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Motorcycles What Is The Best Adventure Motorcycle Tire Pressure?

04:20  09 october  2020
04:20  09 october  2020 Source:   motorcyclistonline.com

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Alaska motorcycle tours come in many different flavors. But if you are seeking true adventure in the heart of Alaska's Backcountry, then look no further. Far more important than the type of tire used is the air pressure . Riding on dirt with street pressure is like riding on marbles, as every pebble and

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Mention tires to a group of adventure riders and you have a conversation that is more hotly contested than the 2020 presidential election. With so many variables in the terrain accessible by ADV bikes, there is no one tire to rule them all. But no matter what rubber you choose, tire pressure plays a key role in how tires perform. Today on MC Garage, we talk about adventure motorcycle tire pressure.

a man holding a gun: Motorcyclist © Bert Beltran Motorcyclist

You’ve decided on new tires based on your needs and riding style for your adventure motorcycle. These could be anything from a pure road tire to a DOT-approved knobby and anything in between, but no matter how or where you ride, you need the proper tire pressure.

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It wasn’t too long ago that the only pressure you were supposed to inflate your tyres to was the maximum recommended: normally 120 psi or more. You were given this advice by any experienced cyclist and this was often accompanied by dire warnings of catastrophic pinch flats if you ran anything

Things that affect tyre pressure . Weight – A pressure that works for a 60kg won’t necessarily work for a person weighing considerably more than that . How can I find my best pressure ? What you want first is a good baseline pressure which you should be able to get from any of the below sources.

So where to start? As ADV rigs are streetbikes that are capable of off-road travel, your baseline should be proper street pressure. Follow the manufacturer’s pressure recommendations for your bike for the street, this will ensure you will have enough support for the maximum load of your bike.

Then evaluate that overall load. Are your bags full or empty—or do you even have bags? If you are fully loaded all the time, max pressure is your friend. If it’s just you and a backpack, you could reduce the pressure slightly on the street for better traction. But be forewarned—this can cause uneven and accelerated wear. If you are on the street and fully loaded, just stick to the recommended pressures and enjoy the ride.

a man holding a gun: We discuss motorcycle tire pressure for adventure-touring bikes in this episode of MC Garage . © Provided by Motorcyclist We discuss motorcycle tire pressure for adventure-touring bikes in this episode of MC Garage .

Once we head off road, this is where we need to really think about our ride—the terrain, our aggressiveness, and if the tire is a tube type or tubeless. All of these factors will decide where you need to be on pressures once you head off the pavement. And, yes, that means carrying a tire pressure gauge! Both for letting air out to lower the pressure from street to dirt, but also for airing back up when you hit the pavement for home.

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It’s tire pressure . If you don’t pay attention to inflation, the amount of air in your tires is not only not ideal but probably wrong enough to cause excess flats and To find your ideal pressure , start in the middle of these ranges, then factor in your body weight. Don't overinflate. More isn't always better .

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Which brings me to the next required item in your bag: a pump of some sort. If you’ve got the room, a 12V electric pump is sweet. If not, a small pump or CO2 inflator is the next best thing. Don’t get lazy and ride long distances on the street without airing your tires back up to street pressures. You’re just going to wear out your tires sooner and have terrible handling on the street. Be safe and be smart.

Back to lowering the pressure. If your ADV bike is struggling to find forward traction or skids or slips while turning, it’s time it air down. Start off with lowering the pressure 5 psi, and ride a bit. Take note of how the ride has changed. Hard dirt roads will require less air to be removed from a street-pressure tire than a soft-sand wash. Keep dropping in small psi increments, until you are happy.

But don’t go too low! As you decrease pressure the possibility of a puncture, pinch flat, or rim damage increases. With the substantial weight of adventure bikes, you can’t really run dirt bike-like tire pressures of 15 psi. If you go that low, you run a high chance of a pinch flat where the tube or tire sidewall is pinched by the rim as it flexes to a flat profile on hard hits. You need enough pressure to maintain enough sidewall stability to counteract that pinching possibility.

I’ve found in my extensive time riding adventure bikes off-road that somewhere between 26 and 22 psi is the sweet spot for true off-road riding. But, like I said, go by 5 psi increments until you hone in on the area you need to be, and then fine-tune in smaller adjustments. Take a note and store it away, as you can make that your off-road baseline in the future. As you change tires, add or remove weight, or change terrain, you will have a solid starting point to work from.

So as you can see, there is no cut-and-dried answer to the best tire pressure for adventure motorcycles. The answer is always, “It depends.” But now you know how to find your own best pressure, so get out there and enjoy the range and variety only ADV bikes can provide.

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