The Suzuki Cavalcade Newsletter

Issue #22 ~ May, 2002
Jay D. Johnson, Editor

  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.




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: 



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.




MONDAY 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


EUROPEAN CHAT: 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.




I finally found a new Cade owner here in Idaho . His name is Scott Rogers. He came over tonight and we went for a ride and burger and then spent a lot of time on the Cade site. His radio doesn't work and he's leaking from the boot, so I appraised him of the cures needed for those ailments. Spike, his VIN number is JS1VX71AXG2d102304. It's a GT. Let me know when it was born and how it fits into the scheme of things on the infamous plug.

Tracy , he is having the Cade torn apart this week and would like one of your plugs (do I get a commission?).

It was sure good to ride with someone on another Cade. It needs repainting and the aluminum cleaned up etc. We probably cured his cruise control problems by looking on the Cavalcade site. He is one happy camper to know that all of you guys are out there. And now has a head full of info about his new ride. He has no computer, so Tracy and Spike just email me. ~ Red

P.S. He did not know how to check his secondary oil, so we did and it was low. I added some and showed him the proper level. And Walter I made sure to impress upon him the importance of checking dem levels, all of dem!



Caders, as you know, a couple weeks ago I accidentally posted the VIN list to Cavalcade_USA, (doh!) after which I received about 30 posts from those on the VIN list, graciously offering their blessing to my posting the information to the whole world. It was unanimous with none opposed. Consequently I came up with a version of the VIN list that will simultaneously protect everyone's privacy and still provide a useful tool for those wanting to anticipate and prevent problems. If you want to see the complete version with owners, their email @s and state, etc send me your VIN. If not, that’s cool too. It is a microsloth excel file. Do note the bevel plug failures (column N) and do check dem oil levels. ~ Spike



I want to thank all of you who keep talking about checking your fluid levels. I had changed all the fluids in my 87 LXE when I bought it about 6 weeks ago. I went for a ride after work today, and went I got back I parked in the garage. Because of all the e-mails about fluid levels I always look under my bike before and after I ride. Tonight I noticed a puddle of oil under the final drive. It appeared to be coming from the drain plug. I got my socket set out, and since I wasn't sure which size the drain plug was I just grab one and tried it by hand. It just seemed to spin around the plug. Tried the next size down, it was too small. The first one was the right size! That’s how loose the plug was. Obviously when I change the fluid I had not gotten it back on tight enough. This time I checked with a torque wrench. I opened the fill plug to add oil and oil started to come out before I added any. So it must have just come loose on my ride tonight. I don't know if I would have noticed it if you all had not made me so aware of the need to always check for leaks and fluid levels. THANK YOU VERY MUCH! ~ Ed


To make sure we are all on the right foot. All oil levels are checked and added with the bike on the center stand. The oil levels to check are as follows:

1.        Engine (sight glass on right side engine case this sight glass shows the proper level for engine and transmission. Should be up to top mark on outer ring of sight glass.

2.        Secondary gearbox, also referred to as intermediate gearbox bevel gear box, forward bevel gear box. Should be filled to fill to screw, refer to owners’ manual for proper screw. With screw removed should be filled at fill hole until gear oil just starts to come out screw hole. Fill slowly to allow air to escape the bearings and nooks crannies.

3.        Final drive, sometimes referred to as rear bevel gear box, should, should be filled at the fill hole, again slowly to allow air to escape, until it just starts to come out fill hole. Make sure all drain plugs are replaced and tightened/torqued fill to screw is tight/torqued. Places to look for suspected intermediate/bevel gearbox plug and rear seal failure. Any failure of these two parts should show up in the boot area of the left swing arm, also along the left under side of the bike. Any high or evidence of lots of gear oil should be checked immediately before any further riding. Even if it's only five miles home. Until you have permanently fixed this suspected plug it is highly recommended that these areas be checked on a regular basis even during a nice Sunday cruise. It only takes a minute. After that soda or burger to run your hand along this boot or swing arm and check for that oil. Rather a greasy hand than a broken body. I posted this for some of the newer owners/riders that might not be familiar with the cavalcade or have a manual/CD to refer to. ~ Walter n Maryland



I bought mine (86 LX) at a garage sale last August. I happened to notice this big motorcycle tail end sticking out the back of this guy’s garage. It had a sticker with $950 marked on it. Being a country boy I knew that was a lot of "tail" for $950, even though I had no idea what tail -- whoops! -- I mean what a Cade was. It needed a battery, windshield and the left mirror. He said he paid $3,600 for it two years ago? But, he appeared embarrassed to really tell me what he gave for it. What ever it was, he had decided that it was too much and was fed up with the Cade. I offered him $650 for it and he took it. Hope I didn't get ripped off! Lets hear your stories on how you got your first Cade. ~ Virgil


While driving along Interstate 75 I noticed a boat for sale off in a field to my right. After taking the next exit, I finally found my way to it. There was a number on the sign that I called, a lady answered and we made a deal on the boat. She said to hook it up and bring it to the house where she had the title. With the boat in tow, I followed her directions and drove into her driveway. ~ She was at the door as I walked up the sidewalk and I entered a modestly furnished living room. I noticed on the wall a picture of a Cavalcade with a man sitting on it. As the conversation went, she explained that the man was her ex-husband who had left her about a month ago for another woman. The motorcycle was in the garage and was titled in her name as he had financial problems and didn't want it in his name. He was supposed to pick it up next week. ~ After a few minutes talking, she said, "If you'll get it out of here, I'll sign the title over to you. It'll serve the jerk right for treating me the way he did." ~ So, that's how I got a Cade with only seven miles on it for nothing. If anyone can tell a taller tale, be my guest. He he. ~ Grandpa ‘86.

I guess I can't top that but I can come close. I had a friend who owned a Suzuki shop in 1986. He was in financial trouble so I loaned him $1500, he insisted I hold his Cavalcade until he could pay me back. The bike only had 1100 miles on it and was free and clear. I told him I didn't need to but he was persistent so I said okay. He brought it over and left it. About three weeks passed and he came over, said he was getting a divorce and was moving to Kansas . He signed over the title and said enjoy, he wouldn't need it anymore. ~ ldandy488


I met a guy and got talking to him about bikes and he said he had an 87 Cade that he couldn't get cranked. He said he had done everything including jumping it off with his truck. I told him of my love for bikes and that I had a Wing. He went on to say he had called the local Honda dealer and told them he would give them the bike if they would come get it out from under his shed. I said ummmm, I'll be glad to come get it. I got it, ‘87 LXE with 41k on it and the next night guess what, it cranked. The circuit breaker was popped. Sweetest bike I ever owned. Much superior to the Wing I have been riding for the past 2 years. LOVE IT! Oh by the way, EVERYTHING works. ~ Rallie D. "Rooster" Cogburn

I bought my Cade off a "kid" who was rich and spoiled. His dad bought it for him for a high school graduation present. The kid had a Kawasaki KE125 and that was the extent of his riding experience. He told his father he wanted a new bike. Dad said go pick it out and left for a business trip. The clown picked the Cade. To his credit, he put about 400 miles on it before he laid it down. That was it for him and the Cade. He sold it to a locomotive engineer for Conrail who repaired all the damage and put about 3K miles on it. However fortunate for me, his wife told him they were having triplets, thus, I became the proud papa of the Team 'Cade. ~ Bob Lilley


Got my LX from my friend who had it for 15 or 20 years and never thought he would part with it. Gave him 3000. It has 56k on it and it looks very nice. My wife and I are fairly heavy, and a bike this size is really nice for two up. He put air shocks on it years ago. He said that the only real fault is drive train leakage and this was worked on recently. He has become a BMW addict and was not spending any time on the Cavalcade. The bike will need a tire and a fork seal before long. I know a guy nearby who has an LXE. I saw the stator fix info on web site and told his wife to have him look at it. He has been garaged for quite a while because of stator repair cost from Suzuki. I have only been on the road a couple times, seems like a pretty decent couch to me. We also have a DR650, VX800, Intruder 800 ~ Scott in Kansas



Over all the improvements/ accessories you can add, I think I have benefited most with highway lights, Volt meter, air horns for my own personal needs. The Barnett clutch springs were a definite improvement with the clutch, and of course the "cork" took some of the worry out of the drive train problems. Although as long as I didn't have oil dripping, or in my swing arm catch tube, I never really worried about that. It really is nice to look at the voltmeter and know for sure that you got the voltage you need. Just thought I'd add this for some of the newer owners that want to improve their ride. Ride Safe ~ Walter n Maryland




Don: when I removed it I placed the gearbox in a vise and took a small chisel and angled it in the way I wanted it to come out. I taped it a couple of times and out she came. To install the new one I got it started over the splined portion and very gently tapped it into place with a small wooden block and hammer. Make sure you don't press it too far into its seat. Tap top bottom left and right on the outer edges at the same time keeping it straight as possible. If you check the manual it shows it just past the end of the splined drive and flush with the face of the boss. If you are ordering the "cork" don't install the rear seal until after you install the cork. Also inspect the shaft. It is sealing for a worn groove. You might want to polish this area with real fine cloth or emery paper. Also on the main shaft to the transmission, check this seal running area also. It might also need dressing up. Use plenty of grease on the shafts when you put it back together. If you have never worked with seals there is a small spring in the inner side that must be kept in place. Its purpose is to keep the seal tight around the shaft. ~ Walter n Maryland


The original seal in the secondary at the output to the driveshaft leaked on the very earliest models. They were black in color. The replacement or interchanged seal that came later was red, or a rust-looking color, much better. So the infamous plug was not the only leak problem in the secondary. Walter's suggestion of sight tubes is the only way to go! Any seal can leak at any time, new design, old design, whatever. AS the boy says, check dem oil levels. There is no substitution for this. ~ Ccook


If you order a new shaft from Suzuki, they will discover that it comes up with a new part number so don't look it up yourself. The shaft was the same; just the U was bigger. I compared them. I put on a new boot this spring and it had a drain hole. How did you all get around the problem of the bent washer when installing the "plug"? Would like to avoid that if possible. ~ Steve 87 in ON



I can sympathize with any of you that have had the dreaded gear box failure. I had just got home from Americade a couple of days earlier and decided to go to the local mall. As I traveled along, I noticed that my bike acted like someone was trying to hold me back. (Sort of like the brakes dragging) I pulled in the clutch lever and revved the engine but every thing seemed to be OK. I continued on to the mall and the same problem occurred again and I did the same as before, pulled in the clutch and revved the engine. Still nothing appeared to be wrong. Boy was I ever wrong, the next thing I knew, the rear wheel was locked up and I was into a 40-mph tire-dragging nightmare. I was extremely lucky and I was able to keep the bike upright. As I slide to a stop at the edge of the pavement some nice person stopped to see if I was all right and to find out what had just happened. He was also nice enough to give me a ride to my house so I could get a trailer to get my bike home. After I removed the secondary gearbox and was able to roll the bike into garage, I found out that the gearbox had failed. It also ruined the output shaft that comes out of the transmission. After pulling the engine and finding the upper case cracked I started looking for a used motor. The parts to fix the original one would have cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $450.00 and that didn't include having the case repaired. The new/used motor set me back $900.00. I still have the old one for parts if I need it. By the way, this is a 1986 LX. So any one that has not looked into replacing the infamous plug should do it immediately. ~ Jeff


After seeing this plug (the original) and it's design, I truly feel if you or the previous owner have run the gear box low enough on gear lube to heat the aft splined shaft up, there is a possibility for this plug to fail. In all years it ain't much and it doesn't take a lot of pressure to push it out. I know chicken little said the "sky was falling" and it hasn't yet. As I stated before if you have noticed an increase of oil on the left underside of your bike. Or an abnormal consumption, of gear oil in the secondary it's time to check where it's coming from. For those that are losing sleep over this you can check that plug without removing the gearbox, by removing the secondary drive bevel gear. Leaving the box it's self on the bike. Referring to the manual page 4-4, in the 3rd picture down it shows three of the bolts that need to be removed. The other two that will have to come out are shown as empty holes. When this bevel gear comes out there are shims and o-rings involved, which must be put back in the same way, must be put back in the same way. Once it is removed there will be a cam dog and a large spring that you simply pull out. If it's still in place you can see the plug. It should be flush with the face of the shaft it is in. On reinstallation of the bevel gear you will need to torque the bolts that were removed. Remember this is only to check the plug as you will not be able to install Tracy’s cork also that big round black disc in the bevel gear boss is also referred to as a plug that's not the one and don't mess with it. ~ Walter n Maryland


On my ‘86 LX the plug failed around 22000, I have 48000 now and is still running good. This is my 2nd Cade, 1st one I bought new in ‘87. It was an ‘86 LX don't have the VIN # for that one, but lost the plug at around 18000 miles. I broke 7 ribs, broke my shoulder and collapsed both lungs, gave me a VERY CLOSE experience with God, a helicopter ride and a chance to just lay back and do nothing for a year. Sold that one with over 100,000 miles on it... Cader's, check the oil levels.

