Run it flat and survive

About a year and half ago we had a chance to drive on a military-spec’d tire that was designed to be run without air for emergency situations. That tire was mounted on a Polaris RZR 4 built by RP Advanced, the company that commissioned DWT to develop the product. Since then, DWT has brought the technology to the consumer and now offers the run-flat tire in sizes 26×9-12, 26×9-14 and 28×10-14. The standard six-ply Moapas are available in even more popular utility ATV and UTV tire sizes.

The run-flat version is a tough, 12-bias-ply construction tire that is not meant to be ridden without air, but it’s up to the task if necessary. The tire costs about as much as a top-of-the-line mud tire, with a MSRP of $227 for the 28×9-14 size, that we have been testing on our project Polaris Scrambler. The standard six-ply Moapas sell for $100 less than that.  We have seen some online retailers like Amazon.com selling the 12-plies for just over $200.

We compared the tread pattern of the Moapa to STI’s Roctane, ITP’s Blackwater or the Maxxis Big Horn. In fact, the sidewall lugs of the Big Horn look very similar. Weight of the 12-ply tire is 33 pounds for the 28×10-14 size we tested, which is 4 pounds heavier than DWT’s six-ply version. That’s higher than many all-terrain trail tires, but not as heavy as some mud tires out there.


We love durability testing. It’s during these times that we get to aim straight at the obstacles and see what happens with no regrets. After we finished tuning the clutch, testing the suspension and the photo shoot on our project Scrambler, that’s exactly what we did with the Moapas. Our test rider pointed the big Polaris straight for the roughest, nastiest trail we have and pinned the throttle. The most common tire failure we see on an ATV, and even more on a UTV, is a sidewall puncture. To test the Moapa tire, we slid the Polaris right into jagged, embedded rocks without a problem. Afterwards, we bushwhacked some new trails and ran over piles of sticks just for fun.

On the dirt, the Moapas basically laughs at jagged rocks, sharp sticks and other trail debris.
Traction was excellent as well. In fact, it was better than we expected. On hardpacked trails, the tires rolled smooth and the additional weight was hardly noticeable. After a 100-mile run on the quad and 100 more miles on the tires under our Jagged X RZR, tire wear was noticeable but not excessive. To test the tire’s run-flat capabilities, we lapped a hardpacked section of trail with all four valve cores removed. On the Scrambler, you literally couldn’t tell the different between 5 psi and 0 psi. Cornering was stable and precise, as well as braking and acceleration. 

Under the RZR, the tires did squish down some, but much less than expected. You weren’t riding on the rim, and the tire didn’t feel like it was going to peel off going around a corner. DWT claims the tires can be ridden up to 35 miles at 30 mph with absolutely no air pressure. Well, we rode them for about 15 minutes at 40-plus mph with no issues. Actually, the faster we went, the tires would seem to grow under the quad.

We didn’t suffer a single puncture, rip or sidewall tear. This set of tires mounted on DWT Rok ’N Lok beadlock wheels will get plenty more test time on a variety of machines in our stable for sure.

We were so impressed with both the traction and durability of the DWT Moapa 12-ply run-flat tires that we would recommend them to anyone wanting bulletproof performance for racing or even just trail riding. If you don’t ride as hard as we do or in such remote places, we could solidly recommend the six-ply Moapa tires as well. If you are interested in this level of performance and durability, give DWT a call at (800) RACE-RIM or log on to www.dwtracing.com.

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