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Motorcycle tyre pressure guide

For reasons of safety and in order to optimise the life expectancy of any tyre it is essential to ensure that it is correctly inflated at all times.  Running with correctly inflated tyres in accordance with the tyre manufacturer's recommendations also makes a significant contribution to straight-line and cornering handling, including under braking and at low speeds.  Running under-inflated tyres can lead to premature wear and irreversible damage, and greatly increases the risk of tyre creep or the possibility of unseating the tyre, even when using rim locks.

To find out everything you need to know about tyre pressure for on road, off road and on track motorbike, read our guide.

Contents of the article:

General motorcycle tyre pressure recommendations
Off road motorcycle tyre pressure
On track motorcycle tyre pressure

General motorcycle tyre pressure recommendations

It is essential to check your motorcycle tyre pressure every two weeks and before any long journey when the tyres are cold (i.e. a tyre that has not run for at least two hours or has run for less than 3 km at a reduced speed). Ensure that you make adjustments if you take the pressure after riding, i.e. with "hot" tyres. In this instance, refer to the manufacturer's recommendations.

  • Never deflate a hot tyre
  • Don't forget to replace the valve caps after your checks are complete
  • Tyres filled with nitrogen must still be checked regularly and adjusted with nitrogen only
  • Stick to the motorcycle tyre pressures recommended by the manufacturer
     

These recommendations are applicable for tyres used on the road.

There are additional recommendations for off road and track pressure.

Off road motorcycle tyre pressure

Off road motorcycle tyre pressure recommendations are only suitable for limited durations, speeds and loads on sealed high speed surfaces such as roads.  Increased tyre pressures are advised for unavoidable road use, prolonged road use should be avoided altogether.

Recommended pressures

These are the motorcycle tyre pressures recommended by Michelin depending on the terrain, the weather conditions, the power of the bike and the type of control:

OFF ROAD PRESSURES

Recommended pressures

Minimum Recommended pressures

FRONT

REAR

FRONT

REAR

MICHELIN StarCross 6

0.9 bar

0.9 bar

0.8 bar

0.8 bar

MICHELIN StarCross 5

1.2 bar

1.2 bar

1.0 bar

1.0 bar

MICHELIN Enduro Xtrem (rear)

0.8 bar

0.6 bar

MICHELIN Enduro Medium

1.0 bar

1.0 bar

0.8 bar

0.8 bar

MICHELIN Enduro Hard (front)

1.0 bar

0.8 bar

MICHELIN Tracker

1.2 bar

1.2 bar

MICHELIN Desert Race

1.2 bars

1.5 bar

1.0 bar

1.0 bar

MICHELIN Desert Race BAJA (rear)

1.2 bar

1.0 bar

MICHELIN Trial Competition

0.39 bar

0.35 bar

MICHELIN Trial Competition X11

0.35

0.3

MICHELIN Trial Light

0.39 bar

0,39 bar


MICHELIN Bib MousseTM: Michelin's off-road solution to a puncture!

If you are tired of punctures on your off-road rides or if you are looking for a solution to avoid this risk, you can equip your tyres with our MICHELIN Bib MousseTM.

Trial tip

The design of Trial tyres makes them tricky to mount. You run the risk of breaking bead wires if you press too hard.  Carefully adhere to the fitting instructions for insertion of the rim hooks (lubricate, firmly hold the bead on the opposite side in the rim hollow - do not exert excessive force on the bead).  To inflate, position a rubber ring between the tyre bead and rim or use a firmly tightened strap on the tyre crown to enable initial pressurizing pressurising.

Tyre wear

The tread provides most of the tyre's grip on the ground. With wear, the tyre's grip decreases. So remember to regularly check your tyres for signs of wear: visually check the depth of the tread and the uniformity of the wear. Tyre pressure also has a direct impact on wear.

Two possible classifications for the same tyre dimension

Careful! There are two classifications for the same tyre dimension.

