Go Cart Tires
Racing Tires and Off-Road Tires: What Are the Differences?
Riding go-carts can be fun for almost anyone! However, depending on how you are riding your go-cart, you might need different tires for your specific purpose. Racing and off-road riding are two popular styles of go-cart riding, and they have very different needs when it comes to tires. So what are the differences between racing and off-road tires?
Racing tires are generally very flat, without deep treads. While this may seem counter-intuitive in terms of grip, they actually are designed to provide a maximum of contact between the road and the tire, increasing friction for quick acceleration. Generally, these tires shouldn’t be used when there is any water on the road. However, there are grooved tread tires that are meant to help dissipate water out from in-between the tires and the road. This increases safety greatly if you plan on driving in wet conditions.
Were you to drive your go-cart off road on rough terrain using racing tires, you would encounter some serious problems. When steering to avoid obstacles, it is imperative that your tires can grip into the ground and allow you to maneuver quickly. Off-road tires are generally very knobby with deep treads to help with this requirement.
Another difference between racing and off-road tires is the sidewall style. The sidewall of a tire can be engineered to be stiffer or more flexible. The flexible type of sidewall is a good choice for off-road applications, as it helps provide some cushioning when going over bumps. For racing, drivers generally prefer a stiffer sidewall to help maintain tire shape while cornering.
You can also customize the tire size on your go-cart to help you with particular driving requirements. Often, the front wheels on a go-cart are smaller than the back tires, with the idea that the larger tires help with transferring power from the engine to the ground. Using larger tires in front, however, will help improve cornering ability.
Whether you are taking your go-cart off the beaten track or going for a speed record, you will want to carefully consider your tire characteristics to maximize performance.