The Suzuki Cavalcade Newsletter

Issue #4 ~ November, 2000

Jay D. Johnson, Editor


Emailed to you at No Charge.

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



I was recently made aware that two pages of the CB service manual on the CD-ROM had less than stellar scan quality and were unreadable when printed. These are the pages that a serviceperson would use to identify a component on the PC board for replacement purposes.

I have remade the scans and the quality is improved dramatically. If you would like the new Acrobat file of the CB service manual, just reply to this e-mail and I will send it to you. The file is 1.6 megs so let me know if you cannot receive e-mail attachments that large and I will make it available as a download. ~ Tracy


I had a Metzler Marathon II on my bike when I got it - wore down real fast. I now have (Since last year) Dunlop 491's and so far I love 'em (got about 8000 on 'em) and they look almost new... ~ Brian in CT

Brian, Thanks for your insight. But I must say I’ve run the 491 on the Cade and on my Yamaha Ventura that I use to have, and I have never gotten but about 3000 miles on either bike. Perhaps I need you to show me the secret to achieving longevity with the 491 ~ Brian


I FINALLY got a firm answer from Suzuki USA on the Zippo project. They can not grant permission for Zippo to make the lighters for us, but they also said... "We can't stop you from having them made". They know about Zippo's integrity regarding what are we to do? I mentioned the second plan of mounting the badges on the lighter cases, he thought that was a good way around the situation. So this project is pretty much dead unless you guys decide we should have a couple hundred badges made and have my buddy from Zippo get us a whole lot of lighters and Zip-lites and we make 'em on our own. 3. In my brief conversation, this guy said there were other legal issues with allowing the lighters made with the 'Cade logo on them. This might lead one to speculate that there is a new 'Cade on the drawing boards which would put our project in competition with a new motorcycle line. I didn't get a chance to ask...but it sounds feasible. KEEP YOUR EARS OPEN! My impression with Suzuki after this experience is that this is one of the worst companies to deal with regarding consumer satisfaction. There are a few people who were somewhat helpful in getting in touch with the "right person", although this came across more of "passing the buck" than being helpful. If you ever have to deal with anyone from Suzuki, MATT FREEMAN was the one person who returned my calls and followed up on my request. Some weren't willing to take the time to make the contacts themselves, or to get back in touch in any kind of timely manner. I had talked to six people over a four-month period to finally get turned down on our request, and I had to make two calls to California to get the final reply. I am starting to wonder why we as a group are so supportive of a product that is (or was) produced by a company has such little regard for the customers who support their product. Now with the new release of the monster GL1800, I'm thinking that there might be a great market for used GL1500's next season. Or maybe I'll wait 'til I can afford that 1800 and move to company that has a huge support market for the oldest of models. Plus, the new GL1800 comes in BLACK AND YELLOW...GO STEELERS! I even showed my wife where the Steeler's logo could be mounted on the side saddlebag...too cool. Sorry for being so long winded, but I had to get it all out. Thanks, ~ Pete in Olean, NY '87 LXE

Pete, I take your efforts as mixed news....first for Suzuki to give official permission would have to go through probably another dozen or so people and lawyers, who just don't want to deal with it. It seems that if they were against our using the logo they would have worded it a little more strongly, reminding us of copyright laws and such. Thanks for all your efforts, to get as far as you did was a feat. If there is enough interest in lighters and/or lights you can get pricing and I will get pricing on the pins, but without the back on them and we can fabricate our own. Got to differ with you on the Gold Wing. Couldn't give up my Cade for a Wing........actually when I bought my Cade I was out looking for a Wing, just glad I didn't find the Wing I was looking for. Probably my biggest loss would have been this group. You are right about no support from Suzuki, they more than likely wish every Cavalcade was done and gone as it is a bad memory for them. I do not promote or support Suzuki, but I will do support Cavalcade, and will do whatever I can to support or help another Cavalcade owner. Dennis Vanill

Peter, Outstanding job researching the Zippo lighter project! Contrats too on the liaison work with Suzuki. I would interpret their statement.. "We can't stop you from having them made." as meaning that they are not going to do anything to prevent us. I can understand where they might see their “permission” as an endorsement and thus a legal or liability risk. I agree with Dennis, the flashlights and lighters are a project worth pursuing. If we have the pins made, to what other applications could they be applied? What about key rings, or tie clips, money clips, etc. Or, we could always use them as.... PINS! My thoughts on the attitude of Suzuki Corp toward us are... if they seem negative, remember that we are not now in their marketing demographic. They manufacture motorcycles for a much younger, aggressive, and probably more lucrative demographic. Any time they spend involving themselves with us is likely to be wasted time to their employer. The Cavalcade is probably more of an embarrassment for their marketing department than it is a triumph for their design & engineering departments. They must have lost a ton of money on the Cavalcade. So, their attitude is understandable. I would be surprised if they ever re-entered the touring market. Although, Harley-Davidson did a “come back” which has competed very successfully with Honda, so anything is possible. I know a lot of members feel we should not put the Suzuki name “out front” in our group image. (“They won’t support us, so why should we support them?”) I have always taken the other point of view. (Hence the “SuzukiCavalcade” web site, etc.) First, I believe it does us no harm at all to identify with one of the major companies in the motorcycle industry. Second, it is a useful means of establishing ourselves as being “NOT HONDA.” (I’ve even had Gold Wing owners ask me what year is my Gold Wing. - I hate that!) Third, by linking “Suzuki” and “Cavalcade” in any application involving the Internet, we are much more visible to search engines and seekers of information regarding this model cycle. (Try doing a web search using only the word “Cavalcade.”) Fourth, it doesn’t hurt us to court a positive relationship with Suzuki Corp. and it could be of tremendous benefit. For example, if they ever do consider re-entering the touring market what better resource for them to turn to than the Suzuki Cavalcade Owner’s Group? Lastly, our group is all about the benefits of networking. We may not like it, and THEY may not like it, but Suzuki Corp. is a factor in that mix. We can’t really ignore the corporation that created the one thing we all have in common. And, they can’t ignore the growing entity that remains loyal to a product they created. Besides, they built a hell of a motorcycle! ~Jay "Blue-on-Blue" '86 LXE Sammamish, Washington USA


I personally like the wording Suzuki Cavalcade Owners Group USA. I just had a man ask me this morning if my bike was Suzuki’s answer to the Gold Wing, to which I replied NO it was Suzuki's answer to The ROLLS ROYCE. A two wheeled version. They only made it for a couple of years. It was so far ahead of it's time techo-wise that it really took an experienced mechanic, and a truly knowledgeable rider to be able to handle it safely, and after mentioning all the ginger-bread that was on the bike he was really impressed. couldn't figure why they stopped making it, and couldn't believe it was an 86. My self I feel that we're truly riding a CLASSIC. LOOK at it this way. it was only made a couple of years. Parts are becoming harder to find. and there aren't that MANY in any one town. It’s really funny when your local SUZUKI dealer says. “Haven't seen one of them in years.” “Sold ONE of them myself.” or the parts man says “WHAT THE HELL IS THAT.” and you have to TELL HIM “Yes, you do have a parts fiche on it.” Well I've rattled on long enough, MY vote goes to SUZUKI CAVALCADE OWNERS GROUP USA THIS ALSO WOULD SIGNIFY THAT WE'RE WORLD WIDE ~WALTER IN MARYLAND


Sounds as lotza owners want pins for whatever. Maybe the idea of pins W/O posts or clips is a good idea as then we could JB weld' em to anything, yea anything belt buckles, lighters, flashlights, money clips, put em in penny loafers, put em on our home made mud flaps. Even on our pal’s gold wings. I did put one in the center of my radio cover, drilled a bitsy hole and JB'd that sucker rite on the cover LOOKS NICE. ~WALTER IN MARYLAND

Just think I could be President of the Methuen, Mass. chapter, Dave could be Pres. of the Attleboro chapter, Nancy and Larry could be Pres. and Vice-Pres. of the Dayton, Ohio chapter (I'm not saying who is what). Imagine the show at Americade with all the chapter names. Who's to know I'd be the President and only member of the Methuen Chapter. If Dave from the UK or Roel were to come they could be Grand Masters of the European Chapters. ~Al from Mass

