The Suzuki Cavalcade Newsletter

Issue #21 ~ April, 2002
Jay D. Johnson, Editor  

 Emailed to you at No Charge.

Available by snail-mail for $36.00 a year ($3 per month).

  CADE RAID ~ 2002

The International Rally for Cavalcades

      CADE RAID 2002 is set for September 16-18, 2002 at the Honeysuckle Inn Resort in Branson, Missouri . You can visit their web site at

       Plans include exhibits and displays by suppliers; classes and workshops; rides through the scenic Ozarks; evening entertainment packages; an awards dinner and other surprises. Our goal is to gather at least 100 Cavalcades in one location.

       You must identify yourself as attending the Suzuki Cavalcade Owner’s Group meeting (“CADE RAID 2002”) to get our group room rate. The Inn is giving us a rate of $55.00 per night. The room rate includes free continental breakfast, or you can opt for a full breakfast with a discount coupon instead. You can also book extra days at the same rate if you wish to arrive early or stay longer. The toll-free phone number for reservations is 1-800-942-3553. Those who wait until the last minute may have a difficult time finding lodging.


European Cade Raid 2002

June 1st to June 8th. at:


Campingsite-Café in den HOF Sleepingspot the Hayloft.
Holland near border to Germany and Belgium )



Contacts email addresses: B. J. Linbeman for Holland / Belgium

Tommy Karlsen for Norway/Sweden and Finland

David Hebblethwaite for United Kingdom and rest of Europe


Lake George , New York ~ June 3-8th

Cavalcade Riders will meet Friday, 9:00 a.m. at the "OLD" Dairy Queen. It was a batting cage last year. It's right next to the road going up Prospect Mountain . You can start signing up for Americade on line at now. We hope to see a lot of you up there. It is one of the highlights of our summer. Good company.... beautiful scenery and lake and great riding. Get your hotel or camping reservations in now... each year this is getting bigger and bigger.  For details contact Nancy at this E-mail address:



West Coast Caders will gather for a day of riding and admiring each other’s Cavalcades. Everyone should plan to arrive at Tahoe on Saturday evening July 20th. We will have a breakfast meeting from 8 to 10 o’clock on Sunday, July 21st at Mulligan’s restaurant. From 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. , we will take a scenic ride. Spies are in the Tahoe area now who are planning the ride’s route. Everyone will be provided a map just so no one gets lost. We will have a social hour from 6:00 to 7:00 and then dinner. Next morning (Monday) we will head for home.

There is NO cost for this gathering other than the normal cost of gas, lodging and meals. We have a group rate for the breakfast and dinner on Sunday at Mulligan’s restaurant. If you think you will come to the West Coast Cade Raid at South Lake Tahoe , please send me an email ( and give your name(s) and your location. If you want, I’ll see if I can match up riders so you can share the road together. This information will also help me judge how many people we will need to feed at these two meals and how many bikes we will need to plan for the ride.

Riders from Western Washington State and British Columbia will meet at 10:00 a.m. on Friday at the McDonald’s in Fife, Washington. (Take Exit #137 off I-5). Email: 


Here are the details for the Texas Cade Rade. On Sat May 4th we will meet at 7:30am and leave at 8:30am from the Chevron/Mcdonalds on Hwy 281 (1 block North of Hwy 29 in Burnet). We will be making a loop through some of the best riding roads in the Texas hill country ending up back in Burnet Saturday night. For those that are able to stay for Sunday we will make a short 3-4 hour run Sun morning. The two major hotels in Burnet are Ho Jo Inn and a Holiday Inn Express. I would like to have some idea of how many to expect so that no one gets left behind Saturday morning. This will be a great ride and of course it's open for any make of bike, even Harleys. ~ Roy in TX



Hello my name is Terry Acheson; I am a Jail Chaplain with the Michigan Sheriff Dept., called Forgotten Man Ministries. And I work with over 900 inmates in the state of Michigan. On May 25, and 26 Memorial weekend I have a motorcycle run, this run is to raise support for bibles in the jails in Michigan. I myself ride a beautiful Cavalcade. Last year we had a mile worth of motorcycles escorted up for the event. Now if there is anyone interested in helping in this event its called (Run from the Jail for Bibles). We will be leaving Muskegon, Michigan on May 25th, 7am from the sheriff’s department and go to St Ignus up north over the Mackinaw Bridge and will be staying in the Howard Johnson. If you want anymore info on this please email at: Thanks for your help ~ Chaplain



The date for the Wisconsin Cade raid will be the weekend of July 27th. I think we will meet the same as last year, with Nora Tavern being the breakfast spot. Everyone is invited, including non-Cade owners. If you want me to set up a special rate at the motel again, Please let me know. If All would prefer a different motel, also let me know. Please email me at to let me know if interested. The ride this year will go to Blue Mounds WI and north. I looked at the Mississippi run. It would be difficult to accomplish on a weekend run for those coming from a distance to get here. Not saying that we couldn't ride to the river and back. Let's have some input on this. ~ Jerry 86LX Wisc.





8:00 – 10:00 p.m. (Eastern USA Time) World-Wide Chat



7:00 – 9:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) Southeastern States

8:00 – 10:00 p.m. (Central Time) Texas & the Southwest

8:00 – 10:00 p.m. (Pacific Time) California



7:00 – 8:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) Canadian (In French)

8:00 – 10:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) Eastern Canada (In English)

8:00 – 10:00 p.m. (Pacific Time) Western Canada (In English)



7:00 – 9:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) New England and East Coast States

8:00 – 10:00 p.m. (Central Time) Mountain & Midwest States

8:00 – 10:00 p.m. (Pacific Time) Northwest States



From 18:00 to 20:00 GMT

MONDAY: English    ~   TUESDAY: Dutch/Benelux   ~   WEDNESDAY: Norwegian & Swedish

Of course, everyone is welcome to go into the chat room at any time. But the established times should encourage members from specific regions to get together and chat.




Hello all, I found your web site a couple of weeks ago and has help me at every turn preparing my new Cade ‘86 LX with all LXE extras. I traded carpentry work for the bike. Unfortunately there was more bike than work. So I paid him $1,400.00 after the work was done. I came out of the deal at about $2,100.00. She has 33,000 and very clean always covered and garaged. The only problem was that the owner of the bike was not mechanical or good on taking it in for maintenance. I have a list of "to do" items a page long. I'm slowly whittling it down one by one. I just install a new set of Avon Venom X tires and have on the way a set of 416 progressive air shocks. Thank to all for problems posted and problems solved. ~ Frank in Colorado Springs, CO '86 LX

Hi Frank, nice to see someone else in CO. I bought my ‘88LX last September. I have not climbed Pikes Peak yet, maybe this summer. I was up on Trail Ridge road above 12,000 ft last summer and the Cade didn't even burp. I also have the Venom X on the front and going to put one on the back soon. ~ Joe in Louisville Co. 88LX 9600 mi.

Joe, The Venom X's are amazing, the bike handled terrible and wanted to fall over at low speed with the old tires, now it feels as nimble as my old CB 750. Your bike must be clean at only 9600 miles. ~ Frank Co Sp.


Hi Everyone! I just bought my '86 Cavalcade LX 8 days ago. Put nearly 200 miles on her the first 2 days. My first (and only other) bike was a Honda CX500 so I was a little timid about the size of the Cavalcade. As soon as I got on her and rode her I was in love! This bike handles so easily and so smoothly it is almost dangerous! I am very pleased with this bike and hope to put many miles on her in the future. She's big, she's beautiful and she's mine! I can see why everyone here seems to love these bikes. Since I am close by, I would love to go to Branson in September so I am trying to figure out the logistics now. As soon as I can confirm it, I'll be signing up! Hope to see many of you there. I'm sure I'll have many questions later. Right now, I am just going to enjoy my big, beautiful baby! ~ Don '86 LX



Reading through the posts, how many black Cades are out there and what are the riders thoughts on them? Good/Bad; shouldn't have done it/should have done it sooner; etc. I've played with the notion for the last little bit of painting mine black but haven't fully decided yet which way to go, black or original two-tone tan/brown. Some thoughts may help push me one way or another. ~ Kevin ’86, Ontario, Canada e-mail:

I think your personal preference of (any) color is the way to go. Except for lamb sh-- yellow. I hate that color!
~ Red, ‘86LX

Kevin, My ’86 LXE is painted Pearl Blue by the owner before me. It is one of the reasons I bought it. I can find it better when there are a lot of Cades around. ~ Gerald

Gerald, where in the world are you that a lot of Cades would cause this problem? Except for Branson and a few garages where two of them hang out. This has got to be one rare bike. I've only seen one other since I got mine.
Hey, that pearl blue sounds beautiful. ~ Red


During the installation of my new PIAA extreme super white bulb, for the front headlight, I came across a "on off toggle switch" up under the front faring, right behind and below the headlight? Does anyone know what this switch is for? It didn't kill the motor or shut down the light? ~ Frank Co Sp. 86LX

That turns on/off the CB memory that remembers what channel you were last on. Most people turn it off as from what I understand it sucks up more power that most people like. ~ Brenden

Frank, That is the switch that radios Nurse Nancy and lets her know you are in need of a counseling session. Suzuki only installed in on Cavalcades with a CB radio. (It also defeats the CB channel memory in order to save the battery when parked or stored for several days.) ~ Jay



Believe it or not, there are those out there that do nothing but sit around and figure out how to screw up the world of the Internet. Hey, it's not a personal attack on all of us necessarily, but maybe somebody's got the ass at Microsoft or something. Doesn't matter, the fact is that every one WHICH INCLUDES YOU must have fully functional anti-virus software that is current with the latest signatures.

This is a responsibility of everyone that connects to the Internet and has an e-mail program. Most of the time, you won't even know you've been infected because the bug sends out infected e-mails that don't show up in the outbox or in the sent items. The bug makes sure it covers its tracks so the user in unaware that anything is going on. But, potentially, every time that infected computer connects to the Internet to download or send e-mail, the virus (or worm) is automatically sending out infected e-mail to some or all of the addresses in your address book.

Now, since the Cav group is about 550 strong, then all 550 members will potentially get the infection. I know that those of you that get the digest version probably don't receive the attachments and are a little safer, however, there are those of us that get the e-mails one by one specifically for the "good" attachments.

There are free anti-virus software programs out there but, as you've been told for years, you get what you pay for. I went and downloaded the CAI software last year (it was free) and I just went and spent $9.95 to upgrade it to a full blown version that I can keep updated for $9.95 a year from this point on. Even if I didn't get the special $9.95 price because I upgraded, the whole damn program is only $19.95 for the first year and is only $9.95/year after that.

And, after you get the software, make sure that you keep it updated with the latest signatures. If you're forgetful set it up to automatically update on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Jerks are out there writing bugs daily just to f__k up everyone else's day. Don't be caught with your pants....err....guard down. (Sorry about that, I had a Nancy moment, thinking I was going to get a shot or something from Nurse Ratchet).  ~ Tracy

Just for a little information -- I whole heartily agree with Tracy. For those interested in saving a little money go to eBay and bid on Norton 2002 -- can be bought for about 1/2 of retail (about $20) once installed updates automatically when you connect to the web. I've had better luck with it than McAfee by Network Associates. But whatever you do use something. If you have ever had to clean a badly infected system you will never want to do it again. ~ Al from Mass

Well, to throw one more in the mix. I have tried McAfee and like you had better luck with Norton, however Norton caused too many problems with my OS so I went with PCCillin from Trend and wish I had started there. They will let you download a free copy that is good for 30 days, but it is worth the $39.95 or so that they charge to register it. if you are interested... Perry

Bob, Your are right about the .exe and .bat but there are others that are problems as well. .pif, .vxb, .pps, .ppt, .vba, .vxd and others are all potential problem files. The problem is, the file may come over with a dual extension. I have seen files that come as a xxxxx.jpg.pif. It makes the recipient think he's looking at a .jpg picture file when in fact it is a .pif which could very well be an infection waiting for input from the user. The virus kings are getting good at giving the infected e-mails a tempting subject line. Rule #1, never, never, never open an attachment no matter how tempting it is to do so unless you have positively determined by e-mail or phone that it is a legitimate e-mail with a legitimate attachment. Assume that EVERY attachment is a potential virus or worm and act accordingly. If it's legitimate and you delete it, the sender can always send it to you again after you verify that it was an actual file that was sent intentionally to you for legitimate purposes. Don't forget the virus and worm writers can execute a virus on your computer WITHOUT your interaction at all. The program executes the second you just look at the e-mail without opening an attachment. That's why it is absolutely paramount that you have anti-virus software checking real-time every file that executes through you system. And, it must be kept current so either set it to check for updates automatically or do it religiously every day, hour, minute or second. Unfortunately, we are living in strange times where you must assume and expect the worst. ~ Tracy


Hi Everybody, Just wanted to drop the group a note thanking everyone for input on my brake dilemma. The buddy who converted my shifter to hand lever last year finally was able to do the brakes. He used the proportioning valve idea and ran front and rear brake lines to valve. Now front and rear operate off the hand lever together. I feel much safer than just having front brake with the weight of trike. So thanks again for everyone's input. Look forward to meeting everyone in Branson. ~ Kelly B. 87' Cadetrike



Continued from Last Month: Dan, Getting the antifreeze reservoir that's above the engine out is kinda tricky. I just did mine last month thinking it had a leak, but it was fine. I would suggest filling it with fluid, then pressurizing it with about 5-10 psi of air and visibly check for the fluid coming out first to make sure its leaking before removing it. If you have to remove it, you need to take off the right side farings, (lower, middle, and upper) remove the battery and battery holder, loosen the radiator and let the top fall forward 4-6 inches. Then disconnect the hoses from the radiator, other reservoir, and overflow, and move the spark plugs wires outta the way, and it comes out the right side with little effort. Then to refill the system with antifreeze, it's a lot easier if the left farings are off too. Now you see why I say to make sure its leaking first, huh? LOL Well I hope this isn’t clear as mud. ~ Brian in IN 87 tt Gray LX


Dan, Not saying I know it all but if necessary tackle that reserve tank from the left you’ll still need to lower the radiator. But once the compressor is removed you’ll have a gaping hole to work with. Be advised though that if you want to swap out all your water hoses (as they will all be exposed), it will not be as easy as it looks. I did mine while replacing the reservoir and think the hoses took more time than the tank! ~

I also took the reservoir tank out the left side. It's a tight fit but I was able to turn it and get it out without pulling the compressor. ~ Virgil

Tracy, My fan does not come on at all. I was going to try some troubleshooting but I saw your response to Mark. You are really good at remembering the location on the CD. Can you tell me off hand where on the CD to find the fuse and the thermostatic switch? And how do you check the switch? Ohms? ~ Joe in Central Texas

Section 5 of the service manual has all the poop on the cooling system. ~ Tracy



Folks, A few days back I asked a question about running too hot. Finally chased my problem down. Radiator cap wasn't sealing or holding pressure. Even though I'd checked coolant level a few days earlier, she'd managed to blow herself almost dry. I noticed Virgil posted about his bike blowing water away too. Same problem? The rubber in my cap had hardened. With the age of these bikes that may be a common problem. Thanks for all the suggestions. ~ Mark



While changing out the second reservoir I noticed it was marked with a low-level mark. My Cade doesn't want to keep any water in the 1st reservoir. It seems to blow it out the overflow after it gets hot enough for the thermostat to open. What's the proper water level for me to expect? If I don't need to worry about it until it hits the low mark on the 2nd reservoir. How do you monitor the low level? The low-level mark on the 2nd reservoir is about as non-accessible as it gets. ~ Virgil

