Nitrogen-Filled Motorcycle Tires?

AtmosphereTHE CONTROVERSY OVER NITROGEN-FILLED MOTORCYCLE TIRES: Does nitrogen help the performance of our motorcycle tires? Or is at unnecessary expense?

Filling motorcycle tires with nitrogen (instead of air) has been a controversial subject for a number of years now with members of various motorcycle forums touting either its benefits, or conversely, the view that its apparent value is not worth paying anything at all, compared to readily available free air (which contains 78% nitrogen).

In an old issue of Rider Magazine, Chris Sidah (“Tech Q&A,” February 2009) has this to say in reference to the promoted advantages of nitrogen:

“A 100 percent nitrogen-filled tire will do all the things they claim compared to a flat tire. I suggest you regularly use the 78 percent nitrogen mixture that’s available for free to keep your bike’s tires properly inflated. I don’t think we need to get into the size differences of N2 and O2 molecules, or the concepts of Boyles Law here. Suffice it to say, in some instances nitrogen – which is an inert gas – is a better way to fill a tire. Those instances occur on the racetrack, in airline tires and some military applications. For normal day-to-day circumstances, it’s just not worth the hassle. “

What are your thoughts and experiences regarding the use of nitrogen in motorcycle tires? (“Leave a Reply” below.)

57 thoughts on “Nitrogen-Filled Motorcycle Tires?

  • Having worked at a Lexus dealer i’ve had access to nitrogen and used it in my harley touring bike for 6 yrs. I’ve noticed a definate non- loss of pressure through the yr,including outdoor temp. changes of 40 deg. Harleys are known to be hard on tires due to weight and should be ck’d often. Nitrogen definatly helped..

  • To Eric:
    I am curious. What are the temperatures in your area and how long is your experience with “nitrogen”?

  • My BMW came from the factory with nitrogen filled tires, it also came with a tire pressure monitor, being that I see both pressures all the time I can tell you that it doesn’t deviate in hot or cold weather, for me I would rather spend a couple bucks to put the nitrogen in and not have to worry about checking it as often also with a tire of so littler cubic feet of air every time you check it you loose a little bit.

  • TO BILL:

    I do not see that you mention the “weight” factor. Your example uses a heavy bike. What about an application with a lighter weight and/or smaller tires? Different formula ?

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