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Discussion Starter #1
Got my '01 S4 [used] a couple months ago and am very happy with it. The previous owner had Pro-Italia risers installed on it - raises the stock mounts about 2". Anyway, I want to quicken the steering a bit and load some more weight on the front end, so I checked out where the fork legs were clamped by the triple clamps. I was shocked to notice that Pro-Italia clamped the forks about 5mm BELOW the top surface of the top triple clamp. I've never seen this before ... I expected to see it level with the top surface, or maybe see the fork legs protrude above the top surface a little.

I'm thinking of dropping the clamps down so that the top of the fork legs are flush with the top surface of the clamp, but wanted to get some advice first.

After browsing through some DML Tech information, I noticed a "blurb" where someone seemed to ask Ducati and they claimed raising the clamps (lowering the fork tubes) would quicken / improve steering, but this doesn't seem logical to me. Does anyone know anything about this subject that I'm missing?

While I'm at it, does anyone have some advice on set up? I'm about 200 lbs and ride fairly "street-sportingly" (no track time for this bike planned). Based on how it handles now, I'm planning to drop the front end down a bit, raise the rear ride height and crank up the rear pre-load and compression damping a bit (the front fork seems good to me now). I realize this is all subjective, but I'd appreciate some advice from you guys that have already climbed the learning curve and are happy with your set-ups.

Many thanks,

SB
 
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Discussion Starter #2
Are you saying the forks are below the triple by 5mm?
Damn that sounds bad!
 
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Discussion Starter #3
hey SB,
are the tubes really 5mm BELOW the top yoke? i do recall for sure that my s4's tubes were maybe 2-3mm's but 5 seems like quite a bit.
you are definately correct that RAISING the tubes in the yokes so that they're flush with the top surface of the top yoke will send some more weight forward and quicken the steering.
another suggestion if you find the bike more than comfortable is to pull the pro-italia spacers from under the stock risers. you'll be leaning a bit more over the tank which will put more weight on the front wheel as well and give a bit more sporting position. if it's not comfortable, it'll be easy enough to go back but i found the stock level to be TOO high so i went to clip-ons...
as for suspension settings, i'm about your same weight and found the stock settings to be pretty decent. here's a site with some guidelines worth checking out:
http://www.sportrider.com/bikes/146_susp_settings/
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Yes, if you look down the holes in the Pro-Italia risers (they are basically machined hollow alloy blocks that mount above the triple clamp to raise the bars up) you can see the top of the upper triple clamp. The top of the fork tube looks to be about 4-5mm below the top face of the upper triple clamp. This surprised me because I've never seen this before and the top triple clamp is not "clamping" over it's entire surface. The risers are obviously made to enable the forks to protrude through the tops of the triple clamp, so that's not the explanation. The only thing I can figure is that they set the bike up that way to either help raise the front end for more comfort, or some steering-related handling benefit that I'm not understanding (...or simply screwed up!).
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Strati. So you think it's intentional (from the factory at least) to have the forks "down" in the clamps like that? In setting your S4 up did you eventually raise the tubes up in the clamps, or leave them like they were?

By the way, I've already been "eyeing up" the option of booting those risers. The bike is super comfortable right now ... almost the same riding position as my 426 (except about a foot lower to the ground!), but coming from a string of pretty serious crotch rockets, it seems like "cheating" to be that comfortable on a bike that handles and hauls like this S4!

One last question, my rear ride height tube (whatever they call that strut back there) is adjusted all the way down. What did yours look like stock and did you raise it all? Even thought the bike seems to handle well, I figure you might as well keep loading the front end -- as long as things don't get too twitchy ...
 
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oh okay I think I get it now......so like I said after you get your forks in the triple......if you have not, get your sag and preload adjusted for you, as a baseline, and then change one thing at a time to evaluate. I would consider if your goal is to add more weight over the front wheel, to add rear height. Perhaps get rid of the risers, and go back to stock, or add clip ons.
 
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