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Can you balance tires at home?

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Hi all,

I'm new to ThumperTalk and just got a DRZ400s to play in the mud with, I'm having a great time. The last bike for the dirt I owned was a 2-stroke yamaha 400 about 25 years ago!

I just put a pair of new tires (perelli MT21) on the 2003 DRZ and at highway speeds the mirrors are a blur. Granted, they are knobby and I don't expect a real smooth ride but I thought if there was a way to balance my tires without taking it into the shop, I've got nothing to loose and it may reduce the vibration. I read this thread (https://thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=225346&parentpage=2&highlight=balance+tire) and it looks like some people do balance them so can anyone enlighten me and explain how?

Thanks,

Alan :banghead:

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i know on dunlops there is a yellow dot on the tire, this is the lightest point in that tire, so this is where the rim lock goes to kinda balance, dont know about pirellis but its worth a try

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To balance your tires, follow the suggestions in the above thread, i.e. with the wheel off the bike. Put a greased axle through the hub , slightly pull out the bushings from the seals if possible, and place the assembly between two jackstands. The heavy side will rotate to the bottom - - add lead weights to the top side until balanced. Balancing is especially important if single rimlocks are utilized. :banghead:

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The MT21s won't make your mirrors blur - mine ride fine at all speeds.

I do roughly balance the wheels - I have one rim lock on each wheel, so I just weigh the rim lock on a digital postal scale and add an equal amount of self-adhesive lead wheel weights at 180 degrees from the lock. I figure that eliminates most of the imbalance - any that remains seems negligible.

I never had any luck with just hanging a wheel by its axle - there is always too much seal or bearing drag. It really takes a precision balancing fixture to do it right. You CAN do it with a bicycle wheel providing the inner races aren't overtightened and the grease is in good condition, but not a motorcycle wheel with heavy sealed bearings.

John Davies

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You can do a rough balance this way, especially if you are able to pull the wheel spacers out a little bit to eliminate the seal drag. :banghead:

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I never had any luck with just hanging a wheel by its axle - there is always too much seal or bearing drag. It really takes a precision balancing fixture to do it right. You CAN do it with a bicycle wheel providing the inner races aren't overtightened and the grease is in good condition, but not a motorcycle wheel with heavy sealed bearings.

Instead of using the axle, I balance mine on a rod that's smaller than the I.D. of the wheel bearings(mine's 1/2"). I then I fit the outside ends of that rod into some big sealed bearings (O.D. ~ 1.75") that have the same I.D. as the rod's O.D. and set those on top of a fixture I made of 1" square tubing.

This is the same set-up as my static wheel balancer, which just happens to be too short for a 21" front wheel.

--Fillmore

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I'm pretty sure J.C.Whitney has simple 'bubble-balancers' , affordable, and, Yes, they work just fine ... just be sure to get one that will accept your smaller hub-size (most you find are auto-size) :banghead:

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I spent the dough on a Rod Neff balancer. It's a simple set-up up you could probably build yourself, but I was pressed for time so I just bought it. I've used it on both my street and dirt bikes and it has worked great.

Rod Neff

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www.marcparnes.com

A precision balancer that gets used every time I mount a tire. $105 delivered

Wow, I'm really on the fence deciding between Rod Neff's balancer for $180 and Marc Parnes' for $105.

Rod's finished product looks well manufactured and like something I'd expect to see in a dealership service bay.

Marc's balancer looks very handy with it's portability.

Can any who's purchased these balancers offer any Pros & Cons input?

Thanks-

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I'm thinking about getting the Marc Parnes unit because of the size/portability thing. I've got enough stands/jacks/do-hickies in my garage as it is.

I balance my fronts with a steel rod and two jackstands. I can't ever get the rear to balance with what I've got because there is just too much weight and drag. I need a balancing device with its own low-drag bearings.

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Just baught a balancer from MarkParnes. Tried it on my new tires (IRC GP110) for 1988 XT350. Very nice high precision product that was very easy to use with jackstands (I have never balanced any type of tire before). Bike ran smoother than it has ever run before. In future will never skip balancing a dualsport tire. Only thing you want to be a little aware of is that you want to allign the reference dot on the tire with the valve stem, else you may need to use some heavy lead weights to get proper balance.

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