How to Balance a Motorcycle Tire

This method should work on all motorcycles for street purposes at normal road speeds.

This method should work on all motorcycles for street purposes at normal road speeds.

DISCLAIMER: accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of these Garage Tips and they are only provided as a resource reference. Any type of modification or service work on your Road Star should always be performed by a professional mechanic. If performed incorrectly, some of these Garage Tips may endanger the safety of you and others on your Road Star and possibly invalidate your manufacturers warranty. The majority of these Garage Tips are not official manufacturers instructions and have been accumulated by Road Star enthusiasts from around the world.

Balancing a Motorcycle Tire

By Mr Tidy

You will need:

  • A set of auto ramps (or concrete blocks, or anything you can “construct” to support the wheel as shown) or the bearing cradle stands that are shown in the tech tips under the “How To’s” section.
  • Motorcycle wheel weights. The tape-on type is preferred. If your wheel has a center ridge, there is a clamp-on type available. (I just bought a box of 30 / 3 oz strips of stick on weights for $12. The strips consist of 1/4 oz , 1/2″ lead squares which can be cut as needed. The also come as chrome covered if needed. Any auto parts store and order them if not in stock.)

Stand the auto wheel ramps on end, just far apart enough to lay the axle of the wheel being balanced across the ends. You can use concrete blocks stacked up, or anything else that will support the wheel and axle in mid-air.

Put the axle through the wheel, then suspend it on your balancing rack.

  • If the tire is out of balance (and the bearings are in good shape), the wheel will rotate of its own accord until the heaviest side is down. Double-check it by turning the wheel 90 degrees either way, then let go. If it is out of balance, it will rotate back to pretty much the same position.
  • Once the wheel has settled, tape a test wheel weight to the rim of the wheel at the top. Then rotate the wheel 90 degrees or so and let go. You simply add, remove, and move wheel weights until you find the weight/position that makes the wheel NOT settle to any particular position anymore.
  • When the wheel is balanced, you can rotate it to any position, and it will pretty much stay there when you let go of it.
  • Finally, attach the wheel weights permanently. For tape-on weights, peel the backing off the non-stick tape on the back of the wheel weight, and affix the weights to their final test positions. For clamp-on weights, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

IMPORTANT: If the design of your wheel or the design of your weights prevents mounting the weight on the centerline of the wheel, then use TWO weights (each half the weight you need) mounted on either side of the wheel centerline! This will help prevent “run-out” of the wheel caused by the balancing weight being off-center.