Here's my latest correspondence with Jim at OK Pin. ~ Dennis

Dennis, it sounds like you people are having entirely too much fun. I'm glad you like our work and I thank you very much for the link. We can use all the advertising we can get. The pins are the same price whether they are pins or "flats", as we call them. It is common for people to order flats for the same reason you have stated. I have asked our artists to come up with a banner for your patch. I'll see what they produce before I give you a quote. Thanks for your continued business Dennis. Jim


Kenn has done a great job with the state-by-state list, which I'm sure we all appreciate. OK Kenn, there's the grease, now here's the kicker......I think we need another state-by-state of dealerships and shops to avoid. We all travel the highways and on occasion have need to stop for emergency and non-emergency repairs. If travelling through an area I'd like to know if there are negative comments, if so I'd try to make it another 25 miles down the road to a better shop. I know these places are in the minority.......but damn if it isn't my luck to pick every one. maybe one list, rating shops from good to bad. Besides I hate to see Kenn sit idle and have time to think what he's going to come up with for Americade 2001!!!! ~ Dennis



Group, Mobil oils has an interesting Q&A on the difference between automotive and motorcycle oil. ~ Phil

Now this was definitely interesting. The info is clear and concise. Thanks for finding this and posting it. Definitely a winner! ~HeyJerr


When downshifting the foot lever stays down. A simple up-touch of the shifter sets the lever for another downshift. It happens only sometimes, usually when warmed up. The fluid has been changed and up to proper level anybody else with same problem and or solutions thanks ~WOODY

Carol, Sounds like a dab of oil on the shifter pivot and linkage pivots is in order. ~Tracy

Never saw that, but, check the spring. If it isn't that, maybe the fluid needs to be changed and bled. Another thought, maybe the lever is scraping against the engine case. It could happen. ~Gerry in NY

My 86 LX did the same thing when running non-synthetic oil, when I switched to a synthetic blend the problem went away. Happened the most in cold weather.

IN and IL

Denny, I cut most of the plastic out on the backside of the reflector. Left enough to hold the reflector securely and that’s it. Been riding it more lately then during the summer. Think the warm weather is finally gone, so won’t be riding much more I think. Next year I will be on it every chance I can though. I'm planning a 2 trip that will be a big circle to all the Caders in IN and IL and I will send to all in this area when the time is right. I appreciate all the praise from all of you. thanks and glad to be a member of this great group. Brian in IN


Hey Al, I notice in your picture that you have wind deflectors, on your bike. Where did you find some that fit? Also did your order your chrome vent covers later or did they come with your bike? ~Vada

Vada, The chrome vent covers I found at a dealer in July. Whenever I go by a dealership I haven't been to I always stop and ask about Cavalcades in the area and any parts they might have. This particular dealer was glad to get rid of them like the one that has the fender rails and mud flaps. To many dealers Cavalcade items are just $$$ tied up in inventory, and most have very little call for them so they are ready to deal. Grills had a price on them of $64.00 bought for $40. Mud flaps retailed I think for around $20 now $9. You get the idea. One dealer had a complete set of new lights and rear bumper was glad to get rid of at $90 off retail. They ended up with another member of the group. You can never tell what you will run across. Right now I'm working on trying to buy 2 Cades. An insurance company totaled one. Guy bought a second one and a bunch of parts to fix one good one, and just never got around to it. He moved and the current possessor wants his garage space back. Will let you know how it works out -- if and when. The wind deflectors are Baker Air Wings and I think they are still available. If you can find a set of brackets one member of the group can make new plastic wings. Even put decorations on them very reasonable -- going to have a set made as soon as the bike is put away for the winter shortly. Never hurts to ask Al from


Hi All, Hi Al P., Well, I did it - put the front fender bracket and lights that Al Pomerleau sent me...what a difference. Went out tonight for a short ride....really lights the side of the bike up, great looking, great for visibility (Griz & Kenn - don't be jealous). I'll send pictures soon. Al P. sent me a step-by-step, lawyer proof set of instructions on how to install. For those of you getting a must have a 10mm and 8mm box ratchet set (Al - absolutely)..makes it soooo much easier to install since your hand is wedged between the tire and the inside edge of the outside of the fender. One other attach a little black bracket to the inside of the fender with the fender to front fork bolts (the ones that hold the fender on to the forks). They're facing out from inside the fender...tough if you have big hands like I do. The box ratchet makes it cake. But, Al told me to take off and do one side first than the other. Great tip. But, when I had the two bolts off, and went to put the black bracket on, I had a hard time lining up the bolts with the holes. (the kit bolts are even longer than the originals and are closer to the tire). It took me a while to align them. When I did the other side, I took off one bolt, put the black bracket on with that hole, didn't tighten it, let the bracket hang, then took off the second bolt on that side, the bracket lined up easier since the first bolt acted a guide. The second side went on in about 10 minutes. You use the 8mm box ratchet for the rail to black bracket and, again, the tool was the key. The lights screw in with 1 tiny bolt and nut. I have had the light fall out of its seat a couple of time when I pulled on the wires doing the electrical, so I'm thinking about a tine piece of double sided tape if it falls out again. I ran both my wires from each light behind the fork and up the back of the fender behind where the Superbrace would go. I tied them together at this point and the tightness of the splice, keeps the wires taunt and from falling down into the wheel. I then ran a couple of wires up under the false tank and tied them into my accessory power lead so the lights come on when the key is on. (Without a switch). Great!!! Best, Mike Romano

Denny, The LED light is a 14" rigid strip assembly. So, no they are not flexible. The lights I put on the rear bumper are flexible strip lights. Don’t know what kind of bulb they are, but they are close to an LED I think. Very affordable too, only $15.99 for a 6ft-strip light and bulbs are approximately every 4". Hope this helps. ~ Brian in IN



Awhile back someone mentioned that Yuasa was making maintenance free battery for the Cavalcade. I asked about it at the Suzuki dealer recently -- they didn't know specifically about the Cavalcade, but pricing on the maintenance. Free batteries ranged from $80 - $150 dollars. I didn't ask him to check any further, but are the batteries readily available and if so what's real world pricing like. At those prices I'll go through the trouble of checking water levels 3 -4 times a year. ~ Al from Mass

I have a friend that downloaded some information on maintenance free batteries made especially for the Cade. Made by Wesco and are shipped free of charge. the cost is $75.00. I seem to remember some talk of not using the electrical dipstick. Can anyone tell me how to disconnect it w/o losing the dash readings altogether. ~ Larry from Kingston Ma

Hi Larry, Get two 1/4 watt 33K ohm resistors. Tie them together on one end. Solder on a wire that you can connect to the wiring harness where the sensor from the original battery connects. Then solder a wire to the loose end of each resistor. On the end of these wires solder a loop connector that the battery terminal bolts will go through. Insulate all exposed wire and resistor leads so they will not touch each other or anything else. Connect the wire from the two resistors to the wiring harness connector and the other two loop connectors to the battery terminals. It doesn't matter which one goes to the neg. or pos. terminal.

This will give you exactly half the system voltage to power the monitor system. There will not be enough drain to the battery to discharge it over a period of time. You will need to charge the battery every two to 4 weeks anyway while the bike is stored for the winter to keep the battery fully charged, even if you didn't have the resistors hooked up.

I have a Yuasa maintenance free battery in my 86 LXE that I installed back in June. This is how I solved the monitor sensor problem and it has worked great. My bike has been sitting without starting for several weeks now and the battery is still up.

While you are in the battery compartment be sure to check the gang plug that connects the two ground wires to the negative terminal. The wires are black with a white tracer. Be absolutely certain that this connection is perfect. If it is not, cut it out and connect the wiring directly to the negative post of the battery by putting a loop connector on them that will fit under the cable bolt.