Well here is a man that believes in getting back on the horse that throwed him. ~ Larry



Guys, I had an epiphany today while out riding the Cade. If you are changing out your bevel plug, save the old one. If one looks over the VIN list, it is clear that the bevel plug failures are clustered. I had thought that the factory might have been installing the plugs backwards, but now I have a better explanation. The interference fit between the driven bevel and the plug is a bad design because it is so hard to get the tolerances right. Tracy knows all about this problem. A rubber coated metal plug only compounds the problem, since there is yet another set of tolerances on top of dimensional tolerances of the plug and the bevel gear hole: the tolerances on the manufacture of the rubber compound of the plug coating. If you are replacing the plug anyway put a mic. on the bevel gear hole diameter, then write down and keep the dimension. Also keep that old plug. Perhaps they used a manufacturing lot that that was a little too small. Or the rubber coating wasn't quite right on that lot of plugs. Perhaps that lot was used on bikes 1321 to Tracy 's 1683. Depending on how you interpret the fate of bike number 1323, you might say that all the bikes in that 1321 to 1683 interval had plug failures. If those plug-replacers in that interval were to keep the old plugs and we collect them at Branson or somewhere, perhaps we can do a dimensional study on them. Or perhaps we can measure the durometer of the rubber. The other suspicious interval is between 2877 and 3208. It will be interesting to compare those plugs with any we get from bikes outside those two intervals. Tracy , do you suppose they had exactly two bad batches of bevel plugs? And those lots consisted of about 400 plugs? ~ Spike


<<If you are changing out your bevel plug, save the old one.>>


Tracy Presnell wrote: Spike, won't do any good. You can't mike rubber. It just doesn't work.


Yes, which is why I didn't suggest miking the rubber. I have access to an instrument that is specialized for these kinds of measurements. It works a bit like a bench vise, only it measures a part with one ounce of pressure, then increases to 2 ounces, measures, then three and so on. It makes a pressure vs. dimension curve. It is especially made for doing measurements on elastomers, such as the space shuttle solid's O-rings that failed right about the same time our Cades were being built.

<<If we had a number of plugs and knew the conditions under which they failed, such as the number of miles, the manufacture date, etc, we might be able to see a difference in some of the plugs. If one looks over the VIN list, it is clear that the bevel plug failures are clustered.>>

Spike, I really don't believe it has anything to do with "clustering". I believe it has more to do with age, heat, fluid changes, rubber compound changes etc. To assume that there will only be failures of a limited number of bikes because of a manufacturing date is dangerous speculation. For which I repent. Henceforth I no longer will suggest to any Cade rider to leave it alone if there is no evidence of leakage. I recognize that these plugs could fail any time on any bike. Furthermore, I am one of those that thinks that should the plug get caught in the secondary drive gears, and do so sideways, it might actually be able to lock the back wheel itself, totally without forewarning. In most cases it would likely just crush or chew up the plug, but if it went in just wrong, your fun could come to a screeching halt.


<<The interference fit between the driven bevel and the plug is a bad design because it is so hard to get the tolerances right.>>

Spike, the hole in the center of the gear is gonna' be pretty well spot on (probably +/- .0005 or less).


OK. I was thinking perhaps they outsourced some of the bevels and the machinist didn’t get the final polish on the inner diameter of the driven bevel just right. Agreed most shade tree mechanics like myself wouldn’t have equipment sensitive enough to catch this and even if they did, everyone's micrometers would be
calibrated differently. So scratch that idea.


<<A rubber coated metal plug only compounds the problem, since there is yet another set of tolerances on top of dimensional tolerances of the plug and the bevel gear hole: the tolerances on the manufacture of the rubber compound of the plug coating.>>

Spike, I will agree in part with your speculation. I don't believe that the tolerance is so much of an issue as the expectations of such a design to remain in place over time...So, in my opinion, the design was less than desirable to begin with.


Ok, so lets collect a few of the old ones and do some measurements in the elastomer lab. It would be interesting to compare a plug that has failed recently to one that has never been used, a factory fresh
(but 17 year old) plug.


<<Also keep that old plug.  Perhaps they used a manufacturing lot that that were a little too small. Or the rubber coating wasn't quite right on that lot of plugs.>>

Just throw it away. Even if it is bad, who cares?


I cares, Tracy . This is interesting. Do we know for sure that some of the plugs are not worse than others? I agree they are all bad, but some might be worse.


<<We're not trying to reconstruct a crime.>>


Well, actually that’s exactly what I am trying to do. Turning riders loose with the stock plug design is about as close to a crime as I have seen in the motorcycling world. My first priority is to see Cade owners get the problem fixed. My second priority is to gather enough evidence to get Suzuki to issue a recall, or failing that, to get NTHSA to issue a warning, perhaps even to get state governments to send notices to those who have registered Cades.

To do so on such an old bike would require extraordinary evidence, and even I recognize the chances are slim that
Suzuki motor company will do anything. But it might be worth a try.


We just need to get people to check that it's still there and keep track of the level of gear oil in the box and/or replace the plug with something that will stay put.


With this I totally agree. If I ever buy a used Cade, the first thing I would do is take off and repair the secondary case, regardless of the VIN. This is different from my position a week ago.


<<If those plug replacers in that interval were to keep the old plugs and we collect them at Branson or somewhere, perhaps we can do a dimensional study on them. Or perhaps we can measure the durometer of the rubber.>>

Doesn't matter. Regardless of the diameter of the plug or the current durometer of the rubber (it will have changed DRASTICALLY due to the gear oil and heat of operation)


What if we find the post-service elasticity of the plugs in those intervals was different from the elasticity of the plugs outside those intervals? That might help cinch the argument.


<<The other suspicious interval is between 2877 and 3208. It will be interesting to compare those plugs with any we get from bikes outside those two intervals.>>

Spike, I think you're reaching


Well sure. But if we don’t reach, we don’t get there. If all Cades were equally likely to spit out a bevel plug, then the probability of seeing a cluster like we see in the March 85 bikes is about 1 in 553441. I think there is something unusual going on with those bikes. Since a lot of guys will be replacing the part with a Cade cork (and for what ever you do, guys, DO NOT order a factory replacement and put that durn thing in there), why not lets collect up the old ones. What’s the cost to that? I volunteer to gather up the evidence and do the measurements.


 I don't believe there is much we can learn from plugs that are 14 to 16 years old without a control reference.


We have a control reference. Well, sort of. We compare the ones that failed with the ones that were replaced preemptively. Compare the ones that failed with high mileage to those that failed early. I’m not claiming we will know all the answers from just this, but what if we get about 50 of these things? I’m hoping we will get more than that. I would like to see a Cade cork go into every last one of these bikes that is still in service. But failing that, we might be able to show some interesting deltas in performance.


Even if you thought that you might be able to make some conclusion concerning good/bad VIN's for the plug, would you really want to say that only certain Cades are ever going to have the problem?


No, I've already given up on that. I was hoping to exonerate some of these bikes, but now I'm convinced that all of them need to have the bevel plug replaced. I don’t like being the bearer of bad news. Please don’t shoot the messenger.


You've already had to eat some crow concerning that.


I’m doing that right now. Guys, forget what I said before. Life doesn’t come with a reset button. You know what hasta happen. Make it so.


Nope. Every batch was bad. The reason I know that is because the design doesn't allow for a "good" batch. Ever.


Agreed. Let’s fix em.


Hey Spiker, isn't this fun?  Tracy


Well, Tracy , it *would be* fun, if not for the tragically dire consequences to the blighter who doesn't do the right thing here. After reading of Mike Cohen and Mr. Krome's wild ride, and then the other one that posted me off list, it all stops being a game and becomes a rather grim mission. ~ Spike

Spike and Tracy, You both could be right! The rubberized plug was a poor solution to a poor design, and Suzuki did make a change to the plug at one point in production, which indicates to me a problem with the old plug. Which would explain the cluster of failures prior to a certain date. Too many to be random I think. Which doesn't eliminate plug failure on later models due to conditions and or abuse Tracy outlined due to poor design. So that’s the "Third Plug Theory". ~ Larry, ’86 LXE, Dayton , Ohio

FYI, In resealing a number of gear boxes I've noticed two different lengths of plugs one approx. 3/8" long and the other approx. 5/8" long. The shorter plug appears to come out of low serial # Cades. ~ Phil


I will try to get my used plug from my dealer mechanic as well as the new replacement plug he ordered for my bike. I hope to get all the use parts from this repair. I will post any significant findings. ~ Bruce, 3\85 LX Kansas


COOL, THANKS! But do not let him put that OEM replacement in there. If you do, all you have accomplished is an expensive sideways leap. Bruce, ask him to measure the depth of the plug in the seat, and also estimate the force needed to remove the old plug. Those of you who are doing the plug replacement yourselves, do try to estimate the removal force, and note the configuration of the plug when you remove it. Top forward? Aft? For reference, when I put my plug in there backward, I was able to pop it back out with one finger. But when I put it in right, top forwards, it took 125 pound force for about 10 seconds to remove. Also if you want to donate your plug to a little research project I am doing, note the mileage on your bike, the VIN and anything else that might be of some use. Note such items as what state you are from (so I can see if the climate has anything to contribute to early failures) and what kind of life the bike has seen (daily commute with lots of temperature cycling stops and starts?) Long trips only?)  Send me information such as that. Thanks! ~ Spike



For those interested I removed two plugs one was out of an ‘87 gearbox, a spare I purchased earlier, and one out of my Cade 86 lx with 49,000 miles on it. To be honest the one out of the 87 came out easier than the 86. So where we at now? I reinstalled the one out of the 87 the wrong way and the right way and could tell no difference in Walter push power to remove it. It has been in that gearbox for 16 years and the rubber has set. It's now a fixed diameter NO! I will not leave it in there as the cork is replacing them. Am I afraid my bevel is going to lock up? NO! I wasn't even with the old one. As I know how much gear oil is in there, and I know there are no leaks in the boot area. As for a recall on a 16-year-old bike... I don't think so! Ralph Nader couldn't get a recall on the Corvair. Chevy just stopped making it. Hell! Suzuki did that 12 years ago. Is a dealer going to replace it? I don't think so. Hell, they don't even know what it is, let alone know how to fix it. Like I said earlier, if you are a jump-on-the-bike rider, never checking it over, never changing the oil as recommended by the manufacturer. You as an uniformed, irresponsible owner/bike rider are going to have problems. If you take it to a dealer who is not familiar with the bike he is going to screw up. As the oil checkers/changers are just learning to be mechanics. We all know even jiffy lube forgets to put the drain plug in sometimes. The fact remains it's up to you. Did I save my plug? Hell no! I got enough junk laying around now. ~ Walter n Maryland


