December, 2005





This year's event will be held on April 14,15,16. We will be based in Cookeville , TN. There will be a web site dedicated to this event by new years. Look forward to all who want to participate. ~"BigDaddy" Rick Moore, 86'Cav LXE Email:


20th Anniversary National Cavalcade Rally

“CADE RAID 2006”


September 11-15, 2006 ~ Golden, Colorado

 Most of our Cavalcades officially turn 20 years old this year. To celebrate we are hosting a gathering of Cades and Cade owners in the Rocky Mountain resort town of Golden , Colorado . We have a full schedule of events all week. There will be workshop classes by the best Cavalcade mechanics in the world. Learn to repair, maintain and enhance your Cavalcade from these experts. We’ll feature daily rides through the majestic Rocky Mountains . We will have an Advanced Rider Training Course to improve our skills riding heavy motorcycles. We’ve scheduled evening meals and entertainment, highlighted by our Friday Night Cade Raid Dinner with our own Cavalcade Prime-Time Entertainers, including Jay, Tracy, Nancy “Motherwind” and others.


Email for a registration form to attend Cade Raid 2006. Reserve the week of September 11-15, 2006 at the Holiday Inn in Golden, Colorado . If you call for reservations, be sure to identify yourself as with the Suzuki Cavalcade Owners attending “Cade Raid 2006” to receive our special room rate of $70.



We are in the planning stage for a weekend Cade Raid next spring somewhere in British Columbia , Canada . We are considering the date of Sunday, July 7th at Osoyoos , BC . This is a resort town with many motels and good restaurants. There are scenic motorcycle roads there and it’s usually sunny, especially in July.

 If you would like to attend, please contact with your suggestions.



This is the country’s biggest motorcycle rally at Lake George , NY . We normally get about 30 Cavalcades in attendance among the 50-60 thousand motorcycles at this huge event. Cavalcade headquarter at Americade is Mrs. B’s Sub Shop in Lake George . Check in there to connect with your fellow Cavalcaders. Lodging and scheduled events fill up early, so make your plans now. For complete information go to this web site:


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 was planning to do the last touches on my bike the week before the Yellowstone Cade 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 laying 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 Harrelson 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 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 Harrelson! 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 visitor’s center. I asked around, but they had seen no gang of bikers. I concluded that the others had met up before the visitor’s center, then since they were late, had concluded that we were ahead of them, skipped the visitor’s 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 is made of these kinds of memories. ~spike



The schedule of events for our Cavalcade rally next September is coming together. Here is part what we have planned for our big 20th anniversary celebration.

Monday through Friday Daytimes ~ Daily Classes, Rides and a Safety Training Course designed for Cavalcade riders. We’ll also have special activities for spouses and passengers planned by Nancy Dilldine and Cathi Hughes for all the ladies attending. The Cavalcade Store will be open and managed by Gary and Pam Bracken where you can buy and sell items and parts for your Cavalcades. Improve and update your Cavalcade with hands-on instruction by knowledgeable Cavalcade mechanics including Tracy Presnell.

Monday Evening ~ Dessert Bar-Welcome to Colorado ! ~ We are going to have an evening get-together to allow everyone to mingle and get to know each other. I’m still working with the hotel to plan this event. I’ll have the details soon, but for now let’s just say it’s going to be informal, fun and not particularly low calorie.

Wednesday Evening ~ Dinner & A Show… We are planning a dinner at the hotel followed by an evening with an authentic western cowboy legend, Wild Bill Hickock, in person. Actually in the person of a descendant of Wild Bill who portrays his famous ancestor scout, gambler and lawman. This remarkable re-enactment will bring alive the history of the old west. Amazingly, this talented actor owns a Cavalcade!

Friday Evening ~ The Cade Raid Dinner ~ The chef at the Holiday Inn in Golden, CO is planning an outstanding meal. Plus, the usual Cade Raid performers; Jay, Tracy , Spike and Motherwind will entertain you with all new performances for 2006. Plus, we will have some new entertainment from the ranks of the Cavalcade owners. We will also present some awards and prizes. This is our traditional finale to wrap up a week of Cade Raid. It's our one last group gathering before that long ride home.

