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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I check my tire pressure regularly and before any major trip in all my vehicles including my bike. My wife and I will be leaving on a little trip over the next week. I have a 2009 M90 that will have an additional bag mounted to the sissy bar as well as some "stuff" in its saddlebags. The manual calls for 36lbs in the front and 42lbs in the rear for maximum tire pressure.

I've always been curious that due to the additional load on the bike and the heat generated from the road is it still recommended to fill the tires to their maximum tire pressure? What is everyone's thoughts and recommendations?

Thanks.
 

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A tire's load handling is greater with higher pressures; that means it heats less internally when the pressure is higher while carrying more weight, because it flexes less and the contact patch doesn't spread out. Also, because of the reduced flex, you will feel less 'squirm' in cornering, and have better control.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
A tire's load handling is greater with higher pressures; that means it heats less internally when the pressure is higher while carrying more weight, because it flexes less and the contact patch doesn't spread out. Also, because of the reduced flex, you will feel less 'squirm' in cornering, and have better control.
Very good information. Thank you!
 

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I wouldn't say "max" is recommended but a few additional pounds depending how much extra you want to carry. But more importantly is where you are going to carry the extra load. Getting it lower and toward the center is actually more important. Check your owners manual. It will have suggestions for tire pressure. Even if you don't have OEM tires you can see how many more pounds they suggest then do similar for what you are using. I run 2 - 4 more pounds than recommended all the time so a few extra pounds of load is nothing to me except a sluggish handling bike depending on how much I'm carrying. Know your bike.
 

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I'd say you have to experiment and see what works best. Every bike is different.
And the owner's manual is not always right either.
The manual for my Goldwing 1500 says to put 33 pounds in the front tire.
Yeah, right. The thing handles like a truck with that pressure.
Everyone on the Goldwing forum says to put 41 in the front, and I agree with them. MUCH MUCH better handling.
Experiment and see what feels right.
Just my two cents.
 

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A tire's load handling is greater with higher pressures; that means it heats less internally when the pressure is higher while carrying more weight, because it flexes less and the contact patch doesn't spread out. Also, because of the reduced flex, you will feel less 'squirm' in cornering, and have better control.
Well said!


Rick
 

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Does a higher tire pressure on a motorcycle behave similar to how a car tire does?

Ex. Higher tire press on car makes the straight line performance better but could decrease grip in a turn.
 

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Does a higher tire pressure on a motorcycle behave similar to how a car tire does?

Ex. Higher tire press on car makes the straight line performance better but could decrease grip in a turn.
Yes, to a point. Increased pressure can give quicker response for turns but if you add way to much you could get in trouble. There is a sweet spot you look for. Start with the manufactures recommendation in the owners manual then increase or decrease to find that sweet spot for you bike and weight you add to the bike when riding. The owners manual will have suggestions for two up riding as well so use that as a suggestion for how much you can add and still be on the safe side.:thumbsup:
 
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Sometimes changing tires have recommended PSI The OEM PSI for my Dyna is 30F/36R but Pirelli Recommends 36F/40R for their Night Dragons and is working spot on for me ..
 

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I used to drop my pressure, and on my vacation just this week experimented with this very concept. I ran 36 PSI on Winger (a 1977 GL1000) a fully dressed bike. at 36 psi as @Offcenter said it does handle sloppy, like a large truck with a slide in camper. I put my pressure right up to 40PSI (41 and 42 lbs are the recommended pressures) and it handled top notch. Now this said it weighs in at just over 900lbs wet and loaded with luggage. My 500's and the blackbird loved the lower pressure for cornering but this heavier bike just prefers things stiffer. You can always start at the max recommended pressure and bleed a few lbs off at a time if you think it needs it. Just be careful as stated also lower pressure increase heat and drops carrying capacity and fuel economy. Also I recommend you recording of your pressures, and doing them with intent,don't just guess at it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
We just returned from our trip. I decided to go with the recommended maximum pressure in the bike's manual since it was fully loaded with luggage, saddlebags, and included a passenger. The bike handled great. I did not notice any sloppiness in any of the corners or the twisties! We also rode for a good portion of a day in the rain without any issues. My wife and sister-in-law got a bit sore every now and then but that's a topic for a better seat or some additional padding in another thread! We just ended up taking frequent rest breaks throughout the end of the trip. Thanks for all of the replies.
 
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