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Reviving electric on road

Old 07-22-2020, 06:43 AM
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Default Reviving electric on road

Hey all: It seems like electric on road while it still has itís supporters has fallen off in popularity in recent years just look at AE getting out of it. Am I off base on this or not? Also are mid motor 10th 4wd sedans weíre seeing now a big leap in tech and performance or just a new way to attract buyers. Finally with awesomatix now offering a 1/12 pan car will this class get revived as well? Thanks 😊
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Old 07-22-2020, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by b-man777 View Post
Hey all: It seems like electric on road while it still has itís supporters has fallen off in popularity in recent years just look at AE getting out of it. Am I off base on this or not? Also are mid motor 10th 4wd sedans weíre seeing now a big leap in tech and performance or just a new way to attract buyers. Finally with awesomatix now offering a 1/12 pan car will this class get revived as well? Thanks 😊
Off base - 12th scale is international with several companies still supporting and developing the platform. One company changed their focus, and possibly, from your perspective, there isn't a track or support. Those are hardly indication of the popularity globally. Awesomatix has a nice fresh concept on the way, but it is arguable that it will provide any significant advantage that would induce a sudden influx of new participants.

As for Mid Motor - not a big leap, but merely an evolution and adaptation to increased traction (black carpet) and favorable experimental results.

My 2 cents
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Old 07-22-2020, 07:23 AM
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It won’t. There no car that’s going to trigger a revival. Last year it was FWD was going to be the spark.

The problem are bigger then any one vehicle can fix.
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Old 07-22-2020, 07:55 AM
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I don't see 12th being popular in the US unless a entry level class can be established. For that I see two things need to happen. 1- all of the regions need to agree on specs particularly 1s vs 2s and the motor. 2- Rubber tires need to happen in the entry class.

Right now we have different regions making different specs for a 12GT class that vary all over. It also need to be rubber. Beginners just don't want to deal with foam and frankly with the tests I have been hearing about the times and tunes aren't too far off of foam anyway. If you can get a beginner class going to get people interested, you are going to have a heck of a time trying to get them interested in 12th scale Pan.
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Old 07-22-2020, 08:01 AM
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Overall, what I have heard from folks that I used to race with is, affordable spec racing isn't affordable. For example, VTA was supposed to be a good, affordable spec class but, if you look at it, motors, and tires are not exactly affordable. Competitiveness is getting the better of the class with folks running brand new 2020 chassis and high-end batteries and motors. We need more entry level and spec class racing, to get folks back to the track.
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Old 07-22-2020, 08:18 AM
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Car design may not revive the class but Covid sure has. Our local track had the highest attendance in years last Sunday. Several more drivers are now either looking for used cars, or waiting for them to arrive. Covid will probably wipe out our indoor season in the fall so everyone is getting as much driving in now while they can.
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Old 07-22-2020, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by mrreet2001 View Post
I don't see 12th being popular in the US unless a entry level class can be established. For that I see two things need to happen. 1- all of the regions need to agree on specs particularly 1s vs 2s and the motor. 2- Rubber tires need to happen in the entry class.

Right now we have different regions making different specs for a 12GT class that vary all over. It also need to be rubber. Beginners just don't want to deal with foam and frankly with the tests I have been hearing about the times and tunes aren't too far off of foam anyway. If you can get a beginner class going to get people interested, you are going to have a heck of a time trying to get them interested in 12th scale Pan.
The RD at the carpet track o run at has some hope for the Kyosho 1/12 Fantom 4wheel drive. But heís also realistic. Iím about 2 year late for 1/12 in my area.
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Old 07-22-2020, 09:36 AM
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Usgt with Motiv motors and fixed gearing might be the closest to a reviving spec class we'll ever get...
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Old 07-22-2020, 10:41 AM
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I will start off by saying that I love on-road racing and would love for it to be more popular. However, here are a few things that I see are causing it to lose participants.

