Cycle Pump Adventure Motorcycle Air Compressor Review
Review by Ken Freund
[This Cycle Pump Adventure Motorcycle Air Compressor Review was originally published in the August 2006 issue of Rider magazine]
As the saying goes: “Adventures aren’t always fun when you’re having them, but they often make good telling later in the bar.” Flat tires and punctures out in the middle of nowhere fit into that realm quite nicely. Fortunately, there’s a new product called the Cyclepump Adventure motorcycle air compressor to take some of the “adventure” out of our little misadventures-but may ruin your bar story by doing so.
CyclePump consists of a small air compressor driven by a 12-volt DC electric motor, specially made for tough expedition-type usage, encased in a rugged aluminum housing. Internal motor-mounting points are reinforced and the compressor uses a metal piston for durability, instead of a weak diaphragm. Long-life reduction gears between the motor and compressor are self-lubricating.
The new Adventure model we tested has several improvements. New fold-down legs add stability while the unit is operating, and they lift the unit off the ground to keep dust from entering the pump. The air chuck locks onto the valve stem so you don’t have to hold it, and the air hose is now 2 feet long (previously a foot), making it easier to use. It comes in a sturdy Cordura storage pouch that measures a compact 2 x 6 x 9 inches and weighs only 34 ounces including all accessories. Hook-and-loop straps keep the hose and cord tidy and the on-off switch is now shielded from damage.CyclePump’s compressor is rated for over 200 psi; although motorcycle tires require far less pressure it’s nice to know it’s overbuilt. The 12-volt DC motor draws 7 amps with no load and 10-12 amps at full load. We found inflation times to be just under 3 minutes to take a 120-width front tire from zero to 35 psi and 6 minutes to inflate a 180-width rear tire from zero to 40 psi. By the time the second tire was inflated the CyclePump’s housing was quite warm, ready for a cool-down but not overheated. Typically you’re not going to completely inflate more than two tires at a time, so that’s fine.
CyclePump is available in three versions—all utilizing the same motor and compressor, locking air chuck, storage pouch and basic power cord. The difference is mainly in the powering options. The standard version ($80) comes with a universal plug that fits BMW and automotive cigarette-lighter plugs, as well as SAE plugs such as those on battery chargers and electric vests. The deluxe version ($90) has these same power cables and adds a set of fused alligator clips to clamp on battery posts. The new Adventure version ($100) has all the preceding features in addition to a longer cord and hose and extendable legs. For an extra $10 you can get the AutoCord, an 8-foot extension cable that connects with the standard or deluxe version, which allows you to reach all four tires on a car. AutoCord is standard equipment on the Adventure model.
CyclePumps are manufactured in the United States and can be repaired or rebuilt for a nominal fee. It’s nice to find a quality product that’s not designed to fail and be discarded after a few uses, like many of the cheapo units sold in discount stores. We found our test unit to be a well-made and functional addition to a travel toolkit. If you pinch a tube or a patch fails you can easily run out of CO2 cartridges, but the Adventure pump will continue working, keeping you from having perhaps a little too much adventure.