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I spent 30 bucks on a balancing bead kit, but the guy lined up the yellow dot with the valve stem and I've been riding without issue since. Beads are still on the shelf. Tread wear is even and I don't notice any wobble or tracking problems. This on BT-023s. I hope every tire set goes this well.
Be careful with the beads. Did a 3-day spirited ride with a guy on a Tiger 800 XC with beads. At an aggressive pace, he found that the beads in the front wheel shifted and threw off the balance and his comfort level entering corners. I think they are meant more for cruisers or riding at a slower pace with less aggressive cornering.
 

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It could be helpful if you found the light spot of the tire and matched it to the heavy spot on the rim....
That's what I was trying to say but I wasn't very clear. Everyone automatically assumes the valve stem is the heaviest part of the wheel but not always, especially on wheels that had large sand cores when they were made.

Once you know your heaviest spot, mark it somehow and it won't ever change unless you polish or powdercoat the wheel or add heavier valve stems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·

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When I had my balancer it had the ability to match a wheels heavy spot with a tires light spot. It takes a lot of time to do though.
 

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any recomendations on what brand to buy?

versus the stick on kind ?
do you like those better? why?

thanks
Not really. Got mine 25 years ago or so, just a spindle and a couple bearings. No real identifying marks on it.

Kind of an old age thing I guess. They always use to be lead and always use to clip on the center ridge. The only down side to the stick on weights is cleaning off the goop when you change them.
 

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I bought a Pit Possee balancer, and its works very well. Its this one, right here....

http://www.amazon.com/Motorcycle-Ba..._4?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1407422210&sr=1-4

Please play along with my ocd, for a minute. I took the shields out of the bearings..No need to, but it made it more sensitive. Before use, just lube up the bearings with brake cleaner. When the run wet, its almost frictionless..well, you knwo what I mean...

Oh, and it you do some simple mods to it, you can balance the rear with the sprocket-cush drive attached. There was JUST enough clearance to do so.

Its a fun tool to use, though, and definitely get one just for entertainment. This one is sensitive enough, in stock form to a point where you want to cut the 1/4 oz weights info four pieces...

As far as technique, watch the youtube video, and the stand itself will teach you the rest. I'll bet it checked my wheel 20 times, just to be sure. The weather was bad, and I had no confidence in balancing myself. The weights ended up in the same spot, every time.

Just realize, your doing this all for yourself, anyway. I randomly added 2oz just to see what happened, and what it felt like, and noticed nothing.
 

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I bought a Pit Possee balancer, and its works very well. Its this one, right here....

Please play along with my ocd, for a minute. I took the shields out of the bearings..No need to, but it made it more sensitive. Before use, just lube up the bearings with brake cleaner. When the run wet, its almost frictionless..well, you knwo what I mean...

Just realize, your doing this all for yourself, anyway. I randomly added 2oz just to see what happened, and what it felt like, and noticed nothing.
I have the same one and I also made it more sensitive.....and then went right back to the way it was when I bought it. I was spending too much time fine tuning and, like you said, for no real noticeable benefit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
I randomly added 2oz just to see what happened, and what it felt like, and noticed nothing.
WOW
I would have thought that 2 oz would make a big difference but there it is.

I noticed that the shop seems to always add the same amount of weight in the same spot even when i change tires.

maybe the tires are that close to perfect and the rim is off.
if thats the case i wonder if the rim could be balanced in the same concept of balancing a flywheel, independent of any other components?

maybe 'feeling' unbalanced isnt the proper tool.
if the tire is unbalanced i'm picturing that that it will loose some contact with the road.
i'm probably just having and exaggerated thought here and its just fine.

thanks for all the replies.
cheers
 
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While it may feel fine the difference comes in when the tire starts to wear, the heavy side will be thrown to the ground harder than the light side and wear quicker creating uneven wear before the tire's end-of-life time.
 

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While it may feel fine the difference comes in when the tire starts to wear, the heavy side will be thrown to the ground harder than the light side and wear quicker creating uneven wear before the tire's end-of-life time.
I've been through several sets of tires and never noticed anything like that... Maybe I've been lucky, but my treadwear has been consistent down to the wear bars around the whole circumference of the tire. I'm not going to say it doesn't happen, but I haven't experienced it with two different bikes over a 6 year period of not balancing the wheels at all.
 

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I don't think it is luck. Quality motorcycle tires designed for our bikes are by nature going to be really good.

Cheaper tires, and maybe lower rated speed tires could be less quality....

But when michelin set out to make a tire that fits both our Ninja, and a Hayabusa and a Zx14 you can be sure it is going to have very tight tolerances for roundness and balance. We are reaping the benefit of our tires fitting much faster bikes to be honest...lol
 
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I've mounted and balanced every set of tires on 4 street bikes since 2002, with exception of the very first set.....that the bike shop charged me $50 to do. I said screw that and bought my own tools.

