Changing Go Kart Tires – How to mount like a pro
If you race go karts, you will undoubtedly know the pain and heartache of changing go kart tires. It not only hurts, but it takes forever to get them on! No matter how many times you claim to have done it. The only thing we can do here at Go-Kart-Source.Com is offer you some advice on how to make this task a little bit easier for everyone.
You first of all should know the ins and outs of your tires, and your rims. This will make the whole process go a little smoother.
A slick racing tire is made of rubber obviously. The rubber is generally stiff and hard to handle when it’s at room temperature or less. The tire has three parts that are important to you when changing tires. The tire wall, the tire tread and the tire bead. These are all illustrated below.
The rim is what the tire sits on, and it might just be your enemy when going to mount tires. You might be thinking… Why is this stupid rim too small for the tire! This is impossible! Sensibly though, the tire must be a little smaller than the rim to ensure a snug fit, other wise your tire would fall right off, and you can’t win a race without tires unfortunately. All you need to know about a rim is that there is a wide end and a less wide end. This is the end that you will plan your attack against when mounting your tires. The rim is illustrated below as well.
How to Mount a Go Kart Tire
If you are mounting your tire at home or in the garage, you can do it on a table low enough so that you will be able to get some leverage. If you can find a non-slip surface to do it on such as an old piece of carpet or some taped down cardboard that’s even better. Half the battle of mounting tires is trying to keep the rim in one place. It’s also a good idea to have a friend help you by holding the rim if you don’t have a non-slip surface to do it on. If you are at the track, a table is a good idea again, but you can always use the grass as a non-slip surface. Just make sure you don’t get any grass in between the tire bead and the rim or you could run the risk of a leak.
Try heating up the tires if possible. If you are at home this is easier because you have access to an oven, a hair dryer maybe. If you are at the track, this is a little harder, but on a nice sunny day we all know that those black rubber tires can heat up pretty quick! Just leave them lying in the sun to try and soften up that rubber.
You are going to need some lube. Generally, dish soap is an inexpensive solution. If you’ve ever wondered why some people have dish soap sitting out at their pit area, that’s probably why. Lube up the edges of the tire with lots of dish soap and get ready to push!
Below is an illustration of the perfect execution angle of pushing! Some people make it look easier than it is I admit, but mounting a tire is no easy feat. Below is a step by step guide on how to mount a tire.
- Lube Up! Both the rim and the go kart tire bead.
- Grab the tire like a steering wheel with a really firm grip
- Place the tire onto the rim at the angle shown below
- Start pushing like it’s your job!! You are going to have to put all of your body weight behind this one. Swearing may commence. Mind the children!
At this point, the tire may seem stressed out and in pain. Don’t feel bad for it. It’s putting you through more pain trying to get it on, and I promise you won’t hurt it. Just keep pushing! Hopefully by now you’ll have the first bead on.
5. Repeat the first three steps for the second bead. I’m not gonna lie. I always find the second one a little harder to get on than the first. But trust me that second bead will slide on eventually.
Yay! You did it! You mounted a go kart tire. Not an easy feat for anyone really. With practice you will find the perfect angle and learn little tricks with weight positioning, etc. Now just complete the whole process again for your other 3 tires! And then make an appointment for your chiropractor. I’m sure you’ll feel like you need it.
**Disclaimer** Mounting a go kart tire, as mentioned above, is really quite hard to do for most people. The above is just a few suggestions on how to make it a little easier for those who have never done it before. We here at Go-Kart-Source.Com take no responsibility for those of you who unfortunately get injured while mounting tires. Keep in mind it might just happen. So be careful! And have fun… if that’s possible while doing it.