This is just a reminder to the members that have drained and are renewing their cooling system. The radiator must be filled first. Ride safe. Check dem oil levels. ~ Walter n Maryland


Has anyone in the group ever tried a coolant additive called "Water Wetter" that is made by Red Line? It's supposed to help with cooling and lubrication and they say it is safe for bikes. There was some info on the GWRRA site that I got from my brother but I'd like to know if anyone has had any experience with this product in the Cade.
The only reason I am interested in it right now is that I just rebuilt the water pump and would like to add it, along with Bars Leak, when I refill the system. Any comments? ~ Mark M., Grey on Grey GT

I don't know about the water wetter, but over the years I have used about every kind of stop leak made in various and sundry autos. I have had the best luck with the plain old-fashioned graphite powder that usually comes in a little clear plastic bottle like a small test tube. Bars Leak has been disappointing every time I have used it. ~ Perry

Just a comment on making water wetter. Wetting agents are used for a multitude of purposes but their basic function is to break down the surface tension of the water so that it flows easier and more freely clings to surfaces. The most common wetting agent is soap. They use it extensively in the golf course industry to help the water penetrate the ground instead of running off (allowing more water to be applied) and it may also help the roots pick it up a little easier. If you want a stop-leak, a wetting agent would do exactly the opposite. It would actually help water to penetrate into potential leak paths. Suzuki recommends Bars-leak. It is basically walnut shells in a binding agent and may also contain some water-soluble lubricant (not petroleum based) to lubricate the water pump seal. ~ Tracy

My local Cavalcade (Rick Gervasi) expert says that he always mixes distilled water and anti freeze at 50-50 and adds about 4 oz. of water wetter. He says it is the best combo for the Cade. ~ Kevin


Continued from Last Month: I don't know what brand torque wrench you are using or how old it is, but I would question the calibration of the torque wrench if it is breaking off bolts at a low setting. If is made to handle high torque it may not be very accurate at low settings. When your dealing with very low torque’s of say 0-15 lbs. you should use a lightweight torque wrench made just for low settings. ~ Myles

Hi Myles, I would normally think the same thing, but the torque wrench is an inch pound torque wrench. It's a one-year-old Craftsman "click stop" so I know it's good. I've used it maybe ten times. I haven't looked at the book, but I'm sure Tracy was probably right. Wrong spec in the part of the book I was in. ~ Rick


Hello folks, I have pulled the carbs on my 1987 LXE because it has been sitting for a little while and will not start. I got into them okay, and there is some build-up in there. I am also working without the benefit of a manual for a few days. I have removed what I believe to be the main jet and the pilot jet (main jet is 8mm hex, pilot jet is smallest jet and has screwdriver slot). My question is "How does one remove the third jet from the carburetor body?" There does not seem to be a way for a tool to affect the jet. Or perhaps I should just clear it as best I can with a can of carb cleaner. Also, I welcome any additional advice on cleaning this thing up. ~ Alan

Alan, According to the manual, the only jets that are serviceable from inside the bowl are the main and pilot. There is, however, a plug that covers the needle jet that also screws in. Most of the time there is no need to remove the needle jet because it doesn't sit in gas like the others. Spray carb cleaners aren't as good as they used to be because of clean-air concerns. You used to be able to buy really good cleaners but they were loaded with some really bad cancer causing things that they just don't put in any more. If you want to do a soak job, make sure you have all of the rubber parts off and soak them in a brand name carb cleaner. My personal choice is Thyme brand (I think that is spelled correctly) but there are others. If you don't want to buy a 5 gallon bucket of the stuff, you can just do a carb at a time but if you do that, you should rebalance them on reinstall since you could upset the carb to carb linkage when you separate them. A good spray cleaning can get the job done if you take your time and make sure you hit all of the holes. Be careful, though, sometimes you never know where the other side of the hole is pointing and you better wear safety goggles and do it outside away from things with paint on them. Blow through all of the passages with compressed air and don't forget to clean the choke circuit as it gets missed most of the time. Make sure you check the float levels and you should probably go ahead and remove the plugs over the idle adjustment screws so you will have access to them when needed. ~ Tracy

Alan If you do remove the plugs to get to the mixture screw, be very careful. I took mine out and found out the hard way that when you remove the mixture, there is a TINY rubber washer, and a TINY brass or copper washer under it . My screws came out kinda hard due to some garf....... If you do decide to take out your mixture screws, make sure you count the # of turns, so you put them back in the same spot. Like Tracy said, you'll need to sync the carbs after all of this, but that’s easy to do. I bought a sync tool from JC Whitney for $40. Another thing I think is important to know. I was going to adjust my float level like the CD says to, but it didn’t say if the float should rest on the needle, or hold it down till the spring on the needle is depressed. You must depress the needle spring to get the right reading. I checked all mine this way and they were right on to what the CD says... I found most of my dirt was under the "coasting valve" .Its a bit tricky getting the rubber diaphragm seated back in place due to swelling, but I think its worth cleaning. The carb cleaner I used is called Hog Wash works very well. Comes in an aerosol can, I went used about 3 of them. ~ ichaboney

Thanks for the tips. I should have mentioned that I am familiar with cleaning carbs in general, but I was having some problems with the Cavalcade carb in particular. This carburetor set is basically pristine (it has been rebuilt in the last 2-3 years), but it has sat just long enough that it will not run. I am trying to disassemble it as little as possible so I can avoid syncing, etc. Anyway, the question remains. "What do I do about that third jet?" There are three long brass 'thingies' sticking down out of the body. If the pilot and main jets are the only serviceable jets, then I have definitely removed those two. So what is that third one, then? Is it a jet? Is it a red herring? It looks like there is a small hole in it, and I would like to know where it goes so I can make sure it is clear. I have the tiniest set of drill bits, but before I start trying to cut out any gum, I want to make sure I won't be removing any brass that belongs there. Let me summarize - can that thing be removed or not, and what is it for? Thanks again, ~ Alan

It's the starter jet for the enrichment circuit (fancy name for a choke). I would blow through it with carb gunk and make sure it passes air but would NOT touch it with a drill bit. ~ Tracy

Tracy, Thanks for the help SO FAR. This message was *supposed* to say, "Thanks for the help, the bike is running great," until I went a little overboard with a small piece of brass. I just had to take out all the plugs below the needle. And the last one that I put in was in an awkward position (I didn't have the carbs completely apart), and I misjudged the torque I was applying. Blast! So now instead of sending the message I had planned, I am instead respectfully and humbly inquiring if anyone in the group has a spare plug that they would not mind parting with, or suggestions on an alternative. I hate to have to buy a complete carb kit, and I do not have experience getting parts from the dealer for this bike (maybe it's available individually?). Man, this carb was basically in perfect shape except for the bit of buildup. I could have gotten away with just cleaning all the pilot jets, and been done with it, but I figured if it was already out of the bike, then I'd better be thorough. But I digress. Please help me find a brass plug! Your humble and respectful servant, ~ Alan

Alan, Well, if it is a standard sized metric thread, you could probably get a plain steel screw to replace it if you can take one from the other carbs and match it. Also, if you can befriend a parts guy, he might help you out by looking up the part for say the Madura or another Suzuki V-4 that may have used the same carbs. Heck, there's probably a whole slew of carbs that use that same screw. If you get a good parts guy, he will probably find one for you. ~ Tracy


I'm doing good to get 25 miles a gallon, highway and in town. I know I should be getting better but how? I have friends that ride wings and they get between 35-40mpg. How do I get better mpg? ~ Randy, Decatur, IL

Clean air filter...ashamed to say this but I picked up almost 5 mpg by changing mine.... get about 34 now ~ Dennis

OK, I don't feel so bad now. I usually average 36 at best. As usual, Honda has squeezed out incredible efficiency in an inherently inefficient platform - your buds getting the 40mpg might need a tune-up of sorts. ~ BobG ‘86GD (stands for gas drinker?)

Several things determine what kinda gas mileage you will get. As stated earlier, start with a new air cleaner, preferably an Amsoil foam air cleaner. Details to get one are at . Make sure your tires are inflated properly. I also gained a few MPG by using fully synthetic motor oil. An other thing is having clean carbs and intakes, which is possible by adding Marvil Mystery Oil to a couple tanks of gas every year or so, according to how much you drive and how good the gas is that you use. I've done all these things and am getting in the high 30's. Of course the one thing that you can’t buy is driving habits. I know that having all that power below you is very tempting, but just try to up-shift as soon as possible, which keeps the rpm below say, 4000. Hope this helps, it did for me when I was in your shoes a couple years ago. ~ Brian in IN, ‘87 tt Gray LX

A typical failure that may reduce gas mileage is the slide diaphragms in the carbs. As the vacuum downstream of the slides increases (additional butterfly opening), the diaphragm pulls the slide up to increase the flow area. If the diaphragms are leaking, it would be like stuffing a sock (or in one member's experience, an errant rag used at a gas stop) in the air cleaner opening. Pretty easy to check, a little expensive to replace. ~ Tracy

How do I check this? What am I looking for diaphragm or air filter? ~

The diaphragms are under the semi-square caps on the top of each carb. You will need to remove the 4 screws and CAREFULLY remove each cap to check them. If you see any signs of cracking they could be leaking vacuum. If you're really brave you can lift each diaphragm/slide assembly out to give it a good check out but beware, if you tear one of them, you won't ride until you get another one. If everything looks good put the caps back on and ride. ~ Tracy

I would replace the air cleaner but not with the factory one. It restricts the airflow, Also check the spark plugs and balance the carbs. They can be off and sucking down too much petrol. Also while you have the air filter off you might want to use carb cleaner to get off any built up deposits that would restrict slide movement. Mine is getting 42mpg. ~ Mike C. ’86, LX

42!? That's great! Mine has 75,000 miles and has never gotten over 37. ~ Bob Morse 86LX

Mine was getting 40 with a brand new air filter. After the first month than it went down to 35 where it stayed until it got too dirty that it went into the high 20's. I got rid of the factory air cleaner and started using a piece of oiled foam now it stays in the 40's. ~ Mike C. ’86 LX

I bought a new air filter for $40.80.... Now I am hearing that the factory air filter restricts airflow. Where do I get this "oiled foam" filter? ...The old air filter reminded me of a furnace filter - lots of dust. ~  Wojo, 86LX, Kent WA


I'm changing oil and filter this afternoon for the first time since I got my bike. What's the best oil filter for a Cade? ~ Dwayne 86LX

I prefer NAPA Gold filter 1516 on my'86 LX. It's slightly longer than original thus allowing for an even 4 qts. of oil. ~ Woody

IF anyone can GET a K&N filter anymore PLEASE let us know. I was told the guy who used to make them up for this group is no longer employed there...went with an AMSOIL filter. ~ KennG

I made my own filter. The foam packing that came with the modem I use to install works very well. I use K&N filter oil on the foam. ~ Mike C. ‘86 LX

I was surprised that no one is aware of the NAPA Gold oil filter #1516, which is slightly larger, allowing an even 4 qts. to be used as well as giving superior filtration. The NAPA Gold filters are actually made by WIX who the NASCAR teams use for their performance requirements. ~ Woody

I use the Amsoil SDF57; here's a link to the info on it. I'm not trying to sell you one, I just believe in the product! I run their 20W-50 Motorcycle oil also! ~ Myles ’86, XLE


I read with concerned about possible problems when being down on power. Not because my bike seems slow just that I want more power, more fuel range. I can't find the mystery oil fuel additive on the Suzuki site. Has any one tried using a K&N filter? Thanks in advance. ~ Frank M., Co Sp. ‘86 LX

Frank, Marvel Mystery Oil is available just about everywhere (including Wal-Mart). Those that have changed to the K&N have reported good satisfaction. Maybe not a lot of extra power, but certainly better breathing. ~ Tracy


What do you use to remove the needle bearings to grease them? The CD is giving me a special tool that I do not have. Surely there is a substitute way of doing it. ~ Joe in Central Texas

Probably just put the lube in there with your finger. If that ain't long enough use your...uh...well...put the lube on the end of a screwdriver and smear it in there. ~ Tracy

Has anyone changed the Cade’s needle bearing in the rear wheel? It doesn't seem to have much of a lip showing, so as to tap it out. I noticed that in the manual it shows two spacers that go between the wheel bearings, mine only had one, and it spanned the area between the bearings? Was there a change made? ~ Thanks, Frank Co Sp. 86 LX

Frank, I just had my back end all apart, I can’t tell you about the needle bearings. (maybe Tracy can) But you should have 2 spacers. One is inside the wheel, the other might me stuck in the final drive, mine was. Take a look inside there and see if it’s there. ~ Tom

Frank, There is only one spacer that fits INSIDE the wheel. There is also one on the outside of the wheel on the brake side and another inside the final drive. The spacer inside the wheel doesn't actually span the area between the bearings. It bears against the inside race of the brake side bearing and rides inside the needle bearing in the wheel. It butts up against the other spacer in the final drive. ~ I think you're okay. If you didn't have all of the spacers in there, you wouldn't be able to turn the rear wheel with everything bolted up. ~ As for replacing the needle bearing, the limited thickness of a needle bearing necessitates that small lip. If you take out the brake side bearing, it will be easier to get a drift in there. And, you might as well replace it too because it's a standard off the shelf bearing that can be had at any parts store for about $5 or less. I believe it might be the same bearing that is used in a bunch of automotive alternators. It doesn't matter whether it has seals on both sides or not. The reason they use a single-side weal from the factory is because it's cheaper. ~ After you put that new needle bearing in there, make sure you wipe a good coat of wheel bearing grease in there before you put the spacer back in. ~ Tracy

When you get the final drive disconnected from the driveshaft tube you then pull the driveshaft rearward to disengage it from the secondary gearbox splines, it will only come rearward till the U-joint comes in contact with the smaller portion of the driveshaft tube. Should you want to remove the driveshaft for inspection you will also need to remove the stator/left crankcase cover. To facilitate pulling the driveshaft out the front of the tube and don't forget to reinstall it before you reinstall the secondary gearbox. As Tracy stated it's more of a pain in the arse than hard, that's why it is suggested that all related seals and gaskets be replaced upon reassembly, and be careful with the driveshaft boot. Be careful also of the wiring that goes into the stator cover, as these are the leads from the ignition pickups, and the stator wires. I think when I did mine a while back I laid the stator cover on a plastic bucket, as I recall the disconnects/plugs were hidden up in the bike someplace, and it was a little quicker to do it that way. Just remember, you aren’t alone, plan on starting my seal/plug rear drive inspection/replacement on Wednesday this week. One more thing you might want to make a brief sketch of the outline of the covers and gearbox bolt Patterns on a piece of cardboard. Punch a hole for each bolt, as they are not the same lengths. As you remove them insert them into the corresponding hole. It makes going back together a little quicker. Ride Safe>>> Take your time do it right. ~ Walter n Maryland PS; By the time these bikes are extinct there will be 547 Cavalcade mechanics looking for a job.