To balance....I use a static balancer. The first time I remove the factory tire, I clean the wheel very good and put only the wheel on the balancer and find the heavy spot, which may or may not be related the the valve stem location. I then take a flat file turned on its edge and using the corner edge, make a shallow file mark across the center rib of the wheel. Just takes a couple strokes of the file. Every tire change after that, I place the balance dot of the tire in relation to that mark on the wheel. I run mostly Metzler tires and vet rarely have to add more than 1/2 or 3/4 oz at most, if any weights at all.

My tires always run smooth even up to top speed.

...
 

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To balance....I use a static balancer. The first time I remove the factory tire, I clean the wheel very good and put only the wheel on the balancer and find the heavy spot, which may or may not be related the the valve stem location. I then take a flat file turned on its edge and using the corner edge, make a shallow file mark across the center rib of the wheel. Just takes a couple strokes of the file. Every tire change after that, I place the balance dot of the tire in relation to that mark on the wheel. I run mostly Metzler tires and vet rarely have to add more than 1/2 or 3/4 oz at most, if any weights at all.

My tires always run smooth even up to top speed.
...
We've pretty much beaten this simple topic to death but the thought just occurred to me...why not take a sander or dremel to the inside of the wheel and balance it perfectly without the tire on it? Given the fraction of an ounce needed it shouldn't hurt the wheel at all. I'm sure someone will say they've done this.

I've been through several sets of tires and never noticed anything like that... Maybe I've been lucky, but my treadwear has been consistent down to the wear bars around the whole circumference of the tire. I'm not going to say it doesn't happen, but I haven't experienced it with two different bikes over a 6 year period of not balancing the wheels at all.
Let me demonstrate, see below. The pic clearly shows either a) the tread thickness was not the same around the tire to begin with or b) the tread wore differently around the tire. While I find it difficult to believe it was a balance problem that I couldn't feel, I suppose it's possible. What I do know is a) The night before when I lubed the chain the tire did NOT have any belts showing and b) 100+/100+ (degrees/mph) eats tires much faster than I was use to. What I can also tell you (but not show) is if I flipped the tire 180 degrees, you would see a well worn tire tire that you could still see faint tread in the center. If the entire tire had been like the unseen side there would have been no drama, no picture and no story.

Other facts, this was on my '98 VFR, it was a 900+ mile run from Colorado-Utah-Idaho-Washington, the temps were 100+ most of the day (100 teens in the afternoon), there was much 100+ mph running during the heat of the day. I didn't know rcannon409 at the time. :) Actually, in Utah I thought the tire easily had 1000 miles left in it. And to stave off speculation...the tire was properly inflated to 42psi (checked 4 days prior) and I wasn't overloaded. Just me & my luggage. And no, I don't normally run my tires this far down. I've seen belts before but that was as a poor starving (not really) college student a long time ago. And yes, I know I posted this a long time ago under a different tire thread.

Tire Automotive tire Wheel Alloy wheel Auto part
 
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Maybe I would notice a difference if I ran a tire to the belts, but I just don't do that. I have enough disposable income that I can afford to change the tires when they reach the wear bars and I don't have the need to push them past that. Not that I haven't ridden a few hundred miles more on a set of tires because I couldn't get them changed before a ride I wanted to go on... but generally I welcome a new set when the current set hits the indicators. The guy who mounts my tires always looks at me funny when I remind him not to balance them... :D
 

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That tire above is cool....A question, though..

When you see wear like this, does it wear out because its not in balance, or is it wearing like this in an effort to run balanced?

If you checked its balance , in that state of wear, woudl it be better, or worse than it started in?

You shoudl have stopped by, I could have found something better..oh wait, we did nto knwo each other....Had we, though, I'd have put on a 19 inch rear knobby. We'd have balanced it, too.
 

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If I arrived home today with a tire like that, I would have put it on the balancer just to check it. At the time it happened, all I could see was my life passing before my eyes and getting a new tire ASAP. The tire/wheel began life balanced. I would find it interesting to know if it was made with slightly different thicknesses of rubber around the tire or if it wore unevenly. It looks so unbalanced it's hard to believe that it was running triple digits just a few miles before this picture was taken and no imbalance was detected by my butt.

Mr. rcannon409, if you could get a 19" knobby to seal on a 17" wheel you are indeed a miracle mechanic. I don't ever plan on this situation being needed again, however.

Mr. Black Sheep, this was simply presented as a visual indication of uneven wear. I normally replace my tires when the wear bars begin to show. Unlike you, however, I often see a difference around the circumference of the tire where the wear bars show on one side but not on the other. I presented this originally because I was pretty amazed how quickly the tire went away in the heat and speed. 900 miles earlier, this tire had no wear bars showing most of the way around. My bad for starting a 5000 mile trip on a tire with 4000 miles of life left.

The best part of the whole episode was that I did not see this until the morning after getting home and, of course, the tire didn't fail on the road. I won't make this mistake again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
i noticed that when i replace a tire, even when the indicators are about to come through, is noticeably flimsy.
the new tire has some stiffness in the center.. not so with a worn tire.
this probably one of the reasons a new tires feels so 'fresh'.:2cents:
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
The guy who mounts my tires always looks at me funny when I remind him not to balance them... :D

with a few basic tools its not bad at all to swap the tires out.
i'm not trying to say you're wrong or anything negative here.
 
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