Sunday, September 27, 2009

DynaBeads - How to balance without balancing or how I cured my neurotic psycho-somatic feelings.

I recently purchased and installed new tires on my motorcycle for the first time. Just to clarify, I installed the tires myself for the first time (on a street bike anyway). I have used up 5 or 6 sets of tire's over the years, but I always had them installed by a dealer.

A friend of mine has a No-Mar tire changer and a static balancer. I made arrangements to visit him with my old tires still mounted on the wheels (left the bike at home) and the new tires. In a matter of about 30 minutes we had the old tire's in the back of my truck and the new tires installed. Then it was time to balance the tires and wheels. I'm no expert on balanceing tires, this being my first time, but the idea when static balancing is to find the heaviest part of the tire/wheel and add weight to the opisit side of the wheel using stick on weights. We went through the process with both wheels, adding another 15-20 minutes to the whole job, not to bad less than an hour to mount and balance for my first time.

Later that day I installed the wheels back on the motorcycle and took it for a test ride. During the ride I thought I could feel the slightest vibration, more so at certain speeds.

At this point my neurotic behavior kicks in and I start down a dangerous path of "what if's" and "should I's". What if I did the balancing wrong, should I re-mount and re-balance? What if it's a defect in the tire, should I... If I was sitting in a chair while this was going on and you observed me, you might notice my eye's vacant or a small string of drool. No big deal sitting in a chair in a padded room, but I'm traveling in excess of the posted speed, on a road that doesn't have 1 inch of straight and level pavement. This prosses continues at lightning speed until I have a really wet brain fart. After the brain fart I conclude that the balance must be off slightly and that I must revisit it.

Re-mounting and balancing is not a simply process as I would need to contact my friend with the equipment and set up a date and time, also I ride to work everyday and my weekends are usually full of family time. So there had to be an alternative, some place between Google and ADVRider I found DynaBeads, small ceramic beads that you pour down the valve stem and they dynamically (Magically) balance your tires as you ride. Using the DynaBeads web-site (click on title link) I found a dealer near me and the proper amount of beads for my bike 2 oz front and rear. After leaving the dealer with $26 less money, I had two 2 oz bags of DynaBeads and a installation kit (plastic bottle and tube). Installation is a breeze,
  1. Let the air out of your tires.
  2. Remove the valve stem.
  3. Put the proper amount of beads in bottle.
  4. Connect tube to bottle and valve stem.
  5. Squeeze bottle (pump?) until all beads have entered tire.
  6. Replace valve stem.
  7. Inflate tire to proper pressure.
  8. Repeat until all tires have been done.
Not to bad, I had both tires done in a matter of minutes and was ready for a test ride.

My first impressions during the test ride was that things had noticeably smoothed out, but I could still feel a vague vibration at certain speeds/RPM's. At that point my neurotic behavior kicked in and I started down the dangerous path of "what if's" and "should I's"...

I have now convinced my self that during my most recent oil change I overfilled the oil (my bike takes exactly 3.7987779 quarts of oil) and spun a bearing or broke a piston skirt. At the moment I'm reserching if DynaBeads poured into the crank case will help, I'll let you know how it turns out.

The big question, DynaBeads, did they work? I think so. I read many accounts from people who said they will use nothing else, but I still think it wise to balance your tires in a conventional way before pouring $25 down your valve stems.

See you on the road.


P.S. I have found a soultion to my balance / vibration problem, but you will have to check back later to see what it is.

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