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Old 09-23-2010, 04:19 PM   #1
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Default Electric Buggies... What Happened???!!

I posted this thread in the electric off road board (not the newbie board) because it is specific to electric off road racing.

Hello, Iím not new to RC, but itís been a while. To give you an idea, my last car was a Kyosho Optima Mid. Iíve been looking into whatís new with the hobby for a bit and am pretty much up to speed with whatís going on. The whole LiPo/brushless thing has really re-sparked my old interest in high-end/competitive/off-road/electric/buggie racing.

The one big information gap that I have is about electric buggies in general. Whatís happened to the scene over the years? It seems as if electric buggies have taken a nose-dive in popularity and that truggies, on road and nitro powered vehicles have moved into their place. What caused this shift? Also, how does the future look for 1/10 or 1/8 scale electric buggies? Is their popularity still declining or is it growing due to LiPo? Iíve heard the 1/10 scale 4wd buggie class described as a dead class (that kills me inside!!!), but when I look at the cars being offered these days, they look like the sickest, most amazing RC vehicles ever designed by mankind.

Is the fact that the RC population is spread out into sooooooo many classes, scales and types of RC vehicles racing these days hurting the sport in general?

Also, if anyone here is from Ontario; what is the racing scene like? I havenít found a lot of tracks online in the area (maybe 2 or 3) that host my preferred class of racing. How many racers generally show up for meets at these tracks? What would you say the average turn out is for each class? Any indoor tracks?

BTW, sorry for the long post, but I have lots of question. Please answer all or any of them. Note: I read long replies! Thanks.
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Old 09-23-2010, 06:41 PM   #2
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The big name companies are just now getting on board with 1/8th buggy electric. Even so most have just thrown a battery tray in their nitro bugs it seems. The Hyper 9e is the most innovative and I like the Caster split battery setup. I've been waiting on Mugen but their prototype looks the same as my Monster Rc conversion. I would like to see a quick change battery setup.

I've sold all my nitro motors and have gone strictly brushless in my 1/8th bugs. I loved my nitro but electric is the future and will gain in popularity.

1/10th stadium seems to be fading away along with 4wd buggies like the B44, atleast at the tracks I race at.
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Old 09-23-2010, 07:15 PM   #3
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What is run is often a regional thing. Around here (Indiana) we have more short course trucks than any other class. Stock, mod, and 4 x 4 are classes that are "the class" to run. We do have a buggy class and stadium truck but far less entries.

This also changes with time. Frequently a class will start to build up after it has fallen off. No one really knows why.
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:19 PM   #4
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I've also been away from racing for a long time and, like you, have noticed the same thing. What used to be by far the most popular class of racing - 1/10 electric off road - is nowhere near what it used to be. In fact, from what I can tell, local level racing has dropped off a lot overall compared to what it used to be.

While it's cool that there's so much variety in R/C these days, I think you're right about it hurting organized racing because it has spread things out so much. I recently stopped by my local track on a race night and noticed that most of the guys were racing SC trucks, a fair number were racing 1/10 2wd electric buggies (which I was told had just recently regained popularity), and then a combined class of "stragglers" - the guys that were running vehicles that USED to be popular at this particular track but are no longer the latest trend. 1/8 scale electric buggy vs. 1/10 nitro stadium truck vs. 1/10 4wd electric buggy, etc.

The last time I stopped by the track a few years ago, these were the vehicles that were really popular. Now they are relegated to a mixed class because something new, but IMO not necessarily better, has come along in the form of SC trucks. Oddly enough, without seeing actual lap times, I'm willing to bet that SC trucks are probably the slowest type of off road race vehicle to gain popularity. Granted, lap times are not the best indicator of fun, but it did kind of strike me as backwards progress when I was watching them race.

When I was a serious racer in the 90's, there were basically four classes of racing at my track - 2wd buggy stock, 2wd buggy mod, truck stock, and truck mod. Combine that with the fact that turnout was way better than it is now (some nights around 200 racers would show) and winning the A main was a big deal, even though it was nothing more than a weekly local race. More importantly, it was also less confusing to novices who were thinking about getting started, plus you didn't wonder if the vehicle you currently raced would be "out of style" in a few months. I can't help but think that the increased variety, and the resulting shifts in popularity from one class to the next, has hurt local level racing and is at least in part the reason why turnout is so much lower than when R/C peaked in popularity in the 90's.

My .02 cents...
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Old 09-23-2010, 10:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwcet8k View Post
I've also been away from racing for a long time and, like you, have noticed the same thing. What used to be by far the most popular class of racing - 1/10 electric off road - is nowhere near what it used to be. In fact, from what I can tell, local level racing has dropped off a lot overall compared to what it used to be.

