The Bikers Den

Lamonster Garage Wheel Balancers Review

The newly available Lamonster Garage Approved Wheel Balacers are one of the few must have accessories for your Can-Am Spyder.  Two critical factors on ride performance and comfort are centered on the wheels of the Spyder- alignment and balance.  Alignment of the drive belt, belt vibration and properly aligned wheels go a long way in transforming a rumble-ride to an “on rails” feel.

However, none of these overcome issues with wheel/tire balance.  Spyder are delivered from the factory with the 3 wheels spin balanced.  You can tell from the addition of stick on weights to the rims. This certainly helps with bounce but I can assure you probably see vibration in your mirrors or simply by looking at the front wheel fenders when riding.  There are different options you can try such as- new wheels, new tires, Ride-On, balance beads, etc.  I know because over the years I have tried every singl one.

So when I saw posts for the Lamonster Garage Approved Wheel Balacers I was a bit skeptical.  Of course I ordered them anyway.  I just ordered the set for the front and they arrived in a few days.  The two bags each held a metal circle with a sealed channel running along the outside edge.  Inside the ring are 3 holes that align with your wheel bolts.  Install is as easy as raising the front end of the Spyder, pulling the wheels, placing the balancers over the 3 wheel mounting bolts and putting the wheels back on.

I assumed you would need to get up to some degree of speed to have any effect but I noticed a dramatic difference on my suburban street where the speed limit 25 and the speed bumps make sure you abide. To describe it as “riding on glass” is not a stretch in any way.  This really was a game changing add-on.  The year of development that went into these was time well spent.

From now on my recommendation for new Spyder owners is a laser alignment AND Lamonster Garage Approved Wheel Balacers.

State of Maryland Legalizes Autocycles

After a year has long passed the Maryland lawmakers in Annapolis have finally accepted the Polaris Slingshot as a registrable, legal vehicle.  Not that anyone was slowed down in getting one while the debate on the vehicle was underway- just drive north or south for about an hour to either PA or VA and the Polaris dealer located there would gladly sell you a Slingshot.  Since the release last year you didn’t need to search too hard to find an “illegal” slingshot.  Just roll by a biker bar, visit a biker meetup or look around at a popular attraction like the Inner Harbor and you were bound to find a few Slingshots.

Much of the debate surrounded on how to classify the vehicle- a motorcycle or a car?  It took all of the time to determine it was neither!  It’s designated as a autocycle- 3 wheel, side by side seating, open cockpit, no state emissions testing required and a modified set of inspection criteria.  The required license for a Slingshot is a car license or higher- if you only have a motorcycle license you can’t legally drive a Slingshot.

While all of this was being put together:

  • MD lost considerable tax revenue since dealers were not selling these and collecting tax for the state
  • Polaris dealers in the state lost the sales to neighboring states
  • MD lost registration fees for the Slingshots bought and registered out of state
  • Rider safety was compromised- I did not see one Slingshot rider wearing a helmet

Its all just a bit sad.  Maryland was one of the last states (if not the last) to address the classification.  They had at least 48 other state laws to use as a model but the feet dragging was mind numbing.  It will be interesting to watch how they handle to next new vehicle types that are inevitable to hit the market in the next few years.

Slingshot

What I’ve learned after performing a few dozen Spyder laser alignments

With over 2 dozen Spyder laser alignments under my belt I have made a few interesting observations:

  • Only 50% of Spyders I’ve seen have matching tire pressures (<0.5 psi difference) on the front wheels.  Non matching pressures can lead to pulling to one side, excessive tire wear, poor turning, etc.
  • 15% of the Spyders have off center steering sensor reading before any alignment actions.
  • around 20% of the Spyders have had some error code(s) in BUDS history
  • no belt adjustments have been needed
  • 100% of the Spyders seen have needed alignment adjustments
  • perdicting how long it will take is a fools bet- you never know until you’re done.
  • 100% of the Spyder owners are pleasant!
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