All posts by Steve

So you want to start R/C Drifting?

January 4, 2020

You have seen the videos, you have kind of checked a few groups on Facebook, and you have visited you local hobby shop. Now you are ready to pick up your first Drift chassis.

WAIT! DO NOT BUY ANYTHING UNTIL YOU READ THIS!
Especially an AWD Chassis that “You Want to Convert”

Whatever you do, do not run out and buy what your local hobby shop tells you until you make sure they are up on the latest trends in R/C Drift. I’m not saying don’t support your local hobby shop, what I am saying is make sure you are picking up the right stuff. If they don’t have a decent supply of CURRENT R/C Drift Chassis and accessories, please do more research. It’s not like it was years ago where you buy a good touring car chassis and throw plastic tires on it. That’s not where R/C Drift is at any longer.

R/C Drift isn’t about Touring Cars with Plastic Tires
R/C Drift has evolved into it’s own segment of R/C, and just like On-Road, Off-Road, Touring Car, Drag, etc. they all have their own purpose built chassis. Picking up an older AWD (All Wheel Drive) Touring Car and wanting to convert it to drift, is like picking up an Off-Road Buggy and wanting to convert it. Yes, you’ll have fun, but will you be competitive in the end? The simple answer is no, and you will live to regret your purchase. You will be left with 2 choices, buy a dedicated Drift Chassis, or quit. You may hear differently, but of all the people we have seen go this route, we have yet to see them stick with that particular chassis only.

This is for the person just getting into R/C Drift
If you jump on Facebook and ask, you will get a lot of information. Like anything else, you will hear good and bad. Being a beginner, how do you know which to listen to and disregard. You really don’t. My objective here is to break it down into the simplest terms. I will try to keep it as beginner friendly as possible, saving the technical side of things for later so it doesn’t get overwhelming. We get beginners here at Super-G daily, so I understand the challenges you are facing.

Where Do I Start?
The first thing you need to do is set a realistic budget. Starting is at about $400. Any less and you may want to reconsider R/C Drift. It is probably the cheapest of all the R/C disciplines to be into, but don’t mistake that with being able to do it without any type of investment.

Buying Used
There is nothing wrong with buying used gear, but as with anything else in this world, you really need to know what you are buying. More times than not, the people selling used on Offer Up and Craigs List are off loading what hasn’t worked for them. For the more experienced R/C Drifter, there are some deals to be had, but for someone with little to no knowledge, there is a good chance you will be buying something you will regret sooner than you realize. From what I have seen come to our track, I really wish more people would just buy new and get something they can use. I’m not saying buy from us, I’m saying a solid foundation makes for a more enjoyable experiences. Nobody likes feeling like they threw their money away. Sadly we get people coming in telling us “This is a good one right, it’s Yokomo”. It was good about 6 years ago, but now it’s obsolete. I can’t stress this enough, You need to know what you are buying.


RTR (Ready To Run)
In the RTR game right now, it seems MST has the market cornered. This looks like it will be changing soon, but at the moment, this is your only choice.

For someone just getting into R/C Drift, I would only recommend going the RTR route for 2 reasons:
If your budget will only allow you spend $400ish to get in, AND you don’t see the available funds increasing in the next month or so to allow you to get a kit and separate electronics.
Or you are not serious and don’t want to spend more than around $400 to get a car to drift around.

Other than that, I would strongly recommend getting a kit and better electronics. The electronics that come in the RTR kit are the very basic components to get you going, but nothing you will use to continue your journey into R/C Drift. You will replace ALL of the electronics sooner than you would like to believe. You would have basically spent $200 on electronics you will never use again.

Recommended Chassis

You will find a lot of “Stuff” for sale out there. Some of the hobby shops that have been around for awhile aren’t in tune with what has changed in the R/C Drift scene in the past few years, so they might try to sell you a AWD “Drift” car. That’s not something you want to pick up. The trend for the past few years has been RWD (Rear Wheel Drive) and they are designed for R/C Drift from the ground up.



For the Beginner I would ONLY recommend (In no particular order) the following chassis:
3Racing Sakura D5
MST RMX 2.0s
MST RRX
Yokomo YD2E, YD2E Plus, YD2 EXII
Yokomo YD2S, YDS Plus, YD2 SXIII

Yokomo YD2R Plus
Usukani PDS

All the above listed are proven performers right out of the box. They can all follow you well into your R/C Drift journey with minimal frustration.

What are Low Mount, High Mount, Rear Mount Motors
What is the difference and why do you care?
This is something that has a lot to do with personal preference and it seems overtime people form strong opinions. What works for some doesn’t work for others. This is something you will actually need to figure out for yourself after you become a proficient driver. As a beginner in R/C Drift, none are easier or harder to drive, despite what you may hear.



Low Mount Motor
Low Motor or Low Center of Gravity setups are the more traditional type. They have the motor and battery set low on the chassis. The tendency is for quicker transitions and the need to “force” the rear end to stay out.



High Mount Motor
High Motor or Weight Shift setups are where the weight of the motor is put up high. It causes the weight of the motor to transfer to the outside as you transition. In theory providing more traction on the outside wheels. It has a tendency to “keep moving” once the transition has begun. At least more so than the Low Mounted Motors generally.

Rear Mount Motor
Rear Motor setups can be both high and low setup. Since the weight is over the rear of the chassis, and behind the rear axles, it typically puts more weight on the rear wheels which translates into faster exit speeds. It has a tendency to have a “pendulum” effect where the rear wants to swing more and typically has slower transitions. They can handle similar to the Low and High motor setups with the correct tuning.

Again, as a beginner these probably wont make a huge difference in your driving. Most beginners adapt to what they have since they haven’t had the experience that provides them with any type of style. If you have a local track you plan to drive at, the best advice I can give is to go there and see what everyone there is driving. Having the same chassis as the majority of the people you will be driving with will make your entry into R/C Drift so much easier.

Base, Mid-Range, Fully Upgraded
As you step into the chassis game, you will find there are many different options. To make it simple, you have 3 levels. Each step up gives you better performance and a good savings on the upgrades they come with. Everyone in the hobby is constantly upgrading for the most part, so if you are looking to save a bit, you should take this into consideration. Just to give you an idea, if you start with a base model YD2S and upgrade individually to a YD2SXIII, you will spend approximately $300 more than if you would have purchased the YD2SXIII initially. The mid-range kits offer a little more value and will get you started in the right direction.



Base
Of the above listed chassis, the 3Racing Sakura D5 (Rear Motor), MST RMX 2.0s (Low and High Adjustable Motor), MST RRX (Rear Motor) and the Yokomo YD2E (Low Motor) and YD2S (High Motor) are your base models. These are all mostly plastic and the shocks will get you by. Most people start upgrading these chassis almost immediately.
3Racing Sakura D5
MST RMX 2.0
MST RMX 2.0 (With Body)
Yokomo YD2 E
Yokomo YD2 S
Price Range: $100-$220

Mid-Range
In the Mid-Range category we have the Yokomo YD2 E+ and YD2 S+. These come with Carbon Fiber Decks, Aluminum Shock Towers, and Upgraded Shocks. These provide better value for your money as you will save on the upgrades you will most likely do right away if you purchase the base models. The shocks they come with are the same ones that the fully upgraded models come with which is a definite plus.
Yokomo YD2 S Plus
Yokomo YD2 E Plus
Price Range: $370-$400

Fully Upgraded
The Fully Upgraded chassis are the most bang for the buck as you typically save at least 30% when compared to starting with a Base Model and doing all the upgrades. The Yokomo YD2 EXII and Yokomo YD2 SXIII are the latest Yokomo has to offer. These are basically 80% upgraded with Carbon Fiber, Aluminum Parts, Upgraded Shocks, and also include the upgraded steering system (Slide Rack) which most prefer. Also in this list is the Usukani PDS. This chassis kit is only available as a fully hopped up kit. I would recommend upgrading the shocks for the full package since the included shocks do leave something to be desired.
Usukani PDSR-SE
Usukani PDS-MIX
Yokomo YD2 EXII
Yokomo YD2 SXIII
Price Range: $550-$600 (Yokomo) $350 (Usukani)

Radio System

The radio system you choose will most likely follow you around through many different chassis. Most people change chassis often (once a year or more) and most people will keep their radio for 2-3 years, depending on which one they have. Once they get to the top of the line remote, they are usually content, but then again, there’s nowhere left to go. A good rule of thumb is, You get what you pay for. This isn’t more true than when it comes to your radio system.

Just remember, this is the only link between you and your car. A poor radio system can ruin the experience for you.

