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Very Famous Person
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You are saying that your friend has unbalanced wheels but don't know if he uses any method at all. If no method at all, then there could be the problem. I sometimes use the method in your link and also Ride_On tire sealant balancer. It's use is good as the balance needs change and also to prevent some chance of puncture blowout.

Often I just have the dealer put in the Ride_On and skip the balance weights altogether.

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Premium Member
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I have always balanced my own wheels by spinning them and finding the heavy spot. New and or good wheel bearings are needed.
I had zero wobbles of any kind at any speed. You also need good steering head and swing arm bearings, good bearings in the rear wheel, good suspension, and the rear wheel must follow the front. Do all that and the dumb thing should go straight.

I have beads in the front tyre of one bike, and get a front wheel flutter at around 80. It could also be a suspension problem.
The wheel needs to be spun at let to rest several times to be sure. Adding too much weight too soon is also a problem. Same thing when tightening spokes. Too much too soon will cause problems.

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American Legion Rider
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Not talking about beads or alternative methods - does using a gravity wheel balancer like the method outlined here work?

https://www.rideapart.com/articles/245821/wobbly-wheels-suck-how-to-balance-motorcycle-tires/

I have a friend who mounts his own tires and complains that they wobble over 50MPH, but I dont know if he's balancing them.
The method used in your link works and works well. But as pointed out, you must have bearings that are good and used a little. I don't think new bearings or freshly greased bearing work as well because the grease is a little too stiff.

To your buddy's problem, what I just mentioned about grease could be some of his problems. The other is, it takes practice to learn to static balance well. Just slightly misplaced weights will cause problems as does the amount of weight. So having a little of all 3 places combined you might not think it works at all. But it does.

I'm with Ron and use Ride-On Tire Sealant and Balancer for motorcycles. You can use it with or without wheel weights. So doing your best with static balance and then adding Ride-On will get you zero wobble. You never want to put Ride-On in first, then try to static balance for the obvious reasons. You'll never get it right then. But you can in fact skip static balance all together when using Ride-On and get great results.

So there is room for a lot of errors. There is an old saying of, practice makes perfect, and that holds true with static balancing.
 

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Ace Tuner
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3,522 Posts
In the 'olden days' I balanced wheels/tires using nothing more than the axle pushed thru the wheel then set the axle across a couple of cinder blocks and gave the wheel a slow spin.
The heaviest part of the wheel does not always stop at the bottom most of the time because the bearings are not "free enough".
You spin it and watch how slowly (or quickly) it stops, then spin the opposite direction and observe the stop again.
After a few tries you can figure out where the heaviest part of the wheel is.
Add some weight opposite to the heavy spot and spin again....
It worked back then, don't know why it wouldn't work now. :wink2:
 

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Not talking about beads or alternative methods - does using a gravity wheel balancer like the method outlined here work?
Yes. Gravity works very well. While it is nice to have the 'proper equipment', a steel bar and a
pair of car axle stands, or even a pair of kitchen chairs works just as well.

I use a long 1/2" extension bar and a pair of chairs for balancing my wheels. The axle
stands (or chairs) need to be the same height so that the bar is reasonably level.
Spirit-level precision is not necessary. Once the wheel is close to vertical and
the bearings are in good condition, you will get consistently accurate results.

I have a friend who mounts his own tires and complains that they wobble over 50MPH.
Sounds like they are out of balance.

but I dont know if he's balancing them.
He should take the time to check balance before putting them on the
bike. Apart from the time spent, the cost of doing so will be zero.


Assuming you don't have much equipment at your disposal.
Find a long straight rod. A length of steel pipe, socket extension,
car jack handle etc.... The rod must fit through the inner races of
your wheel bearings. It doesn't need to be a good fit because the
wheel will tend to rotate around it's own bearings rather than
the interface between the inner races and your steel rod.

As above, suspend the rod/wheel on a pair of axle stands set to
the same height, or a pair of identical chairs on a level surface.
Rotate the wheel slowly by hand and wait for it to stop. You will
usually find that it tends to stop in the same place. The heavy
spot will be at the bottom. As the wheel rotation slows, you
may find that the heavy spot overshoots the bottom and the
wheel will reverse direction of rotation one or more times
before settling in it's final position.

If you find the wheel is unbalanced, mark the highest point
(180deg from the heavy spot) with crayon/marker/tape -
this is the point where you need to attach your balancing weights.

You can use coins as test weights for the balance test. All
coins are made to extremely tight tolerances for mass so
that they can be counted accurately. Stick the coins to
the rim using tape, preferably double-sided tape.
Once you know how much weight you need, you can
remove your test weights and buy wheel weights that
are suitable for your rim or spokes. I use the stick-on
car type because I can fit them without the need for a
special tool.....

The smallest weights sold here are 5g and bigger weights
are exact multiples of 5g. Imbalance of 5g or less is probably
not worth correcting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all of the suggestions. I think I'll buy some gear and give it a try.
 
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