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Old 12-31-2008, 12:35 AM   #16
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Location: SF Bay Area
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Originally Posted by longtallsally
I don't bother balancing as I've got the TPM system on the bike and the first couple times I tried the weights just went to the same place.
I've noticed that fewer and fewer of the tires I buy have the balancing marks. I'm going to balance my wheel (moving around the after market TPM sensors to minimize added weight) next time I have the tires off. Like you, I find that I'm almost always adding the same weight to the same place when I change a tire.

With the wheel balanced I'll leave the weights on and add an extra bit the rare time it is necessary due to a tire that isn't balanced.

// marc
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Old 12-31-2008, 02:24 AM   #17
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Nice post, Doug!

Great job posting this Doug. I Already see 1-2 people who might do their own now after reading it and who knows how many lurkers!

I finally broke down and bought a machine last year and it really makes short work of it. WIth the prices my local dealer gets for rubber and for changing it... I'll pay for it in 4 sets of tires. My wife was even ok with that math! But doing it as Doug shows here is good to know how to do! Hard to drag your tire machine with you on a trip, so always good to know how to spoon one on. I always carry two kinds or patching/plugging systems with me and one of those mini compressors (have had mixed luck with the little CO2 cartridges).

I've just started using Dynabeads for balancing. I have the Marc Parnes balancer, but the beads are quicker and I can recover 95% of them when I use my tire machine. The dealer usually has the lowest paid mechanic doing the tire changes and I've seen some pretty poor balancing jobs and scratching from them. And some badly cupped tires 3-4000 miles later. Don't get that doing it myself!

Thanks for taking the time to post that! Hopefully it'll give more people the confidence to try it themselves. It sure is important to save where we can in this economy!
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Old 12-31-2008, 03:05 AM   #18
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Great how-to and excellent photos. Thanks for taking all the effort to show us tire noobies the way! Good job!
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Old 12-31-2008, 03:08 AM   #19
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Thanks for the write-up

Now when I get my bike and wear out a set of tires, I'll be all set
Hope is not a course of action.
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Old 12-31-2008, 03:50 AM   #20
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Location: Lexington, Virginia
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Originally Posted by harlie75
That's the first time I have seen a 3/4 ton (2500) pickup with 1/2 ton wheels (6 bolt).

What TRUCK wheels?? Oh yeah.........

That is a "light duty 3/4 ton" Chevy. I wanted something to pull a horse trailer, bike trailer, haul firewood and other loads, etc. without having to put up with the pogo stick ride of a heavy duty 3/4 ton truck and this was just the ticket. I factory-ordered it with the towing package, cold weather package, 5 speed standard tranny, etc. It's got standard duty 3/4 ton frame, gearbox, axles, rear end, etc. but lighter duty suspension so the ride is very nice. I bought it in 1994 and it still purrs like a kitten with 130,000 hard truck miles on it. In 15 years and 130K miles I've had only three sets of tires on it and the only mechanical things that have gone wrong were a clutch (wear item) at 90K, leaking oil cooler hoses, and leaking intake manifold gaskets. I will drive it until it can't go any farther, but it looks to be one that will live forever.

So anyway, thanks for the comments. I think it's imperative to know how to fix and maintain your own bike if you plan to do long-distance touring and tires are really easy yet the most critical element of a safe trip. I carry enough stuff with me to fix anything short of a total blowout and it's saved my day several times. I carry new valve stems too, because those damned things have been known to blow out. The plugging kits and CO2 cartridge fillers are almost useless in my experience; I've used them and they worked to get me going again to a better spot to fix the tire, but the can't be trusted like a good plug-patch.

My last tire change and balance on my RT took about 45 minutes start to finish, all by myself, and the RT takes longer than the GS because of the front fender and different rear wheel attachment. This is really not difficult.

Happy New Year!

"If it doesn't blow smoke and make noise, it isn't a sport!" - radio ad for shop in Bozeman, MT
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Old 12-31-2008, 04:23 AM   #21
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Been using dynabeads for several years- great product!
Has anyone tried BB's? - since you are installing them - as you install the tire.
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Old 01-01-2009, 06:10 AM   #22
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Good tutorial. Will have to try out those curvy tire irons the ones from harbor freight just don't cut it.
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Old 01-02-2009, 01:41 PM   #23
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Thanks for the pics and complete how-to,I bought a set of Tourance from Motorcycle Super store and my local BMW dealer has a new policy this year "IF YOU DONT BUY THE TIRES FROM US WE WONT MOUNT THEM" ...... I'm ordering the Marc Parnes balancer and weights and doin it my self,,,,,,,, THANKS AGAIN !!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 01-02-2009, 01:56 PM   #24
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What about valve stems ? do I go back to the BMW dealer or what ??
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Old 01-02-2009, 04:28 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Oops409
Great post. Where did you get the curvy tire irons from?

this link works

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Old 01-03-2009, 07:45 AM   #26
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I have these tire irons I am sure they are the same irons 15" curved 800 853 0555
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:46 AM   #27
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Location: Central California
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No-Mar tire changer

No-Mar tire changers are very nice also. Kind of pricey for a manual changer, but the Nylon Blocks and Leavers eliminate any chance of scratching the wheel. I just LOVE mine.
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Old 01-05-2009, 08:39 PM   #28
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The local BMW dealer here will mount and balance for free if I purchase the tires from them and bring in just the wheel. The same deal is offered by another local independent moto parts shop. But I must admit, I really want to do this myself, not just to save some precious money, but to learn how to do it in my own garage before I have to do it on the side of the road or trail. Thanks for the great tutorial!
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:11 PM   #29
Dirty Bling
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I got the Parnes balancer and the valve stems from today, now I'm just waiting on the curved tire irons from Pit Posse and I'm putting on new Tourances this week...
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Old 01-14-2009, 05:26 AM   #30
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Nomadic, but currently in Georgia
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Balancing ?

What a fantastic piece of work! Thanks for taking the time to put it together.

I ordered new Avon Distanzia's from the Motorcycle Superstore. They matched the lowest on-line price I could find and shipped for free. No local dealers could touch the pricing. Furthermore, no local dealers would touch my GSA to mount them! They claimed they didn't have the "wherewithall" to do it. I called the closest BMW dealer(about a 3.5 hour ride way) and they wanted $70/tire + tax(+ travel time + fuel). I decided to jump in and do it myself.

Those 16" curvy tire irons are the deal. I only had one of them with two shorter straight ones(3-pack from Motorcycle Superstore), but could imagine how much easier it would have been with two more 16"ers. Either way, the tire went on with some heavy duty silicon spray and a little effort. BTW, I used WD40 to clean the inside of rim since I know it doesn't affect the dye coloring on my rim. Did a fine job.

I talked to a buddy who knows some riders who also own/run an auto repair service. They claim I do not need to rebalance(continue using the existing weights) the wheels since it is a tubeless tire. I'm wondering if anyone else by-passes this step and what your experience has been???
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