Go-karts are light weight racing machines that have a low center of gravity and rely on quick acceleration around apexes through superior handling and tire grip. If you own your own go-kart, equipping it with the optimal tires is of utmost importance. Failing to do so can negatively affect your racing performance.
It’s therefore vital to understand what the optimal tires sizes are for your go-kart. However, before you can do that. you would need to understand where to find the tire size indicator and how to read it correctly.
Where to Find the Tire Size?
As you can see in the picture illustrated below, you can find the go-kart tire size on the outer part of the tire (facing away from your kart). You’ll be able to see 3 numbers in combination. In the example below you are able to see: 10 x 4.50 – 5.
How to Read the Go-Kart Tire Size?
Now that you know where to find the size indicator, it’s time to take a look at what those numbers actually mean. Remember that it’s always going to be a 3 number combination. The example below shows 11 x 6.00 – 5.
Here is how to quickly read a go-kart tire size. An 11 x 6.00 – 5 go-kart tire is 11″ tall, 6 inches wide and is suitable for a rim diameter of 5 inches.
For a more in-depth explanation of reading go-kart tires properly, feel free to explore the section below. I’ve included some examples as well, for better understanding.
The first number on the tire (always the highest) indicates the height of the tire in inches. In the example above, the tire height is 11 inches. You’ll commonly find the tire height between 10 – 12 inches. Off-road go-karts on the other hand have much larger tires. It’s also common for the front tires of a go-kart to be slightly smaller as compared to the back.
The second number of your go-kart tires indicates the tire width. In this example the tire has a width of exactly 6 inches. Racing tires are typically between 4 – 9 inches wide. The reason why you’ll always see this number with 2 decimal places is because go-kart tires widths also come in fractional sizes, for example 4.5 or 7.1 inches. Also take note that front tires have a smaller width than the back tires, due to the weight distribution and the increased grip required at the back.
The last number on the tire shows the diameter of the rim. From the sample image above you can see that the tires sits on a rim that has a 5 inch diameter. The rims on the front and the back of go-karts usually have the same diameter. Typical rim sizes for racing are between 4 – 6 inches, whereas off-road rims are much larger.
What Type of Tires Are There?
Go-kart tires come in all shapes and sizes and vary depending on their application. Racing go-kart tires for example are usually wet or slicks, which are designed for maximum grip on the race track.
On the other hand, off-road go-kart tires usually have knobs and are larger, in order to give the kart a higher clearance for climbing uneven terrain. All go-kart tires should indicate the size on the outer side.
Where Can I Find All Tire Sizes?
You may want to find a specific set of tires for your go-kart and need to ensure that your new or replacement tires are the right size. For everyone’s convenience, I’ve created a go-kart tire size chart and database that contains most of the manufacturers tire data. Please feel free to have a look!