Talk to me about 80cc shifter karts

My only experience with a kart is my 125cc shifter. My wife has been extremely supportive and thinks it looks like a blast, but isn’t sure she wants the full bore 125cc experience. There’s an '08 Tony Kart 80cc shifter for sale locally that we are strongly considering. If we get it, it’ll only be used for autocross as any kart track time within a days drive of here is in limbo and may never return.

This 80 in question has the same homologation date as my 125- 2008- so am I to presume that stuff like wheel bearings, tie rod ends, uniballs, axles, cassettes, rear brake pads and caliper seals and master cylinder parts are all the same between the two karts?

Since we’re not going to be racing it against other karts, we pretty much have free reign to do whatever we want to the kart… would adding front brakes be a good idea, or do the 80cc shifter karts just not need them?


I’ve driven a CR80 with only a rear disc, which was the spec back when they were a class, & it worked fine. If you do get it, drive it some as is before spending extra for fronts.

That was the intention, but I figured I’d see what the collective had to say about it to compare against my impressions. Interestingly enough, after digging through the rule book, adding front brakes is allowed if desired.

Actually, I’m curious about this too, so if anyone has input on this, that’d be great. I want to run 80cc shifter at Rock Island this year, if they offer it.

80’s are sadly overlooked. They are a super fun and very economical way to get shifter kicks and practice without the sheer violence of a 125.

Generally you won’t need front brakes. Performance wise they can hinder more than help on an 80. It depends on the track. Although you have gears, think of it as more of a TaG in terms of performance and overall weight.

An 80 with hand operated front brakes for lunges would work well.

Never ran a kart with front brakes, but from my car racing world — can you heavily bias the rear so that the fronts only come in to play with really heavy braking? I like the idea of hand fronts, just wonder how much more that is asking of the driver during an already mentally taxing moment

Well, the kart in question sold before we had a chance to look at it. It’s the only 80 I’ve ever seen for sale within a distance worth going to get, so we ended up with a CRG Rotax TAG. She hasn’t been out on it yet other than a quick test putt, but she does like how there’s no shifting, no chance of stalling it out in the event of a spin, and electric start so that after the pushes me, she can hop in hers and go.