My best bud has a ninja on his XRAY NTI and I tuned it for him and unfortunately it was a nightmare! There is a big 50/50 split with this engine. Some love, some dont. Unfortunately Im in the "some dont" category. I can only offer you my opinion and what we went through. Let me start off by saying, he is still running the engine today and it runs great but to get it to run that way was not easy. I don't want to totally bash the ninja engine but its been an interesting experience dealing with this engine. First off, break in process was really tough. Engine had alot of compression and would not idle with factory settings. We were chasing settings for an entire day just to get it to start and idle for more than 5 minutes. Ive broken in a alot of engines in my day and I never had this much trouble with any of my novas or O.S. engines.
Getting the engine dialed in at the track was a bit of a headache. The engine would start up fine and we were able to get a few laps down but if we wanted to make some minor carb adjustments and fine tuning, the engine would just freak out. I checked for air leaks everywhere but found none. Even minor adjustments would cause the engine to act eradically and eventually flame out. So we just set the needles back to the settings that worked and left them there. I'm afraid of leaning the engine out due to many people complaining about the weak conrod so we really haven't seen what this thing can do. Besides that, weve got it running and it can run well with the other engines out there. I will agree with tomekz, bottom end is not snappy at all but this thing is a rocket down the straight away. Loads of top end!
Me and my bud are convinced that we just got a very temperamental little engine. We cant speak for all of these engines and I have heard of people having very good luck with them. Unfortunately we weren't one of those. On many occasions we've contemplated leaning it really thin and sacrificing it to the
RC Car Gods
. Im sure the RC Car Gods will find our sacrifice worthy and bless us with a non problematic O.S. or maybe even a JLR Red dot! I guess we will see what happens this Saturday.
Would I recommend one, no. Stick with your OS or try that Picco JLR Red dot. Ive heard alot of good things about that engine and you cant beat the price. Cant go wrong with Nova engines, pricey yes but you get what you pay for.