If you own a go-kart, knowing how to change the tire is a basic necessity. Not only it can save you from the bill of changing the tires by a mechanic, but it can help you avoid any unforeseeable situation on the road. Additionally, how to change a go-kart tire is one of the most common questions asked by beginner go-kart drivers.
To save you from the headache and complexity of changing go-kart tires, I have brought you a simple step-by-step guide. This guide will show you how you can easily change the tire and tube inside within a few minutes. So, without wasting any more time, let me walk you through the process.
How to Change Go-Kart Tire
If you have previous experience of changing tires from your car, the process of changing the go-kart tires will seem pretty similar to you. The majority of the process is the same, just with some minor differences here and there.
But if you don’t have that experience previously, changing the go-kart tires can be a bit tricky for you. But worry not as I am here with the in-depth step-by-step guide of how to replace a go-kart tire. This guide will show you the necessary steps and boost your confidence to change the tires all by yourself. So, without wasting any time, let’s get started.
Step 1: Tools Requirement and Tire Size
This is not necessarily a step, and you can also consider it as a preparation stage too. Before you get to the changing part, you have to decide which tire you will use next. Though there are some commonly used sizes, make sure the tires you choose will fit your existing wheels.
For that, you have to check out the tire’s exact height, width, and rim diameter. Make sure these three things are the same for both tires.
Next up is the necessary tools for the job. Now, this part pretty much depends on your experience and expertise level. While some tools are mandatory, some are optional, but they will make the job easier for you. For example, you’ll require leather gloves, a pry tool, and some dish soap which is pretty much compulsory for the job.
Now for the optional ones, like a bead breaker, are not for everyone. But, if you are expert enough, you can manage the job without the bead breakers too. So, collect this stuff and then get to change your go-kart tires.
Step 2: Breaking the Bead
The next step here is breaking the bead from the rim. Assuming you have removed the wheels from the axle, now it’s time to undo the bead lock screws. Depending on the rim, you might not have any bead lock screws, or you can have three to four of them.
If you try to break the bead with the screws on, there is a chance that it can bend the rim. So make sure you remove them completely.
The next part can go two ways here. One is that you can break the bead with a bead breaker. The other way is breaking the bead with a pry tool and dish soap. Whichever method you use, you have to let the air out from the tire first.
Now the bead breaker does basically what the name is implying here. If you are not confident enough or just don’t want to go through the hassle, you should grab a bead breaker like this one from RLV. Considering a one-time investment, it’ll make the job easier for you in the future.
On the other hand, if you are confident enough to break the bead on your own, this method is for you. Breaking the bead of an old tire can be challenging as the tire gets crusty over time. First, what you need to do is use some dish soap and water mixture where the rim and bead join together.
This mixture will soften the bead around the rim, and the removal will be easier. While pouring the mixture, use a pry tool to work your way around the rim and start the removal. For extra leverage, you can press some tire area, and the bead will break eventually.
Step 3: Removing the Tire from the Rim
If you have successfully passed the previous step, this one should be easy for you. While removing the tire, breaking the bred is the hardest part. Once the bred is broken, you are one halfway. If you are using a bead breaker, then you won’t need to follow this step.
You can just follow onto the next one. Start by pressing the tire towards the middle point of the rim, which will open up a small space on the opposite side of the tire. Next, you’ll insert whichever pry tool you have to gain the leverage onto the rim.
Now, what you have to do is press the tire towards the rim exterior. Keep doing this in a circular way until the tire comes off the rim.
Step 4: Mounting New Tires
Now it’s time to put on your new tires onto the rim. Unlike the first few steps, this one is more about using strength rather than technique. Before you start mounting, use something slippery like tire grease or dishwashing liquid to lube it up.
Remember, the tier will always be a little smaller than the rim so that the tries stay on tightly when you mount it. All the rims out there have a wider and a narrower side. Just make sure you always operate from the narrower side. Whether you push the tire onto the rim or vice-versa, do it on a non-slippery, stable surface.
Alongside strength, mounting the tires onto the rims is also about figuring out the proper angle to push. Place the tire onto the rim at an angle of 35-45 degrees, and then start pushing clockwise until the tire is mounted. The amount of strength you’ll require depends on how stiff the sidewall of your tire is.
Step 5: Popping the Bead and Inflating the Tire
We are at the last step of how to change a racing go-kart tire, and one of the most challenging tasks still remains. Like breaking the bead, popping the bead after mounting tires can be equaling tricky. To pop the bead, you’ll need to remove the valve core first.