Trying to remove front wheel bearings and replace with new ones. Anyone have any ideas on what to use to remove wheel bearings other than what Suzuki recommends? Is there a reasonably priced kit you can get? I'd knock them out with a punch but there isn't much room. Appreciate any suggestions. ~ Bob Richey

Well, I used a square aluminum rod and gently (very gently) worked them out from the backside. When installing I used a large socket that supported the outside of the bearing while inserting.... again gently worked in with a hammer. Easy enough, but I've been doing bearing in transmissions, wheels and pretty much everything this way. ~ Brenden

Howdy Bob...I just finished a front wheel bearing change-out. A hardwood dowel about one foot long that would pass through the axle hole...several sharp blows spaced around the perimeter of the inner bearing surface drove it out. Repeat for the opposite side. NOW, getting the new ones in required a socket that fit around the outside edge of the bearing surface and several dozen well-chosen strokes of a machinist’s hammer and one was in. Now how the heck do you hold to center the spacer that goes between the bearings? By the axle of course! But... not till my bride pointed out how obvious it was to her! Among countless other things that's what my Gal does well. P.S. NOW's the time to examine and grease (let's see how You do it) the speedo drive unit. Best of Luck. ~ Bill the (Retired) Fish Guy

The needle bearing we are talking about are just the regular wheel bearing aren't they? If so, after taking the time to take the back wheel off, replace them. They only cost me 20 bucks apiece. Mind you I had to pack the space in-between the two bearings with grease. The shop didn't, there was actually some water in there from the power washing. Oh ya, don't ever do that, it wrecks things. I can't remember who had trouble with the clutch springs, but I agree with one answer, it’s hard to believe that the difference between 6 and 9 lbs. is enough to break them off. My torque wrench sucks below 20lbs. Speaking of torque, I have stripped both bolts that hold the axle clamp on the front wheel. I am considering twisting them out and replacing them with regular bolts. They looked like they are just threaded in, and I couldn't figure how else they got them in. Anyone think I am foolish to think these might come out? I don't have many other choices, I hate to rethread these bolts, and they will just be way too weak. Do the clutch bolts bottom out on something rather than just float free? I may have a set of clutch plates available for half price, as the ones I canceled came anyway. Feel free to email me, especially if you can help me out. See ya in Branson! ~ Steve ‘87 in Canada

Steve, 1) The clutch bolts do bottom out. There is a huge difference between 6 and 9 ft/lbs. for a 6mm bolt (9 ft/lbs. is 150% of 6 ft/lbs.). 2) For the studs in the front forks, I would replace them with studs. There are two reasons for this. a) If you take the studs out and use bolts then the threads in the front forks will be used again and again as the front wheel is removed and replaced. This could cause the threads in the rather low quality aluminum to strip. That's much worse than stripping the threads on the studs, which are easily replaceable. When you put in the new ones, just use some blue Loctite and everything should be fine. b) The cap that slides onto those studs uses the shank of the studs to locate the cap straight. I realize that the axle will make the cap go straight but I believe that I like the idea of a smooth stud versus the threads of a bolt bearing on the inside of the holes of the cap. Metric studs are available at many high-end hardware stores or even from Suzuki they couldn't cost that much. Just my opinion. But, you did ask for it. ~ Tracy

Bob, I use an old screw driver to get started by sticking it through one side on the inside and lightly tapping till you can get a bigger punch and work your way around tapping lightly. Once you get one out the spacer comes out and you’re in business. Make sure you do two things on assembly check new bearings for grease and only hit the outside of bearing on install or use the correct size socket. Good luck ~ Frank in Indy

Anyone know where to get wheel bearings? I have a backorder with Bikebandit. Found a bearing distributor ESI Bearing distribution. Anyone have experience with them? They are on the Web. ~ Bob

If you have the bearings out already then it's easy. The bearing will have a number code on it like xxx xx xxx. It will be the metric size of the bearing in millimeters. I.E.: a number like 90 50 120 is a 90mm ID, 50mm thick, 120mm OD bearing. Just take them numbers to your favorite bearing seller and see if he can match you up. Of course, make sure you get at least a one side sealed bearing and maybe a two side sealed if that's what's in there. ~ Tracy


When I bought my 86 Cade LX, I checked her all out and took her out, she was stable at 90 mph and then again at 100 mph the tires were worn out to say the least. When installing my new Venom X's front and rear, I noticed a ripped left boot on the shook with oil on the boot and the final drive hub all of it was dust saturated. I figured I had a blown left shock. So I ordered 416's from progressive. I'm still waiting for them and in the mean time I changed all the fluid today and when I changed the shaft oil, it occurred to me that the oil might be seeping from one of the plugs on the shaft and would that oil climb up the ripped boot? But the reason I was looking at the shaft for the leak was that the shock seemed to still have oil in it when I took it off to clean it and it doesn't seem to show and leaking since I cleaned it up? ~ Well, here's the point; Now when I take it to 80 mph there seems to be a unstable wobble (very subtle) from the rear and 90 mph is worse. Why is she wobbling now with new tires? Did I install the rear wheel wrong? Should I pinch the swing arm clamp to the axles before I tighten the nut on the left side? Should the end of the swing-arm be flush with the axle end before I clamp it? Could the handling problem be from taking the shock off and then pushing the auto level button with one shock empty? Do both shocks have to be deflated before you pressurize them? HELP! ~ Frank. Colorado Springs, CO


1) .Why is she wobbling now, with new tires? A: Hey, it might be the tires.

2) .Did I install the rear wheel wrong? A: Maybe

3). Should I pinch the swing arm clamp to the axles before I tighten the nut on the left side? A: Yes.

4). Should the end of the swingarm be flush with the axle end before I clamp it? A: Pretty close.

5). Could the handling problem be from taking the shock off and then pushing the auto level button with one shock empty? A: Probably not

6) .Do both shocks have to be deflated before you pressurize them? A: No.

~ Tracy

I agree with Tracy, most likely it's the tires. Have you checked the alignment? Some times the rear tire is put on canted and the two tires are actually riding two parallel courses. This can cause problems too. Still I like the Dunlop 491. Never had problems with them if properly inflated. Are your tires balanced? ~

Frank, Since the Cav is a shafty, there isn't a lot that can go out of alignment. On chain bikes, it is always a good idea to verify that the little marks on the swingarm are straight from side to side by checking alignment with the front wheel. Little advice. Dunlop. Can't go wrong. ~ Tracy

When I put Avon's on it takes about 2 to 3 hundred miles to were the nubs off. Until then it will feel like you have a tire problem. How many miles do have you put on yours? ~ Tom

Tom, I've ridden about a hundred miles with the new Avons, There are no nubs. They corner great and have great low speed traits but this wobble really baffles me. Thanks for the ideas. ~ Yes they where " installed and balanced" at Apex sports in the Springs The service man say they have had bad feed back on them, in high speed handling. Why do I find this all out after I buy them? ~ Frank, CO

I was able to finish up the install of my new Progressive 416 shocks tonight. I took her out and she was stable right up to 110 mph. So then I'm about five miles away from my house and I glance down at the gas gauge it's the farthest I've ever seem it on empty! Well, I took her back down that country road slow and easy.  I guess you could say a 400 yd walk would be almost making back? Turns out it was my blown left shock all the time. The Avon's seem to be just fine and I'm all smiles! ~ Frank Colorado Springs, ‘86 LX


How does everyone else’s rear-end handle? Save all jokes ‘til the end. I installed new 416's but they haven't fixed what I hoped they would. The bike used to rise up nice and steady. Then for about two years she would come up all jerky. I figured it was the shocks. I changed the swing bearings so it can't be that. I tried it out the other day with the 416's on and it still did it. Should the shocks grab just a bit? The rear end doesn't seem to float like it once did. I thought that maybe the shock bolts were too tight and not letting them pivot. Any ideas? ~ Steve ‘87 in Canada

Shock bolts can't be too tight. They clamp down on spacers. The rubber insert in the shock eyes can get hard, though, possibly causing that problem. I dunno, maybe a little Armor All or Son-of-a-Gun on the shock eye rubbers might help? Are the shocks pumping up? If they aren't airing properly, the springs could be sagging a little (like my oversized gut) and that might do it. And, HOW my rear end handles is none of your business, thank you very much. Nor WHO handles it. ~ Tracy

I seem to be having a problem with my rear shocks. Every time I go to ride I have to fill them up. No problem getting them filled up. But the next day they need to be filled again. Any suggestions on what is causing this or on getting replacement shocks. ~ Phil

I had the same problem. Got new shocks, problem solved. I ended up bouncing around like I was on a pogo stick on the freeway, even when they were fully pumped up. The change in ride is amazing! Now I can lean into turns with more confidence that I won't scrape. ~ HeyJerr


Is there any way to check the automatic level control unit? The air compressor doesn’t work. I think I track the problem to the control unit (the compressor works directly hook up to 12 volts). And also the cruise control quit. I am in the process of check all the wiring, but I think it is the switch on the handlebars. Does this go bad easy? This is not my bike; it is a friend's. He does belong to this group. ~ Ryan

 Ryan, speaking from recent experience - try the easy fixes first. Check that the auto switch is getting power - when you push on it - it lights but the light will go out when released without adjusting the pressure. Check both the side and centerstand switches - they are designed to prevent the auto leveler from functioning when the stands are down. The switches tend to stick & not fully close even when the stands are retracted. ~ Roy - MD - 86LX


My problem is intermittent and normally appears to occur during the first part of my ride to work. It appears that it is only running on two or three cylinders. When this occurs I do not love what I ride as much as I do when it is running on all four. Does anyone have a quick or easy method to determine which cylinder is not firing. With the way this engine is covered up with plastic and etc. I am having difficulty determing which cylinder is not firing. Thanks in advance! ~ David Williams Evansville, Indiana ‘87LXE

Some have used the heat of the exhaust pipe method to find the offending cylinder. Simply touch each exhaust pipe while its running (okay, if you're a wimp you can use gloves). The cold one is the misfire. ~ Tracy

Well David, on my snowmobiles I just pull a spark plug wire, and if it looses rpm's then that cylinder is firing, if it don’t loose rpm's, then it isn't. Repeat for all 4 cylinders and you should have your answer. ~ Just curious, how long do you let it warm up before you set out? I let mine run at about 3000 RPM for about 5 minutes, that seems to alleviate the misfire feeling... Brian 87LXE in CT

Brian, I never let it warm up much more than 30 to 40 seconds as I am always late for work or in a hurry. I suspect that the plugs are marginal at best; however the front two are quite time consuming to change or look at. It seems like my Cade hates cold weather more than I do. I have been quite fortunate in that I have been able to ride to work more than 90% of the time this winter. My problem comes and goes. When it malfunctions it is really sick; however when it runs it also really runs! Normally it acts up when I am out on the road and by the time I get home it is running Ok and also idling OK. I have noticed that it also runs better when the weather is warmer. Also as soon as time permits I will be changing the plugs. ~ Can the ignition system have an intermittent problem or is it normally a work or not work system? ~ David

Dear Intermittent: Yes, ignition problems can be quite erratic. Moisture can be absorbed by a lot of the components and when they warm up they react differently. Dirt can conduct electricity when it's moist. Other things such as coils can react when heated up. Mostly when the bike runs well cold and terrible when warm, I would check coils and distributor. If the opposite, then check plug wires and plugs. ~ Also check the voltages when the bike is cold. There may be problems not associated with the ignition. ~ Grandp86

First a big thanks to all who have commented and offered information for my problem! Thinking back I did not have this problem in years past so I do not think that my short warm-up would be the main problem. I did install new plugs and it helped a whole bunch. However it did not solve the entire problem. A question for thought? All cars which use a carb have some way of adding air preheat to prevent carburetor icing. Looking at the carbs on the Cade it appears that it just takes fresh unheated air directly into the carbs. What is the opinions on could some of the running and idling problems be from carburetor icing on cold damp days? ~ As time permits, I will take a look at the igniter boxes; however looking at it last night it appears that it will be quite an undertaking just to get to the boxes (Or is there a quick and easy way?). Also how do you check the coils? ~ Many Thanks ~ David Williams, Evansville, Indiana, 87LXE

You might be able to get to the boxes by removing the front and side chrome fairing trim, the windshield and the dash cover (black plastic piece). Yes, there are other items that will have to gotten out of the way in the process
but those should be the main covers. ~ If cold/wet weather icing was a problem with bikes, then it would be a
problem with all bikes. I would leave that one for the theorists. Your problem is probably related to ignition and fuel mixture. If simply installing new spark plugs gained a lot of ground, then you may just need to confirm that you don't have an electrical issue with the ignition circuit and that your carb mixture is good. ~ Check that your choke cable is pulling the enrichment sliders fully open. It may need to be lubed or adjusted. Also put some carb cleaner in the next couple of tanks of gas in case you've got some buildup in the enrichment circuit. The holes in there are pretty small. ~ These bikes are at least 14 years old now and many have never had the idle mixture screws adjusted. You may just need to make an adjustment to bring the mixture back in line with the current state of the motor. It doesn't pull the same vacuum as it did new and could probably do with an idle mixture adjustment and might even benefit from a synch job. ~ Also, are the air and fuel filters clean? Can you hear the fuel pump run?
Is it pumping up and then stopping, as it's suppose to? Have you checked the condition of the carb to head manifolds and the o-rings that seal them? Have you checked the float level? Have you checked the condition of the carb
diaphragms? These are all issues that can lead to poor running. ~ You can check the coils by taking off one plug wire at a time, sticking a screwdriver into the end of the wire and, while grasping the shank of the screwdriver tightly, turn on the ignition switch and hit the starter button. If it shocks the living shit out of you, that one's working. Repeat 3 more times. ~ No, NOT REALLY! Actually, you can check the condition of the coils with an
ohmmeter. There should be some small resistance through the connectors and the readings should all be relatively close. ~ As a wise man once said - When confronted with many possible explanations, the correct one is likely the simplest one. (or something like that) ~ Tracy

Thanks again to all that responded and offered solutions to my three cylinder (or perhaps two cylinder) intermittent operation problem. At this time it appears to be OK as it is running real good with lots and lots of power! New Plugs helped about 80% Gasoline carb additive treatment about 30% (It took about 200 to 250 miles before it returned to normal.) Yes, I know it is now 110%. ~ David Williams, Evansville, Indiana ’87 LXE

I had may front faring apart and was cleaning electrical connections. Put it all back together and lost a lot of power. Thought my air cleaner was clogged and replaced it. Still had no power! Road it about a week and finally remembered some telling you to feel the exhaust pipes to tell what cylinder was not firing. Make a long story even longer I found a connector from the igniter disconnected. What a difference when 4 cylinders are working instead of 2. Even running on 2jugs it was pretty smooth. Also I am getting faster at removing and reinstalling the front faring. ~ Mud from MO. ‘86 GT


Hi all, I have a friend who has a Cade that is firing on one cylinder. He is checking the coils for resistance on the primary/secondary windings, I have also told him to check the resistance of the generator windings and the connector contacts. Can anyone think of anything else that should be checked? ~ Dave, SCCUK

Check the igniter boxes. There has been an issue with moisture inside them due to the cases separating at the seam. Also check the connections from the firing sensors (inside with the stator) to the igniter boxes. ~ If the seams on the igniter boxes have opened up then a high moisture day could cause rough running. Also, just washing the bike could also cause a similar problem. The ignition connections could also be in need of some attention. ~ There was a post awhile back where the guy took the boxes apart, dried the mount inside and reassembled with silicone sealer and a few wraps of tape around the seams. ~ Tracy


Intermittent smoke from the tail pipes sometimes indicates your oil is too full and you're sucking oil up into the carbs. Had that happen on an old virago once. Now I check that sight glass careful when I'm changing oil. Kick stand down... on level surface ...halfway up the sight glass and not a drop more. ~ Ted 87LXE



