I've made sure there's all new Valvoline dot 4 synthetic fluid in the lines, the lines have been bled and for 2 weeks I had a fairly good front brake, then all of a sudden I'm riding along and the bike is going hard so I pull on the front brake lever and it doesn't move. If I crack the bleeders they release, then I might go 10 miles then have to do it again or maybe not at all for the rest of the ride. I've tried cleaning the vent hole in the mc, that doesn't seem to have helped. ~Dave, Ď86 LXE


Do you have new brake lines? Mine did the same thing until I changed them. The line to the splitter was sucking in air somehow and caused them to build up pressure. After the change there was no problem. Now I can ride it to find the other problems, if it ever stops raining in Orlando . ~Allan Gamble


Dave, Remove the master cylinder cover, you will see a breather hole that needs to be cleaned out. You can remove the splash shield from inside the cover to clean it. When plugged it builds pressure in the system. Also check the small hole in the bottom of the reservoir to see if it is plugged and not allowing fluid to return. ~Jerry Wisc






Tracy rebuilt my carburetors and Jerry in WI balanced them out.  It runs great!  I couldn't ask for a better running bike.  I also use M/M oil, but I don't get as good of gas mileage as you do.  What's your secret?


38 MPG and better is somewhat a rarity. I get 35-36 most of the time but I'm pretty hard with the right wrist. If you sneak the idle mixture screws in a little (1/4 turn) you might be able to bump it a few MPG. You can continue to do that until you start to get an off-idle stumble then back them back out until it goes away. Rider weight, elevation, riding style, mix of town/hiway, etc. all has an impact. ~ Tracy



These bikes have the worst carb problems...One more week with my bike and it's sianora, adios. No wonder they stopped making these money pits.


The only reason you have carb problems is that the seals and o-rings are almost 20 years old. Lots of Cades donít have carb problems. And, the carbs are the same as those used on millions of other bikes. They are just a CV Mikuni. How could you possibly blame carbs that aren't even made by Suzuki for the demise of the bike? Get a better mechanic that knows what he's doing. ~ Tracy



I would like information on getting more horse power out of my 88 Cade; are there any performance parts I can get for this Cade? ~Beckholm


There are no performance parts for the Cade. The only thing you can do is open up the intake and exhaust which requires re-jetting of the carbs (jets are available). Anything else (like cams exhaust etc.) you have to have made
or make them yourself. ~



I went for a little ride yesterday and the bike ran great. When I got back into town and stopped at a stop sign, the oil pressure light came on. I will probably have to pull the oil pan and check the relief valve. How big a job is that? I am guessing I will at least need the oil pan gasket. ~Mike


Low oil pressure that comes on suddenly might be the pressure relief valve, might be the sender, and might be one of the metal plugs in the crankshaft. If you get lucky, it's the relief valve (something stuck in it) that just requires a pan gasket. If you're not as lucky and it's a plug in the crank, the motor has to come out to fix it. ~ Tracy



I had minor carb problem that I was able to clear up, however, when removing the carb unit, I noticed that the throttle adjustment at the carbs was not in alignment and has caused the cable to begin to fray. The cable is discontinued so I am asking if anyone else has a solution to correct the fraying or is my only option to try and find someone who makes these cables to replace it?  My second question is, does the cruse actuator that the cables go into come apart for cable replacements, and is this a difficult operation ~ Gary


Yes. You can take the cable out of the junction box. You have to take out the battery and maybe the battery holder. When you take the cover off there will be a wound spring that is attached to the cover and it needs to be rewound the correct amount when you put it back on. Pay attention to how it's set up in there and you can put it right back. And, yes, you can have a new inner cable made to replace the frayed one. If your local shop can't do it, I have the cable ends and cable to repair it. ~ Tracy



