Pirelli Intros Self-Inflating Tire
September 21, 2004
Filed under Features
Pirelli introduced a patented self-inflating motorcycle tire last week at INTERMOT in Munich. The Pirelli Safety Wheel System, developed with fellow Italian manufacturer Brembo, automatically re-inflates after a puncture or a drop in pressure thanks to an internal chamber containing compressed air.
The system comprises three elements: a special rim with an internal tube containing compressed air; a valve that regulates the passage of pressure between the tube and the tire; and the Pirelli Bike X-PRESSURE system, which monitors the pressure and temperature of tires.
When the tire deflates, the valve opens automatically, topping up the original pressure. Under normal conditions, a bike tire loses an average of 0.2 bar every three months. The system is able to compensate for a tire's spontaneous loss of air for a period of between 9-12 months. The system’s valve is programmed to remain closed if tire pressure diminishes due to a drop in temperature, rather than a loss of air.
In the case of a puncture, two things immediately come into play: both the Bike X-PRESSURE system, which warns motorcyclists of a pressure loss by means of a visual signal, and the wheel system valve, which guarantees the passage of air into the tire, compensating for the loss of air.