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Cavalier International

The Magazine for Suzuki Cavalcade Owners. The Best touring April 2013 Bike Ever Made Issue No. 1

Doug Greer with his 1986 GV1400LX Cavalcade Inside this issue Doug talks about his bikes.


Editorial Welcome to the first edition of CADE RIDER magazine. I have changed the name of the magazine because King Cade was too similar to Cade King and it was a suggestion from Jay Johnson. If there is anything that you want to be published in the magazine, then send all information to: I have an assistant to help with this publication, his name is Peter Purcell from Canada and he will be trying to persuade people to send in articles for the magazine, such as rides you’ve been on , parts wanted/for sale, tips on maintenance, etc. The help is much appreciated by myself and very welcome. Also I have someone in Great Britain who is converting a Cavalcade into a trike and since we don’t have conversion kits over here, it will be his own design and I look forward to seeing the article and the pictures in a future publication. Inside this issue Page





My Motorcycle History.


My Longest Ride.


Maintenance of your Cavalcade.


For The Love of Motorcycling.


Motorcycle Trip Check List.


Twistiest Road In The Planet.


Articles For Sale/Wanted.


Cavalcades & Parts for Sale/Wanted.



Next years European Cade Raid is being held in Finland between the dates of 5th -8th July 2013. The event will be held at Santalahti Holiday Resort, Kotka, Finland. Let’s see if we can get more than 31 Cavalcades to that event. There are three USA Cade Raids next year, on the East, West coasts & central USA. East Coast Cade Raid. There is no official location for the East Coast Raid. Some have suggested it be held in Susquehanna Valley of Pennsylvania, possibly from 12th August 2013. Look on for details. West Coast Cade Raid. This will be at Oregon Pacific Coast. The dates for this Cade Raid are 26th - 30th August 2013. The headquarters will be the Travel Lodge in Grants Pass, OR. Use this address for a 20% discount on lodging: Central Cade Raid. A three day event. We will be meeting at the Gateway Lodge in Load O Lakes Wisconsin on June 23rd (Sunday). Land O Lakes is located on the edge of northern Wisconsin at the upper peninsula of the Michigan state line. Monday we will leave for Copper Harbor in the U.P. on the southern shore of lake Superior and do two days of riding led by Howard Stender. We will also be staying in Copper Harbor If anyone is interested in a very scenic ride from Mike Sucharski’s place (Town of Troy, Wisconsin) to Land O Lakes can meet at Mike Sucharski place either Saturday night or Sunday AM.


My Motorcycle History By Doug Greer

About Me Hello, my name is Doug Greer. I have been riding motorcycles since I was 16-years old (1983). I have been in the ditch twice (at 60 mph), hit a deer (at 50 mph) and still don’t believe in wearing a helmet (unless it cold, raining or required by the state I am rising in). I feel safe and free when I am riding, not constrained by the confines of an automobile. I would consider myself an avid rider, though I am constantly learning about motorcycles and the ins-and-outs of motorcycle maintenance. Until recently, I was that guy, the one who jumps on, fills up and takes off. Only since I purchased my Cavalcade have I begun to become more aware of the maintenance and responsibilities associated with being a safe and responsible motorcyclist.

My Motorcycles My first motorcycle was a 1972 Honda CB-100 (Figure 1); which had a single cylinder, four-stroke 99cc engine which produced an output of 11.5-HP. Because it was such a small bike, it was very easy to learn on, handle and operate. My second motorcycle was a 1973 Suzuki GT-380 (Figure 2); which had a three cylinder, 371cc two-stoke (had to mix oil with each tank of fuel) engine which produced an output of 32-HP. This bike was a bit larger, but still fairly easy to control. In order to carry oil, as well as other items along with me, I did modify the bike a little. I took two pieces of ½” EMT Conduit, bent them accordingly and bolted them onto the seat mount bolts. This allowed me to install a plastic milk crate onto the rear fender, just behind the seat and gave me space to store items while riding. 4

1972 Honda CB-100

Figure 1.

Image courtesy of 1973 Suzuki GT-380

Figure 2.

Image courtesy of

My third motorcycle was a 1982 Yamaha XJ-550 (Figure 3); which had a four cylinder, 528cc four-stroke engine which produced an output of 50-HP. Even though this bike was heavier and faster it was easier to handle due to its lower center of gravity. This was achieved through the design of its frame; which allowed the rider to sit lower to the ground and improved stability. 5

1982 Yamaha XJ-550

Figure 3.