Tracy , I'm concerned. Please fill me in on the recalls that you mention. I'm a new Cade owner (1986 LX) and I'm concerned that I may need to have something corrected/fixed that I am not aware of. There's no way the previous owner would have taken care of any recalls, my bike sat untouched since around 1988/89 (hence I have less than 5,000 miles on it). I have a huge laundry list of "Fixes" including the Cork repair. I'm not counting on having this bike on the road until 2006, so time is on my side. ~Peter '86 LX


The most serious recall was due to lack of grease in the rear wheel bearing (the needle bearing on the left side). The other one that was noted by the NTSB was with the headlight switch as Spike noted. Unfortunately, the inner race of that bearing (which is the axle spacer inside the wheel) can wear out and there is no replacement available from Suzuki. If it becomes an issue that we run out of viable used parts then I will start making them (in the same fashion as the upgraded Suzuki part being fully hardened and hard chrome plated).

We have identified also the plug (which you are already aware of) and the early driveshaft u-joint (not a particularly urgent issue since it can take 80K + miles to fail) that are things that need to be addressed or a watchful eye kept on to prevent bad things from happening at speed. The u-joint normally makes a distinct and audible clunk sound during 1st gear throttle on/off so it's fairly easy to know when it's time for a replacement. You can also peel the boot back and simply look in there and see what it's doing while moving the rear tire back and forth.

A few other things are the lack of grease in the steering head bearings (they put but a smear on them from the factory) and in the swig arm pivot. The swing arm bearings can loosen up and the rear end gets a little funky
feeling or you get instability at certain speeds. It's an easy fix to reset the preload as they are adjustable. You might as well grease them at the same time.

As long as you are aware of those things then you are in pretty good shape. The stock fork brace is a thin piece of shit (POS) that should also be replaced (I make a machined billet one that actually deserves the name
"brace"). Other than that, it's just making sure that anything that moves has lubrication. Little things like the lever pivots, rear brake pivot, and shifter pivot are also important to keep lubed and moving properly. Change the clutch fluid every year or two with DOT 4 fluid (synthetic preferred) to prevent the mysterious disappearing clutch after time at speed on a hot day. Deal with the ground connector in the battery compartment, clean the banjo fittings in the compressor (the first 2 generally get really gunked up with rust), change the fork fluid (even though it's a total PA, Pain in the Ass) and note whether there is a coating of oil in the inner tubes and an oily dirt ring on the inner tubes that is usually just out of site when standing (have to get down to see it usually). That's the sign that the forks are
ready for a refresh with new seals and probably new bushings. Pay attention to any new smells (like burning 90W, oil or antifreeze) as those will tell you where to look for problems.

Lower radiator overflow tank gets cracks and leaks usually on the left side (new ones are available), water pump lasts about 40K miles (leaks out of the right front lower of engine when the seal fails), stators last about the same (some last a LOT longer), regulators eventually fail, clutch springs are too light, rear shocks go bye-bye eventually etc. But, all of those are just parts that one expects to wear out and replacements are available.

20 year old brake lines should be replaced with stainless braided, brake pads should be checked from time to time and the discs should be measured for wear below the limit (the back one most of the time gets ignored and the
disc gets trashed by a worn out pad). Brake fluids should be changed from time to time and so should the antifreeze (low or no silicate type preferred, saves the water pump seal). Thermostats give little trouble but the fan switch does (and sometimes the noise suppressor) but, again, suitable OEM and aftermarket spares are plentiful.

There are tons of electrical connections and they should all at some time be disassembled, cleaned, tightened if loose and dosed with some dielectric grease to prevent future problems. I went on way too long and got off the subject of the recalls but maybe some of the newbies will get a benefit from my spew. ~



I just finished my fourth carb rebuild in as many weeks and thought I would share some info and ask a question.


Each set of carbs had a little different history. One set has been sitting for several years, another was off a running bike that had set for several years, the other set was one that had been disassembled by someone else and was sent to me for reassembly and the other was off a running bike that wasn't running very well. The common theme amongst these was the condition of the o-rings; shaft seals and choke plunger seals, there were all in pretty deteriorated condition. I suppose I knew that was the case with most carbs that are almost 20 years old and is why I put together the carb kit that I offer. However, I know that there are a number of you out there that will have the need for a carb rebuild but would like to do it yourself to save some $.


