How To Properly Check Your Motorcycle’s Tire Pressure - - The Ultimate Ducati Forum
  • 1 Post By SP3
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old Feb 10th, 2016, 2:35 pm Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 7
How To Properly Check Your Motorcycle’s Tire Pressure

OK, I know, checking a motorcycle’s tire pressure is super easy. All you do is take out your handy tire gauge and apply it correctly to the wheel’s valve stem. Well, yes…and no. Tire manufacturers recommend that you check your bike’s air pressure when the rubber is cold – meaning at ambient temperature. If you’ve ridden your bike in the last few hours or have parked it in the sun, where the tires can absorb heat, the pressure will read artificially high.

Yes, we know that racers often check tire pressure immediately after they leave the track, but they’re actually using the pressure rise they’re getting out of their tire as a barometer for estimating the tire’s temperature and whether they’re leaving potential traction on the table.

Street riders have different needs. First, the air pressure helps the tire carcass maintain the proper profile, making for predictable handling in the varied environments encountered out in the real world. Second, proper air pressure helps keep the tires from overheating and cooking the life out of the rubber compounds. (A quick FYI, race bikes typically run lower tire pressures than street tires.) Third, your bike will get better gas mileage and longer tire life with proper inflation. Finally, both over- and under-inflated tires are more prone to failure than those using the correct air pressure.

So, before you ride your bike, check the tires’ pressure with an accurate gauge. Also, if you need to move your bike to get the valve stem to an easier place to use the gauge, take advantage of the movement to examine the tire’s tread for any sharp pokie things (a technical term) that could – or may have already – cause(ed) a leak. If it turns out that your tires do need air, an inexpensive bicycle pump can take care of upping the pressure a couple pounds without you even breaking a sweat.
Read more about How To Properly Check Your Motorcycle’s Tire Pressure at is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old Feb 10th, 2016, 3:49 pm
Senior Member
GiantAntCowboy's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Washington, DC,
Posts: 162
Good reminder for something that is often overlooked.

I once rode a person's bike who was complaining about poor handling; after a quick loop around the block I agreed with them, checked the tire pressures, and found both tires were really low.. After filling them up the bike handled great.

Recently I checked a buddy's tires because he said that he probably needed air and his tire pressures were so high that they pegged my gauge! Like 60+psi ... He tells me, "yea I put air in there a few weeks ago." wtf?

Anyway, a seemingly simple thing that can cause handling issues and potential accidents.

. Check your tire pressures!

02' 900ss Senna
"My ambition is handicapped by laziness" - Charles Bukowski
GiantAntCowboy is offline  
post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old Feb 10th, 2016, 4:20 pm
Prolific Poster Award
SP3's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Canton, Ohio, USA
Posts: 4,830
Images: 6
the line about racers using the hot pressure as a barometer of the tire's temp is nonsense. racers use a pyrometer to measure the temp and pressure gauge to measure the pressure. there's no guessing.

also, they use the hot pressure because that is the only number of any use during practice, qualifying, and race. during a session, if you suspect the current pressure is not giving the best performance, you can't wait for the tire to cool to check the pressure and then make your change. you take the reading as it comes off the track, make your adjustment (hopefully down), and go back out.

after the track events are done for the day and the tires have cooled to ambient (preferably a temp close to what it will be just before the next session), you'll take another measurement and that is your new baseline cold pressure.
Rob in Oz likes this.

'91 851 SP3, '66 250 Monza, '99 Monster 900 City, '98 ST2
'99 Monster 750, '66 Riverside 250, '66 Riverside 250
SP3 is online now  
Sponsored Links

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the - The Ultimate Ducati Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome