Sport bike (vehicle class)

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Sport bikes,[1] commonly known as inside drifting bikes[citation needed] or inward drifting bikes,[citation needed] are a class of bikes in the Mario Kart series that drift in a unique way, committing to the turn instead of actually "drifting". Introduced as hang-on type (「ハングオンタイプ」) bikes in Mario Kart Wii,[2] they are one of the four vehicle body classes in Mario Kart 8, distinguished from standard bikes, the other type of bikes.

Since they do not drift, but rather commit to the turn when the player attempts to manually drift or autodrift, they handle in a significantly different way from every other vehicle class in the Mario Kart series. In both Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 8, they can be distinguished from standard bikes by the usually less upright and more aerodynamic posture of the character riding them.


Mario Kart Wii[edit]

Artwork of Princess Peach on her Mach Bike, from Mario Kart Wii
Princess Peach committing to the turn on her Mach Bike

Sport bikes are introduced as hang-on type (「ハングオンタイプ」) bikes in Mario Kart Wii,[2] from the name used in Japanese to refer to the technique in which bikers hang off their bikes when they turn. They are not explicitly distinguished from standard bikes in the vehicle selection screen, requiring the player to look at the posture of the rider (unless the rider is a small character) to understand whether the selected bike is a sport bike or a standard bike.

Yoshi, committing to the turn on the Mach Bike, a hang-on type bike.
Yoshi leaning off his Mach Bike

The main distinguishing feature of sport bikes is that as soon as the player attempts to start drifting with them, they commit to the turn instead of swinging the rear wheel out like a regular kart. Furthermore, when the player tries to start drifting after landing from a jump they quickly make a sharp turn toward the inside of turn and then start committing to the turn. This latter aspect leads to them being able to take sharp turns despite their lower turning capability (angular velocity) while they commit to the turn, compared to that of karts when they drift, and results in them having in general relatively high drift statistics in the vehicle selection screen despite said actual low turning capability, the only exception being that of Dolphin Dasher and Magikruiser which are both given low drift values despite their turning capability being actually higher than that of the Sneakster and Jet Bubble.

Like all the other bikes in the game, they are unable to charge Super Mini-Turbos, but the player can make the driver perform a wheelie to temporarily increase the driver's top speed.

Since it is only possible to choose the Standard Kart and the Standard Bike in Battle Mode, sport bikes cannot be used in that game mode.

When small characters ride sport bikes, they perform the same trick animations as on standard bikes. Medium characters, however, have a distinct set of animations, while large characters use the same tricking animations used while riding the Standard Bike L, though they have a completely distinct set of tricking animations used for standard bikes other than the Standard Bike L.

Mario Kart 8 / Mario Kart 8 Deluxe[edit]

Link, on the Master Cycle.
Link committing to the turn on his Master Cycle

Sport bikes return as one of the four body classes of Mario Kart 8, alongside karts, standard bikes, and ATVs. Like the standard bikes, in this game sport bikes are given a proper name[1] and a distinct icon on the vehicle customization screen that allows them to be distinguished from standard bikes (The icon for sport bike bodies in Mario Kart 8.).

Lemmy, committing to the turn on his Sport Bike in Mario Kart 8.
Lemmy leaning off his Sport Bike

Just like in Mario Kart Wii, sport bikes commit to the turn when the player attempts to drift with them; unlike in said game, however, in Mario Kart 8 they actually turn only when they are leaning and not as soon as they land after a jump. In addition, compared to the other vehicle classes having the same Handling and Speed statistics when the player manually drifts, when the sport bikes commit to the turn as a consequence of the player attempting a manual drift they charge their Boost counter as fast as the drifting vehicles, but their turning capability is inferior[3] while their top speed is higher.[4] Importantly, these different properties are not applied when autodrifting, even though they still commit to the turn instead of actually drifting.[3]

Interestingly, even though the exploit known as fire hopping doesn't require the vehicle to drift, sport bikes are completely unable to perform said exploit. Much like standard bikes, sport bikes are able to charge Super Mini-Turbos, and unlike in Mario Kart Wii, players cannot perform wheelies with them, although the racers will perform purely cosmetic wheelies during mushroom and dash panel boosts. Sport bikes are also given unique statistics not shared with bodies pertaining to other vehicle classes, leading to them having strong handling statistics, with the non-DLC sport bikes having the highest handling and lowest traction statistics in the game, possibly compensating for their lower turning capability when the player attempts a manual drift.

Larry's special second trick, while riding a sport bike.
Larry performing a unique secondary trick on his Jet Bike

When riding sport bikes, the characters perform the same tricking animations they perform on standard bikes and ATVs, with the sole exception of Larry, Peach and Baby Daisy; these three characters perform a different tricking animation each while riding them (the secondary/glider trick in the case of Larry and Peach, and the anti-gravity trick in the case of Baby Daisy). In addition, only two CPU-controlled characters are able to ride sport bikes: Mario, who can ride on his Comet equipped with Slim tires, and Link, who can ride on his Master Cycle paired up with the Triforce Tires and Hylian Kite.

In Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, sport bikes are able to charge Ultra Mini-Turbos like all the other vehicle classes, but they no longer have their distinctive unique statistics not shared with bodies of other classes, as the Sport Bike and Jet Bike share their stats with the Prancer kart body, the Comet and Yoshi Bike share their stats with the Cat Cruiser kart body and the Teddy Buggy ATV body, and the Master Cycle shares its stats with the Sneeker and Gold Standard kart bodies instead. This results in them no longer having the best handling and worst traction in the game. Furthermore, more CPU-controlled characters (i.e. Peach, Rosalina, Koopa Troopa, Metal Mario, Pink Gold Peach, Larry, Ludwig, Toad Baby Mario, Diddy Kong, and Pauline) are now able to ride sport bikes.


Names in parentheses are used in the British localization.

Mario Kart Wii[edit]

Mario Kart 8[edit]


  1. ^ a b Musa, Alexander (May 30, 2014). "There are actually two sub-categories of bike: standard and sport. Standard bikes drift similarly to every other body type. Sport bikes more or less commit to the turn during a drift, sharply cutting in the direction of the turn." Mario Kart 8 PRIMA Official Game Guide. Page 28. Prima Games. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Page 14 and 15 of the Nintendo Official Guidebook of Mario Kart Wii. Retrieved April 26, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Mister Wu (December 8, 2015). Angular velocity in steady-state drifting and autodrifting. MKBoards Forums. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  4. ^ Mister Wu (July 4, 2016). Outward drifting vehicles gradually reach a lower speed while drifting. MKBoards Forums. Retrieved January 25, 2017.