Entry-Level
For the entry-level remotes, I would not recommend anything less than the Futaba 3PV or the Sanwa MX-V. I would go as far as to say I would not recommend any other brands. Flysky and Spektrum have been proven to be problematic and lead to issues a beginner just doesn’t need to contend with. I have seen both the Futaba and Sanwa entry-level radios on the podium here at Super-G many times. At this level, anything less and you are not saving much. You will be far better off saving that extra $50 to get one of the recommended entry-level radios listed here.
Futaba 3PV
Sanwa MX-V
Price Range: $95-$130

Mid-Range
In the mid-range category you will find the Futaba 4PM and the Sanwa MT-S. Both of these radios will have all the functions you will need in R/C Drift. The feel is typically better than the entry-level systems and work well.
Futaba 4PM
Sanwa MT-S
Sanwa MT-44
Price Range: $290-$380

High-End
The high-end radio systems are the cream of the crop. Here you will find the Futaba 7PXR and the Sanwa M-17. Both of these are extremely nice setups and have very fast reaction speeds. They can do everything you need for R/C Drift and a whole lot more. Color Touch Screens, Telemetry, and the ability to make changes to your car on the fly are just some of the extras that make the high-end radio systems worth it.
Futaba 7PXR
Sanwa M-17
Price Range: $550-$600

Motor

Forget what your common sense tells you. R/C Drift has been evolving and if there is one thing that confuses people just getting into it is the motors. R/C Drift is a game of traction or lack of it. So everyone is trying to milk every last bit of traction out of their tires. Imaging you are driving on ice. Do you want the fastest engine, or the most controllable? If you are just spinning your wheels as fast as you can, you will have no traction at all. Same with R/C Drift. Unless you are on carpet, then that’s a different story.

10.5T, 13.5T
10.5T and 13.5T are the most popular motors at the moment. Basically the 10.5T is a higher revving motor and the 13.5T is lower revving, but more torque. This is a preference thing, but generally the 13.5T will be less touchy and easier to control wheel speed/spin. Keep in mind, a faster motor does NOT translate to a faster car. Let me repeat that, a faster motor does NOT translate to a faster car.

Adjustable Timing
The lower-end motors are usually non-adjustable timing, and the higher-end motors are usually adjustable. This means you can give the motor more or less “umph”. It allows more fine tuning and is very helpful as you progress.

My recommendation for a beginner would be a 10.5T or 13.5T Motor with Adjustable Timing
Yokomo Zero 2
Much More Racing Fleta
Yokomo Racing Performer
ReveD Absolute1
Acuvance Agile
Acuvance Fledge (Black) Fledge (Red) Fledge Purple
Price Range: $70-$200

Electronic Speed Control (ESC)

This is the one place where the beginners tend to underestimate what they will ultimately want from their first setup. There are many different flavors out there, and they all have their place. The big misconception a lot of beginners have is Boost and Turbo is for advanced drivers, so they don’t need it “right now”. I would say usually in the first month or so they start asking how they can get “that sound” and they start on a mission to get an ESC with Boost and Turbo.

Boost and Turbo
Boost and Turbo are the electronic method of advancing the timing on your motor.
Boost works off of RPM. When your motor reaches the RPM you choose, it starts to advance your timing and makes the motor spin faster. This allows you to have a mild motor in the lower RPMs where you are trying to maximize your traction, but giving you more RPM up top when you may want to spin your wheels.
Turbo is trigger activated. When you want to get that extra wheel spin, you pull full throttle and the timing will advance and you will get an instant increase in RPM. Helpful when you want to get the back out more, or hold angle but slow down. ESC’s with Boost and Turbo have their advantages and you will wish you had it if you don’t get it.

Amps
Amp rating let’s you know how much the ESC can deliver. For most applications it solely based on how much the motor itself draws. In R/C Drift people run Boost and Turbo, as well as various light kits and anything else they can think of. Also, the higher the amp rating, the better they are at dissipating heat. The best way to look at it is, you can have a car that is capable of 80 mph max compared to a car that is capable of 180 mph. If you run both of them at 80 mph, the car capable of the higher speed will run cooler and with less strain. Anything over 60 amps will be fine with whatever you throw at it in R/C Drift, but it doesn’t hurt to have more.

Capacitor
All ESCs come with a stock capacitor. The capacitor stores energy and can quickly discharge it when needed. So if your battery cannot discharge fast enough to supply the motor with the power needed, the motor will slow, lights will dim or flicker, and in some cases the ESC will reset or turn off. Since all the power comes from the ESC, a power-hungry servo, lights, and such can all exceed what the battery can provide. This is when you want to run an upgraded capacitor. I always run a good quality capacitor that keeps my car on for a few seconds after I unplug it. This ensures my power delivery wont be interrupted.

ESC’s can all be programmed to some degree. Some more than others. They also have different methods. Hobbywing, Yokomo and Graupner have a program card and/or a WiFi module and you can program from your phone. MuchMoreRacing uses a program card. Acuvance and Futaba have a program card, Bluetooth, and/or direct programming from your Futaba 7PX, 7PXR, or 4PM Remote. These are the main brands I recommend since we have had great luck with them. Some of the others, not so much.
Hobbywing QuickRun 10BL60
Hobbywing XR10 Pro
Yokomo BL-SP4
Yokomo BL-Pro 4
Yokomo BL-Pro 4D
Yokomo RPX II D Black RPX II D Red
Acuvance Xarvis Black Xarvis Red Xarvis Purple
Acuvance Xarvis XX
Price Range: $80-$200

Servo

There are many different servos to choose from, and they all have different characteristics for the most part. Presently there are 2 different approaches, Slower moving and Quicker moving.


Slower Servo
The recent trend has been for a few companies to release “Drift” servos which have a slower movement. This reduces shaking and twitchiness. Some feel Drift doesn’t need fast servos, where as others prefer being more in control of what the car is doing. Some slower servos are: Yokomo SP-02 D, SP-03 D, and the ReveD RS-ST. Presently, the ReveD RS-ST seems to be a favorite among the people who prefer the slower servo type. As a beginner, your preference will probably be determined by which servo you start out with.


Quicker Servo
If you are from the old school, you will most likely feel more at home with a quicker servo. I have found for myself, when I need the servo to turn slower, I naturally turn the wheel slower to “Drive” the front wheels, but there are instances where I rely on the reaction to be snappy. I know a good amount of people who feel this way as well. So it really all depends on preference. The Quicker servos are the KO Propo RSx3 One-10 Ver. D, Savox 1251MG, Futaba CT500 (Not Released) and CT700. Again, as a beginner you will probably become accustomed to which ever you start out with.


Programable Servos
The latest trend is for the servos to have the ability to be programmed (Tuned). This allows the user to change different parameters such as speed, torque, as well as many other settings. Keep in mind, each servo has it’s limits, so just because you can program them, it doesn’t mean they can all perform the same. I have found the CT700 can mimic just about all of the servos since it has such high speed and high torque, but that comes with a steep price tag. You will also need some considerable knowledge to be able to take advantage. I would suggest leaving any programming until you are really proficient at R/C Drift.

Servos are one of those things where they can be as cheap as $12 and as much as $250. Metal gear and higher torque usually means a more durable Servo. Torque above 110g and Speed faster than 11ms is about the minimum I would recommend. Servos less than $40 tend to be more problems than they are worth.

It seems the most popular recommendation at the moment is the ReveD RS-ST. Although not my choice, it seems to be a solid purchase with most people really supporting it.
Yokomo SP-02D (Slower)
Yokomo SP-02D V2 (Programable) (Slower)
Yokomo SP-03D (Programable) (Slower)
ReveD RS-ST (Programable) (Slower Can Be Set Faster)
Savox SC-1251MG (Fast)
KO Propo RSx3 One10 Ver. D (Fast or Slow)
Futaba CT700 (Programable) (Fast or Slow)
Price Range: $70-$250

Gyros

Yes you need one. The gyro is one of the main components that will affect the way your car drives. There are a few different options, but again as a beginner, as long as it works well, you should be good to go. Not all Gyros are built the same, so it’s not as simple as just picking the best looking one and going for it.


Entry-Level
The earlier Gyros were very basic in the way they work. They are preset to keep you from spinning and you add more or less as needed. A lot has changed from the days of this type of Gyro, but there is really nothing wrong with them. There are better performing options out there now days, but as a beginner these will get you going. The D-Like Gyro (Both metal and plastic housing) and the Yokomo YG-302 seem to bet the standard. There are other branded versions of these same Gyros with little to no difference in performance from what I have found. None of these have End Point Adjustment with makes them entry-level.
Onisiki High Stability Gyro
D-Like DL159
D-Like Premium DL182
Yokomo YG-302
Price Range: $40-$75



Mid-Range
The Mid-Range Gyros are the generation where they introduced Endpoint Adjustment. This means the Gyro wont try to slam your servo to 100% left or right every time it feels the need to do so. Now you set where the Gyro will stop. This also allows the Gyro to operate in the correct range. Some of these mid-range gyros also have different modes such as Assist or ACVS mode. This is a different type of mode and a different style of driving. Some recommend that for beginners, others say to stay away from it, yet even other seasoned drivers use it. So you need to decide for yourself. The KO Propo KGX, Yokomo V.4, and the Futaba GYD450 are all popular Gyros.
Power HD G1
Yokomo V.4 (Black) V.4 (Red) V.4 (Purple)
KO Propo KG-X
Price Range: $50-$75



High-End
Recently Futaba released their GYD550 Gyro. This gyro has created its own class since it has put the ability to program just about every parameter into the users hands. To take it a step further, Futaba made it programable from your remote, as long as you are using Futaba’s 7PX or 7PXR. I would not recommend this as it is a advanced option and without knowledge of what you would want, this will no doubt create issues for any beginner. I am simply listing this so I can say this is something you may consider in the future, but as a beginner should be passed for now.
Futaba GYD550
Price Range: $130

For the beginner I recommend something in the Mid-Range area. Yokomo V.4 or Futaba GYD450 are great choices. The KO Propo KGX is a little more of an advanced Gyro, but still falls into the same category.

