What is Nitrogen & air filling in bikes? – Doubts & FAQ

nitrogen filling and air filling in motorcycle tyres
7 April 2024

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Long story short – Get all doubts related to nitrogen, air filling, bike tyre pressure & loss in India right here, and we will explain in the simplest terms.

There are many doubts, myths, and misconceptions among motorcycle owners regarding nitrogen and air filling, and we are here to clear all doubts regarding the same. While in a tube and tubeless tyres, there are certain things we need to be aware of and noted. Time to decipher all the myths and misconceptions right here in this article

What is the issue with Underinflated motorcycle tyres?

Decreased Handling and Stability: Soft, underinflated tyres flex more, leading to a vague and unpredictable feel while riding, especially when taking corners. This can significantly heighten the chances of accidents.

Increased Tyre Wear: Excessive flexing causes uneven wear on the tyre tread, particularly on the edges. This shortens the lifespan of your tyres and necessitates more frequent replacements.

Blowouts: In severe cases, a significantly underinflated tyre can overheat and result in a blowout, leading to a sudden loss of bike tyre pressure and, potentially, loss of control.

Higher Fuel Consumption: Underinflated tyres create more rolling resistance, making the engine work harder and reducing fuel efficiency.

What is the issue with Overinflated motorcycle tyres?

Reduced Traction: An overly firm tyre has less contact with the road surface, reducing grip and traction, especially during braking and cornering. This can be particularly concerning in wet conditions.

Harsh Ride: An overinflated tyre provides a stiffer ride, transmitting more bumps and vibrations to the rider, resulting in a less comfortable journey.

Center Tread Wear: Overinflated tyres wear unevenly, with the center tread bearing the brunt of the wear. This decreases the overall lifespan of the tyre.

What are the advantages of filling nitrogen in tubeless motorcycle tyres?

Slower bike tyre pressure loss: Nitrogen molecules, larger than oxygen molecules, resulting in slower pressure loss through the tyre liner. This helps maintain consistent pressure for extended periods, especially for drivers who don’t frequently check their tyre pressure or face fluctuating temperatures.

Reduced tyre oxidation: Reduced oxidation occurs with nitrogen inflation as nitrogen lacks moisture in regular air. This helps prevent internal corrosion of the tyre, potentially extending the lifespan of your tyres.

Improved mileage: results from consistent tyre pressure achieved through nitrogen inflation. Properly inflated tyres experience less rolling resistance, leading to slightly better fuel economy.

Enhanced safety: Additionally, enhanced safety is achievable as consistent pressure improves handling and traction, contributing to overall vehicle safety.

What are the disadvantages of filling nitrogen in tubeless motorcycle tyres?

Expensive: Nitrogen inflation is usually more costly than filling your tyres with regular air.

Availability: It’s important to note that not all gas stations provide nitrogen inflation services. If you choose to top up your tyres with regular air, the advantages of nitrogen inflation will diminish.

Top-up challenges: Ideally, removing the air from the tyre and refilling it with nitrogen is recommended.

Is there a benefit to adding nitrogen to tube tyres in motorcycles?

No. The reason behind this is that nitrogen is filled inside the tube within the tyre and hence does not protect the outer walls of the tyre from heat and undulations. So, the tyres have no benefit; therefore, it is better to fill tube tyres with air instead of nitrogen.

Does regular air or compressed air contain nitrogen?

Yes. Regular air is about 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, and
1% other gases. Compressed air is normal air forced into a smaller space,
increasing pressure.

What is the time gap for air pressure checking in motorcycles?

The time gap to check the pressure for air-filled tyres is between 1-2 weeks.

What is the time gap for nitrogen pressure checking in motorcycles?

The time gap to check the pressure for nitrogen-filled tyres is 4-5 weeks.

Do petrol pumps in India offer nitrogen filling in motorcycles?

No, In India, petrol pumps primarily offer compressed air for tyre filling, not nitrogen.

How to know if a motorcycle tyre is filled with nitrogen or air?

The valve cap is the primary way to know whether a motorcycle tyre is filled with nitrogen or air. If the color is green, nitrogen is for sure. If it’s black, then it will mostly be air-filled. Check the picture given below

Green valve in nitrogen filled and black valve in air filled motorcycle tyres
Green valve in nitrogen filled and black valve in air filled motorcycle tyres

How to check for motorcycle tyre pressure at home?

There are devices specifically for the same, both analog and digital, to check tyre pressure at home.

Check out this link for more details.

Check out the owner’s manual for specific details to know the exact tyre pressure for the front and rear tyres.

Should we increase tyre pressure if there is a pillion in both motorcycle tyres?

Yes, It is usually given in the owner’s manual, like the picture below. Tyre pressure should be more on the rear wheel, while on the front wheel, it’s almost the same in case a pillion is there. Check the picture given below.

Tyre Pressure for solo and with pillion in motorcycles (Example)
Tyre Pressure for solo and with pillion in motorcycles (Example)

Which is more expensive, nitrogen or air filling in motorcycles?

Nitrogen is for sure the expensive one. Air filling is entyrely free in petrol pumps, while in other shops, it will be around Rs 10-20 per tyre (approx); nitrogen comes in between Rs 30-40 per tyre (approx).

Can we top up the nitrogen-filled tyres with regular air?

Yes. While topping up with regular air dilutes the benefits of nitrogen, it won’t cause any immediate harm. If you do top up with air, ideally, you would completely purge the tyre and refill it with nitrogen again to regain the full benefits.

Does nitrogen filling significantly improve fuel efficiency?

The improvement in fuel efficiency from nitrogen inflation is usually minimal compared to the benefits of maintaining proper bike tyre pressure with regular air.

Here are some related articles from our team

  1. Types of Two wheeler tyres explained
  2. How to read two wheeler tyre code and tyre size
  3. Types of Two wheeler tyres explained
  4. Top 10 proven tips to increase two wheeler mileage/


If you have any other doubts or queries, email us at bikeleague2017@gmail.com. We are always eager to help and assist you. Also, here are several social media platforms of Bikeleague India to raise your suspicions.