The Suzuki Cavalcade Newsletter

Issue #2 ~ September, 2000

Jay D. Johnson, Editor

Emailed to you at No Charge.

Faxed or Snail Mailed to you at $25.00 for 12 issues



For all of you who guessed the fuel filter may be the win! Remember this number...NAPA 3006. It can save you a lot of grief! Not an exact replacement...but pretty darn close...and can be changed in the parking lot of an auto parts store in about ten minutes. Also, I remember a lot of talk about rebuilding air filters. If anyone is interested, Arkport Cycles carries replacement air filter for the 'Cade at about $33 each. But here's what I did to work around the situation, and save $30 at the same time. When I took off the tank cover and air filter housing to find my completely clogged air filter, I looked at the housing for a moment and noticed that all the air is pulled through the small front opening in the housing. So I removed the filter, and the rubber "boot" inside the housing and covered the opening from the outside with an oil impregnated foam filter. I actually used one made for a lawn mower that has a screen impregnated in one side to keep the foam from being sucked into the carbs...screen side in (Wal-Mart...$3). I attached the new "filter" with four sheet metal screws from the outside. This will act as a freer flowing filter than the original...and is a lot cheaper. Then I coated the inside of the housing with recommended by the local co-worked/ help keep additional particles that may pass through the housing "stuck" to the grease. It may have to be changed or cleaned a little more often, but should let the bike breathe a lot easier. I always thought it was great how easily my bike started and I didn't even need to use the choke...The filter was doing that all by it’s self. What did I learn, you ask, from this frustrating experience? 1. I know how to take off the "gas tank cover"... 2. I have intercom connections for the radio...a pleasant surprise... 3. My bike doesn't need to backfire so much... 4. Gas mileage has increased from 33 mpg to 40 mpg...awesome! Thanks guys for all your help and suggestions!

~Pete in Olean '87 LXE

Peter, Did you check your sparks? ALOT OF EXTRA AIR CAN REALLY LEAN DOWN THE AIR /GAS RATIO... ~kelly 86lx

My two-cents, As with most motorcycles, the air filter and air box are designed to be used with a specific set of carburetor jets when the bike comes from the factory. Any substantial change to the system (including a new higher flowing air filter) may result in a mixture that is less than ideal.

For example, on my 82 GS750, I thought I would be a smart-ass one-day and took the cover off of the filter box. Since the box only had two 1 1/4" diameter holes for those 4 carbs to suck through, I thought I would get a performance gain. Not so. The bike wouldn't run past about 2500 rpm and then it cough and spit like an old man. Put the cover back on and it ran perfectly.

What this tells me is that Suzuki (as with most bike companies) de-tuned the engine by restricting the airflow into the engine with the filter box and/or the filter itself. I could put a better, higher flowing filter into the stock box, but I was still going to be sucking all the air the engine would get through those 2 - 1 1/4" holes.

Now, here's the Cavalcade. A monster 1400cc motor pulling all of its air through a slit barely big enough to get a few fingers into. Moral of the story, the Cav motor is severely de-tuned just by the air box opening. However, if you open up the slit too much, you stand the chance of leaning the motor out resulting in a number of possibilities including running hot, longer warm-up times, low power etc.

The gentleman that opens his slot up every year is probably not causing too much of a problem since he never changes his air filter. Even by cleaning with a blast of air now and then, there are pores in the paper element that are getting clogged over time. He is simply exchanging a reduction in pressure drop in the air box inlet for and increase in pressure drop in the filter itself. If he were to put a clean high-flowing element into his modified box, the bike may not run very well (or it might, never know until you try). Anyway, if I had a personal preference, it would be to change the filter and leave the box alone.

You can offset some change in the airflow characteristics of the box/filter combination with the idle mixture screws. The overall contribution of the idle mixture after 1/4 throttle isn't much, but it does affect the overall mixture at all throttle openings albeit small.


Moral of this story, if you keep a clean filter in the air box, don't mess too much with the opening unless you make a jet change or at least dig the plugs out of the idle mixture screws and set them richer to compensate. Even then, though, it may not be enough to compensate for a substantial increase in airflow.

One wonders, if you completely took the lid off of the air box, and re-jetted the carbs, what kind of monster would that motor be? With 112hp stock, it would have to be impressive. Hmmmmm, so if I put in new main jets. . .


Dammit Tracy! Now you got me thinking again!! :o)

Open up the air box, a set of those custom mufflers, and we'll have a definite winner (not that it's any slouch as it is now...) I love this group!! ~Brian, 87LXE in CT

I sent a used stock Suzuki filter to K&N and they rebuilt it with their core. The cost was around $40 plus freight. I made a 3K trip out to Zion Park Utah in August. My mileage was improved about 5mpg average from years past. I ranged from a low of 26.7 to a high of 42. I had the cruise set on 70 and 75 mph also. On other trips I had to keep it at or below 65 to get in the low to mid 30's at best. Good Riding, ~David 86 LXE, Perryville, Ark.

I just went through a great lesson...have you checked the air & fuel filters? For me it was the difference between wanting to throw the bike away, and wanting to go on a trip again. I suspected an electrical problem for a while...but it was much simpler. Good luck. ~Pete on Olean, NY



Hello Fellow Caders, Just wanted to let you all know that I decided to try and make a new taller windshield like I had been told that others had done from this group. I bought a 3'x3'x18" thick piece of Lexan, put my old windshield on top of it and traced around, then measured 4.5" up from top of old windshield, slid the old shield up to that mark and traced the top. Then I finished the sides by hand to the same degree as original to meet the top. Cut it with a table type jig saw, touched up edges with a sander, drilled out holes with 12" drill bit (had to drill 3 holes right next to one another to make slot) used a dremal tool to grind out what the drill left. Had a friend install the screws while I flexed it to create the arch that is needed, bought some black rubber/plastic door edge molding with adhesive already in the slot to go up the sides and across the top to cover up the rough edge from the saw. Took it for a test drive and got up to 80mph and it works great!!!!!!!! Total cost was $62.80 and took about 4 hours to do. So anyone that wants a new taller windshield, you don’t have to pay $140.00 for a Precision Plastics windshield, Just make your own. ~Brian in IN, 87 Gray LX

