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Correct air pressure in Dunlop Elite III tires
There has been a little confusion regarding correct air pressure in Dunlop Elite III tires. In the past Dunlop Elite II tires on our Wings were inflated to 41 PSI front and rear and that was correct for those older tires. The newer Elite III's use a different air pressure and it varies according to rider weight and loading. In my case, because I'm a heavyweight I should be using the max inflation of 40 PSI front and 40 PSI rear. I had incorrectly instructed a couple of members to overinflate their tires because I believed that they would derive better handling and performance and according to Dunlop I was wrong. I just wanted to be sure that this was made clear out here and that nobody else made the same error.

If you need more info regarding your Elite III tires have a look at the following link and take a look at TIRE TIPS at the upper left;
<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""> ... .asp?id=86</a><!-- m -->
Ed (Vic) Belanger - 1954-2015
Founder of

#1 07-01-2007, 05:31 PM,
thank you Vic,
that clears up a lot of questions I had.
John McFarland
Chapter Director
member 367388
#2 07-02-2007, 11:57 AM,
I`m nowhere near 300 lbs. Closer to 150 I guess(75 kgs) and I run 41/41 in my tires. My tires are CHEAP, (pay round 2500 Nrk a piece, 150CND) and wants to get good milage out o` them.
Good milage= Low r.p.m. , Gentle handling of the bike, high pressure in tires, low xtra weight(don`t bring it, if you don`t need it), AND MOST OF ALL. AWOID XTRA STOP,START. Don`t stop/start unless you have to. Look far ahead, move your eyes, AND FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.......... PLAN YOUR DRIVING........... Don`t be surprised, the cager`s shouldn`t be able to, if your`e prepared.
Always start the season, xpecting some cager want`s to kill`ya, go easy, getting familiar with your bike(again), and ALWAYS START OUT WITH A NEW SET OF TIRES, pumped up to whatever is the max. limit, and get used to it.
You might find this a bit waste of money,(if you just had your tires changed durig fall), but remember; During winter, if bike`s not lifted of the ground, they`ll get a bit squared(offroundish) and when starting out in spring, the front will be a bit bouncing... :cry: No need.... lift your bike up, on blocks, douring winter. Unload your tires; reales pressure(?) blow out some air douring offseason, and you`ll be good 8) 8)
I`m not much of a tire xpert, but I`m an driving instructor, and know a lot of ECO-driving. Even for BIIIG trucks, AND BIG`S WHAT COUNTS.............. EVEN WHEN IT COMES TO TIRE PRESSURES......... What ever makes you happy Big Grin Big Grin but bigger is better.
But then again, you might have to change your driving habbits, but it`s a matter of safety, for you, and your driving companyon............ You deside

8) 8) 8) 8)
If you drive a GL 1200, you`ll know...
#3 07-02-2007, 01:26 PM,
silverbull, the point we are trying to make here, and you make some very good ones, is that tire pressures depend on the type of tires and their unique physical construction. Each different tire is designed and built to perform with a certain air pressure and if you take the air pressure beyond the design limits you may be endangering the safety envelope unless you know more than the design team that built the tires. One PSI might not sound like much but it could mean the difference between stopping safely on a damp road or running into a car. How much of a chance are you willing to take? The engineers spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours testing the designs before putting them to market, how much comparison testing in the field have you performed to arrive at the inflation pressures you've deemed to be correct? If they work for you go ahead and use them but don't blame the tires if you slide into something because the tires were improperly inflated because you ignored the manufacturers recomended inflation figures. BTW, what kind of tires are you using? If Dunlop Elite II then your inflation of 41/41 is perfect.
Ed (Vic) Belanger - 1954-2015
Founder of

#4 07-02-2007, 01:46 PM,
... and Elite II it is :lol:
If you drive a GL 1200, you`ll know...
#5 07-03-2007, 08:51 AM,
Elite 2 or 3, any tire, concept is more complexed then reading side wall markings and exceeding them by 1 psi regardless of the load.

I am posting this to help people educate themselves about safety in general and tire specific as only link between bike and the road.

Although higher pressure is favored over low pressure, extreme errors in either direction are equally deadly, we need to be more careful when promoting our opinions for general consumption as some people will take "tribal knowledge" as a safety tip and do stupid things believing they are as safe as they can be in doing so.

