So you just bought a set of new and shiny UTV tires from Costco and you were wondering Do you balance UTV Tires?. Of course, we know about balancing our car tires, but maybe you’ve never really thought much about balancing your side by side tires.
Learn more How long can I drive on unbalanced UTV Tires?
UTV tires can be balanced and the main reason you need to balance UTV tires is due to the high speeds and large acceleration/deceleration of your UTV.
Most UTVs have a relatively high center of gravity, which means that if the front wheels are out of balance, it will be very noticeable. You may notice your steering wheel vibrating and making noise when you drive over rough roads or bumps.
What Is UTV Tire Balancing?
Tire balancing is the process of adjusting a tire’s weight distribution so that it rotates smoothly on the rim of a wheel. The goal of this process is to ensure that a tire runs true and doesn’t wobble or become damaged over time.
Tires spin at high speeds and can put out a lot of torque, so if one side of a tire carries more weight than another, it will tend to pull in that direction. This causes vibrations that can cause damage over time, especially if the imbalance goes unnoticed for too long.
Why do you need to balance UTV tires?
When you’re driving your UTV at 30+ mph, suddenly slowing down for a corner or avoiding an object will give your tires tremendous force that may twist the center area of your tire. An unbalanced tire can also cause premature wearing on one side as well as poor handling.
Unbalanced SXS tires might be difficult to drive on. You’ll even feel the vibrations through the steering wheel as they begin to transfer continuously. The rim or tire’s faults are what are to blame for these vibrations.
#1 The first consideration is how you plan to use these UTV tires.
Or, to put it another way, what kinds of roads or trails will you be using? If you usually go on trails or paved roads, tire balancing is advised. Vibrations along the way won’t be pleasant because you may feel even the smallest shift in your car while driving on smooth roads.
Trail riding can present the most challenging situations because it presents both speed and rough terrain. Sometimes you may be clipping along at 30 mph and then hit the brakes to cut a sharp corner. This puts tremendous stress on your tires and can lead to failure and unbalancing.
The alternate possibility is that you’re going to be driving in mud, or while rock climbing. If so, you’ll be restricted to driving at low speeds and spared the difficulties brought on by unbalanced UTV tires. We would still recommend balancing your tires even at lower speed just because let’s say you hit some mud at a slow speed and it cakes on the wheel. If your tire is balanced as you pick up speed the mud will fling off due to centrifugal force. If your UTV tires are not balanced as you pick up speed the mud will settle towards that unbalanced area and cause a wobble sometimes violently until it finally let’s go from the tire.
#2 How fast are you driving your UTV?
Secondly, consider the riding speed you are accustomed to. Unbalanced tires can be particularly dangerous if you frequently travel at speeds higher than 25 mph.
A UTV that is shaking and vibrating while you are hitting the gas at 30 mph can present a dangerous situation. Not something that you want to experience so balancing those tires becomes a priority really quick. You can put off the balancing process if you generally go at or below 30 mph but who really wants to go slow all the time?
#3 General wear and tear on your UTV
Keeping your tires in balance will help prolong the life of your wheel bearings. So if something as easy and simple as a tire balance can save you the headache of wheel bearing replacement why not do it? It can also save you future trouble with your axles.
Can you balance UTV tires at home?
Yes balancing UTV tires at home is an easy DIY project you can do at home. There are two methods we recommend for balancing your UTV tires at home, ceramic balancing beads and wheel weights.
Option #1 UTV Tire balancing beads
For the easiest wheel balancing method, you can use wheel balancing beads. These beads are made from either stainless steel or hard ceramic material that keeps them from cracking and turning to dust in the tire. As you drive and the wheel speed increases the beads are dispersed due to centrifugal force and they self-balance the wheel giving you a smooth ride.
Things to Consider About Tire Beads:
Choosing tire balance beads can be a bit difficult. However, here is a list of factors you should consider when picking the right choice for your SxS.
There are many different kinds of beads used in the production of tires. We recommend ceramic beads. There are stainless steel and plastic. However, steel can damage the tire lining and plastic beads can clump together because of moisture.
This is why we would go with ceramic beads such as the
E-Z Tire Balance Beads Deluxe Kit on Amazon. (affiliate link)
For around $25 bucks you can take care of your UTV tire balancing.
Steel and plastic are two other common materials for beads, but each has its own set of pros and cons. For example, steel beads last longer than plastic beads but can damage the inner lining of a tire. Plastic beads absorb moisture and clump together if they get wet. Ceramic beads are durable and don’t break easily; however, they can crack in extremely hot or cold weather. The best kind of bead is tempered glass or ceramic because it lasts longer and won’t crack in extreme temperatures.
UTV wheel balancing bead size
Be careful of the bead size when purchasing tire balancing beads. They are mostly in 3 sizes. Go with a larger size bead that will fit through your valve stem if that is how you are installing them. However, don’t go too small as you don’t want them to clog your air valve.
#2 UTV Wheel balancing weights
Wheel balancing weights are also a great solution for balancing a UTV tire at home. In addition, you will need a wheel balancing bubble level tool. You simply place the mounted tire and wheel on the bubble level and place weights around the wheel to achieve the correct balance.
Wheel weights are placed on the inside of the wheel with a self-adhesive and are pretty good to stay in place. But considering the abuse, we put our side by side through on a ride they sometimes can come off. We like to go with the ceramic beads just so we don’t have to worry about it when riding.
FreeTec Heavy Duty Portable Hubs Wheel Balancer (affliate link)
CKAuto 1/4oz, 0.25oz, Black, Adhesive Stick on Wheel Weights (affiliate link)
So in conclusion yes you do balance your UTV tires. It will ease the wear and tear on components like wheel bearings and axles while giving you a smoother ride on pavement and trails. It’s something you can do yourself with the right tools and know-how.
Have you ever asked yourself why are UTV tires small in the front?
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.