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2002 919, Asphalt
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Given that this discussion will be like the ones on preferred tires and oil, lol....

What is everybody doing for tire pressures? I'm 170 pounds, geared up and maybe have 25 pounds of saddlebags/mounts. I've always run the factory spec 36/42 front/rear with acceptable results. Is there a benefit to playing around with lower pressures? I'm mainly concerned with tire wear and grip, obviously. Fresh set of Michelin Road 5s.

Thoughts?

Rob
2002 919
50k+ miles and counting
 

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770 Posts
I don't have a ton of experience with how it affects wear as I rarely do enough highway miles for the center to wear out, but,

In terms of handling, higher pressures turn in more easily and keep their round shape mid corner. It's more noticable at the front. They also have a little less grip, and generate less heat. The latter isn't an issue for street tires. High pressures can make the bike feel quite harsh. I don't think 42 psi is ever the correct setting for a regular street bike, unless you are fully loaded with a passenger. Way too harsh.

A reasonably starting point for street tires is 32-32 for most people in my opinion.

Basically, it's handling and road feel vs comfort and grip. 36-42 probably feels like a skateboard on gravel, but going too low and the bike feels very sluggish and unresponsive.

Sent from my moto g power using Tapatalk
 

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McTavish
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6,443 Posts
Given that this discussion will be like the ones on preferred tires and oil, lol....

What is everybody doing for tire pressures? I'm 170 pounds, geared up and maybe have 25 pounds of saddlebags/mounts. I've always run the factory spec 36/42 front/rear with acceptable results. Is there a benefit to playing around with lower pressures? I'm mainly concerned with tire wear and grip, obviously. Fresh set of Michelin Road 5s.

Thoughts?

Rob
2002 919
50k+ miles and counting
Do yourself a favour.
Change the pressures to 33/36 and go for a ride.
You will not die.
You will not fall off.
And I will be flabbergasted if you don't like it better.
Without writing a book, I will say this.
The 36/46 is a "Liability Setting"
It has zero to do with tire performance.
It is one thing and one thing only, the pressures at which the maximum allowable tire load were established at, as in the maximum load ratings of the front and rear tires.
Do you and your bike even approach anything near max allowable tire load?
No...............................................
 

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Registered
2002 919, Asphalt
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240 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, very much, for the feedback. One more question. Have either of you had the chance to check "hot pressures"? It appears that @nathanktm is working the tire a LOT harder than anything I do and am curious what the hot pressure may be. It would seem that targeting hot pressures would make more sense than cold pressures.

I agree with @mcromo44 that the stock specs are a "liability setting". (Note that there is no change in recommended pressures based on load. They already have it maxed out. Most all of the reference material just reinforces the "liability setting" and warns of death and mayhem if you change it. I have never taken the opportunity to play with the settings in a somewhat controlled environment. I have significant on track experience with cars (1st gen, MR2) so I'm well versed with playing with pressure on cars. Bikes, not so much. Never had a bike on the track. All of my riding would best be described as "sport touring" or commuting.

I plan to take the bike out this weekend, and run a loop, playing with pressures between each run to find my "sweet spot". Your comments have given me confidence to do so. Thanks !!!

Damn, I wish I had a track readily accessible....

Rob
2002 919
50k+ and counting
 

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McTavish
Joined
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6,443 Posts
Thanks, very much, for the feedback. One more question. Have either of you had the chance to check "hot pressures"? It appears that @nathanktm is working the tire a LOT harder than anything I do and am curious what the hot pressure may be. It would seem that targeting hot pressures would make more sense than cold pressures.

I agree with @mcromo44 that the stock specs are a "liability setting". (Note that there is no change in recommended pressures based on load. They already have it maxed out. Most all of the reference material just reinforces the "liability setting" and warns of death and mayhem if you change it. I have never taken the opportunity to play with the settings in a somewhat controlled environment. I have significant on track experience with cars (1st gen, MR2) so I'm well versed with playing with pressure on cars. Bikes, not so much. Never had a bike on the track. All of my riding would best be described as "sport touring" or commuting.

I plan to take the bike out this weekend, and run a loop, playing with pressures between each run to find my "sweet spot". Your comments have given me confidence to do so. Thanks !!!

Damn, I wish I had a track readily accessible....

Rob
2002 919
50k+ and counting
Not knowing squat about Road 5s, but but being Michelin familiar from years back, my guess is that on the road you will not find improvement below 32 Front / 35 Rear Cold on the road.
My guess is that non liability proper pressures will reap reward on cold wet pavement in particular.
Keen to see how you make out.
 

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That's nacho cheese!
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17,705 Posts
I can't remember ever throwing 36PSI or more in any MC tire I ever owned since I first got on a bike in 1968.
That's all I can add to the discussion.
 

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McTavish
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6,443 Posts
I think we ran our early mid 70s Dunlop K81 TT100s 28 F 32 R if memory serves me correctly.
And that was old school bias ply tires too!
 
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