1. Lack of available racing facilities. This is a vicious cycle. No one wants to build a track when there is no one to race there, but no one wants to drive hours and hours to race two qualifiers and a main.
2. Too many classes. There are any number of TC classes from mod, to 17.5, 21.5, USGT and VTA. Add to that the local rules for those classes and your head starts to spin. Then there is F1, 12th, 12GT, FWD, Mini, Euro Truck. If you want to race more then one class, you have to have a bunch of cards because you never know if enough people will show for a class. And that is just the tip. At least in off-road, you choose either 1/10 or 1/8, then there are only a couple of choices. In 1/10 you have stock or mod, 4wd or 2wd. In 1/8 you have electric or nitro, buggy or truggy. You show up with any of those cars and you will have a class to race in.
3. Costs. I race VTA and either 21.5 TC or USGT depending on where I am racing. I have over $1000 in each car, not to mention all the spare parts, setup equipment, tires, etc... When a new person shows up at the track, and they start asking questions about how much things cost, even if you tell them to buy used and not to worry about top of the line stuff, they are still looking at $500 to get a cheap used car on track and have batteries, a charger a radio, etc... And then, that new person is going to get discouraged because they are getting destroyed by the guys that have been racing forever. It’s hard to spend the kind of money it takes to get into racing and not know if you are going to like it.

I don’t have any good answers. Facilities are expensive, and it is a huge risk to put in a track and then not have anyone show up. In the northern climates, you almost have to be indoors, or you are limiting yourself to only about 26 weeks a year at best. I don’t know how to get to fewer classes. Everyone wants choices and to run what they like, but if there aren’t enough people, then they still don’t get to run. How do you solve that? We have a strong VTA program at our track, so you are pretty sure you can run that if you show up, but every other class is a crap shoot. And costs.... Yes, there are ways to limit costs, but they are always so restrictive. And once you get past the stage of wanting to be in the limited class, you have to buy a lot of new stuff, plus, that may leave others without a class to run in because of the lack of participants.

I live in Indiana, the racing capital of the world, and on a good night, we get 20 guys and maybe 35 cars in Indianapolis. We should be able to double that, but it just never seems to grow.
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Old 07-22-2020, 10:55 AM
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Distance I’d a definite factor. I’m racing two on road groups. And one off road. It’s an hour each way to each place. I was considering trying the 3-4 hour drive to Wisconsin. But I’m gonna hold off on those. Their current turnout is too low.

I’m taking advantage of my job skipping Saturday this summer. Only 1/2 day but it kept me from on road at the carpet track. They only race on road Friday night or Saturday morning. I know in few months, Saturday’s will be back and I’ll loose one on road group.

When they were first opening. They seemed open to trying things. An occasional Saturday night race, after the store closed. Endurance races, flipping their regular Saturday schedule to have on road in the afternoon now and then. But once it opened. They set a schedule and stuck with it.


I don’t think there’s too many classes. As I doubt that any one place offer/ runs them all. I’ve kept bringing my F1 for the past month. But think this weekend will be last time. Unless it gets run at one of the two I’ll be at this weekend.

The hard part is getting someone to move from being interested to actually trying. That the hardest part. I had no interest for most of the first 6 years in was in the hobby.
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Old 07-22-2020, 11:04 AM
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My take, and I've been out for a while, is that there are a couple factors.

Obvious ones we should get out in the open are the cost of retail space in America in 2020 is super prohibitive to any new tracks. Secondly, partially related to this, is the lack of facilities with walk in traffic. I talk to my girlfriend about this often, that if I were to create the perfect RC track from a business perspective, I would want there to be significant foot traffic locally. If you could have an indoor track with big glass windows open to the street for passers-by to see it, interest would improve. I realize that with our current retail space issue mentioned above, those types of properties are incredibly hard to operate purely from a cost perspective.

From a racing perspective, I do agree that the cost is tough for new people. I think that cars have gotten more and more expensive over the years, and more and more complex. This is great from a quality perspective, but not necessarily from a inviting new people perspective. This is something I think Tamiya did/does so well. Back in the hay-day of the Tamiya America series, the turnouts were HUGE! I think the scale appeal was really important, but also the single manufacturer helped provide an easy-entry into the classes. I also think that speeds weren't so high that you'd break all the time. Cars now are so fast.

Lastly, I think the economy has some effect on how we operate as a hobby. Things are tough for a lot of people right now, and in the last 20 years. The median income of America has gone down in the last 2 decades, and that surely plays a role in how much money people are willing to invest into a new hobby. When people are concerned about being laid off, not being able to afford their lives, the last thing they want to do is spend $1000 on a model car.

