A lot of accidents on Phuket roads can be attributed to tire pressures. A lot of accidents do not involve anyone else bar the motorbike rider. They haven’t hit a car or a bus, they have simply just lost control of their bike.
None of our motorbikes leave our showroom without the tire pressures being checked in front of the customer renting the bike. We have our own air compressor and encourage long term rental customers to bring their bikes in for a tire pressure check on a weekly basis.
So why are tire pressures so important?
Tires loose pressure through osmosis. This is accelerated in the hot climate in Phuket as the rubber becomes more pliable, especially in direct heat from the sun.
Under inflation and over inflation of tires is dangerous to say the least. I recently had new tires fitted to a Honda Click. After collecting the bike and test driving it, the bike was handling very badly and felt very unstable to drive. When I got it back to the showroom and checked the tire pressures, they had a massive 50psi in them. Not 29psi in the front and 33psi in the rear as specified by Honda! With the correct tire pressures, the little Honda Click regained its composure.
When tires are over inflated a motorbike will start to waiver, the steering will feel light and unpredictable. But other things are happening too, there is less rubber in contact with the road. That means the bike may skid under braking, or the wheels may slide out on corners, especially on wet roads. Tires absorb bumps in the road before the shock absorbers, overinflated tires are not able to do their job.
Many customers are under the impression that they should have more pressure in their tires when carrying a passenger. This is not the case, Honda and Yamaha specify the same tire pressures with or without a passenger.
Under inflated tires are just as bad. Once again, the bike will begin to waiver. The tire wall will sway on the wheel rim as the tire wall flexes. With insufficient pressure the tire cannot absorb the bumps in the road. As the bike leans in corners a very dangerous situation arises as the handling of the bike is compromised. The tire could even part with the wheel rim.
So, whilst you are on holiday in Phuket, stay safe and have a happy holiday. Check your tire pressures once per week!
If you are in the Rawai area you may have your tire pressures checked at our rental shop, or there is an air machine at the gasoline station. Here are the recommended tire pressures for our rental fleet:
|Front in PSI||Rear in PSI|