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Yes, I know, I haven't been as diligent as I should when it comes to checking my tires. No excuses for my complacency; I had simply become lazy as every time I checked it previously, it never lost a bit of air. However, I had noticed that over the last few weeks, the bike had been getting increasingly unstable at freeway speeds. We're not talking 100+, we're talking a comfortable 70-80 mph cruise that had the bike feeling like it was starting to wobble. Much of our pavement here in southeast Michigan has parallel grooves in the direction of travel, and I thought maybe my relatively new tires (Metzler Tourances)were tracking in them.

But the problem was worsening... Passing semis at 70 was becoming a white-knuckle affair. The wobble seemingly induced by the wind was scary as hell, and more than once I wondered if the wobbling was going to stop. So, the week before last, after a particularly commute home, I started going over it with a fine toothed comb, looking for any obvious signs of wear or play where there shouldn't be any.

The only thing I found? Rear tire was down to 29 psi. WOW! What a difference!! The bike tracks straight and true again, no wobble, no sway. Even in last week's 40mph cross-winds on the way home, the bike felt far, FAR more stable than it had on a calm day with the low tire. Amazing what a difference it makes!!

Just thought I'd share for others...
 

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Yes, pressure can make a big difference. With the volume of air in MC tires so small, a small loss can make a big difference in pressure...check often. I once rode my son's tw200 at highway speeds with 0 pressure (not intentionally). The sidewalls are so stiff that you can actually ride on a flat tire. Don't try that on a Strom.
 

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I once had a Suzuki Cavalcade. It was a beast to handle as it was, but low tire pressure really made it bad. I hadn't had it too long and we were riding with a group on a lunch ride. I noticed that I was having a terrible time making the curves, and at one point, in a right hander, I went clear into the opposite lane of traffic and down into the ditch. Fortunately it was shallow, however the upcoming curve was blind. Fortunately there was no oncoming traffic.

I mentioned my problem at lunch and someone suggested we check my tire pressures. I hadn't bothered to do that at home as I trusted the dealer to have done a proper job of setting the bike prior to delivery. WHAT A MISTAKE!
We found that both tires only had 15 pounds of air!! Yowzers!! Aired 'em up and yup, what a difference that made. Still a beast to handle, but not like before. I learned about motorcycling from that. A valuable lesson.
 
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At least you found it: read a tidbit on a local dealer's website reminding you to check tire pressure.
Apparently more than a once someone rode in on the bike they ended up trading same day for a new/ new to them bike. At some point in the process, they'd remark about how crappy the handling was on the bike they were trading in. The dealer would send the bike to the shop, where they'd discover the tire pressure crazy low.
 

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If my back tire goes below 35 psi, I can tell in the first corner, which from my house is when I leave the driveway. The front is a little harder to detect, but is distinctly noticeable at 33 or lower.

OTOH years ago, I had a set of run flat goodyear eagle GT2s on my XS11. One day I ran up to the corner store and noticed it didn't feel right. I got home and checked tire pressures and get this, 15 psi in each one. I think some kids let the air out the night before. After that, I got to wondering what would happen if I were out on a long straight highway and one of the tires lost air and I didn't detect it. I never bought another set of run flats.
 

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...you can actually ride on a flat tire. Don't try that on a Strom.
The other day on my way to and from lunch, I noticed my Wee didn't quite feel right - a little sluggish, less secure in the corners, a little squirrelly on the straightaways, and the rear tire kept slipping a bit when I'd turn on a painted crosswalk. Normally, the bike is rock solid, but that day it just felt a little off. Walking up to the bike after work, I noticed a shiny glint in the rear tire. I had picked up a nail, and my pressure gauge showed about 12 psi in the tire.

I have to admit, though...if I am riding dirt or gravel roads, I routinely reduce tire pressures to 25 psi or so, but I've never had any problems at 65-75 mph (indicated) on the highway like that. I wonder if the stock Trailwings have a stiffer sidewall than the Metzelers, or if I'm just not as in tune with the bike as some of the rest of you?
 

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I have almost exclusively used a dial gauge attached to the air chuck on my compressor for checking my air pressure.

