Go-kart tires are the most important part of the vehicle since they give the vehicle stability and maneuverability. A go-kart cannot race at its maximum speed without good-condition tires.
But, how long do go-kart tires last? That depends on your level of commitment to the sport. If you are only interested in racing and spending time with your kids, 3-4 racing weekends on a set of tires is fine. In order to be really competitive and win many races, you should replace your tires every race day.
When You Should Change Your Go-Kart Tires
Go-karting is not an inexpensive activity, and it certainly is not for everyone or the whole family.
If money is an issue, racing may not be the best sport for your family.
A kart driver can spend over $12k annually, not counting the gear he or she needs for the sport.
The costs are estimated at a semi-competitive level. The average professional racer spends between $25k and $30k per year.
However, if you’re just getting started, you might benefit from running on worn tires for a few races to improve your kart control skills.
All of us would replace our tires before every race if we could afford it. New tires always provide more grip, which makes us faster.
What Happens If You Race Many Times With A Set Of Tires
For many of us, $100 for just one race seems outrageous.
Driving with old kart tires will have a detrimental effect on your performance. You will lose traction on the track and your kart will spin more when you accelerate. Therefore, the other racers with new tires will have faster lap times.
On the other hand, if you see that you’re sacrificing too much time, or if it’s something you can afford right now, then you should definitely buy new tires.
How Long Does A Go-Kart Race Usually Last
How Many Tire Sets Do Professional Racers Have
It is interesting to have an idea of how professionals deal with this subject. Professional kart racers should be well-prepared to be competitive enough.
Professionals may have sponsors to cover the extra costs, but when it comes to tires, there is no discussion about cost. Although there is no one-size-fits-all solution, I have found that the ideal rule to follow is:
- One set of tires on the kart
- As spares, there are four sets of slicks
- Two extra sets are available for wet terrain
Kart racers know very well that tires are not only crucial for driving safety, but also determine their competitiveness.
What Are Go-Kart Tires Made Of
Depending on their intended use, go-kart tires come in a variety of shapes and sizes. For instance, wet or slick racing go-kart tires are designed to provide maximum grip on the race track.
Polyester, nylon, and rayon are the most commonly used fabrics in the production of kart tires: the first is usually for “slicks”, the others are usually for “rain” tires. Fabric cords are either double or triple-plied.
On the other hand, off-road go-kart tires are normally larger and have knobs to provide the kart with more clearance when climbing difficult terrain. It should be indicated on the outside of all go-kart tires what size they are.
How thick are racing go-kart tires? Racing tires typically have a width of 4 to 9 inches. Since go-kart tires come in fractional sizes, such as 4.5 or 7.1 inches, you’ll always see this value with two decimal places.
How To Store Your Tires
To store your tires properly, keep them upright, away from heat sources, and away from direct sunlight. Rotate your tires every six months to ensure even wear.
The lifespan of tires can be extended by properly storing them. Incorrect handling and storage can result in their loss of performance or premature failure.
1. Clean Them
You can use a tire brush to remove dirt and dust from the treads of your kart’s tires. It would also be a good idea to clean off any dirt or debris that may be stuck under the treads. Make sure the tires are completely dry before storing them.
2. No Dressing Required
Sometimes inaction is better than action. You won’t get as much life out of your tires if you coat or dress them before storing them. Compounds are formulated to withstand ozone damage and other environmental stressors, such as sunlight. These products may make your tires less resistant to wear and tear.
3. Bag Them Up
The rubber compound of tires should be stored inside a sealed container to prevent oil loss. You can either use a specific tire holder or tire carriers such as wheelbarrows.
What To Do With Old Go-Kart Tires
There is a serious problem with tire waste. It is a great idea to recycle old tires because you are not wasting any resources.
Metal and rubber are used to make tires. These materials need to be recycled. You can do this by contacting tire collection services. These companies then recycle the materials into other products, such as new car parts, playground equipment, and golf carts.
Components are separated into different bins with items that need to be recycled in each one. They are then taken to a recycling center, where they are sorted again by material. Afterward, the material is reprocessed into new products.
Go-kart tires are essential for your little vehicle. You need to have decent tires to enjoy your racing and achieve better performance.
If you can afford it, change your tires after every single racing day. This is exactly what the pros do! Yet, this is a huge cost to bear and you can keep your tires for more laps.
After a day of racing, your tires will lose traction and you will drift more. So, your performance will be worse than the other drivers on the track.
Go-karts are fun but they have some running costs that you can’t avoid if you want to enjoy the sport safely.