While rebuilding a set of Cade carbs isn't hard I've seen enough stripped screw heads and bent up throttle cable brackets and bent linkage and way off float levels and incorrect reassembly to know that some instruction might be helpful for those that want to take on the project themselves. So, the question has to do with a video of the process. How much interest would there be in a video of removing, rebuilding, reinstalling and balancing the carbs on the Cade? And, would you be willing to pay something for it? I'm not talking a lot of money, maybe $10-$15 to help cover the cost of producing it and making the DVD copies.


This is not something that I can get to right away. In fact, it will probably be months before I can even get started on it, I'm just trying to get a sense of the interest level at this point. I will continue to offer a carb rebuilding service for those that don't want to tackle the rebuild job but can get them off and back on and balanced (I can only bench balance the final balance has to be done on the bike). ~ Tracy



Hi, I'm a new Cade owner. When I first start my bike it misses and stumbles a bit until it warms up. A gold wing owner I work with suggested that a tune up might make a lot of difference. The gas mileage seems a little off but I did ride over a hundred miles yesterday without problems. Do you think new plugs might make a difference or do the carbs need to get cleaned and reset??? ~Lou


The stumbling when cold is pretty normal. The Cade is set up lean enough that it will cough and spit a little till it starts to warm up. There isn't really a tune up for the Cade. A new set of spark plugs is about all that you can do for a so-called tune up. If the mileage is pretty lousy (low 30s) then there's probably a carb issue that needs to be resolved. From what I've seen, if the carbs have never been reworked then it's time for many of them. 20 years is a long time and that takes its toll on the o-rings and seals. New plugs probably won't do much. They might make a little difference but if you have a carb problem then any improvement might be short-lived. ~ Tracy



Just so that we all know, the expansion tank is made from cross-linked polyethylene. The difference between that and straight polyethylene is that after it's molded, chemicals put into the polymer react with heat and moisture to cause the individual polyethylene chains to be linked together along their length. The purpose of this is so that the cross-linked material has a much higher heat tolerance than un-cross-linked polymer (it will retain its shape even when heated to nearly its melting point and even when it gets to its melting point it doesn't collapse unless you make it collapse).


Once the chains are cross-linked, they are essentially unavailable for welding. When you weld plastic (using whatever heat source you chose), the melted polymer opens up and the polymer chains can be mixed together (entangled) so when it cools it becomes nearly as it was before when it was first molded. However, I would suspect that about 70% of the chains have been cross-linked during the reaction process so that only leaves about 30% for "welding". And, since the cross-linked polymer doesn't "melt" (it just gets like Jell-O), you can't really get the chains to entangle properly and even if you get some of them to do that, the new welded bond is only polyethylene and not cross-linked so the heat tolerance of the repair is much less than the rest of the tank.


Hey, for $36 for a brand new whatís the beef? Why screw around trying to fix something that will never be as good as it was when new? I admit to fixing a lot of stuff with a soldering iron but that's only because it's either really pricey or I know the repair is as good as the original part. That's just not the case with the expansion tank. It's in a very hostile environment down there and a marginal repair just won't last. ~ Tracy



I keep loosing clutch fluid.  I believe it is leaking at the bottom near the clutch but I am not sure.  Has anyone had this problem and can offer advise.  It will be going into the shop next week but would appreciate any advice before it goes in. Also, I have an 86 brown and I am looking for a lower fairing panel for the left side and the black panel left side that runs behind the speaker and down to the compressor switch. ~Don


It's the slave cylinder most likely. Might as well do all of the seals down there while the secondary drive is off to fix the slave. Must also check the plug in the driven gear in the secondary. Best to replace it with my pressed in aluminum version. The stock ones have a habit of falling out and you will lose gear oil in the drive and if it gets low enough bad things happen. ~ Tracy



