We have reported on Polaris and their airless tire development efforts several times over the past year. Last time the news from Polaris was that they intended to commercialize their distinctively honeycomb shaped tires in early 2014.
The great news is that Polaris now announced the launch of their new all-terrain vehicle, the Sportsman WV850 H.O., which is featuring airless tires. The airless tires themselves have been branded TerrainArmor.
Earlier this year, Polaris Defense (a division of Polaris Industries Inc.) started offering non-pneumatic tires as an option on military vehicles. The non-pneumatic tires obviously have great appeal in the military context given that they never go flat. Polaris ran a series of extreme tests including firing 50-cal rounds at the tires and then driving them for 350 miles/563 kilometers.
Building on the success of the airless tires in military applications Polaris will now put this technology to work for consumer applications. David Longren, vice president of the Polaris Off-Road Division said: „We have seen great success with airless tires in military and disaster relief scenarios and are excited to bring this technology to the consumer market for extreme work applications“.
Accordingly, the Sportsman WV850 H.O. is a sturdy workhorse, ideal for extended hunting trips or heavy duty use on work sites. In addition to the never-flat TerrainArmor tires it sports the following features:
- A military-grade fully automatic single-speed transmission including forward and reverse gears.
- An upgraded shock package that offers superior handling under heavy load or while traversing rugged landscape.
- An increased cooling capacity for long days and high temperatures.
- Steel racks capable of carrying 600 lbs/272 kgs of cargo.
- A 2 in/5.1 cm receiver hitch that can tow 1,500lbs/680kgs.
- A standard 3,500 lb winch for confidence in extreme settings.
- An unmatched 11.75 gal/44.48 liter fuel capacity to work longer between fills.
- Standard Electronic Power Steering (EPS) to reduce fatigue and terrain feedback.
According to Polaris, the Sportsman ATV will be available in early December 2013 but this only in very limited quantities. Prices start at $15,000.
These are obviously exciting times for those of us interested in airless tires. However, we’ll have to wait a bit longer to find out whether Polaris will offer the TerrainArmor tires in the after-market and what the price of a set of tires will be.
What do you think of the TerrainArmor tires? As an ATV enthusiast do you consider buying a set of airless tires?
For more information, visit: www.terrainarmor.com