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  1. #1
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    Default Higher than recommended tire pressures good or not?

    I actually donít remember why I started routinely inflating my tires at a few pounds higher than what the bike manufacturer recommends, but Iíve been doing this for decades. I think I assumed that the handling would be more precise with higher pressure, but I am not sure why I thought so. My current main ride, my 2021 Can Am Spyder recommends 18 in front, 28 in back, but compared to any other bike I have had this seems ridiculously low. So Iíve been keeping the front tires at 22 and the rear tire at 32, but now think that the ride is harsher due to my own actions. Maybe I need to go to 20 and 30 instead.
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    I have the kanine tires all around and I run 18 front 28 in the back and it feels perfect for me

  3. #3
    Very Active Member jaherbst's Avatar
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    20 and 30 here. It's easier to remember at my age!

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    Very Active Member RayBJ's Avatar
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    Higher PSI = harsher ride due to less flex in the tires. If anything, you'd get better handling with slightly LOWER PSI than OEM recommendation.
    The only benefit from running higher PSI is slight MPG increase.
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    With OEM tires follow the manufactures recommendations for tire PSI. With aftermarket car tires follow what's recommended by others on this site. Generally 16 front 18 rear.

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    Very Active Member ThreeWheels's Avatar
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    The Spyder tires have a flat profile like a car tire.
    Higher pressures tend to round out the contact patch. The bike "sits up on the balls of it's feet".
    This has a tendency to make the bike feel "twitchy" at higher speeds on the highway.
    And, of course, the center of the tires wear a little more quickly.
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    Active Member FrogmanDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThreeWheels View Post
    The Spyder tires have a flat profile like a car tire.
    Higher pressures tend to round out the contact patch. The bike "sits up on the balls of it's feet".
    This has a tendency to make the bike feel "twitchy" at higher speeds on the highway.
    And, of course, the center of the tires wear a little more quickly.
    What ThreeWheels said
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    in my working years , I worked in several Shops , ( Mechanic ) and I have sold and installed too many tires in VW & Fiat Dealerships when they all ran Bias ply tires , and every kind of 18 wheeler ever built .... . my 2011 RT still has the factory tires I think . or maybe replacement of the same tires , only had 13,000 miles on it when I got it . I have put 3,000 on it since July of this summer . and the tires are all about used up , I am gonna put Car Tires on mine this winter . there are some real Differences in Tires that you can't see from the outside . you have to research and see what they have in them before you buy . a Softer / Thinner tire rides better and sticks to the road better but lasts shorter time . i think we all know how long a standard Motor Cycle tire lasts , most well under 10,000 miles , and most car tires will last at least 40,000 under a 5,000 lb. car . so under a 1,000 lb. Spyder they should last till a guy like myself is too old to ride. ..LOL , there are soooo many things I Don't know , but this is just a few things I really do know . my wife asked a few days ago what I wanted for Christmas , I said well dear ... my Spyder needs tires ??? she said write down exactly what you want and where to get it .... sooo I guess there really is a Santa Clause . . . . LOL

  9. #9
    Very Active Member Lew L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2dogs View Post
    With OEM tires follow the manufactures recommendations for tire PSI. With aftermarket car tires follow what's recommended by others on this site. Generally 16 front 18 rear.
    +1.....
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    Active Member FrogmanDave's Avatar
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    One thing to remember about any tire is the manufacture date. The older it is the harder the rubber gets. Most manufacturers recommend replacing a tire that is over 5 years old due to rubber degradation.

    About 4 years ago I purchased a Piaggio MP3 that was 8 years old. It had very low miles and the tires looked to be in pristine condition. There was almost factory new tread depth and absolutely no dry rot cracks what-so-ever. The scooter had sat in an environmentally controlled garage for the better part of those 8 years. Now bear in mind I have never owned a vehicle long enough for the tires to be that old. I had no idea of what old rubber does to a tire. When I first got the thing and started riding it I thought I had made a very bad mistake. That thing was squirrely as hell. It really did scare me a time or two. After asking other owners about it on the Modern Vespa forums, many recommended I check the rubber hardness. All it took was the fingernail test as compared to the tires on my ST1300. Sure enough those tires were as hard as.... well pick anything really hard. Like I said. I had never owned a vehicle long enough for the tires to be that old either by replacement or the sale of the vehicle. I was somewhat embarrassed that I had not known this after being a bike and car guy my whole life. I could not believe the difference after I got new tires mounted. The thing handled like a dream!

