Why Correct Motorcycle Tyre Pressures are important

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Motorcycle enthusiasts understand the thrill and freedom that comes with riding on two wheels. However, amidst the exhilaration, it's essential not to overlook the critical role that correct tyre pressures play in ensuring a safe and enjoyable riding experience. Proper tyre inflation is not just a technicality; it is a fundamental aspect of motorcycle maintenance that directly influences performance, handling, and overall safety.

1. Safety First:

The most compelling reason for maintaining correct tyre pressures is safety. Motorcycles, by design, have a smaller contact area with the road compared to four-wheeled vehicles. This makes them more susceptible to the impact of incorrect tyre pressures. Underinflated tyres, for instance, can lead to poor handling, decreased traction, and longer stopping distances, significantly increasing the risk of accidents.

2. Optimal Handling and Performance:

Motorcycle handling is a delicate balance, and tyre pressures play a pivotal role in maintaining it. When tyres are correctly inflated, the bike responds predictably to rider inputs, offering a more stable and controlled ride. Proper inflation ensures optimal contact with the road, allowing the rider to navigate corners with confidence and precision. Conversely, incorrect tyre pressures can result in unpredictable behaviour, compromising the bike's overall performance.

3. Extended Tyre Lifespan:

Maintaining the recommended tyre pressures extends the lifespan of the tyres themselves. Underinflated tyres generate more heat, leading to increased wear and tear. This not only affects the durability of the tyre but also compromises its structural integrity. On the other hand, overinflated tyres may wear out unevenly, reducing their overall lifespan. By adhering to the manufacturer's recommended tyre pressures, riders can ensure that their tyres wear evenly, maximizing their longevity.

4. Fuel Efficiency:

Correctly inflated tyres contribute to improved fuel efficiency. Underinflated tyres increase rolling resistance, requiring the engine to work harder and consume more fuel. This not only impacts the rider's wallet but also contributes to environmental concerns. By keeping tyres properly inflated, riders can enhance fuel efficiency, reducing their environmental footprint and saving money on fuel costs.

5. Getting it right

The motorcycle will tell you the correct pressure to use, not the tyre. Check the sticker that is usually on the swing arm, under the seat or in the BMW's user manual. Tyres filled with air will slowly deflate, whether used regularly or not. Purchase a small tyre gauge and keep it handy, whether it is a digital, ananlogue or an affordable pencil-style gauge. Ideally, you'll own a small compressor or inflator. Even a cheap bicycle foot-pump is enough to top-up tyres before riding. Try to check your tyre pressures while the tyre is cold.

You can consider getting your tyres inflated with nitrogen, which is possible from good tyre shops. Nitrogen particles are larger and don't naturally leak from a tyre, like air does.

In the world of motorcycling, where every ride is an adventure, overlooking the importance of correct tyre pressures is a risk that no rider should take. Safety, performance, and longevity—all these aspects are intertwined with the simple yet crucial act of maintaining the right tyre pressures. Motorcycle enthusiasts should make it a habit to regularly check and adjust tyre pressures, ensuring that every ride is not only exhilarating but also safe and reliable.

It's not obious, until it is. Even a few PSI too low is hard to see but dramatically affects riding.
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