All bikers know that balancing the two tires of a motorcycle is pivotal for a good ride. When you change the tires of your motorcycle and feel a jerk near the handlebars, the first thing you need to check for is the balance between the tires. While it is a routine problem with most motorcycles, not many people know how to balance a motorcycle tire.
If you do not balance your motorcycle tires properly, you will end up losing control while driving. Sometimes, even new motorcycles have unevenly balanced tires. As it is a simple procedure, let’s learn how to balance the tires through this simple guide.
Different Techniques And Methods
People who work on motorcycles and have experience in handling them use multiple techniques to balance the motorcycle tires. However, if you plan to balance the tires by yourself, it’s important that you understand all the techniques and choose the most feasible one.
There are two methods of balancing motorcycle tires. First is the static balance method. In this, the center of mass of the wheel lies in the center of the axle. After you mount the tire, if the center of mass is not present on the axle, its axis will deflect.
The second method is the dynamic balance method. For dynamic balance, the moment of inertia of the tire has to coincide with the axis of rotation. To check the dynamic balance, mount the tire on a balancing machine, and rotate it at 100-300 RPM. Sensors in the balancing machine concurrently detect any unstable forces.
We shall learn the static balance method in this article. However, both methods are equally effective.
No matter what technique you use, you will require some tools to perform the task. Firstly, you need a balancing stand on which you have to place the tires. These balancing stands are frictionless. The balancing stands show deviation even when slight differences in weight exist on either side.
So, if the tire is not in equilibrium as per weight, then the stand deviates towards the bulkier part, indicating an imbalance.
Other equipment that you will require are- wrench, screwdriver, tape, wheel weights, and hex keys.
How To Balance A Motorcycle Tire
Follow these steps to maintain balance in your motorcycle wheels:
1. Stand Construction
- The first step in balancing the motorcycle tires is to construct the balancing stand. Start by installing the feet of the stand. Perform this step with great caution because if the feet are not stable, the level of the stand will always be uneven.
- Now fix the bubble level on the stand with a screwdriver. Start placing the uprights at the right positions on the Trunk Stand. The Trunk Stand is the most commonly available balancing stand. The stand has two ends- one narrow and one broad. Fix the uprights near the wide end of the trunk stand.
- Fix the nuts and bolts on the uprights and then tighten them with a wrench.
- A reference pointer is also available with the stand. Some people fix it on the stand for balancing the tires. But in practice, it is only for shaping the tires. It should not touch the tire while balancing. So, you need not install the reference pointer here.
2. Adjust The Stand
For adjusting the stand, move the feet with the bubble level. It is essential to do so to ensure equal leveling of all parts of the stand. It balances the motorcycle tires more precisely.
3. Fix the cones and collars on the bar of the balancing stand.
- The balancer rod has two cones that point inwards. Remove one cone from the side. Slide the tire till the axle sleeve touches the second cone. Insert the first cone back so that both cones lock the tire.
- There are two retaining collars on the balancing stand. Attach the first retaining collar with the tire and tighten it. Now, place the tire on its side so that it rests on of the cones. Fix the second retaining collar on top of the tire. The wheel is now ready to be mounted on the stand.
4. Identify The Bulkier Part
To check for the weighty part of the wheel, start rotating it slowly. To move it slowly, push it slightly so that it continues moving due to the effect of gravity. When you notice that the wheel is not moving due to gravity, the point at which the movement stops is the bulkier spot.
Mark the bulky spot and place the wheel such that the spot lies at the bottom.
5. Temporary Correction Of Balance
- Start fixing wheel weights on the top of the tire. Attach the wheel weights by estimation. Use tape to attach the wheel weights because it is a temporary procedure.
- To check whether the wheel weights are correct and the wheel balance is satisfactory, rotate the tire by 90 degrees. If the bulkier part still tends to gravitate towards the ground, the wheel weights are not enough. If the lighter part starts moving down, then an excess weight has been put on the tire.
- Add or reduce the wheel weights until you feel that the two sides are leveled. Do not add or remove the weights suddenly. Do it slowly, and observe the balance simultaneously. Rotate the wheel in multiple directions to ascertain the uniform leveling.
6. Permanent Correction
- Remove these temporary wheel weights when you are sure that the wheel is perfectly balanced. Clean the surface where you attached these wheel weights. Now, take professional steel wheel weights and attach them to the surface of the tire. These professional steel weights have a sticky surface that adheres to the tire for long.
- It will be a permanent solution for weight imbalance in the tire.
Balancing the wheels of a motorcycle is crucial for the safety of the rider. If you ride regularly, then knowing how to balance a motorcycle tire is essential for you. Keep checking your wheels for balancing issues. Vibrations felt in the handlebars are the first sign of imbalance.
Maintaining balance in tires is quite a technical task. However, anyone can do it after learning the right technique. Also, the availability of the right motorcycle equipment is a must for balancing motorcycle tires.
Did you find this guide helpful and feasible? If yes, then order the necessary equipment needed for balancing motorcycle tires and get down to work. Pay attention to all the details, and you will always do a perfect job while balancing tires.