Brian, Great job. Just a tip - you can remove the rough edges and have the windshield look like the factory ones by lightly running a torch along the edge. You would not need the door molding then. Experiment with the pieces you cut off first however as if you heat it too much it will damage the windshield. ~Rick


I got this idea from my boss who used to own a black and silver LX. Someone may have already done this but I have never seen a posting on it. So I figured I would let you all know. On the back of our bikes we have the chrome license plate light cover with the red reflector above the plate. If you remove the 4 screws from this cover and remove it you can CAREFULLY drill out the rear portion of the reflector. The license plate light will then show through the red lens and you will have an additional light on the rear of the bike without adding any wires or additional draw on the electrical system. You do not need to be real neat on the backside, but you do need to be careful not to punch all the way through the lens portion of the cover. I used a Dremel tool a small file and a utility knife to cut mine out. I started by drilling small holes all the way around the backside of the lens using the Dremel. Switch to a cutting wheel to remove everything in between the holes. Use the utility knife and file to fine tune everything. Re-mount the cover and turn on the bike. IT is not very visible during the day but at night it really looks great. Any questions, give me a holler. ~Gary Fairfield '86 TT Blue LXE The Big Blue Pig Jax, FL


A few weeks ago I changed the fluid in the clutch res...Now I'm having problems shifting. When I shift it's as if the clutch isn’t engaging...Shifting from 3rd to 4th or 5th isn’t as bad. Any ideas?

Sounds like air in the line. I found you can attach a clear hose to the bleeder valve, then hold the end up and pump the clutch until there are nooooo more air bubbles. Ya gotta get em aaaall out or the clutch wont work right. ~Spike

Best way to over come it is with a Mighty Vac, bleeder unit. I got mine from Competition Accessories for around 39.00 or so. Has all the little connections and adapters, make changing the fluid in the clutch or brakes a snap.

~Denny Potoczky 86 LXE South Bend, IN

Thanks for this tip , Denny, replacing the lines is gonna be one of my winter projects. ~larry


Hi guys, I was wondering if any one could tell me how to attach a photo to one of these messages? Thanks

~Carter 86LX

Carter, I would use a paper clip to save the staple holes. ............

It depends on the program you are using. I use both Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express, depending on which computer I'm on at the time. With both these programs once you start a new message you can click on "Insert" on the tool bar at the top, then file, then on the file in your computer and it should attach the file to the email, can be text files or image files. When sending image files it is best to send as a .jpeg or .gif file as these are compressed files. Hope this helps. ~Dennis

Carter, How you do this will depend on the e-mail program you are using. I use both Pegasus Mail and Pine Mail. Not because they are necessarily the best but I get them free from work. Pine mail has an icon of a paper clip. Click on it and follow instructions. Very simple. Pegasus is similar but you must find the attachment instructions on the tool bar. Any program should be reasonably similar. ~ProfB - 86LX

I suppose I should know, do you take a pix (like of Ron's bike) and make wallpaper?...could you make it (or another pix) into a screensaver? I have a Windows 98 on my Compaq 5204...thanks... Fred

Right click on the picture and select internet wallpaper. It will save it as a Netscape or internet wallpaper.bmp file in your Windows directory. It will also display your selection on the desktop. You can then rename the picture and save it by right clicking on it in explorer and selecting rename. Ensure the .bmp remains. Right click on your desktop and you should be able to find it in your wallpaper setup. If you need more details let me know. This is just a short quickie for you. ~Gary, Jax, FL, 86 TT Blue LXE


There have been some recent updates to the Ulysses New Zealand site check it out! ~Murray 86LX or see the “Links” section at


Hi guys Picture this; Big Poker Run for MS. Starts @ local HD shop. I'm to meet up w/ some HD buddies. Must be 150 bikes there when I pull in, (90%HD). I pay the fee, buy some 50/50 tickets. Ready to go. CAV NO START!! Coast it down the hill. CAV NO START. Missed the Poker Run. Hauled the Cav home on a tilt-bed for $55. Need you guys to help me figure this out. Here's what I know: -The start before this one took a couple of button pushes to start. -This attempt, NOTHING. no fuel pump sound. Messed w/ clutch lever position. No difference. - Coasted down a hill. No attempt to fire. - Plenty of lights. Battery seems fully charged. - Right now, it's home and I'm pi--ed! What do you think? ~Mark Hohman 86 LX Wheeling, WV

Had the same type of problem. It was the clutch safety switch. Take out the 2 screws under the switch, be careful not to loose the spring, take the wire with the contacts loose and short the contacts on the handle bar. Be sure you're in neutral or the bike will leave you behind. Hit the start switch. If that's the problem, the bike will start. ~Jim in Ohio

Mark, a couple of times this has happened to me because I had accidentally hit the run switch and turned it off. ~Allen (editor’s note: The “Run” switch is also known as the “Kill” switch by us older guys. Probably by the same marketing guys who changed “bowling alleys” to “bowling lanes.”)

I know this sounds absolutely dumb...but with those pranksters of Harley riders....did someone flip your "RUN" switch off? I know I NEVER turn mine off...but have been embarrassed by no-starts occasionally. ~Boomer

Al and Boomer, You guys win the troubleshooter award. I WIN THE DUMBASS AWARD! It was the run switch, which I NEVER use. Missed the run, spent $55... Guess it could have been worse. ~Mark

Every summer on one ride either my group or someone on the run will have their bikes apart checking the battery or plugs out. Or, maybe the fuse box is open, only to have someone step out of the small crowd that now gathered to observe all the busy trouble shooters to ask if THE KILL SWITCH IS ON ??? This must be another Guy thing ? ~bob

Roger that. I had on heavy gloves once accidentally hit the run switch while I was underway, with predictable results. I sat there beside the road for about 5 minutes pondering what could have killed the engine without even a hint of warning, no sputter, nothing. I had that bike 5 years before I even realized it *had* a kill switch. (I’m still not sure why it has one.) ~spike

