Tire Prep

So this is my first year of go kart racing. I am gonna run maxxis tires and I was wondering the procedure to prepping tires. That includes scuffing, prepping and everything that goes into it. I am not asking people for there secrets on prepping tires or what they use I am just asking what to do. What do i scuff with and everything like that. Do I prep in the week or only the day of the races? I have talked with people at my local track about what prep to run so I know that I will be running the same prep as a bunch of people at the track.
 

spincycle

Premium User
have to first know that there are probably a million different ways to go about it...i'd be glad to share my method, its nothing fancy or tricky...first, brand new maxxis need to be sanded to open up the shiny factory surface, i use a fairly rough flap disc on a 4" high speed hand grinder, then i take out the valve core and pour in the amount of inside prep desired typical is (60-90cc's), the put the valve core back in and air them up to about 10Lbs, put them on the tire roller for 24-48hrs, if its cold in the garage will need to put some kind of heat to them, i use a couple space heaters, during the hot summer months not entirely necessary imo, then start wiping on 3 coats of a very aggressive/softening external prep, let them sit for 24hrs, then check duro, if there not at the desired duro, wipe 3 more coats, let them sit 24hrs...if duro is good at that point, let them sit till race day, wipe on 2 coats of a non-softening/high bite building prep in the morning of race day, then wipe on 2 coats of same non softening/high bite prep at the track before you go out on the track, cleaning tires after each time on track with tire cleaner or hot water (if available)...personally i use venom juice products which can be purchased through the Trac-Tac website...hope this helps get you going!
 

spincycle

Premium User
maxxis on a low bite soft track maybe in the mid 40"s duro, medium bite/medium hard track maybe 50-52 hardness, hot, hard, high bite track (usually daytime summer racing) maybe 56-58 hardness are good startingpoints for determining where to set your duro, everyone has their opinions, but ive always thought having three sets with you is best esepcially if your a budget minded racer like me, one set in mid 40's, one set in the low 50's and one set in the high 50's....
 
I have a set of maxxis with less than 20 laps on them. Could I make it work with those tires and an extra set of some older maxxis tires. They would have like 60 laps or more on them?
 

spincycle

Premium User
Can I make a night of racing with just one set of maxxis?
That depends on what your expectations for the night are...to go out and make laps, yes one set will do you just fine, to go out and be competitive and maybe pull off a win now and then, no....tires are the biggest piece to the karting puzzle, I assume by your I'd that you run the predator motor class, just my personal opinion, but that's the lowest motor hp class in karting, I don't feel new tires are necessary, you can buy used sets of 4 maxxis with plenty of good life left in them for $100-$120 that have already had all the prep/sizing work done to them, all you have to do with them is the race day wiping....
 
I plan to go out there the first few races and just get an idea of everything, I will probably be at the back of the pack so It sounds like 1 set will do for my first few races but then after i get an idea of everything and start trying to be more competitive I will upgrade to 2 or more sets.
 

spincycle

Premium User
I've raced at twister alley once with my open engine kart, didn't seem to me to be a track that would be hard on tires, so you should get quite a few nites out of a set, if you're not familiar, kart tires have tread depth dots and wear lines around the outside edge of the tread, when you start to see the dots and tread lines start to disappear, that's when that tires useful life is over...hope this helps you get started and also if you start shopping for used tires, if you do, the more dot and outside tread line, the better and longer life that tire will give you...
 
I just purchased some maxxis tire actually. They had 20 laps on them and were used for just a practice day. The tread dots are still there and all th elines are still on the tire on every tire on each side. I think I got a decent deal on them. They had 20 laps for 160
 

spincycle

Premium User
I just purchased some maxxis tire actually. They had 20 laps on them and were used for just a practice day. The tread dots are still there and all th elines are still on the tire on every tire on each side. I think I got a decent deal on them. They had 20 laps for 160
If they had good prep and sizing done that's not a bad price...as far as when to flip them, I watch the tread lines around the outside of the tread, those wear away first, on maxxis tires when they're new there are 3 lines, soon as I see it starting to show wear on the middle line, I flip mine, that wear is affecting the edge profile of the tread on the tire, it's got a definitive curve shape when theyre new, as they wear that curve flattens out which affects how good the tire bites through the corners, as it flattens tire performance drops off accordingly...and typically need to flip both right sides and the LR...you'll find that the LF tire doesn't hardly wear down at all....which is good when you're needing to buy tires, only need the other three typically...😉
 

spincycle

Premium User
One last thing. I know in dirt track racing people will wrap there tires. Do people wrap there tires in kart racing?
I've never done it myself, guess some are thinking there is some degree of evaporation of the external prep from a tire if it's left to sit for any length of time before being used that they're trying to keep from happening..
 

BrendanFitz#73

Mohawk Dawg
We only wrap for the winter. Keeps the oils from seeping out of the tire. But we also run burris which is a whole different tire game. Maxxis imo are the hardest tire to deal with because of all the prep work, flipping, and the wear rate. Flip them to keep the wear as even as you can from side to side or you'll have a dixie cup looking tire after awhile. Make sure to check your sizes to have enough stagger and let all the air out of the lefts when not racing and keep the rights aired up to maintain size. As for prepping spincycle has got it covered completely. Follow that advice and you can't go wrong.
 

flattop1

Dawg 89
^ thats what i would do buy two sets pay the shipping .
Then you have some newer tires too work with .
 

jaymancds

Premium User
Can I make a night of racing with just one set of maxxis?
Yes. Twister is good for using one set. Don't let people who don't race where you race tell you what works and what doesn't at your track.

How often do I flip tires? and do I flip all the tires?
I flip tires once I start to notice the edges warn off. Typically every 2 to 3 races depending on how they wear.

One last thing. I know in dirt track racing people will wrap there tires. Do people wrap there tires in kart racing?
I wrap mine for a couple reasons. 1. They stay clean on the way to the track. 2. I think it helps with prep work.

With that said, As soon as I get unloaded the plastic comes off and the trackside prep starts to be done. If you have questions about what I do for twister just PM me. I post most of what I do publicly, but the secret sauce I don't. I may not be the best at it, but I rarely have grip issues.
 
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