As a longtime Mario Kart Wii player, I always used Automatic drift mode so I could concentrate on the higher-level details of what I was doing rather than how I was doing it. (That's how I rationalised it, anyway.) Mario Kart 8 doesn't have an Automatic mode, forcing me to take a (ahem) crash-course in drifting. Anyway, while I was figuring this out, my bike would occasionally drift, sometimes long enough to Mini-Turbo, all by itself. I'm not kidding - I'd turn the GamePad left (albeit hard left) and the bike would inexplicably drift. (My younger brother, who had drifting worked out before I did, didn't believe me until it happened to him on the same bike.)

So far I've reproduced this behaviour on three bikes (two drifting inward, one outward), two karts, and a quad, which leads me to suspect it's universal. So here I was thinking ZR was required to drift, and then the thing occasionally does it itself - anyone know what's going on? I've read the entire electronic manual (yeah, I'm one of those people), but still cannot find any mention of this.

  • I thought bikes in general "automatically" drifted on tight corners. traditional (ZR) drifting was for karts.
    – Rapitor
    Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 23:48
  • @Rapitor Where'd you hear that? It's certainly news to me... Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 23:53
  • I didn't hear it anywhere, I just always noticed bikes did it by themselves but weren't as potent as karts.
    – Rapitor
    Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 23:54
  • @Rapitor I have also manually drifted on a bike, unless I was just auto-drifting and didn't realize it. They don't seem to have the exact same mechanics as karts, though, and it threw me off. Commented Jun 3, 2014 at 0:04
  • Can you reproduce this on other bikes? If so, does the list where you can do so match the list of bikes that drift "in" instead of "out"?
    – Toomai
    Commented Jun 3, 2014 at 3:09

2 Answers 2


I just tested this as well (with a standard bike; you appear to have tested with other karts enough) by doing donuts in Dry Dry Desert. I do indeed see the same automatic boosting behavior on sharp turns.

This appears to be a subtle feature of the game that isn't obvious or well documented.

I can't say "why" this exists without consulting the developers, but if I had to guess I would say the automatic turn boost is there to assist with turning in situations where you weren't able to pull off a drift - drifting always goes to the outside (even with sports bikes, during the early part of the drift), which means in some situations you might not want to risk drifting. In those cases, this turn boost could kick in.

It's pretty hard to do on purpose, but when it happens it can only help - as far as I can tell, other than giving you a speed boost, this automatic turn boost does not affect how you turn.

  • Looks like snaking is back.
    – Brian
    Commented Jun 23, 2014 at 18:49

Mario Kart 8 merged the 'Manual' and 'Automatic' drifting modes from Mario Kart Wii into one. You can use the ZR trigger to perform manual drifts, but if you don't, automatic drifting will be engaged. All vehicle types support both kinds of drifting.

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