Conclusion
In the world of R/C Drift, there are as many variables as there are opinions. The needs of a beginner are a little more in-depth than just what is the best? As with any hobby there are entry-level to super advanced options. Sometimes it’s not the best route to get everything high-end since sometimes it takes experience to be able to utilize what the advanced equipment has to offer. There are a lot of times we see beginners leading beginners and taking them down the wrong path with them, and as a beginner it’s almost impossible to know who really knows and who doesn’t. The purpose behind this article is to try to give the beginner some sort of understanding of what they are getting into and not blindly trying to sort their way through all the accurate and not so accurate information floating around out there. The quickest way to become discouraged is to buy a bunch of equipment, only to find out you need to scrap it and start over.

SEE YOU ON THE TRACK!!!

Overdose HG Version 3 Dampers

December 18, 2020

Overdose High Grade Damper v.3 Kit

Legendary 
That seems to be the most fitting way I can start this off. The Overdose HG (High Grade) Dampers have just been released in their Version 3 form. It’s no secret, I’m a huge fan of these dampers. For me, it is the standard in which all other dampers are compared. I have yet to find another damper which even comes close in my opinion. That is not to say there are no other dampers which perform as well, but when it comes to performance, design, and build quality, the OD HGs are second to none. Let’s take a look at the version 3s.

The attention to detail is always present with Overdose products

Attention to Detail 
If you are familiar with Overdose products, you are aware the attention to detail is incredible. The v.3s are no exception. The time around OD has machined the Spring Retainers and Shock Caps for a more unique look. Not to mention, weight savings. Another feature of the new design which I like is being able to see the top of the shocks though the newly cut windows in the cap. This helps when you are adjusting the shock length to see exactly where things are at. Another difference I found when comparing to the v.2s is the v.3s are now shipping with 6 hole .6mm pistons which is what most of us would purchase along with our HGs to begin with. Looks like Overdose has been listening.

Quality 
Overdose quality stands above the rest and the v.3s don’t disappoint. In fact, I didn’t see a difference in the overall design other than cosmetic. Then again, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. The HG shocks have some of the tightest tolerances I have come across in the R/C Drift game. So much so, you MUST use their specially formulated shock fluids. When I first became familiar with the HG dampers, I picked up some MST #5 Mineral Oil since I didn’t have any OD fluid. What a mistake! Using the MST shock fluid didn’t allow the shock to compress at all. As it turns out, OD partnered with Wako Chemical to produce their special formula for use in their HG Dampers. It is claimed to not attack the O-Rings as aggressively as the other shock fluids, as well as to maintain it’s viscosity with the changes in temperature. I have found my dampers will last a year or more with no noticeable change in performance.

A unique approach to the overall assembly. It works fantastic

The Assembly 
If you don’t like E-Clips, then you will love OD HG Dampers. They use a screw to hold the piston in place instead of using 2 E-Clips. If you are like I am, and you swap pistons often, you will appreciate this feature. Another feature is everything loads from the bottom, piston and shaft included. Every component is of the highest quality, something I really appreciate.

Full adjustment comes standard – Adjustable Length and Locking Preload

Adjustability 
I have heard a few people complain about adjusting Overdose HG Dampers, and I can never figure out what they are talking about. The only conclusion I can come to is they are not using them correctly, because of the many sets I have owned, they have all been great.

Overdose give us an adjustable top which has an O-Ring inside to keep slight pressure on the threads and keeps it from free spinning. I use the adjustable shock length often, and this is a huge feature for me since I can use this to corner-balance rather than to use the preload adjustment (That’s a topic for another discussion). In addition, they also have a locking screw on the preload collars. This is genius since the preload collars can be very loose (Easy to turn) when adjusting, but snugged up once the preload is set. This translates into extremely easy preload adjustment, but also once the collars are snugged up, it provides a easy place to get a grip on to adjust the damper length. It also provides a great reference point for adjusting either. 

NOTE: When using the locking screws, they just need to be “snug” they are small screws and are not meant to be cranked down on. Also, if you leave them completely loose and take a couple laps to test, the screws will be gone the next time you look at them. You have been warned.

My Favorite Feature 
If there were 1 single feature of the HGs that I feel puts it over the top for me, it is the design of the body itself, and the method for closing up the dampers. With all other dampers, the bladder itself has many different ways to be installed. Everyone has their own method that works for them, (Some better than others) but the HGs are fool-proof.

You all should know how to fill dampers with no air

Step 1 – Fill with Overdose Damper Fluid. I won’t bore you guys with what you should already know, so just make sure you get the air out and fill just OVER the ledge inside. I have found I don’t need to use a shock vac for these.

I use something with a blunt tip, whatever hex driver I have handy works

Step 2 – Insert the bladders and gently submerge them. Allow the fluid to come over the top edge and inside of the bladder. DO NOT press the inside surface of the bladder, ONLY the thick outer edge. Otherwise you will force excess fluid out and over the bladder, and you will have uneven dampers.

Gently, slowly submerge the bladder by working your way around the outer edge

Step 2 Continued. Note, just the thick edges, never the middle. Make sure the bladder is resting completely flat on the ledge.

NEVER touch the sides, only the middle of the bladder. It doesn’t need to be completely dry.

Step 3 – Use a piece of tissue or paper towel to soak up the fluid FROM THE MIDDLE OF THE BLADDER. NEVER SOAK IT UP FROM THE EDGES. If you soak up from the edges, it will wick fluid from underneath the bladder and cause air to be introduced to your dampers.

It doesn’t need to be completely dry

Step 3 Continued. Remember, only soak up the fluid from the middle of the bladder.

Install the caps. No need to make them super tight, just enough is fine.

Step 4 – Install Caps. It’s a simple process since the bladders are set inside of the shock body, and there is no way you can mess this step up. Just gently thread in the cap and tighten it down. Since you aren’t fidgeting around with the separate bladders, caps, and shock mounts, all while trying to make sure the bladder doesn’t move, it’s the most fool-proof design I’ve used so far. 

Conclusion 
The Overdose High Grade Dampers are my favorite, hands down. I appreciate the build quality, tight tolerances, and the functionality. They are extremely consistent, which is something that separates my top damper choices from the rest. The Version 3 seems to be a cosmetic update and for those who love Overdose, will find these to be a must have. Overdose listened to what the people wanted, and now provides their dampers with what is likely the most popular configuration for the pistons. Some have said there is a 1mm increase in length. Unfortunately I cannot confirm or deny this, as someone bought my v.2s before I could measure. Overdose quality, engineering, and design. Yes, I am a fan. They are a little pricey, but this is one product I feel I can see where my money has gone.

SEE YOU ON THE TRACK!

GET THEM HERE!

3 Racing Sakura D5 – The “Best” Beginner Car?

December 11, 2020

3 Racing recently hit the scene with their latest offering, the Sakura D5. People quickly began building them and seemed to be really happy with the performance right out of the box. Coming in at what is the cheapest price point for any hobby grade chassis, we quickly saw the D5 become the recommended chassis for anyone inquiring about which chassis a beginner should get. From our experience, initial price shouldn’t be the only consideration, and possibly not even the main consideration, so I decided to build one and see if I would recommend it as eagerly as I have been witnessing over the past month or so.

Sakura D5 with Mid-Grade Electronics

At the price of just over $100 USD, it’s hard to argue this chassis isn’t a smoking deal. At the same time, the cheapest price doesn’t always coincide with the best deal. I decided to step away from my typical build style and venture into the more budget-minded approach. I chose to go with what I would recommend as a good starting point. Decent servo, mid-grade gyro, motor with adjustable timing, and a ESC (electronic speed control) capable of boost and turbo. This isn’t the cheapest stuff I could find, but more about getting some good performance without going all high-end.

Let the build begin!

The Kit 
The kit itself is as good as any other kit. Nothing really stands out to me one way or the other. For someone building a kit for the first time, I can definitely recommend it. The parts are well sorted, instructions are clear and straight forward, and there was nothing difficult.

