While you can’t strictly call this a review, I thought I’d pass on my experience with my latest purchase; the Airman Tour tyre inflator.
Pressures and punctures
I have been lucky not to have experienced a puncture while on the road. To have a puncture on a day trip would be an inconvenience. On a tour it would be a disaster. Or it would be should you not take steps to prepare for the event.
I recently bought a tyre plugging kit and I had considered the quick inflate canisters. While these are compact and good in an emergency, I wanted something that I could also use to top up my tyre pressures.
On a couple of occasions I have had the warning come up with pressures outside of the limits. On each occasion have struggled to get the forecourt air hose through the spoked wheels. To address both this and the puncture insurance would be the best option.
The AirMan Tour
It was while browsing the Nippy Normans website for a side stand enlarger (we shall get onto that) that I saw the AirMan Tour tyre inflator. At nineteen of your finest pounds sterling the price was reasonable and it looked like it would meet my needs. It was added to the other items in the basket with a click.
It’s often said that blokes don’t read the manual. This could also be said of product descriptions on websites especially when it’s an impulse purchase. It was only after I’d checked out that I noticed the description. I wouldn’t be able to power it from the DIN socket on the GS dash. All modern BMWs use a CAN Bus system meaning the inherent design cannot deliver enough power for the Airman Tour.
Additional parts required
To run the pump I was going to have to buy and install a further socket. This would be wired directly to the battery. Given that I had a perfectly good socket, or so it seemed, I was initially reluctant to do this. However without it I wouldn’t be able to use the inflator. With the socket bought for a further £15 it made the inflator a little less of a bargain.
My items arrived a couple of days later. The Airman Tour is quite compact and will not take too much space when packed. It comes with a handy pouch with enough space to stuff in a few further items, such as a tyre plug kit.
There is a pressure gauge on the inflator, but I’m told that these are not always very accurate. It might be an idea to carry a compact pressure gauge however the BMW monitors the pressures. I can use the readout on the bike’s dash to check the pressures.
A small compartment within the inflator stores additional nozzles, with the inflation tube and electrical socket wrapped around and stored on the casing.
Fitting the socket
The socket kit looked straight forward. The included bracket allows the socket to be strapped to the bikes frame using a couple of ties.
Fitting was extremely easy. The side panel is removed to reveal the battery. A single torx screw retains the panel. Once this has been removed the lead can be disconnected from the negative terminal with a 10 mm spanner.
Removal of a retaining strap and clip allow the battery to slide forward and reveal the positive terminal. From here it was simply a case of connecting the leads from the new socket to the terminal.
Wunderlich sidestand enlarger
Earlier I mentioned that I had initially been shopping for a side stand foot enlarger.
I have had a couple of incidents where the side stand has folded on uneven ground. Usually the crash bars save me leaving only my pride dented. However the most recent incident left me having to replace the Vario pannier facia. I hoped that a larger foot would give it a bit more stability, especially when fully loaded on a tour.
I had decided on the Wunderlich side stand enlarger. While their accessories are never cheap, they are always excellent quality. There is not much to say about the fitting. It’s all done three screws, and a touch of thread lock later. I’ll perhaps come back to this in the future. Hopefully to say that since fitting it the bike has not had another lie down.