Should I Use Nitrogen in My Motorcycle Tires? Fact Not Fiction

Proper tire pressure helps ensure proper handling, stability, and traction on the road and can also help extend the tires’ lifespan. 

Riders often ask whether they should use nitrogen in their tires instead of regular air. So are they right?

Inflating tires with nitrogen can reduce tire degradation by limiting oxidation and slowing the tire inflation loss to about one-third of your experience with air. Nitrogen is not a substitute for proactive, regular tire care and maintenance, but it does maintain inflation pressure longer than compressed air-filled tires in fluctuating temperatures.

In this blog post, we will explore the potential benefits and drawbacks of using nitrogen in motorcycle tires and the factors to consider when deciding whether it is right for your motorcycle.

The Benefits of Using Nitrogen in Tires

Using nitrogen in tires has several potential benefits, including:

  • Increased tire pressure stability: Nitrogen is a dry, inert gas that does not easily escape through the tire’s sidewall or rim like regular air can. This means that the tire pressure can be more stable and consistent over time, reducing the need for frequent pressure checks.
  • Reduction in tire wobble and balance issues: Proper tire balance and alignment are essential for smooth, stable riding. Nitrogen can help minimize wobble and balance issues by maintaining consistent tire pressure, which can help extend the tires’ lifespan.
  • Potential for longer tire lifespan: Proper tire pressure is important for minimizing uneven wear and extending the lifespan of the tires. By maintaining consistent tire pressure with nitrogen, riders can get more mileage out of their tires before they need to be replaced.
  • Improved fuel efficiency: Proper tire pressure can help to improve a vehicle’s fuel efficiency by reducing rolling resistance. Using nitrogen in tires can help to maintain proper tire pressure, potentially leading to better fuel efficiency.
  • Enhanced safety: Proper tire pressure is essential for the safety of any vehicle, but it is especially important for motorcycles. Maintaining consistent tire pressure with nitrogen can help to ensure proper handling and traction on the road, reducing the risk of accidents.

The Potential Drawbacks of Using Nitrogen in Tires

While there are several potential benefits to using nitrogen in tires, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider:

  • Initial cost: Filling tires with nitrogen can be more expensive than filling them with regular air. This can be a drawback for riders on a budget or unwilling to pay extra for the initial cost of filling their tires with nitrogen.
  • Difficulty finding places to fill tires with nitrogen: Nitrogen is less widely available than regular air, so riders may need help finding a place to fill their tires with nitrogen. This can be inconvenient for riders who do not have a nitrogen filling station nearby.
  • Additional benefits for passenger vehicles: While using nitrogen in tires may offer additional benefits for motorcycles, the benefits may be less noticeable for passenger vehicles. In these cases, the potential benefits may not justify the initial cost of filling tires with nitrogen.
  • Misconceptions about the benefits of nitrogen: Some things need to be clarified about the benefits of using nitrogen in tires, such as the belief that it can improve fuel efficiency or increase tire lifespan significantly. These claims have yet to be proven, and riders need to know the benefits of using nitrogen in tires.

Factors to Consider When Deciding Whether to Use Nitrogen in Tires

When deciding whether to use nitrogen in your motorcycle tires, there are several factors to consider:

  • The type of motorcycle and its tire requirements: Different motorcycles may have different tire requirements, and it is important to follow the recommendations of the manufacturer or a trusted mechanic when it comes to tire pressure and maintenance.
  • The rider’s driving habits and the conditions in which the motorcycle is typically ridden: If the rider frequently rides in extreme temperatures or on rough roads, the tires may be more prone to pressure changes. In these cases, using nitrogen in the tires may be more beneficial.
  • The rider’s budget and willingness to pay for the initial cost of filling tires with nitrogen: As mentioned, filling tires with nitrogen can be more expensive than filling them with regular air. Riders should consider their budget and whether they will pay the additional cost for the initial fill-up and any future nitrogen refills.
  • Availability of nitrogen filling stations: As mentioned, nitrogen may be harder to find than regular air. Riders should consider the availability of nitrogen filling stations in their area before using nitrogen in their tires.
  • The rider’s goals for their motorcycle: Riders should consider their goals and how using nitrogen in the tires may or may not help them achieve those goals. For example, if a rider is primarily concerned with maximizing the lifespan of their tires, using nitrogen may be more beneficial. On the other hand, if the rider is more focused on saving money, using regular air may be a more practical choice.


Here are some frequently asked questions about using nitrogen in tires:

Can I mix nitrogen with regular air in my tires?

Yes, it is safe to mix nitrogen with regular air in tires. There is no ill effect to topping nitrogen-filled tires with air or vice versa, and it is better to mix than run on low pressure and potentially damage your tires.

Can I switch from using nitrogen to regular air in my tires?

It is safe to switch from using nitrogen to regular air in your tires. However, mixing the two will dilute the purity of the nitrogen and lessen its effectiveness, so it is not recommended.

Can I use nitrogen in all types of tires?

Yes, nitrogen can be used in all types of tires. Studies have shown that using nitrogen reduces tire degradation by limiting oxidation, and it is an acceptable substitute for compressed air. 

Nitrogen-filled tires are worth the cost as they maintain proper tire pressure for a longer time than compressed air.

How often do I need to refill my tires with nitrogen?

Nitrogen-filled tires typically need to be refilled every 2-3 months, although regular checks are recommended on a weekly basis. 

Refills usually cost between $5 and $7 per tire. Your local tire dealer can help you fill your tires with nitrogen for the first time.

Is using nitrogen in tires worth the additional cost?

The cost of using nitrogen in tires is higher than air-filled tires, but the benefits may be worth it for some drivers. 

Nitrogen-filled tires can help maintain tire pressure more consistently, which can save on fuel and tire maintenance costs. 

However, there is no difference in handling or ride quality between air and nitrogen-filled tires when they are properly inflated.

In Conclusion

Using nitrogen in motorcycle tires can offer several potential benefits, including increased tire pressure stability, reduced tire wobble and balance issues, and the potential for a longer tire lifespan. 

However, there are also some potential drawbacks, such as the initial cost of filling tires with nitrogen and the difficulty in finding places to fill tires with nitrogen.

When deciding whether to use nitrogen in their tires, riders should consider factors such as the type of motorcycle and its tire requirements, their driving habits and the conditions in which they typically ride, and their budget. 

In addition, proper tire care and maintenance are essential for the safety and performance of any motorcycle, and riders should follow the guidelines set by tire manufacturers and consult with a trusted mechanic or tire specialist when making decisions about tire care.

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