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Thread: The red dot on the tire.

  1. #1
    Super Moderator The red dot on the tire. 670cc's Avatar
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    The red dot on the tire.

    The Shinko label on the tire I just installed says to locate the tire's red dot at the valve on the wheel, since it's the heaviest part of the wheel. Right?

    Wrong.

    I just mounted 4 motorcycle tires in the last two days. Of the 4 wheels, only one had it's heaviest spot at the tire valve. It was an NC700X rear wheel. However, another NC700X wheel (front) that I mounted a tire on had it's heavy spot almost 90 degrees from the valve. See photo.

    I have noted more often than not, that factory and dealer mounted and balanced wheels will have balance weights concentrated in the valve area, which means either the tire itself was severely imbalanced, or the light part of the tire was routinely placed at the valve, but the valve is not actually the heaviest part of the wheel.

    Bottom line is, you need to check your wheel balance before mounting the tire, then place the tire dot accordingly. If you go on the assumption that the valve is the heavy spot, you will probably be wrong more often than right, and you would be just as well to forget the dot and throw the tire on in any random place.

    A good practice would be to check the balance of your bare wheels and permanently mark the heavy spot on the wheel.

    The red dot on the tire.-100_0947-jpg
    Last edited by 670cc; 13th January 2017 at 18:42.
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    Senior Member DCTFAN's Avatar
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    I also make it my hobby to double check any information,
    such as manufacturer provided specs.
    This is a nugget of gold in terms of motorcycling.

    I have a lot to learn.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Old Can Ride's Avatar
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    Put RideOn in the tires, then just drive on without all that work! An as the tire wears off rubber, the tire still remains balanced. Water seeks its own level...............
    Why not seize the pleasure at once? -- How often is happiness destroyed by preparation, and foolish planning? Just do it. Shut the frunk up and Ride !!!!!!!!!!

  4. #4
    Super Moderator The red dot on the tire. 670cc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Can Ride View Post
    Put RideOn in the tires, then just drive on without all that work! An as the tire wears off rubber, the tire still remains balanced. Water seeks its own level...............
    Perhaps, but this is more a thread about balancing using weights, just like what the factory does. Even if you did want to use Ride-On as a balancing aid, there is no reason you would not want to start with a tire/wheel assembly balanced as closely as possible. So the advice I've given still applies.

    I just wiped up Ride-On out of three tires using up a half a roll of paper towels. I'm not really a fan of that stuff and I don't think it's worth the $240 a gallon they charge for it. I use it only as a backup plan for tires that have had puncture repairs, and even then I'm annoyed that with the prescribed amount, it only protects the center 2 inches of tread area (see photo).

    The red dot on the tire.-100_9528-jpg
    Last edited by 670cc; 14th January 2017 at 06:02.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member rippin209's Avatar
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    I see the benefit of both idea mentioned here. I use the ride on solely for balancing my tires (no external weights) but the finding the heavy spot on your wheel and the heavy spot on your tire and setting those across from each other is worth the small amount of work it takes. P.S. There are cheaper alternatives to the run flat that do the same thing

  6. #6
    Super Moderator The red dot on the tire. 670cc's Avatar
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    Here are two more examples of dealer installed and balanced tires - GL1800 in this case. Our Honda Reflex OEM front tire also had a weight next to the valve, but I did not snap a photo of it. My 1997 ST1100 wheels always came back from the tire installer with weight near the valve.

    If the valve area on the wheel is already the heaviest spot, why do we need more weight there and not somewhere else? Or is it that the tire itself is so badly unbalanced that the valve is not enough weight to offset it? Checking the wheel balance first is the only way to know.

    The red dot on the tire.-101_0036-jpg
    The red dot on the tire.-101_0037-jpg
    Last edited by 670cc; 13th January 2017 at 19:05.
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  7. #7
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    Looking around your findings seem to correct, this is supposed to be a quote from Metzler's install instructions.

    WHEEL BALANCING

    Always balance each tire and wheel assembly upon installation. Unbalanced tire/wheel assemblies can vibrate at various speeds, resulting in accelerated tire wear. Metzeler Street / dual purpose tires should be installed with the sidewall red dot(s) at the air valve if present. However these red dot(s) are designed to be used as a reference in balancing and we suggest balancing the tire and wheel as an assembly and to use the least amount of weight possible. This means that moving the reds dots 45 or even 90 degrees from the valve stem to help the assembly use less weight is possible and best.

    Metzeler does not recommend the use of liquid balancer, liquid balance/sealers, or any other balance materials. Metzeler will not extend any warranty consideration for tires which have been injected with any type of liquid balancer, liquid balance/sealers, or any other balance materials. Tire and wheel assemblies should be balanced on a computer or static balance stand. Please check with your dealer/wheel manufacturer for the correct wheel weights for each application.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator The red dot on the tire. 670cc's Avatar
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    Dunlop includes a similar warranty exclusion for using anything other than air in a tire. I'd guess most of the brands probably have a similar exclusion.

    Warranty Info | Dunlop Motorcycle

    "WHAT IS NOT COVERED

    Tires injected with dry/liquid balancers or sealants, or in which anything other than air has been used as the supporting medium."
    Last edited by 670cc; 14th January 2017 at 05:45.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member The red dot on the tire. Ruggybuggy's Avatar
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    I think we may be over think this. Just mount the tire up and don't worry so much about the wheel/rim relationship. Once the assembly is balance with wheel weights it's a balance assembly. If by chance you end up needing an ecessive amount of weight, spin the tire 180 and rebalance.

    “Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”


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  10. #10
    Super Moderator The red dot on the tire. 670cc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggybuggy View Post
    I think we may be over think this. Just mount the tire up and don't worry so much about the wheel/rim relationship. Once the assembly is balance with wheel weights it's a balance assembly. If by chance you end up needing an ecessive amount of weight, spin the tire 180 and rebalance.
    Once both beads are inside the rim, I find most tires impossible to "spin" 180 due to friction. I think what you're suggesting is that if I don't like the number of weights needed, I break both beads, put the wheel back on the changer, unmount one bead, spin the tire, remount the bead, reseat the beads, then repeat the balance process all over again with the same random chance of success? To each his/her own, but I'd rather just check the bare wheel balance first, know where to put the tire, and do it all right just once.
    Last edited by 670cc; 14th January 2017 at 06:27.
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