How much PSI pressure is required in motorcycle tyres?

By Julia Freeman

The simple answer to this question is to check the amount recommended in your motorcycle user manual. Bike, not tyre, manufacturers prescribe these values, but your tyres must also meet up to the ratings prescribed by the motorcycle manufacturer in your manual. If there is a pressure written on your tyre side-wall it is likely to be the maximum inflation provided for the fitter, and not a safe riding pressure.

motorcycle showing back tyre

Importance of correct inflation

Under inflated tyres overheat, wear on the shoulders and can potentially blowout. Over-inflated tyres can distort, wear on the crown and can also blowout. Everyone knows that tyre pressure provides a cushion for the bike and its rider but that isn’t its only role. Correct inflation also helps the tyres stay within a certain temperature range, and this too is essential if they are to provide the right amount of grip and manoeuvrability. Braking, steering, aquaplaning, comfort, noise and fuel economy are all impaired when the pressure is wrong, so check your tyre pressures at least twice every month.

The right pressure for your ride

On almost all bikes the correct front and rear tyres are different, and your vehicle handbook will probably suggest a range of values for each tyre depending on their load – for example, riding with a pillion passenger. There are a few circumstances when you can deliberately vary these recommendations by just a few PSI, for example on a racetrack or in extreme weather, but in everyday use… stick with the manual. Quality brands like Pirelli and Bridgestone also provide some recommendations for particular tyres but the actual figure always depends on the bike and its load.

Check your pressure regularly

On a motorcycle, the passengers and luggage make up a higher percentage of the total weight than they do in a car, therefore frequent small adjustments to compensate make more sense. It is easy to check your tyre pressures at a service station or at home with an analogue or digital device, but the best advice is to call into a Protyre garage for a free check. Our tyre professionals are also a great source of advice; they will also let you know how much life is in the tyres and also advise you on the best ones for your particular model and the way you want to use it (touring, off-roading, commuting et cetera). Protyre are tyre specialists with a great range of premium tyres like Bridgestone, Continental and Pirelli.

Buy motorcycle tyres

When choosing new tyres, bear in mind that fatter tyres may require less pressure. It can be anything between 2 and 10 psi depending on your bike and modification. Conversely, extra thin tyres might require more than regular road tyres. Make sure you take the best advice from the motorcycle and tyre manufacturer before making significant modifications to the bike’s original specifications. Modifications also affect your insurance.

The local garage you can trust

If you are worried about your tyres in any way, the qualified fitters at your nearest Protyre garage are the best people to ask for help. Our tyre professionals understand the intricacies of tyre pressure and will be able to assist you if your tyres aren’t behaving as you expect. You can book a free vehicle check on our website or give our friendly mechanics a call for more information.

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About the author

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By Julia Freeman
Julia is Head of Retail Marketing for Protyre and loves engaging with customers and the business as a whole to make sure Protyre is more than just a local garage.
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