Your tyres also need periodic maintenance – not the kind that your motorcycle needs, of course. But given that they are your only contact with the road, the more you take care of them, the safer you’ll be. One simple yet really necessary thing is maintaining the right tyre pressure. Tyres leak air gradually over time, so they need a top up every now and again.
Here’s how you can go about it. What you’ll need is a regular air pump; even a bicycle pump will do, and a tyre pressure gauge that is available at any motorcycle accessories store or e-commerce site.
1. If you have a main stand, put your motorcycle on it. This will help you place the valve stem where you want it. If you don’t have a main stand, roll the vehicle forward or backward until the valve is in an accessible place. Watch out for the hot exhaust when dealing with the rear tyre!
2. Check what the recommended pressure settings are. You can find these figures in the owner’s manual, but an easier solution is to look at the swingarm of the motorcycle, or the underseat storage of a scooter. There usually is a sticker that displays what the pressure should be. Failing this, the internet is your friend – there usually is a downloadable manual on the manufacturer’s website for imported bikes, and for locally manufactured ones, motorcycle forums should help.
3. The recommended pressure settings are for a cold tyre, so if you’ve been riding, give the tyres some time to cool down. Have a cup of tea, or catch up on missed posts on 9gag.
4. Check the tyre pressure with the gauge. If it is over the recommended pressure, bleed air a little bit at a time. Remember, letting air out even for an instant will drop the pressure by 0.5psi, so bleed only a little at a time and keep checking the pressure until it is at the recommended setting.
5. If it is under the recommended pressure, then connect the bicycle pump and pump away for a short while. We know, it is just a humble bicycle pump, but you’ll be surprised at how effective it is. Check the pressure periodically until you’re slightly over, then follow step 4.
6. A good way to keep your tyres’ pressure right is to check them every time you fill fuel. If you don’t use your vehicle regularly, then every two weeks is a good interval.