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Old 01-19-2005, 11:13 AM   #1
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Thumbs up 4wd Buggy Racing for 2005

Hello.

I am posting this to get some feedback from the community on there thoughts concerning the state of 4wd electric buggy racing.

This year there is a big selection of competition level vehicles to choose from. These start from the ultra cheap to the ultra expensive for the varying tastes of the consumer and give a good spread for participation in the class.

My concern however is that at alot of tracks the classes for 4wd buggy always seem to default to mod. From what I see however, not having a slower controllable class as an entry point into 4wd buggy is one thing that will hinder the growth of the class.

I have heard before the reasoning that 4wd buggy should be an elite class, but, at the same time I hear the same racers complaining that there isn't anyone to race against. To me, I look at it from the perspective of touring car racing in that you have your various classes, stock, 19 turn, and modified.

You have a various amount of skill levels in the 3 classes, with stock being the most diverse . However, without an entry point into sedan racing with stock, forcing everyone to start with modified, you run into a situation where you have guys buying motors who obviously can't control the modified power as well as a feeling that the class is too expensive do to a perceived high cost of equipment for the class. ( I say perceived, as depending on how competitive you want to be, stock can be just as costly ). Touring may not be where it is today if there wasn't a stock class for the new hobbiest to start out in and feel comfortable racing even against the seasoned competition.

Another statement I have heard is that you should run 2wd buggy or 2wd truck and then move over to 4wd. From what I have experienced, 4wd offers the most control just by the nature of it being 4wd versus 2wd. The issue however is that with a defacto mod only class being run for 4wd, the speeds at which these vehicles can reach puts the control ability necessary to drive them out of the hands of the starting racer. Even today's stock motors can overpower alot of racers in the 2wd classes.

Alot of drivers who start out in the 2wd classes stay there, and a good portion stick with stock as the default power in there vehicle. To look for drivers to make the switch from the 2wd class they have experience in to the 4wd and also shoot them in the default mod class is asking alot. Alot of drivers even interested in mod will just stick with there current 2wd chassis instead of making the switch from an investment prespective.

Another issue I have also heard stated was that the vehicles are complex and also prone to breakage. For the first issues of complexity, these vehicles are no more complex than there 4wd touring counterparts which have a popular following with the novice racer. Even more so, these vehicles don't require as precise setup as a racing touring vehicle to still be competitive at most club levels due to the nature of offroad racing.

As for the durability, I think consideration must be made that as the class is a default mod motor class at most tracks, these high speeds don't allow vehicles to survive crashes that would otherwise result in no damage in a slower more controllable spec class. From my experience running mod 4wd, the vehicles being produced today, especially the Academy SB, are very durable and can take the abuse as well as there 2wd counterparts, even better in alot of cases.

I believe what is needed to have an increase in the 4wd electric buggy racing is the creation of stock or "spec" class to compliment the mod class at the local level.

Make these classes accessible to the new driver or the experienced driver who doesn't want to run full blown mod. With the slower speeds, this will cut down on the excessive breakage label applied to these vehicles as well have a base of drivers who will eventually move up in speed as there skills allow hence growing the faster classes as well. The classes would also draw on those who run 4wd touring in the winter (snow states ) and want to run offroad in the summer if they can have a similar vehicle to run ( ie- parts interchangeability ).

I believe that to have the best of both worlds, the 19 turn powerplants currently used today will provide the balance of power with control that we seek. After racing mod and using a 19 turn motor to see how it would react, I feel that it was a controllable option that on the tighter sections more than held its own against some of the hot mods being run. Stock motors are also an option however alot of the high RPM low torque motors are not very functional in a 4wd vehicle.

Ultimately, for those who love the class and want to see it grow, sacrificing some all out speed present in today's mod defacto 4wd classes for more competition I believe would be a small price to pay if it results in a significant growth in the class at the local level.

I hope for this summer season to work on getting the class to grow at my local level with these concepts and to see an increase in 4wd electric buggy racing participation.
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Old 01-19-2005, 11:28 AM   #2
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hi cain, this is keith you raced one of my spare trucks last summer at ww-nh in bismarck .with only enough drivers to race one class of 4wd i feel it should remain mod. that doesnt mean you cant run a stock or 19t motor, its open. i feel thats limiting the other drivers who can run the mod motor and use the power. i have seen some 19t buggy class other than bismarcks. tchr does it but have never seen a spec or stock 4wd class other than roar stock nats. cant wait till racing this summer running a x-5 the best handeling car out there. later
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Old 01-19-2005, 11:36 AM   #3
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Keith:

Nice to hear from you and thanks again for letting me run your T-3. Was fun racing with you guys and I look forward to doing it again.

The main reason I believe that we should look into say a spec class first albiet with 19 turn motors for our area is to generate more interest in 4wd overall. Its true you can just run a 19 turn or stock with the mod guys, but, you hit the situation where those guys who are interested may not be willing to run if they feel they don't have a chance motor power wise. I think that may be part of the popularity of stock and 19 turn in other classes, controlled speed. With 4wd, 19 turn is a hot way to go.

I am going to discuss with others down here in Fargo and see if we could try a class with 19 turn motors to see how it goes.