For your registration form, email Registration is $65 for bike and rider, $45 for a passenger. This includes all activities except the Wednesday and Friday dinners and the Rider’s Training Course. Your registration also includes an event tee-shirt and pin. You can reserve your guest room by calling
Holiday Inn-Denver West (303-279-7611). We have a special group rate of just $70 per night. Be sure to identify yourself as attending the Suzuki Cavalcade Group’s Cade Raid 2006. Be sure to reserve the week of September 11-15, 2006 for our Cavalcade Rally at Golden, Colorado . It’s our 20-year celebration event!


I happen to have just put a LXE backrest on my LX.  To be honest I have said many times before I am truly amazed at the engineering that goes into the Cavalcade. I couldn't just take the backrest assembly and put it on mine. I had to take my cover off and put it on the LXE. 

When I got all the foam and had the speakers accessed it blew me away at the way they were mounted (with a bracket from the back). And there is a drain hose from the bottom of each speaker housing. Since some said that theirs got filled with water I suspect that the hoses are kinked or plugged.

I have come to the conclusion that Suzuki originally planned to produce the Cavalcade for a long period of time. They wouldn't have made such an effort to design model specific parts and at such high technical level. ~Dick Carter, Bay City , Texas



My Cavalcade is getting long in the tooth, as are most of us. While I'm perfectly happy with the way it rides and handles, I continue to fret about that age thing. One day, something will break while I'm on the road.  Nothing ever breaks while it is sitting in the garage. For this reason, I've seriously considered getting another, more modern, bike. But I will never find anything as roomy or comfy, certainly not for two-up riding. So that means that the Cade and I go to the grave together.

In that case, I need a plan. Every winter I'm quite prepared to refurbish some significant portion of the bike, such that after a few years, the bike will be as reliable as I can make it and I will no longer worry about the bike crapping out catastrophically in mid ride. I might, but not the bike. 

So, what would the group recommend as the priority items for refurbishing on the 'Cades, assuming that the entire list of work will eventually make the bike as reliable as when it first rolled out of the show room? (Perhaps more so, given the knowledge in the group about failure modes of the bike.) Bear in mind that I'm after fixing the catastrophic failure modes - not the failures due to gradual deterioration such as shocks that give lots of warning and time to react. I'm also after fixing items that result in maintenance work if not addressed in a timely manner - hence a look at all the rubber bits. I don't consider the Plug as a major item. Failure due to the plug provides ample warning if we watch the secondary oil level.

Given the recent discussions, I'm considering the following refurbishment list, not necessarily in priority order yet.
1.  Front and rear wheel bearings
2.  Fork bearings
3.  U joint
4.  Carburetor rework all rubber bits.
5.  Replace all brake lines that are still original, as well as clutch line.
6.  Voltage Regulator and Stator rewind.  (I'm not sure about these as a preventative measure - You can always limp home by stealing a boost from a friend even if the regulator is fried or the stator is toast.
7. Swing arm bearings.
8. Wiring.  (Yech!)
9. All rubber booties and bits.

What would you all suggest, or change, what priority? Is this a plan we should all consider, and possibly coordinate with workshops at Cade Raids?  ~Peter in Nova Scotia



I’d like to know if anyone can steer me in the right direction on some wiring. I am currently hooking up a trailer. I am using a standard 4 prong connector. It is pretty "cut and dry" as far as simply matching up and connecting the wires. I have the trailer lights, stop lights working. The turn signals work, but when I turn the right turn signal on, the left one blinks real dim and vise/versa. The tail lights have a rear and side light {two brown wires} a wire for your turn signal and a wire for your stop light. Am I not getting a good ground or do I have to run a ground from the bike to the trailer?? I think I do recall me running a ground wire from bike to trailer, but then when I put the brake on it blew a fuse???? Yes--- I am a little confused?? ~Joe in pa. 


