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tourist
06-03-2010, 01:59 AM
Its my first time changing my tires on my 2010 K1300GT with TPC . At 13500 and the rear tire shows it. The front tire still had a little groove in the center. I bought a balance, bead breaker and made my 22mm head from a 7/8 bolt ground down. Took off the front wheel and put it in the balancer. I thought it should still be balanced, for the most part. I also wanted to see if my harbor freight balance even worked. The wheel had two twenty gram weights from the factory. I checked the wheel and each time the wheel would stop in the same place. The weights at the one o'clock position and the valve stem at the seven position. These checks were repeated with the cones in different positions. I also flipped the wheel around in the jig. Then the weights were at the eleven and the stem at five.
So I thought the balancer was working for the most part.

I then ripped off the old tire and put on the new tire. Went smoothly, now all the nicks in the rim match the scrape from when I forgot to put the kickstand down.

Back in the balancer....Spin it, find the heavy spot, tape weight and check. I find that I needed 32 grams to make the wheel actually be able to stop anywhere in its rotation. What I mean is.....if it stops with the stem at the two o'clock position I can nudge it to the five position or the eight position, anywhere. To me, if gently spinning in one direction and it doesn't swing back, you have reached the balance point. I mean the best you can do with this balancer. I also tried this with the wheel in different positions and different directions. At this point I think its balanced.

I think back to the original wheel and I don't believe that was balanced. It always had a heavy spot at the valve stem. That's not considered balanced, right?

So onto the rear....A little more difficult. I had to improvise with my setup, but we'll just assume that my addition to the balancer is perfect.
I put the original wheel in the balancer and there was a real heavy spot. Or atleast what I interpret as "heavy". Same spot no matter what.

Off with the old on with the new. Set up in the rig. I find that same place at the valve stem that is so heavy. I need 90 grams to get to the point where I think it is balanced.

So I go to the dealer for weights. They say, wow, check the dot and maybe rotate the tire. As they are getting me some weights I look around the showroom. Of the new ones I looked at, I found that all had two twenties opposite the valve stem on the front tires, just like mine, and only one had two thirties opposite the valve stem on the rear. I didn't have any weights on my rear rim like most of the new bikes.

I think my front is balanced. I don't think it was balanced from the factory. I only had to add 32 grams but the factory used 40 grams and the valve stem was still heavy ( where the sensor is located) The rear rim had no weights but that sensor has to weigh a ton. I think I need 90 grams to balance rear but then why wouldn't the factory balance the rear tire?

Maybe all this drinking was for nothing. Is balancing your wheels important?

stkmkt1
06-03-2010, 03:49 AM
Not sure I will answer your question, but i believe that if you travel at highway speeds, you would want to balance your tires. I just put new tires on my GSA. I bought the HF balancer, but it would not work with my rear tire, even after I bought their "BMW" adapter. So I bought the Marc Parnes balancer and it is really quite a bit better unit.

Anyway, I lined up the red dot on my tire with 180 degrees opposite of the valve stem and put the wheel on the balancer. Next I let go of the wheel and let it settle to a stop. Did the tape thing as you described, tapng the weights 180 degrees from the heavy spot. It took two 1/4 oz weights to get it balanced. Then I would rotate the wheel so the new weights were either at the 3 o'clock or 9 o'clock position and let go. The wheel basically stood still. Next I gave it several light spins and let it stop completely. Each time it stopped a different place. So I declared it balanced.

Now, from the factory, both of my wheels were similar to yours in that each wheel had two small weights about 180 degrees from the valve stem. I can tell you that the bike sure seems to ride much smoother down the highway now. How much of that is from the new tires and how much is from now being balanced is unknown.

I can tell you that I did check both front and rear factory tires before i removed them from the rims. Both were close, but no cigar.

In your case, your bike is made for highway travel only. I would recommend the balancing. If you want to see the difference, ride it without balancing, then balance the tires to see if you notice a difference.

rockbottom
06-03-2010, 09:12 AM
I've become a big fan of Dyna Beads (http://www.innovativebalancing.com/motorcycle.htm).

motorradmike
06-03-2010, 11:52 AM
If you've ever ridden with an unbalanced wheel/tire assembly, you will know the answer is yes.

You can easily try it by sticking a some weight on in a random spot and running up to 60MPH or whatever you can stand.

Some of the guys here balance the wheel without a tire and find that it's good enough with any new tire.

I use DynaBeads.

osbornk
06-03-2010, 12:43 PM
I've replaced the tires on at least 8 bikes over the years (from a 550GPZ Kawasaki to a 1100 Goldwing and included 3 BMWs) and I have never balanced one or had a problem. However, I never ride over 75 or 80.

Ken

mljordan
06-03-2010, 01:06 PM
Yes, balancing is important.
I use DynaBeads.

Mike Jordan

ka5ysy
06-03-2010, 01:42 PM
Yes, it keeps my fillings in my teeth :brow

tourist
06-03-2010, 10:45 PM
Well I went and bought the other style of balancer from harbor freight. Its the one where the wheel is horizontal. It was a piece of junk so I returned it.

Took the wheel to somebody and watched how he did it. He put 45 grams to balance. I also went and bought some larger cones that were supposed to work on this wheel to balance , same ones that I just watched.

Couldn't get the wheel to balance with the amount of weight he used. I only used twenty grams and was able to take the cones off and repeat to see if balanced and it was.

Now I'm fairly confident that the wheels are balanced. Took for a test ride but didn't feel any difference in vibration.

"Have I ever driven or riden on an unbalanced wheel?" No. Never had any vibration problems from a wheel. I will add some extra weight and try it someday.

And those beads.....wouldn't they make a mess when changing the tire?

UncleMark
06-03-2010, 11:40 PM
here ya go...

I change tires for my club... I have prolly done over 60 tires... Here's my sequence:

1. Remove wheel
2. Remove stem core
3. Remove stem if it's rubber (choice here)
4. Remove old tire
NOTE: I could give rat spit where the old weights were, are or going to be at this point...
5. Clean rim (I'm a stickler here - it has to be clean - not just washed, I mean CLEAN!)
6. Remove all weights - remove all tacky stuff (acetone does well)
7. Remove all bead chutzpah (clean the rim edges so the new tire seats on a clean area and not on crapola left from other tires)
8. Install new metal stem (choice here) or core
9. Using Parnes balancer, mark the light spot on the edge of the naked rim (top of the rim)
10. Mount tire with balance spot (Avon 2's have small sticky tapes on the tread) at 180 degrees from mark on edge of rim
11. Add any tire farkles (i.e. Stem based TPM, etc.)
12. Balance tire - add weights accordingly

Just did a set of Avon 2's for a member, the rear tire took 1/2 OZ total, and the front took nothing. The most I have ever put on a rim was 2 OZ's and that was a Metzler.

Always balance the tire... always... If you like beads, use them. I don't on my ride. Why? Beads are a mess when I change from summer Metz to winter Avon's / Bridgestones. I reuse tires by season so drilling is not an option folks. Beads are not my cuppa...

my $.02 :thumb

James.A
06-04-2010, 12:28 PM
I'm with osbornk. I would have you note that I only ride underpowered, early airheads.

When I rode an R1100RS, I paid the tire vendor of choice to mount and balance those tires. I think it is not very important on a relatively low speed bike. On a K1300,... I don't think I would chance it.

bikerfish1100
06-04-2010, 12:48 PM
I am with Uncle Mark on this. Balanace the tire with nothing on it to find its natural light/heavy spot, then go thru the process that he described.
unbalanced wheels can show up not only as a shimmy or shake at "speed", but also as a hopping sensation at slower speeds as well- so it is not just a "i don't go fast so i don't bother balancing them" issue.

Mark- 0n step 7, it was "schmutz" that you wanted to get off the rim, not "chutzpah". "chutzpah" is most direclty translated as "balls"- as in: "the defendant, facing sentencing for murdering both his parents, showed a lot of chutzpah when he asked the judge to go easy on him as he was an orphan."
"schmutz" is that undefined dirt, gunk and crap that you find in unlikely places; like the oil coated lint and dust that gets collected by your over-stove exhaust fan or on the coils on the back of your refrigerator .

i found a smoking hot deal on tape weights on eBay- look around. The Marc Parnes balancer is da bomb.

lkchris
06-04-2010, 02:49 PM
My, oh my--we all KNOW that factories are cheapskates ... yet the bikes come from the factory with wheels balanced.

Isn't that a "clue" it's important?

What would be the difference if it were a car?

UncleMark
06-04-2010, 03:30 PM
Mark- 0n step 7, it was "schmutz" that you wanted to get off the rim, not "chutzpah". "chutzpah" is most direclty translated as "balls"- as in: "the defendant, facing sentencing for murdering both his parents, showed a lot of chutzpah when he asked the judge to go easy on him as he was an orphan."
"schmutz" is that undefined dirt, gunk and crap that you find in unlikely places; like the oil coated lint and dust that gets collected by your over-stove exhaust fan or on the coils on the back of your refrigerator .

i found a smoking hot deal on tape weights on eBay- look around. The Marc Parnes balancer is da bomb.

Duly noted... the word "schmutz" has been cataloged and filed away inside the brain pan... now... if I have the chutzpah to use it... :D

#7 to read...

7. Remove all bead schmutz (clean the rim edges so the new tire seats on a clean area and not on crapola left from other tires)

And ceramic coated wheel weights from flea-bay... NICE... and they blend in with the color of the rim and stick like crazy.

There are balancers... then there's Marc Parnes. NICELY DONE!

It has been proven that an unbalanced tire is a safety issue. Any tire that is in an unbalanced state will wear faster and in patterns that are uneven which can cause instability or control issues during the ride.