The Number 4 carb (back right) has been popping (backfiring through the carb) for some time now. Before now it was doing it when the bike was cold until it warmed up, and I thought that that was normal, but now it is doing it really regularly, all the time. That cylinder is not missing, just backfiring back through the carb. So, I asked the Cavalcade chat group back in March, and some said it could be the o-rings, others the float, some said timing. So I called the Suzuki dealer and they said that it may be the carbs, but were not sure. So I took them off and took them to the Suzuki dealer, and they took them apart, re-synched them and gave them back to me; I put them back on, cranked it up and it still does it. While it was running I sprayed carburetor cleaner around the boots when it was popping and it stopped the popping. So, I bought the o-rings that go inside the boots and I pulled the carbs off again and noticed that the #4 intake boot was full of gasoline and the others were empty. Is the float sticking? If you have any ideas, I'd appreciate some insight. ~ Josh

Probably, Or you have a bad needle/seat. Could also be the slide diaphragm. The diaphragms don't like backfires. By the way, you can't synch the carbs unless they are on the bike and the bike is running. Probably need to check the needle/seat with a little on the bench leak-down test. Be careful, gas is flammable. You might use alcohol instead. ~ Tracy


Spike, Do you mean the plug that falls out in the secondary? I have dealer invoices that showed it was fixed after it had fallen out, service man found it. Is there any thing else I should know about the early '86's? ~ Frank

AHA! That's exactly what I was looking for. Damn thats bad news though. I was hoping they had worked out that problem by June 85. I do need you to get that manufacture date for me now. Does that dealer invoice show when the repair was made? What was the wording on the repair documentation? ~ Spike

Frank, You have one of the early birds, but you might still be OK on the bevel plug problem. Yours is on the cusp between May and June of 85. I think they discovered the problem and fixed it about that time frame. Go out and check that tag where you found your VIN and see if your bike was made in May or June. ~ Spike

What's all this about being OK about the plug problem after a certain date? I have a 1987 LXE and the plug fell out at 24,000. That was before I found this great group so I only replaced it and didn't epoxy it in. If I remember correctly the dealer said it would cost me $400 or $500. I think I spent like $48 and did it myself. So don't be fooled that it couldn't happen to you. ~

OK, so I’m a bit discouraged with this news. I had hoped that Clair replaced his bevel plug as a precaution, but now I learn that his actually fell out and so the later bikes may have plug problems. In any case, I have reformatted the VIN list slightly in a way that I hope will make it more useful to people who do not have Microsoft Excel. It might also make it easier to fill out your list of mechanical woes and increase the value of the VIN list as a tool for anticipating trouble. ~ As of this evening I have 140 bikes on the VIN list. I will be sending out the April edition in a few days. In the mean time, if you want a copy,  send me at least your VIN and your email @. I'll add your number and include you on the subscription. In accordance with the original agreement for the VIN list: if ya wannit, ya gotta be on it. {8-] ~ Spike

So far, those nine who have reported bevel plug failures have been at 30k, 24k, 74k, 49k, 40k, 16k, 22k, 25k and 24k. I'll send you an updated VIN list in a few days. I'm still getting people sending in numbers and repair records. ~ Spike

As some of you may know, I bought 2 parts bikes last winter. As the weather was getting warm enough, I was taking off the good stuff and making room in the garage. One bike had no secondary drive, but many parts were off the engine, so I really thought nothing of it, until I removed the back wheel. A flat spot to the cords! The other bike took 2 or 3 people to move even though I had removed the brake calipers. Took the cover off the secondary and there was no plug. Some "stuff" in the bottom. One bike had 38,000 miles the other had no speedometer. Guess my point is that both bikes met their early demise over a $10.00 part. I hope that only the bikes checked out early. I can't imagine a rear wheel lockup at speed, but I know what road rash is like in the hot summer months. So please don't put off taking care of the plug if you haven't already Thanks (I feel better now) ~ Jim.

Okay folks, as if this hasn't been discussed enough, I have a little insight into the secondary drive issue now that I have removed one from my parts bike. When I bought the bike, I didn't know exactly why it had been taken out of service. I knew that the faring had been smashed up, but I didn't know why. Until now! When I took the secondary off, the infamous plug had fallen into the bottom allowing the majority of the gear lube to leak out into the driveshaft tube. When I unbolted the final drive, the gear oil poured out and the entire underside of the driveshaft tube was covered in a greasy film. The most alarming part however, is yet to come. ~ The box was full of metal chips. Not just a little, but a handful. After taking out the drive gear, I could see that the inner bearing was definitely FUBAR. The bearing is in little bits and there is nothing left of the roller cage but two rings. Also, when I took the bearing race out I noticed that it had SPUN in the housing. No easy feat. This thing had so much metal in it that there was no possibility that it wasn't going to, or did, lock up. ~ The bike was made in 3/85 (add that to the list for the parts bike, Spike) so it could have been during the months of terror at the factory when they couldn't decide which way the plug was suppose to go in. Regardless, if you have a chance to have yours apart, do anything you can to stake, glue or otherwise affix the plug so that only the Incredible Hulk with a 5 lb. sledge can get it out. ~ Tracy

One thing to remember. If you put Tracy's fix to the infamous plug in your bike my secondary failure was because when the dealer put the assembly back into the bike, he messed up the seal between it and the motor. What this did was to allow a vacuum from the engine to suck out the oil from the secondary gear. So you still need to check the secondary from time to time. ~ Mike C. ’86 LX

I haven't followed this subject thoroughly but the solution given on my secondary tranny when the seal went out (at about 20,000 and I have 80,000) was my gifted mechanic, friend, used a freeze plug in place of the seal. ~ Doug Jensen

I have an ‘87, February I believe. Do we have any reason to think that the problem was caught and rectified? I have had to reluctantly conclude that the problem was not isolated to the pre-June ‘85s. 11 of the 14 known plug failures were in the March through May ‘85 timeframe and two others were later ‘86 models, but we have one ‘87 with a plug failure. Any other suggestions? ~ Steve ‘87 in ON

The 87s seem to be a sweet spot for reliability overall. If I were to offer any advice I would probably say just run your hand along the bottom of the shaft boot after every long ride and if it comes out clean go ahead and ride it the way it is. If you had an ‘86, especially an early one, my advice would be bite the old bullet and start taking her apart. I know a lotta guys here don’t want to hear that, but you asked. ~ Spike

What was the final way in which the secondary plug is to be installed? Bottom of bottle cap toward the driveshaft? ~ Clair in PA, Cade, 1987

NO! Bottle cap top facing forward, away from the shaft. ~ Spike

Clair, the plug end with the circles on it (top of the bottle cap) should face the bevel gear, not the splines. I've already done mine. ~ Red


I made a prototype this evening and installed it (pictures below, yeah, I know it's steel but I didn't have any aluminum the right size and the o-ring's missing because I didn't have one the right size on hand) and have the following to report. ~ The actual part will not have two grooves as shown in the picture, only one for the o-ring. My thought was to groove the plug so that one could stake it in with a sharp center punch after installation. That was a pipe dream as when I tried it the gear is so hard that it just dulls a punch (I should have known that). So, there is no need for the extra groove. ~ It took 12 to 15 generous whacks with a ball peen to get it in. It is set up on a .002" press which, for a 1" diameter, is about as much as a person wants to try and do without a good size press. To remove it took as many if not more whacks since I was using a drift punch from the backside. As a comparison, I installed the stock plug with a couple of light taps (and, yes, I put it in the right way, thank you for pointing the service manual out, Red). To remove the stock plug took only the weight of the drift punch held by hand to knock it right back out. Obviously, it is a plug that is 16 years old and has been lying in the bottom of the box in gear oil. I realize that. However, there are two problems with a rubber-coated plug that make it unacceptable for this application. ~ Firstly, rubber is prone to what's generally referred to as compression set. Simply stated, when you compress rubber and leave it compressed for a long period it will "set" to the new compressed thickness and will never return to its original thickness. This is very, very bad in this situation since it is the rubber that is relied on to hold the plug in. Yes, it is coated onto steel, but the steel doesn't provide any "push back" or spring action to compensate for the inevitable compression set. ~ Some rubber compounds are engineered to resist compression set. However, it can never be eliminated. It is like creep in plastics. It's going to happen, it's just a matter of time and degree as to how long it will take and how much. Have you ever seen a 100 year old glass pane? If you get a chance to look at one you will notice that the glass has become wavy and is thicker at the bottom. This is creep or compression set. The weight of the glass upon itself has caused it to "cold flow" over the years. Leave it long enough and it will become a lump on the floor just due to its own weight (and gravity of course). And you thought glass was a solid. Nope, just a really viscous liquid. Rubber's no different and the process takes but a small fraction of the time when compression is applied. ~ Secondly, the process of compression set is accelerated with the application of heat. Most rubbers are pretty heat tolerant but, again, it is simply a matter of time before compression set will nearly eliminate any force that the rubber was exerting against the gear to hold the plug in place. That gearbox generates heat. It's a fact of any gear design since there is a lot of shearing going on in there. If the lubes not up to the task, it's worse. ~ Thirdly, one comment about the fit of the driveshaft splines into the output gear becomes very important. When the driveshaft is inserted into the driven gear with the splines lubed according to the manual, the air that becomes compressed in that space could be enough to push the plug out. For example, since there is a pretty heavy spring at the other end of the driveshaft that keeps the slack to the front end, even if you didn't push the plug out on initial installation, the force of the spring might do it over time. Hey, that may be a stretch but I have removed pilot bearings from crankshafts by packing the bearing full of grease and pounding an old tranny input shaft into it. The hydraulic pressure is enough to force the bearing out of its bore.

Frankly, a metal soft plug (like they use in the water jackets of car motors) would be better than the rubber plug. At least you could use some Permatex or Loctite on it. ~ So, I am going to make the plugs available. I don't have a cost yet because I need to get some material. This will take me a few days but I can assure you it won't be very expensive. ~ I'm pondering the liability issue and will probably consult with a lawyer from my old company. However, isn't there more liability in knowing that there is a solution to the problem that can be implemented to reduce the odds of a rear wheel lockup due to the loss of lube in the secondary by an enormous amount but not do it? To hear the same horror stories over and over and know that people that you consider friends (even though you haven't met ANY of them face to face) might be faced with a situation that could cause them extreme harm and possibly death is un-nerving. When I took that box off and saw an obvious "accident waiting to happen" (even though in this case I think it already had) I knew that I was going to do something for my bike and I want to share it so that nobody else gets hurt. Sorry for the long post. I'll get back in a few days with a cost. ~ Tracy

While there may have been some cases of the plug jamming the gears, I personally believe that is the secondary issue (no pun intended). The primary issue as told by members and from what I recently witnessed is the loss of hypoid lube out the driven gear and through the splines and into the driveshaft tube with some spilling out the weep hole in the swingarm and the rest culminating in the tube just ahead of the final drive. (For some reason I was thought this might end in "...and to grandmother's house we go.") ~ When enough of the lube goes bye-bye out the ass-end, the bearings in the box are prone to failure due to lack of lubrication, excessive heat buildup. And when they start to come undone, all hell breaks loose and the bits of metal that are removed from the bearings at high speed become thousands of little "bearing lockers" floating around in the remaining hypoid seeking their target.

How long a box will run after losing it's lube is dependant on a number of factors including the level of loading. (The bike, 2 Sumo passengers, everything and the kitchen sink in the bags and a loaded trailer will load the box more heavily and therefore create more heat.) The type of hypoid that WAS in the box (synthetics offer a greater level of protection longer) and of course the amount of lube that is present in the box. ~ It is true that even the hole in the gear won't let all of the lube run out. However, when the gears are churning in there, lube is slinging everywhere and some of the slinging is going to throw more lube out the gaping hole in the driven gear. And, there is a big-ass spring that is rotating crosswise in the box. That spring will literally slinging the lube directly out the hole left by the failed plug. Admittedly it's going to do it slowly, but it's gonna continue until there's nothing left (well, there's always going to be some left in the box even though it won't do much good). ~ See. And you thought the answer to your question was going to be simple. ~ Tracy

We’ve had one ‘87 with a plug failure and no ‘88s, compared to 13 ‘86s. If there were no evidence of a leak I would be tempted to leave it alone and ride my brains out. ~ Spike


After reading Walter's comments about replacing the bevel plug and pondering a couple of things he said, I now will be able to make the plug so that it can be installed WITHOUT splitting the secondary case and WITHOUT removing the drive or driven gear assemblies within the secondary. With that, there is no possibility that the gear mesh can change and it will shave at least an hour off the process and will make it much easier for those that are less mechanically talented than others. ~ This change will make the replacement of the plug no more involved than if it were a stock plug. It still requires that the secondary be removed from the bike but instead of splitting the cases and taking out the driven gear assembly and installing it with a hammer or press, I will include a bolt and nut and thrust washer and the plug will be threaded. You will simply pull it in from the driveshaft end of the driven gear assembly. When done you simply remove the bolt and throw it away or into your bolt bin. See, when you folks talk...err...write, I really do listen.... ~ Thanks, Walter. ~ Tracy

Okay, the plug is done. The attached pictures show the plug and the included installation tool (yeah, some tool, a full-threaded bolt a nut and a washer). It will install with the secondary box completely assembled. You will have to remove the box from the bike (duh), but there will be no disassembly of the box required. I have photos I can email you. Pictures 1 and 2 are of the plug. Notice the threads in the back for the tool to screw into. Picture 3 is of the full-threaded bolt nut and washer that are included with the plug. Picture 4 is of the plug inserted into the gear by hand (or fingers). Picture 5 is of the installation bolt put into the driveshaft end of the driven gear and threaded into the back of the plug. Picture 6 is showing 2 - 3/4" end wrenches, one holding the bolt and the other tightening the nut down which pulls the plug into place. Picture 7 shows the plug pulled completely into the gear. There is a big shoulder on the plug so you'll know when it's all the way in.  ~ After you get the box off, the plug installs in less than 10 minutes. It is made so that even if it would try and come out (highly unlikely considering how tight the press fit is). It will simply ride against the cam dog spring and cannot move out any further. The o-ring groove is located so that even if it moved out and touched the cam dog spring, the o-ring will still be fully inside the bore so no leaks can occur. ~ As a bonus, you get to keep the bolt nut and washer. Toss it in your bolt bin and use it to fix something else. ~ If you decide to purchase the plug, I strongly suggest that you replace the box to motor seal (#09283-48012) and the output seal (#09283-29004). The total cost for these is about $26 from a dealer. You should also replace the box to motor gasket (#24936-24A01) that should be less than $3. You will also need a little gasket goop for the threads of a couple of the bolts that hold the box to the motor. ~ The cost of the plug with the installation tool is $17. That price includes shipping. I wish it could be less but I don't have a CNC lathe (yet). If I find that I can make them for less, I will adjust the price accordingly. As always, I will knock off $1 if you order more than one item at the same time (any combination of plug(s), MC caps, CD(s) or whatever).

