For some, half the fun of motorcycles is wrenching on them, and for those who like to turn some spanners, having the assistance of pressurized air sweetens the deal even more. Let’s face it, who doesn’t like the sound of pneumatic tools?! Here we’ve gathered a list of the best motorcycle air compressors, as rated by the hundreds, if not thousands of, reviews on Amazon. And because an air compressor can be something as simple as a device to inflate some tires (or a beach ball), we’ve included a few of those in here as well. Clearly the list of compressors one can buy is far more expansive than what we have here, but we had to draw the line somewhere. Below you’ll find our choices, with the least expensive first. And remember, should you buy any of the compressors below, MO gets a kickback which allows us to keep making the motorcycle content you really came here for.
The least expensive compressor on this list, the EP Auto air compressor is the one you turn to when you need to inflate balls, pools, or tires in a pinch. The 12v adaptor is convenient as it lets you plug directly into the cigarette lighter and/or 12v socket of your vehicle. And while it’s capable of inflating tires for many vehicles up to a midsize SUV, trying to pump a truck tire will likely overwork the little motor inside. Included in the packaging you’ll find a presta valve for bicycles, an air inflator needle and a plastic tapered nozzle. It’s compact at 6″x5″x2.15″ for Easy Storage.
With nearly 11,000 reviews on Amazon – 74% of them being five-star reviews – this portable air pump from EPAuto comes in at twice the price as its sibling above, but packs some handy features. Its most useful feature is the ability to preset the desired air pressure you want the pump to inflate your tire to via the + and – buttons on the digital display. The pump will automatically stop once the desired pressure is reached (though we recommend double checking with a trusted air pressure gauge).
As for the rest of the pump, it has many of the same features as its sibling. It plugs directly into a 12v outlet, it’s small and lightweight, and comes with the adaptors you see in the image above. There’s even a flashlight built-in in case you need to do some emergency inflating at night.
A pistol grip pump is useful in many ways since it’s easily transportable, compact, and produces significant amounts of air. The Ryobi Portable Power Inflator runs on the power sources used in Ryobi’s ONE+ battery system, so it’s compatible with other tools running the same battery. The P737 is smaller than most inflators, boasting an ergonomic pistol grip handle for easy use and transport. The Ryobi P737 boasts two high-pressure nozzles, a sports equipment needle, and an onboard pressure gauge.
The Jethax portable air pump packs a lot of pumping power into a small box. It’s also a really-well received little inflator, judging by the 87% five-star rating on Amazon from 799 reviews (at the time of this writing). The Jethax plugs into 12V power and can inflate up to 150psi. They even claim it can inflate a car tire from 0 to 35psi in under four minutes. Sweetening the deal further is the auto shut off feature, allowing you to set the air pressure you want and walk away – the Jethax will stop pumping once the pressure is reached. The digital screen is easy to read and the LED lighting helps you see your tire valve at night if you have an emergency. Included with the pump are a 10-foot hose, along with inflators for balloons, balls, and beds. An extra fuse is also thrown in.
Now we delve into the other kind of air compressor – the kinds with real motors and storage tanks. More than capable of inflating a tire (unless you’re installing a new tire and need to set the bead), they can also power pneumatic tools. We start with this unit from Campbell Hausfeld. Featuring a three-gallon horizontal tank with an output of 0.36 CFM at 90 PSI, its 110 max psi provides plenty of power to tackle DIY projects. It operates on a 120-volt house outlet. An oil-less pump means no maintenance, too. It also comes with a 10 piece accessory kit which includes a coiled hose, blow gun, inflation needles and fittings. Big white-face gauges are easy to read and its compact design makes it easily portable.
Pancake compressors are nice because of their compact size, and this Porter-Cable six-gallon unit seems to be especially popular based on its average of 4.5 stars out of nearly 3,000 reviews on Amazon. Its 150psi max tank pressure stores more air in the tank for longer tool run times, and its flow rate of 2.6 SCFM at 90 psi allows for quick compressor recovery time. The six-gallon pancake-style tank offers stability and includes a water drain valve and rubber feet to keep the tank dry and firmly planted on the ground. The low-amp 120-volt motor starts easily and the durable oil-free pump promises long life and no maintenance.
The Viair automatic portable compressor kit is completely overkill as it’s meant to handle RV tires, but it’s also here because some people take their motorcycles on the back of their RVs to go riding. While some of the smaller pumps on this list need to be shut off between fill-ups, the Viair automatically shuts off when you release the trigger handle of the gas station-style handle. The long hoses (60 feet total) make reaching your bike from the RV’s power source much easier too, while the vibration-resistant diamond-plate sand tray reduces the chance of the compressor walking itself out of sight. A 90-degree twist-on chuck makes taking attachments on and off easy, and the heavy duty carrying bag keeps everything secure during transport.
One of the best-known names in power tools, Makita makes quality stuff. The MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5hp air compressor is next in line. The cast iron pump with Big Bore cylinder and piston is engineered to provide faster recovery time for improved performance. A low amp draw reduces incidences of tripped breakers at startup. The 4.2 gallon twin stacked tank sustains an operating pressure of 130 PSI, and delivers 40 PSI (4.8 CFM) and 90 PSI (4.2 CFM), enough for two nailers. The pump is oil lubricated for cooler running temperatures and reduced wear with a built-in thermal overload for additional motor protection. Roll cage construction provides complete protection to withstand extreme jobsite environments, while a lever handle ball valve tank drain improves upon standard petcock design for easier maintenance. Emitting a low 79 decibels, the Big Bore compressor is also surprisingly quiet.
When it’s time to get serious, turn to the DeWalt 60-gallon 5hp two-stage air compressor. Industrial strength performance delivers a maximum CFM of 175psi, providing enough power to operate more than one air tool at one time. The patented pump design provides for a cooler running pump. Other features include an industrial style air intake filter, easily accessible oil level sight glass and oil drain with four-inch extension.
The large capacity, 60 gallon tank has a ¾-inch air outlet port. Total amperage is 22 amps. Finally, the compressor is equipped with a tank pressure gauge, an on/off switch, and a wire form belt guard, improving compressor cooling.
We are committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using the retail links in our product reviews. Learn more about how this works.