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Cyclops TPMS: Check Tires While You Ride With This Simple Device

 Save time and improve your safety with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System.

Published on 11.27.2017
Cyclops aftermarket TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System)
With a TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) on the dash, potential tire hazards can be brought to the forefront of your attention before you experience a problem.

Most Adventure Riders already know the importance of running proper tire pressure. Over the years, I’ve had countless tire pressure mishaps that have put me in precarious situations. Whether it be a slow leak, pinch flat, puncture, defective tire or simply forgetting to check the tires, tire pressure-related accidents are a danger we as motorcyclists all face at some time or another.

Using a TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) is one way to help improve your safety in many of these situations. A TPMS device can alert you when you begin running low on pressure or when there is a sudden drop, often giving you enough warning to pull over before you experience a loss of control.

TPMS devices are more commonly found on high-end European Adventure Bike models but if dropping $15,000 or more on a new motorcycle isn’t in the cards, there are affordable aftermarket TPMS kits you can install on your existing bike.

Searching For an Aftermarket TPMS

One thing we missed on our KTM 1090 Adventure R long-term test bike was the factory TPMS that came standard on its predecessor, the 1190 Adventure R. Searching through motorcycle TPMS solutions, we came across a new product from Cyclops Adventure Sports.

Cyclops best motorcycle tpms

The Cyclops aftermarket TPMS gives you real-time air pressure and tire temperature readouts through a compact display that can be conveniently mounted on your dash or handlebar. The system uses replacement valve stem caps with sensors inside that send data to a display for independent front and rear tire measurements. When tire pressure suddenly drops or falls out of range, an audible alarm and red flashing light immediately warns you. The TPMS kit can be quickly installed on virtually any motorcycle with either tube or tubeless tires, and has configurable high and low pressure warning thresholds for each tire.

Cyclops Motorcycle TPMS Valve Stem Caps
Replacement valve stem caps with sensors inside send data to the TPMS display providing independent front and rear tire air temperature and pressure readings.

Yet there’s more to a TPMS than just low tire pressure warnings. Running optimal tire pressure to match the terrain can improve both performance and tire longevity. Being able to see your tire pressure at a glance eliminates unnecessary stops to manually check tires with a gauge.

Temperature and elevation changes can also cause big fluctuations in tire pressure that are important to monitor. You loose roughly 1 Psi for every 2,000 feet of elevation drop and another 1 Psi for every drop of 10°F. For example, if you started your ride at high elevation with hot mid-day temperatures then rode to sea level arriving in cool evening temperatures, the loss of air pressure could be significant enough to cause speed wobbles on the highway or potentially a bent rim from a pothole. With a TPMS on the dash, potential tire hazards can be brought to the forefront of our attention before they become a problem.

Cyclops best motorcycle TPMS off-road
All too often, we don’t remember to stop and check our tire pressure until after we get ourselves into a bad situation. The Cyclops TPMS provides real-time tire pressure readings and alerts you instantly if there’s a problem.

Cyclops TPMS Installation

Considering the safety and time saving benefits of a Tire Pressure Monitoring System, we were eager to try out the new Cyclops aftermarket TPMS. Installation is fairly simple with the option to either clamp the device onto your handle bars (7/8″ or 1 1/8″) or use a 3M sticky pad to attach it to the bike’s dash. We chose the sticky pad option, placing it conveniently on the left side dash.

Installing the device does include wiring it up to a power supply but that was easy on the 1090 Adventure R. An accessory power and ground wire are just underneath the 12-volt charging port cover (wires marked ‘ACC2’), and you can access them without pulling apart the dash. For a cleaner installation, we drilled a small hole adjacent to the 12-volt charging port to run the wires into the dash.

cyclops Best Motorcycle TPMS
The ‘ACC2’ accessory power and ground wire can be found just underneath the 12-volt charging port cover on the KTM 1090 Adventure R.

cyclops Best Motorcycle TPMS

Next we replaced the stock valve stem caps with the tire pressure sensing caps included in the kit. The valve stem cap marked ‘A’ goes on the front tire and ‘B’ goes on the rear, with a locking nut to ensure they stay in place. Each valve stem cap weighs just 0.3 ounces, so it’s not heavy enough to require re-balancing the tires. Cyclops recommends using metal valve stems, but also reports that problems with rubber valve stems are rare. The KTM 1090 Adventure R already comes with metal valve stems (as do most inner tubes) so it wasn’t a concern for us.

Tire pressure alarm settings on the device are pre-set at 26 Psi (low)/41 Psi (high) for the front and 29 Psi (low)/43 Psi (high) for the rear. The system is also pre-configured to set off an alarm if the tire’s air temperature exceeds 154°F (68°C) or if there is a sudden air leak. For many riders, the stock settings are adequate but we opted to drop the low pressure alarm down to 22 Psi on the front tire and 20 Psi on the rear to account for off-road riding pressures. Changing settings was fairly easy with a few clicks of the menu buttons.

Cyclops TPMS Testing

Demonstration of low pressure tire alarm activating after front tire drops below our custom minimum warning setting (22 Psi).

After a quick ride around the block, the system was up and running with readouts for both tire temperature and air pressure toggling on the screen. Heading out of the garage on the first ride, I thought about how I’d normally be thinking “when was the last time I checked my tire pressure?”. It was also nice to have the TPMS clearly visible on the dash, separate from the bike’s digital display. On bikes with a factory TPMS, the tire pressure readouts are often buried in layers of menus and can get lost in the clutter.