The plug is on my secure order page that you can purchase using a credit card or you can also mail me a check or money order to the address below or you can call me with a credit card and we can do it over the phone. I will start to ship them about May 1st. To order online go to and follow the CD-ROM link at the top left corner of that page. ~ I want to thank everyone for their support, comments and suggestions. I trust that I have listened well and that the plug will offer a little piece of mind and make riding our bikes more enjoyable. Thanks, ~

Tracy Presnell

1980 Palomino Trail

McPherson, KS 67460




During the cold months I found that the rear wheel was extremely hard to rotate, even in neutral. The bike was very hard to push until it warmed up a couple of miles. This never happens when it is warm outside. Is this normal or could this be a symptom of the plug problem. Where things have oil where it is not supposed to be and the cold weather thickens the oil making it hard for things to move. ~ Neal ’86, LX in NJ

That is probably due to the fluid getting thick. It wouldn't hurt to change to a synthetic that should lessen the thickening and provide better overall lubrication. If nothing else, check the levels in both the secondary and the final and bring them up-to-snuff if needed. ~ Tracy


I have an '87LXE manufactured in NOV of '86 VIN # JS1VX1A7H2100222. I only had on 24,000 miles. Last year I was driving along (before I knew about this group) and stopped at an intersection when I said to my wife that I smelled oil, she agreed. At the next intersection I smelled it again, I better pull over and check things out. Luckily the oil that came out the secondary and into the boot had leaked out and a few drops had fallen on to the exhaust crossover, hence the oil smell. We drove the bike home and ordered seals and gaskets from Suzuki. (They never said anything about a plug.) If recall correctly they said if they did the work it would probably be 400 or 500 dollars. I took it apart myself, I was just about to put the secondary back on when I turned it upside down, to my surprise this rubber coated plug fell out! It had fallen to the bottom and the oil made it stick there. What is this? The plug had caught the gears just once, as there were 4 teeth marks along the out edge (you know like the edge of a piecrust after you finger-press it together). So I'm off to the Suzuki dealer to get a new plug. Pressed it in using a pry bar and socket. Don't recall which way it went in but I believe it was bottle cap bottom to the driveshaft. Had I known about this group and the problem, I would have glued it in. The moral to this story is "Don't assume you are not on the hit list." It's better to be safe than sorry. ~ Clair in PA, Cade1987



I need a new rear tire. My dealer wants $150 + $50 for installation. I can buy a tire online for $100. If I bring down my tire and rim he'll put it on for $25, saving me $75. My question is how hard is it to remove the rear tire? Thanks, ~ Phil ’86, LX

Phil, If you still have your instruction manual its all detailed right there. There's nothing technical about it. I can remove mine in about 30 minutes now vs. about the 1 1/2 it took years ago when I first did it. ~ Doug Jensen

Phil, There are two ways to go to remove the rear tire. First and easiest is if you have a lift providing enough height you can just undo the muffler bracket pull the axle and drop it straight down and out. The second as described in the manual (or CD) is to pull the bags, back plate and cross member off and take it out the back. I use the second method and find it isn't hard, just time consuming. Personal opinion...not $75.00 dollars worth of time consuming. The service manual provides good step-by-step procedure for it. ~ Dennis

The rear tire is easily removed. I have changed my rear tire several times. Just follow directions in manual. Most of it is common sense. Put the bike on the center stand. You will need to remove both saddle bags, the back bumper and license plate holder piece, loosen the right muffler clamp so the muffler can be slightly dropped down to remove the axle. The rear brake caliper will also need to be removed. After taking the axle out by sliding it out the right side, the rear wheel should be free to be removed. Some tires seem to be a tight fit to work past the drive shaft hub. Some times I let the air out to make it easier to remove. I think I have hit the high points as it is from memory and my memory is not what it used to be. ~ I even change my tire. I use a large C-clamp to break the tire loosefrom the rim. They also sell Variour tire rim breakers that also work just fine. After it is broken free from the rim, I just lube with soapy water and pry off with tire irons. ~ I have also started balancing all of my motorcycle tires using a free spin and letting gravity tell me when it is balance by putting weights on the top after tire stops turning. (I also feel that this method is getting me as smooth or maybe a smoother ride than when I took the tire in to a shop. I know I spend more time than they do! This also applies to tires that were spin balanced.) ~ David Williams, Evansville, Indiana, ’87, LXE

It has also been suggested that you can gain the rear clearance by pulling the front tire and lowering front to the ground with the bike on the center stand. The only problem I found was getting everything passed the brake
assembly. I removed the saddlebag and swung the brake out of the way. ~ KennG

Phil, I am about to have a new Dunlop 491 Elite II put on. I am sold on this tire - the one I have on now has 32,000 miles on it - still has good looking tread, but rubber seems to have become harden. Wobbly ride in the rain! It's definitely not a comfortable feeling. Dunlop dealer has quoted $155 for the tire and $60 for installation and greasing the bearing. For the same treatment Dunlop wanted $224 ($214 for tire and installation $10 for greasing) at Americade last year. The local Dunlop dealer is; by the way, Rick's Motorcycles the Stator rebuilder. I will mention that several of the members have received less service life for the stator's than they expected. Don't expect much but may stick in their minds that the Cavalcade community is still alive and talking to each other. For many years I bragged about how great the service was at Cyclerama in Plaistow, NH where I bought mine, but now they will not even work on them - TOO OLD! ~ Al from Mass


The rear brake pedal, when applied to braking (brake lights go on) can be released; yet it does not release entirely to original position, however, brake lights go out. ~

Your brake pedal has a spring on it to make it return. Check the spring, but more than likely you will need to take the pedal off the pivot point and clean it and lube it. Then all should be well. If not, then a new spring is in order. ~ Brian in IN, ‘87 tt Gray LX

I also found that I had once put the pedal back on such that it was dragging on the right side cover and was acting exactly as you said. I had to shift its position on the spline and it worked fine. A simple fix for my case. ~ Bob Schindler, ‘86 LX, Jupiter, FL

You might want to also check the lever inside the frame as it is close the exhaust "box". I found mine binding on it and had to make a slight adjustment to clear it. ~ Terry ’86 LX

Last May I couldn't get the brake lights to come on without fully depressing the front brake handle. I cleaned the brake switch and adjusted it by moving the switchboard so the brake lights came on sooner. Recently, I cleaned the clutch switch. (The same type of switch as for the front brake light) When I tried to start the bike, no go. Checked the clutch switch and sure enough, when I put it back together, I forgot to adjust it, move the switch board toward the handle grip, before tightening the screws. No problem since. ~ JD


What weight Fork oil is every one using on your Cades? ~ FrankM Co Sp. 86LX

 Dexron tranny fluid. works! ~ Tracy

I think I used 15w.... ~ Brenden

Tracy, Are you suggesting Dextron "2 or 3"?..... because it's better or for a cheap replacement? ~ Frank

Whatever the latest version is. Because it's about the right weight, it doesn't thicken terribly at cold temps, it has anti-foamers because it runs in the tranny, and, yes, it's cheap. ~ Tracy


I just noticed a little oil under and on the left fork. It must be time to rebuild them. Has anyone done this recently? Are the parts still available? The manual talks about a special tool to use to remove and install the damper rod securing bolt. Any ideas what this is? ~ Red

Red, The only parts that are generally replaced are the seals. The seals can be had at any bike parts store (they may have to order them) and probably won't cost more than $10 for a pair. There are some bushings in there but they normally don't wear enough to warrant replacement. ~ The special tool is nothing more than a rod or tube with nut welded on the end that fits into the top of the damper rod. I can measure the nut size on mine or maybe someone else in the group has that information already. ~ Tracy

Red, When doing the forks, check the small plug on the bottom. Mine was leaking from there, as the brass washer wasn't doing its thing anymore. The bike shop just heated it up which helps to "reform" it and now it no leak. ~ Steve ’87, LX in ON

Red, I just finished overhauling my forks. Bought a 3 foot threaded rod and had a 15/16 nut welded on the end and one in the middle. This was used to remove the bottom bolt. Believe I ordered my parts from Bikebandit. Replaced fork springs also with progressive. Replaced bushings, seal and dust seal. Haven't installed on bike yet since I've been waiting for my new wheel bearings to come which were backordered 3 weeks ago. ~ Bob Richey


As it is time to do some of my "winter" projects, I need to order seals and the plug for the bevel drive. I'm sure that someone just posted the numbers, but after spending a lot of time trying to find them with the search engine (never found anything with it yet!) and checking the site I would like to verify the numbers. My CD does not show all of the numbers clear enough to be sure. Maybe someone that knows how could post them where they are easy to find? ~ Jim

These are all the seals needed for the secondary and final drive units. I hope this helps. 09289-70001 09283-47001 (47002) 09283-48012 09283-29004 (29005) 61372-05a01 driveshaft boot 09159-16003 nut 09283-30026 oil seal. ~ Brian

A few other parts you might want to consider: The infamous plug is 09241-25004 ~ There is also an o-ring in the secondary 09280-78001 ~ There is another o-ring in the secondary 09280-70005 ~ There are 2 more o-rings in the secondary 09280-10010-qty 2 ~ There is a gasket in the fill and drain plugs 09168-14004-qty 2 ~ There is a gasket on the level plug 09168-06023 ~ There is a LH side needle bearing in the final that may have been the source of some lockups 09263-39004 ~ There is a seal behind that needle bearing 09283-30028 ~ There is an o-ring on the pinion support 09280-67004 ~ There are gaskets on the fill and drain plugs 09168-14004-qty 2 ~ There is a RH needle bearing in the rear wheel that may have been the source of some lockups 09263-30020 ~ There is a seal behind that needle bearing 09283-30023 ~ Tracy


Hi, I think I have a question that has not been talked about before. The sight glasses on my brake and clutch reservoirs are clouded and weather checked. Is there any fix for this? Thanks in advance for your help. ~ John Tate, ’86, LX

Put a piece of black tape over them. It won't help but it keeps them from looking so bad. I used clear fingernail polish on the outside but they are still cracked. It does make them shine for a little while, though. ~ Tracy


Oh please someone help! I got it all back together after 5 months and it runs so sweetly. The engine has never sounded better. I put in a new drive shaft as the old one was giving me the "clunk" we have all talked about. Now I get ticking from the universal area. This only happens under load. I can spin it like a top without load and get no noise. Even the amount of load you get from applying the rear brake when it’s on the center stand can get me the noise. Was I supposed to get a new swing arm with the beefier shaft? ~ Steve ‘87 in trouble in Ontario

Steve, check the adjuster that is on the left side of the bike for the swing arm. You may have the swing arm to far to the right and what happens is the drive shaft will move when it is torqued and hit the bearing seat that is on the left side of the swing arm. We found that the swing arm does not sit in the center, as most would expect but rather to the left for this reason. ~ Terry ’86, LX

Steve, I just replaced mine last month. I got the same noise. But after driving a few miles it stopped. I believe the shaft hadn’t seated itself. ~ Larry

Thanks to all! I found the problem with the noise in the shaft. It was the bearing on the left side in too deep. I'm much happier now. See y'all in Branson. ~ Steve


I was wondering if anyone has tried fabricating a belly pan to fit Cavalcades. I ride with a group that is primarily Wings and when added to them, improve handling on windy days in the mountains as well as improving their gas mileage. My Cavalcade is my sole means of transportation, rain or shine, and I've put 60k miles on her in the three years I've owned the bike. ~ Woody



After installing my new 416's, I can't get her to pump up right. I found bad O rings and replaced them. I have found no other leaks. Does anyone who has the 416’s find the air lines rather small? Are there any other parts to the compressor that give out and drop her performance? I had it all apart and cleaned her up real good. Any other suggestions? ~ Steve ‘87 in ON

Steve, I don’t know if you did this yet, but my Cade was VERRYY slow pumping up the stock shocks. So I started checking into it, I took every line off up by the compressor and found that both ends of one line was pretty much plugged up with corrosion. If you go to the archives to message 21753, I included a picture of these 2 fittings that were plugged. Take them off and clean em up and re-lube em and I was good as new. ~ Brian in IN ‘87 tt Gray LX



I guess that there are some Cade owners who would like to add front driving lights to their Cade. Well, this trick is just, rearranging the lights you already have. (LXE Models or LX Cades w/cornering lamp option)

To start off, make sure the ignition key is off and removed and remove the positive battery cable and store as not to attach it self. ~ Disconnect the factory power plug to the lamps and store it safely for future use is needed, remove the bezels (three screws) with the lamps installed and swap the lamps (install the right lamp on left bezel and left lamp on the right bezel. They will fit perfect, no modifications needed) Then reinstall the bezels in the bike on their proper sides. Next run a switched hot wire getting the power from the head lights, high beam. If you need to aim the lights, slot the mounting holes for the lamp. This will look better than making a mounting bar or adapting a fog light to the bike. Also the cornering lamp is not a high voltage light draining your power.

The cornering lamp bulb is constructed so that they can be installed on the wrong side (non-goof proof) making them perfect for achieving factory-driving lights. I did it and it works great. The switch (optional) is for positive off when you do not need or want them, as the power wire is attached to the high beam using the low beam shuts off the lights in any event. The wiring you choose is limited by your imagination. You can make them work as intended or like I told you about.

The lamp it self is built off center to the lens so it can shine toward the side of the road. If they are installed opposite side, the light will shine forward. (Almost straight ahead. just a little low but livable) They are not so intense that you could get a ticket but they add valuable white light and visibility at night to the front of the bike and they do light up the ground in front of the front wheel. I was surprised how much light they add. You might say this is almost a factory option. Really! Good Luck, ~ Bob Stueber



While I'm waiting on the new r/r to come. I thought this to be a good time to use hindsight and install a voltmeter. I found a nice, small digital LCD meter at the MeterCenter - That installed very nicely where the CB channel display normally goes, upper left instrument panel. Part # DA/DMS-20LCD-0 for $30. I'm also looking for a CB if anyone has a spare one. ~ Virgil

I used the same meter and placed it on the right side next to the radio display. I wired it into the CB wire connector from the fuse holder in the battery compartment. This allows the meter to only show when the system was on. I had also epoxied the circuit board so that the weather would not be a problem. I am very pleased with the meter. When I replaced the R/R, the first test ride indicated a problem on the meter, low voltage. The R/R was faulty and I returned it for a replacement. ~ Don Dorion '86 LX

Since I read of all the trouble with the R/R and the stator I checked all connections on my bike and found that the Yellow wires that come from the stator to the R/R have connectors on them for easy installation. One of these wires was burnt from a bad solder joint from the factory that I can see. I also noticed that there is a Noise filter connection here also. The filter is mounted on the right side of the headlight. I have since cut off all of the connectors and soldered all the respective joints. The other interesting fact that I noticed was that there was oil in the connectors and could only see this possibly coming from the leaking seals on my forks from last years riding. So if you have your headlight out you can check the connectors as this may be some of the reoccurring problems but you will have to remove the dash to get at the connectors to solder them up. ~ Terry ‘86LX

Does the LCD display light up enough at night to be visible? What did you use to seal up the meter? I think it is important to know if the system is charging and not to be stranded in the middle of nowhere with a dead battery. Especially since you can't pull in to any old service center to find a battery to fit the Cade. Thanks for the information. ~ netzero

I found that with low light the LCD worked well. I have not really had the opportunity to drive long distance in jet-black conditions yet. If the moon is just right, the LCD works great. I used epoxy glue from my hardware store, mixed up a batch and covered the entire back circuit board; I also glued the meter to the bezel piece I ordered with it. I marked the fairing with the template off the web site then used a utility knife with a fresh blade to first score the plastic of the faring. Then I had cut deeper to cut the square out. In my case I was 400 miles away from home in Mississippi. My brother-in-law was riding with me at the time when my battery went out. Luckily, his CBX has the same battery. We swapped and were on our way until I hit Sam's club; Wal-Mart would work too, for a new battery. Found out it was the R/R. ~ Don Dorion ‘86 LX



I just got a replacement battery (gel-type, no sensor hole) and I cannot remember the value of the resistor used to 'fool' the sensor in thinking that it was in the battery -- anyone remember? ~ Thanks, Brian, ’87 LXE in CT

Brian, I think I used a 33k 1/2-watt resistor for a bypass to make the monitor work. It was awhile ago and only for a temp situation but worked... ~ Dennis

