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Where is nitro headed

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Old 05-02-2017, 06:43 PM
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I have been noticing nitro racing decline in my area and I see so many e buggies I'm just getting sad. I don't like e buggy I am old school I guess. any thoughts?
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Old 05-02-2017, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by merdith6 View Post
I have been noticing nitro racing decline in my area and I see so many e buggies I'm just getting sad. I don't like e buggy I am old school I guess. any thoughts?
It's everywhere Maddog. At Thornhill ebuggy out numbers nitro 2 to 1 and there are usually 15 etruggies to 5 nitro. Electric is just easier. Plug and play. I am an old timer as well and just can't enjoy electric. It's like watching paint dry.
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Old 05-02-2017, 07:03 PM
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Hey Merdith its not just the nitro RC car field dieing its the whole Hobby period! With the influx of chineese made junk for years and certain RC retailers monopolizing the major brands has caused this hobby to sink. I used to run RC nitro at Mikes in Porter and some over by HP at hwy 249 in north Houston before the guy lost his track. I no longer live in that area of Texas and where I live now there is very little RC period. There is a hobby shop here but the guy who runs it is such a jerk he ran off all his customers. I am trying to get back into nitro RC flying but there are very few that do it here. If I wanted to run on an offroad track for my buggies I have to drive to Dallas or Oklahoma City.
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Old 05-02-2017, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by YANMAN View Post
It's everywhere Maddog. At Thornhill ebuggy out numbers nitro 2 to 1 and there are usually 15 etruggies to 5 nitro. Electric is just easier. Plug and play. I am an old timer as well and just can't enjoy electric. It's like watching paint dry.
I'm traumatized by this.
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Old 05-03-2017, 02:00 AM
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Most starters have difficulties to get a Nitro engine right. These guys buy they first car from the internet and try to run it in the street. They try to get the information from the internet when it goes wrong and most of the time when it goes wrong the engine is to blame and has a shortened life.

As more kids/starters today are less technical or do not want to spend much time to be technical, electric is the way to go. On many forums starters are already advised to go electric because the difficulties with nitro engines. Sad to say is that most people with this advise do not even have an own experience but are also been told.
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Old 05-03-2017, 03:45 AM
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Time, I see that as previously stated, you will see obviously more seasoned drivers in Nitro Buggy etc. Then younger racers, or the less adept to tuning, in the Brushless classes. And its not just the motor setup, but also clutch setup, linkage etc. that usually give them troubles as well. Time to learn is their biggest detriment, they think its as easy as learning a new app or game, lol.

I think something that may have hurt the Nitro scene, were that Hobbyshops were no longer the helpful mom and pop establishments, but rather became Traxxas repair shops, and instead of showing newcomers how to run and tune a motor, just asked for the car to be dropped off, then later picked up, and charged for it.

When I worked at a Hobby Shop (Modellbau Koch) 80's-90's, break'in and tuning was free if you purchased the motor from our shop, as were subsequent retunes etc. The shop owner wanted people to stay in and enjoy the Hobby. Motors and Fuel back then were also not as "easy" as they have become now.

We actually started a small club series, that is based around everyone running the same motor / pipe / fuel combo in an effort to help with tuning. This allows the newer racers to receive tuning and setup advice from the club veterans that have been running longer. Also after the racing (we are only running 20min mains with mandatory 1 pit stop rule), there is a sort of group get together and we have a Q & A session.

Any EFRA / IFMAR legal 1/8 buggy, but everyone runs: the Sonic .21 XB.21-5FT Motor, the Mielke 2500C Pipe Set and Runnertime fuel.

Its doing well sofar for the second season, and we are considerring doing a GT series as well, to help with 1/8 On-Road attendance.
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Old 05-03-2017, 04:31 AM
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Luckily In Our Area There has been a resurgence of nitro. Last Saturday there were 32 nitro and 31 ebuggies.
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Old 05-03-2017, 07:01 AM
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E-buggy is the new 2wd SC. Sure it's a lot easier than nitro. A lot less to learn, but it's like watching an action movie on mute. Ten minutes and the race is over??? Ten minutes and I'm just getting in rhythm.

