CRANK BALANCING KARTS
Some people will tell you it is impossible to balance the 2 stroke engine for little vibration but I’ve done it successfully and so have others. Most engines are fairly well balanced until the owner installs a different weight piston or changes the compression ratio or puts on a different pipe that allows a higher top RPM.
In one DirtRider magazine issue Rick Johnson was talking about his 1986 works CR250 motocross bike. He said: ”For example, the magic Honda always had was the cranks. There was something about those cranks- I can’t tell you what they did to them but when you got on and rode there was virtually no vibration to your hands."
The Balance Factor Method of Crank Balancing
A quote from Crankshaft Balance Factors sums up my thoughts about the “balance factor” method.
“The bottom line is that the physics and mathematics involved in how the engine operates are far too complex to make a formula-based balance factor any more than a reasonable compromise.”
A truly comprehensive crank balance calculator would be more than one simple formula and would take into consideration all the forces on each part every 15 degrees of crank rotation which includes the centrifugal force and inertial force. It would include the con rod by separating it into 4 centers of mass and doing the calculations for each center.
Essential to know is that crank balancing is dependent on max RPM because as RPM increases the centrifugal and inertial forces dont increment at the same rate. So a good calculator should show a graph of crank imbalance throughout the usable RPM range so you can decide on how to change it. You would be able to choose to balance it perfectly only at a certain high RPM, or make a compromise of balance by sacrificing some high RPM balance for better mid range balance which may be needed for trail or street bikes.
Of course all the parts need to be measured so there is a reasonably accurate assumption of each parts weight. That requires splitting the cases. I did that on my Suzuki 100 and then later on I used a heavier piston and needed a balance refinement and so instead of splitting the cases to drill side holes in the cranks I opted to just drill holes in the crank wheels from above, with the cylinder removed. You can read my whole journey of discovery at