In my co-pilot safety course that was the first button they showed us. If the pilot would slump over for any reason and we need to get the bike safely stopped we should hit that button and then just steer the bike until it slows down enough to butt it on the side.....Never hit the brakes.... Just my two cents.............. Have a great day ~Nancy :<)

If the radio stays on while you hit the starter button, check the kill switch. If the radio goes off but the bike won't turn over, check the clutch switch. I once hit the kill switch in the middle of the night going to work on an interstate. I did manage to discover it before the bike quit moving. I have also sat in a parking lot wondering why the bike won't turn over. ~Robert Jones

The very best way to avoid these situations is to make it a HABIT to shut the motorcycle off using the kill switch. When restarting later, re-setting it becomes the 1st thing you do before hitting the starter. ~Art '88 LX


'Caders, Follow-up on "my Cav won't turn over" trouble: I think I've discovered why "The Big Boy" wouldn't turn over! AFTER replacing the starter relay (solenoid), checking the main breaker, checking the ignition fuse, checking the starter, replacing the clutch safety switch, checking the ignition switch wires for continuity, cleaning the starter button and checking wires for continuity, cleaning the kill switch and checking wires for continuity, and visually checking the harness connector that plugs into the fuse block ... I still DID NOT have a bike that turned over. Then one of my brothers, who had a little time, was looking at things for me and looked closer at the harness connector that plugs into the fuse block...decided it looked corroded to him...took a small knife and did some scraping ...BINGO -- it starts. The harness connector that plugs into the fuse block is a set of 6 to 8 spade-type connectors that are enclosed in a plastic housing and are difficult to see well...checking them out requires a very deliberate and close examination. I've sprayed them with contact cleaner and using dielectric grease on them and all my other connectors I can get my hands on. Dielectric grease is a non-petroleum-based grease that is used to seal moisture out of electrical connections (among other uses)...I think it is a silicone-based product. Moral: The connectors require more than a casual look to be sure they are clean...and the connection can be disrupted by what may look, at first glance, like an insignificant amount of weathering. ~Fred L. Meisenheimer Princeton, Illinois


I was finally able to check my fuel mileage last night and I was disappointed to find out it was only 32 mpg. Does anyone know of a place online that I can order an air filter. I don’t have any dealers close to me and think I can get one faster if I just order it online. I checked out the 2 places listed on the site and you have to fill out a form for what you need and then wait for them to get back to you. How much does a filter cost for these bikes? $40 some dollars seems like an awful lot for an air filter. ~Brian in IN 87 tt Gray LX is Competition Accessories’ number...the are just east of us in Springfield Ohio.....they carry Suzuki parts....1-800-533 7927 they are also on line.. Hope this helps....... Have a great day ---Nancy :<)

I added the Amsoil air filter and took my mileage from low thirties to high thirties and a few times into the forties.


while reading the e-mail about the air filter it made me wonder if an air filter is the answer. I have a fairly new air filter in my Cade with 37000 miles on it and 32-33 mpg is all I get anyway. what should I expect out of it and what can I look at to increase it? ~Budman

That's the normal range. If you do a long ride, without any stop and go, you can expect closer to 40-42, like I did this weekend with the stock filter. ~HeyJerr


I just bought a 1987 cavalcade LXE with 33,000 miles on it. I am glad to find so many people out there with them. I look forward to meeting and chatting with all of you soon. ~steve rice


Hey Steve , This is the right place to be .......a lot of information that you will find useful......are you in WA by any chance ??..Welcome ~Wojo, 86LX Kent, WA

<< things to watch out for when buying an second-hand Cavalcade - typical problems at an age of 10 or more - the required changes/service at 35.000 Mlles - the usual costs to expect getting an average Cade in a perfect health - the average price to pay for such a bike - etc ~Kurt

Kurt, I did a little survey of the group last winter, parts that have been replaced most often, ones that might mess up a when on long riding tours, Stator, rectifier, that was about it, at 35,000 to 45,000 miles. So, if your Cade has had good care and maintenance, buy it. I paid $5,000 for mine with 18,000 miles came with a matching trailer, over here you will see them sell for $3,000 to $4,5000 in good condition an lots of extras. By the way, most of us would own 2 if we could afford them and had the storage space. We do have a "Cade Clan" in Holland, Roel Robbers, and one in England, Dave H , and a Danish Clan. I hope one of them has replied to your Email if not try the links on the ' Suzuki , site.' Let us know on your progress, with the Cade, and don’t worry about your English, We don’t speak it well either.. ~larry

Welcome Keith and John, Glad you have joined our group. As a group, I'm sure we'd like to know more about you and where you are located so other members in your area can see if you'd like to go for a ride or just get together sometime. I noticed you didn’t include any info with your membership, so now would be a good time to ask you to go to the database to add yourselves so other members can know you are there. So go to this URL address and fill out only the info you feel necessary for others to know who and where you are.

~Brian in IN 87 tt Gray LX

Hello, I am a real new member - bought my Cade only last weekend - and Sunday we made our maiden trip. And although I have not yet majored it, my first impression was that the Cade is very thirsty. You mention 32 mpg (miles per gallon ?) Can anyone tell how many liters a gallon is ? Or how far you can drive with a standard tank in kilometers ? Also, what is the Amsoil air filter? Thanks, ~Kurt

3.87 liters to the gallon, 1.6 km to the mile. 32 mpg = about 13 km/liter. A tank should get you down the road 270-km or so. ~spike

Hi Kurt, the Cavalcade tank holds 5.1imp/gal. or 6.1 US/gal or 23.0 L. of fuel. In high gear around 100km/h you should get around 241miles..or 400kms. As everyone’s driving habits are different this may not be the average. Also road and wind conditions are a factor. Nice riding! ~Blake

The Amsoil air filter is a replacement that will cost roughly the same as an OEM filter or maybe a few dollars more, but will get extended life and better airflow from it. Others may have more definitive answers for ya... Congrats on the purchase of the best tourer made! ~Brian 87LXE in CT, USA

Hi Kurt, after doing the calculations again, 86' Cavalcade, holds 6.1us/gal of fuel..x32m/gal=195.2 mile range or 314kms so314kms divided by 23.0L of fuel = 9.8kms /1L of fuel so if you bike gets 314kms on 1 tank of fuel you are getting 32ml/gal I hope this doesn't make it more confusing Kurt, ride safe.. ~Blake..