Hope this helps, and answers your question. Ride Safe! ~ David 86s LXE


'Caders, I'm looking for an "Users Manual" or "Owners Manual" for the Clarion/Suzuki CB. Thanks to Tracy I already have the Installation manual and the Service Manual. Does anyone have the Owners Manual and would you be willing to make a copy and mail it to me? I'll pay expenses, of course. If so, my address is: 14 North Linn Street, Princeton, IL 61356-1538. Thanks!! Fred L. Meisenheimer

Fred, See page 27 of the CB install guide. ~Tracy


If anyone is interested in a cover for their Cavalcade, check out these. Have no direct knowledge of them, but some one in the group may and the price seems reasonable. They mention fitting the Cavalcade. MOTORCYCLE JUMBO "touring"COVER-DF200 Item #484655700 Item located in: eBay Motors: Parts & Accessories: Motorcycle Related: General Al Pomerleau (Al from Mass)

I bought the exigent cover years ago and it is definitely one of the best. It folds down very small to about the size of a can of coffee. It is ripstop nylon on one side with a rubber type coating on the other. Everyone I know has a cover that is two to three times larger when folded. I think they cost about 75 bucks. ~bob


My rear brake is "braking" all the time . I can move the bike and ride, but there is something going on there. Checked the foot lever - it's fine. I did ride in heavy rain on last Sunday - could water/dirt make that kind of effect ?? I am going spray it with brake cleaner in a minute ( just came up with this bright idea ) I got my new mufflers from Mattheu's Custom Exhaust yesterday.....they sound really nice, check them out for sound inside the garage - LAUD, coming up soon. Ride On Wojo 86LX

..........hard to push bike has something to do with the nail in the rear tire and kind of low air pressure there...........have to go get kit to fix the flat tire....... :-( Ride On Wojo

Sounds like your caliper is sticking. Put your bike on the center stand and spin the tire by hand. It should move freely and you should hear no dragging. Will spin about one revolution . If it is dragging get a deadblow hammer and whack the brake caliper then spin the tire, if it spins better the caliper may be hanging up. After a two-block ride stop and place your hand carefully on the rotor to see if it’s very hot. ~bob it was NOT a brake problem...........It was a flat tire problem... I can say that I am a proud owner of flat tire fix kit, and I must say that it works great! Bike is rolling freely again......also I have one more wood screw in my a pretty good shape too...... Jay, I think I got it on those back roads........

Tire repairs are only temporary. YOU MUST REPLACE THE TIRE . Her goes another member debate on this issue. I have been arguing this tire repairing for about 10 years. I wouldn't care if my tire had ten miles on it. I would replace it with a new one. We ride on only a few inches of rubber and at 80-miles/ hour for three hours the tires get mighty hot. I don’t want any plugs in them! ~bob

Don't use tire kits for anything but to get you to a place to get a new tire. Been there and done that. 8 broken ribs and a broken collar bone. ~SRB


What is the trick or secret to get the Cade on the center stand. I have not figured it out yet. It seems too high to work and I too weak. ~Larry in Burlington, KS

No trick at all......5'7, 185#. I step down on the center stand, pull back on the handle grip with one hand and lift on the passenger grab bar with the other, rock it back and up. ~ Dennis

I have found the easiest for me is while putting pressure downward on the center stand with the right foot grab the bar by the seat and with your left hand on the left hand grip pull up and back with a rocking motion. it sounds a lot harder than it is. it takes all of around 2 seconds. ~Budman

Walt in Maryland does same way as Dennis and Budman. Make sure the lever is pushed back and place your right foot on that, Helps with leverage (mine was rusted, tripped forward and I had a hell of a time figuring it out the first time I tried it) Shocks pumped up DEFINATELY helps. You’ll get it.

I concur with Budman and Dennis Vanill on their approach to getting the beast on its center stand, however when I first got the bike I used the overhead crane at work to do the job. I found some spots in my driveway made this job a real chore and other spots made it a piece of cake. Same way in my garage if I got close to the floor drain. The front of the bike was downhill ever so slightly and getting it on the stand was a chore. If it won't go on the stand in one direction turn it around and see what happens. Also with some practice it really does become pretty easy. ~geo

Make sure that when you push on the center're pushing back and down! I spent a few tiring moments when I 1st got the Cade...just trying to push "down" while lifting with the passenger grab bar...make sure that you push "back and down". It allows the beast to roll back onto the stand a lot easier!! ~boomer

At 5'7", 190 then I couldn't do it. Couldn't get my ass high enough off the seat.....would like to blame it on short legs. Dennis

I have my son to get with me on the bike, pump up rear shocks to two peoples setting ( higher than for one person ), then I will ( sitting on the bike ) step on center stand while my son ( big 16 years old ) pulls the bike from behind. When we get our efforts timed properly.........we will get the beast on the center stand. ~Wojo

I'm with the other guys. I'm 6'2", 175lbs, and cant get it up on the center stand by myself either. I also sit on the back and hit auto-leveler to raise the rear end up to get it on the center stand. THERE'S GOT TO BE AN EASIER WAY, is what I think. ~ Brian in IN

Oh yah... Just herniated the neighbor with the center stand trick... But actually it wasn’t that bad, except for the feeling if he wasn't on the other side of the bike, and I overestimated the tilt away from the dismount side, I'd be the proud owner of a two-tone blue pile of non-recyclable plastic that I couldn't lift. On with the tire change...Bill B.

Wojo Put a lot of weight on the bike then press the auto level. This will lift the frame higher when you get off and make it easier to rotate up on the stand. If this doesn't work put your front tire up on a piece of 2x4 and it will have the same effect. ~Bill, Puyallup, WA

I'm 5'9" and 230 lbs. and never had a problem getting the bike on it's stand...I actually stand on the lever with my right foot while pulling the passenger hand grips up. A riding friend has a ZX-11 Ninja that is harder to put on it's center stand than my 'Cade. ~Peter

Hey Guys, I'm sitting here wondering why some of you are having so much problems getting the bike on its center stand. I'm 5'6" 165lbs. And the only time I have had problems getting the bike on its stand was when I had a flat tire on the rear. But even then I got it up with some coaxing. There is no trade secret in getting it up. That little lever on the stand does all the work. If you guys have so much problems getting the bike up on the center stand what do you do if it falls over? (I have no problems getting up off of its side either. not by choice). ~mike c. 86lx

OK I'm 5'8" and about 200 lbs. Here's what I do: Step on the lever and push down slowly -- you can feel the 2 legs of the center stand touch ground. This also help you know when the bike is even (bike will want to sit on both evenly). Grab the left handlebar with your left hand and the rail with your right - remember to keep weight on the lever - and pull up and back. Once in a will have to rock it back twice if it does not go all the way the first time. Never failed to work for me. I was really fascinated though by I think it was Al Anzalone at Americade -- he could get it on the center stand without getting off the bike. Just put his left heel on the lever and stepped down. I think he was about 6'3" though. I haven't had the guts to try it. Al from Mass

Larry, It's really pretty simply once you learn the trick. The main thing is to make sure that the little extension that’s on the center stand is all the way back. Then just step down. It works slick as a ribbon!! Actually my wife figured it out for Just takes more brains than muscle. ~vada crusing in va.

OK guys, I’m going to get brave and offer some useful information that may be helpful to some. I have been reluctant to post a suggestion to the group and have occasionally offered suggestions to individuals in private because when I originally offered the idea of pumping up the fuel pressure before starting the bike to the group, the idea was poo-pooed by some. But, as the months went by others have passed this idea on and I have seen feedback that this idea really works for others as well. Now this idea works so well and may save some one a major strain that I will risk passing it along to y’all. I have seen two absolutely true answers so far. The geometry of the center stand design is so marginal that the slope of the ground is very influential on your success in getting the bike up. When raising onto the center stand by yourself all the effort on the stand has to be down and back on the lever with the left hand on the bars and right on the bracket only being used to initially steady the bike. I had a Kawasaki 1300 six cylinder, which weighed about as much but went up on the stand much easier. I learned early that you really have to concentrate your force on the lever rather than wasting too much energy trying to pull up with your hands as we all have done with other bikes. If you pull much at all with your hands, pull back---forget up--- (you can’t lift that bike up) With that said, here’s my secret. Even though I had successfully been getting on the stand it seemed to be getting harder and harder, especially if the ground had the wrong slope. So one day I took a little time to analyze the problem and figured that what we’re really trying to do here is raise the back wheel off the ground. So I simply tried this and it worked wonderfully. All you need is a small board wide enough for your tire and maybe six inches long (small enough to be carried with you). The board can be 1/4, 3/8, or 1/2 inch thick. The thicker the board, the easier it is to hike the bike. It is amazing how much difference even the 1/4 makes. I simply place the board behind the rear tire and roll the bike so the tire contact patch is on the board and presto, the raising becomes a piece of cake. If you prefer, you could put the board in front of the rear tire and roll the bike forward on to it before exercising your center stand routine.. Try it: you’ll like it. ~ARC

I like this idea. I like to use the center stand but am annoyed that I have had to use the side stand to dismount and then switch to the center stand. One other observation. Some time ago there were several notes around about what to carry for emergencies. Some folks had very long lists. I realize the center stand issue is mostly a physics question of angles and slope, but there is a factor here of total weight. Those of you with everything but the sink will have more work to do. I believe work is equal to force times distance, ????, I'm working off information from over 20 years ago. Since distance is reduced by pumping up the shocks or putting the front or rear tire on a block then the required work is lessened. Likewise, by reducing the total mass, (emptying the bags and trunk), then the force required is reduced and the bike goes up easier. ~chuck - '86 LX

I have found that having the bike in neutral is a real help. Right foot on the arm, right hand on the bar and left hand on the handlebar. Step, lift, pull. In neutral I can usually pop it up on the center stand within 3 tries (most times on the first try). In gear, I pull, the Cade pulls back, and when we're done dancing I walk away and the Cade just stands there on the side stand ( if you listen you can hear her laugh). Now, who was the guy who put his Cade on the center stand while on the bike. I saw him do it but never got to talk to him.



