What is the correct pressure for motorcycle tires

As the only connection between the motorcycle and the road, the tires have a particularly high influence on safety and driving characteristics. And that even more than with a car or truck. Therefore, the tires should not be neglected under any circumstances and should be checked regularly. It is not only important how old motorcycle tires may be, whether they are damaged or still have enough tread, but also the right tire pressure. Both too low and too high a pressure can lead to faster wear, uneven wear and a loss of performance. This also increases the risk of an accident, which is why the ideal tire pressure is very important. In this article you will find out how and how often you should check the tire pressure of your motorcycle, what effects an incorrect pressure has and which technical aids are available for checking.

How and how often should I check my motorcycle's tire pressure?

Experts recommend that tire pressures should be checked before each ride if possible, especially if the motorcycle has not been moved for several days or weeks. In any case, the check should be carried out at least every 2 weeks. 

The tire should ideally be cold so as not to falsify the measurement result. This means it must not have been ridden for more than 2 hours or at most at a moderate speed over a distance of no more than 3 km. If it is necessary to measure the air pressure after a long journey, or you cannot wait long enough for your tires to cool down, simply subtract 0.3 bar from the measured value, since the pressure increases as the temperature rises.

For this reason, it is advisable to buy and carry a tire pressure gauge. Good ones are already available from around 25 euros in specialist motorcycle shops. Make sure that it is equipped with a stable aluminum housing. To measure the air pressure, the tester is placed on the tire valve. If the print meets the specifications, you can then remove it again without further action being required. If the device displays a value that is too high or too low, you can correct the air pressure directly via the inflation hose. Then remove the hose from the valve as quickly as possible to prevent the air from escaping. In the worst case, the tire can lose 0.3 to 0.5 bar again.

If it is necessary to refill air regularly due to a sharp drop in pressure, you should definitely check whether this is due to a defect. You can easily spot a leaky valve by putting a bit of saliva on its opening. If you can then see a slight bulge of the saliva outwards, the valve is leaking and needs to be replaced.

How much tire pressure does a motorcycle need?

The optimum tire pressure for a motorcycle depends on various factors such as vehicle type, tire type and load. Therefore, only general guide values ​​can be given here, which is why you should definitely consult the operating instructions for your motorcycle to find out the optimal pressure for you. In general, the ideal tire pressure for most street motorcycles is 2.25 to 2.5 bar for the front tires and 2.5 to 2.9 bar for the rear tires. Older bikes with a maximum displacement of approx. 550 ccm and enduro bikes usually get by with less air pressure. The specification is between 1.7 and 2.1 bar on the front tires and between 1.8 and 2.3 bar on the rear tires.

 Depending on the tire type, there are the following guideline values: 

  • Touring tires: 2.25 to 2.5 bar at the front and 2.5 to 2.9 bar at the rear
  • Sport tires: 2.4 to 2.5 bar at the front and 2nd .6 to 2.9 bar at the rear
  • Tyres for the racetrack: 2.1 to 2.2 bar at the front and 2.0 to 2.1 bar at the rear
  • Chopper tires: 1.9 to 2.0 bar at the front and 2.0 to 2.1 bar at the rear

Apart from that, the tire pressure should also be increased or decreased depending on the load. This includes a passenger as well as luggage. The precise information can usually also be found in the operating instructions for your motorcycle or in the specifications of the tire manufacturer. The rule of thumb here is that the air pressure should be increased by around 0.2 to 0.4 bar for each additional load.

What are the consequences of incorrect tire pressure?

Road safety and optimal driving characteristics can only be guaranteed if your motorcycle has the correct tire pressure. While a slightly lower pressure can lead to a better grip under certain circumstances, too high a pressure should be avoided in any case, as this can quickly be fatal. Too much air in the tires is dangerous for the following reasons:

  • Reduced driving comfort due to hard suspension
  • Loss of stability regardless of speed
  • Higher risk of tire damage and blowouts
  • Damage to the chassis due to insufficient damping
  • Premature and uneven tire wear

But under-inflated tires can also have negative effects Have consequences for the safety and handling of a motorcycle.

  • Impaired cornering behavior
  • Increased risk of accidents due to fatigue cracks or tire bursts
  • Higher fuel consumption due to increased rolling resistance
  • Premature and uneven tire wear
  • Longer braking distance
  • Poor steering and braking behavior, especially on wet roads
  • Increased risk of aquaplaning

Is there a tire pressure monitoring system for motorcycles?

In contrast to cars, there is no obligation to install a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) on motorcycles. However, modern bikes are often already equipped with them as standard and retrofitting older machines is often highly recommended. With this system, the tire pressure and often also the tire temperature are measured by sensors built into the valves. The measured values ​​are then shown on a display on the motorcycle or on the smartphone. These systems often also have an alarm function that warns the driver in good time if the tire pressure exceeds or falls below the specified level. This has the following advantages:

  • + Automatic display of Pressure losses, which means that manual measurements are no longer required
  • + Increase in driving safety
  • + Reduction of the risk of accidents
  • + Reduction in fuel consumption
  • + Reduction in tire wear
  • + Reduction of pollutant emissions
  • + Early detection of defects and damage, which enables timely repair and prevents expensive consequential damage


Es is crucial for your safety that your motorcycle is always on the road with the optimal tire pressure. Because both too high and too low air pressure has direct negative effects on driving behavior. If you have too much air in your tires, driving comfort and tire grip will be reduced. If there is not enough air, the braking distances will be longer and the steering and braking behavior will be impaired. This is especially true on wet roads and with additional loads from luggage or a passenger. Therefore, the tire pressure should be checked regularly about every two weeks when the tires are cold and corrected if necessary. Please note that the pressure in warm or hot tires can be increased by 0.2 to 0.4 bar. A standard or retrofitted tire pressure monitoring system can be of great help in ensuring the correct tire pressure at all times.

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