It's interesting to know that most motorcycle tires in Thailand wear out prematurely and the main reason for this is that the tires are at the wrong pressures. So what's the best way to make sure your tires are at the correct pressure?
Tire pressures are one of the easiest things to check on a motorcycle and can make a big difference to handling and fuel consumption. To set your pressures properly you'll need a decent pump with a gauge to get them close, then an accurate pressure gauge to get them spot on. Always check tire pressures 'cold', so at least 45 minutes after the motorcycle was parked up. Road riders should make it a weekly check.
An over-inflated tire will run cooler and work the suspension hard. The contact patch will be smaller and the motorcycle will feel skittish. An under-inflated tire may not maintain its contact patch as it flexes and could overheat, which will accelerate wear. Any pressure gauge you consider should come with imperial pounds per square inch (psi) and the metric bar scale as standard. The simplest type is the pencil gauge. They are convenient to carry around, but can be tricky to get at the right angle for the valve with today's wide wheels and large twin brake disc set-ups. It's also easy to catch the end as you inspect it, nudging the reading down.
Digital gauges have a cleaner display and can switch between psi, bar and kPA easily. A back-light function is really useful, especially in a murky garage. They also come in smaller, keyring options so you can get them into nooks and crannies. An angled valve end allows you to 'lock on' easier.
Finally there are dial gauges which come as 'shortee' or long hose version. The longer hose make the gauge easier to read while attached to the valve, and a hose that swivels at both ends allows you to access the valves more easily. A 'reading hold' function and a bleed valve that allows you to over-inflate the tires then bring them accurately down to your desired pressure are desirable features, and this design tends to be the choice of most professionals