Motorcycle Tire and Wheel Balancing 

Unbalanced wheels and tires on a motorcycle or dirt bike lead to rapid tire wear, poor fuel economy and increased danger to the rider. For these reasons alone, you should know how to balance your bike’s tires

Motorcycle tire and wheel balancing

However, if you’re in the habit of installing your own tires, knowing how to balance motorcycle tires is absolutely essential. Here's how to balance motorcycle tires and wheels.

Symptoms of an Unbalanced Motorcycle Tire and Wheel

The first indication of an unbalanced tire is a vibration when riding at certain speeds. That the vibration only occurs at specific speeds and isn’t constant shows that it’s caused by a wheel/tire imbalance and not a mechanical issue. The other sign that a bike’s wheel and tire is unbalanced is accelerated and uneven tread wear. 

Buy motorcycle wheel balancing stand

Buy tire and wheel tools

If your motorcycle or dirt bike has a tire and wheel imbalance, don’t lower the tire pressures to soften the ride, or increase the pressures to try and reduce the effects of the imbalance. Riding on pressures other than those specified on the tires is dangerous, and will heighten the negative effects of unbalanced tires.

Balancing a Motorcycle Tire and Wheel

To make balancing a wheel on your motorcycle much easier, first make sure the tire is fitted correctly on the wheel rim. Motorcycle tires have a colored dot (usually red or yellow) on the sidewall. This dot is the balancing mark and indicates the lightest point of the tire. A correctly mounted tire will have its balancing mark aligned with the valve stem on the wheel rim. 

Motorcycle tire balancing dot

The most accurate method of balancing a motorcycle wheel and tire is by using a wheel balancing stand. However, you can balance tires with the wheels still on the motorcycle if you absolutely have to. 

NOTE: For illustration purposes, some of the images used below are from our video on how to true a motorcycle wheel, in which we use a truing/balancing stand, and from our video on how to change a Kawasaki dirt bike tire.

Balancing a Motorcycle Tire and Wheel with a Balancing Stand

Step 1. Put the balancing stand on a flat, stable surface. Use a level to check the balancer is set correctly.

How to balance a motorcycle wheel balancing stand

Step 2. Remove the wheel from the motorcycle, then clean the wheel of any dirt that might affect its balance, which also provides a clean surface for the wheel weights to adhere to. Remove any old wheel weights from the rim.

How to balance a motorcycle wheel removal

How to balance a motorcycle wheel cleaning

Step 3. Slide the balancing stand’s axle through the wheel, insert the centering cones into the wheel bearings and secure the cones in place. Make sure the wheel spins smoothly and freely.

Motorcycle wheel balancing stand

Motorcycle wheel balancing stand

Step 4. Gently spin the wheel so it rotates a few times and gradually comes to a halt. The wheel will naturally stop with its heaviest point at the bottom. Mark this point, then spin the wheel again to check that it comes to a halt with the mark at the bottom.

Motorcycle wheel balancing spin

Motorcycle wheel balancing marking

Motorcycle wheel balancing spin again

Step 5. Tape a wheel weight to the inside of the rim at the very top of the wheel directly opposite the tape mark. Don’t remove the protective strip from the wheel weight’s adhesive backing just yet, because you may need to add more weights or use a lighter weight.

Buy motorcycle wheel weights

Motion Pro long steel tire irons

Step 6. Rotate the wheel 90 degrees so the tape mark is at 3 o’clock and the wheel weight at 9 o’clock.

Step 7. Release the wheel so the heaviest point can again fall to the bottom. If the tape mark falls to the bottom, you’ll need to add more weight to the wheel, and if the side of the wheel with the wheel weight(s) falls to the bottom, you’ll need to remove some weight(s).

Step 8. Repeat Step 7 until the wheel remains in place when you release it and neither side falls to the bottom. This indicates a perfect balance, and when you gently spin the wheel it should come to a halt at a neutral point without the tape mark falling to the bottom.

Step 9. Remove the protective strip from the wheel weights’ adhesive backing and attach then to the wheel rim.

Step 10. Remove the wheel from the balancing stand and reinstall it onto your motorcycle.

Motorcycle tire wheel balancing reinstall tire to wheel

Motorcycle tire wheel balancing reinstall wheel



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