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Discussion Starter #1
The bike is a 2012 DL650 which I bought April. I just spooned on a new Shinko rear tire. Sidewall was a little bit tougher than I expected, any way when I went to balance it I had to use 2 ounces (55 grams) seemed like a lot. I did balance with the sprocket mounted. Is this what ya'alls do? I've been away from chain drive bikes for a long time and just doing a sanity check.
Oh yeah which weights are recommended, stick on or rim attach. I have stick on for now but also have rim grippers I could use as well. Thoughts?
Thanks
Frank
 

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I would highly recommend not having the sprocket installed when balancing. There are rubber cushions in the hub and movement that just shouldn't be there when balancing. Two ounces? Not too much, but be SURE you have the tire properly seated on the beads. Look around the edges and make sure one area doesn't seem to be higher than others. If you have some way of spinning the tire make sure the tread area has near zero wobble up and down.

Sometimes balancing is balancing the rim more than the tire.
 

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Two ounces is indeed a lot more weight than usual on a tubeless tire.

No, you should not balance with the sprocket and carrier mounted. Without the tightened axle, the sprocket carrier will be loose and will cock to one side. That may explain your results. They're very close to the center, so the sprocket and carrier won't make much, if any difference to the wheel balance.

I'd check again without the sprocket and carrier.

While you're there, you might also check with a piece of wire to see if there's dirt or whatever inside one of the wheel "spokes". They're hollow, so it is remotely possible for stuff to get in there.


If you wanted to be really thorough, you could remove the tire and see how balanced the bare wheel is and where the true heavy spot is.

I've found that on vintage bikes with tubeless wheels, the true heavy spot is often not where the valve stem is, so I mark the true heavy spot and then mount tires with the dot in that position (and sooner or later, some squeaker at a gas station will spot my "mistake" and cry out with glee...).

On most modern bikes, like the Stroms, you can pretty much count on the heavy spot being at the valve stem. It's definitely worth checking at some point to make sure this is true for your bike. But that can certainly wait until the next tire change.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The balancer I use has cones which snug up on both sides of the wheel, this holds the sprocket assembly tight to the wheel. Good point about the hollow wheels, I'll check.
The heavy spot was about 4" from the valve stem.
I'll also check the bead seating.
Thanks for the input
Frank
 

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I could be wrong, but I think this would point to worn cush drive rubbers.
Even with tight rubbers (did that just sound sorta... wrong to anyone else?) the bearing spacer won't be tight up against the bearings.

The effect on balancing? I dunno. Maybe nil, maybe something. Best to just remove it from the equation.

Or, as OP did, you could use some sort of cone arrangement that keeps everything pushed together. That should work fine.
 

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Is it always necessary to balance the tires? I just installed my first replacement rear tire yesterday and didn't do any balancing. I've ridden about 10 miles, but nothing over 40mph.

One tutorial I read on RevZilla said "author 1 and I both have the same opinions on how to balance tires - we don't."



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I can feel a noticeable vibration difference between being static balanced and no balancing at all. Unbalanced wheels/tires cause extra wear on parts so no reason not too. Especially when it's cheap to buy the tools and weights to DIY at home.
 

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I've found that on vintage bikes with tubeless wheels, the true heavy spot is often not where the valve stem is, so I mark the true heavy spot and then mount tires with the dot in that position (and sooner or later, some squeaker at a gas station will spot my "mistake" and cry out with glee...).
Pardon my ignorance, but I've never mounted any kind of tire except on a bicycle. Is there a dot on the tire at the light spot to be matched up with the heavy spot on the rim?
 

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Whomever doesn't balance their tires will be up for quite a surprise eventually. I had an FJ 1200 Yamaha for a few years and didn't ride overly fast or hard. Never felt comfortable on the bike. One day I let her rip and the front wheel really started bouncing at 140mph. Seemed like it would never slow down. I immediately had it balanced. You should too.
 

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I have two types of wheel balancing equipment. I have balanced tires, and I have not balanced tires. The ONLY tire I have ever had that had a wobble or vibration had NOTHING to do with weights or balancing. It was simply not made correctly and had a high spot as it spun.

I have balanced tires on the BMW and the V sTrom when installing them. Bike was smooth. Then I have taken the weights off after a couple hundred miles. Bike was smooth. I often run the BMW well over 100 mph. Never a tire vibration or wobble.

It is ALL in the tire. Motorcycle tires are very well built. Any out of round tire will vibrate regardless of how much weight is put on it. I think balancing the rim, without the tire, is maybe more important than the tire. The rim never varies, but a tire sure could as it wears down.

