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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well I had some money left on a CycleGear gift card and wanted to perform a little test. My front AGT tire has always had a slight shimmy at very high acceleration and speeds. I have taken it off twice and had it re-balanced. It helped a little but the shimmy is still there. I am however, determined to wear these tires out before replacing them (probably by mid summer). In the meantime I wanted to give the beads a shot. There is a ton of arguing online on whether or not these beads are snake oil or will actually work. So when looking at Counteract's website it says to use 1 oz in the front (based on the tire size 120/70 17).

I did do some calling around at some motorcycle mechanic garages and interestingly enough that was also a split decision on some shops using these and others not.

I will follow-up with my experience and report back. Please feel free to let me know your thoughts. The beads should be here in 3-4 days so by next weekend I intend to have them and test.

I do have a GPR steering stablizer and will 0 it out to see what its like. I know that if I set it to 0 now and accelerate fast at high speeds the front end has a wobble. Before you ask - I should have replaced this tire when it was new, my problem was I lived in GA and although I had spirited rides through the mountains that have definitely raised my riding skills, they were not at 100+MPH. Here in Texas these speeds are easy to get to since everything is l-o-n-g straights. Saying that I have definately come to the realization that the balance is off somehow. Nothing visual with the tire as I have exhaustively looked for bands or warps but nothing. Oh - I also dialed in the suspension thanks to some videos and RC's feedback. So back to the test... More to come and I owe you all an update.
 

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Looking forward to your update. I have never used the beads and as you mention they are probably up in the top 10 of controversy. In my riding are we have some long straight that get triple digit speeds and some really nice mountain canyon type roads that require a lot of lean. I'm sure your report will include as much as you can experience in your area of Texas.
 

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I've never used the beads, but when I bought my balancer, I had no idea how I was supposed to use it...like Volfy. Please do share your result.

Also, no idea what the rules were, and what was "good enough". I had weights, so I stuck one ounce of random weight to the front rim. I thought I would cruise around and increase my speed until I felt something.

I never did, and that was even at 130-140. Unless I happened to throw the weight exactly where it was needed it couldn't have been correct. That extra oz did nothing,

None of my tires needed over 15 grams of weight to balance. My rear rim is off balance by 25 grams. The dunlop q3+ needed 10 grams to be balanced. The michelins I had were more like 2.5-5 grams..almost perfect, as is. That made me think that's how the beads work...by not doing much.
 

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I've had a single tire in my lifetime that could not be balanced. The dealer re-mounted and re-balanced it and it still had the high speed wobble. This was on a 1987 VFR700 front. Long story short, the tire's lateral runout was out of spec. This was back before radial tires. They gave it a spin on the balancer and you couldn't really see it but it showed on a dial gauge. It sure didn't take much to give the bike headshake. Proof of the pudding was mounting a different "identical" tire and problem solved. The only tire warranty I've ever had to use.
 
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BB's work also. Balance beads break down before tires wear out. Been using them for a while now for several reasons.
First post, Welcome. I could look it up, but you have direct experience, would you care to fill us in on reasons other than balance for you liking beads? And is your preference the beads or BB's?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The balance beads I am looking at will not breakdown according to the vendor. There are some that do but the better ones do not.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Not sure how I can try first but I am open to all ideas. Honestly if things do not go well I will get a new set of tires sooner. In some ways I am looking to see if the beads are the real deal or not.
 

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I could try them , too, next tire change. I could at least try the front tire with no weights. The last time that was a big zero...but, it was with a Michelin tire. That tire was almost perfectly balanced, anyway. The most I was off, with no weight, was 15g. That's 3 tiny stick on weights.

I believe the beads will work, up fro t, just because nothig is off by enough to matter.
 

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I don't see how the beads could possibly help an out-of-balance tire become more "balanced". At highway speeds, centrifugal force will flow and spread the beads into a center strip along the inside of tire. The higher the speed, the more this happens. There is no motive force to make the beads congregate towards the lighter spot on the tire... and none to keep them there.