    Now granted the MP3 uses tires with a round profile like any motorcycle/scooter but the same principle applies. Even to those on a Spyder with a flat profile. Will you feel the difference as much with a flat profile tire, of course not. But there will still be a big improvement in handling when switching out old, hard rubber for new.

    I was reminded of this when I read @Sledge speaking to his (possibly) 10 year old tires on his RT. If you have tires that are a few years old, check the rubber hardness. There is a very good chance they need replacing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrogmanDave View Post
    One thing to remember about any tire is the manufacture date. The older it is the harder the rubber gets. Most manufacturers recommend replacing a tire that is over 5 years old due to rubber degradation.
    <snip>
    Exactly. And not just the outer rubber, but also the compounds that bond the plies together... they deteriorate to the point of allowing tread and/or ply separations that could be catastrophic at speed. This even applies to brand-new, never-sold tires sitting in a dark, air-conditioned warehouse. Not safe!
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrogmanDave View Post
    One thing to remember about any tire is the manufacture date. The older it is the harder the rubber gets. Most manufacturers recommend replacing a tire that is over 5 years old due to rubber degradation.
    .....
    Of course they'll recommend a 5-year replacement, they're tire manufacturers. I've been told 10 years is more realistic. I would venture a guess that there are many many more vehicles out there running 10+ year old tires than there adhering to the 5-year recommendation.
    Last edited by Peter Aawen; 11-16-2021 at 02:47 PM. Reason: Fixed quote display

  13. #13
    Ozzie Ozzie Ozzie Peter Aawen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2dogs View Post
    Of course they'll recommend a 5-year replacement, they're tire manufacturers. I've been told 10 years is more realistic. I would venture a guess that there are many many more vehicles out there running 10+ year old tires than there adhering to the 5-year recommendation.
    That guess might be correct, but it doesn't mean that running 10 y/o or older tires is a great idea or that it's always going to be safe to let your tires get that old!! I also strongly doubt that you would've been told that 10 years is more realistic by any Tire Development, Design, &/or Testing Engineer, nor by anyone who really knows much about tires & the materials & compounds that get used in their manufacture!

    Sure, a 'one size fits all' 5 year replacement policy might not be all that great for people who live in a relatively mild climate with no major extremes of temperature &/or large temperate fluctuations; who don't ever get 12+ hours of harsh sunlight or more in a day; &/or who don't ever push their tires to their limits (the tire's limits that is! ) but 5 years is a reasonably safe CYA Catch All policy for 'all tires' if you (the recommender ) don't really know the specific conditions that those tires are likely to be used/working in.... even if some mildly used/exposed tires might get retired a little early - but at 5 years old, those tires that get used/exposed closer to their limits are probably going to be at least nearing their end of safe usage/life & the owner/operator definitely should be considering replacement!! And at 5 years old, some of the High Performance tires that are readily available on the market today & feasibly might end up on a Spyder or an auto might be well beyond their 'safe usage/life', maybe even by 2 or 3 years if they've been worked hard/exposed to extreme temperatures/conditions! Heck, I've driven on & then retired 'road tires' that were 'too old for safe use' when they were less than a year old, but they had been worked hard & seen some (orright, maybe a lot of) extreme temperatures!

    Still, I'd guess that for most Spyder Ryders/cage drivers who don't regularly ryde/drive at the limits of their tire's temperature capabilities; who don't leave their vehicles sitting exposed to weather extremes (especially the harsh/hot sun) all the time when not in use; and who don't usually let their tires experience exposure &/or use on too many days over 100įF/38įC, then 5 years old might be juuust a tad soon to arbitrarily retire their tires - but personally, even for those gentle users who always garage their vehicles when not actually driving them & who live in a mild climate, I'd still be seriously thinking about replacing them before they went much past 7 years old....

