Note: Last year, CMG tester Warren Milner rode just about everywhere you can go in North America on an extended dual sport tour. Here’s a few words on how his air compressor from Aerostich worked on that trip.
The logistics involved in planning a 21,000km trip are complex, especially when a substantial portion of the journey is to be conducted off-road. Before the trip was over, I would replace three sets of tires on my own bike and complete six additional tire changes for guys I was riding with.
One hot and dusty day there was also the need to repair a flat after picking up a nail in the middle of nowhere. Needless to say a reliable, portable air compressor turned out to be an essential piece of kit.
The Aerostich Mini Air Compressor is about as small and basic as they come but turned out to be all I needed. Although it weighs about half a kilogram and fits in the palm of your hand it seems plenty powerful, quickly inflating tires. The compressor gets a little hot after inflating multiple tires so you have to be careful how you hold on to it but there was never any sign of burning out and performance remained consistent.
The 26” long inflation hose and 6’ power cord gave quite a range of operation, I could have it plugged into my own bike and still inflate my buddies tires a few feet away. The flip lock where it attached to the tire valve was easy to operate and never slipped off during operation, in fact everything functioned extremely well throughout the trip.
Niggles? Only two little ones. First, the power cord is soldered onto the pump body and looks a little delicate so you wouldn’t want to hold the compressor by the cord, like I’m doing in this picture, very often (luckily the compressor comes equipped with a carabiner to hang it from the motorcycle). Secondly, it comes with cigarette lighter type plug, SAE type plug and alligator clip options for connection but of course since I was riding a BMW it would have been nice if it had also included the BMW style connector.
One final note – all the tires changed on the trip were tube type tires and in this application the pump worked brilliantly. The volume of air produced by a pump this small is limited however and would perhaps make initial bead seating on a tubeless tire difficult.
The Aerostich Mini Compressor costs $47 US at the company’s website.