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Being competitive with older and cheaper gear (2012 Yokomo BD7)

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Being competitive with older and cheaper gear (2012 Yokomo BD7)

Old 01-11-2020, 08:48 AM
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Default Being competitive with older and cheaper gear (2012 Yokomo BD7)

RC is an expensive hobby and I have tried to get newcomers excited into the hobby but many find it too expensive.

There is no denying that this hobby is fast becoming "out-of-reach" for many of us. Companies release a new model every year and with it the prices go up. We know that we do not need to upgrade but many of us still do. Even worse, newcomers and told you need to get the latest and greatest to be competitive and have fun. They are told older cars are not as fast or not as good and are convinced to either walk away from the hobby or drop big money for a car that is way ahead of their skill level.

I don't like the direction of this as the hobby is dying in my region. I used to spearhead the hobby in Brunei but the times have changed and people can no longer afford it. We used to get 30 to 40 racers per outing to only 12 to 15 now. I want to continue promoting the hobby and share the joy it has brought me during some of my toughest times. With that said, I am starting a new series on Youtube where I will be using an old 2012 Yokomo BD7 to race against current cars. This is my own old BD7 so it already has plenty of battle scars and should be an accurate representation of a car sold on the second hand market.

I have also equipped it with older servos, esc and radio system. Basically a package that cost half of what you would pay for to get a current 'similar' set up. Hopefully this can convince newcomers or those returning to the hobby that older and cheaper equipment can be used to race competitively.


I am also doing a series of vid where I used an RTR 1/8 nitro buggy to race in the hopes of convincing newcomers that a cheaper RTR is also a viable option of getting started in racing as long as you treat it right. I will be impartial in both of these series and will tell you if something breaks or if i feel the equipment is holding me back.

Please spread the vid and my channel to those who you think might benefit from this.

Thank you.
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Last edited by tak4; 01-11-2020 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 01-12-2020, 01:02 AM
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Too expensive? BS. I drive a $110 3Racing Sakura Xi in Stock TC with a $99 Spektrum DX4c. The car is powered by a Hobbywing V10 Gen 3 21.5 and a Justock ESC. I don't think there is more than $450 bucks total in that car and it's every bit as quick as the ARCs and XRays I am racing against.
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Old 01-12-2020, 01:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Nortran11 View Post
Too expensive? BS. I drive a $110 3Racing Sakura Xi in Stock TC with a $99 Spektrum DX4c. The car is powered by a Hobbywing V10 Gen 3 21.5 and a Justock ESC. I don't think there is more than $450 bucks total in that car and it's every bit as quick as the ARCs and XRays I am racing against.
That's great Nortran but bear in mind not everyone has access to cheaper cars and parts. And ordering online isn't an option for most of us. Unfortunately not all countries have it as easy as others when it comes to stuff like this.

And USD$450 isn't a small amount either. $450 as you pointed out is not much in the rc world but that is more of a reflection of how expensive the hobby has become. Also the $450 doesnt take into account of a bodyshell, tyres, batteries, tools and chargers, all of which is needed to run a car. I would imagine your $450 quickly becomes $600 and more once you take everything into account. $600 is equivalent to $2400 in malaysia and about $900 in Brunei and that is equivalent to three months of rent which is hard to justify if you are a family man.

This is not an attack on you nor the industry. I am just stating facts that the hobby is just becoming too expensive. I am fortunate enough to have support from the LHS which keeps me in the hobby.

I also don't know if my video will help but I would do anything to keep the hobby in my region alive.
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Old 01-12-2020, 01:48 AM
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Food for thought.

Why I?m Worried About our RC Hobby, and Why You Should be Too - The RCNetwork

The hobby is struggling. For most it is not a big deal as they can still enjoy it. I am part of the RC body in my country and helped build the scene during its infancy. It pains me to see the hobby wither away.
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Old 01-12-2020, 05:27 AM
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I don't understand so much what you are looking for.
I still keep my BD7 2013 to run on asphalt race, on 17.5 or 21.5 blinky classes.
I could tell of my BD7 lower and upper deck are same, but bulkhead covers are 2015 version due i use SMJ short shock tower to use 2016 big bore shocks, with lower deck holes trimmed to be bigger to fit 2015 diffs and used samix sus mount.

So old cars with appropriate upgrades could not far away from newest cars.


Last edited by mac853; 01-12-2020 at 07:44 AM.
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Old 01-12-2020, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by mac853 View Post
I don't understand so much what you are looking for.
In this year I would run with BD9 which would be converted into mid motor later only in carpet track but still keep my BD7 2013 to run on asphalt race, on 17.5 or 21.5 blinky classes.
I could tell of my BD7 lower and upper deck are same, but bulkhead covers are 2015 version due i use SMJ short shock tower to use 2016 big bore shocks, with lower deck holes trimmed to be bigger to fit 2015 diffs and used samix sus mount.

So old cars with appropriate upgrades could not far away from newest cars.
Yes, you are definitely right and you know all of this from experience but I am just talking about newcomers to the hobby who are told to get the newest tech so they can be "competitive". The usual advice is "Don't buy second hand unless you know what you are doing." This is advice that will scare off newcomers and they get convinced that they must buy new.

But it seems RC is very different here in my region, compared to the rest of the world. I hope this is the case as the cost of current equipment is killing the hobby here. I am doing my best to raise awareness on how you don't need new gear to have fun in the hobby. If you don't think this applies to where you are from then I am very happy for the RC hobby in your area.

It's just all these RC companies closing down which prompted me to voice my concerns.

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Old 01-12-2020, 11:31 AM
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But i keep bd7 2013 is not because the money, is just because i love it personally.
As i heard in years ago many people still looking for this car despite 2015 or 2016 released already due the driving style.
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Old 01-12-2020, 12:22 PM
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RC has never been cheaper. When I started in the 80's, you had to buy your kit for 150, a radio for at least 200, a couple of servos, battery and charger. You were probably 5-600 bucks in before even turning a screw. Now, you can walk into a hobby shop, get a solid basher for less than 200 bucks and have an absolute blast. That article you posted is almost 2 years old. A lot happens in 2 years. A local club here boasts over 200 entries a week. That's far from struggling.

Sorry, but the whole "not everyone has access to cheap parts" story doesn't wash. You have the internet to post this thread, you have access to cheap parts. Racing is ALWAYS going to be expensive. You don't want to spend money, go buy a cheap Arrma and bash.
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Old 01-13-2020, 01:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Nortran11 View Post
RC has never been cheaper. When I started in the 80's, you had to buy your kit for 150, a radio for at least 200, a couple of servos, battery and charger. You were probably 5-600 bucks in before even turning a screw. Now, you can walk into a hobby shop, get a solid basher for less than 200 bucks and have an absolute blast. That article you posted is almost 2 years old. A lot happens in 2 years. A local club here boasts over 200 entries a week. That's far from struggling.

Sorry, but the whole "not everyone has access to cheap parts" story doesn't wash. You have the internet to post this thread, you have access to cheap parts. Racing is ALWAYS going to be expensive. You don't want to spend money, go buy a cheap Arrma and bash.
Like i said Nortran we live in different countries. Yes we have internet but things don't ship here. A-main does but my last two shipments went missing and rc mart takes months to arrive. Not ideal if i need to keep my rcs running.

But i am not looking for a fight. If you feel a certain way about the hobby then great. The article is two years old but just as relevant. Kyosho almost went bankrupt and got sold to a bank.Team Ae is pulling out of onroad. Tamiya is struggling. I worked closely with an lhs which closed doors last year. Sales plummeted steadily over the past five years.

Anyway this is my last response to this thread. I am happy the hobby is thriving where you are at but it seems you are not open to the idea that things might be different in other regions.

Good day and have fun.
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Old 01-13-2020, 09:00 PM
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Its interesting for many reasons. Keep posting.
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Old 01-14-2020, 06:55 PM
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We've seen the same drop off here. Last year was a terrible year for those of us in Chicago with 3 or 4 tracks closing their doors. Outside of RTR vehicles, it's hard to get some people to invest. Was helping a dad pick out a buggy for his son's christmas present. He already had a Traxxas RTR, but wanted something more "professional" from the local hobby store.

Was grabbing everything he needed off the shelves, these are my rough guess of what he had to spend
B6.1 - $300
Brushless motor $100
Hobbywing ESC $50
Lipo battery $50
Tires and wheels $50
Radio and receiver $100
Paint for body $10
Total = $660

If you're new to the hobby and don't have someone to guide you, it's hard to buy a used RC. You don't know what to look for or look out for. You don't want to be stuck with something with no replacement parts. And surprisingly some RC drivers aren't mechanically inclined, so if they buy something that's broken, they don't know how to fix it or know something's wrong.

With AE out of the onroad class, was looking at what else was out there. Almost fell over when I saw the new T4 sitting on the shelf at $589. But comparing it to other name brand TCs, that seems to be roughly the going cost. The hobby shop/track owner was lamenting that there's a market for people willing to spend less than $200 on a TC kit who want to try racing, but the options are limited when he figures acquisition and shipping to US costs. Seems it's limited to Schumacher.

I'm all for box stock/RTR classes if get's people interested. But it seems every time we try something like that, interest wanes after a month or so. None of the experienced guys want to run them and there's not enough new people to run a class.
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Old 01-14-2020, 09:49 PM
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Just as in real life, running a race car is more expensive that running a regular car. This is a cold hard fact of life. I couldn't expect to compete in DTM for what I paid for my road car...it's just facts.

For every 1 Associated B6.1 that my shop sells, 50 to 75 Bandits are sold. So right there you are looking at shortfall in profits due to numbers of units sold. Then you have the materials included in a race kit. Where the Bandit as ABS plastics and some stainless steel, the B6.1 has high grade aluminum, carbon fiber, titanium, etc. Those materials raise the cost even more.

It sounds to me that you need to have a talk with the manager of the carrier companies in your area, not the RC companies.

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Old 01-15-2020, 04:39 AM
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Originally Posted by GerryH View Post
We've seen the same drop off here. Last year was a terrible year for those of us in Chicago with 3 or 4 tracks closing their doors. Outside of RTR vehicles, it's hard to get some people to invest. Was helping a dad pick out a buggy for his son's christmas present. He already had a Traxxas RTR, but wanted something more "professional" from the local hobby store.


Was grabbing everything he needed off the shelves, these are my rough guess of what he had to spend

B6.1 - $300

Brushless motor $100

Hobbywing ESC $50

Lipo battery $50

Tires and wheels $50

Radio and receiver $100

Paint for body $10

Total = $660


If you're new to the hobby and don't have someone to guide you, it's hard to buy a used RC. You don't know what to look for or look out for. You don't want to be stuck with something with no replacement parts. And surprisingly some RC drivers aren't mechanically inclined, so if they buy something that's broken, they don't know how to fix it or know something's wrong.


With AE out of the onroad class, was looking at what else was out there. Almost fell over when I saw the new T4 sitting on the shelf at $589. But comparing it to other name brand TCs, that seems to be roughly the going cost. The hobby shop/track owner was lamenting that there's a market for people willing to spend less than $200 on a TC kit who want to try racing, but the options are limited when he figures acquisition and shipping to US costs. Seems it's limited to Schumacher.


I'm all for box stock/RTR classes if get's people interested. But it seems every time we try something like that, interest wanes after a month or so. None of the experienced guys want to run them and there's not enough new people to run a class.

We tried introducing a 'slower' and more affordable class to get people interested here a while back. We advertised it as the class where you can use your ten-year old cars to race against the current cream of the crop, hoping to get former 'retired' racers to return to the track. Sure enough the response was good and the older cars were competitive. It was fun to see a Kyosho TF5 shaft compete against a TF7.... Then people lost interest as the class wasn't fast enough and it just slowly died off. But I digress.


I mentioned I work closely with a hobby shop in my previous posts. I am not sponsored but I get support from the LHS to run their stuff and give the products a presence in the local tracks. We have been trying out some of the "cheaper and less premium cars" over the last decade. They work well and people like them but the general consensus is that they are not as good as the "premium" cars. In a nutshell, the cars do good in the hands of a good driver, but the same drivers go faster with the top brands.