Look forward to seeing you and your X-5, can't wait to race them with my SB Pro!
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Old 01-20-2005, 06:28 PM   #4
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im running 4wd buggy this year.heres my ride if you care......yokomo super dogfighter,and the electronics are a novak gt7,gm cosmic 2 10x4 hitec servo,and an r-1 radio
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Old 01-20-2005, 07:26 PM   #5
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where are you located?
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Old 01-20-2005, 07:35 PM   #6
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We run 4wd open only.. Mod to brushless..

Its hard enough to keep that class going right now too :-|
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Old 01-20-2005, 08:02 PM   #7
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yeah its hard to keep a 4wd class at all down here... I'm the only one running it!

I think the problem is that the 4wd buggies are much more expensive that everything else around...relatively... ie...TC4 = 280 bucks....xxx4 G+= 320 bucks... hmmm why spend more for a class that doesnt exist?

Now, IF, whole bunch of the guys at any track all got some Tamiya gravelhounds and put in 19T motors with holeshots all the way around and no mods to the cars allowed...I think 4wd newbies would jump right in!
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Old 01-20-2005, 09:06 PM   #8
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I agree to a point. The team version of the XXX-4 is available for around $200 new and is competitive. The SB Sport can be had for $145 shipped from ultimatehobbies and with a few upgrades is race competitive under $200.

To me its still falling back to perceived cost. Newbies are seeing 4wd as all out mod and elitist in nature, so they figure unless they have the $500 buggy and high dollar mod they can't compete. I am proposing that we limit one aspect of the perceived cost and set a more level field powerwise so newbies don't feel they couldn't compete.

Ultimately, more drivers entering 4wd means more drivers in the future in mod 4wd!

Glad to get the feedback guys, keep it coming. I will keep you guys informed on the status of getting a spec 4wd class going here for the summer.
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Old 01-20-2005, 09:23 PM   #9
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I have been running 4 wheel electric competitively for about a year now although I have been racing for over 15 years and I can honestly say the 4wd is easier to drive (for me anyways) as well the car is more suited to high power applications because it can take the power and put it on the track.
Here in western Canada we run a series that only limits the type of motors as to what is ROAR legal. Mods are allowed to run of course but right now only one brushless is recognized by ROAR.
We are not ROAR affiliated but the base rules helped us define the rules for racing here. I race my XXX4 G+ with the Novak 5800 brushless system and I am very competitive with the car. Not only do I get better run time but I also have far less maintenance, far less upkeep costs (brushes, turning comms and frequent cleaning.) Also the brushless is more consistant run after run.
I am not trying to sell a motor but I am letting you know you can be competitive for a few less dollars albeit you have an initial high cost.
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Old 01-21-2005, 06:45 AM   #10
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I have seen the novak brushless systems run in 4wd and if it was a standard that everyone would adopt it would be a good way to keep costs down in any class. The novak brushless seemed to be at times between a really fast 19 turn and a great 12 turn motor depending on the size of the track, etc. Lots of torque.

The only thing however is the initial upfront cost and the fact that people coming from a standard stock or 19 turn class will have a significant up front cost to enter with a brushless system. Also, there is the perceived idea in mod running that the novak brushless system is not comparable to a good mod brushed motor as far as power is concerned.

With more power however, you still have to deal with the ability to control the vehicle, albeit 4wd offers the most control of all the classes.

Overall, I think unless there is a big following of brushless at the track, going with a 19 turn or stock power plant ( 19 turn preferred ) as the starting 4wd buggy class until the numbers justify a mod class would be a great way to get people into the class. Also show them that you don't need a high dollar buggy to be competitive to run.

Great ideas guys, keep it coming!
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Old 01-31-2005, 03:00 PM   #11
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any more input.
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Old 01-31-2005, 03:07 PM   #12
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Well The sbsport RTR can't hurt things, to get people into 4wd, I believe Ultimate has them in stock for about 225, running 19 turn spec to get this class moving is a good idea IMO
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Old 01-31-2005, 03:32 PM   #13
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I would love to see more people into 4 wheel drive locally.
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Old 01-31-2005, 03:53 PM   #14
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We race 4 wheel about 2 weekends a month at my track, my only problem with the class is that I run a xxx-4 and the oneways simply don't last. I've had 4 blow and it's just not worth dealing with unless I'm going out of town for a big race. In my experience the diff just kills the performance of my car.
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Old 02-01-2005, 10:13 PM   #15
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We just got the 4wd class going again at my track and its pretty fun. I think the class is just to unfamiliar to new drivers, although on paper it seems fit for a beginner. Heh, Betamax was better, but VHS won. Maybe the complexity of the transmission is too overwhelming to a beginner and since 2wd is so popular, having 2 classes is too overwhelming. When it is time to add a class, trucks seems to be the logical next step. Its really just a popularity contest and that's not going to change anytime soon. 19t motors are even more elusive. Its hard enough keeping that class going in 2wd. Maybe the speed and jumping will attract beginners to the class. Let's face it, a fast buggy jumping triples is impressive and it certainly gets people's attention at our track. I think the best way to persuade new drivers in this class is to go out and make new drivers feel welcomed. Adding spec or stock, or cost, isn't going to be as important as a nice driver lending a hand or some encouragement to someone interested. My 2 cents.
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