Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Washington, the state
Tire inflation pressure is one of those things where there is no consensus. What cold inflation pressures are listed on the sticker on your swing arm? Those are the minimums*. I like those for everyday solo riding. 41 psi is the required cold pressure to carry the max load the bike is rated to carry. 42 psi is the required cold pressure for the max load the tire is rated to carry. Also, keep in mind that the tire is the first impact absorber in the the chain--the springs are next. Higher inflation pressure transmits more jolt to the rest of the system.
Generally the tire needs more cold inflation press to carry more weight. There are excellent load/inflation pressure tables for trucks, but not much publicly available for cars, and very little for motorcycles. Here's Avon's guidelines for an example:
Avon Motorcycle Tyres North America Â» Tire Pressure Guidelines
(and I don't understand why they want more front pressure 2-up when all the weight is over the rear wheel.)
*It is common practice to lower tire pressure when riding off road at slow speed for better dirt traction.
Tire flex causes heat, and lower pressure allows more flex. Overheated tires can fail. Low pressure high speed operation is a bad practice. Also, tires need to be normally warm for best traction on pavement. The amount of heat is determined by the speed and the amount of tire flex, which is determined by the pressure. It is good to lower the pressure for more flex and more warmth in cold weather, but not below the minimum needed to carry the load. It is good to raise the pressure a couple of psi in hot weather to avoid excessive tire heat.
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Last edited by PTRider; 04-21-2014 at 01:38 PM.