Mario Kart 8, like it's predecessor Mario Kart Wii, has motorcycles (commonly called bikes) in addition to plain karts. In Mario Kart Wii when the player was racing with a bike, he could "pop a wheelie" by raising the front tire and provide an increase in speed with a trade-off in handling.

Mario performing a wheelie

However, in Mario Kart 8, the usual control methods of performing a wheelie have no affect. Is is possible to perform a wheelie in Mario Kart 8?

2 Answers 2


Short answer: No

The decision to remove wheelies from Mario Kart 8 was an intentional one. The reason stems from the fact that, due to poor design decisions in Mario Kart Wii, the bike became an over-powered vehicle. This is a statement attested to in general by players and developers alike.

The main factors that over-powered bikes were:

  • Overall Speed - Bikes generally had higher speeds than karts. The two fastest combinations in the game both require bikes.
  • Wheelies - Gave them an additional speed advantage that karts did not have.
  • Inner drifting - Allowed for sharper curves that karts could never perform.

The developers of Mario Kart Wii attempted to balance this situation by limiting how bikes boosted via drifts: granting only blue boosts, instead of the more powerful orange. This however had little impact.

Enter Mario Kart 8

The developers have made every attempt to balance bikes, while still retaining their spirit. The first and most obvious change in gameplay mechanics is the removal of wheelies as you noted. This makes them more on par with karts.

Other mechanical changes to bikes in Mario Kart 8 include:

  • Increasing the drift angle to be less sharp.
  • Giving them access to orange speed boosts, just like karts.

All of that said, as Matt has stated, when boosting via mushrooms if a player is using a bike in Mario Kart 8, the character will perform a wheelie. This is simple eye-candy and has no known effect on gameplay.

  • So, there's no longer all that much different mechanically between karts and bikes, just their handling? Commented May 31, 2014 at 8:40
  • 1
    @TrentHawkins Essentially yes. As you can see on Mario Wiki, no bike gives a speed advantage. And while the highest handling advantages can still be found on bikes, they're not humongous, and use the same system as Karts and ATVs.
    – Miguel
    Commented May 31, 2014 at 14:32

It is not possible to do a wheelie. However, bikes will do a wheelie when you use a mushroom. This is purely aesthetic and give you no advantage. This mechanic for bikes from Mario Kart Wii was removed.

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