How to Tell When a Motorcycle Tire Is Out of Balance

By Heather Inks

Keeping your motorcycle tires in top condition with the proper wheel balance is very important, especially since the motorcycle only has two tires. If you have a blow out or an issue with one tire--whether the front or the back tire--this increases your chances of dropping your motorcycle or getting into a motorcycle accident. Motorcycle balance is affected by the road condition and the experience of the mechanic who installs and balances your tires initially. Be aware of what to look for if you suspect tire imbalance.

Look at the motorcycle tire to see if it is visibly out of balance. This would be noticeable after a crash or dropping the bike. If the tire is obviously out of balance, have the bike transported to a shop immediately for repairs.

Ride the motorcycle for a straight distance and try to notice if the steering appears to be pulling or favoring one side or if the motorcycle feels like it vibrates unusually at certain speeds. Do you find yourself having to constantly correct on a fairly flat, straight road with little curvature? According to DunlopMotorcycle.com, "Unbalanced tire/wheel assemblies can vibrate at certain speeds, and tire wear will be greatly accelerated." (See References 2)

Determine if the motorcycle has experienced any conditions that would cause the tire to be off balance. Has the bike been wrecked, dropped, hit a curb, driven over excessive bumps or roads under constant construction? Do you live on a dirt road? All these factors can contribute to causing a tire to be out of balance. If you live on a washboard road or in an area where road construction is common, then you will more than likely get out of balance tires more often and need to schedule rotations regularly.

Check the wearing of the tires. Are the tires wearing unevenly or favoring one side of the tire? If so, get the tires balanced and aligned immediately by a mechanic. If this does not correct the imbalance, have the bike inspected for damage by a mechanic or your original dealer.

Take your motorcycle to the shop for balancing if you have done any wheelies on your motorcycle, let anyone else ride your motorcycle, or just purchased the motorcycle used from a person or dealer. Any one of these situations could increase your chances of having an out of balance tire, so get your tires balanced and aligned promptly to avoid damaging them at all.

Tip

Take excellent care of your motorcycle tires. If you ride your motorcycle a lot or through rough conditions, you are more likely to experience an out of balance tire.

Motorcycle-USA.com recommends that "If you take off your rear wheel or adjust the chain or belt, have your tire balanced." (See References 3)

Consider purchasing and learning how to use a motorcycle tire wheel balancer if you must have your tires balanced often or put a lot of miles on your tires, requiring them to be changed often.

Warning

Don’t allow uneven wearing to continue for long or you could ruin your tires or experience a blow out.

Never drive on bald motorcycle tires--the risk of a blow out is too great and too dangerous.

About the Author

Heather Inks is a social entrepreneur who educates on improving communities and the world. She is an educator, writer, photographer, artist and model who has taught K6-12th grade and public educators. Inks is a life coach specializing in personal, career, educational, dating, health and fitness, and gifted children issues. She has been educated at fine universities including graduate work at Stetson University.