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Buying Advice. Kit or RTR?

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Buying Advice. Kit or RTR?

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Old 09-28-2019, 10:42 AM
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Questions?? Buying Advice. Kit or RTR?

Hello,


I recently got into the rc hobby. I've been interested in it since I was about 5 but didn't get into the hobby until about a year ago when I bought myself a super cheap car that broke on every little run. After my dad found out I liked the hobby, he found his old Associated RC10 B4s to give to me and that's what I run at the track currently.


While electric is fun, I want to get into nitro. I love tuning, all the smell and sounds of nitro have gotten me addicted.


I was looking at the Losi 8ight nitro buggy. The question is Kit or RTR? Everyone at my local track says go kit and save money in the long run, but there are a few problems with the kit. I don't have anything. No good transmitter, electronics, wheels, engine.. nothing. The other problem is that this is going to be a Christmas gift from family, and I think that $800-$900 to get a kit running is way more than what to ask for in a gift. The RTR is only $350 and includes everything (obviously RTR..) I've heard the 8ight nitro RTR is pretty damn bulletproof either way.


I think my only option will be RTR. I could try to get my family to buy a used kit car, but it would be a pain to try to plan that out, also I don't know how well my family thinks of buying used.


Any thoughts on this? Could use some advice

Thanks for reading,

Noah.
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Old 09-29-2019, 10:04 AM
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Look for a used kit. The different between a real race kit and a RTR is vast. They're practically completely different cars in terms of quality, durability, etc.

I would recommend you look for used kits if you're on a budget, which it seems you are, and that you also look at brands other than Losi. People sell kits here on RC Tech as well as many Facebook groups such as the Mugen Off Road Market for cheap. If you have a local track I would go there on a race day and talk to people about which cars they like and if anyone has a used car for sale. It's likely someone will and you'll learn things as well.
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Old 09-29-2019, 11:14 AM
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Be aware that with a used kit from an unknown origin can have issues like no maintenance and a bad engine. Uf you buy it from a racer or an active RCTECH member then you habe a high chance to get a decent car and engine.
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Old 09-29-2019, 11:43 AM
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Roelof makes a very good point that I forgot about. I would never buy a used engine from someone I didn't know or who didn't have a good reputation. As for the car itself, you'll want clear pictures or even better an in person inspection to evaluate it's condition.
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Old 09-29-2019, 01:55 PM
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I know it's cheaper, but just keep in mind with what you are getting as an RTR kit:

- First off, this is an older version of the 8ight, not the 8ight X, which has been out for more than 6 months now.
- It is bare minimum in pretty much all aspects of the kit; it has plastic shock bodies and no adjustable turnbuckles.
- The electronics are also bare minimum; the Spektrum DX2E is OK for bashing, but is bare minimum as far as radios go - like pretty much any other radio you see in an RTR kit. You might also want to double-check that the receiver that comes with the package. It would be preferable to have a DSMR receiver over an older DSM2 unit. In either case, you know that you can at least upgrade to a better Spektrum transmitter later.

While RTR's have their place, if you know in your heart that you want to race it, and you're going to be sinking a lot more money upgrading that buggy (which is not the latest offering from TLR) than if you had bought the kit with all the parts - and that's assuming that TLR/Losi will have parts for the buggy for a long while to come. It's a reality that the kit equivalent parts for that buggy will cost you more than if you had bought the kit. Just my $0.02, but you might want to think about getting what you can a bit at a time, even if it takes a little longer to have everything that you need. I'm getting back into the hobby after a long time, and even I am getting things little by little, rather than take a big hit to the wallet (yeah, starting from scratch always stings). Having a family and life responsibilities, I know that the racing will be there when I'm ready... I'm mean, the hobby isn't going to up and collapse while I'm gathering my gear, right?
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Old 09-29-2019, 05:51 PM
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I agree with what everyone else is saying. And coming from someone who literally just jumped in the off-road nitro scene, I had a way better introduction to the hobby by buying/building a buggy and learning as I went. Plus the noticeable part difference from the RTR to race kit was vast. I bought a lot of my stuff off here as well as found a Mugen roller from Facebook. I will agree with what someone mentioned earlier about faulty parts/screws from lack of maintenance from previous owner, but again the knowledge I picked up figuring out/fixing the issues, was worth it to me. I think either way you’ll be happy. But personally, I would look for a decent condition roller or ARTR buggy/truggy off here
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Old 09-29-2019, 10:25 PM
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The most important question is: Do you plan to race, or do you plan to drive outside? The type of vehicle you need for each scenario is very different. RTRs will not perform well on tracks, and conversely race kits will not work significantly better than RTRs on random outdoor surfaces.
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Old 09-29-2019, 11:15 PM
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Originally Posted by fyrstormer View Post
The most important question is: Do you plan to race, or do you plan to drive outside? The type of vehicle you need for each scenario is very different. RTRs will not perform well on tracks, and conversely race kits will not work significantly better than RTRs on random outdoor surfaces.
There is an enormous difference in quality and durability of kits versus RTR cars. In 8th scale a RTR car will almost invariable use lower quality materials, for example 6061 aluminum rather than 7075 aluminum, and thinner at that. 7075 is almost twice as strong, harder, and has better wear characteristics than 6061. This makes a huge difference, especially when it comes to the shock towers and chassis. You can race or bash a RTR or a kit and perform about the same as a beginner. However, you will be breaking more often with a RTR.
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Old 09-30-2019, 05:50 AM
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So Amain Hobbies just did a great video series where they took and RTR car and made it a racer. What it equated to was an additional $700 to make it a decent racer. Yes it's an older car so it's not the latest and the greatest. Yes they cut corners in the car to make it a reasonable priced RTR;ie shock towers, diffs, pull start engine, etc.

