TPMS review - Ashwin

Okay. This is going to be a slightly long post. Got a call from CS on 6th Dec asking if I can bring my scooter to IBC Knowledge park on 7th morning to have the TPMS installed. I had no plans and agreed. The CS rep said it would take about 2 hours or so to have it done.

I reached IBC today morning at 10am and waited till 10:40 am for a service tech to book in the vehicle for installation. He said I should have the vehicle by noon or so. (Side note, I think saw @tarun roll in and thought I’d say hi and thank him for the TPMS and chat for a bit but he seemed in a hurry so didn’t bother him). So, I headed out, roamed around a bit and came back at about 1:20 and saw that everyone was at lunch. At 2:45 PM, the service tech came out and told me that my front brake pads were worn out and had to be replaced. I told him to do it. ( I speculate that this was when the wheels were actually removed from the vehicle). After a dozen calls to CS to get my service subscription in order, I finally got my scooter back at about 4:30 PM.

Unfortunately, I was too tired and hungry at that point to notice anything and just wanted to leave and have lunch. It was only after I got home I noticed that my scooter was missing it’s valve caps and the rims were a little beaten up. I didn’t realize I had to give instructions like @Cloudgraphy to the tech to not scratch up my rims :pensive: Looking for some suggestions on how I can correct this. Stickers? (See the torn up portion in the gap on the rear tyre)

P.S. I should thank Melvin, Pragath and Manjunath for sorting stuff out the best they could.

Also, would have liked them to turn the rear wheel’s valve to the other side. The new valve’s are more smug and don’t bend a lot which makes it difficult to fill air using the Mi air compressor.

Now, onto a few things I noticed/ tried out:

  1. Left IBC with F30 R32. Came home with F31 R32.
  2. I wanted to try releasing air from the tyre to check the notification alerts. So, released air from the front till 2 Psi and almost immediately got a notification on my phone. Only problem was, I can’t get the notification on my lock screen. (I think that’s a me problem and not Ather’s, will try to sort it out).

3)While refilling the front tyre, I momentarily kept turning the bluetooth on the scooter on and off to see how fast the response is. It’s almost instant. by the time you turn the bluetooth on and go to check the pressure on the screen, it’s updated. Cool stuff. However, the response on my mobile wasn’t as quick. The updated tyre pressure still shows 2 Psi even after 20 minutes. (odd)

4)I tried the 3rd step while my scooter was charging. when I went to take it off charge, it got stuck on the charge screen. Do not know if this was because of the TPMS. Did a reset and it went back to normal.

Questions /Feedback:

  1. What is the effect on the battery life of the scooter due to the TPMS. Does the scooter force a sync to the cloud only when tyre pressure reduces? (This could explain why the pressure didn’t update when I refilled it moments later). Does it update new (increased pressure) values only during the 15 minute sync ( that was done in the previous update to save power)?

  2. What version of bluetooth does the TPMS use? can you still be connected to a headphone playing music and still receive alerts from the TPMS?

  3. Why didn’t I get pickup and drop or the instruction manual? :neutral_face: @abhishek.balaji

  4. What are the dimensions of the TPMS? Could you share an image that shows us how it is actually placed inside the rim? (I assume it’s like the conventional ones that are attached to the valve)

  5. Theoretically how big a nail would you need to damage it? ( if there is actually a puncture, the guys repairing it use a long corkscrew type of thing to repair the puncture. Would a mushroom patch used to repair a puncher damage it or affect it in any way?

  6. I think the wording on the app can be a bit better. It says “optimum” for both sets of pressures. The ideal ones ( 32R and 30F) and if you have something near to it as well. A little confusing.

There are a few bugs.

This image makes my case. You can see even 0 psi says “optimum”

All in all, bad experience, but I think a good product that Ather has come up with.

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After some more testing, I can say that the TPMS is not very accurate. I took a high speed ride yesterday night and today morning and I got high pressure warnings on my rear tyres.

When I started the ride, it was at optimal levels, by the end, it was high. It happened both times. I suspect heat is the problem. The sensors probably aren’t working well under heat or stress or maybe I got a bad piece. Would love some feedback on this.

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In this case the TPMS is likely more correct since it’s an internal device. External device (like the MI here) are generally less accurate than internal ones.

High speed ridings and elevated temps won’t damage the TPMS itself - it’s tested in 50 degrees ambient. This could be a notification error.

