The Ins and Outs of Go Kart Tires
Whether for family fun or racing competition, go karts offer moderate-speed excitement with relatively low risk of injury or vehicle damage. Let’s look at what to consider when choosing go kart tires.
What Kind of Tread?
The type of tread you choose for your go kart tires will depend on how you intend to use the vehicle:
- Slicks: These are tires have no tread. They are meant for use on a dry pavement track.
- Knobby: These tires are meant to be used in rough terrain, such as in off-road applications. They provide traction in rocky or wet conditions as the tread pattern is designed to shed water.
- Paddle: These tires have large, scoop-like protrusions that help go karts maneuver in sand.
What Type of Sidewall?
Again, the way you plan to use your go kart tires will dictate what kind of sidewall you will find important.
- Racetrack use: For hard maneuvering, you will want to tires with a stiff sidewall to aid in rigidity on the turns.
- Off-road use: When driving over rough terrain, a tire with a softer sidewall may help mitigate the jostling and bouncing. However, try to find tires with reinforced sidewalls to prevent puncture.
How About Plies?
Go kart tires, like tires for other uses, have a certain number of plies. But the ply rating is more an indication of strength than layers. Tires may be reinforced with nylon cord or steel and which option you choose is based on how they will be used.
Here are a few other things to think about when choosing and maintaining your go kart tires:
- Size: Some owners put smaller tires on the front and larger one on the back. This will depend on type of use, frequency of use and age of the vehicle
- Speed rating: If you will be racing go karts, you will need tires rated for high speeds. Tire pressure: Monitor it closely as it will dictate tire life and safety.