Joe, I'm curious how you wired this. A std. 4-flat trailer connector uses the following:
White – ground

Green - R turn/Brake
Yellow - L turn/brake
Brown - taillights

But the Cade has separate circuits for turn & brake! Is your trailer set up this way, with separate brake & turn bulbs? I'm guessing no & that's why the fuse blew. When you hit the brakes, you fed power from brake circuit to turn circuit. Hopefully the fuse's ALL that blew...

You need a module to adapt from a 5 wire system to a 4 wire. Really, it's the best way since it also protects the bike's system from overload, thus preserving that precious OK monitor! An example would be the 2nd one on this page:
But they can be had for much less than that. ~Ed


The Cade needs a 5-wire connector:  1- tail, 2- stop, 3- left turn, 4-right turn, 5-ground ~B


I believe that U-HAUL sold the adapter (5 wire to 4 wire) and there they were fairly inexpensive as they usually sell a lot of them for the foreign cars. You might want to check with them as a last resort. ~Dolphin33157


The changeover box works fine, but if you have a couple of extra lights, stick them on the back of the trailer and use a 5 wire connector instead of the box. That allows you to wire the lights on different circuits as it is done on the bike. I use this system all the time. It works great and usually cheaper than the boxes. ~Hitekrednek


Joe, When I wired my trailer Red told me to get a trailer light power module from U-Haul, product #13493. It is the one he used and it worked fine. It puts no load on the ok monitor. I used a 4 prong connecter and have had no trouble at all. ~Steve



I was searching a web site and found this link It seems like they either have your paint in stock or they can match it for you at no cost (minimum order required). I did not use them so I can not vouch for them, but thought that this information may be helpful to some of you. ~Peter
'86LX in NJ


OK, I got the reply back from Colorite. According to Uri, most of their paint is urethane. So unless it says lacquer with the part number, then it is a urethane base coat that uses a urethane clear coat. But if it says lacquer with the part number (I'm talking about the listing in the Database section of the group) for the paint you need, then you need to order the lacquer clear coat to go with it. He has also offered a 10% discount for any purchases that we make, but we have to mention that we are a member of Cavalcade USA group.  I really thanked Uri for all his time and effort, and for going the extra mile for us... It’s not often that you find a company that goes out of their way for you in today’s world, so embrace them when you do.  I hope you all will order your paint thru Colorite if they offer it, and everything in great. I glad to say that this subject should now be closed. ~Brian in IN; 87 LX (Warm Silver metallic, Light Charcoal Gray);


The thing about painting is you have to get the surface clean, free of grease and oils, and its best to rough up the area with some real fine sand paper.  Remove the rust also.  Then you need to primer coat it, several light coats are better then 1 heavy coat, less chance of getting runs in the paint this way.  Then wait for it to tack up, an hour or so, and apply the next coat, repeat with the colored paint, and also with a clear coat if applicable.  There ya have it, painting course 101. ~Brian in IN



These light and tire pressure indicators have been around for at least 2 years. Don't use them, I repeat, don't use them!!! I have tried every different kind and all have resulted in broken valve stems, stripped valve stems due to steel corrosion, or simple deflation of tires. Recently I tried a new one that guarantied me they had fixed all problems. My truck lost a steer tire at 70 mph due to the new style breaking of the valve stem, end up truck trailer and all in the median, luckily wheel down and no major damage (tire at 100 psi) ~Tim


I just replace a faulty stock clutch switch w/ a hydraulic one. I'm now able to prime the carbs before pulling in the clutch. However, it didn't take care of my lack of cruise control. I know - in 5th gear, going above 35 mph, etc. When I press the set button the cruise light on the dash lights momentarily and then goes out. It doesn't feel like it's starting to engage. Any suggestions on what to look at first? ~Mark H, Wheeling , WV


Hi Mark, Just a thought here... I was going down the interstate the other day and tried to set my cruise (which normally works just great) and could not get it to work... did much like yours. I tried everything I could think of,
pulling and letting out the clutch, making sure I was in 5th, etc. but it simply would not work.

