AIRMAN PORTABLE AIR PUMP
Steven Huber <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 06 Mar 1999 02:59:26 -0600
Here's a brief article I wrote on the Airman for our club newsletter, the Madison WI BMW Club Newsletter. Contact me if you want more info....
Your motorcycle's tire pressure is one of the more important safety checks and maintenance you can perform. After all, this is the only thing holding you off the ground. Of course, every club member checks his/her tire pressure before a ride (sure you do, don't you?) and corrects the pressure with a bicycle pump or shop compressor.
But what do you do if you get a flat while on the road? Yes, BMW does have a great flat fix kit, but the inflation part does have limits. Besides, how do you inflate that doublewide air mattress at the rally? (Unless you're hauling the Rog Mahal ...)
Here's where the AirMan portable air pump can help. This is a compact air pump that fits easily in either a side bag or a tank bag. Yes, there are others out there; however, this unit is much more compact than those. The pump's dimensions are 8" X 4.5" (L/W). Power is by a rechargeable nicad battery or 12V cigarette plug adapter. One black mark is the unit does not run while the charger is plugged in. Those without a cigarette adapter on the bike will have to depend solely on the nicad battery (along with the notorious 'memory' problem).
The business end is the air hose that incorporates a sturdy aluminum schraeder valve and a dialable pop-valve that releases at a preset pressure. This hose is easily de(re)attachable from the pump, unfortunately the pump comes with no carrying bag. The pump, air hose, 12V power unit, and recharge unit are left to wander your tool box unless you provide your own carrying case. Most riders have a bag to throw this unit in, however a cheap nylon carry bag would have been a nice addition.
In operation the AirMan works oh-so-slowly. Don't expect miraculous results. After deflating a rear tire about 15 psi, I plugged the AirMan in and let 'er rip. Roughly 15 minutes later the pop-out valve indicated the preset 40 psi was met (remember: YMMV). As the tire pressure gets closer to the preset limit the pump seems to run slower.
This could be a handy little unit for use around the home shop or those riders whose bikes can put out the additional electrons to power the unit. Those riders wishing to travel lighter are advised to chuck a few more CO2 cartridges in the tool kit.
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