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Old 11-10-2006, 09:15 AM   #31
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RTR didn't kill the hobby nor did it even hurt the hobby. If you want to talk about pricing for the "hobbyist" there is no cheaper way to get started than buying an RTR. Manufactures and battery wars are actually helping to keep the price down. I get a new car every 6 months and sell the old one to a beginner. Kinda like a lease. 4 yrs ago you had to pay $125 for race level packs and those were usually hard to come by because they were kept for the team guys. You also had to have 2000's, 2400's and 3000's depending on which class you were racing that day. A race pack was only good for one race and then had to sit for 3 days. Now you can get $50 race packs all over the place and use them twice in a day. Someone said $650 to race stock. 1) you don't need a $400 car, a $100 digital servo, or a $150 speedo to race stock. 2) you can get a $200 FK05 (with parts), a $40 used digital servo and a $60 top level speedo. Now we're at $300 to race stock. The new guys at the track don't need the top of the line stuff and won't benefit from it anyway. I spent the first two years in the hobby buying used batteries and motors until I stopped bouncing off of corner dots. Help from the good guys is always important in keeping new guys in the hobby or getting them started. If they feel like they are wanted at the track, they will come back. If they are made to feel like they are bothering you with their questions, they'll just buy another skateboard. Make yourself approachable and the hobby will grow. You'll also find that more people cheer for you if you are rebuilding their motors for them. We also need to remember that there are several levels to this hobby. Some guys just want to bash, some guys like to race every now and then, some race locally every weekend and some travel. Our track offers different classes based on skill level. I don't have to dodge 10 year old kids on the track and they don't feel like they are holding up the fast guys. It is definitely more fun for everyone. Maybe this is the answer to all the tension between the skill levels. I've talked enough for now. Next....
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Old 11-10-2006, 09:19 AM   #32
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Rick, I think that at the grass roots level that most of us are at see the rtr/beginners as the pipeline. Yes, most of the rtr users will not race. But how many kids under 20 are great drivers? Did they have an rtr before a kit? A kit now for TC is over $300. I would not buy my 10 or 6 year old a kit for that. Plus all the things to get it running.
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Old 11-10-2006, 09:28 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Hohwart
The characteristics of RTR users make them poor candidiates as future racers. A person who does not have (or feels he does not have) the skill, time, patience, knowledge, or desire to build a kit will likely not have the skill, time, patience, knowledge, or desire to maintain a racing vehicle.

R/C Racing is a great alternative to racing real cars. It requires the same mechanical and mental skills at a fraction of the cost with no risk of injury or death. If you want more racers, R/C Racing needs to be marketed towards wannabe racers and racing fans, not kids.


I think you have pegged all RTR users into one category which is lazy or instant gratifying is wrong.
If you go to the local hobby shops as a beginner and specifically tell a majority of the hobbyshop employees that you are looking at buying your first r/c car to race they will lead you up to the high end kits, high end radio and support equipment then show you the RTR which as a beginner you don't see a difference except in price. what would you choose?
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Old 11-10-2006, 09:35 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Francis M.
I think you have pegged all RTR users into one category which is lazy or instant gratifying is wrong.
If you go to the local hobby shops as a beginner and specifically tell a majority of the hobbyshop employees that you are looking at buying your first r/c car to race they will lead you up to the high end kits, high end radio and support equipment then show you the RTR which as a beginner you don't see a difference except in price. what would you choose?
I should have said rtr users that are not buying a car with racing in mind.

But my point is that many in the industry look at the number of RTR cars old and look at ways to turn RTR drivers into racers instead of exploring other marketing options which have the potential to bring in more long time racers.
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Old 11-10-2006, 09:38 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Hohwart
R/C Racing is a great alternative to racing real cars. It requires the same mechanical and mental skills at a fraction of the cost with no risk of injury or death. If you want more racers, R/C Racing needs to be marketed towards wannabe racers and racing fans, not kids.
Racing has to marketed to wannabe racers and racing fans, that is a given. But it has to be marketed towards kids as well, If you don't get them interested in it at an early age you run the risk of losing them forever. Remember when you were young (not sure how old you are) you played with hotwheels thats how most get into wanting to race and go fast most boys and many girls are drawn to cars marketing R/C racing to kids and their parents should be a natural thing. If a parent is into racing they most likely will influence their child that way as well consciously or subconsciously.

You have to build interst early to sustain longevity. Even if they get out of the hobby in their early teens they come back to it later when they have more money and they remember the fun they had with it when they were younger.
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Old 11-10-2006, 09:48 AM   #36
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Well here is my .02 worth.

I am an electric newb. I race offroad 1/8 nitro, but am trying to break into a new segment of the hobby that I find extremely interesting. I had the privilige of pitting close to Eric Anderson last weekend as well as a few other "pros". Eric didn't know me from Adam, and I did not in any way want to sweat the guy for information, but he and the other "pros" at the track were helpful on questions about my charger settings, batteries, foams, etc..

Now i'm not blowing Eric by any means, and before last week, I have never even been in the same room with the guy, but my first experience with those "pros" was very encouraging.

