In the previous post, we talked about the early tire wear due to low pressure. Now we are going to talk about what happens when they are overinflated.
Overinflating the tires can happen, if you don’t pay attention while inflating them, or if the gauge is broken and the reading is wrong. It could also happen when we have been on a trip with a passenger with luggage, and we previously inflated the tires more but forgot to restore the right pressure afterwards.
First of all, we have to understand and consider the effect of air pressure. When we inflate the tires, we use a device called an air compressor. This device is just a cylinder that takes the air we breathe at room temperature and then pushes it inside of the tire forming an airtight seal.
For those who have never seen an air hose at a gas station or repair shop, we are showing you the different parts of a compressor so you can have an idea.
When we add air and it gets trapped, pressure is produced. This is what inflates the tire.
Atmospheric pressure will vary depending on the height above sea level at which we are located. The height modifies air density, which makes the air temperature and the atmospheric pressure change.
However, we don’t need to keep this in mind while we inflate the tires, but it’s interesting to understand what happens inside the tire when the temperature changes.
When we start riding our motorcycle, the tires will get warm because they create friction and also, are carrying weight. These factors will increase both the tires temperature and pressure.
Tire Manufactures recommend tire pressures that are calculated based on standard conditions. You will be able to see them in the user guide of your motorcycle.
Anytime we use a pressure above the specified one, hot air will increase the air pressure. If we have excessive pressure, this is what will happen:
- Smaller tire footprint, which reduces grip.
- More wear in the middle.
- Less resistance to hits and punctures due to increased tension on the cover layers.
- More rigidity and less comfort.
- More bounce in the suspension.
- Less grip on curves and a sliding feel.
Finally, we must repeat; you must always measure the pressure of a cold tire, never during or right after a ride. For more details visit our post Tire pressure maintenance.
Until the next post!