Whether for an opportunity to save a few dollars or just to insure that the job is done right, many motorcycle owners change their own tires. But a tire change is not complete until the new rubber and wheel are nicely balanced. This product allows you to accomplish that easily, and without breaking the bank.
While your dealer might spin the wheel and tire to balance it, requiring specialized machinery, others stand by the tried-and-true static balancing method on a truing stand. Harbor Freight’s Pittsburgh Tire Balancing Stand incorporates the static method, and it’s the most practical for the shade-tree mechanic.
The product comes in a flat box, weighing a little over 11 pounds. Assembled, it is a sturdy 17 inches tall by 16 inches wide and takes up little space in your garage or workshop. Good instructions are included (also available online) for both product assembly and the wheel balancing process.
Balancing that new tire is not voodoo, but until you do it yourself a couple of times it might seem so. It works like this: Snug up your mounted tire/wheel between the centering cones on the axle of the Balancing Stand. Position the axle and wheel over the Balancing Stand’s rollers and insure they spin freely. After spinning, the tire’s heaviest side should end up on the bottom. Mark the tire with chalk or a piece of tape 180 degrees opposite (top). Add a small amount of balancing weight as is necessary (inner rim) to have the tire stop at different points. That’s about all there is to it. Some tire/wheel combinations take little to no weight, others take quite a bit.
Instructions for previous models of the Pittsburgh Tire Balancing Stand recommended special adapters for wheels of BMW, Harley-Davidson, Honda and Ducati motorcycles. These adapters are no longer available from Harbor Freight, but can be found online just by doing a search for them. The company says the product accepts tires up to 12 inches wide and handles axles from 15mm to 37mm in diameter. Check that the axle and cones fit, especially on motorcycles with single-sided swingarms, or run a search for the correct adapters.
A couple of comments we saw online mentioned the stand’s balancing axle was not completely straight and true. Check that when you open the box. The product carries a 90-day warranty.
We balanced tires on a late model Harley-Davidson touring bike, a spoke-wheeled dual-sport and a maxi-scooter. All balanced out smoothly and the process went quicker each time it was attempted. EIC Mark Tuttle also provided some positive input from his experience with the product, additionally suggesting the use of premium grade wheel weights, such as those offered by Motion Pro.
The Pittsburgh Tire Balancing Stand is available at Harbor Freight stores and online for $39.99. Smooth riding ahead!
For more information: Call (805) 423-2567 or visit harborfreight.com