Besides, how much weight-wise is pumped into the tire? IF a tire takes a concentrated 1-1/2 Oz in one spot to balance it properly. That much weight - or close to that much weight - has be on the lighter spot to balance the tire/wheel assembly. There is just no getting away from this.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
What I love about this one is - I will give you all the honest feedback on whether or not it works. There are tons of sites arguing the science of this but in-the-end, I am looking forward to letting you all know if it is snake-oil or if it works (for my issue of course).
 

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That video basically shows the operating principals of how linear shale shakers work. If you are not familiar, these are solids control equipment used in oil field and mining operations for separating out solids entrained in fluids. They typically have pairs of motors that each swings an eccentric weight. The two motors are not timed and otherwise synched together by mechanical constraints. However, once turned on, the two rotating weights will influence each other's motion - speeding up or slowing down each other - until they synch up perfectly to produce a linear motion. I used to work on linear shaker designs and actual hold several patents at a couple of oil-field service equipment companies.

For the same action to happen with the beads, a few things need to happen:

1. The imbalance has to produce enough eccentric motion large enough in magnitude (like that wheel shown in the video when it first started to spin), in order to influence the movement and position of the beads.

2. The beads need to carry enough mass and density, in order to react to force caused by the imbalance.

3. The beads need to have close-to-near-frictionless movement inside of the tire, in order for the beads to move freely.

Problem is:

1. A motorcycle wheel/tire out of balance enough to produce enough exaggerated eccentric motion necessary to move the beads would be virtually unridable

2. The amount of beads needs to match the imbalance. Too much will cause as much problems as too little.

3. Unlike those ball bearings in that video, the inside surface of the typical motorcycle tire is far from frictionless. It's typically rough rubber surface with ridges and imperfections, impeding the movement of the beads. Bear in mind also that with the centrifugal forces acting upon them, those beads will experience G's that will essentially cause them to weight many many times more than at 1G (gravity alone). Compound that with the soft rubber surfaces means they would likely dig in where ever happen to be when the wheel started spinning fast enough to produce the G forces. See here for example: Dyna beads fail with pics
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Interesting Volfy. The example you provided at the end mentioned they worked on one tire and not on another. This truly gets even more interesting when seeing the posts. Hmmmm...
 

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Unfortunately, he did not provide any details on how that other bias-ply worked. The pics he posted, along with his notes, do jive with what I suspect is what happen with the beads in practice.

I've ridden on tires that had not been bench-balanced and I could not tell any difference at typical hwy speeds. Maybe if I take it up to 130mph... who knows. So, if you're gonna try this, it would behoove you - at a minimum - to ride it unbalanced without the beads to establish a baseline. It would be even better if you could check balance on a balancer to see exactly how much it is out of balance.

Otherwise, if you just get a new tire mounted with the beads thrown in, and the bike test rides just fine... how would you know it actually worked?

I have come across tire/wheel assemblies that needed very little balancing weight. Though not many, there were even ones that were so slight, I didn't have a small enough weight, so I just left it alone.
 

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With the typical 20% off coupon, the Harbor Freight balancer is $32. If you wait around to catch their 25% coupon, it's $30 even. With it, you can balance your own motorcycle tires for a lifetime.

Dyna Beads is $20 for 10 Oz. Not sure how many tires that does.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I may purchase the balancer - I checked that out as well. Plus weights of course. That would help in the analysis. I have to "think" the two different folks that looked at the weighting knew what they were doing, but honestly; it could have been their first day or just incompetent techs - you never know. I was trying not to go out of pocket on the trial but you do make a lot of sense.
 

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Volfy, thank you. This is a topic you are informed about, and that really shows. That's why the clear bottle is the perfect demo for this product, isn't it..? When he tries to spin it, with his drill, it...its an "unrideable" wheel. Unless he starts off with something bad, the result won't be there.
 
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