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Old 02-04-2005, 08:53 AM   #31
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Cain invited me to come over here and post my thoughts and opinions... you asked for it..

A little background - I am a newbie. I was into RC (cars, sailplanes) when I was a kid, then took the typical twenties break - college, marriage, kids, house, etc. I'm 33 now, and getting back into RC with my son who's 9.

I see two main sticking points in 4WD. Entry cost, and being competitive.

This past Christmas, I bought my son and myself a pair of Duratrax Evader ST RTR trucks. The trucks were $170, charger $75, for good unmatched batts (1.18 GP3300) I got packs for approx $30 each. $20 for a couple upgraded parts (alum hingepin brace and rear chassis), and $25 for a stock motor (and that's a separate gripe - why don't they put 27t stock motors on RTR trucks?) Figuring 2 batt packs, that's a total of $350 to be racing and have equipment that's about as good as anyone else in the novice class. You could go cheaper on the batts and charger, I bet you could get started for under $300.

In comparison, I just ordered myself an SB pro. I won't add up all the cost on that, but just the kit alone was $225. I also got a novak ss5800.

Once I get the buggy built, I will have a lot more money into it than I do with the evader. Granted, it's a better vehicle, but it's quite a bit more expensive. Plus, it's not RTR (which is what I want, to build it from the ground up, but it's another barrier to getting started if you're a complete newbie.)

The second point - being competitve - I don't figure to win races, but hopefully not get lapped (too much ) Obviously there's a learning curve, and it's going to be higher with the faster motor. Having the brushless should help a lot in that I won't have to do as much maintenance just to keep the thing running - I can practice all I want w/o having to completely redo the motor every day I run it.


I guess what it boils down to is time and money. I think the RTR SB buggy is a great trend - it's supposed to retail at something like $250 I think. Anyone know what motor is included? Is it something that can be raced, or does it have to be replaced first? If we want to have more newbies in 4WD, it has to be a little cheaper to get started (not necessarily as cheap as 2WD, but not 3x cost either.) I think that's the biggest issue.
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Old 02-04-2005, 09:38 AM   #32
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bsoder: Thanks for posting!

I think that is one of the advantages of the SBs is that the vehicles don't cost an arm and a leg to run and they are competitive with a few modifications.

The SB RTR I believe comes with a Mabuchi 540 motor which is ok for a green newbie. The ESC is a nice little unit ( I believe its an MC230CR ). I have run it with 19 turn motors and never had a problem though it is rated at 20 turns I believe. I have that in my newphews T3. he loves it and it puts out 6V bec to the servo. Not sure what the servo is.

I credit Academy on this approach. I may actually order one of these in to see what all is included and maybe give it to my older newphew as a gift.

i think vehicles based on a graphite sheet chassis have an advantage on making them more cost effective as you could put in say an FRP chassis which drops the cost significantly but is still competitive and fun.

I think the BJ4x4 could have a good shot at making a cheaper version based on the fact the BJ4x4 uses the graphite sheet chassis as well as some high end parts. If the sales are high enough of there vehicle, they could go that route. Sort of like a Team version that is still competitive which in turn gives another option for 4wd which ultimately grows the class.

The cost element is a major issue. At least now however we have some more options and I believe the Losi XXX-4 can be had for around $200 as well if you want the latest losi.
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Last edited by Cain; 02-04-2005 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 02-04-2005, 09:51 AM   #33
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The more that I think about it, I think the RTR issue is probably as big as cost.
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Old 02-04-2005, 09:57 AM   #34
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Availability of RTR has helped get new entries into the class, no doubt.

Thing is if the default class is mod, the buying a RTR version of a 4wd buggy almost seems a moot point as you are so far outclassed its not even funny. If there is a slower speced classed, even 19 turn, you don't feel that much out of the game.

Even though personally I think we should start with kits, I can't argue that RTR has brought a great amount of new blood into RC.
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Old 02-04-2005, 10:23 AM   #35
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My problem running 4WD is that the car (XXX4 G+) can't hold up for 5 minutes. Ballcups pop off and the CVD pins fall out. I've got everything completely correct built. Running a Vantage Surikarn 12x2, only this seems really hard on the drivetrain. Running a 6x1 would be insane!
Starting up a Spec class would be perfect IMO, enough power but not too much. Stock is too slow in 4WD.
The only problem here in Norway is that we really don't have enough racers to divide the Mod 4WD class that most of us run in.
Our last nationals had only 15 in 4WD and a couple more in 2WD. The total number of people RACING 1/10 buggies here is probably only the double, almost all the beginners go to 1/8 OR.
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Old 02-04-2005, 10:34 AM   #36
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Quote:
Even though personally I think we should start with kits, I can't argue that RTR has brought a great amount of new blood into RC.
I think RTR is huge. I was a model builder as a kid, and my son has that interest as well. I think nowadays a LOT of people just aren't as interested in that type of stuff tho. too much instant gratification - and right now, if that's what you want, you get an entry level RTR 2WD buggy or truck. Then you realize you want to race, and you have to buy another motor, mabye a speed control, etc... by which time you most likely aren't going to want to/be able to buy a SECOND vehicle...

etc.
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Old 02-04-2005, 10:44 AM   #37
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Erland: Thank you for your comments! Do you think the racers at your track would be open to all going to 19 turn or a more controlled power motor to help grow the class?