Motorcycles have load carrying capacity and tires are fitted in line with the idea, there is adequate pressure to be found for a specific load in question.
This requires some math and experimenting, the characteristics and feedback observed in all riding conditions give hints as to which way to adjust the pressure.

Surface area of contact patch that properly inflated tire will have in touch with the road surface is critical to safety and stability during breaking and cornering.

To illustrate this in real time, hard boil an egg and do the following:
Sprinkle nice and uniform coating of brown sugar or similar powder all over your kitchen counter.
Place an egg in its shell onto it and record the size of impression egg left.
Remove the shell and repeat the process in another spot.
Place an egg to the next spot in line and place a tablespoon over the egg.
Continue to place egg in another spot, each time adding one spoon on top of previous one.
Observe the size of impression the egg left in each spot as load changed with each spoon being added.

If you relate this to tire pressure, having a 150 LBS rider running (bouncing) around on 41 PSI front and rear is roughly the equivalent of not removing the shell from the egg and claiming that resulting contact patch is safest contact boiled egg can makes with a kitchen counter, don't we know better by now?

Below is some interesting reading on (and around) the subject:

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<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""> ... e_dynamics</a><!-- m -->

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<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""> ... school.asp</a><!-- m -->

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""> ... .asp?id=31</a><!-- m -->
#6 07-03-2007, 11:21 AM,
Vick, one thing that you are not factoring into you egg equations is the different tire carcasses, bias vs. radial vs. belted vs non belted vs other types of physical tire construction which dramatically affect how tire contact patch affects the road. Tires of yesterday had nowhere near the same tread face rigidity that todays tires have and as such they run with much less squirm than yesterdays tires and they can also be run at higher pressure to deliver better fuel economy while still delivering an acceptable ride quality. The key issue that I want to emphasize to the guys is to make sure that you know what the factory recomended tire pressures are for your bike and keep your tires within that range at all times for the utmost in safe driving.
Ed (Vic) Belanger - 1954-2015
Founder of

#7 07-03-2007, 03:13 PM,
Vic, we seek to do the same, get the message out that tire needs to be inflated to pressure relative to it's properties, function and load.
This is hard to define for scenario where riders have their mind set to use extremely high pressures with no consideration to any of the known technical data, factory tips and recommendations.

An egg in a shell is equivalent of rock hard tire, the shell denies the egg the ability to interact, removing shell and playing with load shows similarity and evidence of load effect on tire.

It is clear that rear tire is the one that is most often misused, over inflated for solo rider or under inflated for two up.
A rock is a rock and 41 PSI in a tire that has certain load limit at 40 PSI max is out of range of safe operation.

If we study the information offered by experts then we surely come to conclusions that getting the most out of tire relies on fine tuned pressure for specific load in question.

More is not better and bigger is not better unless it meets the requirement.
Over inflated tire is unable to cushion the impact of the road surface and offers no flexibility to bite the road with adequate size contact patch.

In such condition, locking a wheel is a strong possibility with sudden braking as tire has nearly no traction property.
Leaning is risky since traction is not there to prevent bike from going into a skid.
Slow turns and moderate lean angles will be fine, as speed picks up and lean angle increases, forces driving the bike into a skid have to be countered by grip and traction that contact patch has with the road.

Under inflation = too much flexing and induced heat causing cracking and cupping, handling problems and potential blow out in demanding conditions.

Over inflation = harsh ride, handling problems, reduced or no traction in some conditions, internal tire damage leading to thread separation and tire failure at later time.

To say that's not so because someone has been riding with over inflated tires for decades is daring and dangerous.
I think the case is closer to the fact that right conditions have not yet been meat for that rider to suffer the consequences.

The little traction that is still there may be totally lost with a sprinkle of rain, if a rider generally doesn't ride in rain, he may be cheating death on consistent bases,................ still, how lucky can he be.
#8 07-04-2007, 11:07 AM,
This is a great thread. Very informative.

Can we derive from all this information, a formula, whereby a rider can regulate their air pressure for the most traction possible, along with maximizing the loading characteristics of the tires involved? Maybe one of the tire manufacturers already has that info? I'll do some searching.

