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Discussion Starter #1
Went out on a beautiful day here riding my 03 999R. I got home and eyeballed a hairline crack in the triple tree. The tree is clamped by on by one hex bolt that I could see. I removed the tree once about nine years ago to install woodcraft raised clipons.

The way the triple tree is secured around the fork and I could be in left field about this, there doesn't appear to be any imminent danger the triple will fall off during a casual ride. Obviously, I'm going to resolve the issue except for a slight problem: only the 03 and 04 models had the number plaque attached to the tree, as you can see in the attached photos. If I buy a new tree, how in the hell would I remove and relocate the plaque?

When I removed the tree years back I supported the bike by straddling an 8' ladder over it and wrapped a HD tie wrap through the trellis frame so the assembly wouldn't collapse onto the front tire. But I can't remember if it is safe to just remove the triple tree without worrying about any collapse. I'll have to check the shop manual.

Anyone else with a similar issue?
 

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They are likely not through holes. So, mark the location of where the holes WOULD be on the underside, drill to a depth you feel comfortable with, and use a punch to drive the nails out. It won't matter if you use a drill bit four times the diameter. In fact, that would just make your life easier. Drill a little bit at a time until you see you reached the nail.
 

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part#?

'04 R clamp is# 34110411a,$548. / '04 S clamp which also used Ohlins is # 34110351a,superseeded to # 34120351A, $618. ;so could the R part have pre drilled holes for the plate??? think its best to remove the weight on the front end(wheel) before removing the upper clamp.agree-drill from the underside to punch out the nails.maybe a defective clamp?
 

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The pins have a fine cutting curved edge on them as well as a taper to hold them in. Use at least a 8mm drill bit and then you don’t have to be exact with your holes.
 

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When I removed the tree years back I supported the bike by straddling an 8' ladder over it and wrapped a HD tie wrap through the trellis frame so the assembly wouldn't collapse onto the front tire. But I can't remember if it is safe to just remove the triple tree without worrying about any collapse. I'll have to check the shop manual.
Just leave the bike on the ground, loosen the pinch bolts, and pop the top triple off. Everything is still held together, there is nothing to collapse.

To get the plaque off, I would very lightly file a flat the top of the rivets, center punch, and use drill slightly undersized to the rivet from the top. A lot less measuring and marking and far more precise that way.
 

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Just leave the bike on the ground, loosen the pinch bolts, and pop the top triple off. Everything is still held together, there is nothing to collapse.

To get the plaque off, I would very lightly file a flat the top of the rivets, center punch, and use drill slightly undersized to the rivet from the top. A lot less measuring and marking and far more precise that way.

No.... you wouldn't drill them they are extremely hard.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
999R plaque removal

I've been getting some excellent feedback and direction regarding a method to remove the plaque from COP TZR. He was involved in the link provided in a related thread from 2015. I contacted him and he got back to me right away. He taped off the areas around the rivets and used a Dremel tool to carefully grind down the rivets whereby he could (carefully again) pry off the plaque with a flat head. He then sourced some fluted rivets and re-installed the plaque on the new triple clamp.

I'm a little nervous about doing this, but I have a sure hand and as long as the grinder tool doesn't slip, I think I can pull it off. However, I wonder if there would be any advantage of taking the clamp to a professional machinist instead?

I really liked the finished product he produced, a black anodized triple for a replica Xerox because the contrast between the plaque and clamp made it "pop". However, I'll leave the triple in stock shape in this case.

I have to start looking around for a mint condition triple clamp. Are the 999S and 999R triples the same?
 

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You should listen to what xracer told you is the best method of removing that plate.
 

