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Discussion Starter #1
Well guys, I just bought a new 02 S4 from Jeff at Ducati Austin.

It's my 31st motorcycle, and easily the one that has made the biggest initial favorable impression.

The S4 I bought from Jeff is one that has been the "clothes horse" for displaying various accessory parts and mods, so it was pretty well equipped, plus I added several more items:

Carbon fiber for every non metal exterior part on the bike, except the rear upper fender (that holds the license plate) and the seat cowl

Billet satin Ducati mirrors, billet satin Ducati turn signals, billet license plate holder

Termignoni high mount oval carbon fiber exhausts, chip, and opened air intake

Gray bodywork AND gray S4 wheels (total stealth)

Lowered seat on order (I am only a 30" inseam)

14 x 42 gearing (22% stiffer than stock, 4300 rpm and 47 HP at 60mph)

It's a total sensory overload! When Jeff started the bike up for me and my wife the first time, Karen went into shock when she heard the "raw" and "aggressive" quality of the sound! And when the tight gearing caused unplanned wheelies at the first two traffic lights on the trip home, she realized this bike REALLY has "response".

My first couple of rides have been totally overwhelming, and I say that dspite the fact that my last bike was a Hayabusa. I know that the S4 is "slower", but the Hayabusa was heavy and did things so smoothly and quietly while not stirring the soul, while this bike definitely gets your heart rate very elevated with its go-kart feel! The gearing I specified (based on data from my own computer simulation program) means instant response at any speed even in top gear, and with the S4's close ratio gearbox (different than S4R), the ability to travel at 30mph in ANY of the 6 gears. And, 1st gear is STILL good to 56 mph.

I think I'm really going to enjoy this bike.

Jim G
 

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Congratulations!!!!!
Any pics??? ;D
 
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Well guys, I just bought a new 02 S4 from Jeff at Ducati Austin.
congrats jim!!! very cool bike (i've owned one since '01) with a whole lot of soul and potential for tweeking.

It's a total sensory overload! When Jeff started the bike up for me and my wife the first time, Karen went into shock when she heard the "raw" and "aggressive" quality of the sound!
is your clutch cover vented or is the stock cover in place? asking cuz if you think it sounds raw and agressive just with the open airbox and cans, take off that clutch cover for a mechanical symphony ;D
 

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Sounds nice (uhhh, literally)!! If you're looking for any other useful mods then a lightened flywheel makes a big difference. But with your gearing it might not be possible to keep the front wheel down through fourth if you do the flywheel. ;D
If you're a twisty road kind of guy then raising the rear ride height makes a big difference, although it's kind of a pain to do. Have fun and do some wheelies for me!
 

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Yea! I got an 02 S4, hence the name, but unfortunately, mine is still pretty much stock. Spent lots'o $ on new helmot/Glove/Jacket, and currently saving to get wife a bike!!! Ye-haw, get her off the back of mine... then I need a new car too, well enough about me, Congrats! I plan on having mine for a LONG time! Hope you love yours for a long time too!
 

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Congratulations!

14/42, holy cow! Front tire will last a bit longer then... ;D
 

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Congrats on the new toy. I love my S4 and am sure you will have many good days with her.

One question though or maybe comment....I was always told not to go with even number of teeth on the sprockets and to always have an odd number. The chain will ride on the same teeth all the time with even gears. Dunno that is what I was told....anybody else hear that.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the feedback guys!

I have no pics yet, but will try to learn to use my son's digita camera, snap a few, and post them!

I do have an open clutch cover - carbon fiber - with about 1/3 of the clutch exposed.

I am interested in raising the rear ride height (that's one reason for ordering the lowered seat - to compensate), in order to "steepen" the steering angle (as you can tell from my choice of gearing, I like bikes that have fast responses to my inputs). I also want to stiffen the suspension (my all time favorite bike for suspension was a 70 Norton Roadster whose suspension was barely short of "rigid") AND I am a heavy guy (230lb with gear on).

So, can I achieve BOTH objectives (stiffer suspension and steeper steering angle) by simply dilaing up more stiffness in the rear spring using the lock collar? Or, is it better to raise the rear ride height another way. If so, how do you do it?

