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Thread: Tire pressure on 49 Pan

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Tire pressure on 49 Pan

    Well, after forty or so years and about 60,000 miles we decided it was time to change the tires on the 49 Pan. It was just in time, too. When we removed the rear tire, we noticed some of the tread had already begun to separate from the casing. Damn cheap tires.

    Couldn't find anyone with the Shinko 270 Super Eagle copies, so went with the Speed Grip copies (Shinko 240).

    The Rider's Handbook lists the recommend tire pressure at 14 PSI, but in fact the old Super Eagles were so stiff, they worked fine with no air at all.

    Obviously, this is a much different tire. What sort of air pressure should it be running? Some guys have suggested 40 PSI, but that seems a bit extreme.

    Any recommendations?
    Moon Wolf

    Possessor of many parts that used to be Harley Davidson Motorcycles and someday soon will be again, including a 1957 XL, 1961 XLH, 1962 XLH, 1965 XLH, 1968 XLH...

  2. #2

    Re: Tire pressure on 49 Pan

    The low air pressure in the tire is your only rear suspension. I laugh when I see newbies with 35 or more pounds of air in their tires riding down the freeway. Every little bump the go over the rear wheel catches air.
    Chris Haynes
    A.M.C.A. Member
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  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Re: Tire pressure on 49 Pan

    I firmly disagree with Chris on this one.
    It totally depends on the tire and how it is constructed. Original H-d tires beck when new were built with rayon or even cotton cords. The sidewalls were extremely stiff, so they worked fine with low pressures. But modern tires are not built that way, many of them have polyester cords or other types of synthetic fiber which is not at all stiff and depends on tire pressure for sidewall integrity. People often complain about tires not handling and feeling vague as far as handling. Most cases are gross under inflation. Do not use 50 year old specs to determine your proper pressure for 2010 tires. That is just an accident waiting to happen!
    Robbie

  4. #4
    TARRY MARSH Guest

    Re: Tire pressure on 49 Pan

    ARE YOU SAYN THE TIRE'S ARE 40YRS OLD? ? I REPLACE ALL BIKE TIRE'S THAT ARE 5YRS OLD(5MLS OR 5000MLS).... ,, Tires deteriorate over time, even if they are not used or driven on. The tires may appear to be in like-new condition on the outside, but inside the rubber is slowly deteriorating...tire manufacturer's recommend 10yrs max.................I DON'T EVEN RIDE MY VINTAGE BICYCLE'S WITH 40YR OLD TIRE'S
    Last edited by TARRY MARSH; 04-13-2011 at 10:48 PM.

  5. Re: Tire pressure on 49 Pan

    If you run 15 psi in a modern tire, it is not a matter of if, but when you have a blowout or serious premature wear. This is a very serious safety issue. The sidewalls on the new tires, as mentioned above, are not meant to be your sole suspension by running low pressure. It depends upon the tire of course, but the minimum pressure that I would run a modern tire at highway speeds is 30-35 psi. Just my opinion after running a tire shop for the last 30 years. In the end, one should consult the specifications for your tire and go with the pressures that the tires were engineered for.
    37EL, 39EL, 46FL

  6. #6

    Re: Tire pressure on 49 Pan

    I run about 30 psi, but they're 4.50X18s. 5.00X16s can run a little less. JMO.
    Whatever pressure you decide upon, monitor it and watch your tread wear, the old 'under inflated' side wear and 'over inflated" center wear. You'll find the pressure you like.
    Sarge, Gerry Lyons, Fla.
    AGENT ORRNGE Survivor. So far.
    The Friendly Fire that Keeps on Burnin'.
    F.O.G. member: http://flatheadownersgroup.com/
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    "It's a 1937, and the downside is, it's out of warranty"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Puget Sound, Washington State
    Posts
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    Re: Tire pressure on 49 Pan

    Quote Originally Posted by TARRY MARSH View Post
    ARE YOU SAYN THE TIRE'S ARE 40YRS OLD? ? I REPLACE ALL BIKE TIRE'S THAT ARE 5YRS OLD(5MLS OR 5000MLS).... ,, Tires deteriorate over time, even if they are not used or driven on. The tires may appear to be in like-new condition on the outside, but inside the rubber is slowly deteriorating...tire manufacturer's recommend 10yrs max.................I DON'T EVEN RIDE MY VINTAGE BICYCLE'S WITH 40YR OLD TIRE'S
    Yep, Tarry. You've seen the bike at Tenino. It's just the way it was found, pretty much, including the tires. The bike, including the Super Eagles, sat for at least thirty years before being brought back into service, and they have about 10K on them since. It was definitely time for a new set, though (although the front still looks pretty good). The sidewalls on those old Super Eagles are so stiff a 200 pound man can stand on one (just the tire) without collapsing it a bit.

    I know that the tires are pretty much the suspension on a rigid, and it rode very well running about ten pounds. Put thirty pounds in the new rear this morning (the front is still lying on the shop floor). Might start there and work our way down.
    Moon Wolf

    Possessor of many parts that used to be Harley Davidson Motorcycles and someday soon will be again, including a 1957 XL, 1961 XLH, 1962 XLH, 1965 XLH, 1968 XLH...

  8. #8

    Re: Tire pressure on 49 Pan

    i run shinkos on my 50 fl. at 15 psi it rides great at 25 psi it rides and handles terrible. just play with it till you find a happy psi. i,ve put 6,000 miles on these tires in the last couple years and they still look like new.

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