You don't really need to have anyone do it for you if you have a front stand and you are in a pinch. I use the stuff from www.tireqwik.com but you can balance the front crudely by following this method.
Put the bike up on front and rear stand. If you only have a rear stand, put it up on that and place a regular jackstand under each fork leg bottom. Anything to get the front off the ground. Pry the pads back in the calipers to make sure they don't touch the rotors. If your wheel bearings are good enough, the wheel will find it's heavy spot and it'll roll to the bottom. Place some stick on weights opposite the heavy spot (just tape them on with a small piece of masking tape for now) then rotate the wheel 90 deg. and release. Adjust weight as necessary, and stick permanently when you're happy. This will get you in the ballpark and make the bike rideable but won't be perfect as the drag from the bearing dust seals cause some drag. make sure you pump the brakes back up before riding again and make sure the directional arrows on the rim and tire match up.
Just a note, here. Most tire manufacturers assume that the area around the valve stem on a rim will be the heaviest spot on the rim and recommend that you put the light spot of the tire, usually denoted by a white or yellow dot on the sidewall at the valve stem (unless you're installing a michelin. They seem to think their tires are superior in balance and, therefore, dont need a dot. They're wrong.)
I balance the rim alone first to find the true heavy spot and it's rarely at the valve stem. Soe are up to 90 deg. off. This is where I mount the tire dot. Saves a lot of weight and farting around.
Cheers, lee S.
No, you shouldn't bother trying to get a car mechanic to replace bike tires. If something should happen, like the rim gets seriously scratched up, you can't hold him accountable for the damage, since its not like he has the proper equipment to do the job.
I'd recommend either taking the bike to a bike dealer, remove the rim from the bike and take just the rim to a bike dealer, or remove the rim, but the tools you need, and do the tire yourself.
Its actually fairly easy to change a tire, once you get the hang of it. The first couple times can be a real pain, though. And I usually balance my rims this way:
Take the old tire off the rim, remove the rotor(s), put the axleshaft through the wheel bearings, and prop the axle up on a set of car jack stands. Give the wheel a slight spin, and wait for it to stop. Mark the very bottom of the rim, and repeat twice more. The spot that stops at the bottom is the heavy spot.
Install the new tire onto the rim, first with the dot on the opposite side of the rim that the heavy spot mark is at. Inflate the tire. Spin the rim, and mark the bottom spot, just like before. Spin the rim a couple more times to identify the heavy spot.
If the heavy spot is the same as the one you marked when it was just the rim alone, put some weights opposite it, then respin, increasing the amount of weights until the rim no longer stops in the same place. Once the rim stops in completely random places, your rim is officially balanced.
Reinstall the rotors, install the wheel onto the bike, and go riding after making sure you bed the brake pads back in.
There is no need to remove rotor/s to balance a wheel.
The machine the car guys use is is basically the same as the one the motorcycle shop uses. Unfortunately the shaft on the car guys machine is too large to fit through the axle hole on most motorcycle wheels. The car guys are able, however, to balance the rear wheel on my friends VFR (single sided swing arm with bolt on wheel).
Your right theres no need but it is the proper way especially when it comes time to dismount/mount the tires as it would prevent any sort of damage from that little 'oooops, O sheiot now the rotor has a ding or worse yet a slight bend in it scenerio. Seeing as how the complete package includes the rotors once the wheels are remounted and this is the way the bike gets ridden it gives credit to balancing them with the rotors.
As for the actual balancing i much prefer a static type as opposed to being spun balanced anyway.
I do all my stuff the old fashoned way (meaning cheap). I use an old car wheel with some fuel line tubing to pad the rim as a work station to prevent rotor damage. I too prefer the static method because it is the only way I can balance tires using the equipment I have (made out of skate bearings purchased at Walmart).
A forum community dedicated to all Kawasaki motorcycles including the ZX-6R, KLR 650, Ninja 250, Ninja 250R, and Vulcan. Come join the discussion about performance, modifications, troubleshooting, maintenance, and more!