tire pressures - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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Old 09-04-2010, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 3
tire pressures

Being new to the forum, I apologize if this has been beat to death.

The manual for my '09 calls for 21 psi front and 28 psi rear. After-market tires vary in carcass stiffness and tread design. Can some of you share your preferred tire pressures?

I run mostly pavement with a few gravel roads. I weigh 185 and carry about 30 lbs. of gear.

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Old 09-04-2010, 11:34 AM
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I run pavement pressure when on pavement, and off road pressure when off road for extended periods..
My tires are always at 34f/37r unless I'm out playing in wet or soft stuff all day, or out wandering gravel all day.. Then I'll knock em' down to 20ish front and rear, and toss air into them at the first service station after I'm done playing.

The manual's pressure suggestion is a compromise for all riding types, and is actually pretty bad for all types.

When I've run the "recommended pressures" on the road, my bike handles like crap when compared to regular street pressures. It's slow to turn, feels squishy, and low pressure at extended periods increases tire temps, which eat tires.

These are what I do.. I average 15,000-20,000 miles on motorcycles a year, all while having a very busy job and an Upper Midwest riding season.. I've also been doing this now for 30 years.. Everyone can do what they wish, but this is what's worked for me.
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Old 09-04-2010, 01:19 PM
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Roughly the same as Paper. On road I run 33f and 36 rear and knock it down to low 20's for off road. I too do not think that the recommended pressures work at all for either riding condition. When I first got my 09 I left the tires at those pressures and it was awful both on and off road.
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Old 09-04-2010, 01:54 PM
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50/50 tires

Street 38/35
Gravel Road 25/22
Dirt/Mud/Technical 17/15

I carry a small compressor

Edit: These numbers are rear/front not front/rear

Last edited by rain_man_rich; 09-06-2010 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 09-05-2010, 12:36 AM
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Agreed. Not quite as high for me (32/35 on road of late), but the manual pressures are crazy stupid.

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Old 09-05-2010, 01:15 AM
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Just under 40 front & rear all the time.

Not that it's right or wrong, it's just my preference to run 'em hard.
I run a very soft compound and it helps greatly with onroad handling
and inputs.

This is my son, with whom I am well pleased." ----God
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Old 09-05-2010, 01:29 AM
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I had been running mine on pavement at 28F/32R, but they feel too squishy. I wasn't sure how high I could go, but now that I'm seeing everybody else's PSI numbers, I'm going to go right now to the garage and change them to 32/36 or something close to that.

Thanks for the feedback from everybody.

2001 KLR650
"For strange effects and extraordinary combinations, we must go to life itself which is always far more daring than any effort of the imagination." - S Holmes
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Old 09-09-2010, 12:38 PM
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For reference, Honda recommends 22 front and rear for the XR650L. I run 28 on the street and 15 in the dirt. I rode 10 miles on pavement once with them at 15 and really didn't like how the bike felt at those pressures. I get good street traction at 28 psi.

I'm sure different tires have different maximum pressures, but the IRC GP-110 tires I'm using list 36 as the maximum. That seems a bit high for the weight involved.

Scott R. Nelson, 2001 XR650L, and a KTM 990 Adventure, Folsom, CA
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:26 PM
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My rule of thumb on pavement is max pressure as stated on tire less 10%.

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Old 09-09-2010, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by klr4evr View Post
My rule of thumb on pavement is max pressure as stated on tire less 10%.
Not bad idea. I'll have to remember that.

2001 KLR650
"For strange effects and extraordinary combinations, we must go to life itself which is always far more daring than any effort of the imagination." - S Holmes
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