Best Motorcycle Tire gauge

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Did you know that if you don’t regularly check your bikes’ tires and air pressure you can compromise your bike’s performance and put your own life at serious risk too?

We spoke to Bridgestone Tires’ T.J.Tennent, to get some sensible advice from a man who has the impressive title of “Engineering Manager, Firestone Consumer Products, Government Products, Bridgestone Motorcycle & Karting Products.” An avid long-time motorcycle rider, Tennent in his spare time is also an instructor for the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and is Chairman of the Tire & Rim Association, Motorcycle Sub-Committee, which decides specifications for bike wheels, tires and tubes that are sold here in the U.S.

Tire Dos
Before you ride your bike you should check your entire motorcycle over every single time. “That doesn’t always happen in the real world, ” said Tennent. “But it should. It’s a bit like being an air pilot carrying out a pre-flight inspection. You should examine your bike from front to end and pay particular attention to your tires. With a motorcycle you only have two wheels on the ground and you should take time to inspect your tires as often as you can.”

Even if you are a long-time experienced rider, Tennent recommends some basic things you should do to keep you and your bike safe out on the road.

Firstly, buy an electronic tire pressure gauge from any good automotive store. They are not expensive and start from as little as around $10. An analogue gauge is good too, but the electronic ones are a little more accurate and easier to use.

Before you ride anywhere you should always check your motorcycle’s tire pressures – both front and rear. Get down and look them and see if there is any unusual wear, bulges in the sidewall or anything sticking into them. If you do find something wrong you should take a photograph and e-mail or text it to your tire dealer or even the tire manufacturer’s customer service department, who will tell you whether they think it’s safe for you to ride.

“We also recommend that you read your owner’s manual that came with your bike to see what the recommended tire pressures should be, ” said Tennent. “But if you don’t have a manual you can sometimes find it marked on the sticker on a bike’s swing arm. Failing that, call the manufacture and get the correct figures.

“Some people like to ride their bikes with reduced psi (pounds per square inch) as it offers a softer ride. But don’t do that. The load bearing capacity of a motorcycle is not in the actual tires but the air inside them. In effect you are compromising your tires, the way your bike handles and possibly your safety.

“The best way to achieve the ride you want is to adjust the suspension. Not all bikes have a sophisticated suspension systems but most will allow you to make some adjustments. It’s a much better and safer option than playing around with your tire pressures.”

Tennent also advises that a rider should run their tire pressures between one and two psi above the manufacturer’s recommendation. That way you take into account any changes in weather (heat and cold can affect pressures). But also if you are only going to do the bare minimum and check them just once a month, it will compensate for that too, as on average tires will lose one psi every four weeks under normal riding conditions.

Accutire MS-4710B Motorcycle 5-99 PSI Digital Tire Gauge
Automotive Parts and Accessories (Measurement Limited)
  • Measures 5-99 PSI (in 1/2 lb increments)
  • Designed specifically to access tire valves on all kinds of motorcyles including large road bikes with duel front brakes
  • Auto On/Off and an easy to read extra large display
  • 90 degree valve head, rugged design with sure-grip handle
  • Permanent lithium battery
2009-03-24 06:41:20 by turbodog

Good morning, glad to see you are on the mend.

I'll give you something to ponder while you recover fully.
It occurs to me there is something you should check on the bike before you do any riding more serious than up the street and back.
The suspension on this bike is air preload over coil spring. If it sat for 3 years, the air preload pressures are almost certainly not correct.
The rear preload is set via the tire-valve at the damping adjuster knob at the right rear of the bike (IIRC, could be on the left). Minimum pressure is 14 psi. Run less and it could damage seals. To set it, put the bike on the centerstand

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