16 October 2007


Recently I came across the promotion of a self-calibrating tyre pressure valve LED (light-emitting diode) cap. It’s marketed as such—“an item to save you money as under inflated tires can increase poor gas mileage" and by a motorcycle review writer "prevents you from having to get down on your knees every few weeks to check your tyre's pressure”—my goodness, is bending down or getting on your knees in order to check tyre pressure such an incredible task? Don’t motorcycles already achieve great fuel mileage? (product packaging uses picture of a car tyre --seems these were originally intended for automobiles).

There are various makes out there, valve caps made of plastic or steel are screwed on top of your normal air valves or completely substitute your current valve cap. When the tyres’ pressure drops 4psi, or by other brands, 8psi the LED light goes on, warning you visibly that you need to inflate your tyres.

Think about it, your motorcycle tyres are a key factor to riding performance and safety would you really trust this management to such a device? Right answer-- absolutely not!

Time to embrace the task of tyre pressure management and if you don’t yet see the pleasure and benefits in understanding its influences when riding—I suggest adding the topic to your list of personal rider skill development goals, right along side putting your knee down. It is one of the simplest tasks to comprehend and you’ll be pleased by the results. Understanding and managing your tyre’s pressure can make big changes to your steering and riding performance--there are many articles of information to read. Even the tyre manufacturer websites have in depth knowledge free of charge.

Picture this, you’re out riding, its a bright sunny day, you’ve just left your last fuel fill up stop and for the next few hours during your planned twisty touring road ride, have no intention of stopping. The LED light comes on; you can’t see it anyway—is this useful?
And we haven’t even explored all the factors as to how these devices work when tyres heat up over various road services and then cool down.

Think about it--and before your next ride just check your tyres with any number of effective, portable tyre pressure gauges.
Be smart from the start--this is motorcycling.

No comments: