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Old 06-17-2013, 01:47 PM   #1
Hookalatch OP
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Snowflakes, tubeless tires, & dyna beads

I have a couple thousand miles on a recent restoration/rebuild I did of a 1984 Airhead http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=879502. I thought I would make a couple of observations about my tire and wheel choices.

I chose to have the snowflake wheels powder coated. I wanted to run tubeless tires (fully aware of the controversies and issues) and selected Michelin Pilot Activ tires front and rear. These tires are reportedly difficult to mount when run with tubes and that effort is magnified when running them tubeless on wheels with a layer of powder making everything tighter.
However overall I am very pleased with these tires and the way the bike now handles. The handling improvement is dramatic but can't all be attributed to the tires since many worn components were replaced during the rebuild and I lost 40+ pounds off the front end removing the RT stuff.

The Dyna beads are what I really wanted to discuss. I have been reading about them for years and slowly went from viewing them as snake oil, to a skeptic, to an optimistic skeptic, and now think they probably really work. In my case the tubeless valve stems I used had too small an opening to insert the beads after the tire is mounted as suggested so I put them in as the tire was mounted. I was concerned the amount of lube necessary to seat the beads on the tires would just gum up all the tiny beads. That did not appear to happen.

When I first got the bike back on the road I had a lot of things to worry about since I made so many changes to the bike and really forgot all about the dyna beads. I was closely monitoring the vibration from the bike since it was a new motor and everyone said to expect a lot more vibration from the now 1000cc engine vs. the 800cc it replaced. I was surprised how smooth the bike was and had nearly 200 fun-filled miles on it before I even thought about the dyna beads. I realized the wheels were as well balanced as any I have ridden on before. The fact I didn't even think about wheel balance is testament to that.

I am not 100% convinced these beads work as advertised but I am quite happy with the results in this bike. Enough so that I will try them in my R1200GS front tire I need to mount soon. It is possible that I managed to get both tires and wheels mounted in exactly the right spots so both are perfectly balanced and the beads are doing nothing but that seems unlikely. It is also possible, as some have stated, that wheel weights on motorcycle wheels are unnecessary and we would not feel a slight imbalance anyway.

In any case, my tire and wheel combo is performing better than I expected and I am very happy with it. Just another data point for anyone interested.

Chuck
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Old 06-17-2013, 02:44 PM   #2
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Personally I cannot comprehend how these beads work. The heavy side of the wheel tries to sling outward more than the lighter side. the heavy beads would therefor be slung to the heavier side, making the balance worse, not better.
I have spoken to a few fellow mechanic friends of mine, and they see it the same way, But all on theory, not practice, as none of us have personally used them.
Curious what I am missing!?
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Old 06-17-2013, 04:43 PM   #3
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Oh no!

A dyna bead thread!
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:43 PM   #4
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NO, a snowflake, tubeless tire Dyna Bead MEGA thread!!!!!
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:46 PM   #5
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I bet that someone will bring up oil as well.
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:06 PM   #6
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I'll comment that I can notice when the wheels aren't balanced, especially after riding on them not balanced. So I know for a fact imbalance is noticeable.

The last time I saw a Dyna Bead thread I checked up on them. Like you, they made no sense to me - logically they'd go to the heavy spot. But it doesn't work that way. I've forgotten the actual physics involved, but at the time it made sense to me. Below ten or fifteen mph they don't help, because the tire needs to be spinning fast enough for them to work.

It also seems that some BBs or small ball bearings should work as well. Anybody try something like that?
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:18 PM   #7
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let's say for the sake of argument that dyna beads work exactly as claimed.

still would not use dyna beads because it runs against my objective of using the smallest amount of weight possible to achieve a perfectly balanced wheel.

have balanced many a wheel that required little to no weight. it's not that hard to static balance your wheels. I'm using a No Mar balancer now. but have used a solid steel rod size of axle. suspended by two bearings on two jackstands.

not aware of any track mechanics that use dynabead .. if it was all that great, all the racers would be using em.
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:56 AM   #8
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If you give the beads a go. Be sure and report back. I did an experiment a while back with them to see if they would give me even tire wear. As in, on part of the center of the tire wears to bald while the other side still has tread. My thinking was the tire would self balance, as per the hype.

The first rear tire wore evenly all the way around.

The second tire I had, got a flat and lost the beads with the tube.

Did they work? dunno. Maybe.

I will say this. Be kind. If you have a shop change the tire, make sure to instruct the mechanic they are in there. If you pull the valve core you get a face full of them. So safety glasses/goggles are a must.
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Old 06-18-2013, 03:14 PM   #9
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.........been using Dyna Beads for years................................nuff said...................
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Old 06-19-2013, 03:35 AM   #10
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I've been using them for a few years and several sets of tires on my GS, RS and multiple other bikes. They work. Don't ask me the physics, but I am VERY happy using them. I either use the Dynabeads or I use that other brand that Motorcycle Superstore carry. +1 on the "warning your mechanic" comment. The Dynas end up everywhere if they're agitated....
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Old 06-19-2013, 04:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Houseoffubar View Post
... The heavy side of the wheel tries to sling outward more than the lighter side. ...
Curious what I am missing!?
That part. The heavy side actually tries to go inward.

No big surprise that many mechanics don't understand that. Why would they? It's not their area of expertise.
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:31 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AntonLargiader View Post
That part. The heavy side actually tries to go inward.

No big surprise that many mechanics don't understand that. Why would they? It's not their area of expertise.
That seems to defy physics, but I am honestly not that smart, so I will defer to your thoughts on this. I would like to know more, how this works though.

The one advantage I see, if the beads work as claimed, is that the tire is continually balanced. This means as the tire wears, the balance stays the same. I believe this is not a huge deal, but I have had tires get slightly out of balance when they are half worn. Not always, hell I've only checked a few times, but it does happen occasionally.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:58 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Houseoffubar View Post
The one advantage I see, if the beads work as claimed, is that the tire is continually balanced. This means as the tire wears, the balance stays the same. I believe this is not a huge deal, but I have had tires get slightly out of balance when they are half worn. Not always, hell I've only checked a few times, but it does happen occasionally.
let's say dynabeads work as claimed? seems there are just as many skeptics as believers ... snake oil comes to mind

not saying it doesn't happen, but are tires getting out of balance as it wears really a big problem?

sounds like above falls under a solution for a problem that really doesn't exist... if balancing a wheel while a new tire is getting mounted is such a big problem... I'd be more incline to try dynabeads.

it's just not that hard to balance a tire and be done.
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:50 AM   #14
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I totally agree, I am just trying to find SOME reason for their existence!
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Old 06-19-2013, 01:55 PM   #15
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The beads don't come shooting out when you take the valve core out. I've been able to save them when dismounting the tire. I've used them for years. I had a Tiger 1050 and the handlebars would shake a little when you let go of the handlebars. When I put the beads in that shake was gone.


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