It’s not easy reinventing the wheel, but Michelin is up for the challenge.
Michelin Tweel Technologies, a division of Michelin North America, has launched a new 26-inch airless radial tire with a four-bolt wheel-pattern hub designed for use on UTVs that is initially available only in the aftermarket.
Originally designed for military special operations use on light-tactical vehicles, the Michelin X TWEEL UTV 26x9N14 airless radial tire is a single unit that replaces the current air-filled 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.
“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.”
The X TWEEL UTV is designed for use on construction, farm, landscape, recreation, quarry, mine, emergency service response, logging, parks, hunting, military operations, universities, beach patrol, camping, hurricane/tornado and other debris-laden areas where flat tires cause serious and extreme interruptions.
When encountering obstacles, the Michelin X TWEEL UTV product is designed to perform like a pneumatic radial tire, but with the durability and high damage resistance of an airless tire.
“The advanced spoke technology helps dampen the ride for enhanced operator comfort, while providing outstanding lateral stiffness for excellent cornering and side-hill stability,” Michelin reports in its press release. “In addition, the low-pressure contact helps provides outstanding off-road traction performance. The X TWEEL UTV offers quiet performance, energy-efficiency over tracks and robust design to eliminate downtime.”
With a 37-mph speed rating at a maximum gross vehicle weight of 2,860 pounds, the Michelin X TWEEL UTV is available now for online sale or through the Michelin TWEEL dealer network. Users may choose from three hub configurations that will fit 4×137 and 4×156 bolt patterns for a variety of machines, including:
- BRP Can-Am Defender
- Kawasaki Mule
- Polaris Ranger
Additional hub configurations for John Deere, Honda, Kubota and Argo will be available later in 2018 and 2019. New distribution outlets are currently being explored.
Commercially launched in 2012 with the Michelin X TWEEL SSL, the expanding Michelin X TWEEL product line includes airless-radial tires for skid steers, zero-turn mowers, stand-on mowers and golf carts. Michelin is the only manufacturer of airless radial tires and has been the recipient of multiple recognitions for the X TWEEL products in recent years.