Rear Wheel Balancing - BMW F800 Riders Forum & Registry



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  1. #1
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    I have to get some new tires fitted and it always seems a problem to find anyone local that can balance the rear wheel. I just wondered if you know if car tyre dealers are able to balance our single sided wheels.

    I realise I could get BMW to do it but I would rather not pay over the odds for this basic service.

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    This isn't a direct answer to your question, but an alternative thought.

    I used to have the local dealership change and balance my tyres. Then I got fed up at the price increase they made and started changing my own tyres. One of my big concerns was on how to balance the tyres.

    I bought some balance beads and used those the first time. One ounce for the front wheel and two ounces for the rear wheel. The next set of tyres, I decided to see how bad they felt without the balance beads and to my surprise, they felt fine. I've changed about 5 sets of tyres at least since then and only on one other set have I added balance beads to them.

    So you may want to see how bad the tyres are without balancing the wheels.

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
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    Quote Originally Posted by trig View Post
    I have to get some new tires fitted and it always seems a problem to find anyone local that can balance the rear wheel. I just wondered if you know if car tyre dealers are able to balance our single sided wheels.

    I realise I could get BMW to do it but I would rather not pay over the odds for this basic service.
    Not had any issues at any Motorbike fitting place i've ever been to. Have you checked with your local tyre dealer (if they also sell motorcycle tyres)?
    BMW F800ST, 2010, Black, Fuzeblock, Sat Nav, BMW Tank Bag, Givi Touring Screen, Denali Spotlights, Denali CANSmart, Wunderlich Crash Bars, 62K Miles & counting 

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    Marc Parnes sells a balancer and necessary adapter for single sided bmw wheels. Do it yourself. First time will take about as long to balance as it takes to remove/install the wheel.

    Very low friction gravity balancer. It can not go out of calibration. More sensitive than 1/4 oz.

    Use tape to hold weights to the rim until you find correct balance. Then use the super sticky tape the weights come with.

    With shipping, adapter, and everything the Marc Parnes will probably be over $150. But it doesn’t occupy much space and is a good lifetime investment. Might balance tires for friends in exchange for lunch or beer.
    2016 Yamaha FJR1300A; 2016 Beta 430RS; 2007 BMW F800S; 2009 Husaberg FE450; 2016 Subaru Outback; 2018 F150; 2013 Tesla Model S 85; 1983 Porsche 928S; 9 cats 

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    I do balance front and rear. I've found that although I may not feel any vibration from a slightly out of balance wheel, the tyre wear is not even around the circumfrence (at the end of their life the tread depth is none existant in some places and 0.5mm in others). I've bought some roller bearings that fit either end of the wheel axle (this needs to be done because using the axle alone, the dust seals in the wheel create too much restistance), and put the whole sheerbang on a pair of car jack stands. There are also a number of cheap motorcycle balancers that use a similar technique available on the net.

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    So I'm curious about this. A dynamic wheel balancer would be the best option, but at the prices they go for, it isn't going to happen. So last night I was looking at static wheel balancers. Then I got to thinking of the difference between how a dynamic wheel balancer works, and how a static one works. With the dynamic wheel balancer, you're counteracting lateral as well as vertical rotational forces. With the static balancer, you're only affecting the vertical rotational forces.

    At that point, I'm not sure I see any difference between using stick on weights with a static balance machine or products like balance beads or Ride-On. The static balancer determines the amount of weight to affix permanently. The balance beads or Ride-On adjusts as you ride using centrifugal force.

    What do you think? Am I missing something?

    I've found that although I may not feel any vibration from a slightly out of balance wheel, the tyre wear is not even around the circumfrence (at the end of their life the tread depth is none existant in some places and 0.5mm in others).
    I'm not saying you didn't experience this, but I haven't found it happening on any of the tires I've mounted. Maybe there's other causes to your tire wear?

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
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    Quote Originally Posted by trig View Post
    I just wondered if you know if car tyre dealers are able to balance our single sided wheels.
    Aren’t all car wheels single sided?

    Anyway... last spring I took my bike tires along my car tires to my usual mechanic. I asked if they could balance them as well.
    The only limitation was the axle diameter. The rear wheel axle hole was big enough to slip on the wheel balancer shaft but not the front one.

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    I had one tire mounted and balanced by Wheeler's in Robbinsville, NC. His dynamic balancer had several cones that he sorted through to find the one that fit best......the back side of the wheel goes against a flat surface and the front side is centered on the tapered cone (I was out on a ride and I needed a tire ASAP). The balancing machine he used appeared to be very similar to the ones in shops that service cars - however the adapters might be different for motorcycle wheels....the only way to find out is to go visit your tire shop and find out.

    I mount and balance my own tires when I am home. I built a static balancer that works very similar to the Marc Parnes one - I have tools and prefer to build things when I can avoid paying money.
    I had to make an adapter for the BMW rear wheels - one side fits my F800 and the other side fits the R1200. The adapter is made from plastic and slides into the wheel center, then a tapered cone is fitted on the other side and fastened with 3 screws.

