Q Are tyre pressure monitoring systems worth it?
Tyres can deflate naturally at up to 2psi per month, so if you aren’t in the habit of regularly checking your pressure, a tyre pressure monitoring system might be worth getting. If you are unlucky to suffer from a sudden deflation, you’ll feel the handling deteriorate rapidly. The real advantage of a monitoring system is if you suffer a slow puncture, especially if you are on a long run. Then you might compensate for the changes and the loss of pressure only becomes apparent when you are on a highspeed stretch or tipping it into a sharp bend on a mountain road.
There are two types of system; the original equipment set-ups offered by the likes of BMW, Kawasaki and Triumph with batterypowered sensors mounted inside the tyre, either incorporated with the valve or strapped to the hub, and aftermarket offerings, which use a sensor in a modified valve cap. Both types have a pressure sensor chip that senses tyre pressure against a built-in vacuum to give an absolute pressure reading which is then transmitted to a display unit.
As well as issuing alerts as the pressure changes, and showing the temperature of the tyre, the higherend systems allow you to customise pressure thresholds and monitor tyre pressure trends over days and weeks, spotting a slow leak before it becomes a major issue.
The valve caps might not fit between the valve stem and brake discs on some bikes, like Ducati’s Diavel and Multistrada, but the batteries are easy to change, unlike the batteries in the wheel-mounted sensors, which are sealed in.
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Aftermarket systems are available