Dirt Bike Tire Pressure: How to Set Properly?

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Riding a dirt bike is a lot about maneuvering, accelerating and braking, and knowing how to shift. But if there's something that matters a lot that people tend not to consider is the tire pressure.

Without the right pressure, you will lose speed, you won't have enough pressure to go through rocky tracks, or you may just end up losing control and grip on the trail. Whenever any of this happens – the solution is always changing the tire pressure for the right one.

But setting it up correctly is not easy. You will need much more than riding experience and the right tools. Luckily, we know exactly what you need.

Here, we're going to teach you all the different things to consider if you want to set the proper tire pressure on your dirt bike. Are you ready to find out? 

5 Tips to Set the Ideal Dirt Bike Tire Pressure

These are both ways and tips to set the right tire pressure. You may want to consider all 6 tips at the same time, or just follow a few of them. 

1. Learn the Standard Pressure

The first tip would be to learn the standard tire pressure for dirt bikes. This pressure is measured in PSI (pound per square inch). And the standard measure for most dirt bike tires is usually 12 PSI. 

But overall, the pressure can go anywhere from 6 to 18 PSI. It depends on many other factors (we'll explain them later), but 12 PSI still becomes the standard for most off-road applications.

If that's what you wanted to know – then just set 12 PSI on your tires, and that's it. But if you're going to set the tire pressure depending on your specific needs, then you need to read further. 

2. Use a Quality Pump and Gauge

Something else that will help you set the pressure correctly is having a quality pump and gauge. A cheap set may end up in uneven pressure measures or inaccurate readings. 

That's why we recommend staying with high-end gauges as much as possible. Because you're measuring the pressure on dirt bike tires, you must use something extra accurate. These dirt tires use higher pressure than regular tires that low-quality gauges can't meet.

Similarly, you want a quality pump that helps fill up the tires without letting air out. If you use a standard bicycle pump, then it may become a huge problem to do so. But if you use a heavy-duty air compressor, there's no chance for the air to go out when filling. And it helps you fill-up the tire faster. 

3. Consider the Riding Type

Already have the ideal pressure and gauge for the job? Then you're almost ready to start filling the tires. First, however, consider the type of riding you're doing. Here's how it can affect you:

  • Motocross

For motocross, you don't need to go over or under the standard pressure for dirt bikes. Why? It happens because motocross is often practiced on solid sand that doesn't demand any specific pressure. 

You may still want to test the motocross track and check whether the pressure works. In case the road is too soft for this pressure, then you may want to reduce to about 10 PSI. But if it is a hard track with rocks or asphalt, then you'll want to increment it. 

  • Rock Tracks

If you're riding on a rocky track or road, then you'll want to keep the pressure at 13 PSI or close to that. This will help keep the tires super hard and ready to tackle even the thickest rocks without getting punctured.

  • Mud Tracks

Sometimes, tracks get muddy because of rain or random moisture. If this happens, the best way to set up the pressure would be at 10 PSI. This helps the tires get more traction and swim in the mud.

In some cases, however, the mud can be shallow, letting the tire meet the solid surface directly. If that happens, a soft tire won't achieve proper traction. So you may need to leave the pressure at 12 PSI.

Lastly, you may find thick rocky mud instead of shallow or deep. This mud will cause the tires to dig and feel stuck in the mud. Again, a soft tire won't do the job here. You will need to get up to 13 PSI so the tires can break loose. 

  • Sand Tracks

Sandy tracks are similar to muddy trails in that they're often softer. So you may need to release some air pressure from the tires. 

We recommend 10 to 11.5 of total air pressure for sandy tracks. If you're riding on dunes, for example, 10 PSI will work wonders. But if you're riding on a typical track with a few sandy areas, then 11.5 PSI would be your best bet. 

4. Set Different Pressure for Rear and Front

Now that you've learned about the tools you need to set the ideal pressure and how to do so depending on the specific track – then you should consider establishing a different pressure in the rear and front.

Usually, the front is the part with the smaller cavity or tire size. This means it uses less air volume – so reaching high measures takes less time. But it also says that it tends to harden up with less air. 

What does this say? Easy, you should always set the pressure higher on the front than in the rear tire.  

As the tire that makes the first contact with most obstacles and surfaces, the front should have a higher PSI number than the rear one. 

5. Check That the Pressure Is Sufficient

You've learned how the type of riding and the rear and front differ. Now, you should set the pressure depending on how the bike performs.

Here, you'll learn how to know if the tire has too much pressure, and how you can find out if it has too little. 

  • Too Much Pressure

One of the ways to know if the tires have too much pressure is there's too little grip. If you're in flat and stable terrain, but the tires seem to lose grip – then it probably means you have too much pressure. Lowering down a point or two in PSI would fit this.

Another way to know if the tires have too much pressure is looking for the "rim clean." This refers to the sidewalls of the rim and the thin shiny edge that appears when you have proper pressure. If you have too much, then you won't see this rim.

Lastly, heat and use often increase pressure. You can always stop to check the pressure of the tire after 30 minutes of riding. If you've checked before starting and now you see a total measure of more than 3 PSI than before – then you need to lower it down. 

  • Too Little Pressure

Similarly to having too much pressure, one of the best ways to find out is by the grip of the tire. If you try taking corners or simply accelerate in medium speeds but the bike wobbles – then it usually means your tires have too little pressure.

At the same time, if you see too much of a "rim clean" on the tires, it also means you need to step up the pressure. The rim clean should be barely visible, not have a wide gap between the tires and rims. 

Set Your Dirt Bike Tire Pressure Perfectly!

Now that you're aware of the different things that affect dirt bike tire pressure and how you can set it according to your needs – then it is time to start doing so.

Try to follow our advice to the letter, and you shouldn't have any problem. With our help – setting up the pressure on your dirt bike tires should be a piece of cake. So do it now!

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