One of the coolest things about quads today are the capabilities of the 12V accessory jacks that come on the utility and 4×4 models. With these awesome additions you can now run a whole host of tools and accessories right off the battery of the bike. The most handy tool of them all that benefits from this new feature is a 12V air compressor.
After I got stranded on the trail one time with a left rear flat and had to ride about a mile until I found another rider that had supplies on him to help me out, I decided I was not going to let myself be in that situation again.
When I got home I jumped on the computer and decided I was going to make a trail kit for my Polaris. After doing some digging, reading forums and figuring out what everyone else was putting in their kits I was able to build a nice little custom compact kit that offered real versatility.
My main concern was finding a good 12 volt air compressor, one that didn’t sound like one of those Slime compressors that feels like the piston is going to come through the plastic case. That’s what that guy had on the trail when I got stranded, a junk Slime. He noted it was brand new and I was the first one to use it and when I turned it on it was so loud, it just made this CLACK CLACK CLACK sound the whole time it was running. I told myself, “Make sure not to get this style of compressor”.
To cut to the chase, I found a line of 12V compressors made by Q-Industries. The main reason I liked their compressors is because their made of steel (for the most part, the support legs are plastic). I thought the price point was awesome, at about $35-$40 I figured it was right up my alley.
Q-Industries has a bunch of different models and since I’m just putting 4-6 pounds in an ATV tire I didn’t need a killer setup, plus I wanted something compact to fit in my trail kit. So I chose to go with the HV40A2 model, which is their model for the ATV and motorcycle market.
A couple days later I get the compressor, the first thing I notice about the comporessor when I open the box is how small and compact it is…and I’m man enough to say it…I thought is was as cute as an ATV accessory could get. I was also impressed by it’s build quality, it’s just a stout little compressor and I instantly had faith in it.
Now for the real test, airing up a tire. Just by chance my buddy and I were going riding the next day and this time I was all smiles when he got a flat tire on the trail from a sharp rock (right in the sidewall too). I was going to get to test my new trail kit on the first day out,awesome!
So, I pull out the plug kit, stick a new tire plug in, grab my new little green compressor, plug ‘em into the 12V output, twist on the hose fitting onto the air stem, flip the power switch and away we go!
The little air compressor ran like a champ and it was so quite. You know what it sounds like…just like a 100lb cat purring…just like that! My buddy says, “Wow, that thing works awesome”! It aired up the tire in about 90 seconds and it never missed a beat. I was so happy that it didn’t crap out and it didn’t cost me $150.
So now, after I’ve had it a couple years now, I’ve used it to air up a few car and truck tires, more ATV tires and the biggest test of them all…a 12ft. pop-up pool. My wife thought I was crazy when I brought the little guy out to do such a big job and I told her, “You’ll see, he can do it”. So I hooked up my 12V accessory converter jack to the tractor and plugged in the Q Industry HV40A2 and let it go. I felt so bad putting that little compressor through a test that big and when I felt the body of the compressor after 20 minutes of running it was hotter then a fire cracker, you couldn’t keep your hands on it for more then a half second.
At that point I almost turned it off and then I decided, lets see what it’s got. If I melt it down I’m only out $35, so I let the little guy keep going. In the end that little green beast ran 40 minutes straight and never slowed down, it just sat there and purred like a giant 100lb cat. My wife couldn’t believe it.
So, if I was in the market today for a new 12 volt compressor for my ATV or dirt bike I would definitely be buying another HV40A2. It’s small, tough, quite, and very easy to use.