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K

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Discussion Starter #1
I went out to setup my suspension the other night, 2001 S4, rear went fine, but the front is strange. What I see on the bike looks little like what is in the manual. I'm sure it's stock, because nearly every bolt on the thing was still factory marked with paint.

Anyway, I grabbed a 22mm socket and gave each leg a few turns, but I'm not seeing what I should be measuring. Should I just crank the front preload all the way, then measure turns?

I've searched and noticed many of you refer to front preload settings by "turns" rather than "mm". Did something change that wasn't updated in the manual?

Thanks!
 
R

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Discussion Starter #2
Don't have the stock S4 adj. Showa's but on my SBK's and others I have seen there are spiraled lines on each fork to count.
Do the clip-ons clamps obscure the forks maybe?
hmmmm I bet it's trickier for you guys, with your set up.
There's some kind of cover or sumthin on those isn't there?
Not sure if the manual gives the info, Ohlins use one turn for 1mm.
If you look at page 30 of the S4 manual you can see a diagram of the
pre load adjuster. There is a small inset that show the lines, and they measure from the top of the preload adjuster nut to the top of the fork cap nut. 16mm stock.
http://www.ducati.com/bikes/manuals.jhtml#my2003
Either way, turns or mm's works, it's just good to keep track where you are from a starting point. One may also be talking about turning for damping.
 

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Normally, preload is adjusted to obtain a certain amount of suspension sag, normally measured in mm. As far as the setting goes, preload will normally be described on the forks as number of lines. I record this as "4 lines showing, set to exactly 5th line" or something like that.

Damping adjusters are normally set to either number of turns from seated or number of clicks from fully seated, if there is a detent.

:) Chris
 
K

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah, that's the picture I'm talking about Retro, I don't see any of those lines currently, maybe my adjusters are just way out, I dunno. I haven't had time to get out there again since I posted... :(

But that little inset picture is the one that confuses me. It kinda freaks me out to think that the spring preload was set so far out that I couldn't see anything but the rebound damping adjuster! But that would explain the ride...

Thanks for the input!
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah sorry I haven't looked too closely at the S4 bars set up to visualize it in my mind. So I don't know if anything is blocking your line of view on the lines....if everything is out in the open it is easy to see and count lines. Let us know what you find. I'm assuming your are setting your sag?
 

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Hey, KingK, how much do you weigh?

I'm about 170 fully geared up. I just count turns from the full out (minimum preload), cause I've got CycleCat bars and can't see the lines. I'll try to remember to check what my settings are tonight, I'm about 60 miles away from my bike right now.....
 

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KingK,

The salient point is that the number of lines showing don't mean sh!t. They're a reference for YOU. What matters is the sag. Sag is a function of your weight (with gear and accessories like tank bag), spring rate and pre-load setting. So the number of lines showing means nothing to us without knowing the other two variables.

If it's a stock spring and you weigh under 165, minimum preload may be ok. I have a .9 kg/mm spring and weigh(ed) 190 and sag was correct with minimum preload.

We need more information.

More importantly, you should check your sag. Sag is the difference in suspension compression between full extension (someone lifting the front of the bike by the upper forks or tripples until the wheel is off the ground) and the loaded extension with you on the bike. It's easily measured in the front as you probably know.

Bottom "line," the number of "lines" showing is meaningless by itself.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
I thought the lines were there so one has a reference mark for preload on each fork leg. Is that wrong?
I thought that is what the question was about. He said he already set the rear, just couldn't find the reference point to make sure each leg was set properly. Did I miss something? Sorry KingK, I didn't perceive this as a sag question, if that is what you were asking.
 
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Ah, Don brings up a good point, I am setting sag, so I guess the fact that I can't see the lines doesn't really mean anything. I was just looking for a reference to see how close to the stock settings it actually was, then I'd modify from there. I still haven't had a chance to get back out to work on it, plus it's snowing... damn this weather!

I weigh about 220 without gear. So I'm going to be cranking the preload quite a bit.

Thanks for the responses, I'll get out there tomorrow to get this stuff setup. I'll probably pull the emissions stuff too, messes up the lines way too much for me. :)
 

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These settings work for me, stock springs front and rear, at about 170 lbs rider weight with all gear:

Front Sag: 1.25" (26% of travel), with preload set to 15mm (from the top of the preload adjuster to the top of the fork nut)

Rear Sag: 1.43" (25% of travel), preload set to 14mm (of thread showing between top ringnut and shock eye 'body')

The bike is nicely balanced in the turns this way, doesn't require any steering pressure on the bars to maintain the lean angle, I.E. I don't have to push on the inside grip to hold the bike 'down', or push on the outside grip to keep it from falling in.

I could likely go with more sag front and rear, as I've got about 3/4" of fork travel left even after some pretty hard bumps, and I bottom the rear very seldom. I don't drag any hardware in the corners either....
 
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