We are new to karting and are renting a Kart for Racing. Our fee does not include new tires this is something we must pay for if we want to provide new tires.

The existing rear/front tires we use a device to heat scrape off any debris before the next race.

The person we are renting from says we should replace the front tires in a few more weekends. (each weekend has 4 races) The tires on the Kart now are not new.

We know that tires are expensive 200.00 a pair but want our child to be safe.

How do we know when to replace? So we want to know when is the right time to replace. Can we tell by looking? or is it more something our son can tell while racing.

The track is a track that is set up in a parking lot so it has a lot of bumps and is not a normal smooth maintained race track. (although they do blow debris off before the racing begins)

2 Answers 2


New tyres simply make the kart go quicker by providing more grip. Even if a tyre fails, you are highly, highly unlikely to be in any danger as a result. You might spin if a rear tyre fails partway through a quick corner, but your son will spend more time spinning off at the start of his karting career as a result of driving incorrectly than he will through tyre failures. Don't fret over tyre failures.

In my opinion, if your son is starting out, he may arguably benefit from running on well-used tyres for a while as it will help him hone his kart control skills. The bottom line though is that if we had a choice, we'd all slap new tyres on for every race. They will always be quicker. You change tyres when a) you can afford it, or b) you are sacrificing too much time per lap because your old tyres are past their "best" (grippiest) (or if you get a puncture!).

In terms of "how long" - it will depend on all sorts of things, not least the brand of rubber, the abrasiveness of the circuit, your son's driving style, the characteristics of the kart he is driving etc. Someone else in the same class and at the same circuit may have a good idea as a guess, but really it will ultimately down to your son exerting enough pressure on you to dip into your wallet again ;)


Bottom line: it all depends on how serious you are taking your racing. If your in it to just race and enjoy the time with your kids then 3-4 race weekends on a set of tires is reasonable. If your in it to win a lot and be very competitive, change them every race day. Racing was never meant to be or intended to be a cheap sport and certainly isn't for everyone or family. If money is of ANY concern, racing may not be the right sport for your family. That's just a reality. We race the SKUSA series and last season spent $12k and already owned our equipment. That was just on normal expenses to be semi competitive. I know people in karting that spend $25-30k per season.

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