Image courtesy of

My fourth motorcycle was a 1982 Honda 900-Custom (Figure 4); which has a four-cylinder, air/oil cooled, 902cc four-stroke engine which produced an output of 84-HP. This model incorporated a dual range sub-transmission that allowed the rider to switch any of the gears from the HI-range to the LOW-range which allowed for lower rpm’s at highway speeds and the ability to switch to HI-range when going up-hill, thus reducing the load on the engine. This was also the first motorcycle that I owned with a shaft-drive and windshield (I never went back to a chain driven, windshield-less motorcycle). 1982 Honda 900-Custom

Figure 4.

Image Courtesy of


My fifth motorcycle was a 1982 Honda GL-500 Silver-Wing (Figure 5); which has a two-cylinder, water cooled, 497cc four-stroke engine which produced an output of 50-HP. This motorcycle was also shaft driven and was the first motorcycle that I owned which included saddle bags and a fairing with an AM/FM Cassette Player (I have never gone without music since). 1982 Honda GL-500 Silver-Wing

Figure 5.

Image courtesy of

My sixth and current motorcycle is a 1986 Suzuki GV-1400 Cavalcade LX (on the front cover); which has a four-cylinder, water cooled, 1,360cc four-stroke engine which produces an output of 112-HP. This motorcycle is equipped with an electronic cruise control, a CB Radio, an AM/FM Cassette Radio, handlebar controls for both radios, air bladders in the passengers seat, passenger radio controls, adjustable passenger floor boards, lockable: saddle bags and travel trunk, storage compartments within the fairing, an on-board air compressor (for the air ride suspension), an onboard heater system, a trailer hitch and a six-gallon fuel tank system. I averages 38-40 mpg on the highway and around 32-34 mpg combined driving.


by Doug Greer I recently completed a 7,000+ mile trip on my Cavalcade. I rode (pulling a packed trailer) to Arkansas for the Cavalcade Rally (2012), via St. Louis, MO where my clutch stopped working. Luckily there is a member of the group who lives in St. Louis and is a Cavalcade mechanic. Turns out that the problem was that I had never changed my clutch fluid, that it had gone bad and would no longer create the pressure needed to control the clutch—he replaced my clutch fluid and everything worked fine. Once I arrived in Arkansas, I discovered that my front and rear tires were very low on air pressure (10-15psi below specifications) and that the tread on my rear tire had began to separate form the tire, which a very dangerous condition. I ordered a tire and had a local shop in Eureka Springs, Arkansas mount it. It was only after this close call with the motorcycle tires that I decided to check the pressure in my trailer tires, both of which had only around 10psi in them and they call for 40psi. It should be noted that it is impossible to look at a tire and tell if it has enough air-pressure in it, as both of my trailer tires looked fine. I aired-up both trailer tires and then headed out on my way to Roswell, New Mexico (via Oklahoma and Texas). After Roswell, I headed to the Grand Canyon, camped for two nights and then rode thru Las Vegas (just so I can say I’ve been there). After Vegas, I rode to Orick, California so I could see the Red Wood Forest; it was during this part of the trip that I slept on outside, on a concrete picnic table, under the cold stars in the Nevada desert. Rode for 12-14 hours per day and stopped, mostly, at hotels to sleep. This was also the part of the trip when I learned that California was on fire and a portion of my route had to be detoured around an active wildfire. I came to find out that there aren’t many straight roads in northern California and many of them are constructed around the mountains, very twisty and include a lot of 15-20 mph curves. I am certain that I upset my share of Californians, as I did not exceed any of the posted limits because I did not know the roadways and rode very cautiously. After having put the spare tire on the trailer somewhere in Nevada, it was at a Tire Shop in Orick that I had both trailer tires replace. 8