The track I raced at was very organized, and broke up the classes where I didn't have to race in the same class with the pros (so I wouldn't crash their cars) as I would have obviously been lapped traffic.

These need to be basic rules for any race track. Let the newbs race together and the top guys race together. Give the newbs incentive to get better and to race with the big guys as they improve.

And personally speaking, The willingness to help a guy that just started doing electric by a real "pro" driver, sold me on racing electric. (I was already sold on the hobby)

Now i'm broke again!
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Old 11-10-2006, 10:04 AM   #37
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WOW less than 24 hours and already on page 2.

I think the input is great and hopefully in the long run will be beneficial.

One more thought and then I am done for awhile.

A spec class would be great but it would have to allow for any manufacturers chasis (because everyone has their favorite chasis) that's why I think the Trinity spec chasis never took off.

The spec class should have a spec motor, spec gearing (a set FDR based on whats best for the track), spec tire, and spec battery limit (for example max 3300 or 3800) like any form of racing people will spend like crazy to get evry tweak but for the majority a spec class will still be a drivers class and not an equipment class.
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Old 11-10-2006, 10:28 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigcod r/c
Well here is my .02 worth.

I am an electric newb. I race offroad 1/8 nitro, but am trying to break into a new segment of the hobby that I find extremely interesting. I had the privilige of pitting close to Eric Anderson last weekend as well as a few other "pros". Eric didn't know me from Adam, and I did not in any way want to sweat the guy for information, but he and the other "pros" at the track were helpful on questions about my charger settings, batteries, foams, etc..

Now i'm not blowing Eric by any means, and before last week, I have never even been in the same room with the guy, but my first experience with those "pros" was very encouraging.

The track I raced at was very organized, and broke up the classes where I didn't have to race in the same class with the pros (so I wouldn't crash their cars) as I would have obviously been lapped traffic.

These need to be basic rules for any race track. Let the newbs race together and the top guys race together. Give the newbs incentive to get better and to race with the big guys as they improve.

And personally speaking, The willingness to help a guy that just started doing electric by a real "pro" driver, sold me on racing electric. (I was already sold on the hobby)

Now i'm broke again!
Glad I could help even though I didnt realize it....LOL If you have any more questions at the track just ask.....I'll be there tomorrow to race again.

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Old 11-10-2006, 10:31 AM   #39
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Awesome Thread! This is the way it should be done.

I agree (to some degree) with everything here so far.
Here's a suggestion that I've been thinking about lately that I've seen a few clubs institute that has really helped turn-outs and capturing new racers.
-Split days of racing:
By that, I mean have one day or week night dedicated to newbie's, beginners, and those folks that are just interested bashing around with their buddies. Try to encourage a few of the experienced racers to show up merely to lend a helping hand and coach (NOT TO RACE) on a voluntary basis. Even if its a practice night.
Reserve your other day/night for the hardcore racers. This way, your automatically putting up a experience firewall without offending anyone. Open it up to anyone either days, and the racers can be free to choose which group they'd rather participate...or both.
Just a thought...tell me what you think.
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Old 11-10-2006, 10:36 AM   #40
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Here's another point. RC car racing may just be looking at it's really slow period. As an axample, look at scale model railroading. Trains seem to be a generational thing i.e. the gereration that was really into real and model railroading is now leaving us (passing on). The generation that replaced them is more of the baby-boomer or automotive generation. The generation that is replacing the car generation (what is occuring now) is more of a computer/video gaming generation. Face it when you buy a compuer game you have bought it, there is no need to buy tires, batteries, motors,......every week! I still love RC racing but with technology being what it is today there are many hobbies (real and virtual) vieing for a kids attention. Rick alluded to this earlier, and I think he is correct. Concerning stock motors. In years past, before rebuildabe stock motors came along, you had to buy and go through 10-15 motors and be a technical genius to get one to run right. Now anyone can go down to your LHS and purchase a really good stock motor right off the shelf. If rebuildable stock motors had come on the scene ten years earlier it would have kept more people in the hobby. My personal views on stock motors can also be applied to batteries. GP 3300's almost saved this hobby, if they had only showed up ten years earlier......
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Old 11-10-2006, 11:02 AM   #41
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A note from the thread starter...

As I stated in my original post, we will never end the debate on many of these subjects. Everyone has an opinion as to "why" we are where we are...

Please, lets leave the RTR sector out of this. Rick makes a good point that most of these people will NEVER set foot inside a facility for racing. Its not what they want to do.

With that said, lets CHANGE things up here.

We will need people to help organize change. Who would like to volunteer?

First we will need leaders (not directors) to assist with collecting ideas and delivering them to the respective local levels.

I propose setting up 3 Reform Groups. East - Central - West.

Each group will have a Leader. That person will become the spokesman for their particular area and make decisions on what items to bring to the table regarding reform issues.

Without organization from the start, this will just be another discussion that goes nowhere.

If you feel you have the extra time and the respect of your fellows racers to devote several hours a week working together on ideas, please contact me and we can start working on ideas to organize our efforts.

Thanks!
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Old 11-10-2006, 11:08 AM   #42
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We All know the following...

