BEST TYRE PRESSURE, TRACTION & AVOIDING PUNCTURES

There are plenty of forum threads around about the best tyre pressure for dirt bikes and avoiding punctures and flat tyres. You will always get guys loudly saying things like 10psi air pressure front and rear is the correct pressure but the truth is way more complicated than that. These vids provide an introduction on how to ride dirt bikes with our 70 free training vids. Many of these riding tips come from Graham Jarvis, Chris Birch and other top extreme enduro riders to form the concept of cross training – a blend of trials and enduro techniques.

Let’s say 12psi tyre pressure is a good default position for dirt riding. These enduro training vids cover many dirt riding skills and dirt bike techniques for improved off road riding. Cross training applies trials to enduro techniques. But if you don’t ride those bits fast you could maybe stay on 12psi tyre pressure. Also you are just using the thin stock tubes, not heavy duty ones so they are prone to pinch punctures and flat tyres.

There are default air pressures that assume an average rider on an average dirt bike with average tyres etc. In trials riding, this is usually 4psi in the rear and 5psi in the front to get that huge footprint from the tyre and lots of extra traction and still minimise flat tyres and punctures. What do all the world’s best extreme enduro riders have in common? Almost without exception they are former trials champions who applied who have applied trials techniques to their dirt riding skills to tackle some of the world’s toughest events.

At first glance, trials riding doesn’t appear to have much in common with dirt riding as much of the action happens at walking speed or even slower – but the balance, precise, traction and clutch skills help with enduro riding, especially for extreme enduro. However motocross racing can complicate things because air pressure can increase up to 6psi as a rear tyre warms up.

Enduro racers who still use tubes often run a high pressure as they are slamming into obstacles so hard they want to avoid punctures and rim damage, while top extreme enduro riders use soft mousses. enduro. The growing interest in extreme enduro has seen a resurgence in trials riding riding internationally, and many dirt riders are now joining trials clubs to improve their overall skills for basic dirt riding or hard enduro events and endurocross… and they want to avoid flat tyres and punctures.

So you can see there are no easy answer to what is the best tyre pressure and minimising punctures. Some say the rim clean method is the best one. The top extreme enduro riders like Jarvis are so smooth and controlled that often you don’t realise how difficult the terrain is until you see them flying past the less experienced riders. This refers to how the tyre’s sidewall rolls over the edge of the rim at lower air pressures.

So cross training applies trials techniques to enduro riding for improved dirt bike skills. Start decreasing your air pressure and experimenting. Losing traction is a cardinal sin in trials riding and riders go to extreme lengths to ensure their tyres don’t slip. Wheelspin and slides look great but in many cases for enduro riding but it simply means you are losing full control of your dirt bike. You should notice that traction improves rapidly. Eventually your bike won’t handle corners well, as at pressure your tyres will start to roll in hard cornering, and you may get a wallowing feeling at speed. The top extreme enduro riders will only lose traction deliberately in a small number of cases. Maintaining traction is a critical skill in cross training if you want to improve how your ride your dirt bike. A clear indication of pressure is the hard hit you will feel when the rim hits rocks and tree roots, which can cause punctures, rim damage and broken spokes.

If you are a traction junkie, then using mousses or the TUbliss setup is a no brainer. Body positioning and weighting are fundamental skills in trials, and watching top trials riders is like poetry in motion. They do have their drawbacks of course, see this video for a full comparison of mousses, Tubliss and tubes.

If you are into cross training then TUbliss or mousses work a treat, I particularly like the TUbliss as I can have ridiculously low air pressures for our slow technical rides and get fantastic grip, then up the pressures for a faster more flowing ride. So cross training applies trials techniques to enduro riding for improved dirt bike skills. Both of these mean that you can get a much larger footprint for traction, with far less chances of rim damage or punctures.

AVOIDING PUNCTURES
As Graham Jarvis says “Going fast is the easy bit, it’s going slowly that will help you develop control.” If you choose to stay with tubes, here are some ways to minimise punctures.

Comments

Echo Outdoors says:

I’ve only had a tire come off the rim one time. Super fun and annoying riding it back haha. front tire.

Peter Thygesen says:

Yes Tubliss makes your ride home even with a flat but a bit wobbly especially on pavement so I normally plug is right away since it’s so easy

Christian 777 says:

I use soapy water in a spray bottle instead of baby powder

alani 201 says:

what tyres and what rims you use fort the drz for example? ?

ColoradoDualSport says:

DRZ400S 18/18 on D606’s and never change it. I’m a heavy guy so that is the sweet spot to rampage through the Colorado “Rocky” mountain trails.

