Buyers’ Guide: Motorcycle Tire Pumps

Jan 01, 2015 View Comments by

Buyers' Guide: Motorcycle Tire PumpsKeeping the Rubber Side Round
They are one of the few pieces of motorcycle gear that you’d be happy never to use, but if you do find yourself needing a tire pump one day, you’ll be beyond happy you made the investment. Flat tires are an unfortunate fact of life for motorcyclists. Sooner or later we’ll all get one, and it’s sure to be at the least convenient time. A tire repair kit should be a mandatory piece of every touring rider’s kit, but a patched tire still isn’t much good without air in it. With this in mind, we set out to test six different air pumps specifically made for motorcycles. Each is small enough to be packed easily with the rest of your gear and is designed with motorcycle electrical systems and tires in mind.

To put the pumps to the test, we inflated the rear tire of a sport-touring bike (a Yamaha FJR1300) from completely flat to 40 psi, and timed how long each took to complete the task. We also recorded each pump’s maximum temperature attained during the process. To ensure each pump had fair access to electricity, a running car supplied the power. In the end, we were pleased that all times were under 10 minutes. Read on to see how each unit stacks up.

Buyers' Guide: Motorcycle Tire PumpsAerostich Mini Compressor
Price: $47
Time to Inflate: 6:25
Maximum Temperature: 115° F
Power Connection: 6’ cord, alligator clips, 
cigarette plug, and ring connectors
This basic, no frills pump set the fastest inflate
time of the test at just under six and a half minutes.
However, it was also the second hottest requiring 
several minutes of cooling time before it could be handled comfortably. A carabineer attached to the top allows you to hang the pump conveniently from the bike. The Mini Compressor is also one of the smallest and least expensive pumps we tested.
Accessories: In its basic $47 guise, the Mini Compressor doesn’t come 
with anything but a carrying case, power connectors, and the pump. 
Opt for Aerostich’s $85 Compact Tire Repair Kit, and you also get a 
complete tire patch kit including reaming tools, multiple patches and 
plugs, and rubber sealant all of which (including the pump) fits in a 
very compact nylon case. What’s conspicuously missing is a tire gauge.

Buyers' Guide: Motorcycle Tire PumpsBestRest CyclePump
Price: $100
Time to Inflate: 6:30
Maximum Temperature: 104° F
Power Connection: 8’ cord, 
alligator clips, and cigarette plug
By far the most robust and sturdiest looking example in our test—the CyclePump—also delivered on the pumping power, coming in only five seconds behind the fastest time. The CyclePump’s five-year warranty is tied for the best here, but it all comes at a price. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for, and the pump’s heavy-duty nature and nice brass air fittings do inspire confidence.
Accessories: The CyclePump doesn’t come with a tire gauge, though a very nice example (again with high-end brass fittings) 
can be had for another $20. Besides that, the CyclePump comes 
with the pump, power connectors, and a red case.

Buyers' Guide: Motorcycle Tire PumpsDynaplug Mini Pro Inflator
Price: $79.99
Time to Inflate: 9:03
Maximum Temperature: 95° F
Power Connection: 10’ cord and cigarette plug
This all-in-one plastic unit (plastic is great because it transmits less heat) has a variety of built-in features that make it a compelling option. The Mini Pro did set the test’s slowest inflation time, but it also draws the least power (making it compatible with CAN-BUS for those on a BMW). The backlit pressure gauge and an LED flashlight incorporated into the case make the Mini Pro the pump you’ll want after dark.
Accessories: With a built-in gauge, flashlight, 
and included tips for inflating a camping pad 
or a basketball, the Mini Pro Inflator starts off strong—but to get ring connectors, alligator 
clips, and a neoprene pouch—you’ll have to go for the deluxe package ($99.99).

Buyers' Guide: Motorcycle Tire PumpsMotoPumps Mini Pro Inflator
Price: $69.99
Time to Inflate: 9:03
Maximum Temperature: 95° F
Power Connection: 10’ cord and cigarette plug
You will find that the MotoPump and Dynaplug products look similar because they are. The two are mechanically identical. In fact, the companies worked together to develop the pump. Dynaplug supplied engineering and manufacturing expertise while
MotoPumps supplied extensive knowledge 
and experience in building motorcycle 
specific pumps. The two Mini Pro Inflators have 
the same feature set though the MotoPumps 
version also includes a five-year limited warranty.
Accessories: The Mini Pro has a built in pressure 
gauge, flashlight, and tips for inflating things other than tires. Ring connectors, alligator clips, and a neoprene case are part of the deluxe kit ($79.99). 

Buyers' Guide: Motorcycle Tire PumpsRocky Creek
 MotoPressor Tyre Pump
Price: $49.95
Time to Inflate: 8:30
Maximum Temperature: 127° F
Power Connection: 8.8’ cord, alligator clips, and ring connectors
The Rocky Creek MotoPressor is a bare bones pump without any outer case. This approach 
and the MotoPressor’s metal exterior resulted in the highest recorded temperature of the test
at 127°. Otherwise, the MotoPressor performs
well—coming in mid-pack in the inflate 
time with an affordable price.
Accessories: The MotoPressor comes in a neoprene pouch that holds the pump, power connectors, and attachments for inflating various non-tire items. You can purchase a kit with a cigarette plug for $5.80 more. The only thing missing is a pressure gauge.

Buyers' Guide: Motorcycle Tire PumpsStop & Go 
Mini-Air Compressor
Price: $36.95
Time to Inflate: 8:55
Maximum Temperature: 92° F
Power Connection: 5.5’ cord, cigarette plug, 
and alligator clips
With the lowest price in the group, the Stop & Go Mini-Air Compressor offers great value. Its second slowest inflation time is nicely offset by its best in test 92° max temperature (again, plastic is a bonus here), the built-in pressure gauge is very helpful, and the whole kit is among the most compact. The Stop & Go also has a one-year warranty.
Accessories: The Mini-Air Compressor includes attachments 
for inflating sports balls and air mattresses, which along with the pump and wires, fit in a compact nylon case.



Final Thoughts:
As you can tell from our test results, there is little separating 
the performance of these pumps. I would feel confident 
riding with any of them in my onboard tool kit. Your decision will most likely hinge on budget and intended use. If you’re purchasing a pump only as an insurance policy against a flat, you really can’t go wrong with any model here. Whichever pump you choose, you’ll certainly enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing a stray nail or screw won’t leave you stranded.




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About the author

There’s something relentlessly romantic about riding a motorcycle. I’m blessed to know that feeling. With a background in photography and a love for motorcycles, I’m interested in the beauty and honesty of the open road. You’ll find me riding Carolina’s roads on my Suzuki SV650.