Tire Pressure: Can't believe my Owner's Manual - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-01-2014, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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Tire Pressure: Can't believe my Owner's Manual

When I bought my 2005 Vulcan 800 Classic two years ago, there were no manuals, so of course the forums have been my source of education. Well, I just down-loaded a manual from Kawasaki and note that they specify tire pressures of 28 psi front and rear, unless riding two-up in which case rear should be 32 psi. Wow. My mechanic recommends 40 psi front and rear. The motorcycle cop instructors at the intermediate riding class I attended recommend whatever the maximum is on the sidewall, which on mine are either 40 or 44 (forget, I have to go look). Their concern is that when you have an emergency, handling is more important than a nice comfy ride.

I've ridden with lower tire pressure, somewhere just under 28, and didn't like the lessened responsiveness to the steering.

So I don't think I can agree with the manual on tire pressure. So my question is, what else is likely to be incorrect in the manual? Or is the manual actually right?

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Last edited by SummitJim; 04-01-2014 at 10:13 PM.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-01-2014, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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This reminds me of my truck and my other mechanic. Door jam sticker says 28 psi for the truck, my mechanic always sets it to 40. Sidewalls say the maximum is 44 psi. I once asked the mechanic about this difference and the answer was "it's a truck, you haul stuff in it. Want a soft ride, drive your wife's Honda." Made sense to me.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-01-2014, 10:33 PM
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Tire Pressure: Can't believe my Owner's Manual

Tires wear faster at lower pressures because they flex more and that extra flex generates more heat. If you like the ride at 40 psi then you will probably get more miles out of your tires than the guys who go for the softer ride at lower pressures. Or not. Who knows!

Oh, I run both front and rear at 40 psi butt I'm double Darkside so I'm crazy.


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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-01-2014, 10:51 PM
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38 psi front and 44 psi rear in the Commander IIs on my 2011 Vaquero, ride, handle, and wear great.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-01-2014, 10:57 PM
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40 will get ya great mpg with a harsh ride as the tires won't give. All the cushion is left to the shocks. Less than 30 will give a soft pleasant ride at the expense of mpg and handling. Your handling goes do to sidewwall flex forcing the tire to scrub the road versus gripping it. The scrubbing also adds to your tire wear. Meaning replacement more often.

I run mine at 32 same as my car. I'm not a dare devil and therefore don't nead the extra grip, and the extra dollar spent on fuel is well worth the soft comforable ride.

It's a personal preference you have to make but there's no added danger by running lower or higher. You either want handling and mpg. Or cruising comfort. 32 to 35 seems like the happy medium to me.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-01-2014, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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Kowboysix, like your thinking. I'm a pretty conservative rider, not into pushing the envelope. Maybe I ought to try varying the pressure and paying close attention to the ride and handling and find my own best setting. My previous bike had a decidedly mushy feel to the steering with the lower pressures, but can't truthfully say about the Vulcan. Hey, another reason to ride!

I do tend to listen carefully to the guys who spend 8 hours a day every day riding, but then they have to be ready for high performance riding more than I do.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-01-2014, 11:33 PM
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I run my '05, 800B at the 28 & 32 without issue. Mileage is around 48mpg, handling is fine and braking / turning is no issue. Your option. Remember that those are cold temps. Pressures will increase as the tire temps go up...




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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-02-2014, 04:22 AM
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I ran my tire pressures on my Vulcan 500 near the recommended 28/32 for years (if I remember correctly). I run Metzler ME-880 tires now and they recommend higher pressures. I run 32-34 on the front and 35-36 on the rear now. If I run the tires much higher than that it's too rough of a ride for me.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-02-2014, 04:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgiaRider View Post
I ran my tire pressures on my Vulcan 500 near the recommended 28/32 for years (if I remember correctly). I run Metzler ME-880 tires now and they recommend higher pressures. I run 32-34 on the front and 35-36 on the rear now. If I run the tires much higher than that it's too rough of a ride for me.
Same here on my 1991 500. I run at 28/32, which are the workshop and owners manual recommended pressures. I find them the most comfortable pressures.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-02-2014, 05:57 AM
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well, I didnt think it much mattered, but after 2 days of riding with 42#'s I could definitely use a softer ride. Maybe i'll give 36-38 (a happy medium) a try.. ;-)
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