Tracy , Is there a way to check the auto level switch? I do not get a light on the switch, nor do I get any action from the pump when I try to hot wire it. Any tests I can do on the auto level switch, sensor, circuit? ~Scott 86 LXE Ohio


Just unplug it and check it with a meter. 2 of the pins in the connector will be for the switch and there may be 2 more for the light. If you can't get the pump to run by supplying power DIRECTLY to it (unplug the white connector with red/black wires and supply 12 volts and ground) then your compressor motor is crapped. That's unusual. I know of only a few that compressor motors that have failed. There are a number of checks that can be done on the auto level system all of which are outlined in the service manual. ~ Tracy



I went out for a ride yesterday and the old girl started backing firing on the right side. Thereís significant loss of power also. It kind of surges, power wise. Do you think this is carb related or spark related?  I believe it's the right front cylinder acting up. Took the spark plug wire off and attached an old spark plug, and while running it seems to be putting out plenty of spark. Any ideas? ~Dan


Could be a fouling plug, could be carb, might be a coil (even with spark out of the hole it might not fire under cylinder pressure), might be a sparkplug wire. Change the plug and see what happens. If it doesn't cure it then go onto the carb and/or coil and/or wire. ~ Tracy



I sent the following reply to someone off list and thought that it might be helpful for others that are considering the purchase of a Cade. All Cades had the same issues which really weren't that many. Regardless of how well the bike was maintained by the prior owner, the first thing one is to do when they get it is to just go through the bike from end to end to make sure that all things are in order.


Before you buy, check the secondary fluid (make a dipstick 2 -13/16" long out of any bit of wire). Is it up to level? Is it clean? Check the final fluid. Does everything work? Has the fairing been off for repairs and why? Has the stator and/or regulator been changed? Does it smell gassy when idling? What kind of gas mileage does it get (35ish or better is normal)? What kind of oil has been used? How does the motor sound (lots of ticking indicates a poor oil choice)? Does the clutch slip in high gear roll-ons? Is there any oily residue on the fork inners? Is there any oil residue of the inside of the fork lowers? How are the brake pads? How are the brake discs (take a caliper or micrometer with you)? Did the bike sit for extended periods? Do the forks bottom easily? Does the rear bounce up and down like a rocking horse (damping is gone)? Does it auto-level? Does the cruise work? Has the clutch safety switch been bypassed? Was the antifreeze ever changed? Were the brake and clutch fluids ever changed? Is there any audible clunk during 1st gear throttle on/off? Is there any oily residue on the underside of the motor or swing arm? Are the brakes spongy? How old are the tires? Who has been doing the service work? Do all the cylinders fire (use a water spray on the exhausts after a few minutes of warming up)? Is there any leakage from the right front lower corner of the motor (water pump is going out)? Does the fan come on (letting it sit an idle for 15 minutes should reveal that if it doesn't come on while riding in slow traffic)? Has the prior owner added any electrical accessories (sometimes they can make a real mess of things)? What parts have been replaced and when?


If you're competent mechanic and don't mind working on the bike to bring it up to snuff then a lot of these aren't big issues. However, a $3500 bike that needs a bunch of replacement things can burn a hole in a $2000 bill pretty fast; especially if you have someone else do the work. That's not just the Cade but any bike that's 20 years old is probably gonna need something unless the prior owner took care of everything.

~ 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 CadeÖ asking $4000.   Contact KennG    OR (315) 781-2356.