As for the losi breakage issues, run them By Aaron Waldon and he may be able to help.

With the Academy SB, its parts are very durable and I had very little breakage. This was commented on by a sponsored driver who said his XXX-4 wouldnt' have survived the stuff I put my SB through. With a few easy mods the SBs are competitive with anything else out there.

bsoder: You are right on the money. I never really looked at it from that perspective even though I did realize that RTR was a reason for alot of the growth. It would be something if some other companies also got into the RTR 4wd buggy game other than Tamiya and MRC / Academy. Maybe duratrax? as there vehicles appear based on losi XX-ish designs, who knows, a Duratrax Evader BX4 possibly based loosely on a XX-4 that is RTR as well? With a 1 year parts gaurentee that could get some interest as well.
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Old 02-04-2005, 11:55 AM   #38
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Quote:
It would be something if some other companies also got into the RTR 4wd buggy game other than Tamiya and MRC / Academy. Maybe duratrax? as there vehicles appear based on losi XX-ish designs, who knows, a Duratrax Evader BX4 possibly based loosely on a XX-4 that is RTR as well? With a 1 year parts gaurentee that could get some interest as well.
I definitely think it would. the Evader ST trucks we have share a lot of parts with the XX-T, such as arms, shock towers, etc. Plus, duratrax would be less expensive.

the stress-tech warranty is really nice... we've sent in a number of parts for warranty service - that encounter with the trashcan, and the one with my daughter's bicycle...
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Old 02-05-2005, 10:59 AM   #39
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I don't think it would be an option for all of the racers to go to a 19t class. Some racers at my track are probablly going to the Worlds later this year, and most of the others have the skill and the gear to run mod. I would stick with mod also, beaucause i still run offroad mainly to get racing practice during the spring/summer/fall, as we don't have a premanent on-road or indoor track. I don't think a good 19t would be far behind a mod on our track, only on the straight and on the triple. The problem is getting beginners to believe that, as all the others are running mod. I might be able to start something here, as my Element V2 19t motors have loads of power.
The racing community is simply too small around here to divide an already small class.
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Old 02-05-2005, 11:30 AM   #40
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Thats the thing, it has to be an all or nothing deal in alot of instances, especially if the class is really small.

I know it can be hard for some to make the switch, but, sometimes you have to take one for the team. In this case, if the newbies know that all the guys are going to be running the 19 turn motor, they would be more open I believe to running 4wd.

Maybe someone should demo a 19 turn class once at the track, get some of the people interested to show up and see how it is. If you have multiple elements get some buddies to run them in the demo and see how everyone likes it.

If it doesn't work out at least you tried right?
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Old 02-05-2005, 02:55 PM   #41
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i feel we should be supporting an already low number class instead of changing it. that means going to races and competing in our area. whats next spec tires and batteries???
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Old 02-05-2005, 09:17 PM   #42
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I think what Cain is really trying to accomplish here is to figure out ways to increase the number of participants - basically, how to get new blood involved in e4WD, rather than just sticking with 2WD or going the 1/8 buggy route.

Personally, I think more entry level RTR options would be the biggest help. The MRC buggy really doesn't count, since it's not widely carried. If Tower would pick it up...
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Old 02-06-2005, 01:33 AM   #43
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i agree to that, i think 1/8 scale is the elite class for offroad .bigger buggies, bigger motors, usually fastest lap times. as 4wd is the elite class for electric ,lower turn motors, usually the fastest lap times, faster drivers. your post is like saying to use a .18 motor in 1/8 buggies to gain intrest. but what made 1/8 buggies popular state side was more affordable buggies, this is what the 4wd class needs not a spec motor to boost its turnout or populararty just my thoughts.
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Old 02-06-2005, 09:34 AM   #44
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One thing to remember is that 1/8 scale buggies DO have a spec motor, has to be a .21 type for competition. Keep that in mind. Using the full mod anology for Electric buggy as a comparison to 1/8th would be like running a .46 if you can fit it in your 1/8 scale just because you can.

I don't dissagree on the affordability of the buggy themselves, more affordable = more racers as well. But part of that is tied to options too. Now we are starting to have that.

Keith: Have you seen the new building at all?
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Old 02-06-2005, 11:40 AM   #45
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I love racing 4wd.. Anything... 4wd offoad is dead here to we get 2 cars max at or local track..
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