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Discussion Starter #1
Overspray from my chain lube has knocked off all the weights off of my rear wheel, but even after completing a 300 mile day today at interstate speeds, I could not notice an difference in ride, or damage done to the tire. The weights had been falling off for some time.

In light of this, I'm considering not balancing the rear wheel anymore when changing the tire. I'm also wondering if the front wheel needs to be balanced ?

Is there anyone else here that does not bother to balance there wheels after a tire change ?

What nightmarish horrors await me ?
 

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Why WOULDNT you balance the rear wheel? You may not notice any difference, but it's better for all rotating components to be in balance than out of balance..
One of the purposes of a balance is to make sure the tire maintains an evenly loaded contact patch with the road. Why would wouldnt you want that?
Ever see a car with a front tire bobbing up and down at highway speed, the drive totally oblivious to what's happening up front? Just because you didnt notice a difference in 300 miles doesn mean an unbalanced state is optimum for not only your tire but your safety as well.
If you have the wherewithall to remove a wheel, can afford an inexpensive static balancer ( I use a No-Mar), and buy a couple of strips if 1/4 oz adhesive weight strips, youre 10 minutes away from a balanced wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Why WOULDNT you balance the rear wheel? You may not notice any difference, but it's better for all rotating components to be in balance than out of balance..
One of the purposes of a balance is to make sure the tire maintains an evenly loaded contact patch with the road. Why would wouldnt you want that?
Ever see a car with a front tire bobbing up and down at highway speed, the drive totally oblivious to what's happening up front? Just because you didnt notice a difference in 300 miles doesn mean an unbalanced state is optimum for not only your tire but your safety as well.
If you have the wherewithall to remove a wheel, can afford an inexpensive static balancer ( I use a No-Mar), and buy a couple of strips if 1/4 oz adhesive weight strips, youre 10 minutes away from a balanced wheel.
I have all those things to balance the wheel, but have heard that some people don't even bother. Why not balance, you ask ? Because if is not that necessary, why take the time to do it ? I keep thinking if that wheel was bouncing as you have described, I would have noticed it on the bike, or that it would eventually show in tire wear. I also don't want to have to worry about putting the weights back on after they fall off.

Is there anyone else here that does not bother to balance their motorcycle tires ?

I will consider your opinion. It may end up destroying other wheel components(other than the tire) in the long run.
 

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Beside a safety issue, tire cupping for one, suspension wear for another. Balancing is easy, once you understand the process, hell even I can do it and without any fancy tools
 

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I put a piece of gaffers tape over the weights as a precaution against them falling off. That works well for me.

I've never not balanced my tires, so I have no first-hand experience to apply to your question about foregoing balancing.
 

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I have all those things to balance the wheel, but have heard that some people don't even bother. Why not balance, you ask ? Because if is not that necessary, why take the time to do it ? I keep thinking if that wheel was bouncing as you have described, I would have noticed it on the bike, or that it would eventually show in tire wear. I also don't want to have to worry about putting the weights back on after they fall off.

Is there anyone else here that does not bother to balance their motorcycle tires ?

I will consider your opinion. It may end up destroying other wheel components(other than the tire) in the long run.
"Some People" never change their fork oil, never check/adjust their valves, never sync their throttle bodies, never change their coolant, never change their brake fluid,never lube their chain, etc. Truth is, you dont have to do ANYTHING if the bike does what you want when you want.
But you say you have all the balance equipment. You can't find the time to use what you already have? You think the factory would spend a cent to machine-balance a rim/tire assembly and $ for wheel weights if they didnt think it was necessary?
 

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Well, I have thousands of dollars of tools and equipment. Including wheel balancing equipment for cars and bikes.

I don't balance motorcycle tires very often. I do balance the wheels and leave it at that. Say what you want, but balance rarely effects cupping or uneven wear. That is pressure and alignment to a much higher degree. Scores of sets of motorcycle tires and I have had few that were a problem. One is on the RT right now. Dunlop Roadsmart III. Front or rear has a vibration. I pulled them and checked balance. I suspect the front tire is having a belt issue as there is a very slight wobble when looking at tread from the side when wheel is spinning. New ones sitting ready to go on. If I mount a new tire and it vibrates, there is a PROBLEM with that tire. Don't want that tire on the bike.

Bike tires are so small and light, and so well built that balance shouldn't be an issue.

In every case where I have had a car or bike tire that wasn't just right, it was an out of round issue. Be that not mounted properly or the tire not constructed properly. Out of round will never roll smooth. Yes you can add weights to help counteract this, but it is a band aid fix. I think this is where most people assume balance is the problem when it likely is not.
 

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When I get the new tires put on I balance them. Then I mark my maintenance log with the number of weights on each wheel. After that, when I wipe the wheels down, I check the weights for stuckness. When the stuckness gets weak, I pop the weight loose, clean the stickum off the weight and re-stuck them with 2 sided tape. I never re-check the wheels, just repeat with the new rubber.

Dose it do anything, sure it does....it restores my Zen and good karma.

I also wipe the bugs and road dust off my bike after about every second ride. I like a clean bike even if I will just take it back out and ride the gravel roads around home.
 

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I balance my bike tires when I install them, never check them again. I use Crest Industries tape weights, and shop towel damp with brake cleaner to make sure there is no weight residue on the rim. Ive never had a weight loosen or fall off.

RS, funny you mention Dunlop. Through the years, Ive had more issues with Dunlop car tires being out of round radially and/or axially, or taking more weight to balance than any other major car tire brand.
 

