Clicky

What Are the Best Tires for Your Go Kart?

What Are the Best Tires for Your Go Kart?

Tires are a crucial but sometimes overlooked part of go-kart racing. Having the appropriate tire size, kind, and compound for your go-kart may make or break your racing results.

Go-kart tires significantly affect lap times because of how they respond to the circuit’s conditions, your go-kart, the track surface, and other things.

Types

One of the most important things to do before a go-kart race is to choose the correct tires. Various types of go-kart tires perform better or worse on tracks and in different races.

Wet tires, on the other hand, are tailored for performance in wet track conditions, while slick tires are intended to deliver optimum grip under normal and dry track conditions.

Tires come in various compounds, sizes, thread pitches, and intended uses. Below, we’ll go into a little more depth about each tire category.

Slick Tires

Slick tires are the industry standard for go-kart racing because of their smooth tread and dry-weather performance. Slick go-kart tires come in soft, medium, and challenging formulations from the manufacturer.

Although hard tires last longer, they provide less traction than their softer counterparts and wear out more quickly. Go-karts typically have 6″ to 8″ wide rear tires and 3.5″ to 5″ broad front tires with slick treads for maximum traction. The tire widths are asymmetrical to counteract the heavier back end of the go-kart and produce understeer.

Wet Tires

For go-kart races held in rainy or damp weather, drivers must equip their vehicles with wet tires, often known as rain tires. After a downpour, water pools on the go-kart track, creating a barrier between the surface and the tire.

Most go-kart tires are threaded to grip the road in the rain better. Aquaplaning, also known as hydroplaning, is a dangerous driving condition that may be avoided with a set of threaded tires.

Oval Tires

For oval tires, racers may choose between threaded and non-threaded tires. Oval tires are substantially wider than slick tires and are often manufactured with a stronger sidewall to provide better traction while racing around an oval course.

Tire manufacturers often create oval tires for asphalt or dirt oval racing courses, depending on the oval go-kart and circuit. In the United States, oval wheels and tires are the norm and are not required to be homologated.

Dirt/Off-Road Tires

Off-road or dirt racing is what dirt tires for go-karts are designed for. These tires are more significant than slick or oval tires but narrower.

Tires with a greater surface area indeed give better grip. However, dirt tires are often narrower and taller due to their size. This tire style allows for more ground clearance and mobility, which are crucial in off-road competition.

Concession Tires

Rental go-karts need the specialized construction of “concession” tires. They are meant to endure longer than slick tires. Thus, they are often made of more challenging material and have a thicker tread.

Like regular indoor tires, these try to balance performance and cost. Tubed concession tires are common because they last longer than those that the CIK does not homologate.

Sizes

Go-kart tires come in various sizes and forms, usually determined by the task. Slick and oval tires, for instance, are designed to provide maximum grip and, as a result, have a broader profile.

On the other hand, off-road tires are knobbier, taller, and narrower. Go-kart tires have specific dimensions, including height, breadth, and rim diameter.

Compounds

Natural rubber, synthetic rubber (manufactured from petroleum-derived hydrocarbons), carbon black, and different lubricants are the main components of most go-kart tires.

All go-kart tires are made using a similar set of chemicals blended in a different proportion depending on the model. The tire composition also establishes a go-kart tire’s ‘hardness’ or softness.

To be more precise, they don’t focus on the tire’s intrinsic “hardness” but rather its performance on the racetrack. Go-kart racing tires have three distinct compound strengths: hard, soft, and medium.

Costs

Go-kart tires range in cost because of the brand, size, and compound factors. Tires for go-karts may cost anywhere from $30 to $100 individually or $120 to $400 for a package of four.

Of course, where you buy your go-kart tires might also affect the final cost (retailed, marketplace, or directly with the manufacturer). Tires for go-karts may be purchased secondhand for anywhere from $40 and $150 for a set of four on websites like eBay.

Manufacturers

The United States and Europe are home to many companies producing go-kart tires. Depending on the make and model of the go-kart, as well as the surface of the track, manufacturers often have a broad selection of tires. The top producers of go-kart tires are shown below.

Maxxis

Maxxis began importing kart tires to the United States in 1997, although the company wasn’t created until 1967. They take great pleasure in their relationships with track owners, promoters, and drivers, and they supply kart racing tires all over the globe.

Hoosier

Bob Newton and his wife launched Hoosier, an American firm that makes racing tires, in Indiana, the United States. Hoosier presently has over a thousand tire models available and is a worldwide leader in manufacturing and exporting high-quality go-kart tires.

Vega

Established in 1980, Vega Vega is a leading manufacturer of go-kart tires. They manufacture their tires in Italy and France, and they have a variety of tire types, including wet, dry, and discount models. They collaborate closely with their drivers and specialize in developing CIK-FIA homologated tires. Each tire also undergoes 200 quality assurance tests in the lab. 

Dunlop

Dunlop’s four-series lineup of go-kart tires is called Dunlop Kartsport. They specialize in making slick and wet tires and offer over sixty different sizes throughout their lineup. However, they are not limited to only homologated tires; they may also be used for recreational karting. 

MOJO

The original MOJO MOJO tires were explicitly made for use with Rotax 125 class motors. These slick and wet go-kart tires are made in Dresden, Germany, and are available in various karting categories. More than 50 nations have provided MOJO tires since its widespread commercialization in 2006. 

MG Tires

MG Tires, established in Brazil in 1989, is yet another well-liked maker of go-kart tires. Both CIK-FIA homologated, and non-homologated racing tires are made with PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons). They work closely with track owners and racers to provide a variety of go-kart tires. 

LeCont

LeCont go-kart tires, founded by Sergio and Valter Cont, are well-known as a premier brand of Italian racing rubber. They have CIK-FIA homologation for every tire.

Tire Prep

Formulas for preparing go-kart tires are available to improve their grip on the track. Due to the more excellent grip in turns and under acceleration, lap times are reduced when using tires with higher traction.

What Are the Best Tires for My Go Kart?

The best go-kart tires are the ones that fit your driving style and the conditions of the track. There is no one-size-fits-all answer, so it’s essential to experiment with different tires to find what works best for you. 

If you are cruising around the neighborhood, any all-purpose tire will do. However, if you are planning on doing some serious racing, then you will need to invest in a set of racing slicks. Whichever tires you choose, make sure you do your research and buy the best quality tires that you can afford.