Tire balancing beads? - Suzuki GSX-R Motorcycle Forums Gixxer.com

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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-18-2018, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
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Tire balancing beads?

Sorry if it has been covered before... I searched and couldn't find anything.

Question: What is the consensus here about tire balancing beads for track days?

I have used them for years on my commuter motorcycle (KTM 950), toy hauler and trucks with great success, but I was wondering if anyone here has anything negative to say about their performance on a race track.
Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-18-2018, 11:54 AM
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Re: Tire balancing beads?

Waste of money.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-18-2018, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Tire balancing beads?

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Originally Posted by Just_Nick View Post
Waste of money.
Why?
Are you just saying lead weights are cheaper or better or both?
What if they were free? Which would you use?
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-18-2018, 12:47 PM
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Re: Tire balancing beads?

Quote:
Originally Posted by buzybraza View Post
Why?
Are you just saying lead weights are cheaper or better or both?
What if they were free? Which would you use?
On a good set of sport bike wheels and tires, you barely even need weights: my last tire didn't even need a single weight. Some places will actually rotate the wheel and tire such that you don't even need a weight, too. Those beads are great for offroad tires that are a total pain in the ass to balance with any sort of reasonable amount of weight, but lead weights are entirely sufficient otherwise.

Furthermore, sport bike tires that get hot under performance conditions will cause the beads to stick in place and negate the purpose of even having them, and can actually cause the very issue that they're supposed to solve.

2006 GSXR "250" with an Akrapovic full exhaust and a flashed ECM. 162whp, 77ft-lb. Slow-lane certified
2000 Honda VTR 1000. Practically a 250.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-18-2018, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Tire balancing beads?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Just_Nick View Post
On a good set of sport bike wheels and tires, you barely even need weights: my last tire didn't even need a single weight. Some places will actually rotate the wheel and tire such that you don't even need a weight, too. Those beads are great for offroad tires that are a total pain in the ass to balance with any sort of reasonable amount of weight, but lead weights are entirely sufficient otherwise.

Furthermore, sport bike tires that get hot under performance conditions will cause the beads to stick in place and negate the purpose of even having them, and can actually cause the very issue that they're supposed to solve.
Thanks for the insight!
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-18-2018, 03:06 PM
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Re: Tire balancing beads?

I have run them for at least five years on the street and track. I have two reasons for using them.

First, it cleans up the wheel. I have always owned Kawasakis and they do not have the center rib on the casting. So, you have your choice between putting clamp-on weights on one side of the bead or stick-on style in the center. The stick-on style make cleaning the wheel more difficult, are unsightly, and you have to tape over them at the track. I like the rib on the Suzuki wheels that allows a clamp-on weight centered on the wheel.

Second, you can bring an extra tire with you to the track or a trip to twisties along with a bag of beads and spoons and the the tire will be balanced.

True, they are fairly expensive and a PITA to deal with, especially if you put lube on the bead (the beads will stick to it). If they get stuck on the bead they can cause leaks. I also don't understand how if you mount a tire and it needs 1.5oz per a machine, how can a 1oz bag of beads (amount used is solely based on tire size) balance the tire? There is also no way to ensure they actually work as a tire balancer does not spin fast enough and will always say they are out of balance.
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