I was in Arkport Suzuki last night and they have a couple 'Cades for sale. They are both '86 LX and one LXE. It was pretty cool seeing the two side-by-side and comparing the features. I believe they had similar mileage...about 19,000??? The LX has a price of about $4,800, and the LXE was around $5,200... I think that's how they were marked...don't quote me for accuracy. Condition was fair on both...I think they both had map pockets and all the standards. ...but for a mere $4,000 someone could buy my '87 LXE with a new Dunlop and a few extra's!!! ~ Pete in Olean, NY '87 LXE


Group, I have always had either Safeco or Progressive insurance coverage on my motorcycles. Now, Safeco no longer insures motorcycles. While I know it varies from state to state and location to location, I wonder if Progressive is the best deal. Do any of you have experiences with other insurance companies who cover motorcycles that you'd be willing to share? ~Jay

I have GEICO $714/year for two motorcycles - 95 Harley FLHTCU & 86 Suzuki Cavalcade w/sidecar. I had Allstate & Progressive. GEICO is the best price I could find in Arizona. ~SRB

Jay, Before I bundled all my insurance into a blanket policy with Farmers I had Dairyland through Aurora Suzuki. It was actually cheaper than it is now, but I have no choice with this blanket. Sorry to say. ~Bill, Puyallup WA

I have progressive on my two bike 98 v-star and the 86 blue cavalcade and I pay $161(not full coverage) a year. it is way better than any other company I have found. for the same coverage with most of the other companies it was around $500 to $900. so $161 sounded good to me. oh and I am in Arizona. later, ~Jay

My insurance cost me $64 through BIKELINE. I think they are in Wisconsin and I'm in New York. I called them from an ad in a Rider magazine. A friend bought a leftover '98 Aspencade this year and called for a quote for full coverage. He was quoted about $225. His local agent (Erie Insurance) was about $25 more than Bikeline. He went with the local agent for convenience. I know they are a bit pricey on cafe' style bikes, but haven't found anyone cheaper on touring bikes. ~Peter

For insurance I have state farm $224/yr full coverage. ~mike c. 86lx

I have National General it's only $179.00 a year for full coverage, $250 deductible. It's through Rider Magazine. It also has a $1500 accessory coverage. They have moratoriums, but if you keep trying eventually you can get in at a low price. ~Eugene San Diego

We have Dairyland Ins. cost 273.60 per year 86 Cavalcade full coverage 86 Virago 81 550Kaw. liability only best deal I could find in South Carolina ~Tom

For those interested in calling BIKELINE for insurance quotes, the number is 1-800-236-BIKE (2453). I pay $64/year for liability only. They also had great rates for my friends new 'Wing. Give 'em a call. mr.bed bug, The only information I could find for Rider was an e-mail address for the editorial office: I will look through the magazine more closely this weekend and see if I can find a phone number for subscription. Otherwise you could probably e-mail the editor and get the appropriate information.

This is Gary in Wisconsin.....Ins. MCYC 1986 Suzi. MCYC Class71 Terr 12 Bodily Ing. Liability & $100,000/300,000 Property Damage Liability $100.000 Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury $100.000/300.000Underinsured Motorist bodily Injury $100.000/300.000 Comprehensive $250 Deductible Collision $250 Deductible Guest Passenger American Family insurance All for only $186.00 per year. This is what I got.... Gary 86 Cade. Greenfield Wis.

Been reading all the letters back and forth and find your name here a lot. I have an 88 Cavalcade LX and a 98 GoldWing Aspencade. Have ridden for years and the insurance I have is with a company called BikeLine, never had a claim, rates are great and they want your business. I found them through Hemming Motor News. 1-800-236-BIKE FYI, Yes the Cade is the better ride by far!!! Brent


A newby trying to change the rear tire with a new Dunlop tour slug. Any advice on how to begin...things to watch out for...things to take care of while its all long do I put off the old la-- (whoops) I meant my bride, to say it'll be outa the center of the garage in how many days? All inputs welcome as taking all this stuff looks daunting. Thanks in advance....Bill B.


HOW MANY of us are guilty of pressing starter button on left handle bar then squeezing the Clutch handle to start the bike. Could that be why that little clutch switch arches and gets all black and burned looking?????? I replaced one clutch switch and after seeing how arch burned it looked I always made sure that that switch was made first SO any arching that took place was in the heavier STARTER switch. think about it. And Dennis' idea of pressing the starter switch till the fuel pump pumps up the carbs, makes lotza sense, it as it ain't gonna start till the carbs are full, and why be filling the carbs and grinding the starter. IT just might make a difference in starting on a low battery. JUST MY 2 cents. ~WALTER IN MARYLAND

I'm looking for anyone who can shed some light on my starting problem.. I haven't seen this problem posted before, but I could be wrong. Symptom: There is a delay of 3 to 15 seconds from when I push the start button, (with clutch depressed) to when the engine starts turning over. The delay seems to be longer after the engine is hot, after a long ride. The microprocessor seems to go through its checks and the LCD display switches to the Clock display after about 2 seconds but then the engine still doesn't turn over. This delay is getting longer and longer, since about 2 months ago, when I first noticed it. I'm getting really worried it won't start one of these times. I don't know where to start to troubleshoot this problem?? Is it the clutch switch, starter switch or the microprocessor? Any help is more than welcome... Thanks! Art G. 86 LX, w/15,000 miles

I thought I had the same problem, too. Wiggle your clutch lever a little(maybe pushing down on it) and see if it starts right up. If so, your clutch switch needs a little work. ~HeyJerr

Art: check to see that the black/w white striped wires that come off the GROUND side of the battery and go into a double plug right by the ground end of the battery are good. You might try jumping out the wires that go to the clutch switch just to see if the delay goes away. you can do this simply by pushing a straight pin or needle through the two wires that go into the clutch switch. MAKE SURE YOU REMOVE THE pin or needle, by doing this you don't risk taking the switch apart and loosing the small parts. I don't think that the microprocessor has anything to do with the delay you talk about. as I had trouble with mine but it would still start without the LCD read out. A lot of times the safeties that hold out an item are wired SERIES through each other and ARE ON THE GROUNDED side of whatever they're holding out, if this is confusing to you let me know. DO you have a manual or Tracy's CD??? ~Walter

Hi Guys, I threw an on/off switch, in & out, not toggle on mine. The only problem with Griz's switch is that he has to have his hand on the switch instead of on the clutch, which means you have to have a good memory (that you're in neutral). I thought about it, but realized I'm forgetful and needed to keep my clutch in every time I start.... Just a thought. ~ Mike Romano


Ever since I read the posts about voltmeters I have been looking for one I thought would work on my CADE. I think I've found it. It's by AUTO METER and is only 1 1/2" diameter, Ordered mine today should have it on the bike by this weekend, it measures 8-18 volts which should be good, three wire hookup one for lighted. will keep you-all posted as to feasibility. If you want to see it look on it is item No. 2356 ~ Walter in Maryland


Myself and a couple of guys I ride with are planning on going to Americade 2001, I have started looking for accommodations, but haven't found any thing yet. Anyone who's been there, I am open for any recommendations, and or suggestions, we're going to stay the whole week. ~Walter