    But it is your Spyder.... & your life, so it's your choice as & when to replace your tires! Altho thinking about it a little further, it may also be the life of some other road user or maybe that of a possibly innocent by-stander who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when that 5+ year old 'too old & shoulda been retired a year or 2 ago' tire finally gives up the ghost! Only unless the vehicle burns fiercely & completely after the accident that takes someone out, leaving no tire residue at all remaining for testing & dating, then any interested Investigators/Prosecutors will be able to find out if not simply see & read the Date Code on the tire sidewalls, so if you want to keep running tires that are older than the generally accepted 5-7 years old, I guess you might want to ask yourself - Are you feeling lucky??

    Just Sayin'....
    Last edited by Peter Aawen; 11-16-2021 at 03:44 PM.
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    Very Active Member BLUEKNIGHT911's Avatar
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    Default tire age

    X's 10 with Peter's assessment ..... Mike

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    After I retired I worked at an RV sales store to supplement income for a few years. We sold big, mostly class "A" used motorhomes. They run big, heavily built tires. While I was there, no motorhome went out the door with 7 year or older tires, period. Too much liability. I learned from the owner and heard him tell countless customers that it was near impossible to wear out a set of tires. They always need to be replaced due to age. When ever we acquired a coach that needed tires or was close to needing them, that coach would sit with it's old tires until someone wanted to purchase it. At that time we would include a new set of tires with the sale. Some customers would try to have the price reduced saying the tires looked just fine so how much discount could they get without us putting brand new tires on. They got the coach with new tires......always..... Jim
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    Apologies to 'vito1493' for hijacking his thread. All I was saying was that my MP3 had tires that were almost 10 years old, looked factory fresh, had always sat in a climate controlled garage, were hard as a rock, and handled scary as hell. Like Peter stated, every man, or woman, can make up their own mind but old tires do get hard and are not safe to operate on. The softer the original rubber, the worse the problem is.
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    Don't just take my word for it. "The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and official manufacturers suggest a tire is only 100% safe to use until it turns 5-6 years old. However, some admit that a tire can be operable up to 10 years if you check it for issues annually after the 5th year. Tire manufacturers such as Continental and Michelin say a tire can last up to 10 years provided you get annual tire inspections after the fifth year."

  18. #18
    Ozzie Ozzie Ozzie Peter Aawen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2dogs View Post
    Don't just take my word for it. "The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and official manufacturers suggest a tire is only 100% safe to use until it turns 5-6 years old. However, some admit that a tire can be operable up to 10 years if you check it for issues annually after the 5th year. Tire manufacturers such as Continental and Michelin say a tire can last up to 10 years provided you get annual tire inspections after the fifth year."
    The first Bold bit in your quoted post above is the widely accepted Recommendation for any/all tire users; while the later Bold bits and more importantly, the underlined bitswithin those bolded bits, are the critical points in that caveat for those specific users who are prepared to go the extra mile & expense in order to eke the absolute last vestige of 'life' out of their tires - tires that might last 10 years IF you get them inspected annually after the fifth year! And btw, those 'inspections' they're talking about aren't just running an educated eyeball over the tire in the tire fitter's parking lot, they are meant to be pretty comprehensive & full blown inspections with the wheel off the vehicle that thoroughly inspects both the inside and outside!! And even then, the majority of qualified & experienced inspectors (ie, NOT just your local tire shop operator or tech ) will agree that without actually sampling the material/compound that makes up the tire, there's gonna be a fairly large degree of 'educated guess' involved!!

    So like I posted earlier...
    " ....5 years is a reasonably safe CYA Catch All policy for 'all tires' if you (the recommender ) don't really know the specific conditions that those tires are likely to be used/working in.... "
    Last edited by Peter Aawen; 11-17-2021 at 04:36 PM.
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    Very Active Member BLUEKNIGHT911's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Aawen View Post
    The first Bold bit in your quoted post above is the widely accepted Recommendation for any/all tire users; while the later Bold bits and more importantly, the underlined bitswithin those bolded bits, are the critical points in that caveat for those specific users who are prepared to go the extra mile & expense in order to eke the absolute last vestige of 'life' out of their tires - tires that might last 10 years IF you get them inspected annually after the fifth year! And btw, those 'inspections' they're talking about aren't just running an educated eyeball over the tire in the tire fitter's parking lot, they are meant to be pretty comprehensive & full blown inspections with the wheel off the vehicle that thoroughly inspects both the inside and outside!! And even then, the majority of qualified & experienced inspectors (ie, NOT just your local tire shop operator or tech ) will agree that without actually sampling the material/compound that makes up the tire, there's gonna be a fairly large degree of 'educated guess' involved!!

