Sport ATV ITP QuadCross XC Tires

Did you know the most important maintenance job needed for any ATV, motorcycle or UTV is also the most overlooked? Making sure your tires have optimal air pressure does more than just extend the life of your tires – it could save your own life. Checking your tire pressure is simple, fast, and easy to do; but its benefits are far-reaching.

Below is a list of reasons why you should check your tire pressure on a regular basis, how to do it and what to look for.

Why Should You Check Your Tire Pressure?

Tires that are overinflated or underinflated are more prone to accidents. Underinflated tires have more rubber touching the ground. This might be good for rock climbing, but when you transition to pavement, it can make your vehicle’s handling unpredictable. Overinflated tires may burst upon sudden impact. It is always smart to play it safe and use the correct tire pressure.

Either too much or too little inflation will cause uneven wear on your tires and can put unnecessary strain on other parts, leading to more frequent repairs (and costing you time and money). It will also diminish your vehicle’s load carrying capacity. That might not be important for a lightweight dirt bike, but it is essential for a work UTV or similar vehicle.

What is the Correct Tire Pressure You Should Use?

Checking and Adjusting Tire Pressure

Tire pressure is rated by psi (pounds per square inch). You can find the recommended tire pressure in the owner’s manual for your ATV, UTV or motorcycle. It’s also on the information sticker located on your machine or in the manufacturer’s service manual.

Make sure you know what the recommended tire pressure should be for both front and rear tires. Some machines have specifications for both solo riding and two-up riding.

How Do You Check Tire Pressure?

Use a high quality tire pressure gauge. Some gauges have a 90-degree head; others have a 45-degree head; and some slide straight on. The best way to know which gauge you need is to see what angle of valve stem you have and the construction of the wheel.

Picture of the Tusk Pro Caliber Tire Pressure Gauge

  1. Remove the valve stem cap.
  2. Using the correct tire gauge, press the gauge down firmly on the valve stem.
  3. Read the tire pressure and adjust it accordingly.
  4. Reinstall the valve stem cap.
  5. Repeat for all tires.

Make sure you check and adjust the tire pressure cold. This is important because the pressure increases with warm tires.

What Should You Look For?

  • Check the condition of the tire. This will tell you whether your tire pressure is too high or too low.
  • High pressure will cause the tire to wear more in the middle, making it more prone to skidding.
  • Low pressure can cause abnormal tire wear as well, causing the tires to overheat and your machine to handle poorly.
  • Temperature can affect tire pressure so make sure you check your tire pressure often. Cold weather causes lower tire pressure.

Remember: Your tires are what separate you from the ground, so take care of them!

What tips and tricks have you discovered with tire pressure? Let us know in the comments!

Technician Disclaimer

By Matt Bretzing