Home Forums Shifter Karts 80cc Shifter or Not? … That is the question

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    • #9522
      Derek Lodato

      Hey guys… it’s me again for another round of questions

      First off I was looking into the CR125 stock moto package vs KZ but honestly I just want to drive. You can spend minimally or tons depending on what you are looking to accomplish I understand this.

      I briefly looked at the Rotax packages but frankly even the DD2 wasn’t enough for me regarding power. It didn’t have enough grunt out of the corners that I would like.

      I’ve been told that 80cc Shifters may be the way for me personally because of what I’m looking to do. Plus parts may be less expensive due to the lack of popularity in this class these days nationwide.

      I am looking to get seat time and just learn at this point. I am not going to race just enter practice/lapping sessions only. If my goal is to race later I’ll graduate into a stock moto 125 engine etc.

      In your opinion, is it a good idea to get involved with a CR80 package to keep the cost lower while still getting seat time and experience with shifter karts and what is your overall opinion on the CR80 Shifters in general?


    • #9523
      Valentin Yakimenko

      Idk… when u outgrow it what u gonna do with it. If u like me , no one around has or want cr80… u just gonna get stuck with it. Might as well get u 125 .. and if thats too much just dont roll thru all the gears… jmo

    • #9524
      Ray Lovestead

      I went the shifter route (ICC, then CR125) and my honest advice is go Tag or Rotax.  Go get one and use it for a year.  Buy it used, sell it used.  You will have way more fun and won’t spend all your time fixing it, upgrading it, shifting it and going off the track!

      I like shifters, but if I could have learned on a Tag I believe I would have had a much better time, driven more, and spent way less money.

      Then I would have bought the shifter later (1-2 years later) and would have the experience to tune it and drive it.


      "Karting Expert Since 2015"

    • #9532
      Bob Baldwin


    • #9535
      Keith Bridgeman

      I think it might be debatable if TAG is cheaper then shifters, maybe a little.  If your just running practice laps it might be.   You can get screaming deals on 80cc karts and yes you can bang out laps pretty cheap.   You don’t pay much and your not going to get much for it when your done.   If you want to shift then TAG isn’t an option.  If thats not a big deal then TAG would be fine.


    • #9540
      Derek Lodato

      Thanks for feedback…

      @Bob… Well… I have been on the forums for a while now and appreciate the feedback but it’s been a process to figure out the way to go. Everyone has their opinion on different packages whether it be Stock Moto or KZ etc.

      I have been hearing that 80cc may be an even better option as long as I understand resell value won’t be much.

      When I said I just want to drive … this was a little out of frustration. It seems as if opinions on what motor to use is ENDLESS.  Although some of the feedback is helpful it’s mass confusion. I was just going to gear it down pick up an 80cc and get some shifter track time in. I was hoping it would be more simple but I believe I opened up yet another can of worms here

    • #9545
      Bob Baldwin

      Derek : YOU are the only one who can make that decision . sounds like you don’t want to compete in racing .And that is OK . Welcome to the WORLD of NON COMPETITIVE KARTING .

      It also sounds like when you reach the Apex of a turn you WANT to MASH the GAS and get your back thrown against the back of the seat . lol . NOT ALWAYS the fastest way around the track .

      Hard to compare Apples to Oranges . Do you want a Stock 80 or a BUILT 80 ? A stock Honda or a Built Honda ? Stock KZ or a Stage 4 TM ICC ?

      Either choice you can PLAY with the gearing to get your JOLLIES !!!

      Pretty much depends on HOW FAT your wallet is

      We ALL have DIFFERENT WANTS , NEEDS , and DESIRES ONLY you can answer that question  GRASSHOPPER .

      PS let us know WHAT you finally decide on ?

    • #9546
      andy graham

      some 80s are sleepers…on the right track, a bad ass 80 can beat a stock 125….I have a superdyne 80cc.  I’ve enver seen the build or dyno sheet, but Pete tells me his notes have my motor dumping 30-31hp on his dyno…fun as shit to drive, not as scary like a KZ or CR. I’m keeping mine around for my son who’s almost eleven, I plan to introduce him to shifting with the 80 and then move to an S5 stock moto in due time.

    • #9551
      Derek Lodato

      @ Bob… Well it’s not exactly true. Although funny how you put it. I am actually looking for a slightly modified 80cc say to 25hp. If going to 125 I’d choose a Stock Moto ’99 CR125

      I am not interested in driving just for fun. For me it is about learning the skill of competitive karting and through seat time getting to a level of confidence, skill and speed to enter races. I’ve never been one to enter a race unless I feel I can win or come dang close.