What could Chevy have done with the Corvair had they recalled it? Taken the engine outta the trunk and installed it up front?  I see your point though. Even if Suzuki did a recall, all they would do is reinstall the OEM plug. Thanks but "No." Suzuki will not issue a recall because they would then assume liability for any unexplained accidents with the Cade. The grim part of this is that we can do some statistical extrapolations on just the little bit of data we have and speculate that rear wheel lockups have caused riders to perish. We have accounted for about 2% of all the Cades ever built on the VIN list, and of those 163 bikes, 18 have had bevel plug failures. If we ignore the fact that most of the early failures will never be heard from (since they may have been totaled). And consider that we have had 4 known rear wheel lockups at speed, two serious injuries resulting therefrom. All this from a few percent of the Cades, its a slam dunk that there are dozens of injuries and maybe deaths. We will never hear of those unless we somehow manage to get at some accident statistics from some source, such as NHTSA or something. ~ Spike



Evidently they had some bad ones in the early Cades. I was wondering when they started putting in the red ones from the factory. Spike that might be something you would want to know concerning your investigation. ~ Walter


Roger that, which is one reason why I was hoping some of the plug replacers would save their plugs and perhaps we can collect them and study differences to try to explain the two clusters and the singleton failures. I am curious as to why some plugs fall out easily and others come out with some coaxing. My plug is black. ~ Spike


As some of you have expressed, the color of the new seal for the rear of the secondary is a reddish-brown color. Generally, in the world of rubber, that color is going to point to a specific type of rubber compound, Viton. While there is no absolute guarantee that it is Viton, that color is the norm for Viton o-rings. ~ Viton is a compromise between rubber and Teflon (the term Teflon being used to describe a broad array of polymers). Since Teflon is hard as a rock and won't seal very well, they compounded Teflon and rubber together (basically) which yields an o-ring with properties of both. In the secondary drive output seal, the difference is the ability of the seal to operate at higher temperatures than a more traditional material like buna-nitrile (the most common oil resistant grade of rubber used for seals and o-rings). ~ This actually tells a little story that relates to the stock rubber-coated plug in the secondary output gear. If the stock seal was failing and the choice was to change to a Viton material, then the first conclusion I would come to is "heat." I can see that in the instance of that gearbox heat buildup could be a problem. ~ Unlike the final, which can get vast amounts of airflow, the secondary is covered over by a metal cover. Also, since it is bolted to the motor, it can't give up much heat that direction. It contains a relatively small amount of fluid and is very compact making the heat concentrate within the box. So, where does the heat go? The most obvious place is to the driveshaft. And, as it flows that direction what sees a lot of heat? The driven gear, the plug within the driven gear, the driven gear seal and the driveshaft u-joint. ~ What are the most common items in the drive train system that fail on the Cavalcade? How does one deal with a potential heat issue? Change to synthetic fluid and keep it at the proper level. Always. ~ Tracy



If the wheel is not installed in the way Tracy stated and torqued to the required specs, it can cause mushy front brakes. They will seem OK until you back it up with the front wheel turned. It will allow the rotors to move side to side in the calipers. I greatly suggest that any one doing their own work refer to the manual, the CD, and do it the way it is suggested in them. We can help you, but only in e-mails, in most instances, it is important for a new mechanic to learn to use a torque wrench. Some of us know what it takes to wring off a bolt then have had to drill and re-tap our mistakes. Or to over tighten a bearing and have it run hot or possibly seize up. The one's that know we'll try our best to help ya but it still ain't like we're looking over your shoulder, and can see what's wrong. I'm not aiming this at any one. There is a right way and a wrong way. You surely don't want to go about it blindly especially if you are hauling the wife or grand kids, or pulling a trailer. There is a lot of mechanical knowledge passed back and forth here, and just because we said it was easy and you read our instructions, doesn't mean that you are a motorcycle mechanic or that it will be easy for you, and can jump right on it. I for one wouldn't want to take my cavalcade to a Honda mechanic unless he had a manual, and I knew he was a good mechanic. There might need to be a Carter key put in that you might have forgotten. We wouldn't know that till you posted your wheel fell off.  ~  Walter n Maryland



While you are in there changing the plug and ALL the seals you can. Change the clutch slave cylinder seal. Mine went and constantly got worse over a year. It is a lot of work to get at a $4 part. Do it while you are in there. ~ Steve 87 in ON


Do you have a part number for this seal? I am making a list of parts to replace when I do my Cade cork. Also, is there just the one seal in the secondary between the secondary and the engine, or is there one in the engine side also. Thanks. If anyone wants a list of all the seals to replace when you tear into the gearbox, just ask me for it, and I will post it. ~ Brian in IN 87 tt Gray LX


Brian, The box to motor seal is #09283-48012 and the output seal is #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. There is only one seal between the box and motor. The part number for the slave cylinder seal is 23163-05A00.  ~ Tracy


Tracy , There is also one more seal in the clutch slave that you might as well replace while in there. It is called a cup seal not sure of the part number. ~ Don ’86, LX, Bham , AL


Tracy , Maybe it would be a good idea for you to once again print us a list all of the seals and gaskets. We might as well replace as many of them as our level of expertise will allow. ~ Virgil


Gearbox to motor seal #09283-48012 ~ output seal #09283-29004 ~ gearbox to motor gasket #24936-24A01 ~ slave cylinder seal (actually a cup) #23163-05A00 ~ Tracy


You might want to consider these also. 289-0970001 final wheel side seal ~ 09283-47001 (47002) final driveshaft seal ~ 09283-29004 (29005) secondary drive shaft seal ~ 61372-05a01 driveshaft boot ~ 09159-16003 nut for below ~ 09283-30026 final driveshaft side oil seal ~ Brian in IN, ’87, tt, Gray, LX


Of all the seals I've seen mentioned there is one still missing It's the small seal that is installed in the crankcase/transmission side. It’s the one the clutch rod goes through. On my bike it is reddish orange bout the size of a half dollar, If you didn't bother to order it, clean the rust or dirt off the clutch rod and grease it up real good. If this decides to leak it will be to atmosphere. When you get the gearbox off look at where it mounts and you will see it, the clutch rod is the 1/4-inch rod sticking out. This rod may have collected some RUST especially on bikes that have been idle for a while, and definitely won't hurt to clean it up, and grease it. May as well do "ALL OF EM" ~ Walter n Maryland



Tracy I just installed the plug, everything went good except the half-inch washer wants to bend. I would suggest that anyone who installs this use a stack of at least four half-inch flat washers. Otherwise it will gall the threads on the puller bolt. ~ Jerry '86 LX Wisc.


Jerry, Once you had the secondary out were you able to install the cork with out any more disassembling? ~

Frank, Co Sp ’86, LX


Frank, The plug installs WITHOUT tearing down the secondary. It only needs to be removed from the bike. ~ Tracy


OK, so I get home from work and there is a box on my front step, It is the Plug from Tracy ! I couldn't wait to get it installed, so out to the garage I go. It seemed easy enough. The directions were great. I had the wrenches, but I needed an extra hand to hold the secondary still. I figured I would use the wife. She wasn't busy. Well, we got it started and then that darn washer folded in half on me. The bolt stripped where the nut was. After an hour of wrestling this thing, I finally disassembled the secondary. I took the part that the plug goes in and head to the local machine shop to find a hydraulic press. The guy did it for free and was done in ten seconds. I am not bitching, because Tracy told me that it was going to be a tiger getting it in and I know it isn’t coming out. I say "save yourself some time and get that sucker pressed in when you get it". Thanks again to Tracy . Everything you sent looked great and I will be riding this weekend! Don from VIRGINIA


My Cade is now repaired with the Cade Cork. The mechanic said the old plug was still in place but loose. He expected to tap it out with punch but said it just fell out with the weight of his hand. He did not manage to save my old parts (surprise) but I am supposed to receive the replacement plug. He also said the Cade Cork went in very hard (bending the washer) but is confident it will never fall out. He reported everything else in gearbox and rear differential (which he resealed) was in fine shape. Haven't gotten the bill yet but so far am satisfied with their work and speed of repair. They are Clark Motorsports in Mullinville (and soon to be also in garden city) KS ~ Bruce



The shaft we got from the dealer is the same as the original in the bike. I also compared it to the one in my bike and this was still the same. So if I order one from "Bike Bandit" I will get one with a bigger u-joint? ~ Terry 86LX


Skippy, The u-joint is bigger. Could it be that yours had been changed to the later shaft? I agree that it would seem that there would not be room for anything more than the later shaft. I say later because the parts manual on the CD lists the part number for an 88 LX. (I think) ~ Jim


The shaft we got from the dealer is the same as the original in the bike. I also compared it to the one in my bike and this was still the same. So if I order one from "Bike Bandit" I will get one with a bigger u-joint? ~ Terry 86LX


Skippy, the U joint is at least 1/3 bigger than the one I replaced on my 86lxe. The arms are thicker, as is the swivel part. I measured the width of my original u-joint at the tongs, 2 an 9/32 inches (sorry I don’t have metric angle), The bigger, newer version will be wider than that. I hope this clears this up as to which one you have. I got 36,000 miles out of the original. But, I sure don't miss that "clunk clunk" of a bad universal. Its not sloppy like the ones I've replaced out of my pickup just kinda limp. Where the new one is stiffer. If yours ain’t making a "clunking " noise on shifting then don't worry about it. ~ Larry



I have oil flying out somewhere around my driveshaft boot. The clutch acts like it's going out after the bike runs awhile. I had a spot on the concrete and when I looked to see what was going on I noticed that the driveshaft boot was really wet. I filled the trany with new lube and changed the oil and filter hoping this would help with the clutch, it just blew more oil out and the clutch acted again like it was out. HELP! ~ Randy, Dec, IL


Randy, You may two problems. The clutch acting like it was going out is usually related to old fluid in the clutch system. Not always (as you could have a bad seal in the slave cylinder), but likely. ~ As for the oil blowing out, you could have a seal failure between the motor and secondary drive that lets motor (tranny) oil into the secondary drive. It will then overflow the gearbox and puke out the little vent tube. OR, and this is the most important part, you may have suffered the dreaded bevel plug failure that has been a hot topic the last couple of weeks. When the plug falls out, it lets gear oil puke out the back of the secondary drive and will eventually lead to a super low level in the gearbox and may eventually lead to bearing failure within the gearbox and with that a potential rear wheel lockup. ~ You really need to check the level of lube in the secondary drive and see if it's low or high. If it's low, you may have lost the plug, if it's high, you may have a seal failure between the gearbox and the motor. Either way, it needs to be corrected before you ride the bike again. ~ Tracy



A couple of years ago there was a thread about the oil level in the secondary being too high. And if I remember right (which doesn't happen very often) there was some advise as too a certain dimension down from the filler plughole that the oil level should be at. And that if one fills it to the check hole on the side, it is too full and will leak. Where does this fit in with the talk about the plug, etc. Is this still valid? Or if you have a leak - there is definitely a problem? ~ Denny Potoczky ’86, Cavalcade LXE; 99 Kawasaki Nomad, South Bend , IN


If you fill it to the fill hole in the side and it leaks, the plug is gone or you have a bad rear seal. If it leaks profusely, it is most likely the plug or the seal is REAL bad. ~ Tracy


How many of us check the rear oil in our cars over time before we drive them? If it were manufactured correctly we would only have to do periodic maintenance. Now that we know that there is a potential problem we should check the OIL LEVELS. ~ Clair in PA, Cade 1987