HI GUYS!! Thank you for the invite!!! I just bought an 86 Cavalcade brown and gold. It needs a windshield and I need to check my charging system. THE BATTERY WILL NOT STAY CHARGED!! I’ll get the CD and start trouble shooting it!! It’s my first bike and I have to learn how to ride it also!! I’m studying the DMV test now, and will take the riding course at the college pretty quick here before we get into the rainy season !!! Thanks guys ~FRED

Hi Fred, Welcome to the group........Take a course at Motorcycle Safety Foundation, they will provide you with the bike during class and for the test. I did that and loved it. We had 250cc Hondas. Like Fred M said it is a good investment. Just would like to caution you on your first rides on your LX. Be very careful, it is big and heavy bike, not only for first bike, for any bike. Top heavy and hard to handle in slow speeds. I know first hand...... I had as we say " bad" experience...........but when you will get used to it, you are going to love it ! It is a great bike. Ride On ~Wojo, Kent WA, 86LX

I have just had my Cade less than three weeks and I am an experienced rider of motorcycles for 9 years and I don’t suggest learning on this behemoth, I used a 250 for my test when I was 15 and it worked out great. a smaller bike is a lot easier to control on a driving course. see if you can come across something smaller and easier to manage for your test if you can. ~steve Arkansas

Hello everyone, I recently purchased a 1986 Cavalcade. I believe it would be a base model. There aren't all the fancy features I see mentioned on the list but I sure like the way this big bike rides. I have a Yamaha 850 triple, which has been the bike up until now. I am in Ohio and plan on doing some touring. The bike has 25000 miles and runs great so far... ~Brett

Welcome and congrads on your purchase! You have just joined the largest group of bike lovers in the world (that do not have factory support). Feel free to ask any questions. If we can't answer them, we'll find someone who can. ~Gerry in NY Ride Safe, stay well !


Hey guys (and Gals).. I just got back from the beautiful and awesome ride of the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was everything that I have heard and more. My gal and I camped out a couple of nights at the campgrounds along the parkway and had a great time. The 86 LXE did a great job and caught some eyes. It was disappointing not to see more CADES on the parkway, but I met a lot of nice bikers on GoldWings, along with helping one out that was broke down...Just a thought about being a great place to meet for a Cade run sometime... ~Gerry

I hope to take a trip down the Blue Ridge Parkway next spring. I've traveled the route on other bikes but only about 50 miles of it on the 'Cade' last year. My daughter is in college at Pfeiffer University (Misenheimer, NC) and this will be my return trip stopover. I'm flexible as to dates of travel if any other members have an interest in getting together for an informal ride. Of course, the ideal time to ride the 465-mile route is in the fall during leaf color change. I hit it just right on one previous ride & got some outstanding photos. ~Roy from MD.


Finally I got some Marvel oil that everybody were talking about.....put a cup of it in to gas tank at evening, didn't have much gas there ( gauge was showing a little less than half the tank........ The next morning with choke ON started it up did run with very low rpm and throttle ON.......finally run out of steam and died. Couldn't start it up again. Later on during the day I added 1.5 gal of gas......choke ON......started with no problems....went to the gas station and added 2.2 gal of gas ....... My guess is that at first there was too high oil to gasoline ratio and that's why motor didn't run.... What do you guys think ?? Ride On! ~Wojo 86LX, Kent WA

Wojo: Sounds like it makes sense to me... I have been adding MMO also - I believe there is a difference, though I am not sure... :o) ~Brian 87LXE in CT

You put a cup in with just a little gas. I think it’s like 2-OZ for 5 or 6 gal. I think you did lower the gas combustion. ~BobL

I have had MMO in the Cade for 550 miles; the bike runs quieter, cooler, and starts up well. My mileage is averaging 34mpg around town. I have no complaints. all is well. BTW, I added it to the crankcase oil. ~Gerry in NY


Greetings, I just finished repairing a crack in the secondary reservoir on the cooling system using EPOXY PUTTY the stuff works good. ~geo

LX vs. LXE vs. GT

hey, I may be wrong but the louvers in the fairing are different on the LX and LXE.. These are NOT interchangeable. The LXE is bigger. I have a pair(LXE) if anyone wants to trade (LX for LXE) for 'em? ~Dan In D/FW TX with another day W/O rain


If you notice a significant drop in gas mileage, be sure you check the diaphragms in the carbs. Check them carefully. What might look like a small crease or line could be a hole. A mere pinhole can really rack the gas mileage. I just found holes in all four of mine. They run about $65 to $70 apiece if you have to buy new ones. ~Eugene San Diego

Hey Eugene, Would those pinholes give you a little gas drip in the front of the carbs and a strong gassy smell in the garage? Best, ~Mike Romano

Mike, There was no drip that I could see or gassy smell. The mileage just dropped off like 100 miles to a tank of gas. That was all four diaphragms. If only one or two leak you just notice the mileage begin to get less. I changed them about 20,000 miles ago with the ones off my parts bike, but this time I treated it to new ones. It had about 130,000 miles on it the first time. ~Eugene San Diego

Check the 'O' rings on the "Fuel Hose Connectors" that distribute the gas between the 4 carburetors. Over time, they disintegrate. ~Art Glendale, AZ 88 LX


Hi guys, Maybe somebody has had the same problem as I do and can give me some advice. This is on a LX 86. On the LCD panel, the gear position and the clock won't come up. Instead I get a battery sign. When starting the bike all the check ups are there, but after two seconds instead of showing the time and gear position, I get this battery sign on my panel (LCD).