When I was done at the Red Woods, I drove up the coast (more twisty and dangerous roads for a motorcycle pulling a trailer) to Crescent City, California on my way to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. This part of the trip included even more treacherous roadways through Oregon and did not straighten out until after I had driven several miles into Idaho. Drove through Boise, Idaho and got caught in a massive thunder, hail and windstorm which caused a two hour delay in my trip and I had to stop in Idaho Falls, Idaho for the night which is just about a two hour drive from Yellowstone. It worked out ok since I was able to take a dip in their pool and do laundry in their on-site laundry mat. Rode on to Yellowstone National Park and set-up camp for the night, though my cooler would not fit into the designated Bear Box and I had to risk sleeping with it in the tent with me, which is strictly forbidden by park rules (because a bear could enter the tent to get at the food). It was during the ride around Yellowstone that a Bison walked right past me (in the other lane of stopped traffic), what an experience that was as I had been told by a Ranger that a biker had been killed less than a year ago by a Bison (of course that guy had reached out and tried to “pet� the Bison who then gored and trampled him to death). Leaving Yellowstone, I headed south to I-80 East through Nebraska. Don’t let anybody kid you, Nebraska can get HOT just like Death Valley in California. While I was riding through Nebraska, the average temperature was 105-115 Fahrenheit and it included a slight to moderate humidity as well. It was like riding through a furnace, especially when the wind would start to blow (since it was not a cool breeze). This is the only portion if my trip that I rode 16 hours straight, which translated into approximately 800 miles in one sitting. By the time I arrived back home in Ohio, I was completely exhausted and did not even look at my bike for over a week. Remember those trailer tires that I replaced in California? One of them blew-out just as I exited the ramp to home and the other one did not look so great. This is something else that I will need to figure out, as those tires should last many more than that.

Need parts for your Cavalcade? Look no further go to; or For all your needs. 9

Maintenance of Your Cavalcade In this issue I have reproduced a letter, sent to purchasers of the Cavalcade, by U.S. Suzuki Motor Corporation about battery maintenance for winter months.


U.S. Motor Corporation

Dear Cavalcade Owner: We at the Suzuki Motor Corporation would like to thank you for selecting our product for your new touring motorcycle. We believe that the Suzuki Cavalcade is the finest touring motorcycle in the world. At this time of year, many motorcyclists are preparing to store their motorcycle for the winter months. The method of storage used will effect the readiness of your motorcycle for use in the spring. In your Cavalcade Owner’s Manual, on page 67, there is a section on motorcycle storage. The following procedures will help protect your motorcycle from deterioration over the winter. There is one component on your motorcycle that is especially sensitive to storage; the battery. Since large batteries, such as used in large touring motorcycles, are expensive to replace frequently, it only makes sense to take good care of them. With this in mind, we would like to explain some things about battery maintenance to you. (1) Batteries can discharge even when not being used This is usually called self-discharging. A lead/antimony battery such as used in your motorcycle will normally discharge at a slow rate, even if not connected to anything. The discharge rate is about 0.5 to 1.0% per day, and the rate of discharge increases with warm temperatures. SELF DISCHARGE TEMPERATURE COMPARISON 10

(2) Batteries can become discharged faster if connected to an accessory that constantly uses power, even with the ignition off. This tendency is usually called current drain. On many large touring motorcycles there are accessories that constantly draw power, even with the ignition key turned off, such as clocks, computers and memories. Even though the current drain is so small, over a period of a few weeks it may be enough to drain the battery. On the Suzuki Cavalcade, there is a clock and CB radio (if so equipped) memory circuit that constantly draw power from the batter Accessory Clock CB memory

Current Drain 0.4 mA 17.0 mA

On those motorcycles with the CB radio, the current drain of the CB memory may be eliminated by switching the CB back up switch to the “OFF” position. The CB memory circuit normally remembers the channel that was last used before the radio was turned off. With the CB memory turned off (back up switch in the “OFF” position), when the radio is turned on it will always initially be on Channel 1.

( 3) If the battery is allowed to remain discharged, even for a short period of time, sulfation can occur. (4) If the battery fluid level is low enough to expose the battery plates to air, sulfation can occur. (5) Sulfation is permanent damage to your battery. Sulfation is the crystallization of the active lead chemicals in your battery. In extreme cases, it can cause portions of your battery to appear solid white in colour. In less extreme cases, it may not be readily visible. For a battery to sulfate, it must be in a discharged state (either by self drain or current drain), or the battery fluid level must be low enough to expose a portion of the battery plates to air. Once sulfation occurs it cannot be reversed. The power of the battery will be reduced, depending on the amount of sulfation. 11

(6) Batteries can freeze. The more discharged the battery is, the easier it is for the battery fluid, also called electrolyte, to freeze. However, a fully charged battery may be stored at extreme low temperatures safely, and at these temperatures, the self discharge rate of the battery is very low. This means that the battery will require charging less often at these temperatures.

BATTERY CARE The most accurate way to check your battery is to determine the specific gravity of the electrolyte in each cell. A specific gravity is a ratio of density between one substance and another. In this case the ratio is between the electrolyte and pure water. The best way to determine the specific gravity of the battery cells is to use a syringe hydrometer The most accurate type of syringe hydrometer uses a floating internal tube, as opposed to the type that uses floating balls. Many motorcycle dealers sell battery hydrometers, your Suzuki dealer can obtain them directly from U.S. Suzuki by ordering part #09900-28403. They are very reasonable in price, especially when compared to a battery.