The higher the better. You need at least several meg-ohms to keep from draining the battery through the resistors. Experiment with them by clipping several together creating a homemade voltage divider. The sensor goes in the third cell if I recall correctly, so ideally you want at least 12 meg-ohms between the sensor and the positive terminal and at least 8 meg-ohms to the negative. Try various resistances and see what works. ~ To be honest, I don’t think this is a great idea. I thought it was when I first tried it, but I later took it apart and drilled a hole in the battery to accept the sensor. ~ Spike

Spike: You have the same sealed-type battery? Sounds like that is the way to go. But I am worried about drilling into something 'important'... I spent a lot of money this winter to get my OK monitor working, and don't want to blow it up yet... ~ Brian, ’87 LXE in CT

Yah, I recommend not blowing up that monitor. As for drilling into the battery, what I did was to take the cap out of the third cell and very carefully drilled out a little at a time (this took about 10 minutes) while blowing out the plastic crumbs with a nozzle on the compressor. I suppose a straw would work too. I figured a few plastic bits falling into the battery wouldn’t kill it, those being non-conductive, but I didn’t want more than a little. ~ It worked OK, but I wouldn’t really recommend it unless you feel comfortable with tools, and of course ya gotta be careful as all get out when you get close to cutting through. You don’t want to get the drill bit in the battery acid, otherwise it will ruin the bit and likely wont do the battery any good. Ideally you would drill the hole before you put the acid in there, but I had already had the battery in service with my hokey Wheatstone bridge that I used to fool the sensor. ~ I did all this in a fit of cheap. I have a lot of these. {8-] I later popped for a battery with a sensor hole. It’s held up quite well since I added a battery isolator switch that I mounted under the right fairing compartment. I also added a cable coming out from the positive terminal so I can easily disconnect the battery from the bike with the isolator switch and connect the battery to a trickle charger that is plugged into the garage door opener light. This battery has about 4 years on it now. ~ Spike

Spike, like you I advise installing a switch for the clock and a plug in for the battery, I have set up a solar panel charger and a trick charger with an inline plugs, so as to unplug the alligator clips and plug the chargers into the bike battery line. The only item I haven't tracked down is the line for the clock to run it through a switch. ~ FrankM Co Sp 86LX

My Cade was draining 6 milli-amps with the key off, which will flatten a good battery to where it cant crank the beast after only about 4 to 5 weeks. I bought at battery switch from Kragens, mounted it in the right fairing compartment on that nearly vertical surface in there. Of course, when you turn off that switch the clock resets
to 0100. So I bought a cheapie electronic watch and stuck some Velcro on it and another patch of Velcro to the other side of the fairing. So I just turn on the switch and reset the clock whenever I start out. But for the past 2 yrs, the Cade hasn’t set for more than 2 wks. without running, so it was all an exercise in fertility. Of course, I like exercises in fertility, but that’s a whole nuther story. ~ Spike

You want the computer to read 6 volts at the sensor, so use two equal resistors of at least 100,000 ohms to make it read the 6 volts. ~ Don


I got tired of buying   $75.00 batteries and went out and bought a small car battery and mounted it in one of the saddle bags, extended the wires back to it .I drilled a hole in top of battery for the water level sensor. Now have a lot more cranking power and you can crank for a long time if need be, also great if you are powering a lot of accessories. ~ Rolland Meismer, Burlington, Iowa U.S.A.



I've read a lot of emails about the Cade not starting. Well I'm sorry to say that I've now joined that group. I would start the bike once a week, just to let it run. Battery a year old, stator replaced two years ago. Now when I try to start it, all I get is a single click from the right side of the dash behind the speaker-that little round thing that comes from the battery cables then ties into a web of wires. The bike doesn't even try to turn over. Help!    ~ John Wyman, ‘86 Grey/Grey GT, Lake Worth, FL

Bad connection at the battery, the frame or the starter solenoid. Or, if you're having a bad day, the battery went tits up. ~ Tracy

Check your clutch switch. It may be dirty or in need of replacing. I occasionally have the same problem and can wiggle the clutch handle enough to get it to start, for now, until I take it out and clean it off. You can check this by seeing if the headlight actually goes off while you try to start up. ~ HeyJerr

Thanks, I checked the battery, meter in line on other side of fuse box, battery checks good, connections clean, so it looks like the start solenoid. Now, where can I get one? Any info would be appreciated. ~ John

Got mine at local Briggs and Stratton lawn mower shop had to jury rig the mount only able to get one bolt in but works O.K., I think it cost around twelve dollars. ~ John Taylor

Hey John, Well your tip worked. After further investigation, crossed the solenoid, and I'll be damned if she didn't turn over. So thanks to Briggs and Stratton, she's running again. Now if I could just get a 28-inch mowing deck under her, I could ride and cut the grass at the same time. Thanks Again, ~ John, ’86, GT, Lake Worth, FL


Once again trying to fix something on this great old bike. The auto level has never worked correctly. When I started looking into problem one thing I looked at was some of the relays. Found on that seem to be bad. Went to the local store to purchase one. Talk to counter people for quite some time, but could not even find in their computer. (Changing relay located between radiator over flow res. and radio box.) It may also need the level sensor located by the back wheel. Can anyone help with part number of relay? May be interested in purchasing used parts on both of these if anyone has available. Any help welcomed. ~ Phenry67

After looking over the manual and parts book, it appears that the "changing relay" is apparently the "relay assembly seat) as shown on page 36 of the parts book (#45470-24A00). I say this because the wiring diagram doesn't show a "seat relay".  ~ Tracy

Hi group thanks again to Tracy after taking most of the middle of my Cade apart. I found the breather hose you told me about. It seems who ever worked on this bike before did not put it back together properly so the hose was bent, therefor the crankcase did not breathe. To others: this hose is located at the underside of the air filter. You may what to check this when you change your air filter. You will have to take out the radio case, but it not that hard. The hose can be replaced with automotive PVC hose. It won't bend as easy. ~ Randy ‘88LXE, Whitby, Ontario


While I'm waiting on the r/r to get here let me run this by you guys. As you may remember "it" (Cade) wasn't charging the battery. I had "it" running on the center stand while I was attempting to troubleshoot the charging system. I had already found the power source's 10-amp fuse blown. Thinking that it had something to do with the stator output I replaced it. I now know it's a stand-alone fuse for use with whatever external accessory one would care to use it for. In my case it was being used to power a set of front mounted running lights. The lights had been working and sometime prior to this particular day quit working. After I replaced the power source fuse and disconnected the defective running lights from the fuse holder (later replacing the wire, that had suffered premature mouse induced failure, going to the running lights). I started "it" back up thinking the replaced fuse might have fixed my charging problem. That's when we developed the white mushroom cloud from the r/r. Except for the, disconnected & now replaced, wire to the running lights I can't find anything wrong with "it". The stator output is 90+ volts on all 3 legs. All of the electrical equipment is functioning. Nothing on "it" is working! Nor can I find anything on "it" shorted to ground. All three legs of the r/r show shorted to ground. I can see one leg shorting out and burning up the r/r but all 3? One would think that with the presence of a mushroom cloud that at least one of them would be open! Note! While checking the r/r it was disconnected from the stator but still hooked up to the noise filter. The noise filter, by the simplified wiring diagram, is in essence a capacitor to ground and I shouldn't be reading through it to ground. Any thoughts on this or anything else I can check before the new r/r comes? ~ Virgil

Virgil, The RR must be well and completely grounded to battery negative. That's how it rids itself of additional juice, by shorting it to ground and making heat. Many have run a big wire (10 to 12 gauge) directly from the RR to the battery to make sure it has a good ground. ~ Tracy


I have turn signals, taillights, etc. However, if I depress either the foot or hand brake lever, no lights! So it doesn't sound like a fuse. Any suggestions on where I should start my spark chasing? Also, I want to thank whoever came up with the idea for rolling the bike onto a 2X6 to help get the bike on the center stand. I have only had the bike for a month and a half. Today was the first time I attempted to put her on the center stand and she went right up! It was GREAT! Thanks for any help on the brake lights. ~ Maury, WA.

I've always found that when that happens, the lights don’t have a good ground. Pull a lens off and check the hot and grounds with a test light. That will tell you a lot. Then we can go from there. ~ Brian in IN 87 tt Gray LX

The rear lights (stop and turn) are separate bulbs. So if the turns work but the stops don't, you still need to check the bulbs since they are separate. So, check the fuses, too. ~ Tracy

I'd bet on the connection under the seat and on top of the fender. ~ KennG

Thanks everyone for your ideas. As usual, I started at the farthest point from where the problem was. It was the "Dreaded" dirty handle switch. The switch was so gunked up it stuck in the contact position. A little cleaning and I was back in business. Thanks Again, ~ Maury6024, Wash.


Where do I get one of these ultra bright headlight bulbs? ~

I went to or call 1800.782.4686 look under PIAA, Cads take the H-4 bulb, and I kept the old bulb for a spare. Good luck. ~ Frank M., Co Sp. ‘86 LX

Where do I get one of these ultra bright headlight bulbs? Is there a way to change the headlight bulb without removing the fairing? ~ Perry

Just reach under the front of the fairing. The bulb just twists out and in of the back of the headlight assembly. ~ Tracy

I pulled the faring to access the light bulb, feeling uncomfortable not seeing what I was doing. I might be able to change it now buy feel reaching up behind. ~ Frank M, Co Sp. ‘86 LX


My bike sat for a couple weeks, when I fired her up to ride I found that I had no check panel, check lights, clock, brake lights or turn signals. I checked all the plugs under the faring cleaned them but still have no power to those systems. ~

I'd be checking the fuses and the circuit breaker. ~ Tracy


I have an ‘86 LX with gobs of extras. When I check the voltage at the battery terminals with a voltmeter, what should the meter be reading at about 3000 rpm? BTW, I know on some bikes the charging system doesn't really kick in until it gets up to a certain rpm range, is the Cade this way? If so, where does it kick in? Thanks in advance for any help you can give. Perry

13.5 to 15 volts should be about right. At that RPM, the Cav stator is doing its job pretty well. At idle and putting around less than 2000 then it might be a little weak. But if you're driving like that then you're just a wuss and need to sell the Cav and get a Gold Wing since it's made for wussies. ~ Tracy

I installed a digital voltmeter on my bike to see where it runs. When I first got my bike out the battery ran about 13 volts at 3000 RPM. As I drove the bike the voltage increased to where it is now at about 15.5 volts. But what I did notice is that this voltage bounces around a lot. It does not stay at a steady voltage when you hold a steady RPM. Conditions like battery and running lights will make this change. So like Tracy suggested the voltage in this area is fine but will vary depending on the load you have and the type of voltmeter you use. ~ Terry 86LX



FYI I just ordered a plastic button for the bottom of my Suzuki Clarion Radio/Cassette Player. I used Tracy's CD to get the part number and emailed up <> this is Pacific Coast Parts in California. They handle several electronic brands. If I'm not mistaken I think Sierra Electronics orders their Clarion parts from them. ~ Dick Carter, Bay City



Ok, I know this is probably a VERY simple question, but how hard do you have to pull on the handles of the radio to remove it? I feel like I going to pull the bike off of the center stand. I don't think I want to do that. ~ Maury6024

Once the handles pop up, it shouldn't be that hard to get it out. There is a connector on the back that has about 20 contacts which is all that holds it in once the handles have released the locks. ~ Tracy

Sometimes when I pull the radio out the handles don’t release the catches. Therefore I have to put a small screwdriver along side the radio to release the catches. ~ Ryan Ohio

Thanks, Found the problem to be that the previous owner grounded something and welded the radio to the case. Fortunately it was just in one corner. Broke it loose and the radio came out just as easy as can be. ~ Maury.



You've got a lot more nerve than me. I'm gonna use a rubber spatula. But thanks for that hint, it's gonna come in real handy for me and anyone else who's adding the Utopia. Do you remember how wide the support that attached to the seat bottom was/is? I've got the LXE and there is a hole in the seat pan right where the support is supposed to attach.

Hey Kenn, I found that when I put my Utopia on, that I came from the bottom of the seat with a long screwdriver, that way, you can see and feel the bladder and then come up to the seat cover and slit it. Then just insert the backrest bar and bolt it in. ~ Denny

Kenn, It wasn't that scary. You can feel the bag with your finger in the hole of the seat pan. Just slide the screwdriver right up the back side of it. . If I remember right, the support bar attached directly behind that hole. One thing, I would do different is to watch where the slit is as far as, the back edge of the seat. I put mine a little far back and it tends to wrinkle up the upholstery a little. Should have moved it up a 1/2-inch forward or so. ~ Denny Potoczky, 86 Cavalcade LXE, 99 Kawasaki Nomad, South Bend, IN


Someone asked about the air wings. They work great and also get rid of a lot of wind buffeting. ~ Jerry 86LX Wisc.

Hi Jerry, Did you buy the air wings for a Cade? Did you have to drill holes, my Cade had wing before but the were broken. There are 3 snaps on my fairing for wings but can't find a shop that can match them up with wings. I don't want to drill anymore holes. Go to baker make the wings for the Cade.... They cost 11dollars apiece. ~ Nancy

Did they have a sudden price increase or am I looking at the wrong place? I find them at 59.95 for black bracket and 69.95 for chrome bracket at 11 dollars sounds much better. Any help? ~ Leroy

That's probably just for the wing, not the hardware. ~ Gerry in NY

Mine are the chrome with the uppers. The price was $99.95. ~ Jerry ‘86 LX Wisc.

Jerry, how come your air wings are chrome when my can they were just black nuts & etc. ~ Gary, ’86 XL Greenfield Wis.

Gary, Chrome was extra cost when ordered. ~ Jerry


Thank you, I found the parts and see what you mean. BTW, have you tried them? On my 86, the wind is really quite rough in the chest area of the driver (me) and my wife says it is almost like no windshield at all in the back seat. I had an old Yamaha 1100 with Vetter fairing that did a much better job and this is the one thing I found disappointing about my Cade. I had expected much better wind flow.