Peter Werner says:

Have you put rim lox on the bush pig yet Baz? Would love to know how low you can go before the big girl starts bending rims

Dicko says:

From your other videos, I gave the tubliss a go on a 690 about 6 mths ago. It took a while to be confident with them but all well so far. High speed dirt roads loaded up etc about 18 front and rear. just did the simpson at about 6 front and rear. Confidence comes in part from using some pressure sensitive caps. i.e 110lb caps show green when full pressure. red if below 10%. just set and forget.

Zig71 says:

Wide 000 ! Priceless . Missed this one catching up know . Thumbs up as per .

Thomas Matovinovic says:

Hey there mate. Iv got a Honda xr650r I use for work commute and the odd light off road track. Nothing serious off roading. I’m looking at the TUbliss setup for back and front just wondering how they stack up for long distances onroad traveling? I’m interested in these not for low pressure but for easy tyre repair. Thanks.

MEGASAXON ZRO says:

Me and my bike are 260kg together. my rear is a 6 ply side wall I run 5 psi over roots and rocks and 0 in sand and dirt. its all about the weight and tyre.

Jason Henderson says:

low and slow for me. I start at 10-12psi then work my way down based on the terrain, uhd tubes. this weekend I went for a ride after we got 2″ of rain and I probably have 6psi left in my tires. tons of traction, i never got stuck in the mud. We have rocks and tree roots but I’m not fast enough to pinch a tube, I do have one cracked and one bent wheel though. 190lb rider, honda cr125.

Jure Kurinčič says:

what the heck is psi

Alice inwonderland says:

I am a female rider,around 65kg. For off road, I can not leave 8 psi no matter what I have tried with my suspension set up or my riding ability. I do not ride fast compared to the men. I look at bike preservation. I know when there is a log or rock, I am aware of the damage it can cause to my rim, so I slow down a bit and take it easy. My confidence is much better when I set off at 8 psi. I know the longer I ride, the more my tyre pressure increases due to heat and my tyres end up around the 10 psi for the rear and 9 psi for the front. I ride a KLX 250 S and KLX150 S (which are road trail bikes) and run the same pressure on both. Tyre pressure has got to do with 1. Your riding ability 2. Your body weight 3. Perhaps your suspension set up.?

Jason R says:

Great info! I am an adventure rider on a Dr650 at 70 kg and have been wondering, asking and experimenting a lot. I have found 18 to 15 psi front and rear works well for how and where I ride. Pacific NW forest service roads, single tracks with roots, rocks, and downed trees. But since I commute a way to my trails I keep a tire pressure gauge on me and a couple CO2 cartridges to air back up prior to getting back on asphalt.

Christian 777 says:

Ive got a dunlop d803 trials in my rear with tubliss so i run at 5 in the back and a unicross for the front at 8 usually

Håkon Ø says:

I use 30 psi in a UHD tube front and mousse in the rear. That way my bike behaves like a snowmobile.

Brad Walker says:

was going to let you know on ur othere video that when uall talk about armpump that there is a way to help with that and its simple just get you a tube of rollon iceyhot and rub ur forarms with it before u ride that will stop the armpump trust me ive done it for years and it does work i ride about 80miles a ride singletrack trails and alot like uall ride give it a fewtimes to get ust to the iceyhot and you will never leave home without it again!!! iam a big fan of urs keep up the good work

Hobby Endurist says:

Thank you for the great Video! What do you advise for a 140/80 – 18 tt Tire. Would it be enough to get 1.5 psi in the Tires? thank you for any advise. Regards from the always nature-protected Germany!

Freeman says:

A bit of shame that all the info is only in psi and not bar, Pa or atm, maybe it could be possible to add it as a subtitle (or annotation, but I think they don´t work on mobile devices?).
Also, as for an extra tip, buy a cheap 12V air compressor, strip all the non-essential parts and you are left with a very small device that you can easily fit in your backpack and you can increase and decrease the pressure wherever and whenever you want, as long as u have a 12V outlet on your bike ofc. If you don´t, you can also get a regulator for those high pressure tire fillers, so that you don´t need to dump the whole thing at once :) .

Lit Plumber says:

It’s actually “Messiah” by Laszlo.

Sowman Films says:

Heavy duty tubes at 10PSI, done hundreds of hours at that setting and I’ve never had a puncture. I slide all over the show if I go any higher!

GK-Tuning says:

i usually grease my tube, no punctures yet
7psi

alani 201 says:

I have problem with my front tyre is very slippery in flat corner and when I turn. know anyone a good type ??

Alex Kravtsov says:

….and I keep saying “thank you” for another damn good soundtrack, Mr. Morris!:-)

aehrenbuerger says:

you don’t care about you metric worshipers? I’m going to unsubscribe! Pound is a currency, a square is no circle and inch is something for TV diameter. But how do I buy a round TV in GB? Especially now, after they left us?
I’m using mousse anyway (and it’s always wrong).
😉
greetings from Germany – jealous about the weather

kinsel says:

Been running 6 PSI in the front for trials. I’ve heard Lampkin say 5 PSI in the front too… interesting 😉

MrDuhfactor says:

My tires are so old they are rock hard… but I like it that way, because they’re like me.. so crusty that there is no need for tubes, or air for that matter…..

gncc1race says:

I do like my beer, I am heavy, and I have to run 36 psi to avoid pinch flats. And I run TUbliss on both ends… LOL!! Badumpbump!