This is a reply to the question posted about early postings concerning the seal between the secondary gearbox and engine. Failure of this seal causes engine oil to enter the gearbox. In my opinion, this is a one way transfer and oil does not go from the box to the engine. When the box is over filled, it blows out the breather tube, which is normally routed up the frame towards the steering head. That spreads oil highly concentrated with the gear oil type all over the left underside of the fairing and engine. This has a very definite and distinguishing odor. That could also be the source of the oil found on the under side of the air compressor. Other people have found the tube miss-routed and others have changed the routing to try to direct the over flow to the road instead of their bike. I do not think this is a good idea and could also even create a vacuum at the end of the tube and draw oil out of the box. Evidently the level is quite fussy and the same mess can be created if the box is over filled during maintenance. On fellow posted when changing the oil he fills the box to the level hole and leaves the plug out over night to let any excess run out just to make sure it is not over the hole when it settles. Either he or another person did give some dimensions for a dipstick. I will look them up and post them later when I get time, unless someone beats me to it. Or else one could do the drain over night idea then insert their choice of dip stick and mark he full spot that shows up an the stick. So the earlier talk was of problems from an over filled secondary instead of low levels now being discussed. Thinking back over the early postings brings back memories of Gaza , who said we would hear from him now and then. Has anyone heard from him at all? His postings were really something to look forward to. ~ ARC


The schematic on the secondary gearbox shows a short breather hose. It does point down, as it should, not up in the fairing, or up the frame. There are two different part numbers for the propeller shaft (drive shaft) there is one for the g/h and one for the j model. I suspect the j model has the beefier u-joint. I know that a lot of you consider the prices at bike bandit high and I am not a sales rep for them. But sometimes we have to pay top dollar to own a Duesenburg. And as parts get scarcer, it gets tougher. Together we can work out the seemingly small problems Suzuki gave up on. She really is a good bike. If properly looked after and taken care of, just like the women in our lives. ~ Walter n Maryland



I was taking my 86 Cade LX apart today to get it ready for the Tracy cork and noticed that the right rear boot was cracked in several places and the shock was leaking oil. I also noticed oil around the air compressor. I was wondering if the oil in the compressor area is from the leaking shock? I guess I will need a set of shocks. Does anyone have a set for sale? If not can anyone tell me of a replacement shock? ~ Don 86 LX, Bham, Al


Don; try they carry Progressive shocks. You can also look up the shocks you want from Progressive at the 416 are what I've installed and I'm waiting on my front spring. ~ Frank Co Sp 86LX


If I remember correctly from earlier posts, you can send your stock shocks in to be rebuilt, and it is QUITE a bit cheaper then new ones. Help me out guys, cause I got CRS disease and can’t remember where to send them. Or do a search in the archives would work too. ~ Brian in IN 87 tt Gray LX


I have a little trick that might help your shocks; it has worked for me a number of times in different applications. First you remove the shock from the bike, drain the oil out and remove the rubber boot. Clean the smooth surface that the seal rides over real well. Then secure the shock upside down in a vise with wood so you don't scratch it (not the shock body, just the mounting hole). Then You take a nylon cable tie and you slip the tapered edge under the edge of the rubber seal lip on your shock body and you take a can of carb cleaner or brake cleaner with the red squirt tube on it. As you bend back the lip of the seal with the cable tie in one hand you slide the tip of the squirt tube under the lip of the seal with the other hand. Now comes the tricky part. You slide the cable tie and the squirt tube all the way around the shock tube staying under the lip of the seal while spraying the cleaner. You will be amazed at the crap that builds up under the seal lip that causes the seal to lose contact with the metal surface and leak. If you do this slowly and carefully you will not tear the seal and you may save yourself a bunch of jingle. When you’re done with the carb or brake cleaner blow all the excess dry and out from under the seal lip with compressed air. Then put a light coat of ATF on the shock tube. Reassemble the shock. Add + or - 4oz of ATF to the shock and your good to go! Make sure to wear eye protection and don't have anything lying near by that solvents will damage! Also no sources of ignition! I have saved rebuilding numerous hydraulic and pneumatic applications with this trick. It doesn't work well in high-pressure applications and I would never use it if life-threatening injury could result from seal failure (like an automotive lift) and of course it won't work if the shock tube is scored badly or if the seal is physically torn or cracked. I did it to my Cavalcade shocks 2 years ago and they haven't leaked again yet! ~ Myles “propjock”


Where and how do you add the ATF to the shock? ~ Don


I have air shocks on my LXE, On the air shocks you remove the airline and drain the fluid from that tiny hole by tipping the shocks upside down and pumping them slowly. I added the new fluid with a plastic syringe with one of those red squirt tubes stuck into it. I'm not aware if all Cavalcades have the air shocks or not. If you don't have air shocks I don't know how to add or remove the fluid. ~ Myles “propjock”


Brain, I tried a set of progressives in my bike last winter. With the stock progressive spacer in, I too lost a couple inches of travel. The stock spacer from progressive is 3" -if I remember right- The one I had was 2 1/'2 cause they were a used set (and was shortened a little to try to get the ride softer). I was thinking that they needed about 3 1/2 for a proper pre-load height and travel. I never did try it though - I just went with the stock Suzuki springs and spacer. I did talk with progressive though and they confirmed that the spacer sent with the spring set was 3". I suspect that the progressives will be stiffer and not take road bumps as well as the stock, but they will keep the front end from bottoming out, and should handle better than stock. The spacer is just made out of thick walled PVC - so making a longer one is no problem. ~ Denny Potoczky


Hey there fellow Cade people, can I get some tips on where I can get a rebuild kit for the front master brake cylinder? I put in new pads and bled the lines but when I pump the lever it doesn't keep the pressure up. No leaks. ~ Rich, RJ ‘87LX


One thing you need to do is to bring your inners to a dealer. There are two different inners for the master cylinder. The earlier Cades used a smaller pump assembly. I found that out the hard way by ordering the wrong one. ~ Mike C. ‘86 LX


Thanks Mike and Walter, I went to the local Suzuki dealer and she said they don't have rebuild kits available. So my next question is what is the "pump"? Is it the inner cup, and did you order yours as individual part (pieces) from the dealer? Thanks Rich, RJ ‘87LX



On re-assembly of my front wheel after replacing fork seals and installing progressive springs, there is a ~1/2" gap between fork and spacer. Facing the bike from the left there is the axle nut head, spacer which is held by fork cap, spacer with flange to wheel, wheel then speedo gear the fork then nut. Am I missing a spacer? Or are you supposed to tighten the slop out, making the forks "bend" inward? I did notice that when I slid the spacer on the left inward that the head of the axle shaft gets "bit" or held in the fork cap. Is this the adjustment? ~ parooster


Leave the cap on the right bottom fork (sitting on bike) loose so that the spacer can slide within the cap. Tighten the axle nut (drawing everything to the left side and then tighten the 2 nuts on the cap. ~ Tracy


So Tracy , the head of the axle nut is slightly larger than the spacer. This will make the fork cap when tightened a little crooked. The idea sounds correct with the exception of the different sizes. I actually thought that the forks should remain neutral, but when I took the wheel off, the forks "sprung' out about 1/2 "". I'll give it a try.

Thanks for your suggestion. Any others welcome. And yes I know I need to get the manual, and will very soon. ~

Rallie D. "Rooster" Cogburn


Rooster, NO! That is not right. The nut will sit outside the cap when tightened up. The attached page from the service manual shows 2 - spacers on the right side (sitting on bike). One has a flange (it kind of protects the bearing seal) and one is straight. ~ If the fork legs sprung when you loosened the nut then some dumbass before you has lost a spacer. Please don't put it back together this way as your brand new fork seal job will be all for not. (That really makes the bushings inside wear, too). ~ The part numbers for the spacers are 54740-18410 (that's the flanged one that sits against the bearing) and 54741-49300 (that's the one that sits inside the cap. If you want to just make one (the 54741-49300); the dimensions from the parts book are 15X22X35 (.591 ID X .867 OD X 1.379 length). ~ There are no spacers on the left side, only the speedo drive (lube it if you can while it's off or it'll be the next thing to replace) and a flat washer. ~ Tracy


Rooster, In the manual (9-15 front wheel) the right hand (sitting on the bike) outer spacer (#3) has a ledge on it that is not showing in the picture. That ledge should be to the inside of the fork, leaving space for the axle nut to set inside of the outer right fork. If you have that spacer backwards than you would have a 1/2-inch gap. ~ Frank, Co Sp 86 LX


Thanks, the problem was, someone put the axle in from wrong side. Once I turned it around, it all made sense. Thanks to Tracy who emailed the page from the manual. Thanks a million! This group is great! ~ Rallie D. "Rooster" Cogburn


To the northeast (CT area) crew: I have my bike apart (to repair a melted H4 headlight plug) and I would like to disassemble my bike's forks. I just cannot accept that my forks were assembled properly when I had the progressive springs installed (at the dealer). I feel that the Progressive spacer was installed in addition to the OEM spacer, and here's why: My forks have only about 2-3 inches of travel, while Chopper's beautifully repainted bike (and matching trailer!) has a good 4-5 inches -. His feels much more 'natural' where mine feels stiff & limited. Am I on the wrong track? If anyone feels up to stopping by & making a day/weekend out of it, I'll supply the beer & grub (dogs/burgers?) ~ Brian 87LXE in CT


I had the fork springs done two years ago. At first I thought they were way too tight and not enough travel. Sucked it up and kept running them. This year they feel just right. They are a stronger spring and take some getting used to. But they will get to you in time. Hardest thing for me at first was feeling the road bumps, but that went away in time. I can't say for positive if the springs got looser or I got used to it. What weight fork oil did you use? I used 15W. That will make them a bit tight but that tightness goes away with use. ~ Kenn (Progressive front, 416's back and 2 red antennae) G


Stiffer Progressive springs can sometimes require lighter weight oil for a more comfortable ride. ~ Woody


I can't say what weight oil was used. The shop did it. I just really want to open those fork tubes to I can say for sure that there is only ONE set of spacers in there as opposed to 2. As I said before, Chopper's Cade has about double the travel as mine, yet moves much easier... Makes me curious if not doubtful... As for the melted headlight plug, I just went to the auto parts store & picked up a standard headlight socket (my reference was an 85 Buick Rivera, as the plug was in my mind the same. Tried it on the new bulb & couldn't be closer! ~ Brian



Anyone ever have a problem with their cruise control surging after its set? Thanks Tom


Tom, That is normally a condition of too much slack in the cruise control cable. There is an adjuster to take up this slack by the carbs. ~ Jerry 86LX Wisc


Yes. It's normally time to clean your speedo cable. It binds and causes cruise to surge. ~ Ray & Lin LeTourneau "In The Woods" Nekoosa , WI


Mine surges a little going downhill, but nothing to write home about. ~ Douglas Fuller


Mine was a vacuum leak. Split hose at the carb. ~ Grandpa ‘86


Grandpa, That’s what I was thinking. I did have the carbs off over the winter. I was not sure if the cruise was controlled by vacuum. I don’t remember seeing a vacuum hose by the carbs. Where is it? I’ll check the speedo cable along with all the stuff the manual says too. Thanks for all the replies. ~ ichaboney


The cruise on the Cade isn't controlled by vacuum, but a vacuum leak could cause the motor to surge.

~ Brenden


The service manual lists the following for speed changes (surging) on a flat road (more than +/-3MPH). 1) Loose speedo cable coupler 2) Broke speedo cable 3) Contaminated reed switch in the speedo 4) Kinked accouter cable 5) Defective actuator 6) Defective control unit Besides those, I would suggest (as others in the group have) that you adjust the system in accordance with the service manual. ~ Tracy


My CadeTrike surges after setting by about five miles. I ask the guy who owned and triked bike before me about it and he said it had always done this since he got the bike. ~ Kelly B.


