What You Need to Know About Motorcycle Tire Pressures
Some Maintenance Tips from Our Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Tires are among the most important components of your motorcycle. They must always be inflated to the right pressure for the motorcycle to run smoothly and to avoid accidents. But motorcycle owners often neglect to check their tire pressure, which often results bad handling, decreased grip and braking, increased wear, and cracking. Under-inflated or over-inflated tires can both cause accidents, which is why it is important to maintain just the right level of pressure. If you are injured in a crash, talk to motorcycle accident attorneys as soon as you are able to.
Here are some of the things you need to know about motorcycle tire pressure:
- Anyone can easily adjust tire pressures
You may not have realized it, but tire pressure is among the most easily adjustable variables on your motorbike. If you have never done it before, simply follow the pressures stated in the user manual that came with your bike. Usually, you will find two recommendations – one for solo and the other for two people. There will be a difference of only 1-2 psi between them.
- Tire pressures have more to do with heat
People generally believe that the purpose behind inflating the tire to the right pressure is to provide a cushion of air for support. While this is true, tire pressures actually have more to do with heat than providing support. Tires need to be warmed up to an optimum temperature for them to have a high grip and low wear. The right temperature can be achieved only by inflating the tires to the right pressure.
- Tires need to be checked regularly
The air inside the tire is compressed at a high pressure. Whether you ride your motorcycle every day or only once a month, the pressure decreases gradually as the air escapes in very small quantities. For this reason, you must check your air pressure regularly. If you are ride your bike once a day in fairly good weather conditions, then once a week will suffice. If you are in the middle of a long trip with varying road and weather conditions, then you need to check at least once a day.
- Tire pressures should be checked when cold
User manuals often recommend that tire pressure should be checked when cold. This means after your motorcycle has been sitting idle for at least 20 minutes. This gives the tires sufficient time to cool down. Spinning tires have 10 percent or more pressure, so checking them right after stopping the bike doesn’t give you an accurate or useable reading.
- Lower pressures accelerate wear and tear of the tires
Some people like to ride on lower pressure believing that it gives them a better grip (that comes from a larger footprint) and increased comfort. However, this is not a good idea. Inflating the tires to lower than recommended pressures results in increase in the amount of heat generated inside the tire, which accelerates wear and tear. Under-inflated tires can also damage the rims since the tubes get pinched between the tire and the rim. Under-inflated tires also decrease performance and handling. The motorcycle becomes sluggish and difficult to handle and steer.
- Higher pressures do not increase load-carrying capacity
Some people over-inflate their tires believing that it increase the motorcycle’s load-carrying capacity. This is not true at all. Over-inflated tires do not increase load-carrying capacity. Instead, it results in a hard ride and also accelerates the wear and tear of the center of the contact patch. Too much pressure also causes the tires to overheat and lose traction. Therefore, inflating the tires to a higher than recommended pressure is not a good idea.
- It’s a good idea to use your own pressure gauge
Whenever possible, use your own pressure gauge to check tire pressures. The reason is that most service stations do not have accurate gauges on their air hoses. A measure that’s off by even a few psi can affect the performance of your motorcycle.
Inflating your tires to the right pressure save you from a lot of troubles. It can also help you avoid accidents and injuries. In case you suffer injuries in an accident, consult with motorcycle accident attorneys to learn how to get compensated.
Our lawyers have decades of experience in providing excellent results in these areas of practice.