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Emergency Tire Inflation

Getting a flat sucks, but it happens. Many of us carry tire repair kits and some means of inflating a tire in an emergency. There are a few options when it comes to emergency tire inflation including manual hand pumps, CO2 cartridges and 12v mini compressors. Here is a review of a few of the common methods talked about on the COG forum.

Manual hand pumps don't require 12v power source and can also be nice for making changes to the stock C10 rear shock. This is a nice way to add air to the rear shock to prevent over inflation.

The down side is filling a flat tire is going to take a long long time. If you choose to go this route, get one that is as large as possible, and get one that inflates on both stroke directions.

Here is a nice one mounted out of the way inside a saddle bag.

CO2 Cartridges can be purchased stand-alone and as part of a tire repair kit. These will not take near as long or as much effort as the hand pumps.

It has been reported that it can take up to 10-12 cartridges to inflate a tire to 35psi. So make sure your kit contains enough cartridges to get the job done.

After considering the weight and bulk of this many cartridges many thing a mini compressor is just as good. Over time replacement cartridges can run up the long term cost of this method.

Shown is a nice kit from AEROstich.

12v Mini Compressor is the easiest and fastest way to inflate your tire. This, in most cases, has the higest initial cost to purchase and takes up the most room in your saddle bags. However convenience and ease of use still make this the most popular method of tire inflation.

There are a large number of aftermarket 12v Mini Compressors available from your auto parts stores, Motorcycle dealers and on-line stores.  These come in a variety shapes and sizes. Most opt for the small hand held size that is easy to stow. Many come with a wide variety of attachments and 12v power adapters such as a standard cigarette lighter adapter or leads for clipping directly to your battery.

If you plug into an accessory socket for power, make sure your circuit as a large enough fuse. Also if you tire is completely flat you may need the engine to be running, while filling the tire, to prevent excessive battery drain. Sure would be a bummer if the bike won't start after all the work of the repair.

A less expensive way to get a 12v mini compressor that is capable of inflating a tire in reasonable time, is to get a larger automotive 12V compressor and strip down the case. Generally these are much larger and not idea for fitting in your saddle bad with all your other gear.

But remove the plastic shell, the built in gauge, strip it down and now you have something a lot more Motorcycle portable. And the larger size motors will fill your tire in no time.

It is highly recommended to use a piece of bend clothes hanger to hang the unit from while in use. Its been reported " The pump's spinnin innards don't like touchin nothin ".

Click here to read a Tech page article.

Article By: Slybones

April 2011

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