KLR New Tire Balancing. Necessary? - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 03-05-2011, 01:18 AM Thread Starter
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KLR New Tire Balancing. Necessary?

Hey All,

I'm going to put some Mefo Explorers on my KLR later on this Spring for a ride out to Colorado. Local shop wants $90 to do both tires and that's if I take the wheels off and take them in.

I have the tires, new tubes and the tools to mount them (been practicing on a $20, 18" dirtbike wheel/tire I bought on eBay this Winter) but nothing to really balance them with.

I suppose I could rig up some kind of "static balancer," but does anybody know if it's really necessary? If so, can you relocate the weights that are already on the spokes if needed? I thought due to the relatively slow riding speeds of the KLR, balancing might not be necessary, but noted that my stock wheels/tires have balance weights. I don't know if the spoke weights are there for the tires or maybe just the wheels themselves.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.



Any thoughts, suggestions would be appreciated.



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post #2 of 23 Old 03-05-2011, 06:40 AM
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Gee, that's really nice of them to lighten your wallet and have you take off the tires too. I wonder if they would give me such a good deal on my semi. Seriously doing that yourself is one of the reasons so many ride KLR's RTW, it's easy compared to other bikes. Balancing isn't necessary unless you banged a wheel or have a tire with an index mark for the valve stem. I took off the OEM weights on my first tire change and haven't used them since. I ride up to 75mph and haven't needed balancing yet...ride it and see. A pipe and 2x4's work if you need or just swing the brake calipers out of the way and spin them on the bike jacked up..
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post #3 of 23 Old 03-05-2011, 08:20 AM
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I use an old axle (you can use any axle or a 5/8 long bolt or anything long enough and about the right size) clamped in the pipe jaws of my vise. Slide the wheel/tire on and in a few minutes you have a balanced wheel. YES you can reuse weights. The bearings add a bit of drag but so far this method's been effective.

Don H
Spring Valley AZ
'03 KLR 650/DS sidecar
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post #4 of 23 Old 03-05-2011, 09:30 AM
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I use Dyna Beads for balancing as do many others.

Google it.

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post #5 of 23 Old 03-05-2011, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planalp View Post

I suppose I could rig up some kind of "static balancer," but does anybody know if it's really necessary? If so, can you relocate the weights that are already on the spokes if needed? I thought due to the relatively slow riding speeds of the KLR, balancing might not be necessary, but noted that my stock wheels/tires have balance weights. I don't know if the spoke weights are there for the tires or maybe just the wheels themselves.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.
If you're riding at highway speeds balanced wheels are noticeably smoother.

I use Dynabeads also. They do work bit of a pain to install though. Get the filtered valve cores if you do use them, they will prevent a bead from holding the valve core open.

You don't need a stand to balance the wheel just something to support the axle. You can use solder wrapped around a spoke for a weight, here's a page explaining.

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Cor 2:9
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post #6 of 23 Old 03-05-2011, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info, guys. I'm more of a 65-mph guy and don't spend a lot of time running at higher speeds on the Interstate: taking Hwy. 36 out to Kansas so I can keep a leisurely pace.

Think I'll just do them myself, take it for a spin and see what happens. Thanks again for the balancing suggestions.



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post #7 of 23 Old 03-05-2011, 03:10 PM
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I put Gripsters on my bike last summer. There's no "light spot" mark on the Avons, and I didn't balance them. No vibration and the bike feels fine, also there's no abnormal tire wear with about 7500 km's on them. If there was vibration after installing I would balance them, otherwise I don't bother. YMMV

Cheers,
Stew

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post #8 of 23 Old 03-05-2011, 04:45 PM
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I never bother. Just spooning them on has worked fine for me.


$90 just to mount tires?? That's CRAZY

Erik
2003 Bandit 1200S
2009 KLR 650

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post #9 of 23 Old 03-05-2011, 04:54 PM
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I used to just check em' by spinning the wheel on the axle while I hold it.. I finally ponied up the money for a Harbor Freight balancer.. Since I change my own tires, it takes an extra 10 minutes to balance them..

I've had front tire bounce.. I'd rather not have it.. You can balance with the axle to get em' close enough, but since I'm doing street tires, too, I just do em' all.
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post #10 of 23 Old 03-07-2011, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SteelB12 View Post
I never bother. Just spooning them on has worked fine for me.


$90 just to mount tires?? That's CRAZY
That's what I thought. I bought my KLR there and they've done some work for me in the past and have always seemed reasonable, so this price surprised me.

I last spoke with them in the Fall to get an idea of the price and I just wrote back to make sure they didn't make a mistake or something. They still said $90 but were nice enough to add that if I brought them in by the end of March, it would only be $40 per wheel.

The local Mom n Pop tire store said they'd do them for $10-15 a wheel if I brought them in but couldn't balance them: that was before I posed this question here about the balancing.

I believe I'll just do 'em myself a couple of months before my trip and get a few hundred miles on them to make sure there are no surprises. I'll be using the extra heavy duty tubes and it looks like they'll be a handful to get in there without pinching them. They're almost like a tire unto themselves.



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