I agree that the 14/42 sprocket combination being a "repeating" combo is not ideal, but this particular combination gave me the end overall ratio I wanted while doing so with readily available "standard" spockets: the 14 tooth is a common Ducati subsititution for the stock 15 on any size Monster, and the 42 is the standard sprocket on the S4R, which needs the 42T to get an overall 6th gear ratio equal to what you get with a 37T on the S4, because the S4R does NOT use a close ratio gearbox like the S4 does (check it out - the difference is dramatic). I could have gone 15T stock front and 48T rear off the M620, but wasn't sure the sprocket bolt pattern was the same, AND that would have been even stiffer overall (4600 rpm at 60 mph). I was also hoping to not have to change the chain, but as it turned out, Jeff's mechanic found that the 14/42 combo was too big for the stock chain and changed it anyway at no cost to me (traded my stock chain for a slightly longer high quality aftermarket chain).

Other accessories I want to add are:
- Centerstand (on order)
- carbon fiber seat cowl
- wilder headlight (I loved the dual billet setup in the Monster accessory catalog, and Jeff has it, but it won't fit the triple clamp on the S4).
- Even lighter wheels (but expensive, so need to wait)

By the way, Jeff's asking pricing was reasonable I felt. He wanted $10,900 ("$10,500 + $400 steup") for the bike with the high mount oval Termignnoni's, chip, opened air intake, and all the extra carbon fiber parts plus billet license bracket, and threw in the gearing change parts and labor, but I also added another $900 or so on billet mirrors, billet signals, centerstand, lowered seat (in addition to stock, not replacing it), and DELUXE (!!) cover, so before tax I hit $11,800 for the bike before some additional clothing and helmet purchases.

One thing I really like about Jeff's approach is that he is more than willing to customize a Ducati, much like the Harley people do to their bikes. That makes each bike a personal statement. It also makes him a local dealer worth supporting with my business. I want him to BE there next year and for years after.

Jim G
 
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Congrats on your new family member. Post some pics when you can. I want to see the grey on grey scheme. Ride safe and sane!
 

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A few words of wisdom for you Jim. Rear ride height and spring preload are two different adjustments that do two different things. Adjusting the spring preload (front or rear) is to be used to set the suspension sag only. It may have the effect of raising or lowering ride height, but do not use it for this purpose. BTW, my weight with gear is very close to yours and you'll want to dial in ALL of the spring preload on the rear that you can get. Going to a heavier aftermarket spring would be ideal. I'm not sure what preload I have in the front because I got the sag number I was looking for before running out of adjustment (I was only 3mm short on the rear so I stayed with the stock spring). You'll have to play with the rebound and compression to find what works for you. Mine is set fairly stiff for sporty ridin' and there is still plenty of adjustability left. The stock suspension is actually very good and I haven't felt any need to "upgrade". The more japenese bikes I get on the more I realize where a lot of the extra money for the Duc goes- in the suspension and brakes!

Raising rear ride height with the ride height adjuster will significantly improve the bike. I'd do that before raising the forks in the triple clamps (lowering the front end). Raising the rear has several advantages over lowering the front end. The rear adjuster is a pain and practically requires removing the swingarm bolt and swinging the adjuster up to access the bottom nut on the adjuster barrel. Se la vie. I went two millimeters longer and am very happy with it. DO NOT GO OVERBOARD WITH THIS ADJUSTMENT; a little goes a long way. Start with a couple millimeters and go from there. If you get on and right away think "Wow, that feels really different", then you probably went too far. Or from what you say, you might like it.

Hope you have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Speeddog830: Thanks for the headsup on the fork issue!

Back to the rear end of the bike to steepen that steering angle. . .

Jim G
 

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Your new ride sounds awesome! The only thing that came to mind was maybe a set of cycle cat frame sliders to protect that beauty. But then again, you're a heck of a lot more experienced than me, so probably not necessary. Enjoy!
 
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Congrats on the scooter Jim....sounds like a beut. I've had over 30 bikes myself and I agree the S4 is certainly top shelf. Maybe when the weather breaks a little, we can all meet up in Luckenbach or somewhere.
 

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Maybe when the weather breaks a little, we can all meet up in Luckenbach or somewhere.
Hey, isn't that where "Willie, Waylon, and the boys" hang out?
 

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Speeddog830: Thanks for the headsup on the fork issue!

Back to the rear end of the bike to steepen that steering angle. . .

Jim G
Welcome, Jim. Enjoy your new ride, S4's are a lot of fun.
I'll be interested to hear what you think of the suspension when you get used to it. My front forks were overly stiff on the high speed compression damping, but OTOH I'm only about 165 lbs. geared up, big difference from you or SoCalSar. I've got 14mm of thread showing between the top ringnut and the upper shock eye body (rear spring).

I put some RaceTech gold valves in my forks, only got one real ride on 'em, but it's way nicer than stock, for me.
 
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