Changing tires is a common process for go-kart racers. This is done by removing the worn tire from the rim and replacing it with a new one. Replacing go-kart tires can be a tedious task if done without the correct tools.
One of the best tire changing tools is a go-kart tire bead breaker. These bead breakers assist in removing the go-kart tires from your rims by separating the tire bead from the outer flange of the rim.
This greatly increases the tire changing speed and makes the entire tire changing process extremely convenient for go-kart racers.
In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at go-kart tire breaker tools, how they work, how much they cost, what the benefits are and how to use them. Let’s jump right in!
Go-Kart Tire Bead Breaker Tool
A tire bead breaker tool is a mechanical device that assists in replacing go-kart tires. The goal here is to remove the used tire from the rim as efficiently as possible.
Go-Kart Tire Bead Breakers are typically made of steel or aluminum and are coated with a protective layer such as cadmium, which gives the tool corrosion-resistant properties. I personally prefer the RLV Tire Bead Breaker for Go-Karts, as it features a great build quality and helps to change tires at lightning speeds.
Let’s take a closer look at them. Below is an illustration of the tool with part descriptions for easy reference.
Bead Breaker Tool Description
- Tire Tray
- Bead Separator
The bead breaker tool consists of a stand, tire tray, lever that is corrected to the stand via dual hinges, a handle and the bead separator. Some bead breakers also feature various height adjustments for different go-kart tire widths.
Here is a list of all the components that are included in the kit:
- 1 x Tire Bead Breaker
- 1 x Hand Grip
- 3 x Long Screws (M8 – 45mm)
- 4 x Short Screws (M8 – 25mm)
- 1 x Flat Washer (M8)
- 14 x Wing Nut (M8)
- 1 x Snap-In Plug (Small)
- 1 x Snap-In Plug (Large)
How Does a Go-Kart Bead Breaker Work?
Each go-kart tire has a bead, which is a wire structure that is located on the edge of each side of the tire. This bead sits on the flange of the rim and securely seals the air inside the tire.
A go-kart tire bead breaker engages with the bead of a tire by pushing it downwards and moving it out of the rim socket. Essentially, this process “breaks” the bead’s air seal. This causes the tire to deflate, making it easier to remove.
What Are the Benefits?
There are several benefits for using a go-kart tire bead breaker compared to other tools out there. The main reasons are practicality and speed. Using one greatly increases your speed when it comes to changing to go-kart tires. Here are several other benefits:
- Convenient: They help to speed up the tire changing process making it very convenient, especially when you have to change all four tires from time to time.
- Practical: Go-kart tire bead breakers can easily be transported around in your trailer, and you’ll be able to easily change your kart tires at the race track.
- Affordable: As this tool is made of stainless steel and is simple in design and function, it happens to be very affordable.
- Safe: Using a bead breaker has a lower risk of damaging your rims or injuring yourself, as all you’ll need to do it press down the leaver and hold the wheel in place.
As you can see, there are many benefits that you’ll be able to enjoy when using a bead breaker to change your go-kart tires. It’s an affordable tool, with very little downside.
Support Rim and Tire Sizes
Tire bead breakers that are designed to go-kart tire specifications can handle rims that are about 5” to 6” in diameter. This is because the bead breaker has a curved bead separator that fits these rim sizes. However, most of the time you’ll also be able to use them on slightly smaller and larger rim diameters.
In terms of tire height, they support tires that are up to 10” in width. This is because bead breakers are height adjustable and can easily be configured to cater for different tire widths.
Here’s a quick guide on tire and rim compatibility:
- Rims: diameter of 5” to 6”
- Tires: width of up to 10”
How Much Do Bead Breakers Cost?
There are many types of bead breaker tools for go-karts and their prices depend on the manufacturer, materials that are used and its features. Typically, they cost around $40 to $60.
How to Use a Go-Kart Tire Bead Breaker
They are very simple and straightforward to use. As these tools can cater for different tire widths you’ll need to remember to adjust the height setting accordingly. You may follow this quick guide on how to use a go-kart tire bead breaker.
1. Set your bead breaker on an firm surface
Make sure that the surface is solid and firm. It’s best to place it on the floor, a workbench or a table.
2. Place your go-kart tire onto the tray/base
Some bead breakers have a tire tray, a platform or just a base. Line up the tire accordingly.
3. Adjust the height setting to cater for tire size
Use the higher setting for wider tires and use the lower setting for narrower tires. You can adjust it by removing and reinserting the bolt and wing nut into different height settings on the stand.
4. Firmly grab onto the lever handle
Grab the handle or grip firmly. As you’ll be using a little force, it’s best to have one hand on the go-kart tire.
5. Lower the lever until it rests on the tire bead
Don’t push the lever into the tire yet. Instead, line it up so that it is pressing against the bead of the tire and at the same time is not in contact with the rim.
6. Firmly push the lever down
Now, push down the lever until you see that the tire is deflating. You may need to turn the tire 180 degrees and do the same thing on the other side. However, most of the time you’ll be able to remove the tire by hand after the first attempt.
The rear tires can sometimes pose a challenge to get off. If you can’t remove them from the rim by hand, you can also use a go-kart tire tong.
7. Rinse and Repeat
Do this for all of the tires that you wish to change. Always ensure that you apply a bit of pressure on the tire so that it doesn’t move when you press down the lever.