Hi Olaf, The only thing I can think to do is add as much as you can, to the preload rod, and adjust the front fender as close as you can to the tire.
John,John Monticelli said:Hi, Loaf,
I have found a source for 2" over stock tubes. This will let you reduce the preload, and have a nice soft ride with a little extra clearance to boot. This is something we have done on Harleys forever. I can't understand why, after discussing this with the factory, this option has not been available all along. They, instead, have taken other measures to combat the clearance problem, IE rake the neck, inverted front end(shorter, actually that the ones we have, as they have reduced the spring preload, and maintained the length), and changed the fender.
With a 2" over set of tubes, you can then drop the preload, which will give you about 1" of extra height, depending on how stiff you set up your springs. This is negligible, and will make the bike look and ride better, and provide extra ground clearance for the footpegs and pipes. All of this adds up to a safer machine.
Also, I think that the stiff ride is what is cracking the frames. It doesn't take a genious to visualize what is going on, here.
We are working up a price, which I feel will be very affordable, as all there is to the tubes is threading on one end, and a snap ring land on the other. This would be just too easy and cheap for the factory to offer, I guess. Still can't figure why they didn't know about this. Maybe they were afraid of getting the bike any higher, and making it harder to handle. That line of thinking has defeated itself and made the bike more expensive, which is probably what they really want............
Also, I have found that working on the front end, using a jack under the front, and various height blocks under the stand to stablize the bike, is very doable for the reasonably experienced mechanic to handle by himself. Have had mine apart twice to examine the problem and lube the triple tree bearings. Just like a Harley, only bigger. There is no reason why these front ends can't be a great performing unit if they are set up correctly.
Big John 8)