Amazing, with the rebuild of the two Cade's I had many different problems but this one is really getting the 1 St price, I don't have a clue. I check all I can figure might be the cause of the problem, I went to the service Manual (which I have the two versions) and nothing will let me know where to look at on the bike.

Can be that the bike is not charging the way it should? I don't have any problem to start the bike even with the Christmas tree on (all the lights at the back). I think I sent a picture last week to all of you.

Well, Hope all of you are doing fine and enjoying your rides, also hope that one year I can ride up and attend one of the concentrations (Americade??) yeah, right.

Any help will be very much appreciated. By the way, me too, I'm a life member of the Dummies Gold club. One day with time, I might tell you some of the passages rebuilding the bikes. Dummy I said, please If is any other word more appropriate (not been “adult languaged") is not yet on my vocabulary but I will add it If kindly you let me know.

Again thanks in advance for your cooperation and please, disregard any grammar or vocabulary "mess" in the message, I'm trying my best. Later Ride Safe & Happy ~Luis Meyer-thor, Belize City, 86 LX

Luis, Check the level of your battery-water. If that is not the problem maybe the connector for the level sensor came loose. ~Bill Fargusson, Puyallup, WA

The battery indicator will only come on when water level is low. There should be a probe in the center of the battery in one of the cells. If not, check around the battery to see if anyone removed it. ~BobL

Hi Luis, Be sure to check the battery sensor probe. You may have unknowingly disconnected the bullet connector on the connection to the wiring harness or may have a sensor that is defective. Also check the cell the sensor is plugged into to be sure the water level is up to the top mark. If the water level was real low the sensor will not sense an electrical charge until the water and acid have thoroughly mixed. The monitor has to have more than 3 volts on the sensor before the icon will go off on the monitor display. Also check the end of the sensor that is in the battery. It can collect a lot of crud and insulate it from the electrolyte. If it has, simply wipe it off with a disposable cloth and reinsert it in the battery.

The sensor wire should produce 6.3 or so volts when checked with a voltmeter with the motor off.( if the battery is fully charged.) Put the red lead of the DC voltmeter on the sensor wire and the black lead on the negative terminal to give it a check.

I installed a Yuasa GRT maintenance free battery in my 86 LXE at the beginning of the summer. This battery does not have provisions for the sensor. I solved the sensor problem by using two 33K resistors. I twisted and soldered one end of the resistors together with a wire lead that had a bullet connector compatible to the wire on the wiring harness, leaving the other ends free. I soldered wire to each of the free ends and terminated the end of the wire with loop connectors that the battery cable bolts would fit through. I insulated the two resistors from each other using heat shrink tube, then insulated the whole mess with another piece of heat shrink. what I ended up with, was two wire leads protruding from the heat shrink on one end that would connect to the battery terminals and on the other end one wire that connects to the wiring harness.

What this will do, is produce 1/2 the voltage of the battery circuit. At rest without the motor running it will be approximately 6.5 volts, and while running, around 7 to 7.5 volts depending on RPM. This matched the voltage on the sensor on the Yuasa battery I removed. The constant current drain the resistors produce is negligible and will not run the battery down any faster than it usually would if not charged regularly when left idle for long periods.

The beauty of the maintenance free battery is there is no maintenance at all. This battery is totally sealed and can be used in any position, even upside down. No more taking things apart to check water levels! Also, it has 21AH verses 20 for the standard battery. It has 300 cranking amps verses 260 for the standard battery. I have run approximately 5K miles since it was installed with no problems. I'm thoroughly pleased. Hope you can use some of this information. Sorry for the long reply, good luck, ride safe! ~David, 86 LXE , Perryville, Arkansas

PS: Use 1/4-watt resistors. These supply ample current for the monitor system and create less drain on the battery.

I can't find a picture in my maintenance manual, but it says the Monitor Unit is installed on the left side of the fairing bracket. The wiring diagram shows three wires going from the LCD Monitor to the Monitor Unit. They are Y/G, W/R, and Br/W. You should be able to follow that harness to the Monitor Unit. Hope this helps. ~Jim in Ohio

Here is another thought for a low charge rate. On my 86 LXE there are two black wires with a white tracer crimped to the negative cable that connects to the battery. If you pull these two wires up, you will find that they pass through a gang connector about 5" from the cable connection at the battery. One of the two wires provide the ground for the rectifier, the other for the wiring harness. If this connection becomes defective, heat will destroy the connector and wires, as mine did. I cut the connector out and soldered a loop connector, that would fit the battery terminal bolt, on the two wires that are in the wiring harness. I then connected them directly to the negative terminal bolt on the battery. All my system voltage readings were increased, including the charge rate. Hope this provides some help. :~) Good Riding! ~David 86 LXE, 74K miles Perryville, Arkansas



I've been hearing everybody talk about their stator but I am not sure what a stator is. Please clue me in on this, also I am thinking about installing a power outlet plug-in on my Cade for a cell phone or something of that nature. I think I will put it in the lower right fairing in front of my right knee, any suggestions? ~Steve

Steve, The stator performs the same function as the alternator on a car. It's located in the round part of the chrome motor side by your left foot when on the peg. A suggestion on the cell phone plug. I mounted an aux. plug (lighter socket) in the top bag on the saddlebag as gives someplace for it to ride, no place on the fairing on my bike to put it in, and also is nice for the rider who smokes..... ~Dennis Vanill

Thanks for the info Dennis. That’s a good idea on the small saddlebag compartment. I never would have thought of that although I did cut some thick poster board to fit the bottom of those little compartments and cover them in some nice deep red cloth material so it looks better and things don’t rattle around as much in there. I figured that I would just lay the cell phone on the dash or Velcro it to the dash but I like your idea even better. I was also wondering about the driver floorboards. Do they leave enough room for your feet to safely reach the ground to keep the bike steady? I saw them on the web site but no price with them. But, man! They look soooooo cool and comfortable!!