The only times that I had Cruise Control Surging was when the motor was not running on all four cylinders. It was difficult to tell at times that it was only running on three cylinders with radio, road noise and etc. When I got that problem solved, the cruise control surging did not exist anymore. My experiences on a ‘87 LXE. ~ David Williams, Evansville Indiana



I had the opportunity, in a past job to operate a bucket truck; the company I worked for did minimal maintenance. I left a job in southern Maryland and was proceeding back to Annapolis at a pretty good clip. Luckily for everyone involved, after about 65 miles of dual highway driving, I turned off on to a secondary road. I then had to stop at a red light. When I stopped the right front of the truck sort of dropped inch or so. I noticed some light smoke. Thinking the brake was messed up, when the light turned green I pulled through the intersection, pulled over to see what was wrong. Friends when I stopped the next time that front wheel popped off the truck went 30 feet in the air. It landed in the grass along the road and the hub was so hot it set the grass on fire. The wheel bearing had run dry, seized the outer bearing to the spindle, and had literally wrung the nut cotter keyed end of the spindle/axle, so don't tell a dry bearing don't get hot. That axle looked like someone had taken a torch to it. Spike: here's a good one >. If your engine is turning 3500 rpm at 65 mph, how many rpm's is that drive shaft turning? I'll tell you how fast I think it's turning. A bunch more! Enough to need a steady supply of gear lube. ~ Walter n Maryland


It is equally spooky to have the front wheel bearing on your Cavalcade disintegrate while riding. My right front bearing came apart at 50 mph, no stability and no brakes. ~ Woody




Well I am working on the rear of the bike now. I’m making a career of this. When your taking something like this apart for the first time you never know what to expect or what is going to fall off.

- Got the rear wheel off (after letting the air out of it) but in doing so a thin piece of rubber came off on the hub of the wheel facing the final gear. Assume it came off the oil seal (#17). What’s the best way to replace this seal? Do I need to remove the final gear case (#23) and then remove the final gear bearing case (I hope not) or can I just pry the seal out and install while on the bike?

- Next one. Back to the front of the bike. I noticed some oil seepage, not heavy, below the front cylinder head cover on the left side. Probably cover gasket is starting to leak. The radiator reservoir sets right on the top of it. Can I get to these bolts and tighten down with the engine on the bike. Probably have to follow instructions for removing radiator and reservoir tank. If I decide to replace these cover gaskets do you need to remove the engine (Definitely don't want to do this). Appreciate your opinion on this. ~ This job wouldn't take so long if I didn't have to order parts and then wait 4 weeks to get them. ~ Bob


Bob, According to the service manual, section 4 page 20, that seal is replaced by removing the final bearing case. The photo shows it being driven out from the wheel side. Looking at the drawing of the final gear case, it makes sense. Don't know about the valve cover. ~ Tracy


Bob, I think I gave you some bad info. I looked at the extra final drive I have and it appears that you might be able to get the seal out without taking the bearing carrier off. Sorry. ~ Tracy


In removing LH bearing 09263-30020 from rear wheel it got messed up. Bike Bandit shows it discontinued. Will double check with my Suzuki dealer tomorrow. If I can't get it there what can I do since I don't have a bearing number or bearing size to cross-reference. I believe it is a needle bearing. Appreciate your suggestions. ~ Bob


Bob I don't know what area you are in. Here in western Kansas we have BRC Bearing and another bearing warehouse that can usually find what we need. If they don't have it they will try and get it for you. Hope this will help a little. ~ Tom Yost at


Bob, The needle bearing in my spare wheel is a NTN brand and has a number of 7B (might be 7E) HK 3020. Armed with those numbers you can call an industrial or possibly automotive supply and they can cross it over for you. The ball bearing on the right side is an NTN 6304LU. This should cross to several brands 6304 size and the LU stands for a rubber seal on one side. It wouldn't hurt anything to install a bearing sealed on both sides if that's all you can find. ~ Tracy


Thanks Tracy for the assist. Now that I have a number should be no problem. Thanks ~ Bob



I have heard that Suzuki increased the size of the drive shaft and or drive shaft universal joints sometime after the Cade went on the market. Does anyone know if this change was made and if so what date of manufacture it occurred? Also, if you have the shaft out of the bike can the U-joints be greased? Thanks, David Williams Evansville Indiana


No they are a sealed bearing. However they should be checked, for any play. Also check the splines on both ends and the splines should be lubed lightly. ~ Walter n Maryland


No, No, No! the drive shaft is identical to the old one. ~ Terry 86LX


Where did you get beefier U-joints? I'm on my third one. ~ Eugene , San Diego


Larry, Do you remember the part # of the beefier u-joint? Thanks ~ Virgil


BIKEBANDIT.COM, This had an original shaft-u-joint in it. I used site to look up the part #.  ~ Larry, ‘86LXE, Dayton Ohio


When this item was discussed a few months back I looked it up on bike bandit also, there was 2 different part numbers for the driveshaft. I attributed that to a beefier u joint or else why? The seal I was referring to as the clutch rod seal is found in the clutch fisch. Also the clutch slave cylinder and related parts are found there in bike bandit. My bike, like I said before, has 49,ooo miles on it and the u- joint looks good as new. I'm still waiting for the driveshaft boot. When it comes I will let you know if the new one has a drain hole in it. The old one did not, only cracked wrinkles. ~ Walter n Maryland


The last time we were on this subject I looked up both part numbers for the drive shaft at Bike Bandit and they both show the same stock number. I think whichever one you order you get the heavy duty one. ~ Jim


Okay what part of the drive shaft is the "heavy duty" part? We had ordered one from Suzuki and they are still the same as the old. ~ Terry 86LX


The shaft I received has part # 27100-24A06 on the package. I think the parts manual shows it to be for a GDJ model. I have it for a spare and it looks bigger than the one in my 86 LX ~ Jim



Would anyone know where I can get a pad spreader for motorcycles? Thanks, Brian 87LXE in CT


I've been using a C-clamp for years. Just tighten it slowly until all the fluid is back up into the reservoir. ~ Ray & Lin LeTourneau


Yep! Just take the pads off and use a "C" clamp. But I would open the bleeder first. Then push in the piston. You shouldn’t push fluid back through the system. ~ ichaboney


Take off the front wheel, check the reservoir for space at the top, put your biggest screwdriver between the pads, turn to push the pads apart. Then the old pads come out easily and the new ones go in easily. No need to take the caliper apart. But after you have pushed the pads apart like that and changed them, you will need to bleed the system and replace the brake fluid, since it pushes old cruddy fluid back into the reservoir. Make sure you have enough ullage in your reservoir to keep from having it overflow. If you spill that brake fluid, it will cost you a hundred and three dollars and thirty-seven cents. ~ Spike

According to the Midas training manual. "Ahem" it was the only thing around. You open the bleeder or bleeders one at a time. Pump the brakes; in this case handle, until the reservoir is close to empty. Fill the reservoir with new fluid and continue to pump until all the old fluid is pumped through the system. Note! Keep the brake system on the disk until the fluid runs clean. Another two cents from the old geezer, ~ Grandp86


Checkout . I installed on my calipers in the front and worked fine. They replace the existing bleeder valves. You don't have to close the bleeder valve between pumps. Have bleeder for the clutch also. When you get done you just tighten the speed bleeder until it seats. ~ Bob


The best way to bleed any brake is to get a jar and fill it about a quarter way full of brake fluid. Then attach a hose to the bleeder screw then make sure that one end of the hose stays in the brake fluid in the jar. Then add fluid in the reservoir and either move the clutch handle or the brake peddle, whichever one you are bleeding. Make sure that the reservoir does not run dry just keep it up until you see clean fluid coming out of the bleeder hose in the jar. ~ Ron


I did my brakes. I used a large flat screwdriver. Not sure I was doing it 'right', I forged ahead. Since then, I have acquired a gasket scraper - much like a flat screwdriver, but with a 1-inch blade. I figure I can clamp the shaft of that with a vice grip & spread the pistons with that... I just thought of this LOL ~ Brian 87LXE in CT



Question for any and all fellow "Caders". Lately I've noticed a slight slipping of the clutch on my 87LXE but only in forth or fifth gear and only under heavy acceleration. My bike has 67,000 of which about half was towing a queen bunk Combi-camp Trailer. My question is... I've purchased the Barnett springs and new gaskets but before I tear into it, should I also replace the clutch discs and if so, do I have to buy all ten individually or is there a clutch kit available. Thanks, ~ Bud


The clutch plates, unless you have really worked them over by slipping them excessively, are generally serviceable and don't require replacement. My only suggestion is that you could sand the surfaces of them lightly to remove any glaze and wash them well after doing so. ~ Tracy


Bud, My bike has 47,000 miles on it and it had the exact same problems yours does now. 4 months ago I bought the Barnett springs and tore into it, and mic'ed all the clutch disc's while I was in there. They were within the same specs as new one's, according to the service manual. I figured why put new in when the old ones were the same thickness. Needless to say, I haven’t noticed ANY clutch slippage at all with just the new Barnett springs. But the only way to be sure is to do the same to yours. Hope this helps. ~ Brian in IN, 87 tt Gray LX


I parked my bike and all was well. The next time I got on, the clutch was almost impossible to mash. No leaks. Any ideas? ~ Rooster Cogburn


I’d guess it’s your clutch slave. Mine was seeping and I did not notice it. ~ Casey


Has the slave cylinder been replaced or rebuilt? Has the fluid been changed, EVER! Both of those could contribute. ~ Tracy

After riding today, sometimes it is normal (easy) and sometimes it was very stiff. No fluid has been lost yet.

What do you think? ~ Rallie D. "Rooster" Cogburn

Rooster, Change the clutch fluid (uses brake fluid) first and see what that does. There has been many a Cade that was cured by this. Be careful, though, brake fluid eats plastic. ~ Tracy



Has anyone replaced their fuel filter with and after market filter? ~ Frank Co Sp ‘86 LX


Frank, I thought there was a section on the site that gave the alternate part numbers but I couldn't find it. A number of the group has bought them at the local parts store that is a match. You could always carry yours in there and match it up with the parts picture book for filters. ~ Tracy


I used a NAPA 3006 for my replacement. Just be careful to get the flow direction right. This filter will fit into the stock bracket if you're careful taking it off the stock filter. ~ KennG


I have used NAPA 3006 it is not an exact match but does work I got the number off an email sometime ago. ~

Roy in TX


I replaced mine with a Spectra fuel filter, part number 2368. It's basically an inline glass fuel filter with replaceable filter cartridges. I really like it. I bought it at a local Murray 's Auto Parts store. ~ Rick



I have a ticking and I understand the valves are non-adjustable. 87LXE. This is mostly at idle and goes away at cruise speed and I don't notice any sluggishness. Should I be concerned? 42,000 miles? ~ Rallie D. "Rooster" Cogburn


Rooster, Could be the oil thickness and or it needs changing. Too thin of oil will not allow the lifters to remain "pumped up". If you are using an oil with a 5W in it, it's probably too thin. You will need at least a 10W40 and possibly a 20W50 if the ticking continues. 42,000 miles is pretty low for these motors. Unless it has been abused, I wouldn't be concerned. Just change the oil or switch to a slightly thicker grade. It wouldn't hurt to put about 1/2 can of Shaler's Rislone in during one oil change. It is notorious for quieting lifters in car engines. You can get it at most parts stores and I think even at Wal-Mart. ~ Tracy


Thanks, I am currently running Honda 10-40. ~ Rooster


Well, that oil should be fine so you may need to do a little clean up with the Rislone. I would put it in maybe 200-500 miles before your next oil change. ~ Tracy


I'd strongly recommend against using any oil additives. The oil companies spend billions of dollars making sure the oil has the right package of additives, putting anything else in with it can drastically change the properties of the oil. This is the most important thing I've learned from my uncle who for the last 30+ years has been a chemist for Pennzoil. Funny thing is, I use Castrol...go figure. I'd never tell him! ~ Brenden


Brenden, While I agree that oil companies so spend a lot of money on oil formulation, I also know that motors with some mileage on them that may have had the oil run longer than the manufacturers recommendations can get gunked up inside. Believe me, I have rebuilt enough motors to know that as good as oil is it ain't perfect.

