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Choosing your first RC

Choosing your first RC

Old 05-23-2006, 07:09 PM
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Default Choosing your first RC

Choosing Your First RC
Monster Truck (MT)
MT's are big & tough and their huge tires allow them to negotiate tougher terrain than any other type of RC. However, they aren't just slow, lumbering beasts -- many will go faster than 40mph!


Examples: HPI Savage, Associated Monster GT, Traxxas Revo, Losi LST2

1/8th Scale Buggy
These are extremely popular in many countries, and for good reason. The big buggies are all-wheel-drive and high-powered, plus their center of gravity is extremely low, making for some extreme performance on prepared tracks. They're also very durable and can handle absolutely enormous jumps.

Examples: OFNA Ravager & Hyper 7, Kyosho 777, Sportwerks Mayhem

Truggy
The "truggy" is a relatively new phenomenon in RCs. They combine the big tires and tough truck bodies of MTs with the low-slung stance and high agility of buggies. Truck + buggy = truggy!

Examples: OFNA Jammin' CRT, Hot Bodies Lightning Stadium, GS Racing Storm SUT

Stadium truck
Stadium trucks (ST's) were originally modeled after the arena racing vehicles driven by the likes of the legendary Ivan "Ironman" Stewart and Walker Evans. Over time, they grew wider and their tires got larger, making them much more stable at the very high scale speeds they attain. Popular in both electric and nitro versions, the majority are 2WD, straightforward in construction, and fairly easy to drive.

Examples: Associated RC10 GT (nitro) & T4 (electric), Team Losi XXX-NT (nitro) & XXX-T (electric), Traxxas Rustler, Duratrax Evader

1/10th Scale 2WD Buggy
The first big offroad RC races in the 1980's were of 1/10th scale buggies, and though their sales have slowed in the United States, they're still popular among first-timers and experienced racers alike. Buggies are sleek and lightweight and thus very fast, agile, and efficient, making them an exciting challenge to drive at their limits.

Examples: Associated B4, Team Losi XXX

1/10th Scale 4WD Buggy
Take a sleek, lightweight 2WD buggy and double the number of driven wheels and you end up with a vehicle that can be driven much faster and with a completely different style. Not so popular in the United States, 4WD buggies are a somewhat elite class of vehicles owned mostly by professional racers. Their extremely spartan construction is meant to save weight for maximum speeds, but this tends to make them somewhat fragile.

Examples: Team Losi XXX-4, MRC SB Sport, Kyosho Lazer ZX5

Touring car
These are the RC equivalents of regular street cars and their racing counterparts. Riding just millimeters off the ground, they crave to be run on smooth pavement. They have excellent acceleration (sometimes better than their full-scale equivalents) and similarly good brakes and turning ability to make them masters of twisty, technical tracks and wide-open spaces alike.

Examples: Tamiya TT-01, Associated TC4, Team Losi XXX-S

Motorcycle
The RC motorcycle community is relatively small and close-knit and the number of choices on the market is limited. However, if you like real bikes, you'll love the scale RC versions. They stay upright on their own with the help of natural gyroscopic forces and lean in turns realistically. Some even have articulated riders.

Examples: Thunder Tiger Ducati 999R, Kyosho Hang-On Racers

Pan cars
These low-slung electrics have spartan chassis made from high-tech materials. Their power-to-weight ratio is astronomical and their handling on prepared surfaces is awe-inspiring. They are fragile and require very skilled driving, so they're really not for beginners

1/8th scale onroad
All-out racing machines, 1/8th scale onroads have tremendous power and traction. Their bodies are vaguely inspired by Le Mans style prototype racecars, but essentially they're just aerodynamic devices draped upon overpowered chassis. They can hit speeds in the 70-80mph range and turn at an incredible rate. Definitely not for beginners.

Dirt oval
Boosted by NASCAR driver Tony Stewart's buyout of Custom Works RC, dirt oval racing is still going strong in some regions. There are actual full-on sprint cars and dirt late models available in both electric and nitro forms. If you want to get into this aspect of the hobby, find your nearest scale dirt oval track and spend your time there to learn what the preferred vehicles are and where to get them.

Drag racing
Any RC can be drag raced. It's great fun to outfit a car or buggy with tires & a body that makes it look like a hot rod or "pro street" drag car, but there is actually a whole segment of the RC community dedicated to sanctioned, scale drag racing, complete with "christmas tree" starting lights & top speeds pushing 100mph. The vehicles they run are generally either custom-made or built from highly specialized frames & components made in small quanties by experienced specialty vendors. There are, however, a few pure drag cars on the market for gung-ho beginners.

Micros
While 1/10th and 1/8th scale sizes have been dominant since the earliest days of popular RC in the 1970's, the first years of the 21st century have seen wave after wave of miniature-sized intrusions that have made a big splash and captured the hearts of many a hobbyist and lunch room racer. They're cheaper than larger scale vehicles, but more portable and require less space to run. Plus, many of them are just as upgradable and customizable as their larger kin. Nitro-powered micros have even started creeping onto the market.


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