Join Date: Mar 2002
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Re: Tire Balls
I talked to Wade at tireballs about that picture and the 500. Here is Wade's response:
Great photograph taken by Trackside Photos.
By the shadow and crowd I would say that is Danny Prather. The shadows highlight the presence of Tire Balls in the tires. About half way through this event, a vibration developed which we felt was attributed to several punctured balls.
To be safe we changed all four tires at the bridge crossing down south (sorry I don't know all of the names yet in Baja). As it turns out there were 3 failed balls in one rear wheel, but the vibration was caused by a bent axle.
Vibration can occur when generally more than one (ATV) Tire Ball fails and all are close to each other. While in this condition the tire still isn't flat, the excessive vibration makes the rider slow down.
There is no vibration (out of balance) if all of the balls are inflated and filled with the same volume of air.
Having each ball filled with the same volume of air (we use nitrogen) requires following a procedure which gradually brings up the volume in each ball gradually, similar to torquing the head bolts. If however the Tire Balls are filled one at a time up to the final pressure in sequence, the first ball will have a greater volume than the last ball, this can cause an out of balance condition. Reading the instructions (or watching the video/dvd) will help the installer understand the importance of the inflation procedure.
Incidentally, Brian at Daryl Smith Sand Tires is testing a manifold which inflates all of the Tire Balls at one time. If this works, we will build a system and make it available to all of our customers.
We want (encourage) feedback from all of our customers, especially those that have installation concerns or operational issues. We work hard to make improvements to installation, however we may not be good at getting everything we've learned out to our customers. That is why these forums are so valuable to all of us!
Thanks for the good work and I look forward to seeing you at the Vegas to Reno.
We will be mounting Tire Balls at the Maxxis rig at contingency row all day on Thursday.