Quality 
There are a few areas where I found myself very conflicted. The quality of the D5 kit doesn’t appear to be all that bad, especially when you consider how much heft you still have in your wallet. As I was building the D5 I found myself constantly thinking, “This isn’t bad”. When I think back, I feel I should have been thinking, “This isn’t bad FOR THE PRICE”, because I don’t think I would be thinking this if I had paid the same as a YD2, RMX, or any other hobby grade chassis. I still have to say, it’s not bad.

Interesting Lower Control Arm Design

3 Racing has an interesting design here with the rear lower control arms. I wasn’t quite sure what the reasoning was behind it, but as I’m sitting here writing this, I don’t think it was for any type of weight savings. When compared to an all plastic control arm, I feel the added screws would put these over on the weight. I can’t be certain at the moment, but I can’t see it being weight savings.

Black colored fiberglass looks almost as good as carbon fiber to the untrained eye

As the chassis started coming together, I was able to really see what I was working with. For the beginner, the fiberglass chassis will look great. It has a nice shape to it and resembles what most other chassis look like. It’s not bad, but again this is not a high-end chassis either.

Built up looks pretty nice

The completed chassis looks pretty good appearance wise. The cantilever front suspension isn’t bad. Being the decks themselves are fiberglass rather than carbon allows it to have a good amount of flex. The shocks went together better than expected for a kit of this price.

Those look like some knarly gears

If I had any one complaint, I would say I don’t care for the gear box. I feel the gears are a little rough and a bit loud. 

Motor in place

With the motor in place, the weight seems to be a little far back for my taste. Again, it’s not bad for the price.

All built up with electronics installed

The Test Build 
For the Sakura D5 I have chosen: Savox Black Edition Servo, Yokomo V.4 Gyro, Hobbywing XR10 Pro 60 amp ESC, and a Yokomo Zero 2 13.5T motor. Everything was built to stock spec and the only thing I changed were the wheels and tires since I was going to be testing it here at Super-G and we require DS Racing FFFF Zero Mark II tires.

How Does It Perform 
Taking the price into consideration, it drives fantastic! How is it compared to the other offerings? It’s decent. With out of the box settings, it drives. With a little tuning, it actually is surprisingly good.

So Is It Really Is “The Best” For The Beginners? 
Now I didn’t say that. Since we deal with a lot of first timers, we are very familiar with the struggles they face. I think the best way to look at it is to break it down into a few different categories. 

RTR 
The RTR (Ready To Run) at the moment is only offered by MST with the RMX RTR. It comes fully built with electronics. The electronics from start to end are all Entry Level and if you want to continue with the hobby, you will need to upgrade ALL OF THE ELECTRONICS. However, the RTR RMX chassis is the same chassis as you would get with the RMX 2.0s Kit with a few small differences, but overall is a chassis that can grow with you. 
Price: $350 approx. 

Sakura D5 with Mid-Grade Electronics 
The Sakura D5 chassis comes as a kit. I always recommend anyone wanting to get into R/C in general to build the kit themselves. It teaches them a lot and you can always make the repairs you will absolutely need to make regardless of what car you have.

As I have tested the D5, it has Mid-Grade Electronics that can carry over into any chassis you may upgrade to in the future. This eliminates the downfall of the RTR in my opinion. So the money spent on the electronics is not wasted. The chassis on the other hand is another story.

The D5 chassis is inexpensive ($120ish) and does work out of the box. HOWEVER, none of the components are anything I would be wanting to take with me on my R/C Drift Journey. At least at the time I am writing this, there are really no upgrades available. So you get what you get. I feel the D5 is a great chassis for the price. I stress, for the price. However, I’m not a huge fan of the gearbox or any of the components for that matter. If you drop $100 into any upgrades, you could have spent the initial $120 toward a YD2 or RMX and would be continuing down a path toward a top quality chassis.

I believe $120 as an initial investment in the chassis is not a bad way to go. The reason I chose to test with the mid-grade electronics and not the RTR equivalent is I feel there would be no point to going that route, and would ultimately be a worse route than the RTR. With the mid-grade electronics, it’s not a bad way to go and gets you in with a minimum investment. You can easily slide into a better quality chassis and your electronics will still be sufficient. 
Price: $520 approx.

Yokomo YD2 or MST RMX 2.0s with Mid-Grade Electronics 
If you decide to purchase what most would consider the Entry Level Yokomo or MST chassis, you would get the YD2E or YD2S, or the MST 2.0s chassis. These are priced about $100 more than the Sakura D5, but are proven chassis and are very capable in their stock form. Their components will carry throughout the time you stick with any of these chassis, and all can be upgraded to fully upgraded versions of the respective chassis. This has been my recommendation to anyone just trying to get into R/C Drift since it is ultimately the most budget friendly route. Each component in this equation ends up being a stepping stone or investment toward a fully hopped up setup with nothing needing immediate upgrades. 
Price: $620 approx.

The 3Racing Sakura D5

Conclusion 
The 3Racing Sakura D5 isn’t a bad chassis for the price. It works well and for most of us with multiple chassis, time into the hobby, and tuning tricks up our sleeves, it’s a great additional chassis. It’s fun, it works, and it’s affordable. It has strong rear motor characteristics, and the build quality isn’t the best. It can be tuned to be a real performer, so overall it’s a winner. I can say it’s definitely a fun chassis.

So the big question, is it the “Best” chassis for the person just getting into the hobby with no prior experience? I don’t think I can say it’s the best route, but it’s an optional route, and not a terrible one at that. It now gives that middle tier between the RTR and the base models with the mid-grade electronics.

In my opinion it’s pretty clear now, if you are looking to get into the hobby, (not just try it out) while spending the least amount possible. Based on being new and on a budget: 

Recommended Starting Point: 
Mid-Grade Electronics with either a Yokomo YD2E or YD2S, or MST RMX 2.0sPrice: $620 approx. 

Second Best: 
Mid-Grade Electronics with a Sakura D5 Price $520 approx. 
Total cost to get to “Recommended Starting Point” $720 approx. Parts needed = New Chassis such as YD2 or RMX 

Most Affordable Starting Point: 
MST RTR RMX 2.0 Price $350 approx. 
Total cost to get to “Best Starting Point” $800+ approx. Parts needed = Servo, Gyro, Esc, Motor, Radio System, Misc. chassis parts.

Keep in mind, this is only my personal recommendation for someone basing their initial purchase on budget. There are many other aspects to take into consideration if initial cost isn’t a huge factor. 
This is all based on the experience I have had with people just getting into the hobby.

SEE YOU ON THE TRACK!

Team DStyle Santa’s Shootout 2020

December 12, 2020

This past weekend here at Super-G we had the honor of providing the venue for Team D-Style’s Santa’s Shootout 2020. This was a real change of pace for me in particular since I took a backseat to Shaine and Mikko and let them make all the calls. As they say, too many cooks spoils the broth. I am a firm believer in this, so Shaine was the Chef in charge.

Shaine (Team DStyle) Layout for Santa’s Shootout 2020!

Earlier in the week, Shaine pulled on his experience from his travels in Japan to bring a Japan Comp style layout to The Arena. RawFew’s Nick Lepisto also came to help with the huge task of laying down the tape for the track. It’s an exhausting task and not fun to be perfectly honest. I was glad to see everyone was on the same page and gave Shaine full control and I must say he did not disappoint! This layout was definitely a different style than what we are used to, but for good reason, the style of competition is also different.

Super-G’s Latest Addition

We were also excited to test out Super-G’s latest addition, the second floor. We constantly find ourselves in need of more pit space, so this seemed like the most logical move. More than that, it provided a place for the judges to observe the comps from. We (The Judges Shaine, Manny, and myself) were not sure what to expect since this was our first time judging from up top. All I can really say is it is a game changer! We went from averaging 10+ replay sessions per comp to aid in making the right call, to only 1. I am extremely pleased with this, and excited for the 2021 season. We have just leveled up on the judging game. Everyone can be assured the quality of judging has just made a huge jump.

With the COVID shutdowns in place again, we found ourselves missing one of the main dudes, the US Drift King, Mikko Yang (Team DSytle / Team ReveD). The RawFew quickly stepped up and handled all the other tasks that go along with hosting a comp. (Brackets, Tech, etc) It went as smoothly as expected, especially since this is nothing new to anyone here. Team DStyle is constantly working hand in hand with RawFew here at Super-G, and this was no exception.

TQ (Top Qualifier) The Man, Aydin Angulo (Team Zenshin)

Qualifying 
For this competition there were some differences from our usual Super Drift Championship Series we are used to here. There was heavy focus on the initial entry to the sweeper, and we were also allowing “some” contract with the walls and barriers. This brought out some wicked entries and some really gutsy moves. It wasn’t enough to just be able to drive smooth and exact, you needed to bring that style! Although many obviously came out to prove they can throw down, Aydin Angulo (Team Zenshin) threw down some mad qualifying runs and landed TQ (Top Qualifier) of the event! Slide Ti donated a cool titanium turnbuckle wrench for the TQ of the day!

Love the hardware – Places 1st through 4th!