I packed the trailer last night. We lock up the house and climb on board. It is two miles from our house to highway I29. I am nervously listening to every sound the Cade makes. I changed the oil and filter last week and checked every thing I could think of. I checked the tires just before leaving. Every thing sounds and feels fine. We stop at the light, make the left turn and boy, the machine jumps up to 65 mph quickly - almost surprised me. I push into the traffic and move over to the center lane. There are three lanes at this point. I am more comfortable in the center lane. The speed limit here is 65 mph but it becomes 70 mph two miles down the road. I set the cruise for 76 mph. I check the traffic behind me and then in front of me. I will do this constantly. I hate to have a car surprise me. Time to check on my passenger. "Honey, is every thing okay?" She responds in the affirmative over the intercom. I fixed the intercom last month and it is working great. Gosh, the Grand Behemoth sounds great at this speed. (My wife is Dotty, the Grand Behemoth is the motorcycle.) I lean back and get comfortable. Eleven days, Dotty, the Grand Behemoth, and me. Life is good. Wait . . , did I unsubscribe from the Cavalcade group? Oh no, eleven days of Cavalcade waiting for me to get back. "Honey, we have to go back." ~Dick


I have the CB install manual ready in an Acrobat file for anybody that wants it. I already sent it to Fred.

It is kind of a preliminary copy since some of the scans are less than stellar. I plan on redoing them and I will make it available again. If anyone wants a copy right now, let me know by private e-mail and I will send it. Thanks ~Tracy


Get comfortable, this delicious story will take a bit of telling...

I have just finished working at a five-day event sponsored by our oldest client. We have recorded the annual conference of this group every year since they were founded in 1987. Naturally, many of their members have been friends for many years. One of these long-term friends sought me out at the meeting this week with exciting news. He is a Harley rider (still a pretty nice guy none-the-less) and rides a newer touring model. Here is his story...

He was working in his clinic on a Saturday morning when someone called his private line (oh yeah, he’s a doctor). The voice on the phone was one of his patients. The patient’s wife’s cousin lived next door to a family who had an old motorcycle they wanted to sell. The patient knew that Dr. Dan was an avid motorcyclist. “Would he be interested in buying this old cycle?” Dan’s ears perked. He’d look into it. What was the telephone number of wife’s cousin’s neighbor? A quick phone call revealed that the motorcycle in question was a 1947 Indian Chief!

It had been purchased new and ridden briefly. The odometer had 7,000 miles on it. The owner got married in the late 40’s and quit riding, but could never bring himself to sell the Indian. So, it had been stored in the owner’s garage under a tarp for over 40 years! Dan was quoted a price on the phone. (Dan didn’t tell my how much, but I’ll work on him for that detail later.) He agreed to buy it sight-unseen before he hung up. “I’ll be there in a couple of hours!” he said.

Driving straight to the nearest U-Haul, Dan rented a trailer and headed for the bike’s location in the town of Gig Harbor, Washington. You may not have heard of the little fishing village of Gig Harbor, but it is a rather quaint suburb of the city of Tacoma. To get to Gig Harbor you have to cross a narrow arm of Puget Sound on a rather famous bridge. I’m sure you have seen old film of the bridge called “Galloping Gertie.” Back in the forties “Gertie” got to bouncing around in a windstorm, broke apart and fell into the Sound. “Gertie” was replaced with a better-designed four-lane bridge, which today is the bridge you take to drive from Tacoma to Gig Harbor. In fact most of the highway traffic going to any location on the west side of Puget Sound from Seattle or Tacoma has to cross what is now called the “Tacoma Narrows Bridge.” The alternatives are a ferry boat ride (long lines & a slow trip) or drive south all the way to Olympia and take back roads around the various arms of the Sound and through a lot of small towns. (A very long and slow trip. Great for motorcycle touring, but not if you need to get somewhere fast.)

Well, Dan lives in Edmonds, which is north of Seattle. To get to Tacoma is about an hour’s drive. Dan was about two-thirds of the way down the freeway when the trailer hitch came off. Dan is in the center lane. With sparks showering the highway like Haley’s Comet, he manages to get to the side of the freeway. Thank God the safety chain held. Dan gets on his cell phone. The first call is to the owner of the Indian Chief. “I’ve been delayed,” he reports, “but I have my check made out and I’ll be there as soon as I can!”

It takes some time, but he manages to get the trailer re-attached to his car. Continuing the drive south, he finally reaches Tacoma and takes the route toward the Narrows Bridge. Suddenly all lanes of traffic have stopped. On his radio Dan hears there has been a wreck on the bridge. All traffic lanes are stopped. Nowhere to go. He can’t get off the highway. Again he calls the owner of the Indian “I’m Coming!” “I’m Coming!” “I have a check!”

Clearing the wreckage on the bridge takes a couple of hours. So, it is very late by the time Dr. Dan reaches his destination. It is the early hours of the morning by the time he is home with the Indian in the U-Haul. But, he now has his antique Indian and he says it is a beauty. He has spent many hours cleaning out 42 years of residue and re-lubing and oiling all the mechanical parts. And when he kicked over the engine, it started immediately. He says it sounds like music. He’s not yet licensed it for the street. In fact, it still has the license plate from 1948. He also has the registration papers from that year. But, he wants to hold on to them, so he is hoping the state will except a photocopy when he gets his year 2000 plate.

Of course the paint is original. It needs a lot more cleaning, but when he is done with it, it should really be something to see. No, I have not seen it yet, but I plan to ride up to Edmonds as soon as I can squeeze a couple of hours out of my schedule. When I do, I’ll get some photos and pass them on to you all. Not a Cavalcade, but something a lot older! So, that’s my story for this week. I may have gotten some small details wrong, because I’m retelling this from memory. But, the facts are the facts and I’ll keep you posted on Dr. Dan’s Indian Chief. Ride Safe, ~Jay


This summer on my return trip home from Myrtle Beach bike week I experienced down shifting problems upon exiting the interstate. Could not get it out of 5th gear. Died on me at stop sign. Shifted it to 1st and proceeded carefully to McDonalds, while my riding partners, ate I checked the clutch res. and FOUND the sight glass to be FULL however upon removal of res. top found it to be low with the rubber boot sucked down as it's supposed to do. After filling the res. and a quick bleeding of the clutch I was merrily on my way. And have not experienced this problem again. No, the slave wasn't leaking, as it's fairly new. The false reading in the sight glass surprised me. It came on so sudden and was shifting up. It ran great, cruised 70-75 but wouldn't engage enough to get her out of gear.

