Treat them well
No, we’re not talking of any particular chemical “treatment” to improve characteristics to make them work better, but hope to give you one or two hints on how to help you look after your kart tyres in the best of ways. There is certainly no need to underline the importance of tyres mounted on a racing vehicle, such as a kart. Remarks apart, this also means that tyres mounted over the past season (whether used or not) must be kept well in order to use them and get the best results over the first three months of the new season.
And if we have bought new tyres, it is important to know how to look after them.
Besides, it is normal that at any time of a tyre’s life, from mounting to
removing, but also during use, tyres must be treated with care. Helped
by hints given by LeCont experts, let’s take a look to see what should
be done to get the best out of our tyres, and why not, make them last
longer so that we can save a bit of money too.
Use kart tyres only when driving on tracks
This might sound silly, but if you mount them when driving on different ground surface, kart tyres could get strained from holes or cuts in asphalt, or even for different speed (and how long you use them for), all of which haven’t been calculated when they’ve been made. These things could give serious problems, for example, the tread might come off the casing.
Maximum load: 80 kg front and 100kg rear
You must not exceed these loads. If so, the carcass could give way, even if this may not be immediately visible.
Never exceed 1.05 bar during use
In any case, when you drive along a track, tyre pressure is less, never above 1 bar. And when you go below 0.6 bar, it’s better to have anti-beading screws. It is always better to check tyre pressure immediately before getting into the kart and after a couple of laps.
Tyres are dangerous products
However you may put it, tyres are special chemical products that aren’t edible: always better to wash your hands well after handling tyres, and keep away from children’s reach. For this same reason, do not throw your tyres away in the countryside.
Do not change tyre tread
Avoid changing tyre tread with riveting; make grooves, grouting or anything systems. Only experts should do this, and not even all experts...
Maximum tyre pressure: 4 bar
It is sufficient to know that bringing tyre pressure as close to maximum pressure volume allowed as possible, is a way of “ironing out” the tyre and increase its diameter to see whether there’s any marked difference in tyres. For example, if pressure is over the given value, tyre deformation is the first risk that we meet. But much worse can happen...
Don’t touch when you stop
Watch out, when you stop: tyres can reach 110°c (a value better not to exceed) and they take a long while to cool.
Maximum value: 160 km/h for 30 seconds
Do not exceed this limit, both in speed and time, to avoid tyre bursting or tread coming away.
Change when wear marks disappear
The small bores on the tread are for seeing wear conditions. When marks disappear, tread has worn away, and you are very close to mesh; at this point, it is better to change tyres.
Put the wheel in a protection casing
While pumping up tyres, it is better to keep them in a protection box, or simply in an external “ring”. In a way this prevents afore mentioned deformation and helps bead lift up onto rim; in another, it helps in case wheel or rim bursts. Logically this must not be on the “open” side...
Only mount on appropriate rims
The enormous clearance force that the present super-soft tyres have, require very taut tyre/rim coupling allowance, besides the safety that bead has gone up completely in the seat on the rim.
Steady speed over the first few laps
Tyres need to be warmed up or there’s little road hold and it is quite easy to go off the track. Accelerating too much along the first laps (especially with new tyres) you risk “burning”, or overheating, tyre tread. Warm up tyres gradually, unless of course you are doing official time practice tests and you have just two laps to do it in.
Mount tyre once only
Often tyres get deformed when they are removed from rim: therefore, it is better not to use the same tyre again. However, be very careful when removing tyres, and if you are among those using second and tyres, try to avoid tyres that have any bead deformation.
Check tyres with a bucket of water
After mounting, or if you have any doubts, put the tyre in a bucket of water to see if there is any air loss coming from rim and tyre, or around the anti-beading screws, or to see if there’s any porosity or cracks in the rim.
Check rotating direction
Lecont have arrows on the coloured tab to indicate rotating direction.
When tyres have been mounted, (obviously at the same pressure), check external circumference, there must be very little difference between the ones on the left and those on the right, maximum 15 mm.
In case of deterioration, change setup
It is probably wrong kart set-up, or it is incompatible with track conditions that cause abnormal wear. As soon as you notice it, change set-up immediately.
Keep away from damp, heat and light
To make the quality of tyres last longer, keep tyres in a dark, cool and dry place.
Use either air or nitrogen to pump up tyres
Don’t do any strange experiments with gas used for pumping tyres: air is fine, if not, use nitrogen which is, perhaps even better because it is inert.