  • Old classification: MICHELIN Enduro, Desert Race > size designation based on the width of the tyre measured at the tread level

  • New classification: MICHELIN StarCross, Tracker, AC10, Trial > size designation based on the width of the tyre measured at sidewall level

For example : a 140/80-18 Enduro tyre corresponds to a 120/90-18 Motocross tyre (see our table below).

ENDURO

MOTOCROSS

90/90-21

80/100-21

120/80-19

100/90-19

130/70-19

110/90-19

120/90-18

100/100-18

130/80-18

110/100-18

140/80-18

120/90-18

The width of Motocross tyres is measured at the base of the studs, whereas the width of Enduro tyres is measured at the widest point, i.e. at the top of the studs

On track motorcycle tyre pressure

Correct pressure enables optimum performance levels to be achieved.
The pressure should be set at ambient temperature and depends on the tyres you have chosen to mount on your motorcycle:


MINIMUM COLD TYRE PRESSURE WITH TYRE AND WHEEL RIM AT AMBIENT TEMPERATURE (1)

TARGET PRESSURE WHEN HOT

FRONT

REAR

FRONT

REAR

MICHELIN Power Performance

2.1 bar

1.3 bar

2.3 to 2.5 bar

1.5 to 1.7 bar

MICHELIN Power Slick 2

2.1 bar

1.5 bar

2.4 bar

1.7 bar

MICHELIN Power Cup 2 (3)

2.1 bar

1.5 bar

2.4 bar

1.7 bar

MICHELIN Power Cup Evo (3)

2.1 bar

1.5 bar

2.4 bar

1.7 bar

MICHELIN Power Rain - Drying

2.3 bar

1.8 bar

MICHELIN Power Rain - Wet

2.4 bar

2.2 bar

MICHELIN Power Rain - Soaking wet

2.4 bar

2.4 bar

MICHELIN Power SuperMoto

1.8 bar

1.6 bar

2.0 bar

1.9 bar

MICHELIN Power SuperMoto Rain - Drying

2.3 bar

1.8 bar

MICHELIN Power SuperMoto Rain - Wet

2.4 bar

2.2 bar

MICHELIN Power SuperMoto Rain - Soaking wet

2.4 bar

2.4 bar

MICHELIN Power GP (3)

2.1 bar

1.9 bar


1) Pressure taken with tyre and rim at ambient temperature, just before the first ride or just before installing the tyre warmers.
(2) Michelin recommends setting the tyre warmer temperature to 194°F
(3) After riding on the track and before street riding, you will need to adjust the cold tyre pressure to the manufacturers’ recommended setting

 

For riders competing with the MICHELIN Power Performance range, Michelin’s technical teams can provide on-the-spot advice on adjusting motorcycle tyre pressure depending on:

  • Air/track temperature

  • Track abrasiveness

  • The rider's level of skill

Use of tyre warmers:

MICHELIN Power Slick ², MICHELIN Power Cup ², MICHELIN Power Cup EVO and MICHELIN Power GP are designed to have a short warm-up time: use of tire warmers is not mandatory.

  • When using tire warmers, the pressure set at ambient temperature before the first ride should be the same as without tire warmers.

  • Using tire warmers makes it possible to reach operating pressure more rapidly. In no cases does the use of tire warmers make it possible to start with a lower pressure. The main aim of using tire warmers is to reach the optimum operating pressure faster to save on warm-up time at the beginning of the ride.

  • Tire warmers should be used with a temperature of 90°C for at least 1 hour before the first ride. For Supermoto Slick tyres, don’t exceed 70-80°C.

  • In cold conditions, tire warmers should not be set to too high temperature. The colder it is, the lower the temperature of the tire warmer should be in order to avoid the situation of tires cooling down while riding. Tires that cool down while riding can skew the rider’s perception of actual performance levels.

  • Use of tire warmers with the MICHELIN Power Rain is not mandatory. If it is used, they should be adjusted to temperature of 40°C.

  • These pressure recommendations are given for track use. For road use, the manufacturer’s tire pressure recommendation applies. With track tires approved for the road, or road tires for occasional track use, it is essential to ensure that tire pressure is returned to the correct level for road use following use on the track.

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