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Old 07-31-2008, 02:08 AM   #1
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Default Taking the next step in off-road

So, even though I'm still admittedly green and as a rookie, I'm going out there every weekend to improve my driving skills and learn how to tune my truck for the track's conditions...but I'm thinking toward the future and wanted some expert input. Truck was recommended as the starting point, due to being easier for a beginner to drive. Should a person graduating from rookie status and entering into standard stock driving consider switching to buggy? It seems like buggies always smoke trucks in the mixed stock club races I've seen, but I don't know if that's simply driver skill, or if it's the fact that they're lighter/more nimble...or maybe a combination. Would two drivers of equal skill, one with a B4 and one with a T4, be evenly matched, for instance?

I'm just curious what people think about the "upgrade path" in off-road RC racing.

The impetus for this post is all the info and shots I've seen of the Hot Bodies D2. It looks sweet, and I have to admit I kinda like the styling of a buggy a bit more than the truck. The Slash is how a truck ought to look...stadium trucks look a little goofy, to me...not that I don't thoroughly enjoy my T4, I do. Except when I'm building shocks...
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Old 07-31-2008, 05:31 AM   #2
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That was kind of the idea behind the trucks, being easier to drive and better handling. The size of the trucks and their tires should make them a little easier to drive and more stable. Thats what I've always thought. I have a Losi truck and a buggy. I think my buggy is a lot more nimble, but I would not say its easier to drive at all.
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Old 07-31-2008, 06:09 AM   #3
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Basically pick what class you wish to race and run with it. Buggies are more precise to drive, which imho will help make you a better driver. I also like the fact that tires are cheaper, they are easier on motors and batteries since they are lighter, bodies last longer, etc.
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:30 AM   #4
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If you already own a T4 i'd say just run that. Buggies are probably still a little faster with the same driver but only if the driver is experienced. I do agree that it would probably up the learning curve a little though.
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Old 07-31-2008, 11:10 AM   #5
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Just a thought - if you are looking for a bit more responsiveness like a buggy but the wider track of the T4...look into the J82 conversion from JConcepts. It's a nice blend of the benefits between stadium trucks and 2WD buggies and it really woke up my T4 on the track. You will also get that buggy look you like.

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Old 07-31-2008, 11:16 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by jla8874 View Post
That was kind of the idea behind the trucks, being easier to drive and better handling.
That was not the idea at all.
It was just to do something different, as well as robbing some of the thunder of Tamaiya who was the only major making trucks back in the later 80s and early 90s when the concept was further developed.
It just so happend to be a byproduct of that development, espcially once quality tires became available, that the trucks proved to be more forgiving and easier to drive and as a result drove their popularity.
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Old 07-31-2008, 11:37 AM   #7
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You got good advice as far as Truck being a good starting point, as they are more forgiving on the track and cover a lot of driving mistakes that would be glaring errors by the same driver running a buggy.
But at the same time "graduating" from beginner to an experienced driver is more than just picking out another platform - whether that be truck or buggy or whatever. It's about becoming a better driver, and being able to note that you didn't crash at all during a run instead of not being count the wrecks or tussles.
The other thing to consider is that just because whatever buggy you fancy "looks sweet" doesn't neccessarily make it the right one, or right one for you. Too often people buy things only to find they're in over their head, or they're not able to get parts for it because their local hobby shop doesn't stock that brand.
But another big part of getting better and more proficient is building, rebuilding (including shocks) and just properly maintaining your vehicle - so once you get that down, and your driving improves greatly, only then would I recommend looking around (and do a lot of looking around) to step up a class.

good luck
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Old 07-31-2008, 12:50 PM   #8
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Fast guys can run any class. The skills transfer right over from one class to another. If you want to get faster, run 2wd 1/10 on a slick track. That will teach to you drive an rc car like nothing else.
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Old 07-31-2008, 02:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catalyst View Post
Just a thought - if you are looking for a bit more responsiveness like a buggy but the wider track of the T4...look into the J82 conversion from JConcepts. It's a nice blend of the benefits between stadium trucks and 2WD buggies and it really woke up my T4 on the track. You will also get that buggy look you like.
Yeah I have definitely given it some thought - I have read that they've designed it with a pretty quick brushless setup in mind though, how's it run with a stock motor? I would think I could still stay in stock with that body on it.

I guess I just haven't seen anyone running the J82 locally, so it hasn't been on my radar as much. Maybe I should take another look at that.

And Rocket - I know what you're saying, my original post was a forward-looking one - just looking for peoples' input as to whether or not someone SHOULD move to buggy if their driving skill reaches the point that they're ready for sportsman-level driving...in other words, will you be faster as a good driver with a buggy, instead of a truck. Reason being, at the club level, buggies and trucks get lumped in together - so is it a liability, as a capable driver, to be competing against buggies with a truck? That's what I was getting at. I'm getting to the point where I know how to maintenance the car, getting the hang of tuning it to track conditions, and am very nearly to where I don't turn the truck over due to my own errors. I just hear people talk about buggy making you a better driver, and given that they are quicker than trucks, am wondering if it's to my benefit to switch. The J82 might be a really good "middle step" though.
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Old 07-31-2008, 02:41 PM   #10
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I'm not sure that there is any real good answer to that. I know someone that is super fast in truck, but not as fast in 2wd buggy (not that he's not fast in 2wd) He basically just puts everyone to shame in Superstock (19T) truck, but is on the same level as the other fast guys in 2wd.

I was always real fast in truck and pretty good in 2wd 10 years ago, but when I came back to racing a couple of years ago I jumped in to 2wd and now 4wd. I will be getting a truck again soon though!
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Old 07-31-2008, 03:11 PM   #11
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I see...I guess I got the impression that buggies were just inherently a faster class of vehicle in off-road, but I can see how that'll depend largely on track conditions and who's behind the wheel. I guess the only way to really find out will be to try it myself and see how it works for me. Shoot, you mean I'm gonna have to buy ANOTHER car? :P

Good thing it'll be a while before I do...I reckon maybe next year.
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Old 07-31-2008, 03:12 PM   #12
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You should have fun either way!! Good luck!!
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Old 07-31-2008, 03:25 PM   #13
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I think one of the reasons 2wd buggies seem always faster is that there typically is less contact between cars. With trucks you can bump and rub.. no big deal.. Buggies get flipped or stuck together often if contact is made. Because of that skilled buggy drivers avoid this more than with trucks.

I totally agree that buggies are easier on tires.. motors.. and bodies.. Both are really fun.. just a different driving style.

Take a look at were you race. If it's a rough track with lots of ruts you might not like driving a buggy on it if you are used to a truck. Trucks also take hits better.. meaning if you get hit or crash they tend to be a little tougher and break less often... buggies are a little more fragile...

If you have the money to own both, it can be fun!



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Old 07-31-2008, 03:30 PM   #14
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I think you'll find in the long run that it's not the buggies that are faster but the drivers that gravitate towards that class. It's considered to be a little more challenging than trucks so the more experienced guys choose it more often. The most important thing to consider when looking to your future in racing is what the most popular and competitive classes at your track are. If the fastest guys and the most entries turn up in 2wd modified class then theres a good chance that you will wind up there too, but it there are plenty of guys running stadium truck and you're not winning every time yet then don't be in a hurry, stadium truck is a great class to learn in and you'll find that they can be even faster around lots of tracks just because of their wider tires and stance.
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Old 07-31-2008, 05:00 PM   #15
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Cool, thanks for the good advice guys...lots of factors to weigh. I'm going to do some more research and ask questions about the J82...that might be the way to go next. I haven't seen anyone say they got it and didn't like it.
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