MORAL OF STORY: Don’t rely on the sight glass of either the brake or clutch. And yes, I had my punch, chisel and hammer to remove those pesky screws. Oh yes, they have been replaced with Round Head Phillips. I won't ever go back to counter sunken screws. ~WALTER


Hi group, what is the best way to bleed the clutch? My fluid got a little low (I can hardly see through the window on the reservoir) is it best to crack the line at the perch or down below first?

Bleed it like you bleed brakes; pump it up, hold it, then release the bolt below and on the left slowly allowing the air to seep through first. I did mine about a dozen times this way and haven't had any problems shifting since I did it last year. I also only use Dot 4 fluid. It works great for both brakes and clutch. Good luck. ~Gerry in NY


Hi Group, I'm kinda new to the touring style of motorcycling (bought my 86 LX in June) and wonder what some of you more experienced tourers haul with you as essential gear. If you would, mention what you always have w/ you, then what you take when going to be camping out. Thanks for the suggestions ~Mark Hohman Wheeling WV 86 LX Gold/Brown

The essentials for everyday riding are as follows: In my opinion anyway. Please add to this list if you feel additions are needed. Emergency information list in your right fairing pocket. Rubber gloves, 2 pair. First aid kit Aspirin/Goodies Powders Small PKP fire extinguisher Rain gear....1-2 Small SAE/Metric socket set Flashlight....try one of the ones that fit on your head. You look like an idiot but your hands are free. Small mag-lite flashlight as well Leatherman/Gerber all purpose tool Screwdriver with interchangeable bits 10' hose for air compressor Pen Paper Cavalcade USA business card/GWRRA business card Homemade jumper cables A couple of spare bungee cords/net Spot ties/zip ties Small dykes Towel for wiping bike down Honda shine polish Towel for windshield and windshield only Bottle of windscreen cleaner...ONLY....NO WINDEX Travel cover Night glasses Sunglasses Sunscreen Baby wipes....great for refreshing your face on a hot day pit stop Spare fuses of all sizes/types needed for the bike. Extra 18ga and 14ga wire Roll of electrical tape Spare bulbs for the running lights and light bars Spare headlight bulb.......use the old one if just hi or low beam is will get you home. 1 quart of oil.....I just always have. Don't know why Cell phone charger cord 12 VDC Napkins Soda can Coozie Cigars :-) Spare lighter Riding gloves. 1-2. Neoprene for rain/cold and vented for summer. This is what I carry everyday. So now you know why I ride a touring bike. All of this is loaded in the bags and trunk. I can still fit two helmets in the trunk. I can also carry a PC laptop bag in the trunk. Of course not with the helmets in there though.

The list for camping is even longer. But I have a trailer so space is not an issue. For camping, all of the above, plus.... Tent sleeping bags x 2 12 x 12 tarp...garage for the bike.. most important 12 x 24 tarp...covers tent and sitting area 10 tent poles that extend. parachute cord propane stove and two bottles of propane camping cookware two plates two sets of flatware cooking utensils homemade tent pole tensioners with parachute cord for the poles and much more. But you guys are probably asleep by now. ~Gary Fairfield Jacksonville, FL 1986 LXE, Two Tone Blue "The Big Blue Pig"

Alrighty, then...I have the tools (SAE and metric sockets, adjustable wrench, 2 flashlights, 6 in one Craftsman screwdriver, air pressure gauge, air line for the compressor, extra fuses ), soft towel and cleaner for the windshield, rain gear, cell phone, a spare set of gloves, denim and leather jacket, chaps, ATM card, sunglasses, and water. ~Gerry in NY

Mark, for day-to-day riding I carry the following: original tool kit, light and heavy weight gloves, rain gear, air compressor extension hose, quart of oil, small blanket, spare fuses, kick stand rest (for parking in soft areas), flash light (small Maglite), clean soft rags, spare glasses(I wear prescription glasses), aspirin and antacid tablets, $2.00 in quarters, and a can of instant spare tire. This basically all fits in the fairing pockets and 1 saddlebag. ~Al from Mass

Hi Mark, Do you have a trailer? You need tent, sleeping bags, air mattress or Thermo Rest pads, at least a one burner stove with propane bottle, (unless you are eating out). At least a small ice chest. A two sided fishing tackle box is great for the small stuff like, salt pepper, plastic utensils, butane lighter, packages of condiments, packages of hot chocolate, tea, instant cereals, sugar, creamer, etc.. It's unbelievable how much stuff you can get in one of those, and, they don't take up much room. Better take a tarp to put under your tent. A camping box with paper plates, cups, coffeepot, frying pan, etc., is nice if you have a trailer. ~Eugene, San Diego

As for camping out, I've only done it once so far, but I took my tent on the rack and put the sleeping bag on the passenger seat. For a lantern and cooking, I used compact units that attach right to the top of a disposable propane container, some food in a small cooler, a mess kit with utensils, and a spatula, as well as a flashlight. My camera actually took up the most space in the bike.

