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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, first I have no affiliation with any bead balancing company. I am an IT person by trade now. However, I used to be a ASE certified master technician and have balanced thousand of tires. I have used bubble balancers, static balancers, home made balancers, spin balancers and finish or On Car balancers. They all have their place and seem to do the job. I have been highly skeptical of this bead solution since I first heard of them.

The ONLY reason I even considered them was the purchase of chrome custom wheels for my 2009 HD Low-rider. As you can see by the images attached, the dealer added BLACK stick on weights to both sides of the rim. 2.0 ounces in the front alone. As far as I was concerned, this was unacceptable. That made me start looking into the bead balancing with earnest. I also have a 2005 BMW LT. I have the similar issues with that bike as well, this just happened to be my test bike for obvious reasons.

I checked out al the Dyna Bead threads and that led me to the CounterAct Beads. I don't know why, but something about the CounterAct Beads intrigued me. I found them on line at a near by (60 miles away) tire supply dealer. I called them and they told me they deal in trucks only and sell tons of this stuff. They said they couldn't help me and directed me back to the manufacturer for motorcycle applications.

The guy from CounterAct was very helpful. He directed me to a site that sold MC kits. I asked him to look at the truck tire supply web site and it turns out they had the same exact applicator and beads. The only difference was I got 10 OZ of beads and the applicator for less than the cost of 4 ounces of beads and the applicator that the MC site was selling. $22.00 for everything including shipping!

The test:

I took the bike out for a ride and got to 70 MPH on various roads. With the dealer installed 2 oz weights the bike rode fine with only the normal HD vibration detected. I then removed all the weights. Took the same exact road at the same exact speeds and there was a noticeable shake in the bars between 56 and 61 MPH. I find that out-of-balance wheels will usually start to vibrate at very specific speeds. This was no exception. I tried the route twice to make sure it wasn't my imagination, I am convinced it was not.

I went home and installed the CounterAct Beads. This turned out to be a big pain in the butt. It took me 30 minutes to get 2 ounces of beads in the tire. Patience is a virtue they say, and if you don't have it just forget these things altogether. In one of the instruction videos, the show the guy flicking the rubber valve stem. Well my stems were rigid and don't move. It was a few beads at a time while kicking the tire throughout the whole process. I lost enough beads that I decided to add another .20 (Point two)ounces to make up for it. NOTE: if you are mounting the tire yourself, you can put the beads in the before you seat the tire bead avoiding the valve stem application completely.

I already had in my possession 4.0 Ounces of silver stick-on weights should something go wrong. With that in mind I headed out for my test drive. 20 mph, 30 mph, 40, 50, 60, 70, 75 mph! No vibrations. I took the test course 2 times. Same result.

Conclusion:

I do not know how these things work. I have an entire collection of books called "How Things Work". And in this case it really doesn't matter. It makes no sense to me at all, but it is my humble opinion that they do indeed work. With that said, I do not think it makes any difference if you use lead weights or beads. They both worked equally well. If aesthetics are of no concern, than there is no reason not to balance conventionally. However if you mount your own tires and do not have a balancer, or do not want the weights showing, this is a very viable alternative.

As for the difference between Dyna Beads and Counteract beads, I have no horse in this race. I assume they work equally well although the both makes claims of their superiority. Both are reusable according to the manufacturers.

Useful links:

Where I bought the beads - (Click on Wheel balancing compounds on the left)
http://yourtireshopsupply.com

Dyna Bead Web Site - http://www.innovativebalancing.com

CouterAct Web Site - http://www.counteractbalancing.com/counteract/

Full HD Video of the beads CounterAct magical gravity defying properties in my garage.
http://youtu.be/W1Yvlf3DZd0

Images of my wheel with ugly black lead weights - attached.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
XMagnaRider,

Thanks for that. I found a video last night that has great visual on this principle. They use large visual balls and stop motion so you can see what's happening. As for the beads not working at low speeds, that's what steered me to CounterAct as opposed to Dyna Beads. As you can see from the video in my original post, the beads cling to the container. CounterAct states they will stay where they are needed on the outside wall of the tire for up to 2 weeks. So low speed balancing is always correct and damaging other things like TPM are not a concern. That's their claim anyway, I don't' have a clear tire to prove it.

 
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