While it's cool that there's so much variety in R/C these days, I think you're right about it hurting organized racing because it has spread things out so much. I recently stopped by my local track on a race night and noticed that most of the guys were racing SC trucks, a fair number were racing 1/10 2wd electric buggies (which I was told had just recently regained popularity), and then a combined class of "stragglers" - the guys that were running vehicles that USED to be popular at this particular track but are no longer the latest trend. 1/8 scale electric buggy vs. 1/10 nitro stadium truck vs. 1/10 4wd electric buggy, etc.

The last time I stopped by the track a few years ago, these were the vehicles that were really popular. Now they are relegated to a mixed class because something new, but IMO not necessarily better, has come along in the form of SC trucks. Oddly enough, without seeing actual lap times, I'm willing to bet that SC trucks are probably the slowest type of off road race vehicle to gain popularity. Granted, lap times are not the best indicator of fun, but it did kind of strike me as backwards progress when I was watching them race.

When I was a serious racer in the 90's, there were basically four classes of racing at my track - 2wd buggy stock, 2wd buggy mod, truck stock, and truck mod. Combine that with the fact that turnout was way better than it is now (some nights around 200 racers would show) and winning the A main was a big deal, even though it was nothing more than a weekly local race. More importantly, it was also less confusing to novices who were thinking about getting started, plus you didn't wonder if the vehicle you currently raced would be "out of style" in a few months. I can't help but think that the increased variety, and the resulting shifts in popularity from one class to the next, has hurt local level racing and is at least in part the reason why turnout is so much lower than when R/C peaked in popularity in the 90's.

My .02 cents...
I agree, one of the downsides to this hobby is all the fads. It finally dawned on me to just run with the crowd when it came down to what class to run as I became tired of showing up to a race only to race against two other people.

One thing I noticed also is that people don't seem to have much of an attention span or patience when it comes to getting better as a driver.

I've seen this happen time and again when someone gets schooled out on the track and they think it's all due to equipment. So they go out and buy high-end stuff w/out doing their homework or enough practice to justify the expense and still get schooled only this time with a lighter wallet.

I use to love to race 1/10 buggy and 1/10 nitro truck but interest dried up where I race. But since I started racing SCT the skills and throttle control I learned in those classes really translated well to SCT considering I'm busier now than I was when I was a kid and can't practice like I'd like to.

It seems people just can't stick with anything.
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Old 09-23-2010, 10:02 PM   #6
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Its true, SC trucks seem to be the fastest growing segment. I can tell you why its more appealing than the traditional classes. Two main reasons come to mind. The things look scale; this appeals to noobs and some racers alike. With those big bodies comes full fenders, so you can bump a little without major crashes. Unlike the unforgiving nature of the open wheel classes, this means people who haven't raced before, or haven't held a controller in decades can jump right back in. They're also relatively cheap, and available as RTRs, brushless too. Add to that the growing popularity of full scale SC racing, and it starts to make allot of sense.

For those of us who've witnessed the reduction, then improvement in turnouts of RC racing over the years are happy to have all the new faces at the track. Our 2WD SC class is the biggest, with 2WD 10th mod buggy a close second. I know why it's come back recently at our track, its a "Driver's Class". They require a certain finesse, and skill to really compete. Most of the best driver's at our track run in the class for that very reason.
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Old 09-23-2010, 10:05 PM   #7
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There are a few reasons why the SC trucks seem so popular these days, Its a fun class, and the scale looks of them. Almost anyone (spec classes) can be somewhat successful at a reasonable price of admission, and you can bash the hell out of them and they rarely break. The RC10GT had its tires protruding out of the fenders and it wasn't really scale looking. The 2wd buggies were great but they began to get expensive with prices of a B4 no electrics or transmitter over $200, and 4wd forget it. I was watching a Lucas oil event and it was great to see Traxxas, Associated sponsored pro vehicles. They even have demos set up to race while the full scale events are going on. SC is awesome and its here to stay!

Lets face it.. ther are a small % of guys who do this for money, as sponsered guys. The average jo races 2-3 time per week when our wives let us. (Or moms)
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Old 09-23-2010, 10:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R40Victim View Post
For those of us who've witnessed the reduction, then improvement in turnouts of RC racing over the years are happy to have all the new faces at the track. Our 2WD SC class is the biggest, with 2WD 10th mod buggy a close second. I know why it's come back recently at our track, its a "Driver's Class". They require a certain finesse, and skill to really compete. Most of the best driver's at our track run in the class for that very reason.
This is also true at my track. SC has been good for getting new faces in the doors and as guys want to step up in competition (which as my track is 2wd buggy) it is a nice segway for them to do so.