This might not be a popular opinion but it is the truth on the local track (not saying this holds true elsewhere). I don't want to step on anyone's shoes with this opinion, especially Nortram. You are enjoying Sakura and I love that fact. I was asked by my LHS to support the Sakura XI when it was first released and I was even the thread starter for the car back in 2011. Check it out New Sakura XI


Long story short, there were two of us pushing the Sakura car and we struggled... there were some issues with the car, this was still the first batch of the cars at the time, and the LHS informed us of some things about the car's production and parts which led to our decision to not run it anymore. We were not sponsored and we were not obliged to convince others and ourselves of how the car is as good as or better than the top brands at the time. We told the truth and people did not appreciate it but that was a decade ago and I'm sure Sakura is doing better now, that is the only reason they are still alive while other brands have come and gone.


Even until now we have been actively trying new brands here and there are still noticeable differences between the top brands and the lesser known brands. On a given day the lesser known brands might be faster, but the top brands do better consistently.


I am no longer racing to win though and I am no longer pushing brands for the LHS, I am just in it to continue supporting the sport and hobby so I don't mind running a VBC, Execute or Sakura right now but it's hard to convince others to do the same when most racers agree the top brands are better. It is hard to convince people to spend good money on a racing product that is "not as good".


My last comment on a price point, my cousin was a retailer for xray when the T3'12 first came out... I got that car at retail value for about $550 Brunei dollars. He has sold off his business since but the current LHS is selling the T4'20 right now for close to $850 which reflects the pricing in the US market as well. This can be attributed to inflation... so it makes sense in Europe and US.... but not in Brunei where inflation is non-existent.
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Old 01-18-2020, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Nortran11 View Post
RC has never been cheaper. When I started in the 80's, you had to buy your kit for 150, a radio for at least 200, a couple of servos, battery and charger. You were probably 5-600 bucks in before even turning a screw. Now, you can walk into a hobby shop, get a solid basher for less than 200 bucks and have an absolute blast. That article you posted is almost 2 years old. A lot happens in 2 years. A local club here boasts over 200 entries a week. That's far from struggling.
It wasn't that bad then. I found my receipt for my RC10L with electronics, body, radio and battery (aka ready to run) for around 320. I had a charger from a previous non racing vehicle but it wasn't an expensive one. Plus a couple screwdrivers and I was ready to race. In fact, I raced with that car for several years. The only thing I consistently had to replace were tires. We ran a hobby stock class with a spec motor and battery. Both were cheap if you burned them up. Racing was great with lots of cars!

In fact, I am still racing that car with upgraded electronics.

Now to race carpet oval pan cars, you are looking at ~500 for a chassis, $120 for ESC and Motor(if you go hobbywing combo) $40 for foam tires, 40 for a body, 150 for a radio, plus another 100 for a charger. That's almost a grand to get a car on track(using low cost options). Not including spares or tools etc. 3-400 back then wasn't cheap, but it could be done by teens working after school. I have a pretty decent job and 1000 isn't easy to pull together. My buggy build 5 years ago was damn near 1000 using mid level parts not including a radio. With 1-2 sets of tires.

And another one, back then you didn't have to to buy a transponder. It was the tracks and part of the racing fee. Now it's 100 per car for the damn transponder.
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Old 01-23-2020, 07:24 AM
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I am currently racing a Losi JRX-S (2004) with brushed motors and ESC, and a 40MHZ KO Vantage radio system - this was expensive in its day but 40Mhz or even 27Mhz stuff these days is very cheap. I am consistently in the top 3 in my club.

One thing which is very, very different these days is access to used parts. Back in the late 90's or early 2000's eBay was still a new thing, Facebook marketplace and forums didn't exist. This is where the difference is, and can make getting into things a lot cheaper. Batteries are the only area you are forced to spend a little as it's false economy buying used here. But, due to the huge number of electronics manufacturers these days and the parity of battery technology, you can still buy new Lipo gear for very affordable costs.

Basically, if you only want to get into club racing, this can be done for probably under $150 dollars these days depending on where you are prepared to compromise. Buy everything used. Used brushed gear. No need for digital radios. I understand this access to parts is dependant on your country but the driver will always make the difference, not the gear.
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