Michelin has released a new tire for the side-by-side market that has a pretty unique attribute: it’s airless.
That’s right, the new Michelin X Tweel UTV tires uses no air and was developed for use on light-tactical military vehicles. Michelin says this new tire is ideal for construction, farming, landscaping, mining, logging, parks, hunting and more. The company does list “recreation” as one of the tire’s uses, but its speed rating calls that into question.
The Tweel X is speed-rated at 37 mph at a maximum gross vehicle weight of 2,860 pounds. That’s certainly enough speed to have some fun, but the real trail warriors won’t be interested in running at such a slow pace. Hence the reason this tire is best suited for slow-speed applications where punctures are likely.
Three different hub configurations are available that will fit 4×137 and 4×156 bolt patterns on a variety of machines including the Can-Am Defender, Kawasaki Mule and Polaris Ranger. For now, only one size is available with the Tweel, a 26x9N14. Sizes to fit John Deere, Honda, Argo and Kubota products will be released later.
Michelin’s airless Tweel tires were launched back in 2012 for golf carts and lawnmowers, and now Michelin wants to see how they will perform in the UTV world.
“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 new X Tweel UTV tire is on sale right now online, and Michelin is currently working to expand its footprint into stores that carry aftermarket UTV parts.