With the 2021 Dakar underway you may have heard us talking about Bead Grip technology. You can find it on UTV Series wheels such as the 409, 410, 411 and every wheel in the Trail Series lineup. But it was the 107 Race Series wheel that was the first wheel to utilize the proprietary patented technology. Unlike most of our desert focused race product, the 107 is a non-beadlock wheel. The wheel is a 16x7 which was dictated by the limited tire size FIA T1 4x4 trucks are allowed to use in competition.
Development began with us approaching Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa who design, build, prepare and race the T1 Factory Toyota Hilux for FIA Cross Country rallies. The most famous FIA cross country rally being Dakar. We learned there were opportunities to improve on the product they were using and set out to make a wheel that addressed these opportunities. In previous years the team suffered multiple tire debeads and wanted to eliminate or at least reduce this failure. The 107’s design objective was to address the retention of the tire on the wheel when low inflation pressures are needed on stages consisting almost entirely of dunes. Bead Grip technology engages the inner and outer tire beads with a proprietary beadset geometry which consists of grooves on the lower seat surface and unique safety hump shape. This allows the tire to remain seated while at low inflation pressures. The Bead Grip beadseats were the perfect solution for the problem and as a bonus we were able to provide additional clearance inside the wheel to make more improvements to their hub and brake package. Lastly, we were able to provide a wheel with a higher load rating than their previous setup. The 4x4 T1 vehicles are limited to 810mm (31.09) maximum tire diameter so the wheel has much less protection when compared to a trophy truck on 40in tires. Any added strength can be achieved while staying at the minimum required wheel weight of 13kg (28.66lb) per FIA technical regulations is welcomed.
We started working with Toyota Gazoo racing in 2019 and conducted R&D testing throughout the second half of the competition calendar which lead to our Director of Engineering to go to Morocoo with the team for the final validation of 107.Throughout the year we had evaluated multiple revisions of the wheel until everyone’s goals were achieved and approved to race in Dakar 2020. Based on inspection of wheels and feedback from the team from Dakar 2020 we made additional improvements this year. The MR107 wheels are being used by Nasser Al-Attiyah and the rest of the Toyota Gazoo Racing Hilux trucks for this year’s Dakar.
Some notable features of the wheel include the steel lug inserts that provide a harder clamping surface than the base aluminum wheel for lug nuts to clamp to. The spokes of the wheel have additional machining to create something similar to an I-beam shape which not only removes weight but also optimizes the load path for forces transmitted from the hub through the wheel.
The unfortunate news is that the 107 isn’t quite available to the public just yet. Public availability is expected in mid-2021 with fitments for multiple race vehicles and some street vehicles. We do know that Nasser Al-Attiyah has won countless of stages in this year’s Dakar proving the 107 is lighter, stronger and faster.
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