It's like using a little Marvel Mystery oil in the gas or some STP fuel treatment every once in awhile. Gas and oil do leave deposits inside the motor. That's just a fact of life. Shaler's Rislone is the best product around for quieting lifters and doing a general cleanup inside the motor. ~ I would never recommend that one use it all of the time. But, if you have a less that spic-n-span motor (probably due to a less than perfect oil change record or some other operation condition that produces sludge inside the motor like short trips that don't allow the motor to come up to temp long enough to burn off collected moisture), then it ain't gonna hurt. ~ As an aside, years ago before Pennzoil reformulated their oils, mechanics that rebuilt motors that used Pennzoil religiously became accustomed to a film of gunk that would stick to the bottom of the oil pan and had to be scraped off with a putty knife. Must have been that Z-7 additive or something. I talked to several of them that recommended against using Pennzoil because of that. That's not a dig to your uncle or Pennzoil. It is simply information that I was exposed to over the years. Since Pennzoil went to the new "clear-base" formulation, things may have changed. I don't know, I generally use anything but Pennzoil. ~ Sorry. That's just my opinion. ~ Tracy


I agree. Occasional 'cleaning' type additive can be good. I prefer sea-foam myself. But when I add that type of thing to oil, I always do an oil change within 100 or so miles. You're original post wasn't very specific in this respect, I'd hate for somebody to add something to their oil at every change. ~ Brenden


Absolutely agreed. I just recommended 200-500 miles to Rooster to give it time to work it's magic. Sea-foam may be as good or even better than Rislone. ~ Tracy


Art, Pay close attention to the ticking. Mine started ticking ('86LX) at around the same mileage. The ticking got progressively worse and at about 48000 miles I had to get a top end rebuilt. Turns out that there was a run of cams that were not heat treated properly & were too soft which made them wear out prematurely. ~ Mikey


Sea Foam is my choice also, but I've put over 50k miles on mine in about 3 years with the ticking and the performance and fuel economy remains the same. ~ Woody


I have the same ticking noise, cold...I've had the bike since new and it’s always been like that. It goes away after its warm. When it was new the Suzuki reps told me I'd be fine. That was 31-K miles ago. Ever try arguing with your dealer? It still bothers me but the bike runs 110 percent. I would also like to know the truth of the COLD TICK? ~ Big blue


Ever since my first oil change this season (I just completed my second) I have been running Mobil1 full synthetic. The slight ticking I had disappeared as soon as the oil cycles through the motor. Also it shifts much easier. ~ Brian, ‘87LXE in CT


I've been using Tuf-oil for about 13 years. The product is unsurpassed. I sent a memo about 3-4 weeks ago about the product. The clutch was slipping under load, was hard shifting. That’s all gone and it runs very smooth and QUITE. I live in BC Canada . Canadian Tire sold the product for $14.95 Canadian, but stopped selling it. Probably cause they could no longer get a good price on it. Thanks for the site info. ~ Crazybadjer


Mine ticks a bit as well. I have a friend that drag races motorcycles, his attitude is that it's better to have loose ticking valves, than to have them too tight and bend one! ~ Brenden


Without hydraulic lifters, he would be correct. But there is also the issue of the valves coming completely closed if they are set too tight. The ticking isn't a problem unless it's excessive, which can wear out the ends of the valve stems from the rockers smacking them. A little tick at idle is probably okay but it should quiet immediately as the oil pressure builds with engine speed. ~ Tracy


Has anyone wondered if that ticking noise is the water pump chain and NOT the valves? ~ KennG



After reading numerous posts in past newsletters regarding the infamous plug which falls out of the secondary drive gear it became apparent I too had a problem. I've been leaking oil from the drive boot for the four years and 20,000 + miles I've owned my '86LX. I had always figured it was just the shaft seal showing age and continued to add oil as needed. When I realized my VIN JS1VX71A2G2101678, Mfg. date 3/85 was highly suspect I felt I better take a closer look. Since pulling the secondary gear case from the engine to fix the plug was required I thought I would just pull the secondary drive bevel gear assembly to make sure the plug had indeed come loose. Once the three large and two small bolts were removed the secondary assembly with shims, cam dog and spring were removed. There was no plug in the driven gear, it had been chewed up and pieces of aluminum and rubber lay in the bottom of the case. No damage existed on the bevel gears and the bearings turned freely with no unusual noises. I did pick two small pieces of rubber out of the housing where the gallery pin goes in. At this point I decided there was no need to take the drive assembly off the bike. I cleaned the inside of the driven gear with acetone, balled three cotton balls together and pushed them all the way in until they hit the end of the propeller shaft. This was to keep the J-B Weld I filled the remainder of the driven gear with from contacting the propeller shaft just in case I do need to remove it someday. Per the manufacturer's instructions I let the J-B Weld set up for awhile before using it so it wasn't so runny. Once dried (I waited a full 24 hours) I rinsed the gear case with a little solvent, reassembled with new o-rings using the torque in manual and serviced with oil. After several rides all is dry and I feel there is less chance of the J-B Weld coming loose than another factory plug. If you've got a leak at the boot you may want to give this a try. ~ Dave




Hi all, can any help locate the T-stat on a '86 LX? I purchased a new one and tried to install it. I found some documentation on replacing the T-stat but I was stop by the word COWING? What is a cowing? Where is it? Please help! ~ BA


The word is "cowling" and the t-stat is just above the left front (sitting on bike) cylinder's valve cover. ~ Tracy


Brian, the easiest way to get at the thermostat is to take out the radio box. The thermostat is located on the top front of the engine. I had my lowers off when I replaced mine, but it was still easier getting it from the top. Don't forget to check the radiator hose and the smaller ones feeding the rear cylinder. Change em if they look even remotely bad. You don't want one to break on a trip. (Don't ask me how I know.) ~ Denny Potoczky




I have a question on installing driving lights. The lights and switch both have ground wires. Do both of them have to go through a relay or only one? Thanks ~ Wojo


No! The switch gives juice to the relay, the relay turns on the juice to the lights. The lights can ground through their brackets (assuming they're metal). The relay may need a ground wire if its case is plastic. Only the positive goes through the relay. ~ Tracy


Wojo: Evidently you're using a lighted switch. For the lamp in the switch itself you will need to ground it. It's probably a lighted rocker switch, plastic encased or maybe a lighted toggle switch same encasement. Just ground it to the bike frame. ~ Walter n Maryland



Hi, I have a member of the Cade Club in England who is having trouble getting his Cade to fire on more than one cylinder. He has bought new igniters from Arkport, had the coils checked, replaced spark plugs and ignition leads from coils. Bike still only fires on number 3 cylinder. Could it be the generator? When checked with ohmmeter this seemed to be ok. Any help would be greatly appreciated. ~ Dave, SCCUK


Compression, dirty carb jets cracked intake boots? ~ Brenden


David, does it have fire to the plugs? You know, when they are out of the cylinders. ~ Red


Hi Red, No the only plug that lights up is the number 3 plug. All others seem dead. It has a new battery and the lights; etc work just will not kick into life. ~ Dave


I have had Ignition coils which will not fire under a load (under compression) yet show good spark when tested unloaded (on the bench) ~ Phil


Phil: The spark will not be affected by the compression. Compressed air has slightly less resistance than non-compressed air, including the gas air mixture. I would guess it's something else, most likely one of two things: voltage to the coil or the high voltage. The wires are old and won't carry the voltage any more. There are several other things to check too. But I would start with a voltmeter on the lead to the coil and an ohmmeter on the spark plug wires. The spark must be blue in color, not yellow. ~ Grandpa ‘86


I would suspect the R/R. Sounds like the compression is snuffing out the spark due to low voltage. The coils are fed from the R/R. ~ Micky, "Gray 87 LX"


Dave, Maybe you've tried this already, but, if you have the plugs out and connected to the coils, if you switch the input leads from the #3 coil to another one, does the spark move with it? If you swap the igniter boxes with each other, does the spark move with the switch? If either of the above is true, the problem probably lies in the pickups (under left side engine cover) of the connections from the sensors to the igniter boxes. ~  Tracy


I switched the igniters when Ronnie and I went to see the guy and still it was number 3 that lit up. I then assumed that his igniters were ok. I also checked the resistance of the coils and the generator; they were within the numbers given in the workshop manual. Dave, there are four in our small club, had a auto electrician come to have a look and he reckoned that it was the igniters, I wasn't too sure. Connections have been cleaned. The schematic of the ignition system doesn't mention the regulator/rectifier and I never thought of that as I assumed that came into play after the engine had fired. I must admit that I am no mechanic and at the moment I am at a loss as to what to do next.

Thank you to all that have replied. ~ Dave, SCCUK


Dave, I just changed mine this spring, because I had the distinctive "clunck", when shifting, The new shaft - universal joint is at least a third beefier, Sorry I don’t know if the bigger one was changed during production or after. I don’t see how you can grease the universal as it was sealed but I'm backyard mechanic. ~ Larry, ‘86 LXE Dayton , Ohio



Ok guys, I got it home and checked the battery, all was well and my auxiliary after market lights worked. So I pushed the circuit breaker by the battery and cranked it right up. After a little running the headlight and dash lights began to flicker, all along the voltage was 13.5 to 14.2 V THEN I revved it up and POWWWWW out of the exhaust, headlight really flickers, the rpm needle becomes very erratic and the voltage at the battery is suddenly 12.2V. I turn the bike off and turn it back on and NOTHING, no lights no nothing. Is this the regulator and who has one? ~

Rallie D. "Rooster" Cogburn

Unplug the stator leads from the regulator and unplug the regulator and do it again. Regs are available from Electrex for $126. ~ Tracy



I have no dash lights on my 87 Cade. The bike is new to me. Any ideas? The fuses in the right fairing at battery are all good. ~ Rallie D. "Rooster" Cogburn


I had the same problem, check to see if your taillight is also out as they are on the same circuit, if so, you will need to wiggle your fuse in the holder, as it may not be making good connections. I did and everything came back on. ~ Bud 87LXE


Bud, you are the man! It wasn't the fuse, but the previous owner goofed when he plugged the fuse panel in. The end contact was bent and not in connector. I fixed it and both the tail and dash are lit. Thanks a million. ~

Rallie D. "Rooster" Cogburn



When using front brake, the brake light will not come on. Cleaned front brake assembly, still no light. Do I need to use some kind of grease for electrical parts with the STOP switch assembly? ~ Wojo, 86LX (white) Kent , WA


Wojo- I know that the switch can be 'adjusted' a small amount. If you loosen the screws & slide the switch assembly closer to & farther from the center of the handlebars, it just may make a difference... What you can do to test the switch is to take a small piece of metal or a coin, etc & touch it to the 2 contacts on this switch (with the ignition on) & see if the brake lights come on. If not, you will likely have the same problem I had last year - one of the connectors for the brake switch had come apart under the fairing. Once I reconnected it, all was well. ~ Brian 87LXE in CT


Just went through the same thing with mine. I found a broken wire, the wire must of shorted and popped the fuse. So check the fuse, it’s the first on in the fuse block.... 10 amp. ~ Ichaboney


There is a small "U" shaped copper contact piece w/spring that fits under the adjustment plate on the front brake handle/brake cylinder unit on the handle bars. That contact wears out and you have no brake lights when you apply the front brakes. I had to replace mine and it was available from the dealer. ~ Myles L. McKeone "propjock"


Since I have had trouble with my brake lights sticking, I installed a small light on the dash that lights whenever I hit the brakes. This way I'll know when they come on and if they stick the light will stay on. ~ Roy in TX



Does anyone know where the ground is for the stator and rectifier...I would like to check the grounds for these things before I spend the money to replace them? Thanks in advance, ~ Dan in TX


Dan, The reg/rec grounds through it's mounting bolts. A bad idea unless it is mounted to the negative battery terminal. The stator only connects to the reg/rec. It is a good policy to run a 12-gauge wire from the reg/rec mounting straight to the negative terminal of the battery. Helps make sure the extra juice is dissipated properly. You need to test the components before you do anything else. See for a detailed procedure. ~ Tracy


It grounds through the infamous white plug attached to the negative battery terminal and the cause of many a burned out stator/regulator. ~ Phil



The best way to avert a stator/reg-rec failure is to attend to the connections between them and to run a 12-gauge wire from the reg/rec case directly to the negative battery terminal (or to its attachment point on the frame).