A fully charged battery should have a specific gravity of 1.265 in each cell. If the specific gravity is less than this, the battery should be charged. The battery charger should be no larger than 4 amperes for the Cavalcade battery, and the use of a smaller charger will reduce the possibility of damage to the battery from overcharging. Remove the battery from the motorcycle for charging, and place it in an area away from any flames. During the charging process, the battery fluid level should be check frequently. If more fluid is required, add distilled water until the levels are at the proper height. When the specific gravity of each cell is 1.265, remove the battery from the charger. So, to sum up your battery storage procedure: (1) If you are storing your motorcycle for more than a week, turn off the CB memory (if so equipped) by turning the back up switch to the “OFF� position. (2) If you are storing your motorcycle for more than a month, disconnect the battery from your motorcycle and perform the routine maintenance it requires on a regular schedule. If proper care is taken of your battery, your motorcycle will be ready for use in the spring without any unpleasant, expensive, surprises. Again thank you for purchasing our product. We hope you will enjoy it and that we will see you on the road next spring.



FOR THE LOVE OF MOTORCYCLING PART ONE – SETTING THE HOOK I remember ,as a child, watching two local young men ride their two wheelers up past Dad’s house. One of the two was a fully dressed Indian, painted a beautiful light blue with all the trimmings. I remember making the remark to my brother that if I ever own a motorcycle it will be a big full dresser just like that. During a visit to my wife’s home in the summer of 1980, my brother-in-law asked me if I had any idea how to get his Honda 450 back on the road. Since I had spent many hours under the hood of a car, I felt it can’t be that difficult so I said I would give it a try. About two hours and many frustrating moments later I figured out the mechanics of it and had my first experience riding on a motorcycle, a feeling that would never fade, or at least has not to this date. On returning home my neighbor asked me if I had a battery charger because her Honda 400 had a dead battery. I volunteered the use of my charger and after the battery was charged I suggested that I should ride the bike to be certain it was road worthy. This event set the hook. The following week I began to read the classifieds for a Motorcycle and as luck would have it I found a 1976 Honda 750 for a mere $1500.00 with only 6,482.6 miles on it and within 3 miles of my house. I made the call and set up an appointment to check it out. When I arrived the gentleman offered to let me ride it and I declined with the statement “If I had a license and knew how to ride it I would do just that” to which he responded “If you do not know how to ride why do you want a bike this big?” The bike had a handlebar mounted fairing, a sissy bar with a luggage rack and a storage bag – what looked to me like a fully equipped full dresser. And guess what color, yep red. We made the deal and he delivered it to my back patio. I visited the DMV and acquired a license for the motorcycle and a learners permit for me that very afternoon. I feel certain you all understand the anxiousness with which I conducted myself. The following day was Sunday and being as I was all keyed up I woke earlier than normal and could not resist the “first ride”. So as foolish as I now know it was, I embarked on my first ride around the block, a block that was about 20 miles long. In the moment of excitement I failed to consider my wife’s fears 14

of destruction when she realized that me and the bike were both gone without prior notification and me without a cellular phone (ha ha). The neighbor lady who owned the Honda 400 had no sympathy and refused to support my case. Luckily I survived the ordeal and returned with all my faculties intact and a grin that I feel certain to this day has not waned. I rode this bike for 32,000 miles over a period of 4 years through cold, rain and heat. I added and subtracted equipment as the opportunity presented itself. Over the years it graduated to a windjammer fairing with the lowers and even a radio. I learned what the previous owner meant when he warned me he kept an extra set of spark plugs in the bag for the times he was out and the bike would not start, he would change the plugs and all was well. What he meant was he did not know how or why to change the air filter. The original was still installed and, miraculously, after I installed a K&G reusable air filter the bike gained a whole new life with added horsepower. I learned the good and bad parts to owning a chain driven bike, thank God for drive shafts. The enjoyment of doing a tune up on MY BIKE was beyond description. And let’s not forget all of these fun activities: ·   Adjusting the valves,  ·   Replacing the points and condenser,  ·   Checking and adjusting the timing, at first with an old neon bulb timing light that operated off of the ignition voltage, still have it,  ·   Changing the oil,  ·   Servicing the chain, oh what fun, the more you put on the messier it gets and you learn that what lubricant you can see is not doing any good,  ·   Replacing brake pads,  ·   Balancing the carburetors with a glass tube mercury filled Carb-Stix synchronizer (I really thought there was a fancy word for this tool but I can’t remember it and I can’t find it), this has since met its demise when smashed between two tool boxes, what I would not give for another of those simple devices,  ·   Replacing the steering head bearings,  ·   Rebuilding the fork tubes because of seal leaks,  ·   Exhaust replacement, purchased from JC Whitney that made the quiet 750 sound like hells angels had arrived, yeah and it did not please my wife either, all of a sudden we had way too much attention, 15