I'm a real big guy....350# BEFORE dinner. Can I assume that I should keep my air pressure on the top side of the range specified by the tire manufacturer......being careful not to exceed the handling limits of the bike and tires? I've never felt even a hint of a slide or skid, even in the rain. But then I've always run top line touring tires....Continental Milestones in the past, and making the switch now to Elite III's.
#9 07-04-2007, 12:38 PM,
I read somewhere that 2 psi should be considered as adjustment increment for every 70 LBS of additional load applied to rear tire.
The way I see it:
I start with 36 psi in rear tire and 34 in front tire, my weight is 220 lbs and I feel confident that pressures I use are good for my overall safety and performance of tires, now, if I have a passenger who happens to be about 150 lbs, my rear tire will require max pressure of 40 psi cold, end of the story.
Splitting hairs is not the issue here, what is an issue is determining the proper tire pressure for particular load and having a passenger makes a significant load change that calls for a significant change in tire pressure on rear tire only.

If we look at the load ratings of each tire, we can see that rear is rated for higher load then front and is intended to absorb some fluctuation in load without the need for pressure adjustment.
Likewise being 350 lbs before dinner is not equivalent of having a passenger when compared to my 220 lbs, yet it calls for slightly higher pressure then mine.

Heavier riders should use midrange of pressure on rear tire and bump it up to 40 for 2 up, I think 38 psi would suit you just fine before dinner, after diner, it depends on size of stake Confusedhock:

Question to those using 41 psi for solo riding is, what do you do for two up?, do you pump rear tire to 45 psi, logic would demand that you do just that, except the side wall says 40 max.
Do you feel like you are "shortchanged" or do you just take 40 psi as being adequate for both solo and two up riding, you have got to see the difference here.
200 lbs of her is a lot to love and it will compress that rear tire, which is why you need to put max pressure in it, don't do that for solo ride, you are just ruining your ride and exposing yourself to risks that are directly result of over inflating the tire.

I am no expert on this subject, I just hope that in reading expert advice and researches, I have interpreted the results to best suit my needs and keep me safer then if I blindly follow the perceived theories based on opinions and not facts.
#10 07-04-2007, 02:54 PM,
85GL1200I Wrote:This is a great thread. Very informative.

Can we derive from all this information, a formula, whereby a rider can regulate their air pressure for the most traction possible, along with maximizing the loading characteristics of the tires involved? Maybe one of the tire manufacturers already has that info? I'll do some searching.

I'm a real big guy....350# BEFORE dinner. Can I assume that I should keep my air pressure on the top side of the range specified by the tire manufacturer......being careful not to exceed the handling limits of the bike and tires? I've never felt even a hint of a slide or skid, even in the rain. But then I've always run top line touring tires....Continental Milestones in the past, and making the switch now to Elite III's.


Considering your weight and the recomendations by Dunlop for the Elite III's I would say that 40 PSI front and rear is about right. That's the same pressure that I run in my 84 Wing with the same tires with almost the same weight.
Ed (Vic) Belanger - 1954-2015
Founder of

#11 07-04-2007, 05:42 PM,
40 PSI it is then....... Big Grin

Thanks again...this is really important stuff....great information to have. Not talking chrome racks here, this is vital for safety reasons.
#12 07-04-2007, 07:02 PM,
85GL1200I Wrote:40 PSI it is then....... Big Grin

Thanks again...this is really important stuff....great information to have. Not talking chrome racks here, this is vital for safety reasons.

..... and if you need a bridge to jump off of, we have a great reputation and tradition with Golden Gate bridge here in San Francisco bay area, all are welcome, regardless of weight :roll:

40/40 for solo rider is nonsense and Dunlop has no such thing on its site.
Tires have maximum load carrying capacity molded on side walls at 40 psi max for each tire.
This amounts to maximum of 1600 lbs or so, if bike with all the crap and fluids is 800 lbs, where do you see the need to associate the rider with remaining 800 lbs and pump up his tires to the max?

I thought he sad he is 350 lbs before dinner, I guess the stake he has for dinner is 450 lbs,................ NOT.

That number is there to accommodate a passenger, it is called load carrying CAPACITY, if you don't carry the load you don't use the pressure meant for it, why is this a rocket science for some people?

