No motorcycle rider wants to get stuck on the road with a flat tire.
Not only is it inconvenient, it can also be incredibly dangerous, especially at night when it can be difficult for other drivers to see you.
This is why it is so important to always carry a portable motorcycle tire inflator.
To help you select the best inflator for your needs, below we have reviewed several of the most popular and best-selling portable air compressors on the market today, and highlighted the pros and cons associated with each model.
We have also compiled a Portable Motorcycle Tire Inflator Buying Guide, in which we have outlined and explained the various features and functions you should look for when shopping for, and ultimately purchasing one of these items.
Best Portable Motorcycle Tire Pumps for the Money
Viair 40047 400P-RV Automatic Portable Compressor Kit
With the Viair 40047 400P-RV Automatic Portable Compressor Kit you will never have to worry about a flat tire again.
This 12-Volt compressor can fill tires up to a maximum of 150 PSI of pressure.
It features a duty cycle of 33 percent, and comes with a tire inflation gun and gauge, integrated pressure switch, air hose and a handy carrying case, among other accessories.
The automatic shut-off function enables users to pre-set a working pressure, above which the compressor will shut off until the pressure dips below another pre-set number.
Compact and portable, this is the perfect air compressor kit for people on the go.
- High quality/Reliable. Made by a company that specializes only in portable air compressors, the Viair 40047 400P-RV Automatic Portable Compressor Kit is a great buy at any price.
- Powerful. Able to fill motorcycle tires in under a minute, the compressor has a max working pressure of 150 PSI.
- No vibrations. With built in stabilization, the Viair 40047 400P-RV Automatic Portable Compressor Kit is resistant to vibrations.
- Engine must be running. When using the Viair 40047 400P-RV Automatic Portable Compressor Kit, the engine of your motorcycle must be running.
- Heavy. This compressor is much heavier than similar compressors in this class.
- Large size. This takes up a lot of space in your bag, so it’s not practical for road trips.
EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump
Convenient to use, the EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump can be plugged directly into any accessory port, making it very portable and handy.
With multiple uses, not only can this inflator be used on motorcycle tires, but also cars, trucks and other vehicles, as well as balls and toys, thanks to the needle adaptors.
The pump has an easy-to-read pressure gauge that tracks the PSI as you inflate, ensuring perfect results every time.
The LED flashlight not only illuminates your work area at night, but alerts passing motorists to your presence.
The auto-shut off function prevents over-inflation and overheating, shutting off the compressor when a pre-prescribed pressure has been reached.
The 12-volt inflator is very fast and powerful, promising minimal work time and perfect results.
- Compact. The EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump is very compact and portable.
- Multiple Uses. Not only can this portable compressor be used on a variety of tires, but also toys and balls.
- LED Flashlight. The LED flashlight on the EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump lights up the work area and acts as an emergency light on the road.
- Latches can come loose. According to some reviewers, over time the latches on the EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump can work loose.
- Longer inflate times. The inflate time with this compressor is longer than with similar products on our list.
VIAIR 300P Portable Compressor
The VIAIR 300P Portable Compressor is a 12-volt unit that clamps directly to your motorcycle’s battery.
Once attached, simply connect the tire chuck to the valve stem, turn the unit on and your tire will be inflated in just over a minute.
The unit has a built-in tire gauge that lights up in the dark for easy reading, ensuring you always inflate to just the right PSI.
The auto-shut off function prevents engine overheating and wear and tear on the unit, and the LED flashlight brightens your work area and lets other drivers know you are near.
The product comes with many attachments and inflation tips, allowing it to inflate a wide range of tires, toys and balls in a snap.
- Great design. The design of the VIAIR 300P Portable Compressor not only makes it very portable, but incredibly powerful for its size.
- Great tire gauge. The easy-to-read tire gauge on this unit is built-in, giving users the most accurate inflating experience.
- Carry Bag. The VIAIR 300P Portable Compressor comes with a handy carrying bag.
