Unsprung Components: Tires


I’m planning to use a Ducati 1198 rear suspension for my car in order to minimize the number of custom-manufactured parts. In order to further simplify the design, I’m planning to use the same wheels and tires of all three corners. The standard tire for the Ducati 1198 is the Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP 190/55 ZR17.

This means the tire dimensions are:

  • Tire Width – 190 mm
  • Aspect Ratio (Height/Width) – 55%
  • Speed Rating – ZR – at least 149 MPH
  • Wheel Diameter – 17 inches – 431.8 mm
  • Tire Height – 104.5 mm
  • Tire Diameter – 640.8 mm
  • Revolutions Per Mile = 799.42


One of my key design principles is to minimize the unsprung mass of the car. The stock Pirelli tires weigh 13.61 kilograms each. The lightest alternative I could find that fits the Ducati 1198 wheels are the Michelin Power Pure 190/55 Zr17. Here’s a video explaining the technology behind them:

These Michelin tires were specifically designed for low mass and weigh just 6.4 kilograms each. Combined, these three Michelin tires will reduce the unsprung mass of the car by an amazing 21.63 kilograms. That’s a reduction of nearly 16 lbs per corner. Imagine strapping two 1-gallon jugs of milk to each of your tires and you get a sense of how that much unsprung mass can affect handling.

Stock Ducati 1999 Rear Tire:

Michelin Power Pure Lightweight Tire:



Camber Thrust

Will Martin is an energy analyst and expert on peak oil and alternative currencies. He is an MBA graduate of Cornell University, where he was a Roy H. Park Leadership Fellow and concentrated on studying sustainability in business through the school’s Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise. Prior to his MBA, Will worked in the energy industry, living in Singapore, Houston and Dubai. Will is a recipient of the 2012 “Pioneer Award” from the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO-USA). He currently works as a carbon trading commercial adviser in the San Francisco Bay Area. Will is a bitcoin enthusiast and in 2014 published the book “Anonymous Cryptocurrencies,” which became a #1 best seller in 3 Amazon categories and was the first book to be sold on a decentralized marketplace.

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