Overland Park , Kansas

Okay guys, Hereís the scoop.  August 16th I was diagnosed with MS and I'm cleaning out my house of all things that will not fit in to my life anymore.  Part of this clutter includes an 86 LX blue/grey with 46k miles.  There is already no way I can muscle this 850 pound bike around the road and itís only going to get worse.  Best case scenario is I sell the Cade and buy a small 400cc to run around town with.  The specs on the Cade are pretty good, everything but the cruise control works.  I just had it running and took it around the block twice.  The battery is completely dead and will not hold a charge no matter how long I let the bike run.  It needs to be jumped to start and there is some plastic damage due to misplaced brake fluid from the clutch cylinder and in the trunk.  It also looks like the last time I bled the clutch the gasket tore so that will have to be replaced as well.  Most of the buttons on the radio work and it plays fine.  I even have the winter wings that attach to the faring to divert heat from the engine over your legs.  First I'd like to ask what you think this would be worth.  I'm thinking around 2K in the condition itís in.  I bought it for 3k and the only damage I've done is the plastic.  According to the list this VIN has been corked and I've never had any problem with the secondary since I've had it.  I mostly just want to know if my 2k starting price is too high or to low.  Thanks for the help. -- Rev Peter M. Semadeni, Overland Park , KS Tel (913) 262-4014; Fax (913) 262-1240; Cell (913) 219-0563


Lacombe , Alberta , Canada

1986 Brown Suzuki Cavalcade LX ~ Features are: Electronic cruise control. Passenger controlled air cushion system in seat and backrest. Adjustable rear trunk for passenger comfort. Adjustable passenger foot rests. Intercom system for driver and passenger. CB radio for communication with other motorcycles. Passenger controls for am/fm radio, tape player and CB. Removable am/fm radio, tape player with auto volume control. One touch automatic level system. Map holder. Digital warning for kickstand, lights, battery, clock, gear position-indicator. Adjustable handlebars. Heat vents to warm legs in cold weather. Cold air vents in lower fairing. Vanity mirror and light in trunk. I can email a photo so you can see it has a lot of factory -made accessories. Phil was a mechanic and he maintained it lovingly. ~LaVerne Radmore Email:


Omaha , Nebraska

This is just to let those of you who are looking for a Cavalcade know that I am selling a 1986 for my father-in-law. He can no longer ride, 70+. The starting price is 2795.00. Any one that is interested can e-mail me. ~Al Email:


Dallas , Texas

Cade for Sale - $3,900.00  86 Blue on Blue LXE, 69K miles, Like new condition Ė no scratches, Heel & toe shifter, driver back rest, trailer hitch, etc. Always garaged. Two helmets w/ intercom included, one XL, one medium and full bike storage cover. Everything works except the CB.  Will need new front tire soon, rear tire is in good shape. Located in Carrollton ( Dallas area), TX Email Cell Phone 972-345-4584

Western North Carolina

86 Cade for sale again. Gold and brown. 50k miles. Runs very good, looks good. $3000.00. Located in western NC. E-mail: Must sell.


St. Louis , Missouri

I have a 1987 LXE for sale in St. Louis MO. It is in very good condition with 65,000 miles. It also has a drivers backrest, passenger arm rests, new rear Dunlop, new front brakes, progressive rear shocks, new radio switches, and highway boards. If interested call me at 636-673-1126 or 357-9313 or email me at Thanks


Dracut , Massachusetts

I have a Cade 87LX for sale. Grey on Grey with 63133 miles. Paint faded a little and small cracks on plastic. Runs great. Had full tune up in May 05 with 62767 miles. All fluid change. Had Tracy ís S.S. brake line install. New handle grip. New Battery Feb 04. Seat has gel pads install. Radio works but stuck on one station. Comes with manual. Tracy ís CD. Plus extra parts. Sorry but canít send pictures unless someone can tell me what Iím doing wrong. Looking for $3500. Email me at SiggyDR@AOL.Com and please put Cade in subject line as I donít open Email unless I know who itís from. Don Sigman Dracut, MA


Cade w/sidecar ~ North Carolina

Ď86 LX with sidecar back on for sale 43000 mi it has T plug Barnett springs radio rebuilt new paint on car Cade emblems on front and rear new battery and rear tire 491 last fall was asking $4500 but lowered to $4000 or would trade for? Located in N.C. can e-mail pics thx Mike Email: