Balanced the front tire and took it back on the freeway. 100 mph, steady and sure. Reassuring that I wasn't losing my mind (yet). Dealer did not balance my wheels. Check out the weight it needed...
When I initally put the wheel on my balancer it sunk FAST. I might go with dyna beads in the back tire, but it feels really good to me as-is with just the front wheel balanced. It's gotta be entertaining to the drivers to see a nearly 40 year old "super bike" blow past them on the freeway. No, I do not normally ride anywhere near that speed, but I like to know that I can...
I'll offer two totally different comments. I'll preface by saying I usually mount and balance our tires myself but not always if we are on the road.
1. Two summers ago we were headed to Hyder, Alaska. We were camped within sight of the border, poised to go from Washington into Canada when I discovered a nail in the rear tire on Voni's bike. It was a tire I planned to last to Hyder and back to the lower 48. I plugged it but didn't want to head into Canada with a thin tire with a plug in it. We backtracked about 50 miles to a multi-brand, all sports shop and found a tire that would fit her bike. He didn't say anything about a problem balancing the tire.
We rode up to Prince George and she didn't notice a problem with the bike fully loaded for our summer camping journey. But after we set up camp, and rode unloaded bikes on the higher speed four-lane approaching Prince George for dinner she noticed a thumping. Out of balance.
I tried four shops in Prince George including a specialty car shop and nobody had a flange that would match the wheel on her F800S. Finally the guy at the Harley shop talked us into trying Dyna Beads. They seemed to work. We went on to Hyder, then eventually south to Seattle for the start of the Iron Butt Rally, and eventually to Ontario, California (L.A. area) for the finish of the rally. It was hot. When we left Ontario we headed towards Las Vegas. The thumping in her rear tire had returned, worse than ever. We bailed into a motel in Vegas at noon to get out of the 110 or so heat. It stayed hot the next day and we thump thumped our way north and then east through Zion National Park. After about three days when we rode in cooler weather, the thumping went away.
As best I could determine, in the really hot weather the beads had clumped together in bits of rubber dust in the tire. There was noticeable rubber dust in the tire when I pulled it off. I have not used Dyna Beads since, but would again if I was unable to otherwise balance a tire.
2. I have balanced most of our wheels with no tire mounted. The weights used to balance the wheel sans tire are marked with red paint. When I mount a tire I seldom need to add weight, but if I do I still leave the marked weights (for the wheel only) in place. I started doing this after I finally noticed I was taking weights off and putting weights back on in almost the same spot usually. Maybe a little more, or a little less, but about the same spot. I concluded I was balancing and re balancing the wheel more than the tire, and that has proven to be true in almost all cases.
So far as "rubber dust" in tires, they are coated at the factory with a slurry which is sprayed into the green tire (while it's still a barrel shape) and was(during my time in the tire factory) comprised of silicone & soapstone . It is to enable release from the bladder which inflates the green tire from the center out thus forcing it into the mold to receive the molds tread pattern and become "tire shaped". The pattern we see inside the tire is from the pattern on the rubber bladder in the center of the lower mold half.
A long way of saying that a new tires inner liner is not a necessarily real clean environment. I have wondered if it is advised with bike tires to wipe them clean with a rubber solvent such as used for tire & tube patching prior to mounting? It would seem to be a nice way to prepare the inside for a possible future repair event, by enabling better contamination free repairs?
My Dyna- beads get coated with a bit of black as they do their job & I reuse what doesn't escape. I get typical tire life & smooth riding too. Placing vale at 6 o'clock or giving a puff of air prior to pressure checks is a good habit to avoid schrader valve issues. I am ordering one of the Stubby tires tool sets with my next tires. They look to be a good tool!
There is a nice write up on them & tire changing in WebBikeWorld.
OK, it's me thats chubby, the tools are stubby!
I think Chubby->Stubby on the webbikeworld review. I appreciate the stubby's because milk jug/rim protector plastic is not needed with tire irons. While the rims on my airhead are in no way pristine, I don't want to add more scratches. That, and the hook end design (I found) helps compared to motion pro short irons. YMMV.
Most of the shops in my area don't balance motorcycle tires. I mount and balance my own tires for this reason. There are already so many things that can happen when riding to cause a crash, why add one more? Many riders make excuses why they don't need to balance, but it only takes me about 5 minutes to balance one, and then I know its done right. JMHO