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Well, for the folks who've been commiserating with me on the loooonnnnng absence of my bike in the shop, I finally got it back. It turns out all the crappy running at low speed was due to a new, defective spark plug. I looked at the thing and indeed the center electode was about 2mm off from center and that was causing intermittent spark. The nice part is that Ducati of Marin gave me a coupon for free tire install for the long time it took to get diagnosed.

Now to the fun part.

I only had about a half hour on the bike, but rode out to Muir Beach, which is near my house. Now, I had upgraded the rear shock to an Ohlins late last summer, and it was great, but made the front seem terrible by comparison. So part of this lengthy service was to get the front forks RaceTech'ed.
 

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I am ready to make the rear shock change on my 99 M900. What spring do you have on it and your weight? I am either going for the Ohlins or a Bitubo. I have the fully adjustable front. I was following Socalsar on his S4 and his was tracking pretty smooth compared to mine bouncing around. I finally have the Marchesini mag on, now I am ready to hook it up!!!
 

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Had an epiphany this weekend too. Downloaded a 2000 manual and set the suspension on my 1999 back to factory spec settings. What a difference. Previous owner had all settings on max hard. Small bumps bounced me out of the seat every time and the ride was punishing. Now it is stiff, but has a little give. Much better control of the bike too. My wife took it out and commented that it was like riding a different bike.
Doc
 

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I put the RaceTech valves in my (fully adjustable Showa) forks a little while back, and it's way nicer now.
 
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Michael, I sent a pair of stock Showa non-adjust tubes out to RaceTech toward the end of last year after tank-slapping out of a turn and off the road.

It is a beautiful thing having a set of tubes built for your personal configuration/weight..

and at the same time I appreciated the huge improvement,, I was also horrified that I had been riding around for so long with the Showas-of-Death on my front end
 

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... the effect is also magnified if the original forks are bent as well before switching them out and having them revalved.
 

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Is "Superbike forks" simple a different term for "Ohlins forks"?
Or is there something more to it?
 
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Superbike forks in Ducati speak; are forks off, or for SBK's, not necessarily Ohlins. There are lot's of Showa SBK's out there.
 

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I had to tear down my old non adjustable forks to have the tubes anodized and when I put them back together with the recommeneded 475cc of fluid (I used 15w, not sure whats in um stock) they felt like new forks! I used to get that horrible clank Michael is talking about but not any more. The front end seems to track much better also. Total cost was $9 for fork oil.
Im sure Race tech tuning makes a huge difference but for anyone who is not happy with the stock set up and short on funds try a tear down/clean and fluid change first.
 

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DOC & anyone else,

Is there anywhere that I could get my hands on the factory suspension settings for an 02 S4?

I am a heavy guy 6'3" 260
 

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That's good news. I went with SBK Showas on my Monster and it was a big improvement over the stock non-adj Marzocchi.

I decided to go with the SBK forks on my SS as well, but I also sent them to RaceTech. We're having a snow storm here, so I haven't been able to mount them or try them yet, but here's what I learned...

I'm not sure what the stock spring rate in the non-adj `zokes is, but the spring rate for the adjustable Showas on a M900S is .686 kg/mm and on the SS it's .619 kg/mm. I'm guessing that the Marzocchis are also somewhere in the.6 kg/mm range as well.

RaceTech recommended and installed .90 kg/mm springs in the sbk forks for my weight on the SS.

Even the stock rate in the Showa SBK forks is 1.02 kg/mm so it's a lot closer for me when mounted to the Monster.

Add to the spring rate change the gold valves, oil weight/level, and general rebuild with new seals, and I expect a very noticable change on the SS. If so, I'll probably send the forks from the Monster in as well. The Monster already has an Ohlins shock, but the SS is going to need one now.

I'm also sending them the fork & shock off my KTM supermoto to have them shortened and re-sprung for track work. Those guys will love me by the end of April... ;D

--Fillmore
 

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DOC & anyone else,

Is there anywhere that I could get my hands on the factory suspension settings for an 02 S4?

I am a heavy guy 6'3" 260
 
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Hi Nick,
I'd planned on setting up my S4 as per the article in Sports Bike, but as were about same weight I'd like ot know your thoughts on the following settings.
Suspension Monster S4
Front Preeload - 10 turns out
Front rebound damping - 10 clicks out
Front comp. damping - 12 clicks out
Rear preload - position - 17mm thread showing
Rear rebound damping - 12 clicks out
Rear comp.damping - 2.25 turns out
.....Fred
 

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DuckD,

No disrespect intended, but I think you're way beyond the factory settings as a baseline.