Finally, after giving up, I realized that with my foot on the foot rests above the cornering lights, my heel was just barely depressing the brake lever. Duhhhhhhh....

With this in mind, you might want to check to be sure both brake levers are fully in the off position, i.e. no trash, rust, tight linkage, etc. which might affect the cruise. ~Hitekrednek


Thanks for all the advice! At this time I have some of the body work off and have 1) tightened the connectors 2)didn't replace the front brake switch (but should have) 3)unsure if the turn signals self canceled, but I think they did. Where is the speed sensor on the speedo head that can be defective? Maybe I was naive to think a simple clutch switch replacement would make the cruise work. I'll know when I put it back together in a few days. ~Mark H, Wheeling WV
Check the connector that goes into the control box for the cruise control. The best way is to clean the pins and bend the prongs out on the connector. It took 2 dealers 2.5 months to figure that one out back in 87. ~mike c.
Do your directional lights cancel by themselves? If not, there may be a bad diode in the harness by the right front directional light, or the speed sensor on the speedo head can be defective, along with the switches which others have mentioned. Otherwise you will have to go through all the test procedures in the manual. I believe that Tracy also has the testing unit from Suzuki to check the unit. ~Jerry Wisc
There are things that will kick the cruise control out. The first thing that comes to mind is the front brake switch. It is the same as the clutch safety switch. If it is causing your brake lights to engage, that will cut off the cruise control. It seems with it trying to engage and then cutting out, that something is signaling it to shut off, Rear brakes also. ~Tom (1986 LXE in Alabama )
Do you have the hydraulic switch on the brake? It can cause your problem by not making a good connection. ~Red


I had one like that and it turned out to be the control unit. However, please go through the diagnostic on the manual. ~ Tracy


OK, I got the test results on those three fork braces I took down to the metals lab a few weeks ago. The dye penetrant did not reveal a bunch of hidden cracks that I had thought would show up, but an X-ray showed that it is a highly porous casting. The metal guy commented that it is worse than he would expect to see on a motorcycle part, since bikes have a lot of vibration, which will cause porous castings to fail eventually.

Many of us remember the 60s, when parts would fall off of bikes routinely.  Often we would go ahead and break off the turn signals just to save time. They wouldn't last long anyways. These fork braces are a holdover from those bad old days. Only this part is safety critical. You know what needs to happen. ~spike



From what I have read in here about the Avons, it seems that they have a more rounded configuration than the Dunlops. Does this mean that on a straight road, they would have less rubber in contact with the pavement? Can some of you with both Avon and Dunlop experience answer a few questions for me please? I have read all about the performance increase on curves, but how do they compare on a wet road? How do they compare when braking? How do they compare when in a slow race on dirt or grass? All help greatly appreciated.
~ Hitekrednek


Yes they definitely have a more rounded profile. I just bought my Cade this year and it had a set of half wore out Dunlops on it. I put a new set of Avons on a couple weeks ago. It really made a difference when it comes to twisty roads and cornering. I found with the Dunlops it always seemed like you had to sort of muscle the bike over onto the shoulder of the tire when entering a curve or corner and then muscle it back up once you were through the turn. With the Avons it seems you can lean into a curve very easily and then straighten back up just as effortlessly. Both my wife and I have noticed their nice and quiet and not nearly as harsh on cracks and joints on the road surface. Go for the Avons their worth the extra $$s. ~Brent


I have run Metzlers for the last 14 years. They corner better than the Dunlops and wear longer. I haven't tried the Avons. ~Tim



Greetings fellow Cavalcade owners. I'm ordering a new headlight bulb and wonder whether the halogen in my 87' LXE is an H-4 or H-7 without takin' things apart this will be handy to know. ~Robert


Get the Silver Star headlight. Same wattage GREAT improvement in the output. ~Jim Nelson



Remove the windshield, mirrors, both sides map and coin covers, loosen all top end faring screws and bolts you can find to allow the faring to "split" apart and carefully slid your arm down to the bucket to remove the bulb. Don't forget the screws under the headlight. My 86 Cade had been torn apart so much by the original owner whom I bought it from, most of the screw tabs were either stripped or broke. On my 87 I bought from my buddy, (it only has 32,000 mile on it and wasn't ridden for 9 years b4 my buddy bought it) is almost show room perfect, down side is  everything is solid and in place and it is a task to work on her, but man the ride she gives back.

