Tire Pressure

msmarion

Do you know what pressure is required in you tires? And most importantly when was the last time you checked you pressure?

90% of the bikes that come in our shop have low tire pressure. You will have a better ride and you tires will last longer if they have the correct pressure.

Marion

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jdbillp

I would add chain tension, too. I have seen many chains that are too loose.

Including mine.

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hsur

Msmarian

Excellent point about air pressure. Thanks for making the point from your experience. Took an early spring ride with friend. Asked him about pressure in his bike tires as the tires even looked low. He used the "the calibrated thumb" method and said they will do fine. I said mind if I use my gage to check your thumb gage. Result 14 psi to specification of 28 psi. I usually keep two trusted gages around as I have seen over time and damage that air pressure gages can go bad.

By the way my primary road bike is 26 front and 28 rear. Check them once a week in season and befor each ride for the good ride day in the winter.

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over_n_under

One of my neighbors asked me to check his tire pressure one day before he went on a long ride. That blew me away. Are there any other riders out there that don't know how to use a tire gauge? I figured anyone who rides a motorcycle should be able to check their own tire pressure.

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worm

I agree, but what IS the best pressure to run? Is it the pressure in your owner's manual? Or is it the pressure on the tire sidewall for max. load? I was told for best tire life, use the max load pressure on the sidewall. Is this bad advise or good advise? I want to get the most miles out of my tires. They wear out so fast and they are so expensive to replace.

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msmarion

I just asked DH he suggested that you check your tire manufacturers web site. All tires are different.
Marion

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over_n_under

I think it really depends on what tires are on the bike. If the tire is original equipment, then follow the directions in your manual. If you have replaced the tire with something other than the original type/brand, then it is time to check with the manufacturer for the best pressure.

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bogi

"IF" you have no idea what pressures to run in your tires......... start out with 36 in the rear...and 28 in the front. Then, educate yourself as to the requirements of the specific tires you are running on. If you are going to be loaded heavily or running high speeds....bump the pressures I have given by about 3-4 psi. Most tires will perform well with these psi.....but.....learn about your tires' requirements. There is no one answer to everyone's needs.

Keep er tween the ditches!

BB

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Blue_Fairy

Thanks for the info about tire pressures.

My motorcycle manual suggests checking the tire pressures before each ride, and it states:

For Rider Only:
Front 29
Rear 33 psi

For Rider with Passenger:
Front 33
Rear 36 psi

Well, Jimminy Crickets....I suppose that I am part of the motorcycle clan and in the realm of normalcy! Now to check them tires for the first time.

Thanks for the wonderful reminder & tips.
Blue

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cogla

Tyre pressure -- I weekly check and inflate to handbook data
If you are not sure of pressure email the manufacturer and ask -- or call a local distributor --
be wary of rule of thumb suggestions like bogi mentions
Any vehicle involved in an accident may have tyre pressure checked............
My Beemer is 42 rear 36 front for all loads, ie one up or 2 up, luggage or not
Good ridin'

cog

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pianojuggler

Remember that the stated tire pressure is for "COLD" tires. That is, you should check them before riding. If you don't have a compressor on hand, tires can still be considered COLD for a mile or so of riding under 30 MPH.

Tires heat up considerably when you ride, especially on the freeway. As we should all remember from physics, stuff expands when it heats up, so the pressure inside the tire will increase as you ride. There is no set rule of how many psi over the "COLD" pressure you should use when the tires are "HOT". It largely depends on the size of the wheel (thus the volume of air in the tire) and whether you have radials or convenional tires.

Suffice it to say that if you check your tires after 50 miles on the freeway and inflated to, say, 44 psi, when you go out to check them the next morning (assuming the bike was sitting, not being ridden, all night) the pressure will be lower.

One reason that low pressure is dangerous is that when the pressure is low, the tire flexes more. The more the tire flexes, the more it heats up when you ride. This excessive heating and flexing will cause your tires to wear out faster or even fail.

Another bit of free advice: Get a high-quality tire gauge that is designed to read the range of pressures you need. If you are running 30 to 40 psi, get a gauge that reads between 20 and 50. If you get a bicycle tire gauge that goes up to 140 psi, it's not going to be very accurate when you are trying to get between 40 and 42 psi.

If you get three people with three different gauges to all check the same tire, I'll bet a nickel you get at least three different readings.

And be very wary of the gauge built into the air-hose at the gas station unless you have double-checked it with your personal gauge.

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bogi

Cog....

I did not give my recommendations here arbitrarily. It comes from 20 years of installing, balancing and riding on motorcycle tires. On a professional level. I have installed hundreds of tires over the years. The reason I gave the pressures I did, was because I have seen them recommended over and over by myriad manufacturers of tires and motorcycles. And .....I also said to educate one's self about your tires requirements, did I not? You merely added verbatim to my statement.

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hrajotte

ALWAYS go by the tire pressures in the owner's manual!
The pressure stated on the tire sidewall is the MAXIMUM safe pressure for which the tire is designed. It does not consider the weight and handling characteristics of your particular bike.
ALSO - Check tire pressure frequently, and whenever there is a change in ambient temperature. Always check pressure before riding, when tires are cool. Higher temps=higher pressure. Sudden temp drops can result in underinflated tires. I forget the formula, but I think 10 degrees = a 1 PSI change in tire pressure.
(To answer the original question, my Kawasaki VN1500 tire pressures are 28 PSI front, 36 PSI rear.)

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over_n_under

"ALWAYS go by the tire pressures in the owner's manual!"
Well, not quite "always". The owner's manual for your motorcycle will be of little use if you replace your tires with a different type of tire than was OEM. By 'different' type, I don't mean an OEM equivalent. I mean replacing with a softer, or more rigid, or a performance tire when the bike did not originally come with these types of tires. When you move away from OEM, it is time to consult the manufacturer of the tire and not rely on the manual.

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