While on my rant, I will say that tire balancing beads and goo should have a warning label. Something like you would find on a Snake Oil container........
 

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Never balanced my work bike tires and did them all at home.One did have a slight not right feel at 65mph but no where else.These were cheap tires. Never tried beads.A year ago did what I said was not going to do again.Made a low ball offer on a big bike and got it! A old two owner 2001 1600 RoadStar with extra parts.This guy had spent a lot on the old bike.Power coat wheels and lots of stock parts in a big box. Heavy duty starter and fuel pump..I needed the stock fuel pump on my 04 1700 RoadStar.
His notes etc. were in the shop manual with it,and he had put the beads in both tires. Must say its as smooth as any old bike I ever had and after over 3,000 miles still that way so may be the beads do a good job? The tires are wearing good and real even. I hate the ten inch risers and the stock risers were not with it.Had two ask about it last week and one looked at it but I was helping my grandson build his new house.If not sold by this winter think I will make a bobber out of it if still doing ok.
 

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While on my rant, I will say that tire balancing beads and goo should have a warning label. Something like you would find on a Snake Oil container........
Interesting, I was going to go ahead and try the dyna beads since I had read some good reviews. Maybe not then, I wonder if they are at least better than not balancing at all?

-Nick


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Pardon my ignorance, but I've never mounted any kind of tire except on a bicycle. Is there a dot on the tire at the light spot to be matched up with the heavy spot on the rim?
Yes. If there's a dot, it will be at the light spot, so you line it up with the heavy spot on the rim. On most modern bikes, the rims are made accurately enough that this will be at the valve stem. But it's worth taking a moment to check after you remove the tire, any old weights, and clean the old rubber and mung off the bead areas. Install a new valve stem, pop it on your balancer setup, and see where the true heavy spot is.

Tire manufacturing precision has also improved greatly in the last ten years or so, so it's quite common to find there's no dot on your tire. Many tire models are manufactured in perfect balance and so there's no dot -- just make sure it's the right way round and install in any position. Of course, you may still need balance weights if the wheel with valve stem installed isn't also in perfect balance.
 

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Depends on the tire goo. Slime will corrode an aluminum rim. Ride On does not corrode aluminum.

I rode for about 50 miles on a 705 rear mounted and balanced by a shop. Along my usual commute the tire rode rough, so I gave the rear Ride On and stripped the weights. Felt like riding on glass and has ever since.
 

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Interesting, I was going to go ahead and try the dyna beads since I had read some good reviews. Maybe not then, I wonder if they are at least better than not balancing at all?

There's always some that dismiss Dyna Beads, Ride On, etc.

They have been demonstrated to do what they claim (yea anecdotal for the most part). Pretty easy to do your own testing.

I used Dyna Beads on a KLR and I could tell the difference so there's that!

I used Ride On for awhile but I rarely get flats. It adds about $15 to the cost of a tire so not anymore!

The last tires (Shinko 712) I installed on the my Strom I didn't balance, seem fine.
 

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OK so you balance your new tyre and everything is fine, 5 or 6 thousand miles later and the tyre is squaring off a bit, sides are scalloped a bit etc do you think its still in balance? and do you notice any difference from when it was balanced first? I don't anyway, just don't have the same confidence when the tyre starts to wear and I tend to change them earlier than really necessary.
 

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My original tires had cupping on the front with plenty of tread left. I put Ride On in my next set and my front (after 7500 miles) is worn very even with no cupping. Maybe this tire would have worn well anyhow, but the only change from the first set is the ride-on.


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Tiring

When I bought my Airhead BMW, noticed a high-frequency vibration. The PO had installed new tires, but not balanced them. While the suspension soaked up most of the vibration, some still came through the seat, pegs, and grips, promoting fatigue. Figured it out by reaching back and feeling the spring on the rear shock. Took the wheels off, had them balanced, and the riding experience was improved substantially.

On city streets, you'd never notice. But at highway speeds, definitely a big improvement. Probably one of those things, if you never do it, you won't notice it. But when you do it it's a big change.

Maybe new tires are better-balanced. But I've got to think that unbalanced tires are going to wear suspensions parts quicker, and the vibration can't be good for any part of the bike. While a static balance will work for the rear tire, the front needs to be balanced side-to-side as well as radially, so a dynamic balance might be a good idea.

Never tried beads or liquids. Bikes already have too much unsprung rotating mass. Why add to it?

And yes, if you need quite a bit of weight to reach balance, something is wrong. At the very least, remount the tire rotated 180 degrees on the wheel and check again.
 
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