Good luck. Oh yeah, one thing I do when I have to tear her down for a fix is, look at everything, take a minute to think if there is something else you want to due in there, and if you don't work on her during the winter months, I open all electrical connectors I can get to and put some electric grease into the connectors every year. Just to help with the moisture. Just a couple cents I need to vent once in a while. I really love the Cade and have owned one for 4 years now here in Pa after not riding for almost 20 years (family you know) and other than the difficulty of getting to some minor repair item, I love the Cade to death. ~Gary S. Spieker


I just did the headlight bulb on ours recently & I thought it was a piece of cake job! Center stand it to extend the forks & make them easier to turn as needed. Remove the horn assembly only. Reach up from left side of bike with right hand. Unplug electrical terminal to HL. (Wiggle it loose) Remove rubber boot entirely. Unhook wire bulb retainer which hooks on R & swings to L. Remove bulb. Reverse procedure.

Hardest part was getting the dang boot back on properly! Now, I'm 6'2" with fair-sized hands & the right one's been busted up so it's not all that flexible. If I can do it...

One tip. Like any auto halogen bulb, do NOT touch the glass AT ALL!! One fingerprint can cut the life of a bulb in half or worse. BTW, I agree totally about local or low speed riding. It's just not a problem & she behaves quite well. In fact, I think it's downright agile! ~Ed


Federal Motor Vehicle Standards, CFR Part 571.108 S7.9.4
S7.9.4 Motorcycle headlamp modulation system.
S7.9.4.1 A headlamp on a motorcycle may be wired to modulate either the upper beam or the lower beam from its maximum intensity to a lesser intensity, provided that:
(a) The rate of modulation shall be 240 cycles per minute.
(b) The headlamp shall be operated at maximum power for 50 to 70 percent of each cycle.
(c) The lowest intensity at any test point shall be not less than 17 percent of the maximum intensity measured at the same point.
(d) The modulator switch shall be wired in the power lead of the beam filament being modulated and not in the ground side of the circuit.
(e) Means shall be provided so that both the lower beam and upper beam remain operable in the event of a modulator failure.
(f) The system shall include a sensor mounted with the axis of its sensing element perpendicular to a horizontal plane. Headlamp modulation shall cease whenever the level of light emitted by a tungsten filament light operating at 3000 deg. Kelvin is either less than 270 lux (25 foot-candles) of direct light for upward pointing sensors or less than 60 lux (5.6 foot-candles) of reflected light for downward pointing sensors. The light is measured by a silicon cell type light meter that is located at the sensor and pointing in the same direction as the sensor. A Kodak Gray Card (Kodak R-27) is placed at ground level to simulate the road surface in testing downward pointing sensors.
(g) When tested in accordance with the test profile shown in Figure 9, the voltage drop across the modulator when the lamp is on at all test conditions for 12 volt systems and 6 volt systems shall not be greater than .45 volt. The modulator shall meet all the provisions of the standard after completion of the test profile shown in Figure 9.
(h) Means shall be provided so that both the lower and upper beam functions at design voltage when the headlamp control switch is in either the lower or upper beam position when the modulator is off.
S7.9.4.2(a). Each motorcycle headlamp modulator not intended as original equipment, or its container, shall be labeled with the maximum wattage, and the minimum wattage appropriate for its use. Additionally, each such modulator shall comply with S7.9.4.1 (a) through (g) when connected to a headlamp of the maximum rated power and a headlamp of the minimum rated power, and shall provide means so that the modulated beam functions at design voltage when the modulator is off.
(b) Instructions, with a diagram, shall be provided for mounting the light sensor including location on the motorcycle, distance above the road surface, and orientation with respect to the light. ~Micky Farrington