Tsuiso 
Then came time for what this was all about, the tandem battles! A couple changes compared to what we normally look for was heavy emphasis on the initial entry to the sweeper, and we were allowing contact. The battles were really intense! It was clear there was some serious skills in the house!

It all came down to the Top 4, which by TDS standards, everyone in the Top 4 was taking home a trophy. The Top 4 was Alfredo Chan III (Tech1Drift) vs. Aydin Angulo (Team Zenshin) for 3rd and 4th, and Zerek Fewell (Slide Ti) vs. Jason Fordyce (RawFew / Team Futaba USA) for 1st and 2nd.

First up with Alfredo and Aydin! Their first round resulted in a OMT (One More Time) since they were so close on their runs. The second round, Aydin wasn’t taking any chances and went DEEEEP everywhere. Aydin clearly took the 3rd spot and Alfredo locked down 4th!

Then it was time for for the Main Event, Zerek vs. Jason for 1st and 2nd! Both put down some serious runs, but Jason pulled off an insane entry AND rode the entire sweeper wall within fractions of an inch!!! The rest of the run was impressive as well, but the entry and wall ride was enough to seal the win and 1st place! Zerek took home a hard fought and well deserved 2nd place!

L To R – Alfredo Chan II (4th) Aydin Angulo (3rd) Shaine Collins (Mastermind), Jason Fordyce (1st), Zerek Fewell (2nd)

Congratulations to 1st Place – Jason Fordyce (RawFew / Team Futaba USA), 2nd Place – Zerek Fewell (Slide Ti), 3rd Place – Aydin Angulo (Team Zenshin), and 4th Place – Alfredo Chan III (Tech1Drift). 

Jason’s Futaba Equiped Chassis – Futaba MC970CR ESC, CT700 Servo, GYD550 Gyro, 7PXR Radio System

A huge shout out to Team DStyle, Shaine and Mikko for putting on a great event! Everyone seemed to have a blast and in the end that’s what it’s all about!

Huge Thank You to Shaine for making this awesome event happen!
Team DStyle Santa’s Shootout 2020 Brackets
Team DStyle Santa’s Shootout 2020 Results

Axon Revoshock II – A Unique Approach to Dampers

December 1, 2020

Earlier this year Axon hit the R/C Drift Scene with a new set of dampers, the Axon Revoshock Dampers (Version 1). They had a unique piston design and sealing method. Unfortunately they were plagued with leaking issues. (At least for me and confirmed by many) The dampers themselves felt great, but leaky shocks just don’t cut it for me. 

Enter the Axon Revoshock II Dampers. It looks Ike Axon took what they learned from the Revoshock 1s and applied it to the latest release.

Apologies for the blurry image. I had to zoooooooooom!

Axon Revoshock II Dampers 
I was excited to test the latest Axon Dampers since the v.1s were great other than the leaking. The first thing I checked was how Axon was going to attack the bottom seal. I was pleased to see a single, larger O-Ring in place of the smaller, double O-Ring system they had previously used. I found myself still a bit concerned as I dug deeper since it turns out they are still using a double O-Ring system. One large one, and an even larger, but considerably thinner one as well. From all my past experience, double gaskets / O-Rings will always leak.

Revoshock II change – 16 hole front, 12 hole rear pistons

Pistons 
One thing that really stood out to me was how Axon approached the piston game. Right away you will notice their pistons look like nothing else in the game. Huge holes, a lot of them. It allows you to have a finer range of damping with the available shock fluids. For example, the difference between 100 weight and 200 weight seems to be considerably less than a 50 weight difference. I also noticed Axon has gone with a 12 hole front and 16 hole rear piston (or vice versa) which I like. I usually run heavier damping on the front, which would allow me to use the same fluid front and rear with heavier damping on the front.

Pre-Soak the O-Rings

The Build 
I’m no stranger to building dampers. As far as how many sets I have built over the years, I couldn’t even begin to count, but I always consider myself a student in the learning phase, so I turned to Mikko Yang of Team ReveD and D-Style for any build tips. He recommended to pre-soak the O-Rings for 5 minutes prior to assembly, and then to coat them with O-Ring grease. Of course I listened to the 2020 US Drift King! I also built according to the supplied instructions and rather than to build with my standard push-out, I followed Axon’s recommendation of no push-out and not using the shock vac which I have found myself not using much these days. I also noticed the bladders fit better this time around. No complaints here. 

Performance 
The Revoshock IIs feel just as good as the v.1s. With the piston design change with less holes for the front (or rear) I found them more to my liking. You will notice immediately they are extremely smooth and without the extreme play inherent to the Yokomo Big Bores. The finer adjustment between fluid weights is definitely something not to be overlooked. Probably the single greatest feature of the Revoshock II. They feel great and if you run a softer setup as I usually do, they seem to be right at home without much change.

After a few days of driving, some leakage going on

Conclusion 
Many may have been wondering why I have taken so long to do a write up on the Revoshock II. I feel for the Reveshock v.1 I was a little quick to give the thumbs up, so I wanted to give these some time to show their true colors. After a few days, I found a small amount of leakage going on. It appears to still be coming front the bottom seal. I DO NOT feel it is enough to be a deal breaker for most, and the benefits may outweigh the downside of needing to rebuild more often. I have heard of people storing their chassis upside down to minimize leaking which is a good preventative measure if that works for you.

Overall the Axon Revoshock II is a winner in my book. Slight leaking although not something I personally am ok with, is really not enough to make this a bad product. Just a high-performance damper that will need a little more maintenance than your average set. I have heard of people using Yokomo Blue O-Rings as an alternative, but that’s really not something I am here to test at the moment.

See You On The Track!

Get them here:
http://supergdrift.com/store/product/revoshock-ii-damper-kit-for-yokomo-yd-2-axon-dd-ys-002/

Usukani PDS R-SE

November 26, 2020

At this moment in R/C Drift, there are 2 mainstream players dominating the chassis game. Yokomo’s YD2 line is by far the most popular, with the MST RMX 2.0 in a distant second. For most, it’s exciting to be a part of the in-crowd, for others, it becomes a bit boring and they search for an alternative. For myself, I find excitement in both aspects.

The Usukani PDS R-SE 
Not new to the game, but new to me, is the the Usukani PDS line. More specifically, the PDS R-SE. It has been in my possession for the better part of this year, and I constantly find other projects to give priority to. I will be the first to admit I wasn’t very excited about this chassis. The main reason being, I’m not a fan of Rear Motor Chassis. I have built a few and they just don’t do it for me.

Futaba GYD550, CT700, and Overdose V3 Dampers

Setup 
As always, I give any chassis I test the best possible chance of success. For this round I would be using my go to electronic setup. Futaba CT700 Servo, GYD550 Gyro, MC970CR ESC, R334SBS-E Receiver, Acuvance Agile 13.5T Motor (Not pIctured), and the Futaba 7PXR Remote to control it all. I had also chosen some Overdose HG v3 Dampers since I’ve been using them on all my builds recently.
Note: The Yokomo DX1 13.5T Type R (Titanium Shaft) motor was being tested when I took the pics. Not my normal setup.

The Instuctions 
The first thing that struck me as different was Usukani provides the instruction manual on a USB drive. My initial thought was this was a good idea and very trick! I quickly figured out this just wasn’t the business for me as I kept getting messages as I was building and it became a pain to keep going back to open the PDF. It works, but I prefer a hard copy of the instructions. The instructions themselves were good. Easy to understand and I didn’t run into any issues.

The Chassis 
The chassis itself is really a no nonsense type of chassis. The shape and the appearance didn’t really wow me (good appearance is nice, but doesn’t make or break a build for me), but there were some features that sparked my interest in this build.

Quick and easy adjustment. The ticks were a nice touch!

Ackerman Adjustment 
Usukani has used servo mounts that allow the entire servo to move front to back for quick and infinite adjustment of the Ackerman. No more going back to the pits and adding spacers. Just loosen two screws, move the servo, and you are back in business. It looks like my mount is slightly crooked, but since I only use one side to keep track of the position, it doesn’t really change anything. For tuning, this is a great feature that I really came to appreciate.

Servo Lever 
I absolutely love this servo setup! Usukani’s included Servo Lever is awesome. When I was putting this together, I quickly realized I didn’t need to center my servo before assembling the steering. They provide a splined insert that fits onto the servo, which is smooth on the outside. Then the actual lever clamps to the insert. Zero out your trims, center your steering, and tighten up the clamping screw. Perfect setup! The lever length is also infinitely adjustable which is also nice. Talk about options! One thing I really like about the CT700 is the ability to program the center point. Not even necessary with this system.

At first I thought the steering stop was underwhelming, but I grew to like it.

Knuckles
Previously, I had heard about there being some issues with quality with the front knuckles on the PDS. I found no issues at all, and in fact found them to be on par with any of the mainstream chassis kits available. They are aluminum and come with aluminum wheel hexes as well. Initially I didn’t care for the way Usukani did their steering stops, but after using them, I found I actually prefer them to the solid posts used by other manufacturers. I can get them exactly where I want them with ease. This is a good example of function over form.