Walter, try for a list of lodgings in Lake George. Dennis

Walter, You might want to get yourself on the waiting list at the Surfside Inn in Lake George......they usually have cancellations......but I would do it now. ~Nancy

Walter, Super8 in Glens Falls just 8 miles away has plenty of rooms. Dave, Mike, my wife and myself stayed there last year. I booked my reservation there again this year. ~Chopper


What kind of coolant do you use in a Cade? I have been told not to use regular car coolant...well why it that? let me know. thanks. ~ Jay

Hey Jay, normal auto antifreeze is too strong for motorcycle cooling system seals and rings. Suzuki seems to suggest Bars Leaks. You can also check with you local dealer. Suzuki also suggests Suzuki Golden Cruiser or a coolant that is compatible with aluminum radiators. ~ Gerry in NY

FELLOW CADERS: I have heard that you can use any antifreeze as long as it DOES NOT have silica in it, (this is a cleaning agent in lotza antifreeze to keep the cooling systems CLEAN) and this is what is too strong for the motorcycle. AS to the BARS it is a STOP LEAK additive that OLM MAN SUZUKI says you should put in your COOLING system to AVOID any LEAKS that might occur. THIS IS stated in the Owners manual and the SERVICE MANUAL. JUST my two CENTS, IF you USE automobile antifreeze make SURE it's for ALUMINUM radiators and ENGINES, as to the BARS as I know it. I don't see how you can effectively add it. As we as HOT RODDERS used to call it RABBIT S____ as it is full of pellets that must be melted within the cooling system. I have used ALUMA seal, which is a powdered form of some sort of aluminum by product, and haven't had any leaks. I guess it's to each his own. ~WALTER IN MARYLAND


I have some sad new I need to share with all of you. This involves a Gold Wing rider but we are all of the same mold. On Sunday 11/12/00 John and Liz Vendrick of Palatka, FL were killed while riding tail gun position on a GWRRA chapter ride with FL1-P. John and Liz were the Chapter Directors for FL1-P. The services are today at 11 AM in Palatka. I knew John and Liz from GWRRA and also John had just begun riding with the escort service here in Jacksonville. In October he had provided his first escort for the MS-150 and had a ball. We all got together on 10/29 for a cookout to celebrate the ride and help John celebrate his birthday. John and Liz were killed near Lake Butler, FL when their Wing drifted over the centerline in a curve and they collided, head-on with a pickup truck. The group never knew it happened. John was on a Wing that had the Voyager trike conversion on it. Possibly while trying to keep up with the group he drifted over. We do not know for sure. Please, during this Thanksgiving Holiday pray for the families of John and Liz for comfort and peace in this time of their loss. Thanks for your time guys. Ride safe and ride long. God Bless each and every one of you who keep this list going and allow the therapy we need at times like this. ~ Gary Fairfield 86 LXE Jax, FL

We will, Gary, sorry for you loss. ~ Gerry in NY

Gary we are so sorry to hear about this.... Makes you realize that it can happen to even the most experienced rider.. I find myself saying a little prayer each time we go out on the bike to get us home safely... Things like this make you appreciate everyday we are given a little more... Our thoughts and prayers will be with their families and may they take comfort in knowing that their loved ones were together and doing something that they both loved together at their passing...... It is never easy...................Nancy and Larry....86lxe in Ohio

My prayers and thoughts go out for John and Liz Vendrick family members and friends, what a terrible tragedy, also for Gary Fairfield, it not easy posting a message of such tragedy, especially when it a friend. Gary you put it best "Ride safe and ride long. " Sincerely Mike White

Gary: Truly sorry to hear of the misfortune of your friends, I offer my most heartfelt condolences to you and their loved ones. RIDE SAFE Walter in Maryland

Peace be With You............ There are upwelling tears that betray a lifetime of losses remembered. There are joys in the common core of experience shared by those of us who found happiness on motorcycles. Most of all, when I see a couple ride together on a motorcycle I remember the closeness and the frequent inattention’s to the road when we pulled close to each other...and said...I Love You!

No regrets...Bill the Fish Guy in California =}}}}}}}:

Time is my enemy at the moment... would appreciate you relaying my condolences to them. I just said a small prayer (not easy for me) and am saddened that such a happy time could turn so tragic. Having recently hit some oil on the freeway as well as losing concentration and ending up in a two wheel drift to avoid a high-speed rear-ender; I know how quickly things can happen out there. Will be thinking of them this Thanksgiving. Don

For those of you that would like to send cards in memory of John and Liz Vendrick, the address is below. Over 120 people attended the service. Most of which were Gold Wingers. There were 40 bikes in all plus a number of us drove cages due to it being 35 degrees when we left the house this morning. I will also forward the e-mails that are appropriate from the posting. Thanks for all of your words for the family. Chuck & Susan Meisner P. O. Box 572 Satsuma, FL 32189-0572 904-649-4799 email at


Hi Guys, Unfortunately it is time to put the Cade away for the winter. I plan on hooking a trickle charger up to it (500mv) and wanted to make sure that I do it right. Can it be hooked up to the Power source screws on the fuse panel, seeing how it's such a low charge rate? Also, do I need to charge for a period, then take off for a period? Or can it be left on all winter long? All replies will be appreciated. Thanks, Brian in IN

Brian, Spend a few bucks more and get a regular battery tender that actually senses the charge state of the battery and turns on only as needed. Some also contain a high frequency circuit that prevents sulfate buildup on the plates. ~Tracy

Brian, I would recommend that instead of using a trickle charger, you use the "Battery Tender Jr." This device monitor the voltage in you bike's electrical system and only charges the battery when it drops below a certain level. A trickle charger will "cook" your battery all winter. Details and a link to the Battery Tender are on the web site. Ride Safe, Jay ~ "Blue-on-Blue" '86 LXE Sammamish, Washington USA

'Caders, And while we're on the subject...wouldn't any small charger (like one that puts out 1/2 amp.) that has an automatic shutoff work just as well as a Battery Tender? Just wondering... ~ Fred

Steve, I've used the Battery Tender for several years with no problems. You are right, it attaches to the battery with a quick connect to make it easier to use. The "Jr." model I believe is recommended for smaller systems like a motorcycle. The standard model is for larger systems such as automobile, truck and bus. If this is not correct, I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will jump in with the correct information. Ride Safe, Jay "Blue-on-Blue" '86 LXE Sammamish, Washington USA

Hey Gang, I've been down this road, and thrown good $$ after bad at batteries and chargers so learn from my mistakes... Even an auto-shutoff trickle charger will "cook the juice" out of a battery, just a little at a time as opposed to all at once with a standard trickle charger. The BatteryTender Jr actually decreases the charge as the battery builds (not just less frequent on/off cycles.) My dealer recommended the Jr model, and it is certainly the best money I've yet spent on any tool or maintenance doodad. And do you think NASCAR will license a battery tender called the Dick Trickle Charger - smokes a lot, but gets better as it gets older? My $0.02... ~ BobG 86GD

Question - this unit has quick connectors - Does anyone has a suggestion for the best place to bring these wires out to? My first thought is through the fairing near the horns. Also can you cover the bike with the battery tender plug in?

Why not connect them directly to the battery and have them accessible in the right fairing pocket. This way, they are out of sight until you need them. Then open the pocket, plug them in and you're good. ~ Gerry in NY

That's how I did mine. I use the same leads to power up my voltage meter. Open the map case, unplug the voltage meter, and plug in the battery charger. Thought you guys already knew about this one. ~ KennG


Anyone by chance have the part number for the chrome plugs, which cover the screws on the two chrome cowl-cover trim pieces on the fairing? I would be greatly appreciative.

They do not show up on the CD fiche, number J5, they plug into part number 94412-24A00.

If by chance someone has the two plugs which they would like to sell please contact me.

