Tire pressure in the summer - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-14-2016, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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Tire pressure in the summer

My rear tire pressure when the tire is cold is 39.1 (before riding). TPMS and digital gauge are almost identical. After I'm on the road for 30 minutes or so, the tire pressure rises to 45.1. Should I lower the tire pressure 2 or 3 pounds? The ambient temp has been running from 98 to 100.

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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-14-2016, 09:04 PM
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Think 45 is high ,would take 5lbs out
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-14-2016, 10:00 PM
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I have done a lot of research on this and contacted a number of tire mfg. Long story short: If the pressure is too low, the temperature will increase too much while riding due to excess flexing. If the pressure is too high, it will not increase enough because the tire is too rigid. From ambient to riding temp the rise should be about 4 - 5 psi. You are getting slightly more than that. I would suggest a 40 psi cold and leave it at that, since most mfg say 40 psi is the max cold pressure (the pressure limit listed on the side of the tire is for cold pressure).

If there is an extreme ambient temp change (cooler to warmer) during the day, I would let the psi rise a little more, but not much, because with every 10 degree temp rise, there should be about a 1 psi rise.

Using these guidelines, I have gotten as many miles as anyone (and more than most) on a set of tires on a Honda Sabre. Don't know yet how it will go on the Voyager, but having 33 psi in the front and 39 in the rear cold has kept the psi rise to less than 5. 39 to 40 psi is what most folks say is the best rear pressure for the most miles on a set of tires, especially MC IIs.

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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-14-2016, 10:37 PM
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Recommended tire pressures are for cold tires.
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-14-2016, 10:49 PM
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I have found that my ride handles best when the pressure is between 39-40 psi with the Avon tires that was mounted when I bought her. And as Sabre stated, the tire companies do extensive research, so if the reading is within the recommended range when cold, keep it there for best results.

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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-14-2016, 11:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biker Dash View Post
I have found that my ride handles best when the pressure is between 39-40 psi with the Avon tires that was mounted when I bought her. And as Sabre stated, the tire companies do extensive research, so if the reading is within the recommended range when cold, keep it there for best results.
Actually, it is not a recommended range, but a max cold pressure. When it comes to what they recommend, most tire mfg cover their butts saying to use the bike mfg recommended pressures.

Well, as most of us know, Kawi's recommended pressures are WAY too low and for tires that most of us hate. While all of the tire companies are pretty adamant about not exceeding the max cold pressures they list, they are really pretty clueless on what "proper" pressures should be for any given bikes or how to determine what they should be. The party line for all but one company (Metzler) was to use the bike mfg guidelines.

Metzler actually gave me different recommendations from what Honda recommends for the Sabre. They were actually pretty close to what I determined using the method I described earlier.

The company that I got the most disappointing and useless response from was, cough cough, Bridgestone. Dunlop was next. Metzler had the best information and Michelin was a close second.

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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-15-2016, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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Sabre, thanks for the detailed explanation and for doing the research. I will bump up the cold pressure a tad and see what the riding pressure does.

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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-15-2016, 10:19 AM
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The max cold pressure rating does take into account the increase in pressure from a tire heating up.

Bike manufacturers sometimes use tire pressure "recommendations" to assist with softening the suspension.
Of course, (except for Ford/Firestone and the Explorer fiasco) they've done their research and should be well within safety margins.
Tire life and handling is a different story though.

If your PSI is at the mfgs recommendation, the max cold rating OR somewhere in between; while the tires are at ambient temps (cold).
There is no reason to check pressure when hot.

If there is a big swing in ambient temps; it's a good idea to verify cold pressure though.

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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-15-2016, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott_in_TX View Post
The max cold pressure rating does take into account the increase in pressure from a tire heating up.

Bike manufacturers sometimes use tire pressure "recommendations" to assist with softening the suspension.
Of course, (except for Ford/Firestone and the Explorer fiasco) they've done their research and should be well within safety margins.
Tire life and handling is a different story though.

If your PSI is at the mfgs recommendation, the max cold rating OR somewhere in between; while the tires are at ambient temps (cold).
There is no reason to check pressure when hot.

If there is a big swing in ambient temps; it's a good idea to verify cold pressure though.
We have TPMS (tire pressure management systems). We aren't taking IR guns out to check the tire temps, but it is good information to know. Once you have found the sweet spot for pressure for your particular bike, load and riding style, it shouldn't change much except for, like you say, adjustments for ambient temp swings.

Maybe it is a bit of overkill for folks without TPMSs to check the tires multiple times every day, but having a TPMS can save you from being stranded in the middle of nowhere with a flat tire. I would much rather be able to find a shady or dry spot to fix a tire than on the open highway in the summer sun or in a rain storm.

Yes, the max recommended tire pressures do take temperatures into account. At that pressure, the tire should not flex much at all so there should not be much as much temperature rise, so they don't expect any failures. More cold pressure and they can blame you for the tire failure. Less than bike mfg recommended pressure, they can blame you.

In between the two, statistically, they are safe, so it is extremely hard to prove mfg defects unless a Ford/Firestone situation exists. And, like you say, they don't warranty tread life or performance on motorcycle tires. Most motorcycle tire mfgs apparently don't put much research into what pressures their tires run best for particular applications. They probably take a few of the most common bikes that the tire fits and do all of their development from there. Just like for auto tires, they expect the vehicle mfg to do the fine tuning for their specific vehicles. However motorcycle tires are far more variable than auto tires, so tuning for one tire does not mean much if you get away from that brand. Unfortunately, Kawi when with the crappy Bridgestones, so we have to do our own fine tuning.

Installed:
RAM mount for TomTom Rider 400 (with anti theft module)
6000k LED Headlight & Spots; Kisan Headlight Modulator (works with LEDs),
__Brake Light Modulator, LED License Plate Holder
Longer Kickstand
Dobeck EJK 3.0
Lucky Mirror Extenders
Misc. RAM Mounts for Cup Holder, SPOT, Phone, etc.
Chuckster BAK, Trailer Hitch and Cooler Rack
Wiring for Trailer
Ray's Throttle Mod
Things to do:
Drilling Baffle Plates (Maybe)
Paint HF Tag Along Trailer to Match Bike

LET'S RIDE
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-16-2016, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D-Dub View Post
Recommended tire pressures are for cold tires.
Exactly, it says that right on most tires.....don't over think it

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