The reason a reg/rec fails (typically) is due to an inability of the unit to dissipate the extra juice that the stator is putting out. This happens for a number of reasons but it is key that the connections from the stator to the reg/rec be clean and tight (solder them if you want to make doubly sure) and that the case of the reg/rec is fully and well grounded. When the reg/rec goes, it will usually take the stator with it. The stator, on it's own, can't really do anything without a load across it. While there is potential, it is impotent without the reg/rec providing that load. ~ Tracy


I think you'll find that the Reg/Rec doesn’t ground through the case at all but uses the black/white tracer-wire going through the small white plug near the neg. battery terminal to ground. This plug often becomes corroded increasing resistance and melting the plug. This in tern causes all kinds of problems for the reg/rec as it cannot regulate stator output. (no place to ground out the excess current) Cades run a permanent magnet rotor, so the stator is full output all the time. Only variable would be RPM. Regulation is accomplished by shorting output to ground. If you want to check this hold the white plug (near the battery) in your hand sometime when your battery is fully charged and feel the heat of this plug as the Reg. fires the excess current to ground. ~ Phil


Phil: I had that problem on the way home from a trip. When I replaced that plug and cut the corroded wire back to fresh wire those connections never heated up again. I would think (no more than I know about the Cades charging system) that if it were heating up it's a sign of a bad connection. That's the way it works in most electrical connections. I do know for sure that once that connector was replaced the charging system worked right. Before replacement it read 11.5 volts after I replace it read 14.5 volts and no heat. The battery acid has a way of corroding that connector/plug and it needs to be replaced or removed completely. At least cleaned frequently and lubed. Still charging. ~ Walter n Maryland



I am going down the road and the bike cuts out and dies down. It won't accelerate but will idle, it backfires and the rpm needle goes haywire and the lights flicker. Haven't had any battery problems that I know of. Is this likely a stator and how to check? Help! ~ Rallie D. "Rooster" Cogburn


Rooster, Sounds like just electrical connections and possibly old fuel. Like many of the other Caders have done, you probably need to spend a day cleaning electrical connections and lubing them with some grease made for electrical connections (it will conduct) to avert future corrosion/connection issues. What you describe is probably not the stator. If you want to check the stator and reg/rec function, go to and follow the troubleshooting guide. Sounds like your 16-year-old may have some crud in his wires. ~ Tracy


I remove the plugs from all the Cades I work on and solder the wires together, as they are a constant source of charging system problems. ~ Phil


Phil, I stand corrected on the grounding of the reg/rec case. Yes, according to the diagram the black/white trace is the ground wire. As for the permanent magnet being "full output all of the time" that is only partially correct. The "potential" is available all of the time but until a load of is applied across the outputs it really doesn't make any output. Arguably, air is a conductor (although a very poor one) and there is a slight amount of current flowing from the windings when the wires are unplugged and hanging in the air but it is probably un-measurable with common equipment. Yes, the reg/rec does short (or shunt) output to ground and that's why it is very important to have the unit grounded well. I had read numerous posts from another group I belong to (the GS Suzuki) and they had recommended the grounding of the reg/rec case. However, it appears that the Cade does it through a dedicated wire. ~ Tracy


I replaced my rectifier Saturday. It sets directly over the headlight and the connector is under the right upper fairing. The problem as I see it isn't the connectors but the aluminum wire that they used. That's a big no no. If you remember back a few years ago they went to aluminum wire in trailers and houses because it was cheaper. They found out that the aluminum is constantly flexing as it heats and cools. After a while the connections become loose and the heat build up would get high enough to start fires. ~ Virgil


Virgil, I think the connectors are tinned brass, not aluminum. ~ Tracy


As far as eliminating the connection that's probably a good idea along with some shrink tube over the solder joint. it would at least seal it against it getting acid into it again. My charging system charges 14.5 volts at highway speed. However seems as the battery is charged, such as on a long trip, the voltage will drop. Sometimes it drops to 11 volts. And as the battery starts to evidently get low it will start to charge again in the 14.5-volt range. I take this as the way the rectifier/regulator works to keep from constantly over charging the battery. that's the way it worked when I hooked up the voltmeter, and traveled with it. It keeps the battery charged and doesn't boil it over and that's what matters to me. As for doing away with that plug, that's what some of the GoldWing owners did to solve their stator woes. They say it works for them. As for that wire being ALUMINUM, I didn't find that on mine. However it is "REAL FINE" nickel coated, stranded copper, (looks aluminum, feels aluminum, < BUT IS SOLDERABLE>alum isn't??) Which is SUPPOSED to be a VERY GOOD CONDUCTOR, mine still has the original Suzuki reg/rec, so I can't verify after market wire material. When I stop at an intersection with trailer, highway lights, stoplight lit, turn signals on the voltage drops real low, some where around 9 to10 volts. another thing to REMEMBER is that if your ELECTRICAL system is LOWER that 8 VOLTS the DASH trouble module/clock will not illuminate. ( check manual) ~ Walter n Maryland


Probably just tinned, not nickel. I don't think there's much nickel-plated wire in Japanese bikes. ~ Tracy


The connections are brass. Copper is too flimsy. The zinc in the brass (brass is copper and zinc for the most part yellow brass being about 60% copper and 40% zinc with a few other minor elements and some trace elements) gives it strength to hold the shape. copper, unless it is full hard, won't hold the shape. Copper also changes hardness father readily with the application of heat and slow cooling. That would tend to make a copper connection go soft. ~ Tracy



Here's another plea for help. During a ride last Sunday, for an unknown reason, my LCD Check panel went blank, along with non-op of blinkers, cruise, gas & temp. gauges, ignition lights, and the tach. Everything else seems fine. I checked the fuse box under map box. They are all good and the circuit breaker appears okay. The red button was not up for reset. Any pro's with suggestions? It starts right up, good voltage of battery, head/tail okay, and radio/CB fine. I saw a post awhile back of the exact problem, but the 1 response was to check the fuses. Thanks all, ~ David (stupid) Andersen


According to the wiring diagram (it's on the CD), the second fuse (I assume from the top) supplies juice to the combination meter and the turn signals. The wire is an orange with green trace and it goes though several connectors delivering it payload. Recheck the fuse, its socket and the connectors from the fuse block to the harness and the connector at the combination meter. There are 4 connectors on the comby meter and it's not the blues or the red. It's the other one. It will have an orange with green trace on the harness side and an orange on the meter side. ~ Tracy


Been there done that..... in fact that is when I found this club looking for help... but no one had this problem.... You need to go deep.... chances are the connections in the instrument head had picked up some corrosion and or the small screws have worked them selves loose.... it has been awhile since I went into the instrument cluster... my tach went dead... when I was inside I put a electrical coating over all the connections and re-tightened up the screws.... get the CD from Tracy and study the removal of the instrument cluster and or just tear into it like I did. ~ Rod '86 Cade



Hi all, my name is Brian and I have an 86 Cavalcade LX. My problem is my bike won't start. I was riding the bike earlier today. I was able to start it 5 times today and at round 12:30 p.m. I went to start it again and nothing happen. I looked for head lights, turn signals, and radio. However nothing came on. What I was able to see on the dash was the Neutral light and Oil light. Also I was able to watch the temp gage go all the way to hot, while the motor was completely cool. After a while of playing with the radio I was able to hear sound, but it still didn't stop. ~ Brian


Check the negative battery cable connections would be the first place to start. Remember, the negative cable connects to the battery, goes down about 6-10 inches to another connection where 3-4 wires are tied together. hope this helps ya. ~ Brian in IN ‘87 tt Gray LX


Push the circuit breaker that is near the negative terminal of the battery on the battery box. ~ Rallie D. "Rooster" Cogburn


Brian, It sounds like your kickstand switch is shorting out. I had the same problem, with the key on reach down and wiggle the kickstand switch, if the LCD display goes on and off its the switch. I was about 300 miles from home at a rest stop when mine went bad. You can cut the switch off and ground one the wires to the frame, you'll have to try each one as one is for showing the kickstand in the down position and the other is for the check systems display. You want to ground the system display wire. ~ Phil 86LX





Can anyone tell me if the stereo antenna & the CB antenna use the same kind of wire? ~ Brian, ‘87LXE in CT


The wires are slightly different. The stereo antenna uses what I believe to be a coaxial cable with an impedance of 95 ohms and the CB uses a coaxial cable with an impedance of 50 - 52 ohms. The diameter of the two cables is also slightly different. As for performance, they are nearly the same. ~ Mike

Thanks for the reply, the reason I ask is because I have a FireStik CB antenna and was wondering if I can use another one for radio reception (not that I am going to get same performance, but would like the 'tennas to match.) ~ Brian


What color FireSticks did you get.....mine are RED. I bought the wire from RS and ran the CB wire right along side the radio wire. Just put a different end on the radio wire. I'm not seeing any big problem wire reception or sending. ~ KennG


I too have the short Firestick antenna for the CB radio. It will not work very well for AM/FM reception. The bike radio has a bit of circuitry that matches the original bike antenna for maximum reception. ~ Mike


Dear Brian: The antenna wire won't make much difference as the CB antenna is tuned for frequencies much different from AM or FM. You are right, the AM-FM radio won't pick up much. You would be better off getting two of the AM-FM radio antennas and putting in a separate tuner for the CB. The small black plastic thing part way up the CB antenna is actually a coil that tunes the antenna to receive signals in the CB range. The AM-FM radio is not tuned as the AM and FM frequencies are far apart anyway. ~ Grandpa ‘86



Tonight while riding to work my CB channel indicator on the left side of the fairing (stock LXE/CB) started blinking the channel number but the unit was not on. I turned the CB on, the light lit and everything seems to work fine. However the indicator still flashes on and off. Sometimes staying on for 20 min or more and when the talk button is depressed the indicator shows TX. However, I am not transmitting nor receiving until I actually turn the unit on. Any suggestions? This just started, Bike has 67,000 miles. Thanks ~ Bud ‘87LXE


Bud, If you have the Cade CD, there is a CB repair manual in the CB directory. If you don't have it, you can download that file at

May have some troubleshooting info to help you run down the problem. ~ Tracy



FYI, I got my switches through Digi Key with the same physical dimensions but 130g versus 160g. They are working just fine and they had them in stock. ~ Rallie D. "Rooster" Cogburn




Has anyone tried using a fiberglass repair kit on their plastic? ~ Virgil




Man, I'll tell ya... When Suzuki laid out these parts fiche (that subsequently made it to the CD), some parts look like they are on pages where they have nothing in common with the other parts on the page. For instance, the saddlebag reflector. You would think it would be on the pages with the saddlebags, right? No, they are listed with the taillights... Sheesh! That brings me to this email. Does anyone know the location in the parts book or the part number for the metal bracket that holds the steering head cover (with the clock set buttons)? Mine is bent and I would like to replace it. But it is not to be found on the CD - I checked it 3 times. Thanks for your assistance... Brian 87LXE in CT



The original front foot pegs were rubber mounted to help keep vibration down. Is there an increase in the vibration when you install the floorboard? Can any of you fellow Cade riders that have floorboards comment on that? Thanks, ~Crazybadger. --- Brian Sherman <



I just got my plugs from Bumper to Bumper parts store. $7.63 each. NGK PJR7A Platinum tip ~ Jerry 86 LX Wisc





I have a 1987 LXE and am in need of a new, or used air compressor. If anyone can help me I would appreciate it. Thanks... Bryan ,



Need Upper Brake Hose #5958024A00 for 1986 Cade. My dealer has one on order but it has been backordered with no future date for shipping. I am trying to locate one in stock somewhere. I would appreciate any help on this matter. Can't stop in Texas at the moment. Harlan Speidel Wharton, Texas 979-532-3703


You can always go to after market steel braided lines, very positive. ~ Woody Graetz



Does anyone have or know where I can get a stock or stock type fold down antenna? ~ "Rooster Cogburn"



Has anyone got three spare working coils for the Cade. It turns out that a member's Cade had three go at once.

