Michelin has introduced a 26in model of its ‘Tweel’ airless tire with a four-bolt hub for use on UTVs. The Michelin X Tweel UTV 26x9N14 airless radial tire is a single unit that replaces the current pneumatic tire/wheel/valve assembly. Once bolted on, there is no air pressure to maintain, thus eliminating the need to carry spare tires, tools or repair kits.
The Tweel UTV is rated for 60km/h and 1,300kg and is available with 4×137 and 4×156 bolt patterns, making them suitable for machines such as the BRP Can-Am Defender, Kawasaki Mule and Polaris Ranger. Additional hub configurations for John Deere, Honda, Kubota and Argo are planned for later this year and next year. The 4x156mm version for UTVs and ATVs is currently priced at US$750.
“UTV users operate these machines in arduous environments and extreme conditions where vehicles are exposed to rugged roads, jagged terrain and other hostile elements,” said Olivier Brauen, vice president of Michelin Tweel Technologies. “The Michelin X Tweel UTV airless radial tire is a solution that will provide unmatched traction and uninterrupted vehicle mobility during long journeys or in remote areas where a flat tire can be problematic.”
Commercially launched in 2012 with the Michelin X Tweel SSL, the Tweel product line includes airless radial tires for skid steers, zero-turn mowers, stand-on mowers and golf carts. Testing has been performed for higher-speed, on-road applications, but the technology has so far only proven suitable for low-speed, off-road use.