When was the last time you checked your tyre pressure? After all, it's the air contained within that carries the load, not the tyre itself. Safe to say, ensuring the correct psi is vital as it makes your riding experience safer, increases the longevity of your tyre’s and improves bike performance.
So what exactly is the most ideal tyre pressure for your motorbike? Well...it depends. Each motorcycle will have its own recommended psi pressure set by manufacturers. Often the pressure will depend on a few factors. For example, single or pillion usage, anticipated load conditions, and weather conditions. This kind of information will be specific to your model of bike and can be found in the user manual handbook or on the bike's swingarm.
For off-road, endurance bikes, this will change. It’s recommended to again reference your user manual as a guide, however, depending on your riding style and terrain, you may decide to experiment with alternative psi’s. For example, sandy, loose terrain will require a lower psi than firm dirt tracks. In general, off-road bikes will be sporting a decreased psi pressure when compared to road-oriented tyres, so don’t feel alarmed by the lessened amount of air.
Typically, street motorcycle tyres are within the psi range of 28 to 40. For my 2016 MT07, the sticker on the left swingarm reads single rider 33psi front (Tyre) and 36psi rear (Tyre). For a pillion, I would need to increase the rear to 38psi and maintain the same pressure at the front. Under-pressurised tyres can run hot, which can affect the compound and accelerate tyre wear. Lower than recommended pressures can dramatically affect the performance and handling of the bike, which can be dangerous in certain conditions. The idea of over-inflating is also not recommended as it results in a hard ride and accelerates tyre wear in the centre on the contact patch. I tend to routinely check the tyre pressures every fortnight, adjusting when need be.
An effective and cheap method to ensure your tyre pressure is always ideal is by using a tyre pressure gauge. Accuracy is key, and XTech is one of the most precise gauges I’ve used. The dial gauge is compatible with either Presta valves, for push bikes, and Schrader valves, for motorcycles and cars. The display range is extensive, showing 0-60psi and 0-160psi. At a low $19.95 AUD, the XTech pressure gauge is a must in every rider's tool kit.
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