- Engine must be running. Like the other Viair compressor we reviewed, which also attaches directly to the battery, the engine must be running to use the VIAIR 300P Portable Compressor.
Portable Motorcycle Tire Inflator Buying Guide
When setting out to purchase a portable tire inflator for your motorcycle, there are several things you should look for to ensure you are getting a high-quality product.
To help ensure you get the best product for your needs and preferences, below we will outline some of these features and functions.
Like with any air compressor, a portable tire inflator will have a given “duty cycle.”
The duty cycle of a compressor is the amount of time that it can be used without becoming overheated during a particular time frame.
For example, a portable tire inflator with a duty cycle of 50 percent means it can be run continuously for 30 minutes, after which the motor must rest for 30 minutes to cool down.
Because portable tire inflators usually only have to be run for a short period of time—the time it takes to fill both tires at most—you can usually get away with a lower duty cycle, somewhere in the range of 30 percent to 40 percent.
An auto-shutoff function is very important in a quality portable tire inflator.
This unique function enables the unit to automatically switch off when the pressure reaches a pre-set level that you set, and allows it to automatically turn back on once the pressure goes below a certain level.
This prevents you from having to constantly look at the gauge to ensure the pressure does not get too high.
It also saves wear and tear on the motor, and keeps your hands free for other tasks.
In addition, to making the portable compressor easier to use, this convenient function also plays a very important role in preventing over-inflation – a common issue faced by most portable tire inflators that are not equipped with this function.
Nothing is worse than getting a flat tire on a dark unlit road.
Working in these conditions can be all but impossible, but with a portable compressor that has built-in lighting you’ll be able to see exactly what you are doing.
LED lighting on a portable tire inflator not only illuminates your work area, allowing you to see the valve stem and the pressure gauge, it also acts as an emergency light to alert other drivers that you are there, making any spot that much safer and secure.
A digital gauge is a great feature to have on your next portable tire inflator.
When trying to fill a tire out on the open road, the last thing you want to do is stop every so often so you can check the pressure.
Fortunately, with a digital, LCD tire gauge you will never have to do this.
This feature allows you to monitor the progress of inflation as you go, and stop the pressure once the gauge reaches the proper PSI for your tire, giving you the most accurate inflation possible thanks to this easy-to-read feature.
When you are stuck on the road with a flat tire, nothing will seem more important than a compressor with a rapid inflating speed.
The inflating speeds of various portable tire inflators will vary from model to model.
One with a rapid inflating speed is one that can typically fully inflate a tire in just a matter of a minute or more.
Some of the fastest motorcycle tire inflators can completely air both tires in about 2 minutes or less.
Because speed is so important, it’s imperative that you read as many reviews as possible with regard to this topic before making a final purchasing decision.
If you are going to be carrying your portable air compressor on your bike, you are definitely going to want one that is very compact in nature.
Smaller does not always mean less powerful when it comes to an inflator, so be sure to get one that fits conveniently in your under-seat storage compartment without taking up too much room—room you may need for other tools and gear.
Air compressors of any kind are going to put out noise.
Large air compressors used in places like mechanic’s garages can put out about 90 to 100 decibels of noise, but the smaller air compressors/portable tire inflators are typically much quieter.
However, some portable compressors tend to be noisier than others.
For that reason, it’s important to look around for the compressor that puts out the least amount of noise, usually somewhere in the range of 40 to 50 decibels.
When shopping for your next portable tire inflator, you should definitely find one that can inflate more than just motorcycle tires.
Many of the best mobile inflators in the market come with different nozzles and attachments that allow them to fill almost any type of tire with various sized valve stems, as well as things like balls and toys that require inflation.
Finally, portable tire inflators, or portable air compressors, are driven by a motor, and anything you buy with a motor should have a pretty decent warranty just in case of defects in the motor, electrical system, etc.
A longer warranty, say 3 to 5 years, is usually a good sign that the manufacturer has confidence in their product, while a shorter warranty, 1-2 years, may be an indication that you should take a pass on that particular compressor.