If your safety is important to you, get some facts and do some basic math, it's not a rocket science and there is no such thing as one number fits all, or if there is, it is not maximum pressure in your tires, it is likely the middle ground between minimum pressure recommended by Dunlop and maximum pressure molded on side wall of a tire.
Varying tire pressure for variable load, front tire is always loaded less then rear tire and therefore less inflated then rear tire.

Dunlop tells you to inflate rear tire to minimum of 36 psi and to 40 psi when riding two up, the front tire pressure is found in owners manual of the bike and Dunlop instructs you to go there for such information.
Incidently, owners manual is in sink with Dunlop tips for two up riding, the consumable "correct tire pressure" for solo riding has been slightly bumped up over time as low pressures have caused tire damage and blowouts.
This is the only difference with owners manual of 20 + years old bike and actual pressures used in tires today.

Extreme high pressures are sure to cause problems on opposite side of scale over time.

Tires built for the 1200 wing today are not drastically different from tires of the past, they are improved but concept of inflation and load ratio has not changed.

Dunlop does not have "ask Vic" in any of the tips and so, with all due respect, Vic , you are wrong and you are instructing others to do things that can put their lives at risk, why are you doing that?
#13 07-04-2007, 10:01 PM,
Vick, you are wrong. You can put what ever you want in your own tires but leave us heavy weights alone. Dunlop Elite III tires on the front of our Wings support a maximum of 770 pounds of weight at max inflation which is 40 PSI front. The minimum front air pressure is 36 PSI and the max is 40 PSI and it depends on the weight loading being used on the bike. For a light rider use 36 PSI, a very heavy rider will use 40 PSI and a medium weight rider will use 38 PSI in the front tire and 40 PSI in the rear.

Approximately half the weight of our bikes is on the front tire which is about 400 pounds then add the weight of a 350 pound rider and a 250 pound passenger and suddenly you have a front tire that is carrying on the brink of that tires maximum load limit, especially during high speed, hard braking weight transfer particularly in a turn. You can' t tell your lady friend stop you can't get on the bike because there's not enough air in the tires, you need the correct amount of air in the tires at all times and being close to max PSI is always better than being underinflated. I know my wife would stop riding if I did that to her in front of friends. In a perfect world it would be ideal to stop and adjust tire pressure for every situation you encounter but it's just not like that in reality. Inflating the front and rear tires on my Wing to 40 PSI at my heavy riding weight puts me within a safe margin as recommended by the Dunlop tire company.

Even when the very heavy weight rider is riding solo the demands placed on the tires are great because a 350 pound rider is about double what Honda anticipated to be riding the bike. Cornering forces loading are greater and even the suspension can bottom. (Performance riding also generates heat that more sedate riding does not induce so if you're going out riding some twisties you might want to consider raising the tire pressure but never inflate past the limit marked on the sidewall.) Poor handling and increased tire wear are two of the biggest side effects of under inflation.

I have run my Dunlop Elite III tires at 36, 38, 40 and 41 and went back to 40 PSI as the optimum tire pressure for my heavyweight frame on my 84 Wing and that is the air pressure the will stay at because that is what works best for my heavy weight. I noticed some wallowing at the lower pressures and I did not like that at all. For a lightweight less air pressure may work better but not for me. Find your optimum tire pressure, check it before every ride and make it a habit because your life depends on it. I might also mention that my bike never wobbles, hands on or off, and the handling is very good although the ride is a little stiff over sharp bumps in the road but to me it's a small price to pay for the extra performance gained and a new set of Progressive springs just might take care of that.

Below is from Dunlop's tire tips <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""> ... p?id=8#tip</a><!-- m -->


For high-speed, fully loaded or dual-riding touring motorcycle applications, inflate front tires to maximum recommended by vehicle manufacturer for Dunlop fitment and rear tires to maximum load inflation pressure on sidewall. Rear touring tires must be inflated to a minimum of 36 psi for light to medium loads and 40 psi for dual riding and other loads. Never exceed maximum load indicated on tire sidewall or vehicle capacity load found in owner's manual.

More info on tire pressure here <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""> ... afTips.htm</a><!-- m -->


Bottom line is: find what is best for you and your motorcycle and use it.
Ed (Vic) Belanger - 1954-2015
Founder of

#14 07-05-2007, 04:46 AM,
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