Then, apply compressed air through an air nozzle until you hear two separate pops. Each pop indicates that the inside and outside of the bead has been successfully pushed onto the rims. Once both sides of the bead pop, remove the bead locks to remove all the air to escape. It’ll prevent any chance of overstretching the tire.
When Should I Change My Go-Kart Tire?
There is no precise answer to this question as lots of factors come into play here. For starters, there are different sorts of go-karts that are used for different purposes. Then comes the surface on which you drive your go-kart and the quality of previous tires.
All these things combined, it’s impossible to determine exactly when one should change his go-kart tire. However, there are some general rules that you can follow to decide it’s time to change the tires on your go-kart.
A new set of tires always provides better grip and, therefore, more speed and control. If you think the lack of speed and power is going to such an extent that it’s affecting your driving experience, you should probably just change your go-kart tires.
How do you change a tube on a go-kart tire?
If you are using a tubed tire, there is always a chance of running into tube-related problems. As a go-kart owner, you should be able to deal with these problems on your own. However, if you haven’t replaced or changed the tubes on your go-kart tire, this guide can be a big help to you. Just by following these steps below, you can easily replace the tube of your go-kart tires.
# Step 1: The first step of changing a go-kart tire is identifying the valve system coming out of a hole in the rim. You have to remove the valve cap and then press it to remove all the existing air from the tube.
#Step 2: This valve you removed is used for inflating and deflating the tubes. Once the deflation is done, remove the valve with a pair of pliers. Removing the valve will leave you with a hole in the rim.
# Step 3: Now, the next part is removing the tire from the rim so that you can have access to the tube inside. Use a pry tool, as I mentioned in my previous guide, to break the bead and remove the tire. Using dish soap or tire grease will make the process easier.
# Step 4: Now that the tire is removed, just remove the old tube from the tire. Then mount the tire halfway onto the rim. But this time, don’t pop the bead. You’ll still need to slide the new tube inside the wheel.
# Step 5: Put some dishwasher or tire grease again on the bead edge of the tire so that you can easily slide the new deflated tire into the tire.
# Step 6: Before sliding the tubes, make sure the valve of the new tube is aligned with the hole on the rim. Pull the valve through that hole. Now, push the tube slowing into the gap between the tire and the rim.
# Step 7: Once the tube is inside the tire, mount the tire completely onto the rim. All you have to do is just inflate the new tube now.
Step 8: Finish the process by inflating the tube at the recommended pressure. Once done, put on the valve cap again.
Q: Can a go-kart tire withstand the speed of 200 mph?
Ans: That’s not even a plausible speed for a go-kart if you think about it closely. The question of whether the tire can withstand that much speed comes later. Go-kart tires are usually pretty smaller in size, so it’s somewhat impossible to pull off a speed like that.
Still, if we agree that a go-kart can reach that speed for the sake of argument, there is no way the material and structure of a go-kart tire can withstand that speed.
Q: Do go-kart tires have tubes?
Ans: Of course they do, and it depends on the particular tire. Tubeless and tubed tires both have different purposes and are manufactured differently. Usually, for racing karts or for people who love the speed, tubeless tires are recommended.
However, if you are a fan of regular or off-road karting, tubed tires are more suitable for you. To reduce the rotational inertia, tubeless tires are usually preferred for races and high0speed karting. On the other hand, regular and off-road karting always has the chance of puncture due to surfaces we ride on. The tube can save you then from going flat instantly.
Q: How do I know if my tire is tubeless?
Ans: There are various ways of identifying if your go-kart tire is tubeless or not. The most basic one is to read the description of the tire and the rim to get an idea. If that doesn’t work, then the air valves can help you identify a tubeless tire.
If you see an air valve permanently attached to the wheel rim, then the tire is tubeless. For tubed tires, the air valves are usually attached to the tube itself that comes out through a hole on the rim.
Q: How do you inflate a tubeless go-kart tire?
Ans: The process of inflating a tubeless tire is pretty much the same as inflating a tubed tire. First, remove the valve cap. Then you’ll have to use a hand pump or an air compressor to fill the tire with air. You can use any of these, but using an air compressor will make it quicker. Keep filling with air until you feel like you have inflated enough. Finally, finish by checking the air pressure with a tire pressure gauge.
Here we are at the end of the article. I hope my article was helpful enough to guide you through the entire process of changing go-kart tires and tubes. If you don’t have any prior experience on how to change a go-kart tire, changing the tire might seem a little challenging for you. But as time goes by, it’ll eventually make your overall maintenance experience much easier.