Not very many people start off in a nitro class. The costs, tuning skills and pitman requirement creates a barrier to entry. However, 1/8 nitro buggy is THE most prestigious race class.
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Old 05-03-2017, 07:42 AM
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It does appear that things are in decline. But go back 20 years ago. You had Kyosho, Mugen, OFNA and... who else? Today you've got your choice of about a dozen cars. And all of them are really good. Kyosho, Mugen, Associated, HB, TLR, Agama, JQ, XRay, Tekno, Serpent, and SWorks. We've never had more choice. Choice is good.

I still think cost is what deters most people. A good RC is expensive, racing it is even more expensive. Don't know how to solve that problem. People will spends thousands of dollars a year to have their kid play on little league baseball travel teams,... but RC is too expensive. Go figure.

The local RC scene plays a big part in growth or the lack thereof too. If a parent brings their kid to a race and they're hearing F-bombs dropped by 35 year old men playing with toy cars, they're likely not ever coming back. Track owners need to run off people who can't act like adults, plain and simple. Throwing temper tantrums on the drivers stand or pits is stupid and I wish those people would be told to act right or don't come back. Tracks also need to work hard on a good organized race program and having a atmosphere of acceptance. We have to make sure the first time racers who show up with a RTR feel accepted into the race culture immediately. If your track is full of contracted customers("sponsor" shirt guys) who hang out under their race brand EZ up and don't attempt to help a guy who is struggling then your track has a problem. Aren't "Sponsored" drivers supposed to be the helpful people at the track? And some are great and helpful but many are just snobby contracted customers.

Sadly most kids today only want to play with their phones and their (anti)social media. But this too is just a trend that will eventually fade IMO. Nitro rc racing is down right now, but I wouldn't count it out just yet. The industry is changing, perhaps for the better. Hobby shops could come back if we can get the middle men out of the way. Horizon and Great Planes/Hobbico tried to monopolize the hobby and it had short term positive effects, but does not look to be sustainable long term. Both look to have financial issues. Hobby shops need to be able to buy direct from manufacturers and be able to have competitive prices again. Distributors were viable in the age before the net. They were the main way to get your product to a large market. But now that anyone can get their product known to the market with little effort distributors with paper catalogs are obsolete. If Papa Joes RC shop could buy from AE, Mugen and Kyosho at the same price Great Planes did, you'd see hobbys shops spring back as a viable business, IMO.

Lots of factors in play and I think it survives because the kit makers want to continue to stay in business. They need a handful of true sponsored guys(not necessarily pro drivers) who help people and promote the hobby and a strong base of hobby shops to sell their products. Main issue holding the hobby back today IMO is the perceived high cost much of which comes from having too many people in the supply chain.
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Old 05-03-2017, 08:15 AM
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Our track is all nitro..only a few ebuggy but there arn't that many of us to begin with..Main thing I see is most people arn't mechanically inclined and either can't or are too lazy to keep up with all the work that goes into keeping a nitro buggy and truck going..its a big commitment but I think it is one of the most fun things I've ever done
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Old 05-03-2017, 08:30 AM
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$500 engines that can go poof in one run of bad tuning.

Clutches that other than Buku require constant maintenance

A single tank of bad fuel - your run/race/engine are toast.

New people spend more time driving an ill handling car because they can't figure out tuning at all.

E buggy?

Plug in and go. ESC's are wear items.

Same reason MX went to fuel injection, majority couldn't jet a carburetor.

Same reason in 10 years E-bikes will take over.
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Old 05-03-2017, 09:48 AM
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A 1/8 brushless ESC/motor combo with 2 good 2S batteries will cost you the same or even more and one bad thing in the ESC and it can take down the motor and batteries as well. Not to mention what can happen when a LiPo battery will burn in flames....