      I’m ok with using an 80cc engine package just to learn knowing that I won’t get much out of it when I sell… as long as I don’t have to spend much to get it on the track initially. $4000 is not an option.. heck I’d be ok with $1500 but not much more for the 80cc package

      I’m looking for the best bang for my buck while still getting decent performance while I’m in the learning stages of the shifter world. I know a lot about these karts but not a lot of experience first hand driving or tuning one. What I also don’t know first hand is what type of money is involved in maintaining one of these engines. Some say it’s a nightmare… others say hogwash … everyone is different and drivings styles vary across the board. This is most likely why answers are so broad and different regarding 80cc, Stock Moto and KZ. Driving styles and proper maintenance are big variables

      With all of that said you are right .. the final decision is mine

      Thanks to everyone for your input

    • #9685
      Dave Holstein

      I got my feet wet this year on an 80, the class is really competitive but I have learned a lot so far.

      I have no regrets, glad I made the leap, finding a virtually race ready setup for 500 clams helped

    • #9696
      Rod Balding

      I think for someone that wants to jump into karting thinking they need to start out on a shifter as many do should not jump hole hog into the 125 and can’t handle it and then it’s up for sale after one time should start with the 80cc , I’ve ran C-Opens back in the day and quit racing in ’91 with dual TT-25’s controlled  and just able to herd one again and I chose the CR-80 for play on open track days and it’s a blast , sure it’s hard to sell when you get seat time and want to move up but you also get in cheaper . I really don’t like the first time karter to start out with the biggest and baddest they can get and then can’t handle it and quit , most new people want to go fast first thing then it scares the sh*t out of them then give up , you need to be realistic about things .        Just my $0.02

    • #9774
      Derek Lodato

      Thank guys

    • #9823
      Tyson Henry

      Why are you looking at buying a motor when you are selling a chassis?

    • #9830
      Derek Lodato

      @ Tyson … I am scaling back .. the GP10 Shifter Chassis is more than I need right now. I am looking for a lower priced chassis to practice with. Possible upgrade later. I have a tendency to try to buy higher caliber stuff before I need to. Sometimes this gets me in trouble. I have been seeking an 80cc engine as well just to keep costs lower. I am simply looking to practice and gain experience with shifters without the higher costs at his time.


    • #9832

      If you want to learn to drive get a tag. Most shifter drivers I have talked to that started in a shifter agree they would have become a better driver faster if they would have started in a tag kart.

      Also if you just want to get out and run laps look at the Rotax. Fuels savings alone will add up quick. I can run all day for just $12 in gas. Being able to run pump fuel and a lower oil ratio then other engines makes it very easy to go out and run lap after lap. Not to mention the longer times between rebuilds.

    • #9841
      Brian Degulis

      If you really want to get seat time and you feel TAG is not enough then a DD2 is your answer. It’s faster than an 80CC shifter and it’s as close to trouble free as you can get in a kart.


    • #9926
      Rod Balding

      Derek , the chassis will be ok , as I mentioned  , the 80cc will be a better start , but CROSS has an excellent point , if you want to learn to drive go with a TAG set-up or down size another step and even cheaper to maintain is a good used HPV/KPP , very easy to maintain lower hp which will result into learning momentum in the corners to keep the speed up for the straights , which relates to chassis tuning and understanding the initial fundamentals  , but if you just got to bang gears , start on the CR-80 .

    • #9931
      marc-andre hubert

      if you really want to run shifters get the 125cc now, the whole graduate to 125cc is waste of money, make decision TAG or Shifter and it its shifter get the stock moto 125cc, there not more money to fix VS 80cc. I did the 80cc cuz I got one for cheap, then needed to spent too much to make it run right and was stuck with with for long time, basically gave it away.

    • #9936

      Stick with the stock HONDA and get on with it SON!


      Mike G.


    • #9945
      Joseph Hollinger

      Why not set your current kart up as an S5? Restricted airbox, restricted exhaust. Slower while you are learning for a fraction of the cost of swapping the GP10 for some 80 package. Or, even cheaper, just run what you have with higher gears.

    • #9956
      Gary Smith

      I’ve been running CR80 for 5 years, I love it! I love to get into a rhythm and bang gears. It is not as fast as a 125, but it is a lot of fun and easier on your body.


      Honda CR80 #55

    • #9962
      Derek Lodato

      Well guys… I picked up a New CR85 package by Alden Engines so I’m going all in with this shifter package. There are good arguments between going 125 first and possibly using a restrictor plate going Rotax etc etc etc. I have experience with the Rotax and DD2 already. I want shifter seat time now only

      I’ve heard from many others that 80cc is fast and the way to go as long as you can get one for a great deal. Well I got a great deal on mine at a fraction of what a 125cc Stock Moto cost so looking to get some good seat time in with it. Maintenance may be close to the same who knows but start up cost was way lower.

      My GP10 isn’t getting much response so I’m keeping it

      All 80cc guys check out the new topic CR80/85 Tech Talk. I welcome all your advice on setup and tuning or hit me up at dlodato7@yahoo.com or text at 813-504-0192

      Let the Shifting Begin!

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