I recently unearthed a gauge after a couple of years of hiding in my office.

I decided to use it and found my tires to be low about 5 lbs.

I got out the air chuck gauge and found the correct pressure.

These are both dial gauges which I presumed would be pretty accurate.

Well, I tried a couple of pen-type gauges and found that one matched the air chuck and one matched the newly-unearthed guage.

I think I may be ready to spend more than $15 on a guage.
 

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I think I may be ready to spend more than $15 on a guage.
I used a dial gauge for a good while before buying this roadgear digital. The digital gauge read 5 psi less than the dial. I took the digital and dial to work to check calibration on a device used for instrument calibration. The digital was within 0.5 psi @ 40.

The other day at wally, I picked up a little digital gauge. It's the oval looking one. It almost always reads 10-15 psi low on the 1st and 2nd try, but looses almost no air on each check. Eventually it reads right with the roadgear gauge, which looses at least 1/2 psi each check.
 

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does the road gear let you bleed air down to the correct pressure?
I have the same Roadgear gauge. It's sort of a "check....pssst...check...pssst...check" kinda deal, no automatic bleeding. However, the reason I love it is that when the gauge is in an awkward position, no worries. It TALKS! No rushing to read the pressure before it disappears. I would add that I had the older model and the battery finally died. When I called Roadgear to ask them how to change the battery, they said, "You can't.....we'll send you a new one". And they did. Nice folks.

Mike
 

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The most commonly neglected maintenance item on a bike that comes to my shop is tires. The worst was a bike that had 13# TOTAL air when it got there. I educate people almost daily about the importance of checking tires and yet some still come back the next year with low tires.
 

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I had the exact same situation and I am an ex mechanic that should know better. This is my first year with a v and after enjoying the summer riding getting it sorted buffeting etc it just seemed sluggish and I also had a lower speed wobble and felt very insecure.
I hate to admit it but my tires were really low and what a difference now having fun again throwing it into the corners.Guess the extreme change in temperature caught me off guard. (that is my excuse) Keep up the good comments and advice please I am learning so much from you all.
 

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I went riding with brother in law and we switched bikes. I hopped on his SV1000 and nearly went into the other lane on the first turn. It took me about 3 blocks to figure out the pressure was WAY low in the rear tire. It just didn't want to lean but then once it started it didn't want to stand back up. I pulled over and made him ride it to the nearest gas station. After putting air in the tires it handled great again. The sad part was he had ridden it about 5 miles to meet me and hadn't noticed anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
That is hard to believe? How much do you weigh?
About 210 with gear on... I'm in shape. Round is a shape... :thumbup:

I went riding with brother in law and we switched bikes. I hopped on his SV1000 and nearly went into the other lane on the first turn. It took me about 3 blocks to figure out the pressure was WAY low in the rear tire. It just didn't want to lean but then once it started it didn't want to stand back up. I pulled over and made him ride it to the nearest gas station. After putting air in the tires it handled great again. The sad part was he had ridden it about 5 miles to meet me and hadn't noticed anything.
I think the thing with air pressure is that if it's a pound a week, the slight difference in performance from day to day is barely perceptible, wheras if you snag a nail and lose 15psi in an hour, the difference will stand out. I ride every day, and had noticed it getting progressively worse over the course of a few weeks, but never thought it would have been the air in the tires.

Complacency. That's the word that comes to mind.
 

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Originally Posted by ozart
The digital was within 5 psi @ 40.
Are you saying this is acceptable?
Thanks, I meant 0.5 psi.

When I called Roadgear to ask them how to change the battery, they said, "You can't.....we'll send you a new one". And they did. Nice folks.
Mike
Yeah the battery has a lifetime warranty, mine is 8yrs old? I wondered how they handled that - thanks.
 

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Tires need air......and run whatever you have near the max pressure IMHO, unless going off-road and want more traction.
 

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I've lost count of how many people i've seen at gas stations, parking lots, etc.. that are ridding on tires so low on air you can visually see it. You'll mention it to them and they look at you like your crazy. Then after handing them my air pressure gauge they are dumbfounded when it doesn't even move the stick enough to registar on the gauge.

Its a wonder more people don't get killed from this.
 
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