Do I really Need To Balance My Rear Wheel ? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 25 Old 07-01-2018, 02:07 AM Thread Starter
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Question Do I really Need To Balance My Rear Wheel ?

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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post #2 of 25 Old 07-01-2018, 02:50 AM
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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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post #3 of 25 Old 07-01-2018, 03:51 AM Thread Starter
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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.
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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post #4 of 25 Old 07-01-2018, 03:53 AM
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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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post #5 of 25 Old 07-01-2018, 04:09 AM
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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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post #6 of 25 Old 07-01-2018, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by XLonDL650 View Post
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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post #7 of 25 Old 07-01-2018, 10:09 AM
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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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post #8 of 25 Old 07-01-2018, 10:21 AM
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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.

"If its not broke yet, it can still be fixed"
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post #9 of 25 Old 07-01-2018, 10:42 AM
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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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post #10 of 25 Old 07-01-2018, 11:22 AM
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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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