Email me with price for sending to England . Dave SCCUK, e-mail:



Hi all, I am in need of a stator for my '86 Cade. If anyone has an idea as to where I can find one or have mine rebuilt, thanks in advance. ~ Kelly '86 LX:


Kelly, Call Willies Cycle in Camp Hill AL 1-800-334-4045. Talk to Troy . They were Great and Fast! He even had one re-wound by the time mine got there (2 days) and shipped the re-wound one back as soon as he could inspect my core. Don't miss out on the High output models for only $20. ~ djpetrou



Does anyone know if saddlebag liners are available for the Cavalcade, and where can I get some? ~ John Holbrook:


Yes, you can still order them from Suzuki but they are not cheep. ~ Randy ’88 LXE



I am looking for a chrome or light bar rail for the rear trunk. If there is one available email me at Now that I have put the Russell seat on I need to get the rest up to speed.. ~ Pappy



I would like to find a photo of the Map holder. Stock or perhaps the home made one. I would like to see what worked. No need for me to try to invent something that might litter the highway. ~ Michael

Michael, The stock map holder is quite complicated and expensive. The one that Spike made is nothing more than a sheet of 1/8" Plexi cut to the shape of the right side inner fairing cover. (the one that comes off to expose the battery) He put a 1/2" or so square of Velcro at each corner and put the mating half on the cover. It ain't as pretty as the original, and it may not be quite as functional, but it looks good and if it blows off running down the road, you simply reach into the trunk and pull out another one that you made as a spare. Total cost: $3-$5. ~ Tracy


“The stock map holder is quite complicated and expensive....”

PLUS, it is held in place with a couple of magnets and a metal clip, both of which deteriorate with age. Those of you lucky enough to still have the original Suzuki map holder may want to come up with a suggestion on how to keep the darn thing attached to your Cade. Duct tape is a start, but probably not the classiest solution. ~ Jay



I'm looking for a seat & backrest in nice condition. Reply to Fatman at



I need a jet (13383-24A10). I will take one as the dealership has three. I've been getting poor gas mileage. I went from 43 mpg to 29 mpg. I took my baby to Suzuki who diagnosed the carbs. They are running extremely rich. I was at 7% carbon monoxide. Per Suzuki I need to replace the jets. I have been waiting on Suzuki for 6 weeks already. So far the part has been on back order. ~ I would like to ask the members to check with their local Suzuki shops for the part in question. Let me know if you find the part and where. I will then call and have the item shipped.  ~ Micky "Gray 87 LX" e-mail:


Check They have front rotors listed on sale for $150 and rear rotors for $125. Also a choice of sintered or Kevlar brake pads.



Augusta , Georgia

I am selling my 1986 Cavalcade GDG, Gold/Brown, 49 K miles. The bike has recently had the stator and generator replaced plus a full service with all fluids changed. I am located in Augusta , GA , stationed on Fort Gordon . Why am I selling? Right now, life as a Drill SGT keeps way too busy for this bike. I am planning on purchasing something smaller, sportier to zip back and forth to work on. Price:$3300 o.b.o. Also includes bike cover and Tracy 's outstanding CD. Thanx, ~ Chuck K e-mail: 


LX with Side Car in Toronto , Ontario  

Here is the info about the Cade with sidecar that I am selling. I prefer to sell them together and will only separate them if I absolutely can't sell them as a unit! I am attaching photos. ~ Located in Toronto Canada . 1986 gold/brown Cavalcade LX with professionally installed Velorex sidecar (model 562 with all accessories). Approximately 62,000 kilometers. As is condition. Lovingly cared for but needs some TLC. $8000.00 CAN. Contact Jerry at: for more info. ~ Jerry.


Front Royal, VA

Well folks, it has come down to selling my Cades, I am sorry to say. I have 2 1986s, one is a gold and brown LX and the other is a parts bike, blue on blue LXE. The road worthy one has 26K miles and everything worked last year (have not been out on it yet this year). With new tires, it is in good condition (paint is rubbed of in a few places where the previous owner had it tied down). Parts bike has no plastic that is usable, except for one side bag, nor does it have the radio. It had 16K miles on it when it was wrecked. I am asking $3000.00/BO for both and am located in Front Royal, VA. Email me at if you are interested. I will get some pictures together soon. ~ Tim


Alliston , Ontario Canada

We have a 1986 Suzuki Cavalcade, this bike comes with every option there is. We have put new battery, tires, and brakes. This bike is in mint condition, just waiting for the right person to baby it like we have. It also has matching intercom helmets and a Lombard seat. It has a matching trailer with custom light packages and also custom light package on the bike itself. It has 67,000 kms. Asking price of $8300. dollars Canadian. The bike can be seen on the web site. Cadephoto #8, 2nd row, last pic. Contact Brian Crawford 705 435 3914, 157 Heydon Ave Alliston , Ontario Canada .


Burlington , Iowa

I have a 1986 Cavalcade GT that am thinking about selling, It has 22380 miles always stored inside, never been wrecked or damaged. It is very much like when it came from the factory except for a lot of extra lights and chrome. It was bought new by my brother in 86 and he passed away the next year and it came to me. I don't have the time to ride it and my wife feels that its time to go. Price , best offer over $3500. and it is to be sold with the understanding that the plug be checked before riding it. don't think there is a better one out there. The plug has not been changed but is ok as far as I know. I can be contacted at 319-752-0942 or  If any one is interested I do have some pictures to e-mail. ~ Rolland Meismer, Burlington , Iowa U.S.A.


Seattle , Washington

87 Suzuki Cavalcade LXE, Set up and all maintenance and repair since new done by Rick Gervasi. Lots of extra chrome & lights. Integrated CB, Drivers backrest, Good tires, Wineberry & Silver. Just serviced. 105K, but in A-1 condition. $4,200.00 OBO ~ Walt, Cell Phone 206-391-4542, Home Phone 425-222-4675, Work Phone 800-759-7164




The short version, IT WAS GREAT!! We had seven bikes 5 were Cades, 2 blues 2 silver and my brownish maroonish color. Everyone had a great time, it was great to meet the people we've been talking with but never met. We saw the best the hill country had to offer, some great twist and turn roads not to mention a lot of good eatin. Sat. we went west of Burnet and saw the mountains (for Texas anyway) and lakes. Sunday we went east and saw the rolling hills and rivers. I don’t think anyone left disappointed or hungry. I ended up with over 800 miles for the weekend and yes even on a Cade I could feel it as I limped into the house Sun afternoon, butt I'd do it again next weekend if I could . Hopefully you and all those that couldn’t make it can make the next one. If it weren’t for this club it never would have happened so I wanted to thank our founding fathers for a great job that has brought so many Caders together. ~ Roy in TX



Bob, Yours must have been one of the only two other Cades I saw at Myrtle Beach ! Saw a blue one, a gold and brown one, and a dark blue trike. Counting mine, there were at least four Cades at the rally. Wish we had been able to get together and ride a bit down there. I gotta tell you, I think the Cade impressed a few of the Harley crowd. One of the folks in the group I was with was asking if the Cade had 60 or 70 horsepower and you should have seen his face when I told him it was rated at 112! "What did you do to the engine?" was the reply. Then I told him I had done nothing to the engine, that was stock. Couple of others were commenting about the fact that I set the cruise and was listening to an oldies station on the stereo - "You mean you're actually enjoying this long ride?" They were also complaining about the grit in the air and how rough some of the roads seemed, none of which bothered me. My round trip was in the vicinity of 670 miles and the Cade ran flawlessly. Wasn't real pleasant on Saturday as we ran into a line of thunderstorms and the temp dropped about 20 degrees while we were getting soaked. Got caught in the first one so quickly that I was soaked to the skin by the time I pulled off the road and dug my rain gear out of the saddlebag. Ahhh, but the ride was worth it! Just thought I'd share a little with one of the members of the group. Keep riding and keep safe. ~ Dennis



From Larry (grub) and Nancy (Nurse Ratchet) in Dayton: Nancy, I and some friends (the Mod Squad) will be leaving Dayton Ohio near the crossroads of I 70 & I 75 on Saturday morning (Sept 14th) at 8am for St Louis, MO. This route takes #I 70 arriving at the Embassy Suites downtown St Louis about 3-4 p.m. local time. The Suites are a bit pricey but include free cocktails each evening. Plus there is free cooked-to-order breakfast the following morning make it not so bad. Each suite has two rooms, making it easy to share with friends. The swimming pool and hot Jacuzzi, aren’t bad either. And, It is near the Arch and River Area. (Renovated shops, restaurants , and riverboats.) (Bars too) Sunday morning we are gonna ride to the top of the Gateway Arch and visit the Pioneer Museum at its feet. Will start our real fun ride by noon . If the weather is nice we will take an Adventurous Run down MO 19 Scenic route, staying the night along the way. (If the weather is bad we may head down the slab to Branson Sunday) Monday morning plan to be in Branson by noon to 2pm for our First Annual International Cade Raid. Anybody who wants to hook up for all or part of this ride let us know. If you are coming from the north, south, or east, and want to stay in Dayton Friday Sept 13th, We have a couple of motels around the corner. You are invited to our house for burgers and beer till 10 p.m. If you’re west of Dayton and want to hook up along the way, let us know and we can work out times and places. If you want to stay at the Embassy Suites let me know!!!! Maybe we can get a better deal if we book rooms as a group. The suites are $215 normally. Also if you are willing to share a suite with a stranger, or strange couple, what better way to get to know each other? If you’re a smoker, or don't mind second hand smoke, or if your an ex-smoker and crave second hand smoke, if you choke on smoke but don't mind sharing a bathroom to save a few bucks, then let me know. The two rooms do have a door. One room has a pullout couch, the other a king bed or two beds. (Oh hell, it’s a nice place!) I believe the manager’s cocktails are at 5pm and it’s a cooked-to-order breakfast (not dry bagels and coffee). The atrium has plenty of room for a group to sit around and visit. That’s enough trying to sell that place. E-mail or and put “Gateway Arch” as the subject ~ Larry an Nancy



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!

Last updated:   Wednesday, February 06, 2013

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