~Michael D. White

Michael, You need to go to J8. They are item #30 and part number 94457-24A10. They are referred to simply as "cap". ~ Tracy

I, like a fool, paid my friendly neighborhood dealer $4.95 apiece for those plugs. Now I am very protective of those plugs. He found them for me just by description. ~ Eugene, San Diego

Larry replaced the chrome plugs around the windshield with black plastic plugs from Sears...... for about 45 cents each if that and they look just fine......for what it is worth....... ~ Nancy

Nancy, At Sears, what were the plugs designed for? What department were they in? ~ Fred

Fred, We found them up with replacement plugs for appliances and around the screws and nuts. They work great. I think they were 1/2 inch. but we always take one to make sure we get the right size.......don't look bad at all and a whole lot cheaper............... Have a great day ~ Nancy

Fred, the hole plugs are sold at hardware stores everywhere, its in the specialty boxes or bins in the fastener section, just need to figure out your diameter, here’s a handy way to check. Place a soft napkin or paper towel over the hole, run your finger around the rim of the hole making an indentation. Take your napkin to the hardware store a match up your indentation with the hole-plug or bolt or whatever. The hole plugs, while your there check out those bins cause they got switches, all kinds of connectors, sometimes I miss the days working in the hardware store, learned a lot o useful stuff, # one read the directions first! ~ Larry

Hey Larry, If these are the plugs you told me about, (the plug hole just under the windshield). They are 7/8 in diameter and Larry, I must say those plugs are still looking good. Thanks for the tip. ~ Alvin


These are the pictures of the volt meter installation on my bike. (See Archives)

Very smooth looking - most impressed with your imagination. I’m just curious on the hook-up. Any secrets or are the install instructions (yes, I do read instructions) clear? Have a Grand day ~Steve & Ms Vic86lx


Looking to see if anyone can help resolve my frustration with that @#$%^ clutch safety switch. I have taken mine apart and cleaned the contacts, but it still gives me fits. I have to wiggle the clutch and get it "just right" before it will start. Has anyone figured out how to bypass that switch but still have the cruise control work? ~Bob Schindler 86 LX Jupiter, FL

You can wire it directly to a 2-pole toggle switch, turn it on to start the bike and turn it off when started so that the cruise control is enabled. ~Gerry in NY

I have found in some bikes with higher mileage that the bushing in the lever (handle) wears out allowing the lever to much movement. This in turn causes the switch pin to have too much lateral movement in the opposite direction it's supposed to, before it starts to move in the right direction. If this sounds confusing just check the bushing in the clutch lever. By the way they should be taken apart and greased every year or two. ~ Phil

Bushings, age etc contribute to the switch being problematic. I've encountered a reason I haven't seen yet. New foam handlebar grips. Has anyone considered lengthening the actuator pin ? ~KennG

What I have done on my bike is instead of a toggle switch, I used a momentary push switch (one that is only on while you hold it down). I hold it while starting the bike and then I let go when it fires. MAKE SURE YOU ARE IN NEUTRAL. ~ Brian

Hey Everyone! This past summer I went on one of the best Cade Raids, with the best people through West Virginia. While on the way home I couldn't get my clutch switch to engage. So Larry made me beg him for a push start! I think he's still saying something about his back being out. Anyway, I felt I had to come up with a secondary method on starting the Cade when the clutch switch fails. So this is what I did. I went to the old trusty Radio Shack and picked up a red momentary switch that is square and flush with its sides. I wanted the switch flush so that it wouldn't get snagged on something and break off. When I mounted the switch on the bike, I placed it beside the air cushion control buttons. The reason I placed the button here was due to the fact that the inner fairing has an inward slant. So when it rains the water will not go into the switch. If you use a toggle switch at this location, your knee might hit the switch, causing you to crack the inner fairing, break the toggle or mistakenly activate the switch. When I spliced the switch in to the system, I spliced it in to where my clutch switch is still active. So the momentary switch is a back-up if the clutch switch does not work, or you can use the switch as your main and the clutch as the back-up. When people ask me what this red button is for, I tell them that this button keeps my wife from having to push the bike. My wife and I get this big grin on our faces. We leave that statement hanging in the air, having them wonder how a switch keeps my wife from pushing a 900lb bike. Hee Hee Hee. WHEN USING THE momentary push switch MAKE SURE YOUR BIKE IS IN NEUTRAL. If any one is interested on installing this switch, I'll be more than happy to post the instructions and help anyone I can. Hey Ohio Caders, this was a great Caders season. Happy Holidays from the Taylor's. We can't wait to ride with the gang next year. C-YA! ~ Alvin

If you remove the bottom cover for one of the switches and take it to a good radio-electrical shop they will have micro switches with the same hole spacing as the covers. You will have to make some spacer plates to go between the micro switch and the mount because it is not flat and you will crack micro switch if you do not use one. The micro switch will have a flat lever on it, I know the next Justin is how do you make it work. If you look under you clutch and brake levers you will see that they are hollow, you just bend the lever 90 degrees up till it will fit in the hollow area the adjust it so it will make the connection at the point you want it to. Then cut you wires, add female spades plug them in and you will never have to replace a switch again. My friend and I had 86 LXEs, tried this for two years never had a problem. Made a lot of them for people in Topeka Touring Society Club! . I hope this will solve everybody’s problems with those darn switches. Cavalcade was best touring bike ever made if they still made them I would still be riding
one. Went to a GoldWings in 96. But I never did like it so bought a new venture in 99. It reminds me a lot of the Cade that’s the reason I bought it. ~ Jack Miller


You can get a replacement windshield at JC Whitney for +/- $80 (not sure of the part number) that is pretty close to stock but thicker. You can also go to They make a windshield that is taller and wider for the Cavalcade and costs about $140 - some of the members in the group have one and as far as I know, they love it... ~ Brian

I bought one of JC Whitney's windshields and they fit great and are a very good wind shield. I would not hesitate to get another. ~ Jim Dixon in Utica, Ohio


<< Just wondering if there are any thoughts, suggestions, dos, don'ts, or experiences you could share with an eager beginner biker.

Hi Steve...Be cautious of the big city freeways and the rush hour traffic. Time it so you’re able to go after the rushes. Use city Loops. (i.e.) San Antonio Loop 410. Take some beautiful Texas back roads (outside of Austin). Go south of Houston. See NASA. Stop off of the Interstate and see Fair Hope, Alabama, a real seashore! Take a pause, park the bike and ask a local fisherman in North Florida where you can get a boat ride to see spring water rivers. Experience the piney woods of Florida along the gulf coast (it'll make you homesick for the mountains) and don't be afraid to stop and chat at motorcycle shops (the brand names don't matter. We're all bikers) and they will be happy to tell you..."There's this road I know". Ride like your Invisible...and don't get (get home' itis). Best to you and yours. ~ Bill the Fish Guy =}}}}}}}}:

After 25 years on the road, sometimes far too close to it, and 5 trips to the East Coast and back, my advice would be to never push the envelope. If you are too tired, too hungry, too thirsty, too wet or too sore, stop for the day and live to ride another day. Crashing is no fun and I would not recommend it for anyone. Watching your motorcycle bounce down the highway with you sliding after it with 8 broken ribs and a broken collar bone will keep you out of the saddle for several months. Our best memories on a motorcycle are riding the back roads with no place to go and no time set to get there. SRB 86LXE Glendale AZ

Don't do anything in a hurry, slow down and take time to smell the roses, roses are anything you want em to be, avoid heavy traffic especially heavy truck traffic, and all of the other things the club suggested. Put em on your list of things to do. Ride safe. Enjoy your trip. Keep in touch and don't forget to check your oil levels all of them. Take your list of Cade owners. ~WALTER IN MARYLAND

Steve, Asking this group for advice is like asking Hoover Dam for a drink. But, I'll add my voice to the chorus. I've taken the liberty of reprinting below a page from our web site, which I wrote earlier this year:


I’m always amazed by the number of people who have never ridden a motorcycle, but still feel compelled to give riding advice to those of us who do. “Motorcycles are dangerous!” they state as if this is something that never would have occurred to us had they not pointed it out. “No kidding, Lady?” Well, if you’ve never experienced a rear tire blowing and coming off the rim at 50 miles an hour on a twisty mountain road, you have no concept of the meaning of the word “dangerous.” “What do you do when it rains?” is another of my favorites. “Well, living in Seattle that’s rarely a problem, but if it happens I usually just turn on the windshield wiper.” That confuses them. After they inspect my bike looking for the wiper, I just hold up my left glove. When you’ve ridden in snow up to your floorboards, loose sand or gasoline soaked blacktop; riding in the rain is a “day at the zoo.” When you’ve done something for a couple of decades, you start to think you may have insights on how to do it. After four decades you get downright arrogant about it. That’s where I am today. I’ve made a list of rules about riding which come from 40 years of making mistakes and living to tell about it. These are rules I’ve made for myself. Breaking these rules will put you at risk of life and limb. I have the bent motorcycle parts to prove it. A few months ago I broke four of these rules and that’s why I found myself lying on my back staring at the leaves waving in the branches of the oak trees above the center of Marine Drive in Vancouver BC, Canada wondering if I could still wiggle my toes.

