In this article we are going to talk about the offer in the current market of vegan motorcycle tires, that is, made with animal free compounds.
Currently, there are many brands of tires for cars, motorcycles and vans made of various compounds and materials. Most manufacturers use stearic acid of animal origin. Stearic acid is used to help tire rubber hold shape under constant surface friction. In different concentrations it is used with other substances to control flexibility or other properties.
Then, we review the history and name some of the best-known tyre brands. We have contacted them to know in detail and first hand, the composition, materials they use. We also asked if they would consider the option of marketing vegan motorcycle tires in the future.
French company specialized in the manufacture of tires founded by the brothers Édouard Michelin and André Michelin on May 28, 1889. Its headquarters are located in the city of Clermont-Ferrand, capital of the Puy-de-Dôme department, in the geographical center of France. Bibendum, also known as “Michelin Man” is the mascot and symbol of the Michelin tire company. It was created in 1895, just three years after the automobile was born.
One of the actions that the company is carrying out is the innovative European project BlackCycle. It aims to create, develop and optimize a complete chain for obtaining secondary raw materials (MPS) from used tires, for the manufacture of new tires and other industrial applications. The European consortium for the development of the BlackCycle project is made up of 13 entities. They belong to countries like: France, Spain, Germany, Greece and Switzerland. Four of these entities are Spanish:
- The International Center for Advanced Materials and Raw Materials of Castilla y León (Fundación ICAMCyL). It is headquartered in Armunia (León), dedicated to research and innovation in the automotive, manufacturing, advanced materials, engineering, mining and raw material processing sectors.
- The Instituto de Carboquímica (ICB), located in Zaragoza. It develops its scientific activity in the area of Chemical Sciences and Technologies of the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) and focuses its research work mainly on energy and environment lines and related chemical and related processes.
- The SISENER INGENIEROS Group (SISENER), a consulting / engineering firm based in Zaragoza. It specializes in the energy sector: generation, transmission / transmission and distribution, waste treatment and recovery, thermal plants and thermochemical processes.
- The company Hera, a business holding company based in Madrid. It is dedicated to the comprehensive management of waste and environmental resources.
Information collected in forums indicates the response offered by Michelin to the question of whether they sell vegan motorcycle tires: “We do not give specific details of the production processes or the materials used in the process, but I can confirm that no products of animal origin are used in tire production “.
Metzeler is a German tire company founded in 1863, which over the years expanded into the aviation and automobile sectors. However, after 1979 it focused only on the manufacture of motorcycle tires, being acquired in 1986 by Pirelli.
It is one of the best-known brands worldwide, not only for the variety of tires they offer but also for their quality and durability. They also answered our query quite clearly:
“The production of our products made in China and Indonesia are vegan products since we use oils derived from palm oil and not from animal fats. In Germany we will be vegan at the end of the year with the use of vegetable oils and we will only have the manufacturing in Latam that we hope to manufacture with an oil derived from soybean oil throughout the next 2021. “
Kenda Rubber Industrial Company is a tire and wheel manufacturer headquartered in Yuanlin City, Taiwan, founded in 1962. It also has locations in China and Vietnam. It has been manufacturing motorcycle tires since 1970.
Information collected in forums indicates the response offered by Kenda: “We do not use any animal products. The stearic acid we use is refined from tree oil. We do not use any animal products in our tires“.
4. Pirelli (not confirmed)
Founded in Milan in 1872 by Giovanni Battista Pirelli. It is an Italian industrial company dedicated to the manufacture of tires based in Milan (Italy) and owned by China. Since 2011 it is the only tire supplier in Formula 1. Specialized in rubber and derived processes, especially in the production of tires and cables.
Information collected in forums indicates the response offered by Pirelli: “Pirelli’s research also includes raw materials of vegetable origin destined to make more sustainable tires with better performance”.
Pirelli is promoting joint development agreements with third parties to develop new polymers that improve rolling resistance figures, low-temperature performance, and optimize mileage and response on the road. In line with the open innovation model, the brand works with various universities to develop natural rubber derived from alternative sources to rubber trees. The objective of this project is to diversify the sources of raw materials, thereby reducing the pressure on biodiversity in producing companies and solving the possibility of being short of supplies”.
5. Goodyear (not confirmed)
The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company is a multinational company founded in 1898 by Frank Seiberling. Its main headquarters are located in Akron, Ohio, United States. It manufactures tires for automobiles, trucks, racing cars, airplanes, agricultural machinery and heavy machinery. The company’s name was named after the inventor of the rubber vulcanizing process, Charles Goodyear (1800-1860).
Goodyear is working with other stakeholders, including automakers, rubber producers, and civil society to move the natural rubber supply chain toward natural rubber sustainability. Members launched the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR) in 2018. The objective of the platform is to “harmonize standards to improve respect for human rights, prevent land grabbing and deforestation, protect biodiversity and water resources, improve yields and increase transparency and traceability of the supply chain”.
6. Bridgestone (not confirmed)
Bridgestone Corporation is a tire manufacturing company. It was founded in 1931 by Shojiro Ishibashi in Kurume City, Fukuoka in Japan. After World War II, Bridgestone started making motorcycles, but its biggest profits came from making the tires thanks to companies such as Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha using its products.
They are currently exploring the uses of the guayule bush, which has almost identical qualities to natural rubber, making it a potentially valuable source of quality tire rubber in commercial applications. Through this innovative project and others like it, they continue to advance to achieve their long-term vision for the manufacture of products, from fully renewable and sustainable raw materials by the year 2050.
Bridgestone Corporation has announced that it has successfully built passenger tires with 100 percent of their components containing natural rubber derived from guayule. It is a shrub native to the dry regions of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico (natural rubber is contained in the bark and roots of the plant). Built at the Bridgestone Technical Center in Japan, the tires are particularly unique because they were built with the company’s natural guayule rubber grown by Bridgestone at its Biorubber Process Research Center (BPRC) in Mesa, Arizona, USA.
If you want to expand the information on vegan products, materials, composition and fabrics on the market, we recommend that you read this article (in which we talk about vegan motorcycle clothing).
Note: We will update the article as we receive information from the companies.
You may already know that all Andromeda products are vegan friendly. If you want to know more about our philosophy, you can visit our sustainability page.