Last summer I learned the hard way that regardless of how much you need to pack in your panniers, the first things you absolutely must pack are a tire patch kit and an air pump.
On a beautiful Wisconsin weekend last June, I rode to Road America for the MotoAmerica series on a nearly new set of Continental Sport Attack 3 tires. It had been a long time since I had experienced a flat tire when traveling, and I guess I fell into a false sense of security, thinking the inevitable wouldn’t happen to me. Well, fate finally caught up to me last summer when I rolled the dice and lost. Thankfully, friends I was with were able to bail me out, but because I usually ride alone I know I got lucky.
I’m pretty anal about my motorcycle maintenance, especially my tires, and I check pressure and condition before every ride and would hate for my wife to know just how much I’ve spent on the many tire gauges in my toolbox. If there was something that fell through the cracks and wasn’t given the attention it deserved that day, it was the air pump I neglected to pack.
Though it was a hand-me-down from the friend of a friend, my old pump did work as long as the duct tape held and I positioned the chuck just right. I knew I needed to upgrade, but it seemed there were always better ways to spend my money. Unable to shake the memory of my flat once I made it home, a new motorcycle tire pump was pushed to the top of my needs list.
Surfing the interwebs and talking to other riders offered many good options. I guess I’m a sucker for marketing and just like golf equipment that promises longer and straighter, add a word like “Expedition” to a product description and I’ve got to have it. The pump I finally ended up ordering was the BestRest CyclePump EXPEDITION model.
Available at bestrestproducts.com, the CyclePump Expedition model uses a 2” x 4” x 6” aluminum case to house and protect the motor and compressor inside. Rubber bumpers at both ends of the case offer some protection against drops and rough use as do two nylon bushings on either side of the on/off switch. Also coming from the case is an eight-foot power cord and an 18-inch air hose.
Buyers of the CyclePump have the option of either a straight or 90-degree clip-on chuck. I chose the straight chuck. To connect the pump to your bike’s battery, both an automotive-style cigarette lighter adapter and a fused set of alligator clips are included, with both connecting to the pump’s power cord via SAE two-prong power plugs. If you’ve already got an SAE lead connected to your battery for heated gear or other 12-volt accessories, you’re ahead of the game and ready to go. Finally, the included red canvas pouch keeps everything together when traveling.
A direct battery connection is mandatory on CAN bus-controlled BMWs as the CyclePump requires between 7 and 10 amps to operate effectively, and the CAN bus-controlled outlets only allow 5 amps.
To test the capacity of the CyclePump, I fully deflated the front tire on my BMW 1000 XR. Beginning with a zero air pressure reading on my MotionPro air gauge, I connected the alligator clips to my battery, connected the SAE connector, the chuck to the valve stem and switched on the CyclePump. After running the CyclePump for one minute, I switched it off, disconnected the chuck and read 20 lbs. of air pressure. Another minute of pumping gave me 30 lbs. of tire pressure, and after one more minute, I received a 40 lbs. air pressure reading and using the bleed button took the pressure back down to the prescribed 36 lbs. While traveling, it takes just minutes to check and adjust tire pressure, and once again I’m riding with the confidence of knowing my tires are inflated to their prescribed pressures.
While I still prefer to use my six-gallon compressor when I’m at home in my garage, I’m very pleased with my purchase of the BestRest CyclePump. With an MSRP of $115, the CyclePump offers peace of mind, knowing a flat tire won’t strand me. For more information, visit bestrestproducts.com.
- Easy to connect
- More expensive than others
- No built-in gauge, though BestRest sells one