Rule #1 Never get on the motorcycle when you are tired. Or, if you feel the slightest bit drowsy, stop and get off the bike.

Rule #2 Never get on the motorcycle when you are angry or upset.

Rule #3 Never get on the motorcycle when you have had a drink.

Rule #4 Always have an escape maneuver in mind for your current riding situation.

Rule #5 Never ride in anyone’s blind spot or assume other drivers see you or know you are there.

Rule #6 Never let distractions take your attention away from traffic ahead, behind, and to the side of you.

One sunny afternoon in Vancouver, I broke rules #1, #2, #4 and #6. The pickup truck in front of me suddenly stopped to let a jaywalker cross the street at the same time I was changing stations on my radio. When I looked up I didn't have time to stop or dodge right. I just slammed into the back end of that truck. My Cavalcade hit the bumper and I bent the tailgate with my face. I did $1000 damage to an $800 pickup and several times that amount to my Cavalcade. I spent the next three days on the couch of a friend in Vancouver until I felt up to riding home in the car. It took several months to find someone with the knowledge and resources to find all the parts and rebuild “Blue-on-Blue” back to showcase condition. You may have noticed that I didn't say anything about maintaining the mechanical condition of your motorcycle. I figure that if you don’t know that you shouldn't start a 2,000-mile trip with 1,000 miles of tread, you are beyond hope. Tires and brakes are the two most important devices between your legs. Everything else is just “accessories.” For example, if your spark plugs fail, you may end up pushing your Cavalcade. If your brakes or tires fail, you may end up pushing up daisies. The irony is that I have friends who ride with bald tires, old batteries, weak brakes, unwashed motorcycles and have ridden that way for years. On the other hand, my best friend and business partner kept his motorcycle in immaculate condition, but one careless moment cost him and his wife their lives. There is a lot of luck in surviving life on the highway. But I still believe that the more you put the odds in your favor, the better your chances of survival. That’s why I have six rules for riding. I try to remember them every time I have my cycle keys in my hand. What are your rules? ~ Jay

My advice is to leave the radio home or lock it. My first long cross-country ended in a hospital in Canada because I was tweaking the radio and dropped off the shoulder onto a patch of gravel. Bike in pieces in Ottawa and I'm still mending. Not to worry for I replaced my Cade today with its clone. ~ Stu

Hey Fellows; I don't want any one to take offense to this but, My bike has a decal put on by Mr. Suzuki that says “DO NOT OPEN WHILE DRIVING” right on the radio cover and I try my best not to. Now I know why it's on there. My granddaughter HAD 2 ACCIDENTS IN A JEEP changing the CD player. She wasn't hurt in either BUT she no longer has a CD player and we all should be aware that you can go from 60 to 0 in less seconds than it took to get there. And we're NOT going to be in as good a shape as we were when we started. With the leaves falling and the black ice forming RIDE SAFE, have respect for your bike, and DON'T GET OFF WITHOUT THE KICKSTAND DOWN (know what I mean?) OH yes one other thing for the guy going cross country STAY OUT from BEHIND those trucks hauling LIVESTOCK! ~ WALTER in MARYLAND

I lock my radio so I cant play with it I also am a deer hunter & my girls & wife when they ride with me tell me to look at the road at all times, they will look for the deer for me. If you know what I am saying, it will only take that one time & its bye bye ride, hello road! Have a safe trip God ride with you. ~ Gary, 86 Cade Greenfield Wis.


Hallo Al, Yes, sorry for the delay, but yes, the first time the bike was used dates from /04/1989. And although I assume it is one of the overstock, its a very nice Blue-on-blue one, with 55.000 Mlles. Question, do you know anything about filling the carbs before pressing the start-button? Something I read in the Group, but did not quite understand. Thanks in advance ~ Kurt, West-Vlaming van Diksmuide, Belgie

I was just curious Kurt. There are not supposed to be any 1989 models. I bought mine in 1990 but it was a brand new 1987. As for filling the carbs, it is very simple. Normally you would turn the key on, pull in the clutch, and push the start button to start the bike, but in cold weather to prime the carbs with gas -- turn the key on, but do not pull in the clutch and then push the start button. What happens is that when you push the start button the electric fuel pump will pump gas to the carbs? You can hear a soft clicking sound. After about 3 or 4 seconds stop pushing the start button, pull in clutch, and push start button again. Bike will start faster and will wear down the battery less. Have just finished putting mine away for the winter? Hope you get to enjoy yours all year. ~Al


Hello Group, Winter is coming and I am really thinking about painting my bike. Right now is gold and brown, but the paint is old and really needs to be restored. I would like to paint it with a different color. Don't know what yet. Would like to hear about your ideas for colors, prices, paint shops etc. ~ Wojo

Are the decals still available as far as the one above the radio on the fake tank cover? I wanted to paint mine, too but was worried about not being able to replace them. ~ Dan

Just this morning I went to one of our local Suzuki dealerships to get my new rear tire ($188 for Dunlop Elite II, mounted, balanced including tax). I asked him for decals on Cavalcade. He checked the sign that is located on fake tank (radio cover). It is available and the price he give me was $10.00 I asked him also about the darker/lighter color panels on fairing and bags and he, said that they are available also. ~ Wojo


Ya know, as I read of all you folks putting away your bikes for the winter, I keep thinking that we need a bike exchange program. We have a season down here when riding is undesirable, but we call it summer. It's just too doggoned hot to wear boots, jeans and a jacket here June-September. We need a "shared ownership" program where the bikes move north and south twice a year! ~ Bob Schindler Jupiter, FL

.....and we could draw straws to see who the lucky people are who get to ride the exchange routes each year!!! ~ Boomer


Bike in garage, 4 layers of clothes on in house, time to turn on the heater, set at 72 degrees, light fireplace, sip cocktail, repeat daily, until warmer weather re-appears. Have a nice winter ~ j.k.


Before I bust open the cover on the generator/starter. I wonder if anyone else has experienced this noise...On startup, the sound (like a grinding scuffing noise) comes from under the generator cover...I can actually feel the vibrations of what feels like the stator windings rubbing against the case. Amazingly after a period of warm-up the noise disappears and is not heard again until next cold start-up. Some possibilities.... the starter clutch doesn't properly engage/disengage.. or the stator windings are adrift? Ideas/Suggestions/Past life experiences. Thanks for anything, to prevent me from letting my curiosity go astray. Bill the Fish Guy >=}}}}}:>

Hi Bill, I had that same noise after I changed my stator. The stator had come loose and was spinning around in there. I caught it before it did any damage, but check it out right away. Take the screws out and put Lock Tight on the threads. ~ Eugene, San Diego

Hey bill, With my experience with the stator. If you hear a noise in the stator case, pull the case and check it out. Because if something is going bad, it will most likely go bad on a long ride in the middle of nowhere. Now when you take the cover off, have a 5-gallon bucket handy so when you take the have the cover off you can lay the stator on the bucket and give it a very good inspection. If you elect not to inspect this area, it will bug the hell out of you until you do. So while it is cold outside, pop the cover and check things out. If you need any help, just ask. We'll help you through it. C-Ya! ~ A. Taylor

Special thanks Eugene...The previous owner said he had just redone the stator.... I suspect that when I get he cover off today...That’s what I'll find. Locktite duct-tape and silicone seal what else could a biker want for...oh yes, this could start a protracted discourse of what else we can't live without ~ Bill

Special thanks for all the nice responses on the stator mystery noise. Having a 5-gallon overturned bucket to rest the stator cover on works great. Using Locktite on the 3 mounting screw for the stator...another plus!