I totally lost my clutch.  Tried to bleed it but no luck.  I can take the bleeder screw all the way out and still no fluid.  Any ideas about what to do?  I have replaced the fluid with DOT 4 in the slave up by the clutch lever on the left handlebar.  I heard what sounded like a puff of air when pumping the clutch coming from the bleed screw and a little fluid would come out but now nothing.  I am supposed to take my 11 son for a ride tomorrow for his birthday any help appreciated greatly. ~Stosch


Bleed from the banjo bolt up top and from the bleeder valve at the caliper. That should start to give you clutch. But you may also have to take the top of the reservoir off and gently pump the clutch handle till no more bubbles appear, DO NOT pump the handle hard or fast as you will start to spurt brake fluid out. It could take a bit of time to get all the air out and the clutch out. ~ dolphin33157


Stan, You could try to pressure or vacuum bleed it. I had trouble getting my front brakes to bleed and I used a Mity-Vac. That worked for me. I know it's your clutch, but this might work. ~Bill Boardman


I have the top off the reservoir and see no bubbles when pumping slowly just a stream of fluid, also when I bleed at the banjo all that seems to come out is fluid.  If I pump too hard or fast I can get it to spurt.  Any other ideas? ~Stan


Unless you have Tracy 's speed bleeder installed, have someone else hold the clutch lever in while you open and close the bleeder valve. You might have to pump a pint through to get the air out. ~Gandalf





Tracy's Bench


I took a ride to Denver in early October.  It was a chilly trip home but the ride was worth it. Gary Bracken and Laslo (don't know if the spelling is correct or if it’s his last name) took me on a really nice area preview of the riding for 2006 International Cade Raid. All I can say is WOW! This is going to be an incredible area for us to get together. The twisties are awesome and there are lots of 'em.


The area is gorgeous. You'll have to take the rides twice. Once at speed and then again slower so you can take in all the beauty.


The Holiday Inn Denver West is really suited to our group. Flat parking lot with the ability to park your bike right in front of your door, lots of stuff within walking distance, easy to get in and out of. Buffet style breakfast, a nice meeting area, nice indoor pool and cool atrium for shootin' the bull. A really nice place overall.


I think this will be the best one yet. Notwithstanding the horrible traffic conditions in and out of Denver , the area that the motel is in is out of the worst of it and just a few minutes from cool twisties and lots of scenic interests.


If you haven't decided to attend the 2006 event in Denver , I think you should seriously consider it. I think it's going to be an amazing get together. ~ Tracy



Man, learn something every day.  I wasn't aware that was an extra gas tank by the rear wheel. When I replaced my shocks this past weekend, I did notice the left shock (original shock) had been leaking also. So, it looks like you're right, about a shock leaking. Funny how things can be learned by doing and getting answers to questions from people who know.


Just to make sure we're talking about the same switch.....there is a contact switch under the left grip and clutch handle.  It appears (to me anyway) that unless contact is made there, the starter will not engage.  I've taken the cover off this before, and cleaned the contact point on the little fiber board and on the end that the clutch handle moves.  Maybe this serves some other function, but I was told by a dealer, unless this switch was activated by pulling the clutch handle in, the starter would not engage. I'm not trying to dispute what you're saying here.....I'd just like to know. It doesn't make contact sometimes when I go to start the bike. ~Ron


Well, that switch is the clutch safety (otherwise known as an interlock switch) and is not the neutral switch. The neutral switch is down on the motor behind the secondary drive. It is actually a gear position switch since it has 6 contacts on it and as the gear drum turns (to move the shifting forks) a spring loaded pin makes contact with one of the 6 to tell the system what gear it's in.