Been saving that little gem for when this video went public! It was worth the weight. Oh, see what I did there? Freudian slip there? LOL!!

Great video Barry. Very good treatise on tire pressure. Or tyre pressure for those of you driving on the wrong side of the road… LOL!! (I’m sorry! I just can’t stop myself. Totally outta control tonight!)

fredman1085 says:

Because Barry made me do it, I installed Tubliss on my ’04 Honda CRF250X.  I ran 8lbs to start (just got back to riding after being off for medical reasons) and I couldn’t believe the traction difference.  So good in fact that I just installed them on my Katie Em XCF250W and I hope to have a similarly good ride this weekend.Thanks for videos Barry.  Will you do one about wheeling soon?  Just joshen….

SeeItWithChris says:

+CROSS TRAINING ENDURO SKILLS What clutch lever are you using at 2:48 in this video? I’m looking for a easier pull lever and would love for it to be short as well for my Beta 430 RS. I really don’t like the stock.

888SnOwMaN8888 says:

I have found slime in my tubes works really well, havent punctured one in quite a while, atleast 4000 kms of riding

kain hall says:

ended up ripping the valve stem out of my tube riding home….noob mistake, didnt have enough air PSI

but holy shit, did it get squirmy quick….rear started to wobble left to right to left

i just lightly applied the brakes with a bit more on the front….while pulling to the left shoulder of the road.
had to push it home, but all i needed was a 10 dollar tube!

Taen says:

So I ride a 250 dual sport (4s) but do mainly off road riding, I weigh about 135 and the bike is 300 wet. I noticed my bike had been slipping around after riding a friends. I thought I had my mind made up until you added that last bit in the end about road riding! What would you recommend for someone doing small jumps, attempting to learn cross training and mellow trail riding? 15spi? Very helpful video btw, you always seem to impress me with the quality of the video!

Mackinley Hughes says:

What do you recommend for a 60 kilo ktm 200 rider

Peter Thygesen says:

Thanks for another good video. I started my own gumpy carrier off road here in Thailand one year ago after 35 years of on road riding and just regret I didn’t start a long time ago. The tire pressure is more science than I imagined for sure, I invested in a nice Husky a few months ago and had 17 punctures in the front and 4 in the back in 17 hrs from playing with low pressure to get good traction. Now I installed Tubliss and after some beginners problems I’m now very happy with the system and run about 4 psi in the rear and 8 psi in the front on most rides and when I get a flat I can plug it in 5 minutes and continue. I do a lot of trial like practice to improve my skills and not so many fast rides.

Allen R says:

I have a DRZ 400S I do 60% off road (some gnarly terrain at times) and 40% paved road. What would be the idle air pressure for my style of ridding. I would guess 18 to 20lbs am I correct? Thanks Bud. Great vids by the way.

nitemunky76 says:

Try using grease instead of talc on the tube. A greased tube is far less likely to get a pinch flat than a talced one.

Shane Czora says:

I was experimenting with tire pressures like you said and I ended up with a long ride home with 0 psi. Had awesome traction though…lol

soa42086 gaming says:

love your videos I’ve used a lot of your techniques and your videos and they have really helped me thank you very much keep up the good work

Wide000 says:

Hehe, no dislikes at the time of seeing this video. After reading the disclaimer, no one really want to be associated with this ”emotionally unstable” category. But some exceptions are still possible. We will see tomorow…

eveRide ADV says:

Extremely good info here! I think I need to try Tubliss on the WR.

Logan S J says:

I have a 110 90 18 tire and I keep 7 to 15 psi I have went through 3 tubes in a weed because the valve stem keeps ripping off plz help if you no why it does this

BajaMotoAdv says:

I have been running Tubliss for over a year and never had a flat, but I ride in Baja a lot and am scared of getting stuck in the middle of nowhere, which causes me to carry tools to fix a flat. I am thinking about mousse inserts, but am concerned about how long they really last. On my 250 XC-W, it’s most single track, but on my 500 EXC, it’s a lot of high speed two track (very little pavement). Thoughts?

PracticalAdventureMotorcycler says:

I like to use a vacuum pump with the tubliss system to get my tires down to -4psi. I find this produces the best results.

ArmasADVish says:

As an overweight American gumby I’m no where near the skill level for any of the fore mentioned to actually matter. Thank you very much.

brandtagone says:

That funny I was just talking a bit about tire pressure on a vid and you go and hit on all the points, glad you added in bike weight its often forgotten

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