    So like I posted earlier...
    ............... Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by vito1943 View Post
    I actually don’t remember why I started routinely inflating my tires at a few pounds higher than what the bike manufacturer recommends, but I’ve been doing this for decades. I think I assumed that the handling would be more precise with higher pressure, but I am not sure why I thought so. My current main ride, my 2021 Can Am Spyder recommends 18 in front, 28 in back, but compared to any other bike I have had this seems ridiculously low. So I’ve been keeping the front tires at 22 and the rear tire at 32, but now think that the ride is harsher due to my own actions. Maybe I need to go to 20 and 30 instead.
    With the OEM Kendas, follow the Can-Am specs, on the low side of the range.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThreeWheels View Post
    The Spyder tires have a flat profile like a car tire. Higher pressures tend to round out the contact patch. The bike "sits up on the balls of it's feet".

    This has a tendency to make the bike feel "twitchy" at higher speeds on the highway. And, of course, the center of the tires wear a little more quickly.
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  22. #22
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    Alright. I'm coming in at the tail end of this. I had my first service done not so long ago on my 20 F3L. I experience a shake in the handlebars before I took it in. My shop doesn't have a laser alignment but said it wasn't out and that the handlebars do that. I had the air pressure in my front tires at 15 when I rolled in. They then told me they were at 10. Anywho.... I rode home and it rode great. I looked and they had the front tires at 22. The rear was at 28. Is this ok for the front? The nice label in my frunk says 15.

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    Ozzie Ozzie Ozzie Peter Aawen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peatmoss View Post
    Alright. I'm coming in at the tail end of this. I had my first service done not so long ago on my 20 F3L. I experience a shake in the handlebars before I took it in. My shop doesn't have a laser alignment but said it wasn't out and that the handlebars do that. I had the air pressure in my front tires at 15 when I rolled in. They then told me they were at 10. Anywho.... I rode home and it rode great. I looked and they had the front tires at 22. The rear was at 28. Is this ok for the front? The nice label in my frunk says 15.
    If you've still got the OE spec Kendas fitted (up front or on the rear... ) then you really NEED to use the pressures shown on your Spyder's Tire Placard, cos those Kendas are lightly constructed & it takes that much air inside them in order to keep the important bits/metal bits safe &/or off the ground!

    However, if you have proper Auto tires fitted, tires which are capable of carrying 3 times the load imposed by even the heaviest Spyder/Ryker if they're inflated to the tire placard pressures, then you not only don't need that much air in them, but you'll be doing yourself & your tires, your Spyder, its ride, traction, steering stability, puncture resistance, and tire life et al a real disservice!! Most Auto tires in sizes that'll fit on our Spyders/Rykers without mods really only need about 14 to 16-18 psi for them to work at their best under our (lightweight) machines!

    So do you still have the OE Spec Kendas (or their Arachnid/Eve Rubber clones/alternatives ) or do you have Auto tires!
    Last edited by Peter Aawen; 11-17-2021 at 10:59 PM.
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    Very Active Member BLUEKNIGHT911's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peatmoss View Post
    Alright. I'm coming in at the tail end of this. I had my first service done not so long ago on my 20 F3L. I experience a shake in the handlebars before I took it in. My shop doesn't have a laser alignment but said it wasn't out and that the handlebars do that. I had the air pressure in my front tires at 15 when I rolled in. They then told me they were at 10. Anywho.... I rode home and it rode great. I looked and they had the front tires at 22. The rear was at 28. Is this ok for the front? The nice label in my frunk says 15.
    Generally speaking " handlebar shake " is not an " alignment issue " unless it is extremely off. And that you would notice because the Spoyder wouldn't be drivable..... I also find it a stretch to think front tires at only 10 psi would cause shake either..... However, Kenda's do need more PSI than say Auto tires ..... Mike
    Last edited by Peter Aawen; 11-18-2021 at 02:10 AM. Reason: PIS = PSI ;-)

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    When i first purchased my Spyder 21 F3 a few months ago the pressure was 15 Front 28 rear on Kendas. Would get squirrely turning the least amount of in corners until I raised the fronts to 20.

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