Greenville, South Carolina – Michelin North America Inc. has developed a 26-inch version of its non-pneumatic Tweel tire/wheel hybrid for use on ultra-terrain vehicles.
Michelin Tweel Technologies, an MNA division, says the X Tweel UTV is intended for use in debris-laden areas including construction, agriculture, mining, emergency response and park sites.
Originally designed for military special operations use on light-tactical vehicles, the X Tweel UTV 26x9N14 is a single unit that replaces the vehicles' pneumatic tire/wheel/valve assemblies, Michelin said. The Tweel unit also eliminates 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.
Brauen added that the X Tweel UTV is an alternative to pneumatics, providing traction and mobility that he claims the more traditional tires cannot.
Moreover, the flexible poly-resin spoke technology helps dampen the ride for enhanced operator comfort, according to Michelin, which also claims the Tweel design provides lateral stiffness for cornering and side-hill stability.
The X Tweel UTV carries a 37-mph speed rating at a maximum gross vehicle weight of 2,860 pounds. It's available in three hub configurations that will fit 4x137 and 4x156 bolt patterns for a variety of machines, including: BRP Can-Am Defender; Kawasaki Mule; and Polaris Ranger.
Additional hub configurations for John Deere, Honda, Kubota and Argo will be available later in 2018 and 2019, Michelin said.
The tire maker also is exploring new distribution outlets specifically for this application.