    It works great and I use the stick on weights. The only big issue is that wheel weights are no longer lead and it takes more of them to balance, and the BMW wheel is not balanced as the TMPS sender throws it out of balance. (I am tempted to epoxy or bolt a weight on the inside of the rim that offsets the amount of weight needed to balance the wheel/tire........I am just not sure the epoxy or bolted weight would stay attached at 100mph......however the TPMS sender is bolted and doesn't come off).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daboo View Post
    So I'm curious about this. A dynamic wheel balancer would be the best option, but at the prices they go for, it isn't going to happen. So last night I was looking at static wheel balancers. Then I got to thinking of the difference between how a dynamic wheel balancer works, and how a static one works. With the dynamic wheel balancer, you're counteracting lateral as well as vertical rotational forces. With the static balancer, you're only affecting the vertical rotational forces.
    Spin balancers look high tech and sexy. Their main purpose is to be idiot proof because skilled labor is harder to find than a few thousand bucks for a spin balancer. Problem is these machines are not idiot proof and require periodic calibration (or at the very least an attentive operator) to verify they are actually balancing the tire+wheel assembly and not making it worse. Cycle Gear will balance any motorcycle tire in store for free. I took the first tire+wheel I mounted to my local Cycle Gear for balance. Watched with fright as the clown spun the wheel, affixed weights, spun the wheel, affixed more weights, spun the wheel, affixed more weights, and finally declared my wheel balanced with 10 weights. I had balanced it before he started. Took it home and put it on my balancer. Verified it was wrong. Took the weights off and balanced it again. Took 2-3 7g weights.

    Yes, on a wide tire an imbalance to one side or the other can induce a gyroscopic procession making the wheel want to turn. A good spin balancer can place weights in different places inside and outside to compensate. But these days most would rather have the weights hidden on the inside.

    At that point, I'm not sure I see any difference between using stick on weights with a static balance machine or products like balance beads or Ride-On. The static balancer determines the amount of weight to affix permanently. The balance beads or Ride-On adjusts as you ride using centrifugal force.

    What do you think? Am I missing something?
    Balance beads have to re-balance every time the wheel gets up to 40 MPH. Several problems. The beads will not move unless the wheel spins out of concentric. This also means the beads move on every crack or irregularity on the road. Also, note the bead instructions state once beads are installed one can not spin balance the wheel because the beads will never move with wheel held rigidly on the spin balancer's axle.
    2016 Yamaha FJR1300A; 2016 Beta 430RS; 2007 BMW F800S; 2009 Husaberg FE450; 2016 Subaru Outback; 2018 F150; 2013 Tesla Model S 85; 1983 Porsche 928S; 9 cats 

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    Thanks, David. I was hoping someone had some insight.

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
    IBA# 49894 True Rounder = 0-20's - Rounder -- to -- 100's+ Red Hot Rounder

    John 14:6 

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    Quote Originally Posted by N4HHE View Post
    Spin balancers look high tech and sexy. Their main purpose is to be idiot proof because skilled labor is harder to find than a few thousand bucks for a spin balancer. Problem is these machines are not idiot proof and require periodic calibration (or at the very least an attentive operator) to verify they are actually balancing the tire+wheel assembly and not making it worse. Cycle Gear will balance any motorcycle tire in store for free. I took the first tire+wheel I mounted to my local Cycle Gear for balance. Watched with fright as the clown spun the wheel, affixed weights, spun the wheel, affixed more weights, spun the wheel, affixed more weights, and finally declared my wheel balanced with 10 weights. I had balanced it before he started. Took it home and put it on my balancer. Verified it was wrong. Took the weights off and balanced it again. Took 2-3 7g weights.

    Yes, on a wide tire an imbalance to one side or the other can induce a gyroscopic procession making the wheel want to turn. A good spin balancer can place weights in different places inside and outside to compensate. But these days most would rather have the weights hidden on the inside.



    Balance beads have to re-balance every time the wheel gets up to 40 MPH. Several problems. The beads will not move unless the wheel spins out of concentric. This also means the beads move on every crack or irregularity on the road. Also, note the bead instructions state once beads are installed one can not spin balance the wheel because the beads will never move with wheel held rigidly on the spin balancer's axle.
    Also remember the beads will move with any change of speed.
    Riding for the SON 

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    Forgive me if this is dragging the thread off topic - it is related to the balancing beads in a small way.

    When I was a kid back n the 60's, my dad was an Allstate Insurance agent and his office was in the Sears store. In the automotive department I remember seeing wheel balancing discs for sale.......and you can still buy these today.
    https://www.centramatic.com/wheel-balance.rhtml

    If his technology is so good - why aren't they used more often? If "cost" is the reason - why aren't they factory installed on luxury cars or trucks? Why aren't the bead balancers incorporated into factory wheels? If these things are so good and were factory installed - balancing wheels/tires would no longer be necessary.

