Help me with tire pressure issues! - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 7 Old 06-04-2015, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Northeast
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Help me with tire pressure issues!

So i am new to bikes. And have a 2013 650 adventure. I am 210 lbs and ride one-up. I would like to be cautious and make sure the tires are always the correct PSI. I learned to do that in my MSF course

I have an older accu-gage tire pressure gauge. Its always 'seemed' to be a little under-reporting on my cars and bicycles. But i never had a way to confirm if it was accurate or not. Now that I have motorcycle, i picked up a new accu-gage gauge to compare readings. I tested both on my truck tires. The older gauge consistently reads about 5 PSI less than my new gauge. Which should i believe?

And then finally, my bike tires seem to be reading low (30 or 35 PSI depending on which gauge is accurate). What should me tires PSI be? I have been told lots of conflicting things from people. The sticker on the bike says one thing. The tire says one thing. People say another thing!

My tires are:

Bridgestone trailwing 101 radial tubeless (says Max load at 41 psi cold on tire)
110/80r19m/c 59h

150/70r17m/c 69h

So A) how do i know if a gauge is reading correctly? B) What should my tires be set to?

I ride 100% on asphalt pavement.

Thanks for any help.


2013 DL650 Adventure
-Givi E52 Top Case w/AdMore Lighting
-SW-Motech Skid Plate and Engage Tank Bag
-AdventureTech: Foot Peg, Mirror Extenders, GPS Mount, Foot
-Givi Airflow Screen
-Seat Concepts Tall
-Barkbusters with Storm Handguards
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post #2 of 7 Old 06-04-2015, 01:03 PM
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Portland OR
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Find a few more gauges to compare with may be the easiest.
When I was at the dealership Honda came out with a tool designed to verify tire pressure gauges. Although I doubt you want to run out & buy one. Part number 07AAJ-000A100. It is for calibrating purpose only.
I've found the pencil gauges like Milton or Tru-Flate to be small, reliable, & accurate.
With out gear, I usually run around 34 F & 36 R cold.

2007 DL 650 with assorted upgrades
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post #3 of 7 Old 06-04-2015, 01:04 PM
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The maximum PSI on a tire isn't useful for anything other than knowing what the maximum PSI the tire can handle is. The correct PSI will vary based on the vehicle which is why the sticker on the bike is different. Same with cars for that matter. So ignore the maximum PSI on the tire.
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post #4 of 7 Old 06-04-2015, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Solo View Post
Find a few more gauges to compare with may be the easiest....I've found the pencil gauges like Milton or Tru-Flate to be small, reliable, & accurate.
With out gear, I usually run around 34 F & 36 R cold.
Good advice.
I've found that the inexpensive pencil gauges are usually pretty good, buy 2-3 and try them.

33-36 is what I run solo, 33-41 loaded or two-up. Don't sweat a pound or two either way.

Rich Desmond
'07 DL650, '01 DR-Z400S, '99 SV650 (race bike), '80 GS1000S, '85 RZ350, '08 Ducati 848
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post #5 of 7 Old 06-06-2015, 12:06 PM
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I'll third that advice as well. For example, I just mounted up a Shinko 804 on the front. I found at the sidewall max pressure of 33 it had a sudden turn in on pavement that I did not like. Dropping pressure to 30 makes that sudden turn in go away, and it is better off pavement.

No longer a Vstrom Owner - fantastic bike! Now sporting a KTM 990 Adventure
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post #6 of 7 Old 06-06-2015, 12:40 PM
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Location: Port Perry, Ontario, Canada
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A lot depends on what tires you run and how you like to ride.

I run around 42 psi rear and around 40 psi front. Normally have been using Tourance regulars front and rear, currently have Tourance Next on the front.


2006 DL650: 202,000 km 125,500 miles, Sold
2012 DL650 139,500+ km, 86,700+ miles. Sold
2015 DL1000 New July 2015 200,000+ km, 125,000 miles.

This can help preventing from cars pulling out in front of you (SMIDSY)
SMIDSY detailed report.

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post #7 of 7 Old 06-06-2015, 01:36 PM
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I don't think anybody except maybe a tire engineer knows what is the "best" tire pressure to run. Go by the sticker on the swingarm or the listing in the owner's manual. Not that for vehicles after (I think) 2009 this is the pressure required for the max load the vehicle is made to carry. Earlier models often had a sticker that showed both the pressure required for normal loads and the pressure required for maximum loads. These are always cold inflation pressures.

The pressure listed on the tire's sidewall is NOT the recommended pressure. It is the minimum required pressure to carry the max weight the tire is made to carry, usually more than the vehicle is made to carry. Depending on the wording, it often may not be the maximum cold inflation pressure that tire can handle.

The tire pressures listed on the VIN sticker on the bike are the minimum pressures required to carry the maximum weight the bike is made to carry.

Lots of mention of the weight on the tire. Tire makers have load / inflation tables that show the cold inflation pressure needed to carry any weight on a certain sized tire. They don't share those with us, but perhaps someone can telephone a motorcycle tire maker and ask for the load/inflation table for the sizes our stroms use. It's not too hard to weigh each end of the loaded bike, maybe with a helper. Even my bathroom scale goes up to 400#. Set boards so the bike rolls straight on the scale and the other end is at the same height. Sit on the loaded bike and read the weight. Use the load/inflation tables to know the needed air pressure.

Wait, there's more. Tires need to flex to generate normal warmth for best traction--cold rubber doesn't grip well, and very hot rubber doesn't grip plus wears really fast. The amount of flex depends on the air pressure and the weight on the tire. A bit less air in cold weather let's it flex more, get warmer, and grip better. A bit more air in hot weather let's it flex less, don't get too warm, work well. And, to a point, more air saves a bit of gas and slows tire wear. And, more air makes the tire run harsher--the tires are the first link in the suspension chain.

So, what cold inflation pressure to run, 1-up? Start with the sticker pressure for 1-up riding (for older bikes) or the sticker front pressure and 3 psi more in the rear for newer bikes that don't list two pressure ranges. See how it works for you. Try 2 psi higher in each end and see how you like the results. And 2 more. If 2-up, use 41 in the rear--the passenger doesn't put load on the front tire. (My Vee2 lists 36 front and 41 rear regardless of the load on the rear. I like 36 front and 39 rear.)

"Older people who are reasonable, good-tempered, and gracious will bear aging well. Those who are mean-spirited and irritable will be unhappy at every period of their lives.

"Let each of use properly whatever strengths he has and strive to use them well. If he does this, he will never find himself lacking."

Marcus Tullius Cicero
44 B.C.

Last edited by PTRider; 06-06-2015 at 01:40 PM.
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