But a normal reasonable performing engine will cost you 200 up to 300 dollar, you can blow 2 nitro engines agagainst 1 total burndown of an E-buggy
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Old 05-03-2017, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Coke in a can View Post
$500 engines that can go poof in one run of bad tuning.
That the thing. There is this perception that if the engine doesn't cost $350+ its low quality junk.

Next time someone posts a "what engine should I buy?" thread, 75% of the responses will tell them to buy some high end mil. Why? My Novarossi Elite5 is a great engine and it was only $125. Why would anyone tell someone new to nitro to buy a high end engine?
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Old 05-03-2017, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Apco1 View Post
That the thing. There is this perception that if the engine doesn't cost $350+ its low quality junk.

Next time someone posts a "what engine should I buy?" thread, 75% of the responses will tell them to buy some high end mil. Why? My Novarossi Elite5 is a great engine and it was only $125. Why would anyone tell someone new to nitro to buy a high end engine?
That is true, and then they ask for the cheapest place to buy a high end OS Speed Spec III, lol.

Probably one of the best motors I ever ran was the P5XLT, and it did not cost a fortune! Heck even the P3XS was a good motor, my sons first Nitro Mill.

But no matter what, if you tell them the P5 based motor is great, or a Fusion, OS XZ-B vII (More expensive than others) it never goes through lol.
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Old 05-03-2017, 09:54 PM
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Would like to provide some insight from my experience in the industry. We have these discussions in the office and we don't think RC is declining. Just the opposite. We are seeing record turnout for events, more tracks and more racers than ever before. There were almost 1000 entries for PNB this year! If anything there is a transition, racers now have an option to buy online, more manufactures are sponsoring racers and RC racing is evolving. Successful hobby shops are no longer catering to the racer but to the beginner and stocking RTR kits. Tracks with hobby shops are more savvy and cater to their local racer's needs. There are more 1/8th scale brands than ever before and many of their vehicles are competitive. The brands and hobby shops that have adjusted are doing quite well. They have adapted and embraced the 'online' evolution.

Let me explain how we feel ebuggy and nitro are evolving. I am an avid nitro fan/racer but it wasn't always that way. I started with 1/10th, then ebuggy and have grown to enjoy the challenge and preparation it takes to bring the complexities of nitro together. It has taken me years to understand tuning, engines, clutches, linkage, etc. and I don't think I'm unique.

That being said, I don't believe nitro is for beginners. It is simply far too difficult and takes too much maintenance. Most tracks I visit recommend ebuggies to beginners because of this. It's very difficult to learn intricacies nitro and often takes years, even with someone helping.

IMO the challenges and complexity of nitro make it the pinnacle of RC. Just like you have to learn to crawl before running, the average person needs to learn the basics in RC racing before advancing. Ebuggy is a good introduction to outdoor racing where a new racer can learn the electronics and chassis setup before adding the complexities of nitro.

Electric 1/8th scale shares many similarities with 1/10th scale and is relatively easy, far less maintenance, fewer issues and doesn't require a pit guy. Anyone familiar with 1/10th can easily race an ebuggy and in most areas there are far more 1/10th racers (or past 1/10th racers) so the pool of people to make the transition to ebuggy is far larger. Just look at the number of active users in the electric vs nitro off-road sections of rctech. The numbers don't lie, electric is far more popular than nitro.

To make RC racing grow it needs to be 'easy' for an average person understand and have an enjoyable time. It needs to be simple enough that they don't feel overwhelmed, confused and frustrated. Ebuggy is just far easier and IMO will be the best entry point into 1/8th scale racing. We need to encourage ebuggy and always make sure there is a race for newcomers as these are future nitro racers. We also need to mentor and help new racers any way we can because if they get overly confused and frustrated, it's very easy for them to sell it and move on to something else.

Please understand this is just my opinion, I'm sure others will feel different but after working in the industry and visiting many tracks and talking with many people this is what I see.
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