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Thanks davy.
Last time. The clamp is toast so there’s absolutely no reason to not drill it from behind. Use a drill press and clamp the clamp to a piece of softwood. 8mm drill bit. A little at a time until you see the tip of the pin then tap it out. It doesn’t take much force. The measure the hole size and location. DON’T drill the NEW holes without using a drill press. You won’t get it right except by luck. An engineering shop should do it for you to ensure the best accuracy. 999s clamps are the same. 749r clamps look the same but won’t fit as they have a different offset.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Drilling from underneath triple clamp

You should listen to what xracer told you is the best method of removing that plate.
You know, I'm kind of going in that direction the more I think about it, as xracer said, the clamp is toast and there is less room for error drilling from underneath, yet one slip with the dremel the plaque could be scarred for life. It seems to me you have to grind down the top of the rivets far enough to remove the top part that holds the rivets down, that means cutting it very close to the plaque.

Drilling in from behind there doesn't seem to be any "close calls" because you drill to the pins then pop them out with a hole punch. Someone said those rivets are made of hard material, you can't drill through them with standard bits, is that true? If not, you can keep drilling to remove some of the twisted threading on the rivet shaft and making it easier to pop out.

Someone said the 999S and 999R triple clamps are the same, I'll look around to verify this. My triple has the word Ducati (with small logo) on the top left side of the clamp, does the 999S have this?

I'm probably repeating myself, but I just want to make sure, but confirm there is no need to support the frame when all I'm doing is removing the triple clamp?
 

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Those rivets are as hard as the hobbs of hell, they are the same as the Triumph patent plate ones.
Anyone who says they are drillable has never tried it real life away from the keyboard.
No need to support the frame, the stem is locked below the top triple with the nut,
 

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Yes John, as I said, the S and R clamps are the same. Ducati logo as well. Come to think of it, all the top clamps are the same. Ohlins equiped bike have larger holes in the lower clamps but the tops are all the same except for the 749R. It has a different offset.
 

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Put some tape on the number plaque so you don’t accidentally scratch it , regardless of what method you use.
 

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The way the triple tree is secured around the fork and I could be in left field about this, there doesn't appear to be any imminent danger the triple will fall off during a casual ride...
My gut, and years of design and analysis work, are telling me that this is a dangerous assumption to make. So, during some spare time the last day or so I modeled up a 999 Steering Head assembly and am about to run some analyses on it.




Will let you know what I find...
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
My gut, and years of design and analysis work, are telling me that this is a dangerous assumption to make. So, during some spare time the last day or so I modeled up a 999 Steering Head assembly and am about to run some analyses on it.


Will let you know what I find...
Holy Crap, talk about mind-blowing. Thanks for the hi-tech assistance and thanks to others with the further questions I had.

Maybe one more question or two. After I successfully pop out the rivets, what size pilot holes (using a drill press) would I use and at what depth? At some point aren't these fluted rivets hammered in? Obviously, I don't want to crack anything, yet I want the rivets to be secure.

Follow up note: I checked Ebay and a couple other smaller sites and its not looking good matching the triple clamp I have with what is available. Based on what I have seen, the R model bikes might be exclusive in terms of the engraving of the name Ducati and small logo on the top left side triple clamp, unless someone with a 999S says otherwise. The only clamp I found with the engraving was from a used and beat up 749R. All others claiming to fit the 999S didn't have the engraving. This presents another problem.

In an earlier post, 2004 999S said: '04 R clamp is# 34110411a,$548. / '04 S clamp which also used Ohlins is # 34110351a,superseeded to # 34120351A, $618. ;so could the R part have pre drilled holes for the plate??? think its best to remove the weight on the front end(wheel) before removing the upper clamp.agree-drill from the underside to punch out the nails.maybe a defective clamp?

For some reason, the R clamp has a lower list price and I'm wondering if Ducati even has them in stock. He also asked if the R part has pre-drilled holes for the plaque? The plaques came with year models 03 and 04 only. Now I'm thinking possibly in another direction, what about repairing the crack by having it welded and then think about anodizing or some other way of covering the repair. Or, just leave it in that state and punt.
 

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FOR FUCKS SAKE DON’T WELD IT. You will weaken it. You will distort it. You will have a bear of a time machining it and if by some miracle all of the above work, the anodic treatment will make the weld material stand out like dogs balls.
 
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