Sometimes, I take time out of the day to leave my desk and walk down to the office parking lot to check tire pressures on all the factory demo bikes our staff is riding. Not to embarrass fellow staffers in front of the whole office (although that does happen), but more out of a sense of obligation to the manufacturers that are kind enough to loan us the motorcycles. They have an investment, so I want to take care of that investment. Also, I’d hate to hear that a staffer got stuck on the side of the road with a flat, or worse, had an accident.
I find that checking tire pressure on a motorcycle is much easier when using a gauge with an angled head. Gauges with straight chucks sometimes don’t fit between wheel spokes or behind brake discs. I’ve amassed a decent collection of tire pressure gauges with angled heads over the years, but I never walk away from a new angle-headed tire pressure gauge when I find a new one. I can always use another. I found this one at my local Lowes Home Improvement Center. Can’t get much more convenient than that.
The Kobalt digital tire gauge has an ergonomic, rubberized pistol grip with, you guessed it, an angled chuck head. The angle is more than 45 degrees, not quite 90, making it just right for sneaking into wheel crevices where tire valves hide. It has LCD screens on each side, making it easy to read whether you’re right or left handed.
The Kobalt gauge has two buttons; one is a power on, and the other is a small pressure-release feature which allows you to let air out of a tire you overfilled. The blue backlit digital readout features a 60-second automatic shutoff. There’s even a lanyard loop to hang the gauge on a hook in your garage. You’re probably heading to Lowes this weekend for gardening supplies anyway. Swing by the tool department and check out the Kobalt digital tire pressure gauge.
By Steve Lita
Sources: Lowes/Kobalt Tools, Digital Tire Pressure Gauge, $10, 800/445-6937, www.Lowes.com
Originally printed in RoadBike, August 2011