How To Balance ATV Tires: DIY Guide
All-Terrain Vehicles or ATVs are specifically produced to ride off-road and even on the wildest terrains with no human inhabitants in the region. Safety becomes much more important when riding off-road in comparison to on-road. This is because there would rarely be anyone around to help you out.
Why Do You Need To Balance ATV Tires?
As the riding conditions are sometimes extremely difficult, the vehicles must endure a lot of battering from the trails. Your ATV might require maintenance work often, even if it’s a premium, huge-priced vehicle.
ATV experts and professional ATV riders have often claimed not to ignore small glitches in the vehicle and get them fixed.
The tires of an ATV can be considered as the vehicle component that receives the most pain and goes through hell to keep the rider safe and the ATV working properly.
One of the most common services for ATV tires is the wheel alignment process. But except this, another important Tire maintenance service mentioned in the service manual is ATV Tire Balancing.
If this service is executed properly, then not only the overall performance but also the longevity of the vehicle.
But first, you need to know what Tire Balancing is before going further into the details.
When the circumference of the tires does not have an even distribution of weight and becomes weary, the tires need to be fixed to return the balance into the tires.
Further Insights On Tire Balancing
The tires need equal weight in all the areas to have the utmost performance and control in troublesome terrains. You can check the symptoms to identify whether your quad is going to require Tire Balancing or not.
If the tire doesn’t have proper balance, then there will be unusual vibrations in the handlebars, which the rider can sense. The fuel economy of the ATV would also get sliced down.
Increased tread-wearing pace would be another vital sign for the imbalance in the tires.
Whenever a little higher acceleration is implemented than the normal range, the seat, and floorboard wouldn’t provide the usual stability and comfort.
But the ATV tire balancing procedure can be very costly in some garages, and that is why several ATV riders try to do it themselves without spending a large sum on fixing this issue.
If you use your ATV dedicatedly for utility purposes and thus always ride at low speed, the tire balancing process won’t be necessary and mandatory.
The vehicles which are vigorously used for multiple kinds of trail riding will be in more need of the Tire Balancing process. The ATVs dedicatedly used for Racing purposes also require detailed Tire Balancing as it’s quite common to get imbalanced.
When taking on difficult obstacles like a rocky sandstone trail or a muddy river path, having the utmost balance in the tires would make the ride more comfortable and controllable for the ATV rider.
Using Clip-on Weight And Sticky Weights
You might be doubtful whether the Tire Balancing process can be carried out on your own.
But practically, there are multiple ways in which you can accomplish the tire balancing process without the interference of a garage expert.
The process of sticky and clip-on weight use is one of the most relevant and conventional ways of getting your ATV tire balanced.
In this process, specific weights need to be attached to the rims to make the balance return in the tires. The technique is known as static balancing, in which sticky weights or clip-on weights are fixed to the rim bead.
Firstly the ATV rim needs to be cleaned with a high-quality degreaser, and then only the weights need to be attached to the rim at the ideal spots for balance equilibrium.
When buying self-adhesive weights, you must always choose the one with supreme quality sticky tapes.
A proper bubble balancer tool is required, along with multiple weights to identify the positions where the sticky weights and clip-ons need to be attached.
The installation process is the easiest when these types of weights are used, but they have a slight tendency to become loose when rough, uneven trails are being ridden at.
The Hardware Technique Using Balancers
Here the first step will be to keep the balancer on a plain surface to work on and then check whether the air bubble is placed inside the dot. The next step will be to adjust the balancing hardware’s head to properly balance the bubble.
If this is difficult, you can also align the bubble by placing a small washer below the balancer’s base. The center alignment of the bubble is vital and, thus, should be ensured once again before the wheel gets placed on the balancer.
After this, an inspection phase arrives where checking the Tires is necessary are going to get balanced. If any wheel weights have already been used, they need to be removed using a screwdriver.
Now, the wheel, including the tire assembly, needs to be carefully fitted onto the balancer.
You need to fit in the wheel hole at the balancer head. After primary placement, the wheel needs to be altered up and down to obtain the perfect fitting on the tire balancer.
After checking the present bubble position, you need to fit the wheel weights in the opposite position to the area with a heavyweight.
Where the bubble will reside, adding weights will be necessary just beside it.
If you check that a heavy amount of weight needs to be fitted, then utilizing both the outer and inner walls of the wires will be the best.
Keep a hammer handy and use it to tap on the weights and, ideally, set the position. Experts are nowadays recommending using clip-on weights in replacement of stick-on.
You need to clean the ATV tires and ensure they are properly dry before fixing the clip-on weights or sticky weights. But also check that weights shouldn’t be present on the opposite sides of the wheel.
The Balance Beads Process
The beads-using process has been claimed as the easiest tire balancing method. This method is highly affordable and requires some balancing beads and a valve core remover.
The fitted beads are perfectly balanced and auto-adjust on the trail. They become adaptable to road conditions and even get adjusted in positions as the tire slowly wears in the long run. The best product in the beads category is the Deluxe kit with E-Z Tire Balancing Beads.
The product is highly affordable and remains easily available on Amazon. The kit offers multiple spares so that you don’t need to worry about messing up one item.
In the beading process, the ATV wheel must be removed first and placed in an open space where you can operate it without difficulty.
The air in the tire needs to be deflated for the beading process to move forward. Take a small screwdriver and gently push on the valve knob that will get the valve open to push out the air.
Many experts also use the remover tool of the valve core kind. Along with this, firstly, the valve core needs to be unscrewed, and when it gets loosened enough you will be able to hear the air releasing noise.
Unscrew it slowly as if you fully unwind it. The valve core will shoot off, and finding it back and attaching it will be difficult. Use the valve core removal tool from the Beads kit to remove the valve core properly.
Further Steps Of Sizing and Filling
Then comes the task of measuring up the balanced beads as per the tire condition on which they will be implemented.
Using a regular kitchen scale, you need to accurately measure the beads. Then comes the vital step of filling with the ideal-sized beads. Use the tube that will come with the bead kit you bought.
The tube needs to be fixed on the tire valve. Make sure the attachment is tight by rotating the tube a little.
Take up the bottle inside the kit and get it filled with balance beads. You can use the technique of oil filling and attach a funnel to the valve type using regular duct tape.
ATV experts recommended not hurrying up in this beads filling process because the beads can get jammed inside a small portion if forced and hurried a lot.
The ending step comes after this fills up. It’s time to return the valve core with the tool valve core, and then the step arrives to fill air into the tires.
This is the end step in the beads process, but the testing phase is another crucial procedure.
You need to take the ATV out for a ride in the off-road region and check for any symptoms of imbalance in the vehicle.
If you are changing the tires, you can implement this process without doing it separately and pulling off the tire from the wheel.