Michelin Tweel Airless Tires Production Starts, Will Motorcycles Get Them?

So, it begins: Michelin has started the production of their new Tweel airless tires. The Tweels will be produces in a new factory in South Carolina, but so far, the technology is only available for lawn-specific machinery. However, a new direction in motorcycle tire technology has to start with something…
Michelin Tweel 7 photos
Michelin Tweel airless wheelMichelin Tweel airless wheel with a different threadMichelin Tweel airless wheelMichelin Tweel airless wheelMichelin Tweel airless wheelMichelin Tweel airless wheel
Tweel tires unify the rim and the actual tire into a new combo which replaces the traditional tire-wheel-valve assembly. The support air provides in the case of traditional tires now comes from an array of high-strength poly-resin spokes which carry the load.

They also bend when obstacles are encountered, acting as a suspension element damping the force and reducing the bounce effect, as well. Traction, which is essential, is provided by a replaceable rubber layer which is mounted onto the “rim”. When it becomes used excessively or damaged because of strong external forces, it can be easily replaced, minimizing the downtime.

With the lack of an air chamber or mousse, the outer layer is impervious to punctures, as well, extending the use range of the Tweel.
Will motorcycles use Tweels in the future?
Most of us are obviously wondering whether the Tweel airless tires will one day become a reality in the motorcycling world. So far providing an answer is premature and has more to do with Sci-Fi and guessing games, mostly because the forces acting on a motorcycle tire are so much stronger than those a lawnmower tire has to deal with.

Even more, a 4-wheeler has a rather low grip demand compared to what a motorcycle needs when leaning through a curve, accelerating or braking strongly. But (there is always one) the Tweel technology seems to make steady progress and who could tell where will all this lead to in say, 3 or four years.

We are positive that the airless technology will improve as the Tweel-like wheels become more popular. At the same time, materials used for these tires will certainly evolve, so the performance specs of such wheels will be upgraded noticeably. However, the end of air-filled motorcycle wheels still belongs to an yet unfathomable future.

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