Someone before you (assuming you bought it used) may have cut the windshield down. Also, it can be raised about an inch with the adjustment slots. ~ Tracy

My windshield is 23" high and 31" wide and no wind at the chest. I'm thinking of taking the windshield off for the summer because of the heat. Has anyone tried this? ~ Joe in Co. 88LX

I did. I got a new shield a few months ago and while I was swapping it out I decided to take a ride without the shield on there, just to see what it is like. You can ride it that way, but the wind that hits you is very turbulent. It’s better with the shield. ~ Spike

I don't get much wind on me while on the Cade. But being a tall lanky bugger, I made a taller, wider windshield for the Cade. Also being conservative and not wanting to spend $140.00 for a new Precision Plastics windshield, I bought a 3' x 3' piece of 1\8" Lectern for $54.00. I used my old windshield as a template and in about 4 hours with a scroll saw, drill, and Dremil tool, waa-laa, I am reaping the benefits of looking through my windshield instead of over it.  ~ Brian in IN 87 tt Gray LX

I hate bugs in my teeth, so this would not be something I would try. Besides, I spend a lot of money on Maguires products to keep the shield looking good so I have to use it. ~ Red 86LX

Joe, I was at the Harley dealer last week Looking for the new buell and was noticing a short windshield on a HD. It was 3' to 4' tall and tinted dark, it looked great. When I replace mine I'm looking forward to cutting down my old one for the summer. ~ Frank Co Sp. '86 LX

I know someone has, but others have purchased a 'spare' and cut it down several inches. Personally I would have to try it but I am not opposed to the idea. ~ Brian 87LXE in CT


Has anyone tried to put one of the gold wing style vents in their Cade windshield? I'm thinking of getting the taller windshield from Precision plastics to keep the wind off of my wife, but I would want a vent for myself. Brian wrote about the Lexan windshield he made. Is 1/8 inch strong enough not to bend over at high speed, like at 90 to 100 mph? ~ Myles

With the bend that is in it, and Lexan being stronger than Plexiglas, it has not bent out of shape one bit at highway speeds, even when passing semi's on the interstate. ~ Brian in IN 87 tt Gray LX

I bought one at one time with the idea of making it work. But after looking at the curve and slope of the windshield which is different than the Gold Wing. I decided not to even try it. It just didn’t look like it would work and I'd be stuck with a big hole in the windshield. Once in a while, I do try to think things though before I act. Something that comes with age I think, because I find myself doing it more and more. ~ Roy in TX


I'm wondering, after listening to several riders out there, if all Cade seats ore the same. My 86 LX has three air bladders. One in the seat under the passenger only and two in the passenger backrest. Some of you have talked about inserting a Utopia backrest between the bladders in the seat. I didn't think there was one under me so I looked in the manual and confirmed that there is none under the rider. Are all of them the same? ~ Red, ‘86 LX

Nope. Some had bladders for the driver. It was an option and was probably standard on the LXE model. ~ Tracy

The LXE seat has three bladders for the driver (plus the three for the passenger). There are two in the flat section (under each thigh) and a lumbar bladder. It's the lumbar bladder that raises all the concern because the mount for the Utopia backrest comes through the seat right behind the lumbar bladder. ~ KennG

Red, I am not familiar with the very early models, but all of the seats I have seen have the air bladders in the driver's seat. I confirmed that with a couple of 88 LX seats I have along with the 87 LXE on my bike. ~ Al from Mass

86 and 87 LXE models had air bladders for the rider. I believe that they were options for LX models. 88 models were optional as there were no LXEs that year ~ Robert Garcia

I recently purchased an ‘87 Cavalcade LXE. It wasn't very well taken care of so I've been spending a lot of time trying to clean it up. The seat on it has been re-upholstered, and all the air lines for the seat bladders have been disconnected. I can see the bladder for the passenger, and was able to hook up the air line, but I don't see any for the driver. The controls and air lines are there. Do I need to take the seat apart to find the bladders, or should I be able to see them from the bottom of the seat. Any help would be appreciated. I have learned a lot from the web site and e-mails already. Thanks! ~ Ed Short

Ed, You should be able to see the hoses to the driver's seat bladders from the bottom unless whoever r-upholstered the seat either cut them off or buried them. When I had my seat redone they buried the hoses. Since I knew they were there was able to fish them out -- was ready to take the seat back and have them undo it to free the hoses.

If they were cut short the only solution may be to have the seat opened up and find what's left of them and add new hoses. ~ Al from Mass

When I purchased a new seat for my Cade it came as an LXE seat with the two bladders for the driver. Not wanting to attempt to purchase new switches and cut into the newly purchased black inner fairing, I opted for two squeeze pumps. They like the ones the doctor used on the blood pressure pumps; they work real well only draw back you have to make the adjustments at a stop, as I concealed them in the space between the rear seat and the trunk. I guess you could have your passenger pump 'em up, but they would work for the application you mentioned. Squeeze-pump'em up turn the little knob to release the pressure. Just hook the air lines from the seat back to them you're on your way. ~ Walter N Maryland


I am about to put a LX passenger backrest on my Kaw. for my wife BUT I ask for help first. In the Bikebandit parts films, there is a few hoses and a switch assembly for (I think) the lumbar support. Now the question- is all this needed OR will the backrest work as well without the air assist? I have located a backrest and an air pump. BUT, do I need to look further for the valves/switches? Thanks fellows for any help. ~ John

There are 3 air bags for the pillion. 1 in the seat and 2 in the backrest. If you want both bags in the backrest to be functional then you will need some form of switch, valve or hand inserted plugs to inflate and deflate each. Obviously, the backrest will not work as well without the air assist as it will with it. Will it work well enough? That's for your passenger to decide. ~ Tracy

The air bladders are not required. However, on a long ride your wife will appreciate the extra effort you put forth if you hook them up. ~ Norm, Spokane, WA



Hi everybody, I just got parts for a tune-up and got only 2 plugs. Is that all the Cade takes? The guy at the counter says that all it takes. Will have work done Sat. coming hopefully. ~ Don in Mass. D.R.S.

No! The Cade is a 4-cylinder engine. The rear two are easy enough, but the front can be a little trying. You have to go in through the side vents. A Sidewinder ratchet works very well. ~ Glen

I went to a dealer to get new spark plugs. They had plenty of them in stock! The price was $13.35 ea. Is that a pretty standard price? ~ Wojo

Well Wojo, I can understand why they had plenty in stock. Cause I know I wouldn’t pay that much for one plug. And I doubt many people do. That is quite expensive. I would think you could find them for under $5.00 or $6.00 tops at most places. ~ Brian in IN, ‘87 tt Gray LX

Most of the members have opted for a "standard" plug instead of the gold-plated, platinum dipped, silver encrusted, diamond studded plugs that Suzuki specs for the Cavalcade. ~ Tracy

I have the Suzuki spec plugs at 25.00 Canadian, runs great, worth every penny! ~ Terry 86LX

I picked up Splitfire plugs from Dennis Kirk for $1.50 or so each, work great. ~ Brenden

Anyone know the cat # for Splitfire plugs for an 86 LXE? ~

As long as everyone is talking about spark plugs, what size spark plug socket do they take? I have 3 different sizes and none of them fit. Thanks ~ ES

I think it is 13/16. ~ Gerry in NY

I believe I have an 18mm socket for my plugs... ~ Brian, ’87 LXE in CT

I think I used a 17 or 18 on the NGK's ~ Roy

I don't have a long 18, 13/16 was equivalent. ~ Gerry in NY

My 13/16 wont fit down into the recess that the plug is in. I had to use the spark plug wrench that is in the Cade tool kit. ~ Brian

Yes my 13/16 won't fit into the opening either. Neither will an 18mm long socket. 17mm won't grab the plug. And there wasn't a tool kit that came with the bike. Any other suggestions? Thanks ~ ES

Ed, I took and ground down the walls on the socket to get it to fit into the hole where the sparkplug is... was just a little to fat to get in there... think it was an 18mm.... 13/16 should work for the plug...but just wouldn't fit to get to it. ~ Dennis

Guy's, Sockets come in 6 points and 12 points. The12 point is thinner walled, my craftsman 18mm worked ok. ~ Larry

I am currently running Champion 809 (RA6HC) spark plugs in my '87 LXE. They are running as good as the expensive platinum plugs. At this time I will not go back to the expensive plugs. The Champion plugs require a different size socket than the foreign plugs. I do not remember the size. I just try until one fits. ~ David Williams Evansville Indiana ‘87 LXE

Get the Champions.  They're only $1.09 and work just as good. I've been using them for the last 10 years ~ Michael

I have the Spitfires in mine and the work great, will use them again ~ Gerald ’86, LXE


I found these rotor covers that I REALLY like and was wondering if anyone can tell me if they will fit on my '87 Cade LX. Wingleader Rotor Covers for GL1200 Aspencade/ SE-i/LTD 84-87? ~ Brian in IN 87 tt Gray LX

I bought a pair of rotor covers that fit a Gold Wing 1200. It was an effort but I made them fit. I used a 2x4 and routed out a circle about 2 1/2" in diameter. I centered the rotor over it and used a ball peen hammer and hammered the centers of each cover until they fit. On the speedometer gear side I had to use my Dremil tool to cut the opening larger to let the gear drive fit. On the other side I had to deepen the cutout (the "V" area) a little larger to make it fit. That side had to be hammered from convex to concave it fit. It looks great! I might add that on the gear side I plan to make a cutout about an inch above the axle hole because it doesn't quite fit like I want it to. The bottom of the down tube sticks out toward the inside. It takes some work and some time but it can be done. I was satisfied with the way it turned out. ~ Dick Carter, Bay City

Because the SEI has an electronic speedometer drive unit, the opening will not readily accept the "Cade" cable/housing. Use the rotor covers for the Aspencade/Interstate instead, I did and only had to make a few minor adjustments. ~ Bud ’87, LXE


When I first got my bike a couple of months ago, I had all of the fluids changed and had the shop put on new tires. Of course I have been reading with Great interest the stories on the gear leakage. Especially because when I got the bike, the entire underside was caked in old oil and dirt from the engine to the rear wheel. I cleaned it all off, so that I could see if I had any leaks. After 400 miles there are no leaks on the outside. However tonight I took the time to check the levels in the gearboxes and pulled back the boot. Both boxes appear to be low and there was two tablespoons of oil in the boot. Any thoughts on how severe this may be? My bike is not in the range of where there has been the past plug failure's. (Vin # 4884). Thanks for all of your ideas. ~ Maury, Washington

Maury, Bad news pal. If there is that much oil in the shaft boot, you can be pretty sure the bevel plug has failed. If so, well, I don’t know a polite way to tell ya: DONT RIDE UNTIL YOU FIX IT. You can’t risk a back wheel lockup. We have recently found out that a late series bike, Clair Manwiller's ‘88 model of all things had a bevel plug failure. The other 8 known failures were all early birds (pre 3300-ish). ~ Spike

Spike, I bought my Cade with 36393 miles on it in August of 2000. The summer of 2001 with about 38500 mi., I had to replace the front fork seals, put the Barnett clutch springs in and disassemble, clean and lube the air compressor. Last summer at about 42,000 mi. I had the plug fall out of the secondary. At that time I just pulled the secondary cover and reinstalled the plug. About 1500 miles later the seal between engine and secondary failed. Then pulled secondary off and replaced all seals. Then shortly after the stator fried and then replaced it with the high output, double wound from Willies Cycle, which by the way gives me plenty of reserve to operate extra lights, etc. ~ Jerry, ‘86LX, Wisc.

I would suspect the drive shaft seal, where the shaft goes into the secondary. That is common to wear out and start leaking a little at a time. ~ Brian in IN 87 tt Gray LX

OK guys, When I changed the drive shaft I found a table spoon of oil in the boot, so since me, an mine, are the most precious things I own, I'm going to pull the secondary an redo the seal according to Walters fix. Did someone make a list of parts and seals we need in order to do the fix? If so don't repeat it. I'll check the archive tonight. Right now I'm on my way to work. ~ Maybe we need a session in Branson, on this subject. Oh yea, it is a one big B.S. session. I’m looking forward to it. ~ Larry, ’86 LXE, Dayton, OH

Group, After pondering the secondary plug issue, I have come up with a plug design that will be the end-all to this type of failure. ~ I have designed a plug that CANNOT come out under any circumstances. It is made from aluminum and uses an o-ring seal. It sticks away from the end of the driven gear such that even if it tried to back out (which will be nearly impossible if you stake it in according to the directions) it cannot because it will come in contact with the cam dog loading spring. ~ Because it's aluminum, it will expand more than the surrounding steel as the gearbox heats up in operation and will get tighter within the gear further preventing potential movement. And if it does, by some act of the devil, start to back out and come in contact with the cam dog spring, it will simply ride against the spring with a large surface area. If there is any wear (doubtful since the box will remain full of gear lube), any aluminum shavings that might be created will simply pass around in the gearbox and will be ground into powder by the gears and bearings. They will not lock the bearing like the steel bits that are typical of tapered roller bearing failure. ~ The o-ring will be Viton material, which next to Teflon, is the most chemically inert and chemically resistive material available. It is also more heat resistant than any lesser material (like Buna or EPDM or even silicone) ~ I will make a prototype of this plug this evening and have a photo and a price to send out to the group by tomorrow. This will not be a money making venture for me, I will simply price it according to time and materials just like the billet MC caps. I will make it available for purchase on my web site just like the CD and caps and will give a $1 discount on postage when someone orders more than one item at a time. And, as always, it can be ordered by snail mail or phone. ~ Tracy

Tracy, How difficult will it be for us non-mechanics to install this plug? ~ Virgil

Virgil, It will be no more difficult to install than the stock one. Tools required: a hammer. Of course, you will have to take the drive off to get to it. ~ Tracy


Red's plug situation made me think of a cheap easy way to determine if the secondary plug has failed. I realized you could determine that at a cost of only about two clams. All you would need to do is leave the hypoid oil overflow plug in place, peel the shaft boot back a bit and fill the secondary case up to the level of the driven bevel plug. If the oil doesn’t pour right out, the plug must be ok. Just take out the overflow bolt, let the excess hypoid oil run out, replace the bolt and you are ready to ride. Of course if the oil runs out the bevel hole, well, you already know what has to happen. ~ Spike

Spike, when I went into my drive units, it was because I spotted a very slight amount of oil on the floor of the garage the nest day after riding. No more than a few drops. I thought it was the oil seal. It was only because of the group talking about it that I checked the plug and found it was missing. I drove this way for quit a while, checking the level constantly. It was never alarming low. In fact I only added a total of about an oz. in two to three weeks. So the oil just doesn't pour out. The u-joint shaft fits into the bevel gear very snugly not allowing a big gush of oil even with no plug at all. So I don't think just filling it up and expecting it to run out is going to be decisive. If it flowed out I would think the oil seal would be the real failure. Spike, Walter, everybody..... What do you think? ~ Red

Red, I recognize that the shaft would hold the oil in to a certain extent, but I would think the excess would leak out overnight. If several guys whose plug has not been replaced would try that trick, we could know for sure. If we got a couple dozen to do the test, there is a durn good chance that at least one of them is missing a plug. That person could tell us how fast the hypoid leaks out. I also rode a long ways after the plug failed (about 2000 miles!) So the oil doesn’t all come out at once. Guys, go out right now and run your hand along the bottom of the shaft boot. If any oil ends up on your hand, you know what hasta happen. ~ Spike

Spike, it might work. For my money, though, if there is any oil on the boot, you have to know it's either the plug or the seal and you have to pull it all any way, so...both should be replaced. Unless you have already done Walters fix with filling the shaft with epoxy. I just wanted everyone to remember, with all the interest in the plug, not to forget those oil seals. Anyone who has had the drive apart is aware of how easy it is to lip a seal and have a real problem. As our friend Walter would say, check dem oil levels. ~ Red



Just wanted it to be known I currently have enough material to make up 2 more trailer hitches. The ones I am currently making, attach at the muffler hanger bolts and to two angle brackets attached at the rear wheel hoop attachment points and do not stick out the back of the bike. With the receiver assembly removed. They are flush with the rear bumper, they are Painted semi gloss Black enamel, and can come with the ball assembly or with out. Prices $125.00 plus shipping W/o ball assembly $150.00 plus shipping with ball assembly. These prices are plus S/H. If interested, contact me personally. S/H generally runs $25 to $30. ~ Walter n Maryland



