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How To | What to do to… prepare the tyres for racing

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WHAT TO DO TO... PREPARE THE TYRES FOR RACING

14 February 2019
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INTRODUCTION

Like all of a kart’s parts (and in some ways, perhaps, most of all ...) also with the tyres, certain precautions are necessary to use them in the best possible way. Of course, for those used to racing, many things are seen as trivial and obvious, simple routine activities performed almost automatically. But for many kart drivers these are little-known procedures, because nobody has ever told them or because they are not considered to be very useful. In any case, a "refresher" can be good for everyone. So let's see everything you need to do with tyres not just to race faster, but to consume them evenly and get the most out of them. It all starts from home, when you prepare the toolbox...

1 FOR TRANSPORTATION

Everything starts from home because when it comes to wheels, it is not just about tyres and rims. You, instead need to understand a whole series of components that allow you to check tyre characteristics, optimise performance and to make transportation easier. Starting from this point, for example, it is always good to have some bubble wrap available. What is this? Do you know the cellophane with little "bubbles" that everyone has fun squeezing with their fingers? Yes, that’s it "! It is very useful to wrap the rims during transportation from home to the track without damaging them, since, particulalry in regard to the ones made of magnesium, they are very fragile.

2 WEIGHTS, SCREWS and VALVES

Back to the toolbox, it is good to keep a small space (just a small one, given the size of the objects) to put little "weights": small adhesive pieces of lead that, glued to the rim, are used to balance the wheels. Beside them, you don’t need much space for some spare anti-de-beading screws: these are small screws which, placed between the rims and tyres, prevent the tyres from protruding (technically, from de-beading) from the rim. Lastly, it is useful to have some valves, small accessories that, just like for bicycles, ensure the air does not come out of the tyres, but allows the air to enter when inflating. You need a wrench for small valves to fit them,: an easy tool to find at your dealer, in automotive parts stores, tyre shops but also in well-stocked shopping centres.

3 FOR MEASUREMENT PURPOSES

We have discussed spare parts so far, but tyres also require certain essential tools to better evaluate their use. Let's start with the simple flexible ruler, perfect for measuring the circumference of tyres and determinng which tyres should be on the outside and which ones on the inside. Equally well-known is the pressure gauge, an essential tool for measuring tyre pressure. Analog or digital, the important thing is that it is accurate. Finally, although it has a slightly stranger name, a durometer is undoubtedly useful. If you ask a normal hardware store you should have no problem finding one (be careful to ask for a specific one for soft materials). It works simply through a tip that, pushed with reasonable force against the material to be tested, produces a more or less large hole and, in this way, measures the hardness.

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