Motorcycle tire pressure monitoring system or simply known as Motorcycle TPMS helps you to monitor real time air pressure in your motorcycle tires. They are similar to TPMS for cars, but only come with two air pressure sensors instead of four or five sensors. Having right air pressure in your tires at all the time is good for your overall riding experience. Over or under inflated tires will cause your motorcycle to handle and break poorly. Maintaining right air pressure also increases the tire life.
Motorcycle tire pressure monitoring system allows you to always keep an eye on the tire pressure so that you avoid riding on under or over inflated tires. Some motorcycle TPMS models also display tire temperature.
Choosing a good motorcycle TPMS is necessary to have a great experience and also to avoid false tire pressure report. Bad or cheaply built products can display wrong tire pressure and you may end up again with over or under inflated tires. You need to choose the TPMS for your motorcycle based on your riding style and conditions and your motorcycle category.
Different types of tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) for motorcycle
While choosing a tire pressure sensor for your motorcycle, you need to consider a few things. TPMS for motorcycle are available in many different sizes, shapes, price range and with different features.
Some motorcycle TPMS come with bare basic pressure monitoring sensors that send information to a simple receiver via Bluetooth. While they seem very basic compared to some of the more advanced TPMS, but they just get the work done and that is what you need most of the time. They are relatively cheap and easy to install.
Note, I am not talking about cheap and unbranded Chinese made TPMS here. Those systems are not very reliable and often have huge error in pressure reading, so simply avoid those.
Some tire pressure monitoring systems come with many advanced features like tire temperature sensor, digital display on the receiver and also android and iPhone applications to monitor the tire pressure on your smartphone. These systems are costly compared to the simple ones and are often more reliable and better built.
Sensor Type: Internal sensors vs External sensors
An important thing to consider while selecting TPMS for motorcycle is the sensor type. You can choose a system with internal sensors that fit inside the rim or choose a system that uses external sensors. External pressure sensors are fitted on stem valve directly, replacing the valve stem plastic cap. Both systems have some advantages and some disadvantages.
TPMS for motorcycle with External Sensors
External TPMS are easy to install, you can install them yourself without removing the tires. But they are easy to steal and protrude too much outside the stem-valve so some motorcycle models may not have adequate clearance to install them. If you are going for the external sensors, choose the ones with locking systems that need special tool to install and remove to avoid easy theft.
TPMS for motorcycle with Internal Sensors
Internal sensors require you remove the tires while installing and also every time you need to change the batteries. They are very discreet and nobody even notice that they are there. Also you don’t have to remove them while inflating the tires. Internal TPMS are also more expensive than the external ones.
TPMS Sensor Battery Type
Some tire pressure monitoring system sensors come with user-replaceable batteries while other come with a sealed one, requiring you to purchase a new sensor when the battery dies out.
Motorcycle TPMS with temperature sensor
Most advanced TPMS have temperature sensor and are capable of displaying compensated pressure reading based on the tire temperature. Tire pressure varies based on the temperature, so you may end up with wrong tire pressure. So a good TPMS with temperature sensor shows you compensated pressure reading.
You motorcycle travels through many different terrain, like water, mud etc. So choose a TPMS sensor that is rugged, water proof and easy to clean.
Motorcycle TPMS Sensors with built-in Motion Sensor
Some motorcycle TPMS sensors are equipped with motion sensor and transmit data only when the wheel starts to rotate and go into hibernation when parked. This feature certainly increases the battery life and is best choice if you seldom use your motorcycle. But these type of sensors don’t show you the pressure reading while motorcycle is parked.
Note: Almost all TPMS are not compatible with tube-type tires. So if you are using tube-type tires in your motorcycle, check the compatibility before buying.
Motorcycle TPMS Display Module Types
Another feature to consider while choosing the TPMS is the display module type and size. Display type range from a tiny display which can be used as a keychain to fairly big display modules that need to be mounted on the handlebar and require more power. Some display modules are water proof and some are not. So choose a TPMS display module based on your usage needs.
Tiny keychain display units are very basic and just show you the pressure in a monochrome digital display. They are equipped with built-in batteries and don’t need external power source.
Large display modules provide you more information but they also need more energy to run. Some modules come with an internal rechargeable battery while others need to get the power directly from the motorcycle battery.
The display modules drawing energy from the motorcycle have one major disadvantage. Since the module is switched off when the motorcycle ignition is off, It takes sometimes for the sensor data to sync with the module every time you start your bike. On the other hand, the display modules with built-in battery are always up to date with tire pressure reading.
Some modern motorcycle tire pressure monitoring systems like FOBO Bike TPMS have no display module but come with only tire pressure sensors that send information directly to your smartphone application.
With no display module, you don’t need to worry about the battery life, the possibility of theft, mounting the module, etc. All you have to do is install the sensors and hook them up to your smartphone via Bluetooth. Since batteries in the sensors last up to 10 years, you have complete peace of mind.
Points to Remember before choosing and using motorcycle tire pressure monitoring system
All tire pressure monitoring systems are not accurate. Most of them come with a warning sticker about the accuracy level they offer.
One of the most common mistake many make while installing the TPMS sensor is to install on wrong tire. For example installing front tire sensor to the rear tire and vice versa.
Always check tire air pressure before you start riding the motorcycle when the tires are cold.