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Discussion Starter #1
The Voyager owners manual has the front tire pressure at 28 pounds, that sounds a little low to me although i ran the factory Bridgestone at that spec and i now have a new front tire on and i am thinking of ignoring factory spec but was curious at what most other guys with a Voyager run the front tire at.
 

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I'm the same way I run 34 psi in mine with the Bridgestone. It may be in my head it just feels better going down the road.
On the down side the higher pressure makes for a harder tire and with the weight of the bike and the fat rider on it there is a greater chance of the front end washing out in a turn on loose or wet pavement.
 

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I run 38 front and 40 rear in Commander II's. 16K and looks like another 4-5k easy. Got 19k out of the last set. I replaced then a little early because of a 5k trip.
 

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IMO 28 psi is dangerously low for a front tire on the Voyager.

When I first got my Voyager, I had the front tire (the Kawi recommended Bridgestone) at 28 psi cold (which was just below 80° on the day in question) per the manual, and monitored with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). I was on the highway on a hot day (high 90s) and the front tire temp went up to nearly 150° F. Of course, as the tire temp rose, so did the pressure which topped out at about 38 psi. That's a 10 psi rise. That should never happen if a tire is properly inflated. That is a sure sign of under inflation. Now, I've ridden across the Mojave desert at midday pulling a trailer (different bike, though) in 120° - 123° and never got a tire temp above 130°. When that tire wore out, it had low tread on both sides of the middle, a sign of running at low pressure, even though I ran it at a higher pressure of ~34 psi after that day.

I currently run Michelin Commander 2s. 32 - 33 psi cold in the front, 36 - 38 psi in the rear. I personally think that running at 40 or more cold psi, especially in the front, is too much. I find that I get very even and very long wear if I keep the tire pressures where there is never a rise of more than 4 - 6 psi from cold to normal operating temp plus 1 psi for every 10°F between the cold and the operating temp.
 

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IMO 28 psi is dangerously low for a front tire on the Voyager.

When I first got my Voyager, I had the front tire (the Kawi recommended Bridgestone) at 28 psi cold (which was just below 80° on the day in question) per the manual, and monitored with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). I was on the highway on a hot day (high 90s) and the front tire temp went up to nearly 150° F. Of course, as the tire temp rose, so did the pressure which topped out at about 38 psi. That's a 10 psi rise. That should never happen if a tire is properly inflated. That is a sure sign of under inflation. Now, I've ridden across the Mojave desert at midday pulling a trailer (different bike, though) in 120° - 123° and never got a tire temp above 130°. When that tire wore out, it had low tread on both sides of the middle, a sign of running at low pressure, even though I ran it at a higher pressure of ~34 psi after that day.

I currently run Michelin Commander 2s. 32 - 33 psi cold in the front, 36 - 38 psi in the rear. I personally think that running at 40 or more cold psi, especially in the front, is too much. I find that I get very even and very long wear if I keep the tire pressures where there is never a rise of more than 4 - 6 psi from cold to normal operating temp plus 1 psi for every 10°F between the cold and the operating temp.
I agree 100% with this.

Last year I was playing around with tire pressures on my Vaquero. I have Metzeler ME888 tires on my Vaquero. I replaced the stockers with these at about 9k miles due to wear. I went from 33psi to 45psi in the front, and ended up putting it back to 33psi. Before this, and on the stock tires, I was running 36psi F/R. The rear tire I've left at 36psi.

I used a temp gun and my pressure gauge to check tire pressures and temps before and after a ride. My commute is 80% highway. IIRC, I saw temps in the 135-145 Fahrenheit range after a ride on a 90 degree day. Pressures never went up more than 4 or 5 degrees though. I'll check my notes and post back later.

All my other bikes run 36psi F/R, the Vaquero is the heaviest (by far) and seems to like the lower front tire pressure. During the winter time I'll run the front at 32psi, for a bit of extra compliance with the cold temps (both air and road).

