You may remember a few years ago, a viral video went around showing off an airless radial tire. Many people were fascinated with the video, thinking this new tire technology would soon be found on road-going vehicles, but it never happened. Michelin Tweel Technologies, a division of Michelin North America, Inc., is bringing this idea to the UTV and ATV market with their new Michelin X Tweel UTV 26x9N14 airless radial tire.
Airless radial tires were initially designed for “lightweight” military vehicles such as the HUMVEE. With an airless tire, there is less of a chance of a mission being comprised due to a wheel-related failure, such a tire being blown up. In the real world, you’re unlikely to see this tire technology used by the military due to cost, but it is a very cool concept. Michelin continues to grow their X Tweel lineup of tires, and with the launch of the 26x9N14, now UTV and ATV owners can enjoy the benefits of this style of tire.
No one likes working on their ATV or UTV; you would much rather be out having fun with it. With an airless radial tire, there is less downtime, as you won’t be dealing with flat tires anymore. This style of tire is also pretty flexible when crawling on something like a log, which means you no longer need to “air-down” to have maximum traction while crawling obstacles; it just works.
Luckily, high-speed stability and maneuverability aren’t compromised, so you can still put the pedal down in whoops sections and rip through corners without worry. The four-bolt wheel-pattern hub designed for use on UTVs will initially be sold as a fitment for the replacement market, not as an over-sized fitment tire.