IMO I think RTR is a great way to get into the hobby as long as you understand it's short comings. You will be replacing it's servos eventually. You will be replacing the shock towers eventually. You will upgrade many parts eventually. Will you spend more time and money upgrading an RTR, I think the answer is yes. But if building a kit scares you or you don't feel you can handle it then yes maybe an RTR will get you going faster. but eventually you will be replacing things and will have to wrench.

So the most economical way would be to get the race kit, pick out your servos, radio, engine. Servos and radio system could last you a good long time if taken care of. Engines wear out, but purchasing a good one will tune easier and provide many gallons of fun.

When I started racing I took it seriously for about a year or two. Then I realized its just toy cars and a bad day at the race track is better then a good day at work. Now I actually find more enjoyment taking my "older" kits and equipment and racing against guys who think the newest kits are going to keep them from being on their lids. If getting an RTR suits your fancy, do it. The most important thing on the track is keeping it on it's wheels. Until you can do that all the time and an only maybe have one mistake, having the newest kit isn't going to help you.
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Old 09-30-2019, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Goomba_7 View Post
So Amain Hobbies just did a great video series where they took and RTR car and made it a racer. What it equated to was an additional $700 to make it a decent racer. Yes it's an older car so it's not the latest and the greatest. Yes they cut corners in the car to make it a reasonable priced RTR;ie shock towers, diffs, pull start engine, etc.

IMO I think RTR is a great way to get into the hobby as long as you understand it's short comings. You will be replacing it's servos eventually. You will be replacing the shock towers eventually. You will upgrade many parts eventually. Will you spend more time and money upgrading an RTR, I think the answer is yes. But if building a kit scares you or you don't feel you can handle it then yes maybe an RTR will get you going faster. but eventually you will be replacing things and will have to wrench.

So the most economical way would be to get the race kit, pick out your servos, radio, engine. Servos and radio system could last you a good long time if taken care of. Engines wear out, but purchasing a good one will tune easier and provide many gallons of fun.

When I started racing I took it seriously for about a year or two. Then I realized its just toy cars and a bad day at the race track is better then a good day at work. Now I actually find more enjoyment taking my "older" kits and equipment and racing against guys who think the newest kits are going to keep them from being on their lids. If getting an RTR suits your fancy, do it. The most important thing on the track is keeping it on it's wheels. Until you can do that all the time and an only maybe have one mistake, having the newest kit isn't going to help you.
Older, refined equipment will beat brand new equipment used by rookies any day...
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Old 09-30-2019, 09:49 AM
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I started 1/8 nitro with the original 8ight RTR in '09 and ran the sportsman class at many tracks in the SoCal (and did quite well). I started with a few reliability parts; on that car, aluminum shock caps was the biggest item needed. The stock engine was weak until you equipped it with a turbo head button. The power was more than enough at that point but mileage/runtime was an issue (no 45 mins in that class so the impact was mitigated slightly). I dont think I broke a single part on that car and ended up selling it to a buddy that bashed the crap out of it a couple years. A few years ago, I bought it back from him so I could have it as part of a collection (I actually had a 1/8 nitro prior to that but I never actually got it running before selling it off). It still runs/drives to this day (though I just keep it on a shelf).

Another of my buddies started with a Kyosho RTR around 2010/2011; it had the pull start engine but I let him use one of my spares and he grabbed a Losi RTR starter box off ebay (I still prefer this box to others; they're great with a 4s LiPO). It was reliable and was more capable then he was in regard to skill level. He bashed it along with the guy that bought my Losi on the weekends we werent racing.

