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Doran TPMS Review

Cruiseman reviews the Doran TPMS

Friday, February 21, 2014

Doran TPMS

I was excited when I learned that Honda was including tire pressure monitoring (TPMS) on the 2012 Goldwing ABS that I purchased in 2011. I was less excited when I learned that the system only alerts you when a tire is low, and does not inform you which tire is low. In addition, there is no indication of the actual pressure inside the tire. Yet another oversight by Mother Honda. I suppose the factory TPMS is better than nothing, but it is far from elegant. So, when the opportunity presented itself for me to install, video, and review the TPMS from Doran, I was pretty stoked.

Included in the Doran system is the monitor, which is a bit bulky, but feels and looks to be very well made. The monitor is the only piece of the puzzle that must be wired to the bike's electrical system. Basically, it is a receiver that monitors the two wireless transmitters and an LCD screen to display alerts and other information. A remote flashing alert light is also included. The kit includes two wireless transmitters that can be mounted either inside the tire using the provided replacement steel valve stems, or outside in place of your plastic valve stem caps. If your motorcycle has rubber or plastic valve stems, Doran recommends that you replace them with the provided steel valve stems before installing the transmitters.

The kit includes everything you need for a successful installation on virtually any motorcycle. A mounting ring and base plate are provided for motorcycles with round handlebars. Or, the monitor can be mounted using double-sided tape to any flat surface. There is also an external low tire pressure alert light that can be mounted anywhere allowing you to mount or store the main monitor out of site, say, in a saddlebag or glove box. Of course, you would only be alerted when a tire drops below a specified pressure, but then you could pull over and retrieve the monitor for additional information.

A well-written and illustrated user guide is included along with cable ties, alcohol wipes, etc.

INSTALLATION

If your motorcycle has rubber valve stems, or even valve stems with rubber mounts, they should be replaced with the steel ones included in the kit. The transmitters are just heavy enough to cause your rubber stems to flex and wear when the bike is being ridden. The transmitters can be mounted inside the tire, or on the outside replacing the valve stem cap. Of course, if you choose to mount them inside your tires, you will need to break down the tire so that you can replace the valve stems and install the transmitters. CAUTION if you use any sort of stop leak gel or liquid in your tires, this could ruin a transmitter. I use DynaBeads in my tires for dynamic balancing, and have never had a problem with the factory TPMS, so I assume there would be no problem with the Doran.

Doran transmitters

Since my 2012 Goldwing has factory TPMS, I already have solid metal 90ยบ valve stems, I was able to simply remove my valve stem caps and screw on the Doran transmitters. Each transmitter has a unique 3-digit number code that must be used when you program the monitor. This is how the Doran monitor is able to distinguish between the front and rear tire.

The first step for me was to decide how and where I was going to mount the monitor. I decided to mount it using 3M hook & loop fastener which is stronger than Velcro and waterproof. Of course, you could use double-sided tape, but that is more permanent. I mounted the Doran monitor to a bracket which I made that mounts to the top of my clutch reservoir. There are plenty of aftermarket brackets that would work perfectly. A less elegant installation would be to simply stick the monitor to your fairing, not my idea of a good install. Another option is to install the monitor inside the glove box and mount the small red remote alert light in plain view. If you are alerted to a low tire, then you could pull over, pull the monitor out of the glove box and see which tire is low.

I wired the Doran monitor to the ACC terminals on my fuse box so that the monitor is only ON when the bike is on or in the ACC mode. There is no need for the monitor to be drawing power when the bike is turned off. I ran the wire along the left side of the bike up through the left glove box then up the left handlebar post to my bracket. I used cable ties to secure the wire to other wires. However, a simple installation could be to wire the monitor to the ACC power under the left glovebox.

Next, I installed the two transmitters on the valve stems. I did not install the remote red alert light for reasons that I will mention later. The monitor includes a red low-tire warning light, so the external warning light is really redundant when you mount the monitor where it is visible. However, if you were to mount the monitor in your trunk, or glove box, then the external lamp would be useful.

A cleaner installation would be to have the sensors installed inside the tires using the provided steel valve stems. However, that would require me to trash my factory TPMS, so the external mounting was my choice. If you do not have a factory TPMS, you could easily have the new valve stems installed with your next tire change and have the sensors mounted inside the tires.

The kit comes with some sensor "locks" which are rings that can be mounted to the valve stems to prevent someone from stealing your sensors.

One more thing to note: the transmitters are heavy enough that I suspect they could throw your wheels out of balance. I use DynaBeads in my tires, so this was not an issue.

Note for trike owners: Doran makes a system specifically for trikes.

