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Just a quick question to find out if I should go by the tire pressure on my tires or in the manual?
My tires say 42 psi front and back but manual says 36 or 38, cant remember which.
 

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42 it the tire's max psi. typically you will want to run around 36 for normal everyday riding. some brands like a little bit less. this is something you can experiment with. it's not something set in stone.
I typically run 35 even for spirited canyon carving. if I was going to go to the track I'd drop it down to 30 or 31 cold and test from there.

to answer your question 35 to 36 will give you decent grip once the tire is warm and decent tire life. the lower the psi the more grip but less tire life. two up riding air it up to 38 to 40
 

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Why yes I don't!!!!!!!!!!
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What you need to do first is have a bench marked gauge on which to base your pressures on. Say you buy some $15 unit at the autoparts store that reads upto 60 psi. Which should be fairly accurate for pressures from 25-40 psi. But unless you bench mark... say at a local tire shop...you wont know how accurate the gauge is. Which is kind of important.
From my experience... those stick type are pretty good. Problem is the valve stem on most bikes points the wrong way to get a good reading from the pencil type.

Nothing wrong with a gauge that reads high or low... just as long as you factor that into your readings. Like my buddy that refused to spend more than $5 for a gauge til he used my expensive calibrated one...that showed his readings to be 5 lbs off. The cheep basturd actually threw his gauge away in an emotional fit...lol. I put it in my spares box with a -5 marking on it...lol

Also measuring the pressures cold is only part of the equation. If you measure the front and its 40psi in the morning... then grows to 45psi during the day... you must be an absolute animal on the brakes or its really hot outside. Usually the front will only increase a lb or 2 depending on temp and riding style. The rear will heat (and grow) upwards of 5-7 psi.

30psi...even for aggressive street riding seems abit low. Even moreso if you have the stones to grab the binders hard. What happens with low pressure in the front and alot of brake forces? You fold the tire over.
 
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