Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
I would never drive an auto with tires that were not balanced, but have not yet had to replace tires on my bike. You don`t mention why you ask the question.
Do you need to balance tires that are already on the bike?
Or do you need new tires? If so you have three choices.
Let a shop do the whole job and pay the $$.
Do it all yourself, spend some of your time, learn a valuable skill and save your $$. There are directions in the Clymers manual to do the whole job, including balancing. You could improvise the the balancing stand with the axle and a pair of safety jack stands or blocks of wood, high enough to allow the tire to rotate freely. Just make sure the axle is straight and level before starting. Also make sure the balance mark on the tire is lined up with the valve stem on the wheel. It is a small dot of paint, near the bead that marks the lightest spot on the circumference of the tire.
Do SOME of the bull work yourself, remove wheels from bike and take them in and let a shop dismount and mount the tires on the wheels, and save some of the $$.
You have saved enough $$ to decide whether you want to pay for a balance or try to do it your self. When you order your tires, also get 3 bottles of Ride-On tire sealant and balancing fluid. This may be enough to balance the tires on its own, but I would check the balance of the tires first using the method described in the Clymers manual.
Insert the axle thru the wheel and set the axle on a pair of blocks so it is level.
Rotate the wheel and let it coast to a stop. Mark the lowest (6 o`clock) position and spin the tire again several times. If it continues to stop in the same position, the tire is out of balance. Tape a test weight to the 12 o`clock position. Rotate the tire 1/4 turn, to the 3 o`clock positon, let go and observe the following.
If it does not rotate-the weight stays at 3 o`clock the correct weight was installed, and the tire is balanced.
If the weight goes down, it is too heavy. Remove it and tape on the next lighter one.
If the weight goes up, it is too light. Remove it and tape on the next heavier one.
Repeat until the tire remains at rest at the 3 o`clock position. Then rotate the wheel another 1/4 turn, then another 1/4 turn, then another turn to see if the wheel is correctly balanced.
Remove the test weight and install the correct sized weight on the wheel.
Note: DO NOT ATTACH MORE THAN 60 GRAMS OF BALANCE WEIGHT. If balance weight exceeds 60 grams, take wheel to dealer for inspection and balancing.
After running the new tires for a few hundred miles, you can add the Ride-On if you choose. It will seal your tires against puncture and correct any remaining out of balance condition. Many folks who use Ride-On, claim that it helps tires stay at the proper inflation pressure, avoid cupping etc., and last longer, therefore paying for itself over time.
I can`t say that balancing is absolutely neccesary, but I believe that it is the smartest and most economical thing to do in the long run. JMHO
Enjoy the ride dragonrider.
Last edited by OlHossCanada; 03-14-2009 at 05:13 PM.