The only other cantilever front suspension I approve of for myself. Smooth, no binding or drag.

Front Suspension
From my experience, only Overdose has made a cantilever suspension that I feel works as well as shocks mounted directly to the arm and tower. All the others have some sort of binding or drag and that translates to not working very well. Usukani now makes it onto my short list of cantilever suspension that I feel works well. One thing I felt didn’t sit right with me when I built this kit was the Front Upper Control Arm being supported on only one side. Interestingly enough, both the PDS and the ReveD front end utilize a one-sided support for the UCA with no issues. I still prefer both ends of the hinge pin being captured, but if it works, I guess why fix it.

Futaba MC970CR, Acuvance Raiz Cap, Agile 13.5T, OD HG v3, Kamikaze Battery Holder, Gorilla Mounts

Rear Mounted Motor
The PDS R-SE is the PDS Rear Motor version and it comes with an open 3 gear transmission. It uses all YD2 compatible internals, so there is no issue with parts. It comes supplied with a solid spool, but since I always use a gear diff, it was only fitting I dropped one in to make sure I get a good comparison. The fit and finish is excellent. No complaints here. I also used a Kamikaze Battery Holder since I decided mounting my battery sideways would be better suited for what I was trying to accomplish. The supplied battery holder mounts the battery inline with the chassis, and is very minimalistic. I was disappointed I was not able to use it as it is extremely lightweight and functional. There are many mounting holes for the battery, so adjusting weight bias is a breeze.

Weighing in at 1173g

Weigh In 
The PDS R-SE is a light weight chassis with a 30/70 front to rear weight bias (As I have it setup). An interesting side note, my ReveD/Yokomo MC-1 and my PDS R-SE both weigh EXACTLY THE SAME at 1173g, but my MC-1 has a 35/75 front to rear weight bias.

Driving Impressions 
So, how does this thing drive? Not how I expected. I always try to come into any type of test with an open mind, but of course there will always be some sort of predetermined thoughts going on. I was already thinking it was going to be rear-heavy with a strong pendulum effect going on, just like all the other Rear Motor chassis I have had. I couldn’t be more wrong.

A lot of rear weight, but manages to move it quickly

The first thing I noticed was it has great corner exit speed. Something very familiar to any rear motor setups I have driven. What was missing with the heavy pendulum characteristic. In fact, the transitions and overall driving of this chassis doesn’t scream Rear Motor at all. It is a well balanced driving chassis which really does agree with my driving style. I had received a tip from my homie, Karlo, suggesting going heavier on the rear shock fluid to help with the heavy rear setup. So rather than my normal setup of lighter fluid in the rear, I started out heavier and happened to be just right. (OD 6 hole pistons with #15 Front and #20 Rear, stock springs all around.)

That’s a sexy rear

Final Thoughts 
What can I say, the Usukani PDS R-SE really surprised me. There are so many things I like about this chassis, I need to ask myself what took me so long? I have always heard great things about the PDS line, but it was always followed by some of the downfalls of the kit. I addressed some of the issues before even getting started and it seems to have given me great results. I was warned the ball ends the kit comes with don’t last, so I replaced them with Yokomo ball ends (just the cups). I have been told the dampers are “decent” but knowing myself, I would most likely upgrade them anyway, so I did. Added a gear diff and titanium turnbuckles to top it off, which I would do anyway. I’m just missing my titanium screw kit, and it will be setup the way I like it.

Usukani PDS R-SE definitely gets my stamp of approval.

Probably the best way I can end this is, during the past 2 weeks I have had 2 new chassis on my pit table. The PDS is the one I have been drawn to every day. It will most likely be my main chassis for the foreseeable future (Which in my case is usually not very long in all fairness) To add to this, we have dozens of YD2s, MC-1 conversions, and Galm v2s in stock, but we don’t have any PDS R-SEs at the moment. So you can believe this is not a sales pitch. 

See You On The Track!

The Reve D MC-1 Conversion Kit for the YD2

November 9, 2020

Reve D MC-1 Conversion Kit for the Yokomo YD2

This past week has been an exciting one for me here at Super-G. The much anticipated Reve D MC-1 conversion kit for the Yokomo YD2 had landed. I had to finish another project before digging in, so I must say it lit a fire under me for sure. It was Friday afternoon and I had a few hours before we opened, so I got to it.

Reve D MC-1 Converted YD2 SXIII

Being as there is a lot of hype surrounding this chassis, everyone has been quick to put their reviews out. So rather than to just give a rehash of what everyone else has been posting, I decided to just touch on some key points I have found on my MC-1 build.

Motor is in the lowest position possible with the battery being used

The build went really quickly. In about 2.5 hours I was ready to hit the track. Since it’s a conversion kit, it uses parts from the Yokomo YD2 kit to complete the build. Specifically, it uses the entire front end and the rear suspension blocks out. The MC-1 is basically the lower chassis, upper deck, a couple braces, gearbox, rear shock tower, propeller shaft, spur gear holder, battery holder, and rear esc mount. I decided to use my SXIII as a donor chassis since I view this as an upgrade.

Rear ESC Mount, and Cable Management Included

The conversion is impressive. Everything fits well and there is plenty of attention to detail. The beveled carbon parts are a nice touch and gives it more character. I was pleased to find a aluminum open gear box. It goes together well. Something I have always wished Yokomo would do. There is something about their molded plastic gear box that has always bothered me. I guess it’s because it reminds me of the old RC10 Stealth Transmission gearbox from years back. So this in itself is a great improvement. Using the idler gear shafts as part of the structure is just efficiency at it’s finest.

Acuvance Agile 13.5T, Futaba S.Bus Adapter, Gorilla Mounts

The motor mount is a very unique design. It is infinitely adjustable and is held in place by a big locking nut. Reve D supplied a thin wrench to make adjustment easy. I had questioned if it would be able to support the motor with all the torque being applied to the mount, but after a hard night of driving, it didn’t seem to even be phased. Reve D had announced the spacing on their mount for the motor was not correct, so knowing this ahead of time, it did not bother me. It was a bit on the tight side, but it worked. I have had worse fitting parts from other manufacturers in the past. I’m glad to see Reve D got ahead of this and let everyone know. It’s useable with the Acuvance Agile motor in case anyone is wondering.

The Belly of the Beast

Another welcome addition is Reve D’s battery mount. It is a very good design and really straight forward. Simple and effective, just the way I Iike it.

Nice Battery Holder and Channel for ESC Wire Routing

Including a channel to run the esc wire through is nothing short of awesome! I’m always in search of a better way to do my wiring, and this just made my life a whole lot better! Great job on that!

My Setup
Electronics:
Futaba CT700 Servo
Futaba GYD550 Gyro
Futaba MC970CR ESC
Acuvance Raiz Capacitor
Acuvance Agile 13.5T Motor
Chassis:
Full Reve D front end conversion (Upper and lower control arms and knuckles
Reve D MC-1 Conversion Kit
Overdose HG v3 Dampers #15 F/R

My Choice in Electronics – Futaba CT700 / Futaba GYD550 / Futaba R334SBS-E / Futaba MC970CR / Acuvance Raiz / Acuvance Agile 13.5T

Ok ok, so how does it perform.
Since I had my SXIII set up to my liking, I didn’t mess with the settings other than to increase the rear preload slightly and lengthen the rear shocks a bit to compensate for the added weight in the rear. On my first lap I felt my body was on crooked, so I brought it in and found it was just fine. I put it out again and again it looked strange. Then I realized I was just getting A TON of roll going on. Not just side to side, but all around. Very reminiscent of the DLike Re-r. I would say it’s almost like an Re-r on steroids. (Not a bad thing IMO) It has a lot of traction, and although there is a lot of weight in the rear, I didn’t notice any type of pendulum effect going on.

Reve D Front End Conversion / Reve D Lower Control Arms / Reve D Knuckles / Overdose HG v3 Dampers

Versatile
I was lucky enough to be able to be testing alongside of Mikko Yang – Reve D Factory Team Driver x Team D-Style and Shaine Collins – Team D-Style for their maiden voyages on a track as well. Three different setups, three different styles of tuning, and all 3 of us had great results. Even though everyone was wearing masks, it was clear there were some big smiles going on!

3 Different Setups, 3 Different Tunes, Fantasic Results – Reve D MC-1

Overall, I have to say this is a very impressive conversion for the YD2. I really liked my SXIII, and this was an improvement all around for me. I can’t wait to get a few tuning sessions with this chassis. I’m sure it’s only going to get better. I’m certain this one has found a home in my stable. Highly Recommended.