I weigh about 160 or so, and I'm using the stock S4 front springs set a about 1/3 of the available preload, with racetech valves. Completely stock rear Sachs shock, set pretty low on the preload and full soft on damping adjustments.

Try setting the static sag first, I run about 1 5/8" sag on the front and 1 7/8" on the rear with me on board.

Frankly, I think you're heavy enough that the stock springs won't be capable of getting you to the proper amount of sag.
But it's definitely worth a try before you attack your wallet....
No disrespect here bro..I am big guy and I know it. I have access to custom springs.....How would one go about figuring out the correct spring weight to get? What is the stock spring weight?

maybe I should get 3-4 different weight springs and play around

Any thoughts?? In order to get the springs made, I would need to measure the stock spring...id, od, Length (new, not used of course) and weight.
 
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hey, if oyu are interested, I do have Monster S4 forks that have jsut recently undergone a full rebuild/valve job for a rider weight of 240 lbs. This service with new springs, etc...ran me $500. Looking to sell it for a minimum of $600
 

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The other guys are PPS Pettersen Pro Suspension who are the Ohlins experts. They also can do a full Superbike spec internals change at about $600 and those will work to 98% of an Ohlins front end. They can help you with spring rates as well.
 

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Hi Nick,
I'd planned on setting up my S4 as per the article in Sports Bike, but as were about same weight I'd like ot know your thoughts on the following settings.
Suspension Monster S4
Front Preload - 10 turns out
Front rebound damping - 10 clicks out
Front comp. damping - 12 clicks out
Rear preload - position - 17mm thread showing
Rear rebound damping - 12 clicks out
Rear comp.damping - 2.25 turns out
.....Fred
I was guessing a little on my weight, my ex took the bathroom scale...but I just checked and I'm 169 lbs. with all standard riding gear.

I was never happy with the stock forks, 90% of the time they were barely tolerable, but the other 10% was scary. Way too much high-speed compression damping made 'em ride like a jackhammer on freeway washboard and choppy frost-cracked pavement. Running over that choppy pavement while leaned over in a fast corner was really spooky. I ended up running something like this:

Front Preload - 12 turns out
Front rebound damping - 2 clicks in (not sure what is for 'out')
Front comp. damping - 2 clicks in (not sure what is for 'out')
Still very harsh on choppy bumps, and pretty slushy on big bumps. Best compromise I could strike...

With the RaceTech gold valves in the forks, this is what I'm running:

Front Preload - 5 turns out
Front rebound damping - 3 clicks out
Front comp. damping - 9 clicks
Damping settings aren't at all comparable to the stock forks due to the valves and different oil...Evidently I was trying to compensate for the excessive compression damping of the stock forks with a lot less preload. The RaceTech parts are a BIG improvement. (I was not amused by the $25 per quart for the RaceTech fork oil, especially needing to buy 2 quarts, but they had no experience on valve shim settings for the S4 forks, and I figured if I used different oil they wouldn't be able to help me at all...:mad:)

I'm still running the stock rear shock, set up as follows:

Rear preload - position - 13mm thread showing
Rear rebound damping - 18 clicks out
Rear comp.damping - 3.5 turns out

Fred, Hope that helps...
:-/
 

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No disrespect here bro..I am big guy and I know it. I have access to custom springs.....How would one go about figuring out the correct spring weight to get? What is the stock spring weight?

maybe I should get 3-4 different weight springs and play around

Any thoughts?? In order to get the springs made, I would need to measure the stock spring...id, od, Length (new, not used of course) and weight.
DuckD,
If we assume the S4 weighs 450 lbs, which is pretty close, total weight with you on board is 710 lbs. With me on board, it's 620 lbs. That's about 15% more for you. I think if you go 15% stiffer on the springs, that should be about right.

Stock front springs feel about right for me. They are 0.85 kg/mm (47.5 lb/inch), tested by RaceTech and verified by my measurements and calculations. 15% stiffer would ballpark your fork springs at 0.98kg/mm (54.6 lb/inch).

Sorry, I don't know what the stock rear spring is.
 
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