In general we have seen a 10 degrees rise leading to a 3-4 psi increase that takes a while to settle back. Tagging @vignesh.reviraj1 who’s worked on the TPMS as the product manager here.

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Hi Mani, As Tarun mentioned, the internal TPMS readings are more accurate as they take into account the changes in pressure of air inside the tyre due to temperature, weight, etc more accurately than an external TPMS can.

The air inside the tyre heats up during driving and that increases the tyre pressure inside, which is captured by the TPMS. This shows up in our internal test data:

We do not correct for the temperature (it is possible though) as the hazardous conditions for tyres are specified for all conditions of riding, so it is expected behaviour that the PSI readings go up during spirited riding.

Based on the feedback from Beta, we are working on the notification thresholds to avoid nuisance warnings which come even when the tyres are filled to optimum pressures.

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That makes sense. It’s been about 30 minutes since my ride and the values have come down about 3 psi since. Was the same yesterday as well. A suggestion would be to block notifications to my phone for increasing tyre pressures during rides. It is highly unlikely (probably impossible) that tyre pressure would increase during a ride, so you could make the argument that that specific notification is false anyway.

Makes sense. Thank you for the explanation and the graphs.

I had assumed you had accounted for the temperature changes along with everything else when I had said that the TPMS isn’t accurate. My apologies.

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In my experience, when I had external TPMS sensors installed on my car, the reading use to fluctuate according to the way the car used to be driven, temperature, day/night and +/- 2 psi always to be kept in mind.
Maybe that’s the reason I find the Ather’s TPMS within standards. Till now I haven’t come across a TPMS which gives static readings. If it does, the Sensors aren’t picking up the pressure correctly IMO.

As told by

When observed, even any car manual instructs to fill the tyres at the beginning of the drive -

tyre pressure (cold) - 33 psi.

Filling air in a car after driving around at 80 kmph… would show higher readings.This could be worked upon, incase warp mode makes things a bit warm, which is normal.

There’s a catch to this. Few years ago, everyone on Delhi/ Agra route, used to fill normal air in their tyres, and while driving on concrete roads, the tyres would heat up way beyond what the tyre is rated for. Thus leading to tyre bursts at high speeds. Since then, people started filling Nitrogen in their tyres, when they had to do long drives on the Yamuna Expressway.

Tyres key to safe driving on Yamuna Expressway - The Economic Times (indiatimes.com)

Now Bangalore, as we know, doesn’t touch that high in summers, but the TPMS is going to be implemented all over India, so it makes sense to leave this notification.

Although that raises the question, would the readings be more static incase of filling nitrogen? @abhishek.balaji

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True, me neither. Which is why when I heard Ather got their TPMS, I assumed it would be some sort of smart device :joy::stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

I was thinking of the exact same thing when I was writing the post because my old car’s tyre burst in the same way but the problem is too many false notifications could spoil the idea. If an average user uses the ring roads or any white topped road in the city, they’re highly likely to get a few warnings of high pressure. Now, if you’re like me, after the first few warnings, you might start ignoring these warnings all together because they’re frankly annoying, your tyres are quite new & you know they’re fine and unfortunately down the line when the time comes when the pressure is too great and the tyre actually bursts, you’re left hanging. It’s like the story of the boy who cries wolf too many times. I honestly don’t see new tyres on the Ather bursting on long rides as well because we have only a limited range and speed.

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I tried this. The valve was very close to the braking system. We all realised it and got it corrected to the previous position pointing to left towards Saree Gaurd.

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My review of the Ather TPMS: (will update in the fullness of time)

The TPMS has saved my butt a couple of times. I don’t have a fixed commute (other than the gym and back home) so I’m a very unplanned rider and the TPMS works really well for this sort of situation. I can recollect 2 instances where I got immediate notifications of punctures. In one of those instances, I got low pressure warnings at night while I was sleeping and as soon as I woke up in the morning, I had the time to take care of it. What I like better is Ather actually improving it with feedback. There was n issue with constant notifications. It’s fixed now!

The UI is really good. Quite intuitive, I love that I can see the levels on my phone or on the dashboard. I can say that my efficiency numbers have improved a bit because I maintain the pressures properly now.

If you’re looking for a TPMS I would definitely recommend Ather’s. I believe this is their first accessory and I’m glad they didn’t rush to get it done. They took their time and made it well.

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