Reve D MC-1 on the scales
Yokomo YD2 SXIII on the scales

The SDC2020 USA Drift King – Mikko Yang

Presenting
Super Drift Championship 2020 USA Drift King
Mikko Yang
Team Reve D and Team D-Style

Proud doesn’t begin to describe the feeling I have being able to write something like this about a long time friend I have met through R/C Drift. Mikko Yang has been into R/C Drift for what seems like forever. When we opened doors here, he was part of the very first group who gave us the drive to pursue what the world has come to know as Super-G.

Mikko has participated in just about every competition we have held here at Super-G since the very beginning, only missing very few when it just wasn’t possible for him to get here. He has even flown back early from a golf tournament in Las Vegas just a couple hours before the start of one of our comps. It just goes to show his level of dedication to the hobby.

I like to think of Mikko as Mr. Consistent. He is always ready for the next competition, and even on his worst days, you will most likely find him finishing the competition on the podium.

Back a few years, Mikko picked up a Yokomo Factory Team Sponsorship. I can say just about all of SoCal felt a sense of pride knowing one of our own was able to land a sponsorship from quite possibly the biggest name in R/C Drift. I know all of us here at Super-G did.

More recently, Mikko picked up a ReveD Factory Team Sponsorship which again, the SoCal community can’t help but feel proud of Mikko once again. We all appreciate all the help Mikko provides with his knowledge of their products, not to mention the undeniable skills and driving style he brings with him.

The 2020 Journey of the USA Drift King – Mikko Yang

At the start of this year, the Super Drift Championship 2020 Series kicked off. Of course Mikko was a part of it and as everyone expected, he was consistently on the podium. Consistently as in every round! Mikko was able to secure 2 – 3rd Place finishes, 1 – 2nd Place finish, 1 – 1st Place finish, and 1 – TQ (Top Qualifier). This gave him enough points to also take the title of SoCal Regional Champion as he entered into the Super Drift Championship Finals.

Super Drift Championship 2020 Finals
All of Mikko’s hard work had boiled down to the SDC2020 Finals here at Super-G. With the SoCal Regional Champion title under his belt, I knew he was coming in with his confidence high. It was obvious Mikko knew what was on the line and he wasn’t taking it lightly.

1st Place – Mikko Yang
2nd Place Chris Lagasca, 3rd Place Hao Huang

Throughout the entire competition, Mikko threw down some amazing runs. Even battling his very own teammate, Shaine Collins and beating him by the narrowest of margins. The list of people Mikko had to battle was basically a group of drivers very familiar to the Podium. Jason Ragasa, Shaine Collins, Colby Bradley (TQ of the Finals), Hao Huang, and finally Chris Lagasca. These are all heavy hitters in the R/C Drift game. There was no doubt the title was not just given to him.

Mikko Yang – SDC2020 USA Finals Winner!
2nd Place Chris Lagasca, 3rd Place Hao Huang

For 2021 season, it’s clear Mikko is the man to beat. I can not think of a better person to wear the crown for the very first Super Drift Championship Series. He has been putting in the work and has been proving himself time and time again. Can Mikko pull it for for 2 seasons in a row? Who’s going to step up and put him to the test? We’ll all find out next year at the 2021 Finals!

Mikko taking home the hardware!

Congratulations Mikko (2020 USA Drift King).
I think the US can be proud of what you have accomplished thus far. 

Super Drift Championship 2020 FINALS

Super Drift Championship 2020 USA Finals at Super-G R/C Drift Arena in Baldwin Park, CA

This past weekend Super-G hosted the Super Drift Championship 2020 USA Finals at our new facility here in Baldwin Park, CA. As we all know, 2020 has thrown us all curveball after curveball, but most of us are just trying to make the best of it. With all the lockdowns and closures being extended and everything being so uncertain, we thought 2020 was just a loss for the SDC2020. Suddenly we started seeing various regions hosting their regionals and working towards the finals, and we knew we needed to make it happen. The passion in the R/C Drift Community is strong!

Chris Lagasca (L) Mikko Yang (R) Ready for battle!

Competitors from all over the US met under one roof to compete and find out who really is the best the US has to offer. It was clear everyone brought their A game with them to throw down with the best of the best. Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii, Missouri, Michigan, and of course California all had their Regional Champions present to show what they had.

Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii, Missouri, Michigan, and California present!

Friday
The official first day was open practice and also our Special Qualifying Round for those who did not get to pre-qualifying in their respective region. Most obvious was how the drift community, no matter where they reside, are really the same type of people. People who are passionate about their hobby, and genuinely enjoy sharing the hobby with other enthusiasts. I have noticed the one big difference between the R/C Drift Community and we’ll say the R/C Racing community, everyone wants to help everyone do better. It just makes for a better environment. I made me wish the weekend was going to be longer since I was able to put faces to the names I see online on a daily. Being one of the people throwing the event, I had very little time to sit and visit with everyone. For Joe and myself, it was just an ongoing task of putting out fires the entire weekend.

Posting up in the Mini Burnyard!
pc: Christopher Gross

The sessions both before and after the SQR were nothing short of amazing! With all the skills in the house, it was a normal sight to see 15+ car trains forming at any given time. It made for some serious driving and a ton of fun!

Special Qualifying Round (SQR)
The Special Qualifying Round was designed to accommodate those who did not have a region they could compete in, or did not meet the requirements to qualify for the Finals. We lowered the requirements due to various changes 2020 brought with it. For the SQR each competitor was given 2 chances on Friday to put down a qualifying score, and an additional 2 chances on Saturday before the competition started, giving them the chance to participate. We had 4 of the 5 additional competitors qualify for the Finals!

Saturday
The Super Drift Championship 2020 USA Finals were underway.  We had a solid 4 hours of practice and clearly everyone had figured out their tune for the competition later that evening. Everyone was busy getting that last minute practice in, and breaking in their tires. Again we saw some great driving going on.

Slidelines Represent! Bret and Dillon

We were unsure of what type of turnout we would have for the Finals with all the uncertainty of this year. We chose to not do a pre-registration as we have done this in the past with little to no success. Next season we will definitely be having pre-registration to keep the surprises to a minimum. We had 50+ competitors which was amazing to us. Proof R/C Drift is strong in the US.

Nick and Manny – The Tech Guys!

Tech
For this event Nick Lepisto and Manny Campalans performed Tech for all the competing chassis. Going over and taking measurements of 50+ chassis is no easy task, but Nick and Manny were up to the challenge. They paid extra close attention to the condition of the tires to make sure there was no strange wear on them. The Spec Tire for the Super Drift Championship 2020 USA Finals was the DS Racing FFFF Zero Mark II. A huge thank you to DS Racing for providing us with the spec tires with the Super Drift Championship logo on the sidewall! Tech was intense, so we all need to give thanks to Nick and Manny for stepping up and making it happen for all of us.

Sam and Aydin – Team Zenshin

The Judges
One of the most important aspects of the Super Drift Championship Series is the judges. Shaine Collins and Manny Campalans along with myself would be the judges for the event. I have the highest level of confidence in both Shaine and Manny as we have judged literally hundreds of battles together. It was a long competition and is mentally draining being judges. The level of concentration is immense, so we all owe Shaine and Manny a big round of thanks!

Side Note – The judges here at Super-G rarely need to make “judgement calls”. Since we utilize the Super-G Replay System, the judges are simply the ones who have a firm understanding of the rules, and give the official ruling. Any call that can be questionable, the replay is used to confirm the correct call will be made while abiding by the Official Super Drift Championship Rules.

What’s up Raymond!

Qualifying
Saturday we started out with the last of the SQR. Of the 5, 2 had previously qualified. We added another 2 for a total of 4 of the 5 qualifying for the Finals. We went straight into the qualifying. For qualifying, the judges carefully watched for control and consistency to determine which competitors would compete in Sportsman or Expert Class. The winner of Sportsman would advance to the last spot in Expert for a chance at the title of Super Drift Championship 2020 USA Drift King!

We were lucky to have a Special Guest Judge for Qualifying. Professional Formula D Driver, Justin JTP Pawlak was our judge for the style aspect of the qualifying. If you have ever seen JTP drive, you know he’s the perfect guy for the job! Thank you Justin for coming out and judging, and also displaying your demo car. It was an honor to have you judging at a Super-G event!

Justin brought his demo car out! It sounded wicked!

The qualifying line was a little difficult to many, but being the Finals with the best of the best, it was to be expected. The first clipping zone was at the start of the sweeper at the end of the first straight. Excellent speed, timing, and full commitment was needed to fill the zone completely. The last clipping zone was located at the end of another straight just before the finish line. Again, excellent line, speed, timing, and commitment was needed to fill this zone completely. Of the 50+ drivers a good handful were able to nail these zones, but one stood above the rest for their qualifying runs. Colby Bradley (Team Zenshin) nailed his qualifying runs and easily locked down TQ (Top Qualifier) for the Finals! Congratulations Colby for putting down an amazing run!

