Riding around with your tyres incorrectly inflated is both dangerous and illegal. The simplest way to avoid this is to invest in a pressure gauge.
There’s a huge range of digital and analogue gauges out there, at a range of different price points.
Here’s our list of the best options.
Best Motorcycle Tyre Pressure Gauge Reviews
Michelin Fit To Go Pressure Gauge
This is kind of a unique solution and definitely an interesting one.
The unit ships with four (two spares) special, battery-free valve caps which replace the ones already installed in your bike.
The USB charging, keyring-sized device can then be held above the valve cap (no contact required) to get an accurate reading from each tyre.
It’s some fancy tech, and maybe more than many people need, but it’s a great idea well executed.
With these installed and the gauge on your keyring, checking pressure before you ride is quicker and simpler than ever before.
- Quick, clean and easy
- Encourages taking a reading every time you ride
- Expensive (but worth it)
Sealey Tyre Pressure/Tread Depth Gauge
With an integrated tread depth tool, robust housing and range of 120 psi – this is a one stop shop for people in need of a gauge for a variety of applications.
It has a quick release system, letting users bleed out air to get clear, accurate readings.
The thread depth tool is well-designed.
When the tool is placed into the groove, depth is shown in a colour-coded diagram at the corner of the display.
- Well-made and sturdy
- Integrated tread depth tool
Bike It Digital Pressure Gauge
This inexpensive gauge from Bike It is surprisingly well-built and comes in either a straight or curved option (look at how your valves are positioned relative to your spokes/casts to decide which works better).
There are few frills here (as you’d expect at the price point), but this gauge comes recommended by lots of riders as a good, cheap option to throw in the toolkit.
Bar or psi can be selected, if you have other applications for a pressure gauge.
A great budget option.
- Functional, low-cost gauge
- Some users report the plastic housing cracking after use
Sealey PG981 Tyre Pressure Gauge
Sealey make excellent, motorcycle specific equipment and this digital gauge is no exception.
A quality display, protected by rubber fins and a braided cable makes this resistant to most knocks and drops that you might experience in a garage environment.
It’s powered by a single lithium cell battery, estimated to give 4000 cycles.
The auto-off function is great for prolonging battery life, but in practise it turns off too quickly – often before you’re finished using it.
A pressure release valve is included to allow you to bleed out air until you hit the right reading.
- Solid Sealey construction
- Braided hose for durability
- Not backlit
Long Acre Deluxe Tyre Pressure Gauge
Of all the analogue gauges on our list, this is the best one in terms of build quality.
Some of the typical drawbacks of mechanical gauges are mitigated by rugged padding and an internal dampening system.
Knocks, drops and nearby vibration are less likely to affect this than some of the other analogue gauges.
The pressure reading here is displayed until the user releases the button and things are made even easier by the glow in the dark display – a great addition for older and visually impaired riders.
Comes with both an angle and a ball chuck to fit a variety of applications.
Excellent (if expensive gauge).
- Really sturdy unit
- Glow in the dark display
Venhill Tyre Pressure Gauge
At its low price point, this analogue gauge represents excellent value for money.
The dial is protected by thick rubber, and the hose by braided stainless steel, meaning this gauge is comparably protected to some of the more expensive on our list.
It features a quick release button, allowing users to bleed out air while still taking a reading.
The chuck is fitted at 90 degrees with 360 degree swivel, so this will fit even awkwardly placed valves.
- Great value
- Well protected
- Limited to 60 psi (which is fine for motorcycles)
OMP Digital Gauge
This digital gauge from OMP uses an easy to read 5cm face, protected by finned, rubber housing.
It feels sturdy and easy to use, making use of a 30cm long flexible hose.
The push button bleed valve is a welcome addition, making it simple to let out air until you hit exactly the psi you’re after.
It gives readings down to a .05 resolution – which is more than we need, but at least we know it’s well engineered.
This is a simple, compact and well-built digital gauge – recommended.
- Durable housing
- Long flexible hose
- Not backlit
First and foremost you will need to choose between digital and analogue options, both have their pros and cons which are outlined below.
Digital Pressure Gauges
- Reliability: Digital gauges are electronically powered and make use of pressure transducers to give you a readout. This makes them impervious to the effects of nearby vibration or adverse weather conditions – unlike their mechanical counterparts.
- Durability: Because they use a totally digital system, these gauges are less prone to damage from over spikes, drops and knocks. Their lack of moving parts makes them much more robust in general.
- Accuracy: A correctly calibrated digital gauge will remain accurate for much longer than a mechanical one. Again, this is a result of its lack of moving parts.
- Backlight: Not every digital gauge is backlit, but those that are can be easily read at 2am on a country road – without a flashlight awkwardly held in one arm.
- Options: This won’t apply for your average rider, but a digital gauge can be switched to different engineering units depending on the application – super useful if you also build 19th century steam engines.
- Cost: The biggest drawback here is obviously a monetary one. A digital gauge will cost more to buy up front. We should mention that they usually last longer than their analogue counterparts and may be a better long term cost proposition.
- Power: Most digital gauges are powered by batteries, which have a limited shelf life – especially when left sitting for long periods of time.
Analogue Pressure Gauges
- Cost: An analogue pressure gauge is a fairly simple mechanical device, meaning they’re inexpensive to produce.
- Ease of Use: Using an analogue gauge is pretty self explanatory and there are no different settings or units to confuse things.
- No Power Source Required: Mechanical devices like these don’t require any batteries.
- Durability: Mechanical gauges are made of many small moving parts. This makes them much more susceptible to damage from over spikes, knocks and drops. Over time the moving parts will start to wear out, giving inaccurate readings.
- Accuracy: Analogue gauges are more likely to stick or clog over time. They are also more likely to be affected by vibration and extreme temperatures.
Features To Look Out For
Right Angled Connector: These inexpensive adapters for your tyre’s valve make it easier to connect air hoses and pressure gauges. They’re particularly useful for riders with spoked wheels, as fitting hoses and gauges can be tricky with a regular valve.
Swivel Head: A gauge with a swivel head means you can check your pressure no matter where the valve is in the wheel’s rotation. It also means you can see the reading on the display as you take your measurement.
Flexible Hose: A flexible hose allows you to fit the gauge to the valve from a variety of angles. It means you can comfortably hold the display in your hand while taking a reading.
Tread Depth Gauge: Some pressure gauges include a tool for checking your threads. This is a nice touch and saves room in your toolkit.
Go here for more on motorcycle tyre tread depth.
Quick Release Button: This is a very useful feature, allowing you to bleed out excess air while keeping the gauge connected. It means if you slightly overfill your tyres, you can accurately let out air until you hit the correct psi.
Q. Are digital gauges more accurate than analogue?
A. Yes digital tyre gauges are more accurate and will remain accurate for a long time without the need for recalibration.
Q. What’s the recommended psi for motorcycle tyres?
A. Most bikes used on the road fall somewhere between 28 and 40 psi. The correct pressure for your specific motorbike will need to be checked in the user manual.
Checking your tyre pressure regularly is a good habit to be in.
At best, incorrectly inflated tyres will wear out prematurely, at worst, they could cause an accident.
Even a cheap, analogue gauge will help you avoid both of these scenarios.