The clutch safety switch (at least in my opinion) is pretty important. The OEM version is kinda flaky so I sell the Goodridge brand of hydraulically activated switch that replaces the upper banjo bolt. They have proven to be very reliable. Only had a couple of them fail in hundreds that I have sent out. If you want to pretty much eliminate the problem with the OEM switch, put in the hydraulic version. ~ Tracy



How do you wire the meter do you wire it straight to the battery or what? ~Jeff


IMHO, the only right way to wire up any voltage monitoring device is to take the leads directly to the battery. That is the only true measure of the system voltage as just about all other wiring has some load on it which will affect the reading (generally showing lower than what the actual voltage is).

I just use a relay triggered off any on-with-ignition wire. That way you get a direct connection to the battery (through the switched terminal of the relay), and the relay is activated by just about any orange wire (and others) without imposing any significant load (relays pull a very small amount, usually well under an amp). ~ Tracy

I'm flushing my cooling system and want to know what kind of antifreeze you guys are using. ~Lou


Silicate free. I use name brand (Prestone, etc) of Dexcool compatible (orange) as it is silicate free and can be in for 50K miles or 5 years. ~ Tracy


My Cavalcade is puffing a bit of smoke out of the right side, I've deduced that it must be valve guides or rings (broke or worn) Question; do I need to remove the motor to get the heads off? ~Hui S T 87

Smoke out of the pipe can be lots of things. Valve guides and rings are not the first things I would suspect.

Is the breather hose connected correctly (to the upper nipple on the air box) so that it's not kinked? Has a lot of carb cleaner been run though the motor recently? Are the carbs needing rebuilt? Have you checked the compression? Does the oil light want to flicker at idle when hot? That could be a sign that an oil orifice was left out at the factory. Motor has to come out to get heads off. ~ Tracy

I bought an '86 LXE w/ sidecar off eBay a couple of months ago and now that the temperature has dropped I have started going into to it to fix a few things.  The previous owner, who is no longer living, put a toggle switch on the left side of the dashboard.  I couldn't figure out what it was suppose to work, so I traced the two wires from the switch to the left front of the bike, where they are coming out of the wiring harness, very close to where the cruise check terminal is located.  Problem is I'm color blind, one person says it is red w/ white stripe, one person says it is orange w/white stripe.  I have gone over the wiring diagram and there are several wires with these colors.  Can you tell me what this switch was supposed to work? ~Tim in Alabama


It's the wiring for the clutch safety switch. A LOT of guys did that because the stock switch is a POS and it fails and they just decide to do away with it. In one position the toggle switch will allow the bike to start and in the other position it will allow the cruise control to work. If you want to have the proper safety operation back, you can buy a new OEM switch for about $20 or for $17.50 I have a hydraulic version that does away with the mechanical switch all together and uses pressure in the system to operate it. Very reliable and consistent. ~ Tracy


Speaking of the clutch switch, could someone tell me how it acts when it goes bad? Occasionally I have trouble starting my 86 LX. It just doesn't do anything at all. I've had to keep trying for 10, 15 or 20 minutes, before it will finally start, but after it does it will continue to start properly for a long time. Then it will start acting up again. I'm also wondering about the fork stabilizer. I have had problems with high speed wobbles in the past, but they seemed to stop after I replaced my leaking rear shocks. I may not be riding the bike hard enough to experience the problem with the fork stabilizer, but I haven’t noticed a problem. Any info. appreciated. ~George


Hi George!  With regard to the clutch switch, I am going to assume that you have the original clutch switch.  The way it works is for a slide to make contact with two rails.  When this happens it completes the circuit and the motorcycle starts.  After some time the slide or the rails get dirty and they don't make contact as well as they should.  So you pull in the clutch lever hit the start button and nothing.  You do this a few times and then all of a sudden there is some contact, the result of pulling the clutch lever in all those times.  As time goes on the motorcycle gets harder and harder to start as the contact points get dirtier and dirtier. You can take the clutch safety switch apart and clean and adjust it.  Then it should be good for awhile.  Tracy sells a replacement hydraulic version they say is reliable and does not rely on making contact. See his website. With regard to the fork stabilizer, I assume you mean the fork brace.  There have been numerous threads on that subject and the consensus is the original fork brace could be better.  Tracy also sells replacements that are considerable more stout. Again see his website. ~Tom (1986 LXE in Alabama )


Hi George, to add to this: There are small parts in the slide switch and a spring. Be careful when you take it apart to not loose the spring. Also if you follow the wire from the switch to the other end you will find a connector on the right side next to the headlight (setting on the bike). If this has work loose it will also give you the same indication as the clutch switch. And on that subject...during the winter or any time you have to take any of the plastic off check, clean and use good electric silicone grease on all connectors. Sure will save you problems later...when you don't need them.