Top Qualifier – Colby Bradley (Team Zenshin)

Tsuiso Battles

Sportsman Class
We started out with the Sportsman Class. There was some really good driving going on! It all came down to Adriano Vengoechea vs. Alex Maas for 3rd and 4th Place, and Jaxsen Pawlak vs. David Wessel for 1st and 2nd Place. First up was Adriano vs. Alex. Adriano was able to hold it down and land himself 3rd Place! Then it was Jaxsen vs. David for 1st and 2nd Place. Jaxsen was able to put it down and secure 1st place and also move into the Expert Class to battle it out for the title. David secured a respectable 2nd Place finish!

Sportsman Class – 1st Place – Jaxsen Pawlak, 2nd Place – David Wessel, 3rd Place – Adriano Vengoechea

Congratulations to the winners, First Place – Jaxsen Pawlak, Second Place – David Wessel, and Third Place – Adriano Vengoechea! Great job all of you!

Jaxsen Pawlak
For those who are wondering, Jaxsen is JTP’s 8 year old son and had competed in Round 1 of the SoCal Regional. We have seen him a couple times between then and now and he needed to qualify in the Special Qualifying Round to be in the Finals. He laid down an amazing run in the SQR, but had some issues in the Official Qualifier which landed him in Sportsman Class. He battled from the bottom of the Sportsman Class brackets to First Place and into the Expert Class! We expect to see great things from Jaxsen!

SDC2020 USA Finals Sportsman Class Brackets
SDC2020 USA Finals Sportsman Class Official Results

Expert Class
Now it was time for the Main Event! Super Drift Championship 2020 Finals! The road of the US Drift King ends right here! With 50+ drivers, the competition promised to be intense. This was the best R/C Drift in the US has to offer for 2020!

After a long competition, it all came down to Zerek Fewell (Slide Ti) vs. Hao Huang (Team Wallride) for 3rd and 4th Place, and Mikko Yang (Team ReveD / Team D-Style) vs. Chris Lagasca (Limited Traction) for 1st and 2nd Place.

First up, Hao vs. Zerek. Hao leading and Zerek chasing. Into the sweeper, Zerek had a problem and spins out earning a zero for his chase. Next was Zerek leading and Hao chasing. Hao was having a great chase then on the final turn went wide and contacted the wall earning them a OMT (One More Time). On the OMT runs, Hao’s lead was great with Zerek keeping decent proximity. Then it was down to Zerek’s lead and Hao’s chase. Zerek’s lead was a bit off line compared to Hao’s, and Hao put down a chase that was incredibly close! It was an exciting way to round out the battle for 3rd and 4th Place! Hao clearly won with a better lead and better chase this time around giving him the 3rd spot on the podium!

However, Zerek contested the judges call, as he indicated Hao had made contact with his car on 3 occasions with so much impact it had pushed him off line. All 3 judges were absolutely certain there was no contact made. If it were not for the Super-G Replay System, this situation would have gone down in history as a very controversial call. Zerek and his friends insisting there was 3 points of contact made, while the judges were certain there was not.

NoteThe importance of making the correct call vs. just simply going to a OMT is monumental. If someone rightfully earns a win, but someone wrongly contests the call and forces a OMT, if the winner rightfully earned the win, they can potentially be robbed of a legitimate win, or be forced to earn the win twice. For some, this may be the one and only time they have earned a win. It can possibly be a once in a lifetime event. This is not a situation we take lightly.

So of course the judges needed to refer back to the Super-G Replay System to review their call. In doing so, the entire audience would also be able to review exactly as the judges were. After all was said and done, and carefully reviewing each point where Zerek claimed there was contact, there was indeed space between the cars, no contact was made. The call stands, and Hao took the well deserved 3rd Place on the podium!

Then it was time for what we were all here for, the battle for 1st and 2nd, and the title of Super Drift Championship 2020 USA Drift King! It was Mikko vs. Chris. Both are no strangers to the podium or the competition setting. Everyone present knew either one could pull this off. First was Mikko on the lead and Chris on the chase. Mikko puts down one of the better lead runs of the night. It was clear he meant business and he was so close he could taste it. Chris put down a really good chase. Obviously Chris wanted it just as badly. Then it was down the the final run, Chris on the lead, Mikko on the chase! Chris pulls of an awesome lead, but Mikko wasn’t about to be outdone. Mikko throws down as close to a perfect chase as possible, clearly earning him the Top Podium Spot and the title of Super Drift Championship 2020 USA Drift King! Chris secured a hard fought for 2nd Place, and Hao taking home 3rd!

Presenting the Super Drift Championship 2020 USA Drift King
Mikko Yang (Team ReveD / Team D-Style)
USA Top Guns – 1st Place – Mikko Yang, 2nd Place – Chris Lagasca, 3rd Place – Hao Huang
The Winners of the Super Drift Championship 2020 USA Finals

Congratulations to Hao Huang of Team Wall Ride, (3rd), Chris Lagasca of Limited Traction (2nd), and Mikko Yang of Team ReveD and Team D-Style – The first Super Drift Championship USA Drift King!!! These are the Top Guns of the US for 2020!!!

Most of all, thank you to each and every one of you who supported and participated in the Super Drift Championship 2020 Series! Without your support, this could have never happened. 2020 has been a year of craziness and uncertainty, but the R/C Drift Community has stood strong. Here at Super-G have been struggling along, but trying to keep things positive as is our motto, and regardless of circumstances, trying to keep pushing forward. We had all but given up on the 2020 series, but when we started to see regions pick up again and work toward the finals, we knew we couldn’t let the community down. With the short notice and many companies having a hard time with shipping and stock, many who wanted to sponsor just could not get the product in our hands in time. 2021 promises to be better. Again, thank you all.

As we always say, Super-G has the best supporters!

SDC2020 USA Finals Expert Class Brackets
SDC2020 USA Finals Expert Class Official Results


UPDATE 10/19/2020 Super Drift Championship Finals

There have been some questions going into this weekend about the specifics of the Super Drift Championship Finals this upcoming weekend at Super-G R/C Drift Arena. I will try to address them here.

I Decided I Want To Compete In The Finals, Can I Enter?
YES.

We are hosting a Special Qualifying Round. This is ONLY for people who have not met the requirements to automatically be qualified for the SDC2020 Finals.
First Round of Special Qualifying starts at 8:00pm Friday Night
Second Round of Special Qualifying starts at 5:00pm Saturday.

Spec Tires are required for this round of qualifying.

Who Needs To Qualify and When?
Did You:
1. Finish as Regional Champion
2. Finish your regionals as 2nd or 3rd
3. Compete in 50% or more of your regionals
If so, your qualifying round is on Saturday for bracket position.

IF NOT:
You will be able to enter the competition on Friday. There will be a Special Qualifying Round on Friday at 8:00pm.
You will be given 2 chances to qualify for the competition on Friday, and one more chance on Saturday before the competition starts. This gives you a total of 3 chances to achieve a qualifying score. Qualifying score TBA.

How Do My Points Work In The Finals?
They don’t.
The Point Series was for the sole purpose of deciding Regional Placement and qualification to participate in the Super Drift Championship U.S.A. Finals.
Everyone comes in at the same level.

Chassis Requirements (These Specifications supersede any existing guides regarding the Super Drift Championship U.S. Finals)
Please become familiar with these rules and make sure you meet the requirements. No exceptions will be allowed.

• EVERY CAR MUST RUN THE DESIGNATED SPEC TIRE ALL AROUND. (Handout tires will be supplied on competition day)
• Modifying, grinding down, scuffing tires on non-track surface is prohibited.
If tires show signs of unusual wear or scuffing, the competitor MUST PURCHASE a replacement set of the Designated Spec Tire.
Once the competition has started, modified tires will be an instant disqualification. 
ABSOLUTELY NO EXCEPTIONS WILL BE MADE.
• Body must be 1:10 scale, non-open wheel
• All chassis must be RWD
• Lighting is optional. Judges may request they be turned off if they are distracting
• Metal bumpers and crash bars are not allowed outside of the body
• Maximum weight fully loaded with body is 1100g measured at the rear wheels
• Wheel Base – Min. 240mm / Max. 275mm
• Overall Width including body – Max. 230mm
• Overall Length including body – Max. 490mm
• Maximum Height of any part of the car / spoiler – 150mm
• Front bumper / core support – Maximum height measured from surface to bottom of panel 20mm
• Rear bumper / core support – Maximum height measured surface to bottom of panel 25mm
• Maximum “poke” of tires measured from the edge of the driving surface of the tire to the top outer edge of the wheel arch 5mm. 
(Temporary fender flares will not be allowed)
• Protrusions beyond the rear-most panel of the body cannot exceed 25mm (Including spoiler)
• All bodies must be painted. Windows must be clear or translucent
• Dark colored wheels ARE allowed. There must be at least 1 highly visible radial line painted in a contrasting color. Judges approval required
• Absolutely no sound generators allowed. This includes zip ties, long screws, or anything intended to generate noise. This is your responsibility, not Tech.

Additional Rules Here:

http://supergdrift.com/store/super-g-rules-and-judging-guide-v-4-2

Sponsors:

Super Drift Championship 2020