I wouldn't be surprised to see more tracks with large SC and 2wd buggy classes.
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Old 09-24-2010, 04:48 AM   #9
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I only started racing about 4 years ago. I've heard and read about how popular racing was and wish I got to experience that. But maybe I'd be disappointed now, so maybe I'm better off.
I agree that classes are regional. In IL and WI Short Course has become HUGE. Even a year ago, yet at the CRCRC race in January there was barely two heats of mod SC and over 80 mod buggy entries. Plus mod truck and mod 4wd and the stock equivalents.
At my local track I watched 4wd grow into a 2 heat class and mod buggy barely had a pulse the winter after the b44 came out. Then the next season it was weak. But with a little promotion, (constantly on rctech) for the local track 4wd got popular again in the fall. Then mod buggy became all the rage with 2 heats every Sat night. Obviously not close to 200 entries but with all the other classes running too, it was actually pretty good.
If you at least have enough to run a race with, I'd say go out there and race and talk it up! Tell everyone how awesome mod buggy (or whatever) is and after a little while you might be surprised how many start showing up.

I don't think the 200 buggy entry race days will be back but I'll admit that SC trucks seemed to get some new blood into the hobby. Now we just have to convert them.
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Old 09-24-2010, 04:57 AM   #10
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Schumacher,TQ,Kyosho,Tamiya,academy,etc. all have newer 2wd race buggies out,so I beleive it will get stronger.The biggest classes in the tracks in my area,so.fl,are 2wd buggy and truck.A racer and 3 tracks had a short 3 race1/10 series that averaged 130 racers,mostly buggy and truck.
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Old 09-24-2010, 05:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Schumacher,TQ,Kyosho,Tamiya,academy,etc. all have newer 2wd race buggies out,so I beleive it will get stronger.The biggest classes in the tracks in my area,so.fl,are 2wd buggy and truck.A racer and 3 tracks had a short 3 race1/10 series that averaged 130 racers,mostly buggy and truck.
So true Tino... Lucky for us here in South Florida we have Tracks dedicated to 1/10 and 1/8 scale Raceing. Within an hour drive or less we have 3-4 good tracks. Even so decent small indooor tracks. SC is big here , The 1/10 scales are holding on thanks to the local tracks dedecated to the sport....
I'm jumping into the SC craz as we speak so I can play with the rest of ya.
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Old 09-24-2010, 05:44 AM   #12
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It seems as if electric buggies have taken a nose-dive in popularity and that truggies, on road and nitro powered vehicles have moved into their place.
Can't understand this, everybody is talking about brushless conversion of their 1/8th buggy here around...

And God these are really fun !

For my side, I sticked to 1/10th electric since... wow... 25 years?

Just swapped from old Ni-cd to Ni-mh and then Lipo and brushless motor.

If you would have told me in the eighties, that a 1/10th electric buggy will do 80km/h on pavement and with LiPo lasting around 15 minutes in 2010, while we were struggling to last 5 minutes with 16*2 motor at this time, I would have been dying laughing... and now this is real.
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Old 09-24-2010, 06:29 AM   #13
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In NC there is basically now 1/10th scales running at the 3-4 tracks I go to, except SCT of course. There is usually several of them, but nitro 1/8th buggy is still, by far, the biggest turnout. I just got a 1/8th scale buggy converted to electric and I have never had so much fun racing! I started out about 3 years ago when short course was starting to get popular and got a 2wd slash. Did that for a year and wanted to go faster, so i got a 4x4 slash and raced it until a few months ago. The 4x4 SCT class was bigger than the 2wd SCT class for about 6-8 months, now they are disappearing and the 2wd still hang around.

The 1/8th scale electric buggy class is still trying to catch on around here. It seems like most like their fuelies! I have had to race with nitro buggies before, but I finished in the top 3 every time!

I hope 1/8th electric continues to grow!
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Old 09-24-2010, 07:03 AM   #14
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Debaser: I have just moved back to Ontario and looking for tracks in the Kawartha's, do you know of any?? The track in Peterborough closed a few years ago apparently. I heard there is an indoor off-road track in Missisauga area, I think they run on carpet??
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Old 09-24-2010, 07:26 AM   #15
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I am seeing more buggies in my area I think what hurts is when guys get into the shortcourse they tend to retire the other rides they have for awhile and new people only see the shortcourse trucks at the track but everyone wants faster stuff and 1/8 scale is where it's at so these new guys get there cherry popped with shourtcourse but when they see a 1/8 scale buggy on the track there's nothing like it. the key here is to keep the buggies put there to be seen go to your track and run some laps and let these new guys see them running and they jump on board this season we had 2 buggies at the place I go now there's like 20 and 90% of that 20 is new guys so get them buggies off the shelves guys and run them and you'll see that class pick up you'll be surprized how many guys jump on the class when they see these buggies flying through the air.
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