Al, Lose the flat fix... its only good for about a couple of hundred yards or the first mud puddle. Whichever comes first. You will find if you use a RADIAL TIRE plug kit (K Mart has one that is tried and proven) that you can limp the bike to a place where you can either internally patch the tire or buy a new one. Ok, here's what I carry in my right bag: 2 qts. oil (losing a quart every 1,500 miles) 1 foul weather riding set, lower overalls. (have foul weather jacket) 1 toolkit (Suzuki) 1 pt(leftover) high-temp hypoid gear oil (center drive mishap, leftover) 1 flannel shirt (weather changes quickly in SoCal) 1 6ft air hose (for compressor) 1 tire plug kit for radial tires (unused so far) And that's it. Anything else is loaded on an as needed basis. ~Donald G. Box

Don, I know all of the cans of instant spare tire say "not for use on motorcycles", but I've used them twice. The last time at night - on the interstate - about 10 miles from home. If you get a flat on the rear tire as I had its almost impossible to find the leak (no room to work from the back or sides). Both times I've made it home on the instant spare and avoided a tow truck - front tires are a different story and plug kits may work well, but almost all flats occur on the rear (motorcycle shop comment) because that's where the weight and load is. ~Al from Mass


I had a constant dripping of fuel from my front left carb. I opened the drain and emptied the float bowl and then ran the motor a short time while tapping the carb to loosen any trapped foreign object that may have somehow gotten past the filter and lodged in the needle and seat. All of this did not stop the leak so I removed the carbs. The floats on my 86 LX are made of a black composite material that I know from experience as an auto mechanic is a substance that slowly absorbs fuel until it sinks. I called a local Suzuki dealer and found that they are an obsolete part. Does anyone out there know of one for another bike that would work. The needle and seats are available at an exorbitant price, over $33. I'm sure I can find these elsewhere. Any help would be appreciated. I have the carbs from my parts bike as a back up but it has 100,000 miles on it and I'm sure the floats aren't much better. Thanks in advance for any info. ~Roderick Wilde

Hi Roderick, If you are talking about the diaphragms in the carbs. I just replace all four of mine. They run about $75.00 each, but they are still available. ~Eugene, San Diego

I am referring to the carb float, which pushes on the needle and seat and is located in the float bowl. Were your diaphragms ruptured and how many miles on your bike? ~Roderick Wilde

About 134,00 miles the first time. I used the ones off my parts bike, but had to replace all four diaphragms at155,00 miles. ~Eugene


YES, we are going to do another 7 states in one-day ride. I have some basic info posted on the web site The route will be posted this week ... I promise!

Date: Saturday, Oct 14, 2000

Starting point: Red Roof Inn, (Harrisburg North) Route 81, Exit 24

Only $80.00 for the Friday night stay.

Goal: To end up in Atlantic City, via, Pennsylvania, West Virginia,

Virginia, Washington DC, Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey.

We are planning on staying in Atlantic City, on Saturday night to have

some fun. Head back home on Sunday .... This will be a good opportunity for those that did not make the New England ride to join us for another 7 state ride, and for those that did the New England ride to get 7 more states!!!

Paul and Paul ARE doing this ride ... you are welcome to join us. Keep your eyes on the web site send me and email if you want to be emailed on any updates. Happy riding, ~Paul


please take time to read and check out the sign cavalcade parking only with a arrow you can add your name in as I have done these signs are white reflective back ground red letters there just like the ones on the streets and in parking lots every where.....they are made by a company who makes road signs and about 6 or 7 day turn around with your name on them,,,,,,,,,,,,and they are cool another great cavalcade gift by............................... chopper


Hi all I know it has been a long time since I have written, but we have been fighting a back problem that it appears will not let me ride anymore. We hate to do it, but we have decided to sell the Cade. It is an 86 LX , Brown/gold, rough paint but mechanically sound and everything works. Has everything but CB. $2900. Mike Hudson Days - 812-479-6645 Evenings & weekends 812-479-6645 Evansville, In


The left side of the tach and the right side of the speedometer dash
light isn't working. I also don't have any lights in the middle
digital display (clock, gear indicator, etc.). Do the two lights on
either side of the display also light the display? Any suggestions
on taking the dash apart to fix/replace the bad lights? Thanks for your time. ~Steve

Well, get ready for a fairly large job removing most of the "plastic!" I did the "light job" last year, and pretty well all the fairing has to be removed. When you get it all off, replace ALL the lamps because if some are burned out now, others are sure to follow, and you probably won't want to do the job again soon! I think there was something like 13 bulbs. ~ See Tracy's CD or the 'Cade service manual for all the right things to remove. ~ Watch the lamps you buy. I went to a local auto supplier and selected the same lamp number. But it seems the manufacturers (I checked 3 or 4) all increased the size of the glass portion of the specified lamp number as compared to the originals in the 'Cade. They won't fit in the lamp sockets in the instruments. So, check a lamp guide and get one with the same candle power that is the same physical size as the ones you remove. A heavy-duty lamp is best, because there is a lot of vibration and breaking the filaments wouldn't be a good thing. ~Don Sellers


I just had my tires changed and about half way home my speedometer quit working. Has anyone had this happen to any of you? I ordered a new cable . ~ Glenn

Yup, when the front tire is put back on, there is a hub that the cable crews into. In this hub are two tabs that clip into slits in the wheel. They are probably not lined up and nay be bent in the hub. Try taking the front wheel off and bending them straight. Then, when you put the wheel back, line up the tabs with the slits. Good luck. ~Gerry in NY

Glenn, Check the speedometer drive unit on the front wheel also, for some reason after my last tire change mine went out on me while on a road trip to Arkansas. Did not mind losing the speedo so much but also lost the cruise control as well. You can unscrew the cable from the unit raise front wheel off the ground slightly spin the front tire and check if the little slotted piece in the unit is spinning. If it is check the cable if it's O.K. could be in the dash. Purchased mine from local shop for about $50.00.


Hey Mark, From what William told me he will get pipes from muffler manufacturer he works with, then he will modified to fit the bike. It's made out of stainless steel; 3" outside diameter, inside pipe is 2 and 1/8 inches. The muffler is 24" long. The entire fitting will be made out of stainless steel also. The end of the muffler is cut straight; 3" diameter is folded inside to meet with 2 1/8" diameter pipe at 45 degrees. The muffler will go to the end of the side bags. Now all this information is from my conversations with William. I am sure we will have pictures on our site when I will get them. Our group member - Dave May will take his bike and leave it in Williams shop for a week, so he can make a welding jig for the mufflers. Thanks again Dave !!!! The price is somewhere in $600.00 's; I was asked to put $300.00 down payment for him to start the job. I don't know if the first set will be more expensive because of the jig-building, etc, but price at my local dealership was $299.00 per muffler and I was told that they are not available anymore. Ride On ~Wojo