1. Turnout at the tracks is low in most ALL places
2. There are very few NEW racers
3. The class structures we have now need to change
4. It is too expensive to get started in the hobby
5. Some tracks and some racers aren't friendly to newbies
6. There is no REAL beginner class at most facilities
7. Our current sanctioning body is doing nothing to help us

Did I miss anything?

I am hammering this home as we need to get a list of whats wrong before we can attempt to fix anything. We all WANT to help, but we HAVE to be organized or we will never get anywhere, I can't say it enough.

Thanks all!

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Old 11-10-2006, 11:09 AM   #43
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I started racing in the 80's heck back then a mod motor was 27 turns the best battery was a 1200 and 1/12 onroad was the only class lol. Like many I had to stop for a while due to time and cost constrants of having a family. Many times poeple have to change direction due to life, the key is how to get these people back into racing.

RTR's are not the problem it's how the racing community treats those cars/owners that is the problem. Too many times I've seen a yn bring an rtr and try to race it only to be ridiculed by others for haveing "junk".

Like others have voiced in this thread a budget class needs to be a staple at any track, however I do not think that putting lots of limits; only this motor, only this batt, etc. is the answer. Roadblocks like that only turn kids away.

Keep in mind that not everyone is cut out for this hobby. Losing is not fun and most kids and adults will give up if thay do not see progress. Also I realize that a track and hobby store needs to turn a profit but some tracks need to keep in mind that charging high entry fees and only paying the top three finishers turns away many yn's.

Lastly cheating in the stock class is a huge problem at the club level. I generally take the view that if another racer has to cheat to beat me then fine, that says more about them than me. But more need to be done to combat this and level the playing field for all.

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Old 11-10-2006, 11:31 AM   #44
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I think one thing also we need to do is focus on the things that have worked in the past rather then the things that are problematic.

We know from history the following brings people in:

• Exposure

• Low-Cost

• Low-Maintenance

• Fun not prizes being the reward

• Scale realism

I think maybe we need to seriously consider that maybe the hardcore sanctionning bodies should be left to regulate the hardcore pro's and the club racer should actually have seprate set of rules?

We need to stop complainning about change and take what we have and decide on rules that enhance what is already out there not force a new regime that is based on dramatic knee jerk changes.

The RTR crowd is the biggest group whether the racers want to admit it or not. The racer whether he will admit it or not needs compitition and facilities to race more then trick stuff. So I feel the racer needs to worry more about attracting others to his events and having places to hold them.

If you took Seg. A (50 racers) and gave them Tyco cars and had them race on a prepared purpose built track

They would have more fun then Seg. B (4 racers) running hi-end TC on a a parking lot track.

On top of all this the Racers Seg. A could do it for less money and the Industry supporting would make more!

Are we wanting to race or are we wanting trophies and a toy to brag about? This is the real problem we need to solve.
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Old 11-10-2006, 11:37 AM   #45
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Here’s my $.02…

So how do you attract more racers at the local level?

The main thing is to develop a race program that supports the customer\racer base of the track and to also try and keep the racers happy. However, this all depends on customer\racer base of the track which varies from track to track as well as the goals and objectives of the race program. We all know RC is a big investment and to move to higher levels of racing will be even more of an investment so this really isn't going to be an issue I will focus on.

Goals and Objectives

1. Create a program to support all levels of racing.
2. Create a program that will help the racer progress to higher levels.
3. Create a licensing process to allow the racer to move to the next level.
4. Align the program to certain rules and/or standards.
5. Most of all have FUN!!!

Beginner\Budget Class: Develop a true class for the beginner who has no rc experience and where driving and fun is the main focus. Chassis setup and motor tuning is too much for a beginner to handle. So keep chassis tuning and motor tuning to a minimum. A good chassis for this would be the new Tamiya F103GT class which has limited tuning options and the infamous silver can motor. Also, limit gear ratio to slow the cars down, use a control tire and use the cheap unmatched 4 cell packs. Bottom line - Reward the winner because s\he drove the cleanest\best.

Novice Class: Develop a class(es) for the beginner (or backyard basher) who is ready to move on to the next level of rc racing and is getting somewhat serious about rc racing. The main focus of this class should be chassis and motor setup allowing the novice to learn about chassis and motor tuning. Limit the class by motor only (e.g. a stock motor). This is a class where a blend of driving, setup and power is key to being fast.

Expert Class: Develop a class(es) for the novice racer who is ready to go faster and is serious about rc racing. This is a class for experienced racers\team drivers. The main focus of this class should still be chassis and motor setup allowing the novice to continue to learn about chassis and motor tuning, but just at faster speeds. Limit the class by motor only (e.g. a 19T motor). Again, this is a class where a blend of driving, setup and speed is key to being fast.

Pro Class: This is a class for the very experienced racer who is serious about rc racing. This is a class for experienced racers\team drivers\factory drivers. The main focus of this class is about competing at the highest level. No motor limit for the class. This is a class where a blend of driving, setup, speed and control is key to being fast.

But most of all, you NEED the right personnel that know how to deal with racers, that know how to deal with the rc politics and that have the dedicated time and effort to making it a fun and successful race program.
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