In a word... beads or buttons, balance the tire.

dkeast140506
06-04-2010, 06:06 PM
I changed my K1200LT rear tire 500 miles ago. I mounted the Marathon tire with the red dots at the valve stem and didnÔÇÖt balance it. My understanding has been that the red dots indicate the light spot on the tire and the area of the valve stem is usually the heaviest. The ride seems smooth to me. At least as smooth as the previously dealer mounted and balanced tire. There is and was a vibration on the left hand bag that smoothes out about 80. I donÔÇÖt think it is tire related since there is no vibration on the right hand bag.

I have run unbalanced Dunlop tires mounted the same way on my Gold Wing with no problems.

My previous employer did not feel it was necessary to balance its fleet vehicle tires unless there was a problem.

bikerfish1100
06-04-2010, 07:03 PM
the area of the valve stem is generally considered to be the lightest spot- but it ain't necessarily so.
i just mounted a rear on my R11S, and the light spot was about 30-40 degs off of the valve stem (several linear inches).

criminaldesign
06-04-2010, 07:46 PM
i had a slight wobble that would show up at 80mph. Took the front wheel in a had it balanced, and no more shimmy.

sdpc2
06-04-2010, 08:10 PM
for the first time. :hungover Mounted a set of TKC's on my R100GSPD. I can't say that it was easy, but i got it done.

left me with a couple of thoughts/questions though....

1. how does one go about cleaning the shmutz out from the inside of the rim? :dunno I tried just about everything that i had in my garage.

2. them TKC's are some tough SOB's!! :banghead Especially the front. Ended up using a spoon to get the last bit on to the rim. And we won't even get into seating them.

3. The back tire took only two 7 gram weights.. :dance Eazy Peazy The front took 4 weights. Don't know if i just got lucky or not. But there was a white E on the side of the tire, that i assumed must be the heavy spot. Was that a bad assumption on my part? Of course, we are talking semit-knobby tires here, and they seemed to be fine up about 80.

4. The marc parnes is definately the way to go!!! :thumb

tourist
06-04-2010, 11:18 PM
My, oh my--we all KNOW that factories are cheapskates ... yet the bikes come from the factory with wheels balanced.

Isn't that a "clue" it's important?

What would be the difference if it were a car?

Really? None of the GTs had any weights on the rear. Only one LT had weights. That is a small sampling of their production line but what are the odds that none of the bikes shipped to a specific dealer is in need of weight until the stock tire is changed? I would think it be cheaper and easier to balance versus doing the calculations of matching tire and wheel. Maybe they mastered the technique on GTs but that LT needed 60 grams.

I can also say that the front wheel wasn't balanced with the weight that was used, which is the exact weight on all the GTs that I saw. Odds, again.

Would tires become off balance even though they are wearing even?

Is there an acceptable amount it can be unbalanced? Maybe if it spins on a machine and it calculates that it needs 20 grams or less then its good enough. Certainly there is a +/-.

dkeast140506
06-05-2010, 01:02 AM
the area of the valve stem is generally considered to be the lightest spot- but it ain't necessarily so.
i just mounted a rear on my R11S, and the light spot was about 30-40 degs off of the valve stem (several linear inches).


Check this out. Though it doesnÔÇÖt refer specifically to bike tires it makes sense to me.

http://www.bridgestonetrucktires.com..._i1/ra_doc.asp

The_Veg
06-05-2010, 04:09 PM
+1 On the beads. I've never seen a tire wear so evenly and consistently around its circumference as with beads.

lmo1131
06-05-2010, 04:11 PM
Okay, here's my$.02USD...

Old Conti-Twins: needed to be replaced and noticed that the tape-weight was missing on the front rim - definite low-speed wobble, and a slight "hopping" under 40mph.

New Bridgestone S11's (100/90-19, 110/90-18); dynamically balanced ... no more wobble, no more "hopping".

jforgo
06-05-2010, 08:36 PM
There is a lot of wide open space riding in these parts, so high speeds , often with poor road surfaces and strong crosswinds, are a big part of the mix. Since I don't feel I can afford any surprises under these conditions, I always have mine dynamically balanced. Doesn't seem like no balancing would be a worthwhile experiment.

henzilla
06-05-2010, 10:19 PM
+1 On the beads. I've never seen a tire wear so evenly and consistently around its circumference as with beads.

I haven't used them, but some of the tires I have changed for those who do have more powder than beads left when I vacuum it out . I guess the weight mass stays the same , but sure is a mess to me.

Kind of nice to mention to your tire guy they are there as well :whistle :thumb


Another thing I have noticed lately is Michelins from Thailand seem to take more weight than the Spain or France stamped ones. Done enough to see a pattern, especially on some PR2's. Unfortunately ordering online, you cannot control where they come from. I get them from all 3 locations ordering from a few diff vendors.