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Polaris makes air-less tyres commercially available internationally

Team OD  | Updated: November 19, 2013, 11:17 AM IST

The concept of Non Pneumatic Tyres (NPT) has been around for quite a while but the technology is prohibitively expensive and manufacturing is difficult. NPTs essentially run airless and have an internal structure that supports the tyre and flexes to accommodate for discrepancies in the road surface. We'd like to think they are the future and Polaris has taken a step towards that direction with the new Sportsman WV850 H.O with 'Terrain Armor' NPTs. NPTs have been used in military action before but this is the first time they will be available on an ATV that is available for anyone to buy. The WV850 is actually based on Polaris' military offering the MV800.

The Sportsman WV850 is the first commercially sold vehicle available with non pneumatic tyresThe Sportsman WV850 is the first commercially sold vehicle available with non pneumatic tyres

Polaris started offering NPTs as an option on their military vehicles earlier this year. The company has tested them under extreme conditions including firing them with a 50-cal round and then driving 560km. The company even impaled the tread and webbing with a 3-inch railroad spike and proceeded to drive a massive 1600km without a problem. Polaris claims that you can now drive without any worry of cuts, tears, flats that are normally associated with off-roading.

Polaris' 'Terrain Armor' tyres don't require air and cannot be punctured, ripped or tornPolaris' 'Terrain Armor' tyres don't require air and cannot be punctured, ripped or torn

The W850 itself isn't a military vehicle but aimed at those looking for the hardest of hardcore workhorses. It can carry 272kg of cargo and tow up to 680kgs. It even features a heavy duty 1588kg winch for getting out of extreme situations. This Sportsman packs a massive 45-litre fuel tank, a single speed transmission and a steel exoskeleton. Polaris claims they will sell the Sportsman WV850 in 'very small quantities' but are working on bringing 'Terrain Armor' to more and more applications. Off-course this is a slow speed application and it will be some time before we see similar technology in a higher speed application. Nevertheless, this is still a big step towards a puncture free future.

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