Riders with spoked wheels on their bikes are frustrated at not being able to get some service station air hoses to fit their metal valve stems.
The owner of a Queensland service station says he suspects one rider became so frustrated he found a solution to the problem by bending their air hose nozzle.
“I’ve often seen riders struggling to get the nozzle on to the valve stem on motorcycles,” the servo owner says.
“I suppose this works better now because of the angle, but I’m surprised he didn’t break it as it’s only made of brass.”
Riders should be aware that service stations are not legally bound to provide the free air service. Some have chosen to withdraw the service because of vandalism and accidental breakage.
Air your grievance
Air hoses are made to suit cars with flexible valve stems. They don’t suit all types of motorcycle wheels.
Riders with mag wheels on their bikes can start laughing now …
However, it’s no laughing matter for some riders with spoked wheels on their bikes.
In fact, it can be downright infuriating. On several occasions I’ve ridden to several service stations in search of a hose that will fit.
The worst offenders are the old-style air hoses with the pressure indicator on the air hose. These have a long metal nozzle which is at the wrong angle to fit on the rigid metal valve stem of spoked wheels.
Modern flexible air hoses with the pressure indicated on a digital screen on a fixed post are better.
But even some of those are too stiff to bend enough to fit over the perpendicular valve stem.
Most spoked-wheeled bikes only have one disc brake on the left of the front wheel so you access the valve stem from the right. But even these can be difficult to get an old-style air hose to fit.
If your bike has dual front discs like the Ducati GT1000 I once owned or the Triumph Scrambler 1200 I tested recently, it is almost impossible to fit any type of air hose.
Some bikes with spoked wheels have large holes in the wheel hub so you can thread the air hose through the middle to access the valve stem in a straight line.
Otherwise, you have to thread the hose through the spokes wheels and even then it can be a difficult angle.
I’ve copped bloodied knuckles trying to get the right connection on the valve stem.
Meanwhile, as you try fitting it, the connector triggers the valve and lets out precious air pressure.