When Grind Hard Plumbing on YouTube first saw this custom machine, they said that “it’s well built,” and given how this custom golf kart did in the video, darned straight. 

While we’re no strangers to the occasional not-a-motorcycle things with Suzuki Hayabusa engines in it, it’s rather interesting to see a Yamaha motor being one of the centrepieces of a not-a-motorcycle build. Of all the things that you can make a bespoke vehicle out of, we have a golf kart with 180 bhp from a pre-crossplane Yamaha motor. 

Now, I don’t know anything about golf karts, I really don’t, but apparently, the model that was made into a Yamaha R1-powered dune buggy is a Textron E-Z-Go, at least that’s what I saw on the video. Now, don’t quote me on this but my best guess is that this used to be an E-Z-Go Valor or perhaps a Freedom RXV in earlier model years. After watching the video, the original owner said that it’s registered as an “E-Z-Go Golf Kart.”

Anyway, you’re not here to find out what it once was, you’re here to find out just how crazy this kart really is. 

Yamaha-R1-Swapped Golf Kart?

On top of the R1 Engine swap, which is a flat plane and could be any model year from 2002 to 2008. The owner also installed a power commander which means that the YZF-R1 that the builders got this motor from is fuel injected. In any case, we’re looking at a displacement of 998ccs with four cylinders 20 or 16 valves (it wasn’t made clear what generation R1 was used), and “180 horsepower” according to the video. 

Even wilder than the engine is the fact that this kart was built to be a buggy. Even so, its on-road performance is pretty shocking. All of a sudden, the racing harnesses make sense. 

This “normal” E-Z-GO golf kart also has a set of dual-rate Fox Shocks, which effectively makes this a 180-horsepower dune buggy. Now, I don’t know if you can still call this a golf kart, since it is essentially a custom dune buggy, but it is what it is I guess. 

There was a mishap in the video which involved a snapped CV joint. It was a kink in the road, but after a bit of bit of wrenching, it was all good and the kart even managed a wheelie. Another CV broke after all the fun they were having and it looks like more work is needed to make this R1-powered golf kart reliable.