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I stopped balancing. I don't know if it makes a difference, but I now put Ride-On goo in my new tires for puncture and balance. I have been doing this for the last two sets of tires, and have had zero issues.

I did notice that before I got my suspension sprung for my weight and riding habits, my front tire knobby type would cup after about 5K miles. Since the suspension, no cupping and I wonder if that is a coincidence?
 

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I balance my MC tires, but I agree that unless there's some gawdawful defect, there's rarely going to be any humanly perceptible difference at speeds under 150mph. At least with quality tubeless tires on undamaged modern wheels.

I think much of the value of balancing is as a quality check; by spinning the wheel up you can see whether the bead is seated, whether the tire has any obvious defects, whether the wheel is damaged or out of round, etc. And the amount of weight required to balance is another quality check; if it's more than maybe an ounce or ounce and a half, something else is wrong. (I saw one report of a guy who left a tire iron inside a tubed dirtbike tire and didn't find it until the tube burst.)

So yeah, I think balancing is valuable to do whether or not you ever notice the difference.
 

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Long ago I spent time learning about motorcycle tire balancing, obtained some precision bearings and made a wheel balancer. After lots f practice ZI concluded it was a waste of time. Don't bother. Just utilize the red dots on the tire if supplied by the manufacturer or what ever indication is provided of how to line up the tire with the air valve. Others may have different opinions, but I went through the exercise several times and concluded it was not necessary.
 

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I don't feel it's as necessary as some believe, and I've had plenty of tires we've installed which didn't need any wheel weights. I do like that Ride-on product, not sure how much it helps balancing in reality, but the sealing capabilities sure is a nice option.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Well, I have thousands of dollars of tools and equipment. Including wheel balancing equipment for cars and bikes.

I don't balance motorcycle tires very often. I do balance the wheels and leave it at that. Say what you want, but balance rarely effects cupping or uneven wear. That is pressure and alignment to a much higher degree. Scores of sets of motorcycle tires and I have had few that were a problem. One is on the RT right now. Dunlop Roadsmart III. Front or rear has a vibration. I pulled them and checked balance. I suspect the front tire is having a belt issue as there is a very slight wobble when looking at tread from the side when wheel is spinning. New ones sitting ready to go on. If I mount a new tire and it vibrates, there is a PROBLEM with that tire. Don't want that tire on the bike.

Bike tires are so small and light, and so well built that balance shouldn't be an issue.

In every case where I have had a car or bike tire that wasn't just right, it was an out of round issue. Be that not mounted properly or the tire not constructed properly. Out of round will never roll smooth. Yes you can add weights to help counteract this, but it is a band aid fix. I think this is where most people assume balance is the problem when it likely is not.
I put a piece of gaffers tape over the weights as a precaution against them falling off. That works well for me.

I've never not balanced my tires, so I have no first-hand experience to apply to your question about foregoing balancing.
I think I may try balancing just the rim and using some gaffers tape to hold the weights down the next time I change the tire.

Maybe the gaffers tape will stand up to chain lube, but even if it does not, I understand it is easier to change out than sticky-mess-residue Duct Tape. I've never used gaffers tape before, but I might also find some other uses for it.

For now, I may continue to ride with no weights on the rear wheel to see if any unwanted effects occur. That tire is getting worn out anyway. I have a hard time believing that the rear wheel is violently bouncing up and down as I go down the road without me noticing it because there are no wheel weights on it.
 

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Greywolf once (or probably more often) posted that he also gave up on balancing.

I still do it but it is probably a waste of effort. For curiosity I check my totally worn rear tire/ wheel, before taking the tire of ... and it was grossly out of balance and would have been better without the weights than with them still on. It was nicely balanced when I had mounted it about 8k earlier before my trip out west last year. Not a very scientific experiment, but I don't sweat it now if a weight falls of.
 

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I did notice that before I got my suspension sprung for my weight and riding habits, my front tire knobby type would cup after about 5K miles. Since the suspension, no cupping and I wonder if that is a coincidence?
Proper suspension damping, just like good shocks on cars, will absolutely effect tire tread wear in a good way!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Greywolf once (or probably more often) posted that he also gave up on balancing.
I think he did give up on balancing, but the reason he did was because he used Ride-On tire sealant which he believed dynamically balanced the tires when the wheels were at speed.
 

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I balance mine.

Over several decades of riding I've had 2 tires that needed to be re-balanced- I don't know if I lost wheel weights or the tire wear had an influence- but I could feel a bit of a hop from those tires (both front tires). Re-balancing gave me a smooth ride again.

The fact that you don't feel any difference just means your suspension is working, isolating you from the hop, it doesn't necessarily mean there is no repeated impact on the bearings and axles.

I agree with whoever said: Suzuki (or any other manufacturer) wouldn't spend an extra penny on balancing the wheels if they didn't think it was a smart thing to do.

..........shu
 

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I still do it but it is probably a waste of effort. For curiosity I check my totally worn rear tire/ wheel, before taking the tire of ... and it was grossly out of balance and would have been better without the weights than with them still on. ...
Interesting point. It is rare on a M/C wheel to ever check the balance after it's mounted, so who knows how far out a worn tire is? Or for that matter, how closely balanced they come from the factory.

I just got new tires on the scooter (16" wheels) and they weren't able to balance the front wheel because the axle hole was too small for the balancer. When I mounted it up, it was obviously off some as it would rotate around on its own until the heavy spot was at the bottom. I haven't noticed any problems riding up to around 75 mph - and the cheap suspension is not likely to soak up many jiggles without it being noticed.
 
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