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Polaris' military-grade WV850 HO ATV rolls on non-pneumatic tires

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November 19, 2013

The WV80 HO is uses Non-Pneumatic Tires

The WV80 HO is uses Non-Pneumatic Tires

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There’s nothing that ruins going to work like having your tires shot out with a .50 caliber machine gun round. If that happens to you a lot, and your commute is across open fields and through the woods, you might want to consider the Polaris Sportsman WV850 HO with Terrain Armor. This military-grade All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) abandons traditional inflatable tires for Non-Pneumatic Tires (NPT) that feature a flexible polymer honeycomb.

Airless tires have been around in one form or another for a long time. The US military already uses them, the Apollo astronauts rode on them in their Lunar Rovers, some wheelchairs and special security vehicles have them, and they’re positively ancient when you consider that horse-drawn carts have run on iron tires for centuries.

According to the Minneapolis-based Polaris, its Polaris Defense division began offering its NPT tires to the US military as an optional extra this year. What is new with the WV850 HO is that the technology originally developed so that a Humvee could make it back to base after taking an AK47 burst in the wheels is now moving into the civilian market.

The NPT uses a polymer honeycomb instead of air

“In early, 2013, Polaris announced we’d launch the NPT technology on an off-road vehicle built for consumers,” said David Longren, vice president of Polaris’ Off-Road Division. “We have seen great success with NPTs in military and disaster relief scenarios and are excited to bring this technology to the consumer market for extreme work applications.”

NPTs have a number of advantages over inflatable tires. For one thing, they never go flat, don’t suffer from punctures, cuts, slashes, or outright bursting. This not only means not having to change tires unless one is almost destroyed, but that a spare no longer needs to be carried.

To prove how rugged its NPTs are, Polaris subjected them to fire from .50 caliber, M4, and AK47 rounds, then used them in logging over a distance of 350 mi (563 km), Then they drove a 3-in (7,6 -cm) railway spike into one and drove it 1,000 mi (1609 km). According to the company, the NPT also has a better center-of-gravity and takes corners better than conventional tires.

The WV80 HO has a military grade chassis

But the NPTs aren’t the only military-grade thing about the WV80. The 0.85-liter, 77-bhp, 4-stroke SOHC, twin-cylinder engine with electronic fuel injection has a high-capacity liquid cooling system that feeds into a military-grade automatic, single gear transmission with all-wheel drive and automatic descent control for going downhill. The shift lever lock, underbody skid-plate, push bumper, foot wells, chassis, and full-body steel exoskeleton are all military based.

With a dry weight of 1,114 lb (505.2 kg), the WV80 has dual A-arm front and rear suspension with heavy-duty shocks and single-lever, and 4-wheel hydraulic front and rear disc brakes with a hydraulic rear foot-brake. It can carry 850 lb (385.5 kg) and tow 1,500 lb (680.4 kg). Electronic power steering is standard and fuel capacity is 11.75 gal (44.48 L).

The WV80 HO with NPTs goes on sale in December in very limited numbers.

Source: Polaris

About the Author
David Szondy David Szondy is a freelance writer based in Monroe, Washington. An award-winning playwright, he has contributed to Charged and iQ magazine and is the author of the website Tales of Future Past.   All articles by David Szondy
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17 Comments

The WV80 HO with NPTs goes on sale in December in very limited numbers for the price of $Aahhhhrrrrggggg .......

Simon Sammut
19th November, 2013 @ 06:17 pm PST

Better COG? wuh?

Or are they saying they're heavy as hell so lower the overall COG of the entire vehicle.

Craig Jennings
19th November, 2013 @ 08:01 pm PST

Never mind the WV80 HO, when/where can I get NPT's for my car?!

Timmah!
19th November, 2013 @ 09:12 pm PST

Looks great! Really good to see these tyres coming into the civilian market. Another example of military tech trickling down to the civvies!

mooseman
19th November, 2013 @ 09:35 pm PST

While brilliant for its rugged characteristics, this wheel design is very noisy at speed. They were working on making the wheel more quiet as it proved undesirable for road going vehicles (at initial time of release).