In the end, I think it just comes down to expectation management. The equipment will get you out there and you'll be competitive enough early on until your skills are honed on track. Along the way, you can start upgrading equipment making it cost friendly compared to the initial sticker shock of buying high quality stuff all at once. As somebody that has actually done it, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to other people (and just did to a co-worker who is interested in trying but doesn't want to drop $2k to get on track with top level equipment).
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Old 09-30-2019, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by frewster View Post
There is an enormous difference in quality and durability of kits versus RTR cars. In 8th scale a RTR car will almost invariable use lower quality materials, for example 6061 aluminum rather than 7075 aluminum, and thinner at that. 7075 is almost twice as strong, harder, and has better wear characteristics than 6061. This makes a huge difference, especially when it comes to the shock towers and chassis. You can race or bash a RTR or a kit and perform about the same as a beginner. However, you will be breaking more often with a RTR.
I am aware of the quality differences between RTRs and kits. Yes, some RTRs from cheaper or less-experienced brands (I'm looking at you, Redcat and Arrma) are still built with brittle plastics, but most RTRs nowadays are built with parts that tend to be too flexible rather than too brittle.

It's impossible to drive on unswept neighborhood streets or lumpy backyards with the same precision as driving on a smooth blacktop or clay track, so the looser handling caused by flexible RTR parts is largely unnoticeable amidst the "background noise" of the vehicle sliding over twigs and leaves and pebbles anyway. For off-track driving, it is simply more economical to buy a RTR, drive it a few times, see what inadequacies it has compared to your personal expectations and your local driving conditions, and buy upgrades as you deem necessary. That would be a horribly expensive way to build a race car, but it works great for a street car.

Specifically regarding RTR electronics: I concede that point. RTR electronics are garbage. However, they are garbage that can be easily sold on eBay to fund the purchase of better electronics. I doubt the AMain "RTR upgrade" video took that into account -- why would AMain want to encourage anyone to resell parts to other hobbyists, when those other hobbyists could buy them from AMain instead?
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Old 09-30-2019, 08:09 PM
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A few ways you can look at this.

if you plan to seriously race, and race quite often then yes you would probably want to invest in a race kit. Maybe start with a kit and add to it as your budget allows. I didn’t build my first kit with one huge purchase from Amain all at once. It took about 4 to 5 orders. You can find older versions of the kit on sale such as Tekno NB48.4. ( I know it’s a gift but Amain also does gift cards.)

on the other hand if you wanna just try out nitro and see if you like it. Get a losi eight RTR buggy, some fuel, reciever pack, glow start and have a blast spending Christmas Day breaking in the new engine ! I can say I got one or two nitro rtr stadium trucks growing up and there isn’t just something about opening a new car on Christmas Day, then your fueling it up and having fun shortly thereafter ! We’ve all been there before, and it was a heck of a lot of fun.

Learn the limitations and basics of the car and setup, learn some about the engine and just know that if you like it and wanna keep doing nitro, I would probably start over in about a year with a new or used kit If you ever blow the engine or have a catastrophic crash, and build what you want at that point rather than trying to trick out a rtr with a lot of upgrades, just have fun with it !!
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Old 10-02-2019, 09:34 AM
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Buy new.

Tires, fuel, time, and travel are the biggest expenses in nitro. You won't save any money buying a used car, engine, or radio. The biggest problems with nitro, is teaming up with another racer to pit for you, and some RD's that only understand electric racing.

Expect about $1300 car, 500 radio, $200 extra tools. $2000 should do well. Give or take the availability of used starter boxes.
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Old 10-02-2019, 11:48 AM
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vekenti: if you are realy wanting to do racing and you have to funds on your own to support racing, maybe you just ask your family for some items that would be nice to get you going racing. An engine and pipe combo comes to mind as something up to the 350 price point (FYI, you don't have to go that high mind you starting out, but it fits your price point) could be a nice give from the family, and then you can hammer out other items like a used kit, etc. Servos also come to mind.

And since engines in general are recommended to buy new unless you know the person well, that would be a perfect item to get as a gift and be new too.

As for kits new versus used, in general buying from someone with a great reputation helps, I usually expect to replace a batch of bearings and maybe do some shimming relative to how much a vehicle was run.

Ebay and its ebay bucks or flat out coupons can be a big plus too.

lastly, if you can get a used roller from your local track from someone who races often, they may be more inclined to actually sell you something not all worn out, especially if htey are someone who wants to get a new car for the new season or something like that (guys selling Tekno's since the new NB48 2.0 just came out comes to mind).
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