And being married to a helpful extra set of hands while the hammer blows are struck on the impact wrench is a real plus (provided one remembers to follow up the days oily labors with dinner out). ~ Bill


My name is Bryan Milliken; I live just outside of Halifax Nova Scotia Canada. I own an 86 updated LX in Canadian New Brown colors that I bought new. I've put about 84,000 km on it. I've put many km touring in USA and have rallied at Americade and Lost Weekends with the Rochester Peacemakers. I my have met one of your group at these rallies as I have talked to some owners of Cavalcades and one person I met many years ago did mention that he was trying to start an owners group for this bike. I would like to get as much info about your group and bike owners in general. My address is 199 Lakeview Road, Lakeview Nova Scotia Canada B4C-4C8. Thank You Bryan


I am trying to ride my Cade through the winter months to keep the >battery charged. With weather and work, I am only able to get out for >a ride about every 2 weeks. My question is, assuming the battery is >good, how long can I expect the battery to hold a charge sufficient >to start it and how long does it take to recharge the battery when I >ride it. I realize that there is no definite answer but your thoughts >would be welcomed. >Thanks, >Ray

Hey Ray, Although battery discharge certainly is not linear, a good rule of thumb is that an unused battery loses about 3% of charge a day. Point being, after around a month you can expect a dead battery, 2-3 weeks 1/2 charge, and so on. You can solve your problem by going with a battery tender-type product with a quick-disconnect setup. As opposed to a trickle charger, there's no battery damage and you're at 100% at all times. Also, remember that you can bring back a battery from being completely discharged only a finite number of times - maybe 5 or 6 - before permanent cell or plate damage happens. I've been through all of this, and thrown good $$ after bad before my electrical enlightenment (a tour of the Yuasa factory in Reading PA.) Just my $0.02... BobG 86 GD

Ray, I do the same, there should be no problem starting the bike after 2 or 3 weeks. I usually though start mine from time to time and let her warm up. Keeps all the fluids flowing and puts fresh gas in the carbs. Denny Potoczky 86 LXE South Bend, IN


Here is a report for those interested: I dropped my bike off at the shop yesterday to have a lot of work done. This is the list I have given my mechanic: 1· Replace Steering Bearings (pre-ordered) 2· Change brake fluid and bleed lines 3· Replace clutch hose (pre-ordered) 4· Replace spark plugs (pre-ordered) 5· Replace rear shocks (pre-ordered) 6· Repair engine oil leak 7· Flush and replace engine coolant 8· Check Regulator/stator voltages 9· Replace headlight with PIAA (supplied) 10· Replace Front brake light and clutch switches (supplied) 11· Replace air filter (supplied - save old filter) 12· Inspect rubber intake pipes 13· Grease air vent slider 14· Check/balance carbs I will let you know how it goes, as well as the costs involved. ~ Brian 87LXE in CT being fixed!

Brian, Wear very old clothes when you stop at the dealer. Maybe even get caught picking up cigarette butts off the street; otherwise you may be sending them a monthly check till Americade. ~ Bob

Brian, If your shop is like the one I deal with you may have to take out a loan or sell your home and pets to pay for all those repairs! Just to clean and set my carbs was $250.00. When they start taking off all that plastic and stuff at an hourly rate, it doesn’t take long to add up. Good luck I will say this when the carbs are working right it is one powerful machine so hang on you will be pleasantly surprised. ~ John in LA.


Just replaced rear volume control as described here earlier works better than original. Amazing what $ 2.00 at Radio Shack and a little solder on the kitchen table can do to make a passenger happy. Well she's not too happy about the kitchen table! Thanks for the great tip guys. Does anybody know if this is a problem that occurs after reg/rec failure, after changing my reg/rec radio acted strange then wife went to screaming in my ear to turn it off, had to shut radio off to get her some relief as she had no volume control. ~ John in LA.

John you got a part number on that volume control?

Hey Al, Here are the part #'s for the volume control from Radio Shack Radio Shack Part # 271-215B 10k Mini Volume Control Also used 1/2 " blue capped control knobs to fit 1/4 " shaft Radio Shack Part # 274 - 403A ~ John in La


Local dealer in Baton Rouge, La has new Cade on showroom floor with 500 miles on it. Bike has never been sold are titled will try to find out more info, rumor has it he might be willing to part with it. Will keep y'all posted ~ John in La. 86 LXE


I am having a problem with my Cade. When it the motor is cold is coughs back through the carbs. When the motor warms up it doesn’t do it as often but it does do it at low speeds (under 30mph). So what does this sound like? Please let me know. Thanks ~ jay

Sounds like the carbs need to be synchronized. They get enough fuel-air mix at higher speeds, but are lacking enough at lower speeds. My opinion. ~ Gerry in NY

Can you determine if it is actually coughing through the carbs or out the intake rubber manifolds??? Mine did that when the choke was pulled, and discovered it had a slit (crack) in the manufacture seams on one side. Fixed it with marine Black rubber caulk 5800 it takes a while for it to harden up, they make a fast cure. There are two seams on those rubber intakes one inside one outside like casting form seams and with age they crack, have seen it on other bikes with similar intakes. They can be seen with a flashlight while engine is idling, when it coughs that seam will open up tiny bit Can be sealed without taking off carbs WITH patience. Will also cough when cold if cracked. CHECK it out. >>>>>> RIDE SAFE RIDE WARM>>>>> Walter in Maryland

Sounds like a lean condition. There are a number of potential problems that could cause the condition from cracks in the rubber manifolds that has already been suggested to bad o-rings at the manifold/head connection point.

The diaphragms in the carbs could also cause the same problem. When the throttle is cracked open, the upward movement of the diaphragms causes the needles to richen the mixture. A number of the members have reported cracks in the diaphragms.

It could even be an adjustment of the idle air screws. As these motors age, the vacuum will decrease slightly and may need a little richening with the idle air screws. Also, you should check the air cleaner, the fuel filter and the choke (not actually a choke but an enrichment circuit) operation to make sure the cable is pulling the linkage to it's full open and closed positions.

The quality of gas can also have an effect. A little Heat or similar treatment will get any moisture suspended so that it will go on through the system. The alcohol in Heat will also make the moisture-laden fuel burn better to get it used up and out of the system.

These motors will cough and spit when they are cold if you try to open the throttle too far before they are sufficiently warmed up, but, after that, you shouldn't have any dead spots or coughs as you crank the throttle. ~ Tracy


Well folks, it with deep regret that I inform you of the demise of my beloved behemoth...a Blue 1986 Suzuki Cavalcade. It was the victim of a suicidal deer that decided to jump in front of me on my way home at night from my Blue Knights Motorcycle Club meeting. I was traveling at about 50mph when I struck the damned doe. This sent me, and my behemoth, tumbling into the grassy median. Thanks to my leather jacket and my full-face helmet though, I escaped with only minor scrapes and bruises. My bike, however, was not so lucky. I had its remains brought to my favorite motorcycle shop so friends, loved ones, and the insurance man could attend its wake. All who saw it were shocked that the rider had survived at all let alone without any serious injury. So I thank the Creator for sparing my life yet again!! Now this leaves me with lots of extra parts. The following is a partial list of the things that I have to sell. If you are interested in these please email me with an offer $$$. If you need parts that are not listed, let me know and I will tell you if I have them and their condition. 1) Two Original Cavalcade Air Seats - No rips or tears - very good condition 2) Markland Driver Backrest. All mounting equipment present and functional. Tear on top of backrest. 3) Two Original Suzuki/Clarion Radios w/intercom - one with red lettering one with white lettering - both fully functional as of six months ago including all buttons, knobs, cassette mechanism etc. 4) Left side Fairing panel - this is the panel with the auto level button and the air cushion controls - these are still attached and there are no cracks in the plastic. 5) Dashboard Panel - this is the panel under the windshield and around the cluster of gauges - no cracks 6) Left side pocket - this is the pocket that opens up with the coin holder (included) no cracks 7) One coin holder only 8) Various Cavalcade emblems including saddlebag emblem and front fairing emblem 9) Blue Center fairing piece - the one that sits between your legs - radio cover and hinge work perfectly - has pinstriping on it but comes off with "easy off" oven cleaner (I had to remove the names of its previous owners of the trunk, so It DOES work!!!) 10) Two handle bar key hole covers with clock reset buttons - all there all intact no cracks 11) Right side mirror - very good condition 12) I have another parts bike in my driveway - it still has saddlebags, a passenger back rest with a tear in it, the trunk, engine, handlebars and various other parts - email with your wants and needs 13) I think I have a right side map pocket and a headlight unit somewhere - If any interest I will look in the garage to find it!!! E-mail me directly ( with the part you desire any questions and make me an offer I can't refuse. I know how hard it is to find these parts and how expensive it is to get them new from the dealer (if they can even get them!!!) So let my accident be your gain! My email is: