What is the painted dot on a new tire for? Heavy or light spot?

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by VDRZANE, May 18, 2004.

  1. VDRZANE

    VDRZANE Salty Adventurer

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    My new Metzeler Tourance tires have two red painted dots on them. I have heard that this is supposed to be the 'heavy' spot/side of the tire itself and should be mounted OPPOSITE of the valve stem. I have also heard that the painted dot should be mounted WITH the valve stem. Which is correct?

    What is the TRUE purpose of the painted dot? I'd like to get to the bottom of this with some concrete proof and not just some people's guesses!

    Ok, this will be my last question on this whole tire changing gig...I swear! :evil
    #1
  2. Ricardo Kuhn

    Ricardo Kuhn a.k.a. Mr Rico Suave

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    :ricky
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  3. Guzz

    Guzz Gutless wonder

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    Also:
    Tire Painted dot = Light spot

    So...
    Painted dot goes to rim heavy spot (not always at the valve stem)

    Putting the light dot on the heavy spot will help minimize the use of lead weights. I forgot this last time, and my rear tire has a boat load lead on the rim :cry
    #3
  4. Ricardo Kuhn

    Ricardo Kuhn a.k.a. Mr Rico Suave

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    Uppsss...

    On this topic I take my helmet and show my neck to guy Guzzler the shinning knit,,,that i did not know

    so now the question is,,how is the lammo guy at the shop is going to know were the heavy spot is on the wheel,,believe me I'm being there and you never "balance" a rim with out the tyre looking for the heavy spot...
    #4
  5. irazu

    irazu Been here awhile

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    In the automotive world it is opposite. I think that is where the confussion comes from.
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  6. BorisTas

    BorisTas Ageing Adventurer

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    Hey Guys,

    Now your treading in some confusing ground. For a start all tyre manufacturers vary the purpose and placement of colored dots on tyres. In a lot of cases the red dot indicates the point of highest RFV (radial force variation) ie. the stifest point of the tyre and is placed to the lowest point of the rim (normaly practiced by OE manufacturers) In these situations there is often a yellow dot on the tyre as well and this in fact represents the lightest point of the tyre. Folklore tells us that this point goes to the valve to allow for the extra weight of the valve assembly, however as my $11,000 tyre and whhel balancer tells me daily this is quite often not the case. I realise i haven't answered the question but just thought I'd point out it's not that straight forward.

    Mick :thumb
    #6
  7. Red Bull

    Red Bull Been here awhile

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    If you need more than 30 grams of wheel weight, the tyre needs to be rotated to compensate. The dot's can be mis leading. Personal opinion, a good static balance works just as well (if not better) the the very expensive ones... but it takes the time and proper set-up to get perfect balance. Dynamic balance (where tyres are even shaved and balanced ON the bike) are rarely needed by mere mortals... this precision is limited to the extreme speed and race only equipment.

    I have had to re-mount a tyre three times to get the wheel weights < 30 gram... and if you do a lot of aggressive off-road, you might want to use duct tape to secure the weight. BTW - CLEAN the areas where you plan to fix the wheel weight well, (alcohol) so it adheres well, and take note of how many and what weights you have ... just in case you loose one. (Rarely seen when properly cleaned and secured)
    #7
  8. Mudhen

    Mudhen Foul Adventurer

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    Ouch. Just got my bike back from the the dealer and had a new rear TKC installed. 80 grams. I thought that seemed excessive...almost 3 times the legal limit. Like I haven't been there before... :evil
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  9. Red Bull

    Red Bull Been here awhile

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    I would recommend a polite concirned letter and call to the business owner shairing your concirn and see how he can help. If neded you can then elevate the issue several ways. All tyre work has strict guidlines.
    #9
  10. Robert

    Robert KickAss Adventurer

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    Balance a tire???
    I always stik the red dot at the valve stem
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  11. Guzz

    Guzz Gutless wonder

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    You put just put the rim alone on the balancer, spin and mark it. Just an extra step (which I ALWAYS forget to do :huh One of these days, I'll get it right)

    You know, it just dawned on me. When I got my GS, there was an orange sticker on the rim (from the factory). I didn't pay much attention to it, and took it off when washing the bike (wanted a "clean" bike). I think that sticker may have been the mark for the rim's heavy spot.
    Ding ding ding!!!! I think we have winner to explain the confusion!!
    :thumb
    I've always wondered about that, yellow vs red dot. I've seen both on some tires, looked at them, wondered, but never asked the question of "Why two dots?"

    Thanks for the info!
    #11
  12. delmartin

    delmartin Been here awhile

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    I know this is an old thread, but I was wondering too. This is straight from the Metzeler website ...

    How does Metzeler mark it's tires for balancing?
    Metzeler ONLY marks the DOT (code) side of the tire with either one or two red or yellow paint dots. These are to be lined up with the valve stem. If the the tire does not have any red or yellow dots on the DOT side of the tire, then do not worry about placement on the rim. And every street tire must be balanced to provide proper handling and performance.
    #12
  13. Number 6

    Number 6 Minty-Fresh Adventurer

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    Okay, what about TKCs? I don' see no stinkin' dot marking.
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  14. Caribou Aqua Buddha

    Caribou Aqua Buddha Long timer

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    Make your own dot with a felt marker, this is also usefull if you cannot get the dot to line up after the tire is mounted. :lol3
    #14
  15. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    No dot.. install as you please.. red dot, install dot near stem, as per Metzeler's site..

    But Metzeler doesn't make the TKC.. so that doesn't apply to it.
    #15
  16. Mr Head

    Mr Head PowerPoint ADV

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    I mount and balance my own tires since dealers began charging more than $50/wheel for the effort.
    I am just as good at scratching my rims as any trained mechanic I've experienced too.

    I always try to remember to mark the tire before I pull it off the rim to compare it to the new tire. TKC80's are not consistant for having dots or even having dots.

    Maybe this afternoon, when I get to swapiing out the rear, I'll remember to check the rim balance.

    My old fireblade used to take no weights on the front wheel when I used M1's, and only one weight on the rear, if any at all. That weight never needed to move. Dynamically balanced using a Snap-On wheel balancer. I changed those tires once by hand, using the bucket and lever method on a nice 100+ degree day. I soaked my clothes with sweat, as well as the floor. It was a lot harder than I remebered, from my days as a mechanic. I had a shop that would mount and balance my tires for $35 total plus I'd buy the tires form him. Good prices too.

    Sold that bike, and started changing my own with SWmoto suppiled tires. simple stuff. Got a Parnes balancer, I use, another I don't.

    Now, I just need some time to true up the wheels. I figure I paid for the balance and tire machine the first year, changing tires every three months or so, sometimes more. F**king nails, sharp rocks and drywall screws!
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  17. Mr Head

    Mr Head PowerPoint ADV

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    Swapped rear tires out this afternoon.

    Started with the painted mark, (the only one) at the valve stem. The tire that was on there had this same marking at 90 degrees CCW from the valve stem as viewed from the left side.

    [​IMG]
    This didn't work. I had checked the wheel on the balancer without the tire, and low and behold the heaviest part was indeed the valve stem.
    I rotated this tire 90 degrees CCW from the stem, re-seated the bead and checked the balance. Zero weights.

    Perfect. I have no idea what that stupid yellow ink is on the tire, but it sure ain't the heavy spot.
    #17
  18. Number 6

    Number 6 Minty-Fresh Adventurer

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    I tried doing my front, and put the yellow number first at the heavy spot, then at the light spot. Balancer showed I needed 49 grams of weight on either attempt. Can you put that kind of weight on a M/C tire?

    Is the thinking really that nobody would want to balance a knobbie? :dunno
    #18
  19. BOUNTY HUNTER

    BOUNTY HUNTER Bavarian Bomber Wrench

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    The dot is usually (NOT always!) on the lightest part of the tire, therefore it "usually" goes next to the valve stem which is again "usually" the heaviest spot on the rim. Continental and Avon tires have required the most weight to balance in my shop and frequently neither have ANY dots. The ultimate way to balance your tires is to balance just the rim and mark the heavy spot / mount your tire and spin it again marking the heavy spot / Dismount & remount tire to counteract weight differential and then balance. THIS TAKES A LONG TIME and even I don't bother to do it. If you get a shop to do this for you they are going to charge you at least double since it is so much extra work to do and it really doesn't matter.
    I have seen brand new BMWs with over 100 grams of weight (R1200C's especially) and haven't seen any relation to weight regarding the sticker on the rim. This, as far as I know, is an inspection tag for documenting that the wheel has been properly assembled and is ready to be installed on the line during building. Dealers are supposed to remove these during the PDI (Pre-Delivery Inspection) before the customer gets the bike but very few do.
    Regarding how much weight is safe or reliable... I have had to use 5+ ounces on rare occasions where a wheel was in tough shape or a cheap tire was being installed and this has never been a problem. Avons are usually the worst regarding how much weight is required and I have found this with their street and dual-sport tires. Avons on my buddy's H-D ALWAYS take a large amount of weight and never in the same spot. If you spin just his rim it is barely off by 1/2 ounce. Throw the Avon on it and you feel like you might be better off putting the box of weights INSIDE the tire! Well, not that bad, but close. Hope this helps.
    #19
  20. Number 6

    Number 6 Minty-Fresh Adventurer

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    Yep, this helped. I took a looong time doing just what you described. I guess it is what it is. Thanks for the feedback.
    #20