Let’s face it – tyre valve caps are hardly the most enthralling aspect of your motorcycling enjoyment.
However, they are useful, helping to minimise air leakage and protect the valve itself from damage or debris that might affect its operation and in the worst case, cause a loss of air pressure.
Almost all bikes will come with standard, mass-produced plastic valve caps but there are plenty of ways to add a little bling or functionality to your tyres if you want to stand out a little or just lighten up a boring element of your bike.
Some of these options also do a practical job of making your valve stem easier to access or even warning you if your tyre pressure is wrong.
One word of caution though – if you fit metal caps to your valves, probably in aluminium, then make sure you add a little grease to the stem threads, otherwise the caps can corrode and become extremely difficult to get off in case you need to add air.
Here are a few of the ways you can update your tyres.
You get eight aluminium valve caps in this package for £5 so you can cover off a range of bikes, as well as your car if you want some consistency. They are formed with a hexagonal profile that a 10mm socket will fit and include an internal a rubber o-ring to prevent air leakage.
They are available in a range of colours – nine in total – including gloss and matt black and bright silver. They will need some grease on the threads to prevent the aluminium corroding and seizing on the valve stem.
Bike It Pressure Alert
Thereu2019s definite functionality to these valve caps from Bike It. They indicate the pressure within the tyre and will alert the rider of a drop in pressure. There are four versions available with a minimum pressure which you choose to suit your bike (28psi, 30psi, 34psi, 40psi) and as long as the pressure is at or above that value, a green ring will show.
However, should the pressure drop, then the red ring will show, warning the rider to top-up the pressures. Available individually to cater for different-pressured front and rear tyres.
Marcraft Black Bullet
These rounded aluminium caps have knurled rings so they are easy to fit by hand and have a rounded, domed head reminiscent of the nose of a bullet. They feature a rubber sealing ring inside to prevent air leakage and will add a degree of subtle styling and individuality to any kind of bike.
They will need a little grease adding to the threads to prevent them seizing to the valve stem and come in a pack of four, allowing you to cover two bikes or keep a couple spare in case you lose one.
Everyone loves an eight-ball in the motorcycling and motoring worlds and who wouldnu2019t love a pair of valve caps featuring the last ball on the pool table? These from British manufacturer Oxford are machined from billet alloy and anodised black with the familiar u20188u2019 on display.
They feature an internal rubber o-ring to stop air leaking out and are easily applied by hand. They would love great on a scooter but equally, on a larger motorcycle of any style.
They may not be to everyoneu2019s taste, but these replica grenade caps may well suit a rat bike, a custom or a chopper, where something other than a simple plastic or alloy valve cap is needed.
The body of the cap is made in aluminium, so grease is needed on the threads, with plastic detailing at the top. The bright red body is machined though to provide some relief and create a familiar design.
Bike It Anodised Valve
While not strictly a valve cap u2013 it includes one though fitted to the full valve u2013 these valves from Bike It are anodised in one of three colours and come with a matching domed cap, for some colour to your wheel when you need to replace a valve or a tyre. They are designed for wheel using tubeless tyres and have an 8mm thread and will brighten up any rims.
Bolatus 90-degree Adapters
Again not strictly a valve cap though these adapters do fit to the top of the valve stem and turn it through 90 degrees which, in some cases, makes it an awful lot easier to get a pressure gauge or an inflator adapter onto.
The valve ‘stem’ is made in brass with nickel-plated caps and the company also produces versions with different angles – 45° and 135° as well as these 90° examples. If you’ve ever struggled with getting an inflator onto a straight-up valve, these could make a big difference.
Bike It Chrome Bullet
These high-gloss chrome-plated caps from Bike It are bullet-shaped and will look great on a street bike or something wearing a hefty dose of chrome already. They are easy to fit by hand and should sit flush with the neck of the valve stem, giving a subtle yet effective look and feel to the bike overall. A light covering of anti-corrosion spray will help keep the chrome looking good through winter and into spring.
Another set designed primarily for cars u2013 they come in a four-pack u2013 these can equally be used on two bikes or with a couple as spares. The caps screw onto the valve stem like all others but feature a small LED at the end of each which illuminates as the wheel rotates, creating a ring of light within the wheel.
Again, this may not be to all tastes but for 1980s sci-fi fans, the possibility of releasing their inner Tron light-cycle riders could be too much to resist.
Do ya feel lucky? Well, do ya? These dice caps wonu2019t help you make any decisions or win you a fortune at craps, but they will add a little cool to your ride and help prevent air leakage, due to the internal o-ring and damage from debris on the road.
They are machined from anodised alloy, so remember the grease, and will suit all sorts of bikes, from scooters to customs.