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Thread: Panhead/Knucklehead 16" tire pressure

  1. #1

    Default Panhead/Knucklehead 16" tire pressure

    The riders manual for the 1948 Panhead shows the tire pressure for a solo rider and one passenger at 12lbs front and 16lbs rear for the 5.00 x 16 tire. This seems pretty low.

    So the question I have is what tire pressures are you running on the 5.00 x 16 tire for modern long distance riding two up?
    Erik Bahl

    1929 BMW R63
    1915 Harley Davidson 11F Twin

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    483

    Default

    I run 28 lbs. Others will have other opinions but newer tires have softer side walls that the old tires and softer compound rubbers so IMHO you can run higher tires pressures and have good performance and wear.

    Tom (Rollo) Hardy
    AMCA #12766

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    29

    Default

    On a '65 with Coker Classics, 25 front, 28 rear. Never tried the "recommended" pressures. Just seems too low on a very heavy bike.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Northern Colorado
    Posts
    829

    Default

    Use the pressure recommended by the tire manufacturer. Those low pressures listed in riders manuals are completely off base for modern tires.
    VPH-D

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
    Posts
    4,144

    Default

    A friend of mine did some work on my 1951FL about 30 years ago. When he finished, he pumped my tires up to 30psi as a favor. The motorcycle was un-ride able at speeds over 15 mph. Eventually I got the bike home, and was trying to think of a nice way to tell him he fvcked up my motorcycle. I looked at that bike for hours trying to find some obvious problem, until I read the rider's handbook which stated about 15 psi tire pressure. . . I lowered the pressure, and it rode like a dream I can't remember what tires I had on it, but as others have said, modern tires require more pressure.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    1,110

    Default

    Tires have maximum pressure values on them not the recomended pressure for a particular vehicle.A Mercedes may say 28 psi & the tire says max 40.Rigid frame bikes require lower pressure to be rideable.I run 25 max on my rigid bikes.

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