Part of the routine maintenance for your ATV or side by side is maintaining the proper tire pressure. Having one or more tires that are under or over inflated can negatively affect the handling and safety of your machine in a variety of ways. In addition, riding on improperly inflated tires can also create abnormal wear and tear, causing premature tire damage.
Below, CFMOTO, your preferred ATV company and side by side manufacturer, discusses in detail how high and low tire pressure affect your rides, as well as how to ensure your tires keep your adventure safe and last for years to come.
Just like an overinflated balloon, overfilled tires can pop when they hit sharp objects or face sudden impact. While all tires can do this—such is the nature of a device inflated with air—too high a PSI is a common culprit when you face a blowout on the trail.
In addition to the potential for popping, overinflated tires can also experience premature wear-and-tear. Overinflation can push the tire out of its functional shape, which means it then carries your machine’s weight solely on the center of its tread. This, of course, causes uneven wear.
On top of all that, when your tires are balanced on the center of their treads, you lose quite a bit of traction—plus your ride will be incredibly bouncy. Neither of those make for a safe experience!
After hearing about the dangers of overinflated tires, you might try to err on the low side when it comes to PSI. That, however, can prove just as detrimental to your safety and your machine’s well-being. Because underinflated tires have more of themselves touching the ground, they can wear down quickly, just like overinflated ones can, according to the Rocky Mountain Rider Exchange, an expert manufacturer of tires for powersport vehicles. They also cite that underinflated tires can handle unpredictably on the pavement—certainly not a situation you want to be in when crossing oncoming traffic.
How to Maintain Your Tire Pressure
Luckily, avoiding these problems and maintaining the safety of your ride is simple with a little forethought and the right equipment.
Purchase an ATV Tire Pressure Gauge
Most car pressure gauges measure PSI (pounds-force per square inch) starting at 5 PSI However, because ATVs typically have lower tire pressures, you’ll need a specialized gauge for machine maintenance. Typical ATV gauges start at 0 PSI, so if you try to use a tire pressure gauge made for a car, you may misinterpret the reading.
If you’re not sure where to buy an ATV tire pressure gauge, your dealer should have various models for sale at his/her location.
Check the Recommended PSI
When you purchase your CFMOTO ATV or side by side, your dealer will provide you with its official owners manual, which will include your machine’s recommended PSI. Oftentimes, the recommended pressure differs from front tires to back tires, so be sure to double check the manual before hitting the trails.
Because tire pressure has a direct effect in regard to ATV safety, it should be checked prior to every ride. This is especially true as the tires age and naturally wear.
Be Mindful When Temperatures Fluctuate
Just like when you have to check your tire pressure for your car when temperatures change, the same is true for your CFMOTO ATV or CFMOTO side by side. When the temperatures start cooling down in the fall, your tire pressure will naturally decrease; you will likely need to add air at this time.
Be sure to check and adjust your ATV’s tire pressure again once outdoor temperatures dip below freezing. Odds are you will have to add just a bit more air to those tires, especially if you want to continue to use your CFMOTO machine throughout the winter.
And when temperatures start rising? You may have to release some air from those tires so the PSI numbers align with what is listed in the machine’s manual.
Understand That Every ATV and Side by Side Is Different
When testing and adjusting your ATV’s tire pressure, keep in mind that each of our vehicles requires a unique PSI. Just because you own, say, a CFMOTO 400 doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically be familiar with tire pressure requirements for all models!
Check your owner’s manual for each model’s ideal functioning level, and be sure to treat that model as the individual that it is so it can perform at its best.
CFMOTO CFORCE ATVs: Adventure With Confidence
Looking for more how-to safety tips? Check out our ATV company blog on safe towing, or our side by side manufacturer article on spring seasonal maintenance.
To make sure you feel safe every time you ride, every one of our CFMOTO dealers offers a hands-on safety training course for new CFMOTO owners, which will also cover testing and adjusting the tire pressure. Use our online CFMOTO Dealer Locator now to take advantage of this confidence-boosting opportunity.