I think all these things contribute to the decline of racing, but I am sure it will pick back up over time. I don't see RC going anywhere, but we certainly need to keep bringing new people in, and looking at it from a business perspective and how we can support our local tracks

/rant
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Old 07-22-2020, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Billy Kelly View Post
Distance Iíd a definite factor. Iím racing two on road groups. And one off road. Itís an hour each way to each place. I was considering trying the 3-4 hour drive to Wisconsin. But Iím gonna hold off on those. Their current turnout is too low.

Iím taking advantage of my job skipping Saturday this summer. Only 1/2 day but it kept me from on road at the carpet track. They only race on road Friday night or Saturday morning. I know in few months, Saturdayís will be back and Iíll loose one on road group.

When they were first opening. They seemed open to trying things. An occasional Saturday night race, after the store closed. Endurance races, flipping their regular Saturday schedule to have on road in the afternoon now and then. But once it opened. They set a schedule and stuck with it.


I donít think thereís too many classes. As I doubt that any one place offer/ runs them all. Iíve kept bringing my F1 for the past month. But think this weekend will be last time. Unless it gets run at one of the two Iíll be at this weekend.

The hard part is getting someone to move from being interested to actually trying. That the hardest part. I had no interest for most of the first 6 years in was in the hobby.
You should come out to Toledo some time this Late Fall / Winter. We race Sundays and usually have a "big" race towards the end of the season. We normally race VTA, USGT, F1, WGT, TC MOD (if enough show up), 12th Pan, and Euro Truck... For our big race in '19 we also ran 12GT because we have a lot of people come up from Cincinnati.
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Old 07-22-2020, 11:18 AM
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On-road is slowly going dead in the US. Just the way it is going with younger generations being more into video games/social media, etc.

The people that only look at big events for numbers, is only because the older generation (including myself in my mid 30s), have more discretionary income to be able to do these larger/travel races and afford big bucks for these $600-700 chassis. (even though it is cheaper than ever to be competitive, when you account for inflation.) The average age of onroad racers is getting higher at both of these big races and smaller club races. You will see a sharp drop off soon and that only means more consolidation of tracks. Facilities now are also much more expensive for land/rent.

The club level is what keeps things alive and sadly, not enough teens or guys in their 20s in onroad. Sorry for all the doom and gloom, but its the truth. Off-road will stay alive much longer. AE was smart to pull out of on-road and invest more into off-road. The smart companies will invest more in eastern europe and asia, with the growing middle class who can now afford RC.
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Old 07-22-2020, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by mrreet2001 View Post
You should come out to Toledo some time this Late Fall / Winter. We race Sundays and usually have a "big" race towards the end of the season. We normally race VTA, USGT, F1, WGT, TC MOD (if enough show up), 12th Pan, and Euro Truck... For our big race in '19 we also ran 12GT because we have a lot of people come up from Cincinnati.
Thatís well outside my range. Even considering going to Oshkosh is a new idea for me to even consider.
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Old 07-22-2020, 07:48 PM
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The reasons being brought up are definitely on point. Personally I think the biggest two contributors are a lack of easily accessible/digestible information, and cost. It can be difficult for someone looking to get into racing to find and understand the classes and rules. This is further complicated with less and less retail hobby stores carrying any on-road equipment, or worse, even existing at all. Following some of the R/C Facebook pages you quickly realize that a great number of people don't understand this confusing hobby of ours. I regularly see people buying motors, ESCs, wheels/tires, bodies, you name it, for completely the wrong vehicle. While one could argue that these folks should've done a better job at reading the details, such as product dimensions, this is partially due to manufactures being willy nilly with how they classify things like vehicle scale. My point is without well defined guidelines, we're not doing new racers any favors. I personally really like the parts of USGT and USVTA where they list out, by part number, which bodies are allowed. The second contributor is at least in my area, nearly all of the cars being raced have a million adjustments, and huge price tags. Classes like Euro Truck are fantastic to help combat those issues, however, I don't imagine racing semi-trucks is what most people will get excited about. Typing this out is really making me wonder why all of the box stock classes over the years tend to die. In seems like it's usually been due to the win at all costs folks, or the track having too loose of rules.
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