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Wisconsin signs bill allowing non-pneumatic off-road tires, larger UTVs

Wisconsin off-road enthusiasts celebrated a pair of victories delivered to riders by the legislature with the signing of Senate Bill 310 by Gov. Scott Walker. The bill, backed by Polaris, changes the definition of ATVs and UTVs to include vehicles that don’t travel on low-pressure tires — specifically aimed at Polaris’ recent introduction of non-pneumatic tires.

The bill provides that a “non-pneumatic tire is a tire that, as designed by the manufacturer, has a minimum width of six inches, has a reinforced structure, and is not supported by air pressure.” According to the measure, an ATV or UTV must be commercially designed and manufactured with the requisite specifications.

Other changes from the bill apply to the size of UTVs. Under current law, a device qualifies as a UTV if it weighs more than 900 pounds, along with meeting other requirements. The new measure specifies, “A device does not quality as a UTV unless it also weighs no more than 2,000 pounds.”

The bill also removes the requirement that UTVs have seats designed to be straddled, and it also prohibits riders from operating a UTV while seated on — or allowing other occupants to be seated — on a seat that is not original to the UTV as manufactured.

In late September, a Polaris official told that consumer sales of the company’s TerrainArmor non-pneumatic tires could begin within six months. 

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