Motorcycle Tire Pressure Monitoring System
Are you a conscientious cyclist who knows the importance of proper tire inflation? Are you “that” runner who delays the start of the group in the morning because you forgot to check your tire pressure? Or are you just getting older and the thought of kneeling and / or on your back, on the garage floor to check your tire pressure, isn’t something you look forward to?
Personally, I am # 1 and # 3, but I know a lot of # 2.
In my search for new and interesting motorcycle related products, I came across a solution to a problem that all bikers face. We need to know the pressure of our tires, and most importantly we need to know if we have a pressure leak while driving. Many new motorcycle models come out of the factory with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). However, for the rest of us, the chore of checking the pressure just got a whole lot easier.
Malaysian manufacturer FOBO (For Our Better wOrld) offers its new second generation TPMS. All you need to do is screw a ball-sized supercomputer onto your valve stems to begin installation. I chose black, but they also have a silver option.
You complete the installation by connecting to your iPhone or Android smartphone the free FOBO Bike 2 application via Bluetooth 5.0. Your motorcycle’s tire pressures and temperatures are now visible on your phone screen and updated every 15 seconds. I’m sitting at my home office about 20 feet from my bike, with a wall between us. I check my tire pressure: my front tire is 37.0 psi and my rear tire is 37.1 psi.
FOBO released their first generation TPMS in 2015, and last year they released the second generation Bike 2 with Bluetooth 5.0. There are many years of technological experience behind this TPMS. The app recognizes the positions of all paired units, whether there are two or three, and you can even tell it you’ve rotated your tires, and it adjusts accordingly, not that you rotate your tires. ‘a motorcycle.
I mounted the FOBO Bike 2 units with their supplied lock nuts. The locknuts press against the sensors so that it is difficult for someone to turn them like you would a plastic valve cap. They provide an interestingly shaped wrench to make it easier to tighten this locking nut.
The cloud-based check-in process is also the second level of theft deterrent. Each unit is unique and registered with FOBO. A previously registered unit cannot be connected and run on another phone without being released from the app by the original owner.
By the time the app went through its registration process with the FOBO servers, which only took about 30 seconds, my iPhone startled me with a foghorn sound. Obviously the default low pressure setting was higher than my rear tire pressure, and that let me know quite sharply. This is what this smart TPMS is supposed to do. Alert to pressure changes that are outside the parameters you set in the app.
I took a ride on the freeway and about 15 minutes later I got the same foghorn sound through my headset’s bluetooth speakers, letting me know there was a problem with my tires. My iPhone was in my pocket so I couldn’t see the problem until I got out at the next offramp. Apparently 15 minutes of driving at 68 degrees had heated and expanded the air in both of my tires beyond the upper limit of 39 psi I set in the app. The front was increased from 36 to 40.5 psi and the rear from 36 to 43.8 psi.
If I had stuck a nail in my tire and the pressure had fallen below the lower limit set in the app, FOBO Bike 2 would have notified me as well. It constantly monitors tire pressure and temperature. If it detects a slow leak or rapid pressure loss, you will be alerted immediately.
The ability to check my motorcycle’s tire pressure remotely and the early warning of pressure loss are reasons enough to make this purchase. Here is a list of other FOBO Bike 2 TPMS features:
- Haptic alert (tremor) on Apple Watch.
- The easily accessible replaceable battery lasts up to a year.
- Share your tire pressure with others via the web.
- Monitor multiple motorcycle tires from one phone. If you’re the stable master for your family’s motorcycles and quads, it’s nice to look at your phone to determine which of these 16 tires needs your attention.
- If all the runners in your group are FOBO equipped, then everyone with the app can see if anyone has left the surroundings of the group.
- If you lend your bike to someone, you can give them access to the bike’s TPMS warnings.
- When you get a new smartphone, the patented technology allows you to seamlessly swap your FOBO Bike 2 setup to the new device.
While I won’t go into the details of all of the app customization, it’s simple and intuitive. As an internationally compatible product, it comes with the pressure measurement in kPa and the Celsius temperature by default. Most Americans will switch to Psi and Fahrenheit.
If you’re feeling adventurous, pressure units bar and ksc (kilogram-force per square centimeter) are available, with changes made in the settings pages of the app. All parameters are explained in the 58-page manual accessible from the application on your phone.
The box comes with two TPMS units, two additional batteries, two additional locking nuts, two locking nut wrenches and a key chain. I emailed their customer service to ask them what the key fob is for, and they told me it was for you to have the option of carrying the locknut wrench with you.
In order for the app to notify you when you are riding, specific settings must be enabled on your phone and the settings must be correct to receive important alerts. The app guides you through these settings during initialization.
For example, on the iPhone, background refresh should be enabled, as well as location services on Always for the FOBO Bike 2 app. The Android smartphone should have the Android service running, and it has a really useful ability to show your tire pressure superimposed on each screen. You’ll still see it, but only if you’ve turned this selection on.
Last Thursday when I installed the FOBO Bike 2 TPMS I set my pressure to 37.6 psi. A week later, it is 37.1. Now I know how to expect a loss of two pounds per month. Of course, the Bike 2 system will tell me.
It’s not often that a product seems essential to me, but the FOBO Bike 2 TPMS is one of those products. I can’t count the number of times I came home from our date night, dressed in nice clothes, and remembered that I had to check my tire pressure for an early morning start. Now I just open the app on my iPhone and check the pressure. I am sold!
FOBO sells Bike 2 directly from its website at $ 99 for the two-unit kit and at $ 148 for a tricycle. FOBO is offering a five percent discount code – FB2UT5 – until October 23, 2020.
FOBO 2 bike specifications
- Dimensions: 13.8 x 20.2 mm (0.54 x 0.80 inches)
- Weight: 7.6 grams (0.27 ounces)
- Wireless protocol: Bluetooth 5.0
- Smartphone compatibility: iOS 9.3 and Android 5.0 or later
- Battery type: CR1632
- Battery life: up to one year
- Operating temperature: 4 ° F to 140 ° F
- Maximum operating humidity: up to 90%
- Dust and waterproofing: IEC 60529 conform
- Maximum tire pressure: 116 psi
- Colors: Black; Money PRICE
- FOBO Bike 2 Price: $ 99 MSRP
- FOBO Bike 2 for the price of the tricycle: $ 148 MSRP