Hi guys...Pete from Olean here. It's been a while and I don't get onto this site nearly as often as I like to, but still try to follow what you guys are doing and read the newsletters constantly. Anyway, I have stumbled upon a WRECKED 'Cade and can get it pretty cheap. I'm willing to buy it and part it out if I can make it worth my time and yours. Here's what it is: a '96 (I think) LX two tone brown with about 38,000 miles if I remember right. The right side is pretty much junk, and the left side is mostly in tact. It supposedly runs, and the tires might have some life on 'em, but it's way too much work for a fixer-upper. Some of the plastic that is still recoverable might have a small crack or piece broken off but might be better than yours. Someone either laid it down real hard or was taken out on the right side. The parts that are still good include, but are not limited to: Left mirror assembly, windshield trim pieces (but the 'Cade logo is missing), left side plastic pretty much complete, rear bumper, rear backrest and trunk including mirror pocket assembly but mirror is missing, engine, frame, handlebars, radio and rear controls, Markland Backrest, speaker grills, big trunk luggage rack (needs cleaned and maybe chromed), Exhaust looked decent, but needs cleaned up. Dash pocket covers...left side is fully in tact, right side cover only, but has a couple small cracks. The seat is junk, but it maybe worth having it reupholstered. Compressor and controls are probably OK as the right side fairing is Ok. Instrument and center dash section look pretty good as do the top front dashboard area and ignition cover. I remember someone was looking for the chrome handles on the side bag storage pocket...they are there too. So, if any of you are interested in some salvaged parts please e-mail me with your wants and prices and I'll let you know if it will be worth buying. Also, buyers will be responsible for all shipping costs. Send messages or questions to direct, as I don't know if I'll be able to wade through the eGroup to pick out replies. All parts will be first come/first served. I also have 4 pics of the bike to get an idea of what might be worth taking. See ya' ~ Pete in Olean '87 LXE (under construction)

I am parting out a bike! I have air compressor, cruise control, wheels, calipers, gas tanks, speaker covers, speakers, crash bar, etc. However, I have ABSOLUTELY NO PLASTIC!! Except for the stereo/gas tank cover, and the dash cover, and the fold open stereo cover, but that is it! All fair offers will be considered. ~ E-mail: 



I'm looking for a rear brake disk. Any help? ~ Larry Anderson, 

I got my rear disc from my dealer - it's an EBC. I cannot remember the price directly. But I believe it was around $150. ~ Brian 87LXE in CT


I'm looking for a Cade Rider emblem that sits on the left hand side cover, mine decided go live it's own life somewhere else, kinda like your socks and the dryer. Anyone have one that they want to get rid of at a good price? It will be most appreciated, thanks in advance. ~ Kevin ’86, Ontario, Canada e-mail:



During the summer months while taking apart and putting back together my 87 LXE it appears that I've "misplaced" the ring that goes around the ignition switch that says off, on, park, etc. Anyone with a spare that’s willing to part with it I'm in need. Will buy it or swap the coin holder that goes in the lower front left pouch on the LXE. Thanks! ~ Bud:

Bud: I don't have one, but had new ones in stock last October. ~ Dwayne

Bud A few months ago I bought one from my dealer. It was 6 or 7 bucks. ~ Jim

Bud, You can still get this part along with most Cade parts through the dealer... The best bet is to order many things at a time to save on the shipping... But if you don’t want to wait, it only cost me $5-6.00 for it. Here’s the part numbers, the one in ( ) is the newest number I believe. 37155-24A00 (03A70) Ignition switch Cap. ~ Brian in IN, ‘87 tt Gray LX


Does anyone out there have map case assembly (black) from a parted bike? Cheapest I can find wants $225 and I hate the idea of paying that much for a bit of plastic. ~ Ted in Los Angeles ’87, LXE

So don’t. Buy a piece of 1/8 inch Lexan or clear plastic at the local hardware store. Cut it to the shape of the faring compartment cover. Hold it down at the corners with glued on patches Velcro. I made a setup like that for my GT. It holds the maps just fine. Total investment, about 4 bucks. Note in the photo the cutout for the keyhole. I also cut maps to fit the holder. The map on top in the photo is Northern Taxifornia. ~ Spike

As I follow along trying to pick up tasks I might be equipped for: such as speedometer cable lubrication, dash cosmetics; I saw two things that interest me. One was the homemade map cover; the other was carburetor balancing. Carburetor work sounds way out of my means but would like to read more about this topic from the experts. Now, the map cover is my speed. A picture would be great. This feature was not on my model, so I would need to see what it looks like. This old optician should be able to come up with a dandy looking map cover. Someone please put a picture up. ~ Michael (La Mesa)


This is Tom Rushing and I have an ‘86 LXE. I am in need of the following items: one chrome handlebar extension (mine fell off while I was doing about 65 MPH and I could not find it). The knobs for the CB radio (again lost while riding). One front marker light assembly. (It was broken by a visitor while I was away and he thought he had enough lead in his pants to pick the Cade up. He did not and it went over and broke one of the lights). If you or anyone else has these parts, please respond to this message. Thanks, Tom '86, LXE:



To anyone with a parts bike, I broke the right side mirror off today. First ride, first broken piece. Even dented the mini van in the process. I need to replace the mirror now. It is the kind with the single pivot point on the bottom, not the kind with the large rubber boot. Please email me directly if you can help out. ~ Steve ‘87 in ON, E-mail:



Hello, I am new to your club and also to Cavalcade. I just purchased a 1986 and I am restoring it. I was wondering if anybody had any body parts for sale, such as front fender, left side upper cowl, left side cowl, the right and left body cowl covers, (where the speakers bolt into). IF there were anyone that could help me to locate these parts, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks for everyone’s help. ~ Tim, e-mail:




Too many Bikes in the garage and I must sell. One owner Excellent Condition. ~ ‘87 LXE, Burgundy and Gray, Loads of accessories installed, All serviced ready to ride. With 58000 miles. With restraint I will part with this old friend. Details: Within the last few years in reverse order the following improvements have been made. 1/30/01 Rear Shocks replaced, Rear Brake Pads and Fluid, rotors checked. 12/8/00 Fuel Filter, Plugs, air filter, clutch, Battery, Gear oil, Tune and service. 4/21/99 Steel braided front brake lines, Front brake caliper seals & master cylinder kit, Rear caliper assembly, Rotors checked. 3/8/97 Replace rubber intake manifolds, Thermostat, upper & lower steering bearings, Clutch Slave Cylinder, front fork seals, Install progressive front springs, Reseal secondary & final drives. A total of $4239 + spent during this period. All work done by the Cavalcade Expert, Rick Gervasi, Everett, WA. Except for routine oil and filter changes Includes many of the Factory Optional Accessories, Plus Service manual, Tank Cover and Bag, All maintenance Records. Asking $4800 with a 90-day money back guarantee I will deliver within 500 Miles of Seattle. Bill Fargusson Puyallup, WA (Seattle Area) Cell 253-229-9265



1987 Cavalcade, LXE, Black & Grey, 64,184 miles. One owner purchased new in October 1987. Adult, Police Officer, driven, garage kept. It has heel & toe shifter, Markland driver's backrest, Markland trailer hitch. Hitch install & trailer wiring done by dealer. Remainder of bike is "stock" and all in sound working order. Bike has never been down in either accident or tip over. Matching Grey HJC helmets with intercom headsets/mic's installed (Med & XL). Bike has all stock options except CB radio. Pictures can be e-mailed on request. Asking $4,000. Contact Jim at or (727) 723-2822. Reason for sale: Wife can no longer ride and have therefore lost interest in touring.



1986 Cavalcade LXE blue on blue. Guys, if anyone is interested please get back with me by e-mail, if you would like to call and talk about the bike e-mail me and I will send you a phone number - e-mail: In the next 2 or 3 weeks I'm going to take it over to a friend who has a Suzuki dealership in Mansfield, LA I'll probably leave it on the floor for a couple of weeks or so after that probably go to CycleTrader or eBay. My friend John Neilson sold this bike new so he knows the history as well as the shape this bike is in today. He is extremely familiar with it because he has one exactly like it. It has 29,761 miles on it. Feel free to contact John in normal business hours at his dealership @ 318-872-0877. p.s. Everything works on this bike. ~ Louis McGinty



If anyone in the group is looking for a nice ‘88 LX I have one for sale. Pictures sent to interested parties upon request e-mail me at The bike is located in NJ ~ Mike P.S. the only reason that I am selling it is because I purchased an 86 LXE.



My Cade is for sale. If you know of anyone who'd be interested in an '86 LXE in excellent condition, please have them call me at 336-784-0329. All the whistles and bells work great. It's the two-tone brown color. I'm asking $5290 and it only has 20k miles. I currently live near Greensboro/Winston-Salem, North Carolina. I have it listed in Cycle Trader. I can send pictures if you'd like. Thanks. ~ Rod Kolash,



I have an ‘86 LX with LXE lowers. Wine and Dusty rose in colour will sell for $3,000 Canadian about $1,900 American. 35,000 miles, new tires, runs good.



3 "Blue on Blue" Cades for Sale in Texas. El Campo Cycle Center at has two. Another one is in Little River, Texas. One was traded in yesterday with approx. 20,500 miles and new tires. Radio works. Everything works. No CB. Traded for a new Gold Wing ~ Harlan ‘86 LX Gold, Wharton, Texas



I have a 1988 Cavalcade LX for sale. It's the maroonish color has 40k on it. $4,500 or best offer. Anyone interested can contact me at or call me at 740-992-7432. I can provide pics if requested reason for selling my wife wants another baby and wont have time to ride ~ Glen Mckibben



1986 Blue LXE with 29,200 miles. Looks great, runs great, radio, CB, floorboards, highway boards, driver backrest, rotor covers, cloth bags to fit inside saddle bags, large & medium blue helmet with mic and speakers. Contact me @ or John Neilson 318-872-0877, at his dealership in Mansfield, LA. ~ Louis McGinty


I have a 1986 GT With 22300 miles always kept inside. Looks very much like the day it came from the factory except for extra lights and chrome. The bike has been in the family from day one. Want $5000. Have pics that I can e-mail. ~ Rolland Meismer, Burlington, Iowa, U.S.A.



I have come to a very hard decision to sell part of the family, my 1988 Suzuki Cavalcade LX GV1400. Finest touring bike ever manufactured, but all you know that! This Cavalcade has many LXE upgrades with very low 2nd owner miles. I have had all fluids changed regularly with Amsoil Synthetics Oils and Gear lubes. I have just installed new Dunlop 491 tires - ready for the season. We are located 20 miles from Branson, MO. Come visit Branson and ride home on your new touring bike. The AM/FM Radio/ Cassette has been updated with new switches and is in perfect working order. The factory CB has been added to the AM/FM and works as good as new. I have added many touring options which aren’t easy to find, drivers back rest, trailer hitch, factory CB radio, front wheel chrome dressing, chrome tail pipe end and luggage rack. The touring bike has it all, air ride suspension, rear passenger controls with air cushion backrest; cruise control and custom driver foot rests. Included with the bike are two white Shoei RF-700 intercom equipped full-face helmets. (Size XL and M) I also have the printed service manuals, custom Owners Manual and a Cavalcade Owners Group computer “Tracy CD” with the service, wiring and sales information about this awesome Suzuki Cavalcade Brand. This is one of the lowest mileage, nicest Cavalcades on the road today. It will be a sad day to see this bike leave, but I trust it will go to a fine new home. As you can see from the mileage, I don’t ride this bike and my interests have changed with a pilot’s license, so this toy needs a new home. 16,600 Miles (Low like new miles). Brand New Dunlop 491 Tires. LXE Factory CB, UltraGard Custom Fit weather cover, Markland Trailer Hitch, Markland Drivers Backrest, Markland Drivers Foot Rests, Custom Chrome disc brake covers, 2 Shoei RF-700 Full Face Helmets with intercom. If you have any interest, please email me direct. I have pictures available too. E-mail Thanks Much, Don Rogers


Group, I have personally seen Don's bike and it is every bit as nice as what he states. It is Silver and is beautiful. ~ Tracy



HELLO GANG CHOPPER! HERE I just thought I’d drop you all a line since I don’t get too chat vary often. I've been vary busy and not a lot of time on my hands. I have started a custom hat and tee shirt business and doing well with this I can print custom logos on hats, shirts, mouse pads and even photos on whatever. Turn around time is quick and I’ll give special prices to any of the members of this group. Having said that, I will be riding solo this year. My lovely wife and I are expecting our first child we are very excited. But due to Beth’s health her doctor does not want her to ride so. “Ya Hoo!” I’ll be making appearances by my self just shorter ones. I would like to make some hats and shirts for the group but I'd like some input on what (as a group) we would like on them. Do we have an official logo? For the people going to Americade, would you folks like to put some shirts together? I could send them with Brian let me know. I have new equipment ready to print. So help me out with some ideas ~ Chopper, E-mail:

I think it's about time to come up with group T-shirt. One if the group members have a printing business. So it will be easy to have them made. I would like to have on it nice Eagle and Stars and Stripes with Cavalcade picture and sign Cavalcade USA. For me this would have to be printed on a black shirt, but I am sure I could have a white one too. Chopper had an idea to have Cade picture on the back of the shirt with sign "touring classic" and the years it was made... I don't know about you people, but I NEED a cavalcade T-shirt! Let's come up with some good ideas, and turn it in to reality. Ride On ~ Wojo, Kent WA

Well, it's not a T-shirt (haven't gotten to that yet) but, is there any interest in ball caps? I already had the design made up and a local embroidery shop is quoting it. I have attached a picture of the layout (please ignore the colors) the entire design will be in a gold thread. I would like to offer them in colors that approximately match the different base colors of the Cade. If there is enough interest, I will proceed with having them made. It will take about 4 weeks to get them but then I should have a supply on hand for additional requests. This design is the right size for the left breast of a sweatshirt or even a polo-shirt and if there is interest in them, I can also make them available. Let me know if there is any interest. ~ Tracy E-mail:

Hi, We have a black cap with the horse and Cavalcade underneath as on the emblems. These cost £8 each, that's about $14. ~ Dave, SCCUK, e-mail: 



Even though we have an excellent rate of only $55.00 per night at the Honeysuckle Inn, some of you may want to bring your tents or RVs and stay at a nearby campground.

We have contacted the AMERICA'S BEST CAMPGROUND at Branson regarding our group. They are located about four and a half miles from the Honeysuckle Inn. Their rate for a tent site is $18.00 per night and the rate for a full hook-up RV site is $22.10. This includes cable TV connection. They offer a 15% discount for AAA, AARP, and other memberships. As a group, we can receive a discount if we have 10 or more registrations.

On the downside, there is another group staying there for the same dates, so their availabilities are limited. They do have about 20 tent spaces open now. But, these could get reserved soon. So if you plan to stay there, you should call now and reserve your spot. The phone number is 417-336-4399. The e-mail address is . When you make your reservation please tell them you are attending CADE RAID 2002, or that you are a member of the Suzuki Cavalcade Owner's Group. This will count toward our group number so we can get that additional discount.

Remember the dates of CADE RAID 2002 are September 16-18. You will want to arrive by the evening of Sunday, September 15th. We'll see you in Branson!


Went for my first ride with my husband on the Cade I bought for him. I was pretty scared at first. He did make the comment "are you practicing Lamaze back there?" I did begin to feel more comfortable as we drove around the neighborhood practicing the turns and stops/starts. I am very comfortable with it all now and can't wait to ride again. Such a wonderful way to spend quality time with your spouse. ~ Lisa

I had a lot the same experience. Eugene had ridden dirt bikes almost since we had been married. He'd come home all battered and bruised. His bike was stolen and I thought he would cry. Then he came home with a 500 Suzuki road bike. I thought he was crazy and when he wanted me to ride on it with him I thought he was crazier. We rode from Grants Pass, Oregon to Medford, a mere 30 miles, I swear I could feel his backbone I was squeezing him so tight. I was so relieved when we arrived alive. A couple more short rides and I was ready for the long ones. This was back in the 70's. Since then we've had 5 road bikes each one bigger then the one before. We've had our Cavalcade for 14 years. We drooled over the new Hondas, but when we look at the features and comfort of our LXE, we decided we still have the best. ~ Drena

Last updated:   Wednesday, February 06, 2013

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