But in this ATV the combustion engine would be loud enough. If for stealth reasons they went electric, the atv would need to keep its speed low.

Also, 100 rounds into the wheels may not make much difference, but one into the engine block might. Similarly, focus more effort on shrouding the engine so its not a magnet for RPGs,

PS - The sales guy might pull the wool over Defence office guy that authorizes funds, but the average farmer would immediately see this as a normal ATV with garnish and special wheels.

Nairda
19th November, 2013 @ 09:45 pm PST

What I would like to know is how smooth is the ride on a normal road and how fast can we ride on them?

The rim of the tier look rather thick and hard so how will it handle bumps in the road when you travel with a speed of let's say 120km/h on a highway and counter a smaller hole or bridge connections-

Are we launched into the air?

Vincent Bevort
20th November, 2013 @ 02:11 am PST

Need some new tiers on my bicycle no need for a pump or repair kit nice :-).

Paul Adams
20th November, 2013 @ 02:44 am PST

I can just see the openings getting filled with all sort of stuff, rocks and mud for example. A better application for this would be to put them inside a normal pneumatic tire so that in normal use they don't or barely make ground contact but offer run-flat capability should you puncture the tire.

Siegfried Gust
20th November, 2013 @ 03:35 am PST

Such a vehicle is likely to be taken out with a burst of automatic fire, so, in that context, NPTs are irrelevant if the driver has lost his legs and the engine is defunct. However from the low maintenance and puncture proof aspects, definitely a step in the right direction.

Grunt
20th November, 2013 @ 04:24 am PST

I think that is really nice. I can see a problem with the sides being open like that. Things could get into it - like mud, sticks, poles, etc - that could hinder the pefermance of the vehicle it is being used on. I also see it as great since one would not have to pay money to use the air pumps at gas stations to add air to ones tires.

I am hoping that Michelin will make the Tweel available for cars. Like the one used on the ATV, it is airless. Since my little does not have room for a spare, it would be great for it.

http://michelintweel.com/

BigGoofyGuy
20th November, 2013 @ 05:35 am PST

That's really cool! How long do the tires last compared to standard pneumatic ones? Is there a way to replace just the "tread" when they wear out, or do you need a whole new wheel? I bet that's very expensive over the long term.

Mandres
20th November, 2013 @ 08:05 am PST

Where's the armor for the engine and driver???

Bob
20th November, 2013 @ 04:43 pm PST

Nice idea, until the rocks/debris ingested and thrown out by fast moving vehicle tyres smashes windows, maims, and kills people...

christopher
20th November, 2013 @ 04:43 pm PST

Them tires look like would hold lots of cow poop, and the occasional tree branch to swat you upside the head, to remind you that these tires where far from one your best purchase ideas.

And I bet they freeze to the ground nice too.

Jay Finke
21st November, 2013 @ 06:05 am PST

If you're looking for one of these we are now taking advanced orders. Use Contact Us form at www.militaryatv.com $14,999 MSRP, we can keep the NPTs; or swap them out for RP Advanced SOF II 8 Ply Run Flat tires.

MilAtv
21st November, 2013 @ 09:52 am PST

I like it a lot. I really doubt that snagging or throwing objects would be a drawback but mud might cause these wheels to be out of balance as some crevices might retain the mud while others did not. At low speeds this wheel looks like a winner. And you can almost bet that soon enough the vehicle will operate sans soldier and be an automated war platform. The effort to get humans out of combat duty is rapidly advancing.

Jim Sadler
29th November, 2013 @ 08:37 am PST

While brilliant for its rugged characteristics, this wheel design is very noisy at speed. They were working on making the wheel more quiet as it proved undesirable for road going vehicles (at initial time of release).

But in this ATV the combustion engine would be loud enough. If for stealth reasons they went electric, the atv would need to keep its speed low.

Also, 100 rounds into the wheels may not make much difference, but one into the engine block might. Similarly, focus more effort on shrouding the engine so its not a magnet for RPGs

Waled Ahmed
29th November, 2013 @ 12:20 pm PST
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