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1985 KLR600
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Should I take the wheel in to be balanced properly like a car when I replace a tire? Or does that not matter as much on 2 wheels?

At some point this season I need to replace a worn rear knobby with a better dual purpose tire. If I can do it myself I probably will
 

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2013 KLR 650/692, 2017 HD Electraglide Ultra
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You can do it yourself. Just put the axle through the wheel bearings and rest both ends of the axle on two supports of equal height. I took a piece of metal bar and bent it into a U deep enough to allow the wheel to rotate inside. I clamp the U into a bench vise.
 

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1985 KLR600
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You can do it yourself. Just put the axle through the wheel bearings and rest both ends of the axle on two supports of equal height. I took a piece of metal bar and bent it into a U deep enough to allow the wheel to rotate inside. I clamp the U into a bench vise.
Sounds easy enough!
 

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2004 Kawasaki KLR
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14 Posts
I balance mine on the bike. After I mount the tire, I put the wheel back in the bike (leave the chain and calliper off) And then spin and add weight as needed.
 

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This is just another one of those typical motorcycle debates. Balancing has no downsides and can only help.....how much it helps depends on how straight and true the rims are and how consistent the tires are. I have had my street bike tires balanced every time....most have been tubeless with alloy wheels. Conversely, dirt bikes don't get their tires balanced......as the KLR is an overweight dirtbike and I use knobbies, I don't bother balancing them either and have had zero issues even at 75mph+ If I had more street oriented tires and/or rode more on the highway, I'd probably balance them but for my purposes, I think it's a waste of time and I tend to spoon on new rubber every 2,000 miles.

2 cents,
Dave
 

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I always balance mine because of the on road use. As stated, if you run knobbies and spend most of your time off road, it is not as big of an issue. Your speed is not that high off road to notice or cause wear or handling problems.

On my street bikes, you can tell if the tire is not balanced. The bars vibrate.

Here is static basic balancer. Put the wheel on and give it a light spin. Do this several times. If it keeps stopping at the same place, then you need to add some weight to the top. Keep doing this until it does not stop in the same place.

Motorcycle Wheel Balancer w/ Stand (harborfreight.com)

You will need spoke weights for the KLR rims. You should be able to find a kit with different weights. I re use mine by just un crimping them.

K & L Universal Angled Spoke Wheel Weight | Tires and Wheels | Rocky Mountain ATV/MC (rockymountainatvmc.com)
 

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I use beads in my tires and haven’t had any issues with tire balance.
 

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I use beads in my tires and haven’t had any issues with tire balance.
One ought to feel the havoc of balancing beads in an inner tube which is/was Too Large for the interior of the replacement tire.
The random angled multiple wrinkles in that tube took sometime to balance out as one slowly accelerated on smooth asphalt. Then hitting a chuck hole at speed would re-scatter the balance beads and un-balance the tire and initiate a handlebar wobble at speeds high enough to put the fear of God into that bikes owner.

The owner paid me to replace the inner tube which the shop in another state had installed balance beads into and spin balance his 300 Versys front wheel assembly. The bike was once again smooth riding & no intermittent head-shaking.
 

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If you say so.
 

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If you say so.
I recon that it was meant as a word of 'caution'.

I did not even suggest that Balance Beads didn't work, because they apparently do, with limitations.
The owner would slow down to calm the head shake, then gently speed back up.
 
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I've used balance beads successfully on several sets of tires but I can see how having a wrinkle in your tube could cause problems (what were those guys thinking? LOL). Not sure I would use them on a sport (fast) bike, but seem to work well enough on the KLR for the speeds I ride.
 

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I have all of the equipment necessary to do my tire changes and balancing. I have always balanced any tire I have mounted. Including the H-D guys that said they didn't want to pay me for balancing. I had one actually rip of several ounces of weights because "they looked crappy" on his wheel...
 

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I'm no expert. In approx. 12 tire changes on my KLR, I've only static balanced my wheels. On most attempts, I've spent the time and effort to do the best I can, but a few times in a hurry, I've just balanced them enough to get in the ballpark and can't say I noticed any difference in performance in my 90% street usage. Most of my tires have been balanced with less than 3 oz. of weight but on one Shinko 244, I was unable to get even close to balanced with the limited oz's of weight I had available (approx 4 oz.) So I contacted Shinko and they graciously exchanged the tire for me. I now consider balancing a tire an opportunity to see if the tire might be way out of balance due to manufacture, but I don't sweat it too hard. I've not bought another Shinko 244, but have had great luck with Shinko 705's and 700's.
 

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2013 KLR 650/692, 2017 HD Electraglide Ultra
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In 45 years, I’ve only balanced motorcycle tires on their axles. Given the slight friction of the axle bearings, that’s within 1/4 to 1/2 ounce (7-14 grams). In that time, I’ve never experienced any shakes or vibrations due to wheel balance. Due to other problems, yeah, but not wheel balance.
 

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With 84,000+ miles on my KLR and nearly 90% of that with shinko 705s I have never balanced my tires, never had any weird shakes or tire wear. It may be good to balance them, I don't know because I haven't, but one time I stopped for fuel and when I got back on the road the front started to shake at 45 mph. I slowed down and pulled over to see what might be wrong, and a very large lizard was hanging on to one of my spokes for dear life. After a short time he let go, hopped off and I road on with no more shaking. I wonder if lizards get dizzy or puke their guts out on carnival rides? Anyway, The shinko 705s that I have used have had little red circles on them, I mount that at the valve stem, and have never had balance/vibration issues. I am about to mount another set, so I may try static balancing and see if it makes a difference.
 
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