Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tire Pressure

I am behind on my blog, so I’ll just start with today and work backwards. Almost every Wednesday my co-worker and I ride to lunch (usually Chipotle). It has been a tradition for the past few years. It has been great to get out of the office and sneak in a quick ride.

On the way to work today the Ural felt like the rear tire was a bit low. I tried to make a mental note to check is before we went to lunch. I also asked my co-worker to remind me. I know I should check before I left home…

When we left for lunch, I set out with my tire gauge and checked the Ural.

tire gauge

The manual states the front should be 32psi, side 30psi, and the rear 40psi. The front was 30 and the pusher was 34. I had the Slime Power Sport Tire Inflator handy in trunk. It took care of the low pressure easily.


While I was filling up, my co-worker asked for my tire gauge since he didn’t remember the last time he checked his tires. He rides a Concours 1000. The rear came out at 30psi. The front was at 25psi. He thought it was maybe ok. I told him no way a bike that heavy would be ok with that low of a tire pressure.

Filling up the front tires too

We hunted around on his bike looking for the recommended spec. My bikes all have them written on the swingarm. Not on the Kawasaki. We found it under the rear seat. It said 41psi for the rear and 36psi for the front! Quite a difference!

A friend putting air in his tires with the slime compressor

I was finished with the slime pimp, so I let him fill up his tires too. I just ran the pump off the Ural since he didn’t have a SAE connection or a 12v socket. It took the pump a couple minutes to get up to those higher pressures, but it did. With everything set right, we set off.

I almost always ride with the pump and tire gauge now. They have come in handy so many times this year I have lost count. When was the last time you checked your tires??

It was very windy, but beautifully blue skies. Great day for a ride!

American flag in the wind


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  1. I check my tires at least once a week and more often twice. Usually, I check on Wednesday morning before I leave for work and always on either Saturday or Sunday before I leave the garage. I went through my first rear scooter tire very quickly because I didn't keep it properly inflated. I don't plan to make that mistake again.

    After my recent maintenance lapses it is good to be reminded that I'm doing something positive.


  2. I'm afraid I check my tires when I don't like the way the bike handles. By then the front is about 3-4 lbs low.

    Thanks for the review of the pump. I'm looking for a portable unit. The bike has a hand pump but I've never tried it.


  3. Keith: Wow! You commented fast! 18 minutes! I also usually check mine once a week, especially if I'm riding that same bike every day. The Ural tubes are something special... When I put different tires on again, I'll switch back to my heavy duty tubes that don't seem to leak as much.

    Checking tire pressure is very positive!

    RichardM: The Ural came with a hand pump but it didn't work the one time I needed it last year. It's not the bike anymore. i don't remember where I put it. The slime is good and small. Probably could be smaller if you remove the plastic case. Glad I could help!

  4. Another great reason to always carry a camera!

    I think I have that same tire pressure guage. I've tried digital the old stick kind and eventually bought the one Riepe recommended. I carry it to. I don't carry my pump all the time but I should. Your friend has been outed--that will teach 'em ;-)

  5. Sharon: LOL. No camera that day, so I used my phone. The droidx takes really decent photos if the light is good though.

  6. Dear Chris:

    I smiled when I read your blog (albeit past publication date) today. I have been awarding the EZ Tire Pressure Gauge to my riders for the past two years. It is by far the most convenient gauge to use when trying to get the most precise tire pressure. I used to carry an Airman "Sparrow" pump in my gear, as it was inexpensive ($36 USD) and sort of compact. Then it caught fire pumping up a tire one day. I replaced it with a "Cycle Pump." which has a lot more heft (all metal) and cost ($100 USD). I'm hoping I'll get what I paid for.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

  7. Dear Jack: Yes, I think you are to blame for our love of the EZ pressure gauge. Sharon and I both love ours too. So far the slime pump is working well and it was really cheap! ($29). If it dies, I'll look into the cycle pump.