The tires on your ATV or side by side can be balanced, so long as there is a removable center cap.
Many higher cc engine ATVs will come from the factory, having the wheels already balanced. You’ll normally only see 400cc or greater ATVs having the wheels balanced from the factory because they’re the ones that can get up to speeds that can feel vibration from out of balanced wheels.
Not every 400cc+ model that is shipped from the factory will have wheel weights, just the ones that really need them. Most of the time the wheels are in spec enough and won’t need the weights added, but you do get a few tires that are too far out of spec and need wheel weights added from the factory. This is not a bad thing, but it can be confusing to many ATV owners and cause many of debates about balancing ATV tires. Most dealers won’t balance the wheels during PDI, so if you see wheel weights, it’s most often from the factory.
About the only ATVs that don’t ever get balanced are kids models, as they never go fast enough to worry.
Even the super aggressive mud tires with huge knobbies can be balanced and should be balanced. I’ve had a few tires shops tell me it’s not worth it, but there is a reason why the manufacturer will balance these tires from the factory.
Reasons To Balance
I know there are several guys who say balancing an ATV is not worth it, but I tend to disagree. If your ATV is over 400cc, I think balancing the wheels is worth it.
Reason To Balance Your ATV Tires:
- No vibration in the handlebars at higher speeds.
- Even at lower speeds, the small vibrations can fatigue your arms and components faster.
- Less wear on your tires.
- Less wear on driveshaft.
- Less wear on Ball joints.
- Less wear on Tie-rods.
- Less wear on Bearings
- Less wear on Brakes
If you never go over 30MPH, you could get away with not balancing your ATV wheels. But, even at lower speeds, an unbalanced wheel is still throwing weight around and wearing components of your ATV out quicker.
I find balancing your ATV tires worth it, and I know many won’t agree with me, but doing it only has positives.
Places That Balance ATV Tires
The dealerships can balance your tires, but there is a dirty little secret that many dealerships do.
Many dealerships will have a tire balancing machine, but many of them just take it to the local tire shop and have them do it. That’s the secret, many dealers don’t do it and just act as middle man.
To save money, just go to your local tire shop that sales car tires and see if they will balance it for you. Tire shops can balance Jeep and other off-road vehicle tires with no issue, so your tire should be fine.
Cost To Balance Tires
If you’re taking your tire to a tire shop to get balanced, it can cost about $15-$25 a tire.
Though, I’ve had a few places do it for free after buying my car tires from them. This is where having a good tire shop comes into play, but everyone experiences will be different.
I know big box stores often have tire shops, and they can balance wheels, but I would stay away from them. Stick to the regular tire shops, as they tend to be easier to deal with and more willing to balance ATV wheels and tires.
Some tire shops are capable of ordering ATV tires, mounting them, and balancing them. Although not every tire shop operates the same way, it’s quite common for them to offer free mounting and balancing services if you purchase the tires from them.
DIY Tire Balance
You can buy kits and even the hardware to balance an ATV tire yourself.
There are balance beads that you can do yourself and have your ATV wheels balanced, but it’s not something I recommend to most people.
Those balance beads are easy, but it’s a mess and not anywhere as good as using wheel weights placed by a machine (balance-wise, but great for aggressive mud riding). If you want to do the bead method, this video can help you here.