tire pressure - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-17-2009, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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tire pressure

is it a good idea to lower air pressure in my tires for cool weather riding or should I just keep it to the stock settings?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-17-2009, 03:23 PM
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Tire pressure

Why do you want to lower the pressure? In cold temperatures a tire will have a lower pressure than it would at a warmer temperature with a set volume in the tire. (Charle's law)... In ME, I keep my tires at 32f and 36b.. regardless of temperature. I have had days where the temp has risen 40-50 degrees from my am commute to when I go home 12 hours later. I have had 5-6 psi changes and I often let a bit of air out for my evening ride home. This is my experience and limited knowledge I welcome any thoughts...

Mike
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-17-2009, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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Why do you want to lower the pressure? In cold temperatures a tire will have a lower pressure than it would at a warmer temperature with a set volume in the tire. (Charle's law)... In ME, I keep my tires at 32f and 36b.. regardless of temperature. I have had days where the temp has risen 40-50 degrees from my am commute to when I go home 12 hours later. I have had 5-6 psi changes and I often let a bit of air out for my evening ride home. This is my experience and limited knowledge I welcome any thoughts...

Mike
I really only asked because when I checked my tires today after a month of not being able to ride and they were down a little. it was kind of chilly here in Omaha today and just thought I'd ask the question before I filled them up before my ride. I put them to stock settings and enjoyed my ride. A month off was way too long....man did I enjoy todays ride.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-17-2009, 07:27 PM
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How cold?

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I really only asked because when I checked my tires today after a month of not being able to ride and they were down a little. it was kind of chilly here in Omaha today and just thought I'd ask the question before I filled them up before my ride. I put them to stock settings and enjoyed my ride. A month off was way too long....man did I enjoy todays ride.
How cold is it in Nebraska? As for the tires going down... Happens when it's cold. I'm obsessed about checking tire pressures... wish I was was equally obsessed checking tire pressures in my truck.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-17-2009, 07:53 PM
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Tire pressure is a very important factor. It's not a good idea to have tires under inflated. IMO a + - of 2 PSI is acceptable. Always check your tire pressure before you ride, when the tires are 'cold'. Follow the recommended setting in the owners manual.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-17-2009, 07:56 PM
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is it a good idea to lower air pressure in my tires for cool weather riding or should I just keep it to the stock settings?
Maybe. How cold is "cold" weather? The problem with keeping the stock pressures when it gets really cold is that the tire takes a very long time to come up to temperature, and it results in significantly limited traction until it gets to that temperature (if you are traveling short distances and/or low speeds it may never reach it). Reducing the initial pressure allows the tire to flex more and it generates more heat that way, coming up to temp faster.

Obviously, there are other advantages/disadvantages to consider. A tire that runs at a lower pressure wears faster. It'll also feel less stable in straight line. OTOH, the lower pressure will give you better traction (both dry and wet) for riding twisty roads and braking.

The best way to figure out whether you could benefit from a lower pressure (or higher pressure when it's hot) is to measure the tire temp. Given that most of us don't travel with IR thermometers (or don't even have one) a way around that is to measure the pressure increase between cold and warm tires. If your pressure goes up 5-10% when the tire is warm , you are in the right ballpark for pressure. If it goes up more than that, your pressure is too low. Doesn't go up even 5%? Your starting pressure is too high.

Start at the recommended pressure and test it. Go up/down one or two PSI at a time, no more, as a 2 PSI makes a significant difference on the way the bike rides and handles.

Gustavo


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-17-2009, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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How cold is it in Nebraska? As for the tires going down... Happens when it's cold. I'm obsessed about checking tire pressures... wish I was was equally obsessed checking tire pressures in my truck.
It was maybe 42 when I rode today. Not overly cold, but the pavement would have been fairly cool. I wanted to ride as hard as conditions and ability would allow. I figured stock pressure was best but didn't know for sure. THat's why I posed the question to you fine folks.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-17-2009, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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Obviously, there are other advantages/disadvantages to consider. A tire that runs at a lower pressure wears faster. It'll also feel less stable in straight line. OTOH, the lower pressure will give you better traction (both dry and wet) for riding twisty roads and braking.



Gustavo
This is what I was thinking.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-18-2009, 07:04 PM
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And I was thinking this the other day ( during my 38 degree ride ), how MUCH traction is lost when the tires are 'cool'? I was taking it easy until about 20 miles in but was still unsure how much grip I had lost due to the cold...

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