Kart tyre failures

I’m sure every kart tyre manufacturer has the occasional production glitch in a batch. But how often does it happen and for safety reasons are there strict processes for control and investigation, with any lessons to be learnt, particularly for a CIK accredited tyre?

So, why ask the question.

Well, over this weekend, we had the second round of our Australian Superkarting Championship at Phillip Island. One of my fellow competitors in our Stock Honda Class had four rear tyres blow mid race. They are a soft KZ model rated to 200 km/h (circa 125 mph). Our top speed is circa 180 km/h (circa 112 mph) down the main straight. All the tyres were new. Two were his. The next two I gave him. We had purchased our tyres from two separate interstate retailers/distributors about two weeks ago (so very similar timing). The first tyre he blew Race 1, the next the following race, then the next two simultaneously in Race 3 (just amazing) coming into T4 (Honda) at about 160 km/h (circa 100 mph).

Photo below is the worst example and the first tyre to obliterate itself.

My colleague didn’t continue - his confidence somewhat shaken. I ran exactly the same tyre but one race meet old. No problems. I’ve used these tyres for over 12 months - never had a problem. I like them. My colleague has used them for well over 18 months. Again, never a problem.

Tyre pressures were 11 PSI.

In addition to these four tyres, we had another competitor driving in our 125 Open Class, also have the exact same tyre fail.

I’ve never seen, experienced or heard of anything similar. Is this highly unusual, and for safety reasons, should the CIK/FIA have a look? Luckily no one was hurt, and just some side pod damage when the first tyre failed. But no one wants this to happen in race conditions, at speed, with a catastrophic fail.

Any thoughts or similar experiences?

I know of three failures in Div 1 Superkarts in as many months, which is a bit alarming


Yikes. BTW, not the same brand.

Wel… I now know of 4

Something definitely needs to be done. 3 tyre failures in the same class in the space of a few months is very alarming, and considering how fast those karts are, it can lead to serious consequences.

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Between grip/pace inconsistency, roundness/balance, and now this, the quality and consistency between batches of that brand seem to be a little LeCrappy across various models.

already has with one of them.

It doesn’t happen very often in my experience, but from memory every tire manufacturer has had this issue at some point for another… to be fair, sometimes that was amplified through setup. (Not necessarily saying that happened here)

The only failure I’ve personally had was due to under inflation.

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Did you friend check the bead area of the effected tires for damage to make sure there was not a leak? Tires will easily come apart if the pressure gets too low. Maybe when mounting them, a bur on a tool or the rim damage the tire and caused it to go flat on track.

I’m sorry to hear that, I hope it wasn’t too bad.

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Well the rims help pressure overnight (at 11 PSI). So no sign of damage (other than for the actual tyres of course).

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