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The Starting Line : How much air pressure should I run in my rear tire?

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How much air pressure should I run in my rear tire?


Ben KnightThat depends on quite a few variables.  The first is whether you are using a DOT street tire or a race slick.  You will definitely be able to run a lot more air pressure in a DOT tire then you ever would in a slick, but I’m just getting into running slicks myself so I’ll let some of the veterans handle that specific answer.  Now in regards to your street tire, it also depends (in my opinion) on your goals.  If you’re trying to go as fast as possible it’s best to run as much pressure as possible.  Pick a starting point and increase your air pressure by 2lbs every pass until you’re happy or start to spin (if you start to spin, back it down some).  If you’re simply bracket racing I would recommend picking what I call a “safe” pressure.  What I mean by that is I gauge what I think the track will hold and then I’ll give myself a cushion and run a few lbs lower.  If you’re bracket racing it won’t hurt you to give up a few mph for more consistency.



Janie PalmRear tire air pressure really depends on your motorcycles setup and your riding style.  If you have a stock wheel base motorcycle you can normally get away with more air pressure than if you have a longer wheel base motorcycle.  I have both and on my stock wheel base, I normally run about 25-30 pounds of air pressure.  In my longer wheel base I normally run about 13-17 pounds of pressure.  It will also depend on your riding style as mentioned earlier if you are really aggressive off the starting line you may need to run less air pressure in order to get the traction you need.




Dustin Lee

Air pressure in tire has a lot of factors like;  type of tire, type of bike, length of bike and as well as weight of bike. Best thing do to is test and play with your tire pressure and find out what works for you. Sometimes I run  lower psi than I have to just to make sure I don’t spin. Hope this helps, be safe out there!






Jerry TurnerOh how I wish that was a simple question.  The quick answer is as much as the track will hold.   But there are lots of variables.  Slick or street tire, brand/model of tire, size of tire, rim width, number of passes on the tire and even age of tire.  And you have to take track conditions and weather into account as well as bike set-up (shock settings, etc…) and size of rider.  It’s really going to come down to testing your tire on your bike at the track you are racing.  On the street tire I normally use, I’ll run between 15 to 20 lbs depending on track conditions.  I have run less.  On my bar bike, I try to stay as close to 10 lbs as I can.  That usually gives me the best traction and tire wear for the tire/rim combination I use.  A lot of racers run best with 8, 6 and even 5 lbs in slicks with their combinations.  Surprisingly, on a slick, you can go too low on air pressure and have less contact surface.  The tire will actually cup and wear the edges but the center is lifting and not gripping the track.



Brad GottI always liked to run as much tire pressure as the track would consistently allow. A shorter wheelbase bike can 25 psi on a track that a longer wheelbase bike may only get away with 14 or 15 psi. Find one that works for you in practice for that given day and check it before each pass. Once you have established a good pressure, it won’t vary to much from track to track.​





We’ll see you in two weeks for another edition of the Starting Line.

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