Can you static balance with wheel bearings only? - Wrist Twisters
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post #1 of 19 Old 06-05-2018, 02:53 AM Thread Starter
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Can you static balance with wheel bearings only?

Harbor Freight and other have static balancing machines that are basically just a set of bearings with an axle so that the wheel will spin so free that it can be balanced.

Seems pretty easy to make one if you have the centering washers to hold the wheel, but another option would be to just life the bike and spin it in place. The issue would be if the wheel bearings are free enough to allow a small weight to move the tire.

Anyone know where you can buy those centering spacers that are used on the HF balancers?

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post #2 of 19 Old 06-05-2018, 03:11 AM Thread Starter
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Here's a link that shows the system working. It's just a bar with two centering spacers and some bearings on holder arms.

I've seen others that use jack stands with some bearings and a rod, but I have no idea where to get the centering spacers.


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post #3 of 19 Old 06-05-2018, 04:34 AM
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You probably could static balance your tire using the wheel bearings EXCEPT the bearings typically have seals which will add enough friction to prevent free spinning of the wheel/tire assembly. It won't work unless you remove the seals from the wheel bearings which would be more trouble and expense than it's worth.

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post #4 of 19 Old 06-05-2018, 05:01 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trailing_Throttle View Post
You probably could static balance your tire using the wheel bearings EXCEPT the bearings typically have seals which will add enough friction to prevent free spinning of the wheel/tire assembly. It won't work unless you remove the seals from the wheel bearings which would be more trouble and expense than it's worth.
Good point. I wonder if you can just take the double bearing holders (like shown on the HF balancer) and use the stock axle to balance them.

You'd have about 2" on each side which the axle sticks out, so if you have the bearing holders right on the axle, you wouldn't need that rod with the spacers.

I think I can rig something up that would be about the distance of the forks, but have 4 bearing (2 per side), then just rest the axle directly on the bearings.

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post #5 of 19 Old 06-05-2018, 05:39 AM
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post #6 of 19 Old 06-05-2018, 06:43 AM Thread Starter
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Maybe like in this link.
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Awesome! I wonder what size rod he's using, maybe it doesn't matter as long as it spins freely. I'll have to find some bearings.

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post #7 of 19 Old 06-05-2018, 07:14 AM Thread Starter
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This guy balanced his by just removing the brakes.


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post #8 of 19 Old 06-05-2018, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarlJay View Post
Awesome! I wonder what size rod he's using, maybe it doesn't matter as long as it spins freely. I'll have to find some bearings.
I honestly don't remember what size the rod was (TWSS). Not a whole lot of engineering went into that setup. I think I bought the bearings at Tractor Supply and the steel rod at Lowes. Seemed to work pretty good though.

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post #9 of 19 Old 06-05-2018, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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I honestly don't remember what size the rod was (TWSS). Not a whole lot of engineering went into that setup. I think I bought the bearings at Tractor Supply and the steel rod at Lowes. Seemed to work pretty good though.
I noticed another video that had a rod that could have been 1/2 the axle size, so I don't think size matters (TWSS). No really, it looks like the wheel free spinning is the real issue.

A simple test would be to tape on a single weight and see if that's enough to get it to spin.

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post #10 of 19 Old 06-06-2018, 06:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarlJay View Post
I noticed another video that had a rod that could have been 1/2 the axle size, so I don't think size matters (TWSS). No really, it looks like the wheel free spinning is the real issue.

A simple test would be to tape on a single weight and see if that's enough to get it to spin.
Just because it can be done that way doesn't mean it's right. The whole idea of a balancer is to only rely on the spinning of the bearings. If you're spinning anywhere else or rubbing anywhere you're introducing friction which is going to totally throw off your balance.

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post #11 of 19 Old 06-06-2018, 06:51 AM
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I have been using this unit and have been very satisfied. Two jack stands and you are good to go. You can find used ones from time time and save some cash. I bought mine off advrider.com

Motorcycle Wheel Balancer
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post #12 of 19 Old 06-06-2018, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ST-DocLizard1 View Post
I have been using this unit and have been very satisfied. Two jack stands and you are good to go. You can find used ones from time time and save some cash. I bought mine off advrider.com

Motorcycle Wheel Balancer
Wow, $115 for a rod, bearings and centering spacer, stand not included. That's a bit more than I was looking to spend. Most of the stuff I already have, just don't have the centering spacers, I guess it wouldn't be that hard to make some from scratch.

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post #13 of 19 Old 06-06-2018, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ST-DocLizard1 View Post
I have been using this unit and have been very satisfied. Two jack stands and you are good to go. You can find used ones from time time and save some cash. I bought mine off advrider.com

Motorcycle Wheel Balancer
It both looks and reads to be a nice bit of kit, and reasonably priced for what it is and does.

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post #14 of 19 Old 06-07-2018, 04:10 AM
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It both looks and reads to be a nice bit of kit, and reasonably priced for what it is and does.

+1 Very nice looking kit

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post #15 of 19 Old 06-07-2018, 07:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ST-DocLizard1 View Post
I have been using this unit and have been very satisfied. Two jack stands and you are good to go. You can find used ones from time time and save some cash. I bought mine off advrider.com

Motorcycle Wheel Balancer
I have the same one and really like it... Sure I could probably make one for half that price... but with the labor and precision put into it I definitely think it's a fair price.

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post #16 of 19 Old 06-07-2018, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarlJay View Post
Wow, $115 for a rod, bearings and centering spacer, stand not included. That's a bit more than I was looking to spend. Most of the stuff I already have, just don't have the centering spacers, I guess it wouldn't be that hard to make some from scratch.
I bought mine used for $65 shipped.

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post #17 of 19 Old 06-07-2018, 04:31 PM
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Can you static balance with wheel bearings only?

I have a changer and a balancer from No-Mar. Both units work very well.


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post #18 of 19 Old 06-08-2018, 12:07 PM
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All the above posts and not a single mention of two plane dynamic balancing for motorcycle wheels, rears especially.
Such balancers do exist.
Has anyone come across a shop offering such a service?
It's not at all uncommon in the car side of things.
My guess is that LDH would be the most aware.
I'd guess that at least some high level race teams might have their own.

Two plane balancing ought to be used once the diameter to width ratio drops below 6:1, but that is a very simplistic barometer as it assumes a consistent mass distribution aside from the imbalance.
(If you want to go crosseyed on all this, access and read ISO 1940)

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post #19 of 19 Old 06-09-2018, 01:04 PM
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A two-plane dynamic balance may be overkill for those of us who ride in the sub 100 mph speed ranges. This is particularly true for the typical motorcycle tire which isn't all that wide relative to a passenger car tire.


If you buy tires from one of typical name-brand manufacturers (particularly one mfg whose name starts with a big M) the balance issue isn't very critical anyway. Their tires are quite uniform and don't require much weight (if any) for a static balance.



And you need to be a bit wary of "dynamic balance" hype. Just because the tire is being spun to be balanced does not mean it's a true dynamic balance. A good static balance should take care of 99% of motorcycle tire needs.
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