One thing to consider, is that for about 20-30$ less than the T31s(maybe cheaper in your area?), you can get Battlewings that will be a little less sticky in twisties (they do perform well, don't get me wrong), but give you at least 2500-3000 miles more overall (from my personal experience).
I was looking at the Battlewings (and A41s) a bit overnight.
Going to a couple local shops between today and this weekend (whenever I find the time) to see what they can do for prices on the T31s, A41s and Battlewings.
They come out to the exact same price for a pair on AmericanMotoTire so I'll see what the local shops say.
I have the No-Mar classic tire changer and have been happy with it. Look at it from perpective of investment. With about 4-5 tire changes from a shop, you could use the money to have purchased a no-mar tire changer. I like the classic because it has a center verticle bar and really helps in changing the MC tire.
You can wait for ebay to have one of those 10 or 15% discount coupon and make the purchase to save some add'l coin.
Thanks. This will probably be an option down the road but right now it's not in the cards. Will keep this one in mind for sure though.
Thinking I'll probably just pay a shop to install this time around and plan on picking up a machine when I need tires again.
So while the HF tire machine has a low cost of entry it need other components to help bring it up to par. The vise (parts that holds the wheel) is decent but the mount/dismount bar less than desirable. The only thing it'll be really good at is scratching up your wheels. So budget a $100+ for a MoJo tire bar. Also the jaws on the wheel vise that hold the wheel from spinning are painted metal and if you don't add teflon MoJo blocks or eve come up with some pieces of rubber again your wheel if it slips will scratch.
As for balancing I do have a HF static balancer and use it more for a truing stand than balancing tires. Years ago i switched to counteract balance beads. 1 ounce in the front wheel and 2 ounces in the rear. I the several hundred tires i changed for myself, friends and CL people I only ever had 2 complaints.
After reading the reviews I pretty much came to that conclusion - that I'd need to get a bunch of other stuff to make the HF machine worth half a damn.
Will be holding off on buying a machine until I can afford something better like you recommended (unless of course I can find a used/decent machine on craigslist in the next couple days... which is doubtful but worth a check).