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Old April 19th, 2017, 11:08 PM   #1
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Wheel Balancer Project

I'm not sure why it took me so long to invest in a tire changer. I used to know a guy that would mount/balance/dispose of my tires for $15/ea but prices have been going up. The cheapest place I could find was $30, and it was a 45 minute drive from my house. So... I bought one of those No-Mar changers and used it for the first time tonight. It was quite easy to use. On my first try I had the tire changed in about 10 minutes. Apparently big dual sport/touring tires are a very different story than lightweight sport tires. Only 15 more times until it pays for itself

Anyway here's a fun little project that went along with it. I needed a balancer. This guy named Marc Parnes came up with a simple balancer... basically a shaft on bearings Motorcycle Wheel Balancer. Rather than deal with Harbor Freight or eBay junk I decided to make one based on his design. All in all it cost about $20.

Ordered up a precision shaft from McMaster - 14" long with a straightness tolerance of +/- .002" per foot, some cheap shielded r/c car bearings, two shaft collars, a clutch spring, and then made some aluminum cones with a .001" slip fit.

The big difference between mine and his is that mine utilizes a spring to maintain tension. I saw room for error with the set screw design the parnes balances uses. Thought I'd share. It was pretty easy and a fun side project.





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Old April 20th, 2017, 11:36 PM   #2
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I Ride: Triumph Thruxton R.Ducati 916 foggy rep, NC30 Honda, RD350 YPVS F1, Ducati HyperStrada
I used to get my wheels balanced with a tyre change, but the last few times I've just had the tyres changed and not balanced, never had an issue..
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Old April 21st, 2017, 12:28 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mentalist View Post
I used to get my wheels balanced with a tyre change, but the last few times I've just had the tyres changed and not balanced, never had an issue..
This one only needed 4 grams of weight. I could have left it
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Old April 25th, 2017, 03:39 AM   #4
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I have been using his balancer for a few years, mainly for my offroad bikes.
I concur with your assessment of the cone set-screw, and think that your solution with spring is excellent. Thumbs up
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Old April 26th, 2017, 07:05 AM   #5
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I bought an ebay stand and swapped out the bearings for something higher quality. I also 3D printed some balancing cones, and they work great.

I don't think balancing a tire requires the low tolerances that your stand provides, but all the power to you in DIY'ing something affordable.
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Old April 26th, 2017, 07:44 AM   #6
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I used a bead breaker, zip ties, and balancing beads. Still not sure on the beads. Zip ties on the rear tire were tricky due to its low and wide aspect ratio. ( big C-clamp is highly recommended) .The front was cake.

Might invest in the Parnes - but I'm cheap so it might be after the next change when I break even on the stuff I already bought.

It's $90 a pop here since I don't have car to deliver the wheels. The rear was painful, but I'll persevere.

does your balancer also work with the deep dish of the rear wheel?
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Old April 26th, 2017, 08:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monocog007 View Post
I bought an ebay stand and swapped out the bearings for something higher quality. I also 3D printed some balancing cones, and they work great.

I don't think balancing a tire requires the low tolerances that your stand provides, but all the power to you in DIY'ing something affordable.
I really decided to make one after hearing about the issues with the harbor freight and other versions. When you consider we're only adding 5-20 grams of weight, if the shaft is just a little bent, you end up balancing for the imperfection in the shaft and not the actual wheel.

Of course you have a point... it could not even matter. I bet the average rider couldn't even tell unless the wheel was very unbalanced!

Quote:
Originally Posted by appliance821 View Post
I used a bead breaker, zip ties, and balancing beads. Still not sure on the beads. Zip ties on the rear tire were tricky due to its low and wide aspect ratio. ( big C-clamp is highly recommended) .The front was cake.

Might invest in the Parnes - but I'm cheap so it might be after the next change when I break even on the stuff I already bought.

It's $90 a pop here since I don't have car to deliver the wheels. The rear was painful, but I'll persevere.

does your balancer also work with the deep dish of the rear wheel?
Yikes, $90 is steep!

I haven't used it on the rear yet. I think I will need to make a larger cone to accommodate the big center hole size. It should work with the single sided wheel no problem, just shift everything over to one side.
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Old April 26th, 2017, 11:52 AM   #8
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I've used only Dunlop and Pirelli on our bikes, and have had a changer for more than a decade now. I always align the colored dot (yellow on Q3s) with the valve stem and have quit checking balance as it has never varied. There's plenty of weights on the various rims, so I think the tires are pretty true but the wheel needs balancing. Once that's done, it's good.

I've laced a few spoked wheels, with good components so they stay true. The statement above applies to them, too.
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Old May 2nd, 2017, 05:16 AM   #9
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Question Beads anyone?

Finding a place which balances big capacity motorbike rims is a challenge in my city. Sad but true. Wish kuksul lived close by
My bike's stock scorpions are toast and I need to replace them soon and was wondering how to get the wheels balanced.
While researching I came across Dynabeads, has anyone tried this? Any thoughts?
DynaBeads Tire Balancing Beads

I can source Zirconium beads locally for very cheap and am wondering if this works well?
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Old May 2nd, 2017, 09:42 AM   #10
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I use dyna beads and they seem good. The only way I could really tell would be if I used the same tire with and without - but I didn't. One thing they say is that as the tire wears , and the balance changes, the beads adapt. Sounds reasonable.

The kit is helpful in feeding the beads through the valve (with stem removed). With the 90 degree bend, this is an exercise in patience.

The beads are made of some sort of porcelain or something. I'd think that if zirconium breaks it would be similar to having bits of broken glass inside the tire.
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