    On the subject of the fork stabilizer: I had the same front wobble as you are talking about. After checking the disk and brakes, repacked the wheel bearings and had the fork redone, I still had the same problem...just not as bad. I did the triple tree and it also helped but I could still feel it. It high speed (over 90) it would be slow but enough to keep me from riding side by side. I did the brace from Tracy and the problem is gone. I've had it way over 90 and it holds steady. I took the old brace in and had some test ran on it. The brace was an accident looking for a place to happen. It had more hair line cracks then the fiber in a cotton ball. Remember this bike is 20 years old, built to last but some things have to be replaced because of age. You take care of it and it will take care of you. ~Mac, ‘86 LX

Fallon , NV



Santa Fe , Texas (South of Houston )

Sorry to say but I have a 1986 cavalcade LXE for sale ,84,000 miles runs like a dream still lots of power, new tires and rear brakes  ( less than 500 miles) two tone tan /brown seat has tears, but I have a second seat I was going to recover but never did. The radio works as well as intercom, cruise has been disconnected, compressor /auto level works, CB may work but has no CB ant.$2,000 OBO  very dependable ride can ride it anywhere. ~Robert (BIG BOB) Cobb 409-739-9205, e-mail for photographs:


Fairfield , New Jersey

Just found a great opportunity on a new house and the wife is forcing me to sell my bike and spare car (police car) to "help" with the down payment. If anyone is interested in a great condition bike, in Northern NJ , please let me know.  There is NOTHING at all wrong with it - I hate to get rid of it, but the wife is the boss.... Scott D., Email:

Texas ? Florida ?

I have a 1988 Cavalcade LX, model GD, 2-tone burgundy that I have owned now for what 16 some years. Haven’t ridden it much only 3204 miles. After moving and a time in storage; I have gone thru it (totally) and basically have restored it to showroom appearance and running condition. I have 2 other smaller bikes and being 61 realize I 

still probably won't ride it much and want to sell her. She needs to be making some long fun trips and not just be sitting around... Pictures and list of options is available to serious inquiries... And I will openly discuss price which I haven't set yet. It obviously can not bring close to what it is worth...And please let me repeat it is in showroom condition: i.e.: everything is original, is there and works like new... ~


Richmond , Indiana

I am the proud owner of an 86 LXE, have had thoughts of selling my cavalcade. The bike has 26,000 miles and is in good shape. I was wondering if you knew anyone who would like to buy my motorcycle? If so send me an email  i live in, about an hour east of Indianapolis . I am the second owner and I have had the bike for about two years. ~Greg Conley


Phoenix , Arizona

I have an '86 LX for sale.  Everything works needs little.  In the Phoenix area until the 5th of Jan.  E-mail for more info and I'll call.  $2500 is what I'm looking for.  It has lots of extras too.  ~Jack


Treasure Island , Florida

Gold/bronze, 70,000 miles, rear shocks & both tires 18 months old, all plastic was painted two years ago.  I haven't ridden it now for about 18 months.  Bike has been garaged for last 3 years while I have owned it. , 727-560-1177.  $2500



1986 Brown on Gold LX, about 50000 miles on it. New battery, stator, regulator, front tire, rotors and brakes

CD changer, rear light bar on the trunk Chrome rotor and caliber covers Passenger arm rest, Driver back rest

Harley Davidson mufflers and I still have the original if you want them. I put about 1500 extra in after paying $2500, but I am looking for $3500 obo ~ "Sean Teets"


Last updated:   Wednesday, February 06, 2013

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