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How to Balance a Motorcycle Tire by Yourself

How to Balance a Motorcycle Tire by Yourself

If your motorcycle’s front end starts to wobble while turning corners and your handlebars vibrate uncontrollably, your motorcycle tires might be out of alignment. If you visit a motorcycle dealer or professional mechanic for motorcycle tire balancing, it can cost between $15-$50 per tire. However, balancing motorcycle tires is easy enough that you can do it by yourself if you have a static wheel balancer. This article explains how to balance motorcycle tires by yourself.

1. Riding with Unbalanced Motorcycle Tires and Wheels

Riding with unbalanced motorcycle tires or wheels can cause the motorcycle’s front end to wobble while steering and turning corners. The handlebars also start to vibrate excessively, making rides uncomfortable. Excessive vibrations can cause the wheel bearings and spindle to wear out, and the fasteners that hold the wheels can become loose over time. It can result in fatal situations if the unbalanced tire disconnects from the bike during the ride.

2. Equipment Required to Balance a Motorcycle Tire

Equipment Required to Balance a Motorcycle Tire
Static wheel balancer
Allen key (hex key)
Adhesive wheel counterweight
Duct tape

3. How to Balance Motorcycle Tires by Yourself

3.1 Mount the Unbalanced Wheel on a Static Wheel Balancer

To balance your motorcycle tire, you will need a static wheel balancer. A static wheel balancer can cost between $50-$60. Before mounting the unbalanced tire on the wheel balancer, make sure that the balancer is upright and level. To mount the motorcycle tire, remove one of the centering cones from the rod and insert it through the center of the wheel. Reattach the removed centering cone and place the assembly on the stand. Using the Allen key, tighten the screws on the centering cones. Use rubber stoppers to stop the tire from sliding.

3.2 Give the Tire a Little Spin and Check the Lighter Side of the Wheel

After mounting the motorcycle tire on the static wheel balancer, give it a little spin. A balanced motorcycle tire will come to rest shortly after being spun. However, if it is unbalanced, the tire will keep spinning until the heavier part settles down which means that the lighter side of the wheel will be perpendicular to the ground. Mark the lighter side of the wheel using tape.

3.3 Add Weight to the Lighter Side by Applying Adhesive Wheel Counterweight

An adhesive wheel counterweight is a strip of small weights that can stick to the wheel to help with balancing. Add weight to the lighter side of the wheel by wrapping the counterweight on the rims. Do not apply the counterweight to the tire as it will easily come off while riding. Start by gradually adding a few grams until the tire becomes stationary. If not, add more weight to the lighter side.

3.4 Recheck the Balance of the Tire

After the counterweight is applied, give the tire a little spin and check to see if it keeps spinning. If the tire becomes stationary, it means it is now balanced.

3.5 Apply Duct Tape to the Adhesive Wheel Counterweight

You can use duct tape to firmly attach the adhesive wheel counterweight to the wheel to keep it from coming off while riding.

4. Final Word

Balanced motorcycle tires help ensure smooth handling and steering. Balanced motorcycle tires also improve the ride quality and improve confidence in riders while turning tight corners. However, if you keep riding your motorcycle with unbalanced tires, the wheels’ bearings and spindle start to become worn out and can cause the motorcycle to skid. If you want to save money and time, it helps to know how to balance a motorcycle tire by yourself.

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