Tire/Wheel Balancing
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Primavera 150
Joined: 17 Sep 2017
Posts: 480
Location: Long Beach, CA
Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:40 pm quote
I took some new wheels and tires to a shop to get them mounted and balanced. When I got them back, he said there was no reason to balance the rear wheel. Not that it didn't need balancing, but that there is no reason to do it. I thought this odd, so I checked my original wheels and tires (still on my Primavera). There are no wheel weights anywhere (from new).

I've read a few posts about GTVs and the lot and while some people are adamant about balancing their tires, others have stated that it doesn't make any difference.

Any new thoughts?
Veni, Vidi, Posti
MP3 500, GTS 250 (both 2008 MY), 2012 Honda NC700 DCT
Joined: 02 Mar 2013
Posts: 6298
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:51 pm quote

No new thoughts.

Only, let's see. A 12" rear wheel is what, 20" actual diameter?
So, 5 feet in circumference.
At 60 MPH it's a bit more than 1000 RPM.

Nah, nevermind.
They balance car tires, right? Those are bigger diameter.
So they actually rotate slower.

So the question is, do you ride as fast as cars are driven.


Primavera 150
Joined: 17 Sep 2017
Posts: 480
Location: Long Beach, CA
Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:55 pm quote
OK, but Vespa didn't bother so...
2010 S50 Modified "Punkin"; 2003 ET4 Malossi 187 "ISO"
Joined: 18 Feb 2017
Posts: 643
Location: Deepinnaharta, Texas
Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:21 pm quote

Perhaps they did, but the rear wheel/tire assembly on your Prima happened to be perfect as mounted. Sometimes no weights are needed. it doesn't hurt to check

The rear tire, mounted as it is on the transmission case/engine assembly weighs substantially less than the power unit. Vibration from an unbalanced tire would be dampened by the weight of that unit, perhaps to the point of non-palpability.

But if it vibrates and rattles hard enough, long enough, there is potential for bearing damage. I had a Subaru whose unbalanced tires I never bothered to address. This was the only vehicle I've ever owned that needed new rear bearings. Search Marc Parnes for an affordable way to do this at home.
Primavera 150
Joined: 17 Sep 2017
Posts: 480
Location: Long Beach, CA
Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:57 am quote
Both front and rear wheels are absent of wheel weights - hence the question. I'll have both balanced on my new wheels, but thought it odd that I currently have none.
Joined: 06 Oct 2013
Posts: 283

Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:24 am quote
pokeyjoe wrote:
Both front and rear wheels are absent of wheel weights - hence the question. I'll have both balanced on my new wheels, but thought it odd that I currently have none.
It happens more often than you might think. I’ve installed more tires than I can count on bikes, and often saw 1/4 oz or less (zero) on a computer balancer.

I just changed the front tire on my Xmax yesterday for the first time. It came with Dunlop Scoot Smart tires. The front had 2.5 oz of weight from the factory, and always had vibration at high speed. I installed a Pirelli Angel Scooter tire and it balanced between 1/4 and 1/2 oz. I probably could have skipped the installation of any weight and wouldn’t have felt any difference.
SilverWing 600-- 4nprevious Vespa
Joined: 13 Oct 2010
Posts: 441
Location: chattanooga tn
Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:33 am quote
Simple way in US to assure scooter wheels are balanced and remain in balance=Ride On, not cheap @$15 a wheel, but works!! Been using it at least 10 years and 250,000 miles or so. Might seal small leaks. No negatives.

Most bike shops cannot/do not balance small wheels
Kymco Downtown 300i
Joined: 12 Jan 2012
Posts: 68
Location: Hillville, TN
Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:03 am quote
I like the idea of Ride-on but started with Dyna Beads and graduated to BB's when DB dealers got greedy and hard to find. BB's are cheap, plentiful and nearly omnipresent!

As a British Motorcar mechanic in the 60's wheel balancing on Morris Minis and the various slightly larger versions of the same idea was a challenge using a spin balancer while the wheel was on the car. Smaller wheels were more difficult because of the limited sensor. The conclusion is that smaller wheel diameters don't need that much in balancing to be acceptable. Never did really like that idea and you CAN tell the difference.

It is one thing for a shop not wanting to "fool with balancing" a wheel and you being able to simply, easily and cheaply be able to do it PERFECTLY by yourself.
2009 GTV250 (Gone), 2003 Inder trailer, 2001 BMW R1100RT
Joined: 24 Jun 2009
Posts: 4656
Location: Santa Cruz California
Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:18 am quote
Many long time Vepsa riders balance their wheels when fixing flats or putting on new tires. Mark Parness makes a high-quality tool specifically for balancing motorcycle wheels including BMW. Reading between the lines on Marc Parness' website, I think Jess worked with Marc to adapt it to Vespa wheels.

Here's a Stickyfrog video, from 8 or so years ago, of Old as Dirt (I think) balancing a GTS wheel with a Mark Parness balancer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y0oAU8Vxyg&t=30s
There are many DIY balancing videos on YouTUbe. They key is finding very low friction bearings.

2016 Sprint 150
Joined: 17 Apr 2020
Posts: 105
Location: NW Washington
Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:09 pm quote
New rear tire for my Sprint 150, 12 in rim. Getting the old tire unseated was tough. New tire went on with the normal effort. Found a piece of steel rod the diameter of the wheel shaft to work for static balance and it took a fair amount of weight to balance. Both front and rear have balance weights from the factory so I would believe Vespa does balance the wheels if needed. A road test done and all nice and smooth.

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