How To Change Your Kart Tires!

My plan was to change my kart tires before the next race.  Since it is the Saturday before the next race, this is what I am doing.  It looks so easy when you watch the youtube video’s on how to get it done, but they must be editing out the hard parts.  It takes a little muscle to get the tires off, but if you don’t mind a couple of scratches on your rims, this is pretty doable.

First off, you need to take the tire off the kart.  My kart had 3 10mm bolts that held the rim on.  Remove these bolts and take the tire off.

Racing Kart Rim Bolts

Once the tire is off, press on the pin in the valve stem to let all the air out of the tire.

Kart Valve Stem

If you have bead locks, which I did, you will need to remove them as well.  I had 3 locks with allen keys on the outside side of the rim.

When you are satisfied that you have removed all of the air, or as much air as you can, out of the tire, you will be ready to use your bead breaker to break the bead on the rim and get the tire in a position to remove it from the rim.

Align your bead breaker with the side of the rim, but make sure the breaker is on the tire.

Using a bead breaker

Push down on the bead breaker and watch the magic happen.  That will push the tire off the rim and break that seal.  You will need to do this on both sides of the rim.

After the beads have been broken, you will be able to make the tire narrow and move it around on the rim.

Kart Tire bead broken

I’ve seen videos where people were able to muscle the tire off of the rim and not use any tools.  I was not able to do this.  I used a couple of screwdrivers strategically placed along the rim to minimize scratching and maximize leverage on the tire.  I used them to pry the tire over the side of the rim.  There was a little scratching of the rim, but nothing that couldn’t be touched up with some paint.  I think I’ll just leave it; I tried to use the same spot as the last guy!

Prying tire off the rim

Once you get the first part of the tire over the rim, you will be able to get the tire completely off without too much trouble.  You can do this part without using screwdrivers.

Now it’s time to put on the new tires.  Taking the knowledge found by taking the tires off, I was able to slide the new tire halfway on the rim without using any tools.

Once the tire is halfway on, getting the rest of it on becomes a challenge.  What I did was to get some of the tire on the correct side of the rim and then, using the bead breaker, I pushed the rest of the tire on.  I went around the tire a couple of times to get this to work but in the end it was pretty quick.

Using the bead breaker to install tires

Now, we need to get the tire bead to make contact with the rim.  If you had bead locks, you will need to partially thread them back into their holes.  This will stop the air from just coming out of them.  You do not want to have the locks protruding past the inside of the rim and causing any damage to your new tire!

Once they are partially in, take an air compressor and start filling the tire with air.  As you are filling it, you will hear two pops.  Those are the tire beads making contact with the rim.  A word of advice, on the smaller tires (front ones) I had t manipulate the locations of the tires to get the tires to “pop”.


Kart Tire Mounted!

Kart Tire Mounted!

When the pop occurs, tighten up your bead locks and re-mount your wheel to the kart.  You are done!

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