    For my cars and motorcycles having the wheels balanced when new tires are mounted works just fine.....even my static balance seems to work just fine on my motorcycles and I have never felt any tire related vibration (the one exception to this was when a wheel weight came off of my R1200......the rear wheel created a noticeable vibration while riding - it went away when the rear wheel was removed and balanced).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thumpin View Post
    Forgive me if this is dragging the thread off topic - it is related to the balancing beads in a small way.

    When I was a kid back n the 60's, my dad was an Allstate Insurance agent and his office was in the Sears store. In the automotive department I remember seeing wheel balancing discs for sale.......and you can still buy these today.
    https://www.centramatic.com/wheel-balance.rhtml

    If his technology is so good - why aren't they used more often? If "cost" is the reason - why aren't they factory installed on luxury cars or trucks? Why aren't the bead balancers incorporated into factory wheels? If these things are so good and were factory installed - balancing wheels/tires would no longer be necessary.

    For my cars and motorcycles having the wheels balanced when new tires are mounted works just fine.....even my static balance seems to work just fine on my motorcycles and I have never felt any tire related vibration (the one exception to this was when a wheel weight came off of my R1200......the rear wheel created a noticeable vibration while riding - it went away when the rear wheel was removed and balanced).

    My dad installed a set of JC Whitney automatic wheel balancing rings on his '57 Ford sedan. They bolted on to the outside of the wheels and consisted of a ring with lead weights that could slide around the ring to "balance" the wheel as you drove along. I thought it was a crazy idea, but he believe they worked - along with his Fire Injectors, magnetic fuel line supercharger and various other gadgets bought from ads in the back of his Popular Science magazine. (And no, he wasn't a Republican, but a dyed in the wool Democrat. ) Personally, I always thought that nothing he could do would make that 6-cyclinder Ford run any better.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thumpin View Post
    If his technology is so good - why aren't they used more often?
    Yes. The physics is sound for an ideal environment but hitting cracks and bumps on the road throw the beads requiring a rebalance. Perhaps advocates don’t notice double or triple hits when they hit bumps?

    I absolutely would not use on a wheel with TPMS
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thumpin View Post
    ...If his technology is so good - why aren't they used more often? ..
    Actually, I think the principle is used more often than we think. I think the balancing beads use the same principle.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    From what I've seen, the rebalancing when hitting a bump, happens so fast you don't know it happened. The beads are so tiny, it isn't like a one ounce weight is shifting and trying to sort itself out. I've had the bike in triple digits and not had a problem.

    As far as the TPMS sensor goes, that also hasn't given me an issue beyond the battery going bad over a couple years...which is normal.

    Chris
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
    IBA# 49894 True Rounder = 0-20's - Rounder -- to -- 100's+ Red Hot Rounder

    John 14:6 

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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ123 View Post
    Not had any issues at any Motorbike fitting place i've ever been to. Have you checked with your local tyre dealer (if they also sell motorcycle tyres)?
    Yes, I have phoned around local tyre dealers and motorcycle garages. I don't even think we have a car tyre dealer in Chelmsford that fits bike tyres. They used to but not now.
    I did eventually get lucky and found a motorcycle garage that was able to balance it but I suspect it wasn't a dynamic balance.

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    CA CHP & numerous Long Beach area Police forces use RideOn dynamic balancing media for life-of-tire balancing. . .supposedly without weights. Also RideOn website has video of 9mm point blank gunshot catastrophic leak which RideOn stops deflation. Regardless of whether it'll handle a 9mm round, an occasional 8 penny nail should be no problem.

    I put this RideOn in my F800 tires for years and my F250 tires. I discovered there is a weakness in the product. Reinflation of the tires without moisture control introduced so much water into my truck tires that the viscosity of the RideOn was diluted outside of manufacturer's spec and ruined my balancing investment.
    I had to have all the orange media removed by removing wheels and tires and cleaning tire interior. RideOn sent me new product for my 275/70 17 tires...all 5 for free.

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  26. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by trig View Post
    I did eventually get lucky and found a motorcycle garage that was able to balance it but I suspect it wasn't a dynamic balance.
    Spin balance is not as good as a static balance. The spin balance machine is designed to be operated by idiots. The machine requires calibration and is not idiot proof. Few seem to understand when the machine says to put weights on the wheel, they do so, then the next time the machine should say, "perfect balance". I have watched many times when the operator puts more weights on, does it again, and again, then finally gives up and declares the out of balance wheel to be in balance. Others just spin it once, affix the prescribed weights, and do not check again.

    Conversely the static balance requires skill and trial and error in placing the weights. Gravity never needs to be calibrated. If the wheel does not turn, does not have a heavy side to fall toward gravity, then the wheel is balanced. The only issue is the friction in the bearings. The effect of friction can easily be determined by letting the heavy side fall clockwise, then let it fall counter clockwise. The greater the distance between resting low points determines the accuracy and friction in the bearings.
    2016 Yamaha FJR1300A; 2016 Beta 430RS; 2007 BMW F800S; 2009 Husaberg FE450; 2016 Subaru Outback; 2018 F150; 2013 Tesla Model S 85; 1983 Porsche 928S; 9 cats 

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