Snake oil revisted?
Dave Searle for Motorcycle Consumer News,
published Oct. 2006,
page 48 reads at the end:
"Taking the bike out on the road, repeating the same stretch of freeway several times at speeds up to 85mph, the beaded tire felt heavier, with a strong sense of gyro stability, but was noticeably less smooth running than when factory balanced, but perhaps just slightly better than with the original weights removed."
I fell for Jay Leno's pitch on the liquid balancer and tire sealant stuff. I was more impressed with the stuff's ability to resist flats even caused by drilling into the tire and running over boards with nail heads. The liquid is also to float around inside the tire, coating it and balancing it as well. The stuff is called "Ride-On." They make it for cars and motorcycles and claim they are different. I bought a bunch of the stuff. The motorcycle stuff still sits in the garage pending what happened below.
In the car, the stuff literally shook the car for about 50 miles - and hard! I had to keep the speed slow as it really shook and I thought I would have to take it to the tire shop and get it removed and get a stern lecture from "Tire Guy." After maybe 60 miles, it did coat the tires (I guess?) and it smoothed out a bit. However, the next day it shook on the freeway and slowly smoothed out. Not exactly happy about it so I decided to leave it out of the motorcycle tires. It would only be about 4-5 ounces and what is left after the coating shouldn't affect the balance. Decided against it so it's here now on the counter.
When I had to go the rental car route due to the bike's ability to break down hundreds of miles from home, I was amazed at how smooth the rental car's drove down the road. I was sucked into some placebo effect of the liquid stuff. Then as I think about it, would driving around with a bunch of nails in the tire be a good thing on a motorcycle? Liquid should behave much the same as mercury balancers of old (I had two installed on my old Harley and it still shook the primary and clutch basket). If the tires were perfectly balanced before the stuff was added, they sure aren't now even if the stuff was to moved about inside the tire. I noticed they've removed much of the balancing effect now and concentrate on the sealing effect. The shaking is still there at times and depending on how the car gets up to speed, it may smooth out or it may not.
Fwiw, if you go to this site, you can see the similar product to Dyna-Beads in action with a strobe: Centramatic Ball Balancing Video - How It Works...
Note that in the very first portion of the video without the magnet, watch closely at the large silver bolt head of the balancer directly underneath the tire (about one inch) which represents the frame of your car or bike. It does not move
on start-up or at full speed. The guy even says "The balance isn't bad."
Then he adds the magnet to the rim for an unbalance condition. Again, watch that bolt under the tire. It shakes as does the wire on the right.
He next adds the balls (Dyna-Beads) in the ring and spins it up again. Note how violent the assembly shakes on run-up and then smooths out. However, the bolt under the tire (frame) is shaking pretty bad although he tells you it is "Perfectly balanced" -- OH NO IT'S NOT!! Look at the silver bolt shaking! He's lying and if you listen you believe him. Look at the damn bolt head!
It's telling you something!
He then takes off the magnet and leaves the balls in the ring on and the same spin-up is repeated. The whole thing shakes even though he says "It's perfectly balanced." The thing should not shake on spin-up nor at speed, but it does.
Dyna-Beads claim the product "Reduces cupping" which isn't the reason tires cup, feather, or fall victim to heel-toe wear. It's the "islands" created by the tire tread pattern and their rocking and abrasion during braking and acceleration. If you run a slick - even grossly unbalanced - you won't see any tread cupping because it can't abrade any islands as there aren't any. Tire tread patterns have been marginalized against creating "tread islands" in the past few years on sport tires.