-John
 

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Discussion Starter #6
This all helps answer a few questions for me my front tire also wore out the sides more than the center and i didn't know why but i suspected the pressure. I also use the tps system with temp monitoring so I'll start keeping a log and figure this out. I think I'll start with 34 psi in the front and see how it goes. Thanks
 

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As an aside, what TPMS/temp monitor are you using?

I installed a Garmin 395LM on my Vaquero and was thinking of using their TPMS sensors, but dang they're expensive! IIRC, it's about $150 to get 2 of them. Ouch!

-John
 

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I use the Tiregard system with the key fob like unit. Unfortunately, the fob is not weatherproof. I hate not being able to keep a constant eye the tire pressure on long, rainy days. Next time I get one, it will be with a weatherproof, bike powered unit (with 4 sensors so I can monitor my trailer, too) that can be mounted on the handlebars or a RAM mount.
 

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Marathon 888's front/rear in OEM size. Just have about 150 miles on them so far.
OK, so same tire as me. I am up to almost 3k on mine, they seem to be a good tire. At my mechanic's shop, they ended up a little cheaper than the stock tires, and he said they'll last longer and grip better too.

-John
 

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My second set was Bridgestone Excedra Max. Good tire (better than the OEM Bridgestones). I bought the Metlzers in January and they were virtually same price as the Bridgestones. I had a set of Metzlers on my prior bike and they were by far the best tire of the Bridgestones, Dunlops, Shinkos other tires I had on that bike.
 

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your voyager manual saying front tire for 28 psi is too low, set the front tire at 5 lbs more at 33 no less and if more at 34 is ok too
 

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Just installed 3rd set of tires. Metzlers and running 38/42.
I'm curious - how did you arrive at your 38/42 tire pressures? Is there something you didn't like about lower pressures? I am currently at 33/36, and my mechanic has always recommended 36/36 for my cruisers.

Thanks,

-John
 

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Probably no right or wrong answer here...but everyone is in agreement it seems that the Kawasaki recommendations are just too low.

I go by recommendation of my bike mechanic...who has looked after my last two bikes for 9 years now. He just said for the weight of the bike and my weight (250 lbs) I will get the most wear out of the tires with those pressures. He had me run 36/38 on my last bike, a Yamaha V Star, that was maybe 350 lbs lighter than the Voyager.

And he drilled into me the need to regularly check the tire pressure (once a week in riding season). The air shock pump I got works very well on the tires too. Pretty easy to connect...no loss of pressure disconnecting....and just a few pumps need to keep them at desired pressures.

Ride safe!
 

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Probably no right or wrong answer here...but everyone is in agreement it seems that the Kawasaki recommendations are just too low.

I go by recommendation of my bike mechanic...who has looked after my last two bikes for 9 years now. He just said for the weight of the bike and my weight (250 lbs) I will get the most wear out of the tires with those pressures. He had me run 36/38 on my last bike, a Yamaha V Star, that was maybe 350 lbs lighter than the Voyager.

And he drilled into me the need to regularly check the tire pressure (once a week in riding season). The air shock pump I got works very well on the tires too. Pretty easy to connect...no loss of pressure disconnecting....and just a few pumps need to keep them at desired pressures.

Ride safe!
Dude, I do the same thing - my mechanic is highly regarded in my area. (I mentioned my mechanic's name to a prospective buyer of another bike I was thinking about selling, and he said SAY NO MORE and came out to look at my bike)

I started playing with tire pressures last summer after my accident... turns out I was just a head case and there was nothing wrong with the bike. (It's been a long 2,000 mile road back to "normal" for me, including riding classes, research, reading, and talking with other riders)

I run 33/36 in the winter time for extra contact patch and traction (with the hope that should something happen, it'll be the rear tire, which is easier to control), and will be bumping my front tire back up to 36psi soon, since the morning temps are now in the 45-50 degree range.

I actually found myself physically pushing the inside handlebar down towards the ground in an effort to get my Vaquero to corner harder this morning! The bike seemed resistant to leaning, part of which can be the tires. Granted, I was going pretty fast. I was doing an intermediate offload of weight, and still wanted to lean further LOL. Lots of fun!

-John
 

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36 for the front is a bit high, try 34 or 33
 
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