PROGRAMMING

The user guide does an excellent job of explaining how to program the monitor, so I will not go into the details here. You basically enter the 3-digit codes for each transmitter so that the monitor knows which tire is the front and which is the rear. Then, you can program the base PSI for each tire. Doran recommends that you use the factory recommended tire pressure, however, I keep my tires at 41/41, so that is what I entered. Whenever the pressure in one of the tires drops by 12% of the base pressure, a red "low tire" light will flash on the monitor. If you connect the remote alert light, it will also flash. In addition, the LCD will display the pressure and which tire is low. Very cool.


CRUISEMAN'S TIP

You can increase the battery life of the sensors (if you mount them externally), by removing them during extended periods when you are not riding your motorcycle. The sensors go into a "sleep" mode when they are not depressing a valve core, this saves battery life!

WHAT I LIKE

  • Very well made
  • Easy to install
  • Monitor lets you see the actual pressure in each tire
  • Monitor alerts you when a tire is too low
  • 2-stage alert system

WHAT I DON'T LIKE

  • Monitor is thick and a little bulky
  • Buttons on monitor are hard to press with gloves on
  • Batteries in transmitters cannot be replaced*
*Doran claims the batteries are expected to last 3 to 4 years.

SUMMARY


The Doran TPMS system is everything the factory TPMS should be. Even if you have a Honda factory TPMS, the Doran is worth the investment. If you do not have factory TPMS, it is a no-brainer.

For more information on the Doran TPMS, go to http://www.doranmfg.com/motorcycle-tire-pressure-monitoring-systems.htm






Monday, February 17, 2014

Elect Me And I Will Lower Your Taxes!

Now that we are coming upon another elections, the lies will begin lying about lowering taxes. Some Republicans in Texas are already touting how they voted for the biggest tax cut in Texas history. Huh? I have lived in Texas for nearly 50 years and my taxes have never gone down. A few years back, when Rick Perry was elected, they voted in some bill that lowered the state property tax rate, but the counties simply re-valued the homes at a higher market value, so the net taxes never decreased. What a scam. These guys talk about wanting to lower taxes, which I agree is necessary to stimulate the economy, but they don't have a clue as to how to replace the lost revenue.

Granted, if taxes are truly reduced, the stimulative effect on the economy would result in more tax revenues down the road. We saw that happen under Reagan in the 1980s. The biggest tax revenue problem we face in the US right now is from outrageously high unemployment. There are fewer people making money from which to take tax dollars. Of course, these unemployed not only use the services of government that the rest of us pay for, they actually drain resources as they collect unemployment, welfare, disability, etc. It is a double-dip, of sorts.

But, there are ways to significantly cut taxes and increase revenues almost immediately, without having to wait for the stimulative effect of lower taxes to take effect. It is something I am surprised no politician has proposed. So, if you elect me as your Mayor, Governor or President, here is what I will do to lower your taxes. I like to call it, "naming rights."

Think of any major sports stadium in the USA. The owners usually use tax revenues through a bond election pay to build the stadium, then end up owning the naming rights, which they sell to a major corporation. There's 3Com Stadium, AT&T Stadium, American Airlines Arena, the list goes on. Corporations are looking for creative ways to extend their brand to consumers. So as your PresGovMayor, I will lower the cost of vehicle registration by giving you the option of having a license plate that bears a corporate logo. I will charge, say McDonalds, $35 per license plate to have their logo, or Ronald Freakin' McDonald printed on your plate. In turn, by having that logo appear on your license plate, I will reduce your cost (your tax) by $30. My county or state nets $5. We will have multiple corporate sponsorships from which to choose, or, you can pay the full price and have no logo. OK, that's one idea.

Next, why don't we sell off the national parks to private industry? Certainly Disney could do a better job of managing Yellowstone than the US Government. I would do a long-term management deal with Disney, Six Flags, you name it, to operate the parks under their brand. They would still remain under the ownership of the US Government, but let private industry run it, and pay for the right.

But, I am just getting started. Your child would not be attending Andrew Jackson High, or Alamo Junior High if I were governor. They would be attending AT&T High School! Why not let corporations pay millions to name a school, then reduce everyone's property taxes accordingly. Even if I did not give up naming rights to the school, I could have a corporate sponsor for the schools and allow them to put their ads for their products all over the school. Even the teachers would wear AT&T logos on their polo shirts. Why not? The kids are being bombarded with advertising anyway. Of course, in a perfect world, the schools would all be privatized anyway.

I will do the same with our roads and bridges. Why not have a section of highway re-named "American Airlines Way" instead of having it named for some crooked-ass politician? You let me do that, and I can further reduce property taxes and gasoline taxes.

You think this is crazy? This country is more than 17 trillion in debt, so their way is not working. Why not give my way a try. I am not only telling you that I will lower your taxes, I am telling you how I am going to do it. When was the last time any politician did that?