PRODUCT TEST: Power Tank / Motopump
It’s no secret that the UTV market is hot right now. What’s equally as hot is the tire market for these new fun machines. Even though the tire companies are figuring this new market out by building specific, stronger UTV tires, none of them are totally bulletproof. So until they are, you should still carry a spare or some way to repair a damaged tire every time you hit the trails that take you far away from the truck. This month we are going to look at two new products that can both rescue you from being stranded with a flat: Motopumps and Power Tank.
The Mini Pro inflator by Motopumps is a traditional 12-volt power air compressor that is basically powered by your ATV’s battery and will air up any tire. What attracted us to the Motopumps is its compact size and functionality. The pump itself measures about 5 by 5 inches and is 2 inches thick. The 3.5-foot coiled air hose and the 6.5-foot power supply cord tuck in cavities within that frame, not taking up any extra room. For $79, the pump does come in a small, padded storage bag with extra room to carry tire plugs, tools and glue.
To power the pump, you can use a standard cigarette-lighter- style plug, alligator clips direct to the battery or hard-wire it with a quick disconnect to the battery. When tire inflation is needed, you take the coiled hose and screw the no-loss end to your valve stem and turn it on. The box itself comes with a backlit pressure gauge that reads up to 50 pounds and has a separate work light.
We love that the compact size of the Motopumps makes it so convenient. We have been taking it on every UTV and utility ATV test ride. It easily fits under the seat or in every UTV glovebox with ease. Most utility ATV storage boxes can handle it as well. In cases where it didn’t fit, it could easily be stowed in a backpack or hydration pack. It only weighs 2 pounds. Reliability has not been an issue with this product. We have filled up quad, bicycle and even truck tires with great success. It can fill up a standard 25×10-inch-tall rear utility tire up to 5 pounds in under two minutes. For a larger, 30-inch UTV tire needing 20 pounds, the air-up time triples.
Stowaway time takes about 30 seconds, and paying the extra $10 for the padded caring case helps keep it and your tire plugs all in one place. The $70 price (without the bag) is about $20–$30 more than similar pumps from Slime, the auto parts store or Walmart, but the ease of use and the Motopumps’ compact size and capabilities are well worth it. Contact Motopumps at (607) 533-9985 or online at www.motopumps.com.
This company has all kinds of CO2 refill systems, for everything from tires to nail guns. For UTVs and ATVs, Power Tank offers the compact Power Shot Trigger System. At $169, the small, 20-ounce CO2 tank is about the same size as a small automotive fire extinguisher. This makeup is what attracted us to the product. We wanted something we could mount on our UTV (next to the fire extinguisher) in case we needed to fix a flat on the trail. On the RZR we have been racing in a local desert series, we needed an inflation system that would work quickly, and the Power Trigger does just that. For an extra $40, you can buy the stainless steel Super Bracket mount that allows you to bolt the tank inside the vehicle somewhere and quickly access it using a thumb-screw-equipped hose clamp. On the RZR we mounted the clamp and holder inside the cargo bed underneath the shock reservoir. This worked, but a quick-release fire extinguisher mount would have been our ideal mounting method. Roll bar mounts are an extra $60.
When it comes time to use the Power Trigger, you have to pull the trigger, handle and hose unit out of a bag and screw it on the CO2 bottle and you’re ready to go. The CO2 bottle actually holds 3000 pounds of pressure. So when you do fill up a tire, it only takes a handful of seconds. On a 25×10 rear utility ATV tire, you can air it up to 5 pounds in under five seconds. That’s quicker than using a big shop air compressor. For the larger 30-inch UTV tires, which we run at 20 pounds, air-up time is about 10 seconds. Power Tank claims this small 20-ounce unit can fill up around five car or SUV tires. Power Tank sells bottles over 15 pounds in case you have a shop full of tires you want to fill. Using the 20-ounce tank, we were able to fill up 20 ATV tires to 5 psi and 10 UTV tires up to 15 psi before it was time to refill the bottle. Refills can be done at any place that refills scuba tanks or offers paintball supplies. Supply houses that deal in welding supplies and restaurant CO2 systems should be able to fill the tank as well. Power Tank does sell a refill kit as well that lets you fill smaller bottles from one big one. We get our CO2 bottles filled at Sport Chalet; they charge $5 for the service.
The Power Trigger System costs a little more up front and a couple bucks possibly every few times you use it, but the quickness of the system can’t be beat. For making tire repairs in a hurry or just topping off a low tire, we have never used something so fast. If you have the need for speed as we do, contact Power Tank at www.powertank.com or (209) 366-2163.