Go Kart Tires - Ultimate Guide

Go-karting is among the most popular racing games in the world. It requires go kart cars with special fittings, depending on where and how you wish to join the race.

The go kart tires have a crucial role in your success. A professional go kart racer takes extra care to buy the right kind of tires for the car. Aspects like weather and track conditions, the tire types, and their specifications are vital to winning the go kart race.

Let’s read more about go kart tires and how to choose the appropriate tires for your go kart.

Types of Go Kart Tires

Go kart tires are categorized into different types based on weather and road conditions. The same tire cannot be used for wet and dry roads. The go kart tires are broadly classified into:

Dry Tires

Dry tires don’t have any profile and are called slick tires. They allow a maximum grip on asphalt surfaces and add to the car’s momentum.

Wet Tires

Wet tires have profiles, ridges, or grooves. This design aids in displacing the water on the road and prevents skidding. The tires don’t allow water to affect their movement on the wet roads.

Dirt Tires

Dirt tires have moderate grooves for a better grip on muddy, dirty, and sandy paths. The tires provide good control over the car, even on dirt-filled roads.

Off Road Tires

Off-road tires have deep grooves and are suitable for muddy/ bumpy roads. The tires stay in place and keep your go kart going even in rough conditions. The lack of a proper path/ road will not affect your drive. If you want to race through the hilly tracks, you need to pick these tires.

Understanding Go Kart Tire Sizes

Go kart tires come in different shapes and sizes. It can be confusing if you haven’t purchased the tires before. Use the following pointers to read the tire chart and understand the dimensions.

For example, if a tire’s measurement is listed as 12x4.00- 5, it means the tire is 12 inches tall (height), 4 inches wide (width), and has a rim diameter of 5 inches.

Tire Width

The measurement between two ends of the tire (horizontally) is called tire width. Racing cars have a tire width between four and nine inches, fractions included. The front tires have lesser width than the back tires to facilitate momentum without affecting weight distribution.

Tire Height

The tire height is the distance between the bottom of the tire (on the road) and the top. Most tires have a height between ten and twelve inches, but the off-road tires are much larger to suit the rough road conditions.

Furthermore, go kart cars have larger rear tires and smaller front tires. This aligns with the car’s shape and keeps rolling on the roads. The tire height is the first measurement you read in the tire chart.

Rim Diameter

The rim is the metal frame in the tire. Its diameter is usually between four and six inches for regular go kart tires and larger for off-road tires. The rim diameter for the front and back tires will be the same to ensure balance.

How to Choose Go Kart Tires?

Now you know the types of go kart tires and how to understand the measurements. But how do you know which one is the right tire for your go kart?

Racing Location

The most important factor is the location. Where do you plan to race the go kart? If you race on pavement tracks made of asphalt, you don’t have to buy the larger off-road tires. These are big but don’t give you the necessary grip or pace on an asphalt road. You need to invest in dry or wet tires, depending on the climatic conditions in the region.

Tire Side Walls

Another factor to consider when choosing go kart tires is the side wall. Tires can have hard or soft side walls. Off-road tires have soft side walls that absorb the bumps and act as suspensions. You will feel less impact because of this. On-road slick tires have hard side walls to smoothly run on tough asphalt.

Tube or Tubeless

Tires can have a tube or be tubeless. Tubeless tires reduce rotation inertia but wear off faster. Go karts do better when tires have tubes. However, some drivers prefer tubeless tires. It comes down to personal choice.

Size and Speed

Choosing larger tires will ensure that your go kart won’t topple when turning around the corners and bends at high speed. You also need to give a closer look at the speed rating of tires, especially if you want tires that can sustain more than 70mph. Some tires can even handle around 120mph.

Maintenance and Care

Tires won’t last long if they are under or over-inflated. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to maintain the correct tire pressure. Worn-out tires will have a lesser grip on the roads. If you feel that the go kart is not fully in control, check the tire alignment, quality, and usage. Tires with holes should be changed immediately, as they increase the risk of accidents.

Leading Go Kart Tire Brands in the US Market

The following brands are popular manufacturers of go kart tires. Furthermore, each brand has a vast range of models to suit various go-karting requirements.

Final Words

Go kart tires are as varied as they can be. Take your time to know more about their sizes, designs, and models before you finalize the right ones for your racing kart.

It is important to maintain the tires by cleaning them after each ride. Replace worn-out tires to prevent accidents. Finally, pick tires that best suit your racing style and comfort. You need to feel confident and at ease when racing.