After testing the Cyclops TPMS over several thousands of miles, we never had any problems with the valve stem caps loosening and the tire pressure readings always proved accurate. The display on the TPMS is easy to read in direct sunlight or at night and remained waterproof in wet weather. With the TPMS clearly visible on the dash, I was always surprised to see how much tire pressure fluctuates with elevation, temperature and riding aggressiveness.

Motorcycle TPMS on KTM 1090 Adventure R
We missed the factory TPMS that came standard on the 1090’s predecessor, the 1190 Adventure R. Yet our new Cyclops aftermarket TPMS works even better with it clearly visible on the dash, separated from the clutter of the digital display.

While I never experienced a flat tire during our testing, on one occasion an impact with a big rock caused the tubless front tire to lose its seal around the bead for a split second. The hard impact pushed out about 7 Psi of air and triggered the alarm. The audible warning was loud enough to hear and the flashing light got my attention immediately. This early warning allowed me to pull over to appraise the damage and fill the tire back up with air. If it were not for the Cyclops TPMS, I probably would have kept riding unaware of the situation and the next big rock could have caused a puncture or bent rim.

Cyclops aftermarket TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) track test
Several times when a loss of traction in a soft patch of dirt had me convinced I was getting a flat, a quick look at the TPMS let me know right away that all was well with the tires.

One small snag we noticed with the Cyclops aftermarket TPMS was that when you first start the bike after it has been sitting in the garage for awhile, the tire pressure shows the measurement from your last ride. An accurate reading is measured once you ride the bike about 100 yards. Apparently, this is by design to save battery life. The sensors are motion activated, set to go to sleep when not in use. Batteries are said to last at least one year and a spare set are included in the kit. If you find you need a replacement set while on the road, common watch-type batteries are used that can typically be sourced from a hardware store or supermarket.

Final Thoughts

Cyclops aftermarket TPMS on the highway
For Adventure Riders who regularly transition between street and dirt, a TPMS becomes all the more important to maintain optimal tire pressure for the terrain.

It’s rare to find an aftermarket upgrade that can significantly improve safety and convenience for a relatively small amount of money. At just $130, the Cyclops TPMS offers a lot of bang for the buck. And for Adventure Riders who regularly adjust tire pressures when transitioning between street and dirt, a TPMS is all the more important to have.

Cyclops developed their motorcycle TPMS kit specifically for Adventure Riders and the product underwent many months of rigorous testing and several renditions before they considered it ‘ready’ to bring to market. Whether you ride a KTM 990 Adventure, V-Strom, KLR650, F800GS or DR650, its nice knowing your bike doesn’t have to be state-of-the-art to get the benefits of a TPMS. And the fact that it’s simple, lightweight and easy to install makes the idea of adding the Cyclops TPMS to your machine all the more worthwhile.

Shopping Options

Cyclops Adventure Sports

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Photos by Steve Kamrad and Karla Robleto

Author: Rob Dabney

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8 thoughts on “Cyclops TPMS: Check Tires While You Ride With This Simple Device

  1. I installed one of these in the summer. As stated, installation is simple and it has worked flawlessly. The display cycles between pressure and temperature, so sometimes when you glance over the reading may not be what you expect. The display can be set to kPa, PSI, C, or F.
    I’ve had a couple of heart stopping moments when I notice the display is a single digit (in degrees Celsius). My only suggestion for improvement is a steady green LED indicating all settings are within parameters.
    I am very pleased with this product.

  2. I bought a TPMS, not this one, but I wanted it to monitor my tire pressure BEFORE the ride. It was not useful for that as you have to move the tires to make the monitor ‘come alive’. I took mine off as it was not worth the hassle.

    • I have been told that the models of these devices that attaches “inside the rim”, interior to the tire, will display the current actual pressure at system power up.

      But, not these “mount on stem” models. I believe they activate by the centrifical force of the rotating wheel pressing on a spring based switch.

      I bought the “mount on stem” model because I thought they would be easier to “reclaim” to another cycle.

    • I have the “mount on tire stem” model. I’ve had mine for about 6 months. I like them, and I don’t like them. I like: Easily replaceable batteries in the sender units. Easily removed sender units. Overall system cost (acceptably low, to me). Overall installation ease (It’s Easy to Install). I Don’t Like: Hard to read Green segmented LEDs in bright light. Non-Readable LEDs using polarized glasses (the LEDs appear “black’). Low and / or High Pressure warning is Not Annunciated Well. (Something flashes Red-to-Green, I think the LED digits: Even at Night the Warning Goes Unnoticed. It’s happened to Me. This *really* got my attention). The LED digits mean something else than Pressure. (Another reinforcement comment to something already stated in comments here. This feature should be User Selectable. I would never select it). Tire Pressure Not Immediately Available at System Power. (I do a pre-ride check, sure, but I want to know *before* I leave the garage, not 100 yards down the road). One more: The tire pressure depends on a small rubber seal inside the sender unit. Each removal of the sender wears this thin rubber seal. You remove the sender every time to adjust air pressure (to add air). Eventually, you remove / replace the sender and it *will not hold air*. Be prepared for this, it’s just a matter of time before it happens. Yeah, i’s a custom seal, too.

  3. Anybody know what the upper bound for pressure is on these? I’d love to keep an eye on my Tub is setup but the Cyclops site didn’t seem to say…

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