· Replacing and balancing the tires (Carlisle tires no less) with tubes in them (man have we come a long way). I liked the old spoke wheel balancing system, crimp on lead weights, simple but effective. Along the way you find out who you can depend on when your bike shuts off in the middle of an intersection of an old country road about 20 miles from home. You learn how to load a bike on the back of a pickup with very little help. Then you get the opportunity to find out how “it” works. The problem turned out to be a faulty ignition switch. Somewhere along the way I discovered the Motorcycle Safety Foundation training courses. I thought I knew how to ride until they showed me the easy way to make the bike work for me instead of the other way around. I completed both the beginner and experienced rider courses arguably the best move I made on my trip through motorcycle xanadu. Stay tuned for “The neighbor and the dirt bike” Gary T. Schenk

31 Cavalcades at the European Cade Raid Sweden2010 16

MOTORCYCLE TRIP CHECK LIST By Jay D. Johnson 1 Full fuel tank 2 Empty bladder 3 Check Battery for fluid and voltage. 4 Check tires tread and air pressures. 5 Check brakes and oil 6 Pack Tool Kit 7 Pack Cell Phone and GPS 8 Blanket and Extra Gloves in Case Your Riding Gloves get Wet. 9 Emergency Items to Pack A. Tire Puncture Kit & Aerosol for Air Replacement in Case of Flat. B. Set of Spark Plugs C. Extra Layers of Clothing and Riding Suit. D. Three Kinds of Fire Starters (Waterproof Matches, Lighters, Magnesium Block,A Striking Bar and Short Hacksaw Blade) Pack in three different places. E. 100 feet of Dental Floss for cordage. F. Business Card Size Plastic Magnifier for starting fire and reading map if you’ve lost your glasses. G. Plastic "Space Blanket" that reflects heat if you need shelter in the desert, or turned inside out holds body heat in if it’s cold. (Hypo and Hyperthermia – High & Low Body Temperature are the Biggest Killers of People Stranded or Lost Outdoors H. Six Energy Bars (Replace in Your Bike Frequently) I. A small Sheath Knife J. LED Flashlight with spare batteries. K. A Condom and One-Gallon and Quart-Size Freezer Bags for gathering and Carrying Water. L. Water Disinfecting Kit.


I don't know if this is the twistiest road on the planet, but it has to be in the top ten. Highway #360, The Road to Hana, is on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. Road traffic density varies, but can be high. Road conditions are from average to very poor. This is one of the most famous roads in America. It is reputed to be the twistiest road on earth. From Kahului to Hana is just over 30 miles, but the ride will take 3 hours each way. The road is narrow, only one lane in places. Every few yards is a blind curve along much of the route. The road takes you through deep tropical jungle and along the sheer cliffs of the island's eastern coast. ~ Ride east out of Kahului on Highway #36. Stay on the coast highway and it becomes #360. When you get into the hairpins and switch-backs use extreme caution. A car can appear without warning and you may not have any recourse but to hit it if you are riding too fast. ~ When you do reach the village of Hana you can visit the grave of Charles Lindbergh. Also, continue further along the road till you reach the Seven Sacred Pools. You can hike up the mountain for about a half mile and then swim back down in the pools. You may need to find someone who knows the area to show you where. Be sure you still have three hours of daylight when you begin your return ride. 18

New: Fleece with Grey on Black LXE on front left breast and Horse/Rider + Cavalcade script on rear. Clour: Plum Size: Man’s XXL Price: £35 + p&p.

New: Sweater with two tone Gold LX on left breast. Colour: Royal Blue Size: Man’s XXL Price: £25 + p&p. Both the above can be paid for using PayPal. Send an email to:

To see the full range of regalia on offer, go to: 19

Cavalcades & Parts For Sale/Wanted

Hello I have a very nice looking 1987 for sale. It now has over 169,000 miles and still runs like new. I am asking $4000.00 for it. Only riders understand why dogs love to stick their heads out of car windows. Email Mark Sayers:


Cavalier International magazine issue #1  

The Magazine for Suzuki Cavalcade Owners. Editor David Hebblethwaite.