RTR vs. Build Your Own – Which Is For You? (Part 1)

MST (Max Speed Technology) has been offering the RMX 2.0 in a RTR (Ready To Run) package. What does this mean, and is it for you?

Everything to get started in the box

Over the past few years, we have sold many MST RMX 2.0 RTRs, as well as the RMX 2.0s, Yokomo YD2, Overdose Galm, and other kits. Since we also have a track here at Super-G with plenty of traffic, we are in the unique position to be able to observe how certain products are used and what kind of longevity people get from their various components. This knowledge has proven invaluable time and time again. The RMX 2.0 RTR is no exception. As always, I will give it to you straight.

Is the RMX 2.0 RTR the same chassis as the Kit Version RMX 2.0s? The short answer is yes. The more accurate answer is, it can be.

What most people will tell you is, the RMX 2.0 RTR is the cheapest way to get into R/C Drift. It can be upgraded to run with the best of the best, and the electronics aren’t the best, but they will get you going. All this is true, but in my opinion doesn’t tell the entire story. Read on.

MST RMX 2.0 RTR – Ready To Run out of the box. Tested at the factory before shipping

Here is my complete answer on the RMX 2.0 RTR:
The RTR setup is the cheapest way to get into RC Drift for about the first month. As soon as you start upgrading, (which you will most likely start doing within the first month or so) you will start to break even with piecing a kit together (Kit Version with electronics purchased separately). So if you are on a strict budget and want to get started at the price of the RTR, then that really is your only option and there is nothing wrong with that. If you and your buddies are going to bash around in a parking lot or garage, there’s nothing wrong with the RTR. Just be aware piecing a setup together is generally a couple hundred dollars more on the lower end, but will end up costing less in the first couple months on average from what I have seen. You will also have some options, so you can choose where to spend a little extra if you want.

MST RMX 2.0s and RTR can both be setup high or low mounted motor

The Differences:
Although the chassis itself IS the same and MOST of the components are shared between both the RTR and the Kit, they are not outfitted exactly the same.

The first difference you will find, if you want to adjust the toe on your steering, or camber front and/or rear, the RTR has Solid Links. This means you need to buy turnbuckles to adjust anything. The kit comes with turnbuckles stock.

The next difference you will find is the RTR comes with a Spool (Solid Axle) In some cases people prefer running a spool, but for the most part the Ball Diff is more desirable and comes stock on the kit. In addition, when you find you need to change the bevel gears inside the gearbox, the arbor that holds the bevel gear is also different and must be changed at this time as well.

The RTR comes with KPI Knuckles (King Pin Inclination) vs. Standard Knuckles (Straight) on the kit. I’m not sure why, but that’s how they have been coming. Not better or worse, but definitely different. If this is your first Drift Chassis, you’re not going to care at this point.

The RTR and the kit also come with different springs. Again, not better or worse, but they are different.

Once you upgrade these components, the RTR is now at the level of the Box Stock RMX 2.0s kit. You have also taken apart the most complicated part of the RMX chassis, the gearbox, so if you bought the RTR to avoid building the kit, you have basically done it at this point.

The RTR Remote – It controls the car. As basic as it gets.

Electronics – RTR vs. Separate Components:
“These will be good enough, right? I mean, I’m not a pro or anything right now. I can upgrade them later, right?”
  This is the what we hear often. The full answer is, yes, they are good enough to get you going. All the electronics are entry-level and you can use them to learn and have fun, but you will want to upgrade all the electronics eventually. Usually sooner than later from what we have seen.

Servo – The one provided with the RTR is very entry-level. It turns the wheels and is actually useable, but leaves a lot of room for improvement. When upgrading to even a mid-grade servo a lot of improvement in steering and response is noticed. It is also not very rugged, so if you are hitting things often, expect to be changing this out soon.

Gyro – The one provided with the RTR again is very entry-level. It keeps you from spinning and will get you going in the RWD game, but it does leave a lot to be desired. It seems the single most noticeable upgrade is the Gyro, followed closely by the Servo. It’s so close many would say the opposite is true. It tends to have issues losing center sometimes, and often is a bit shaky. Even the available low-end gyros seem to be a decent improvement.

ESC and Motor – Although the ESC and Motor combo that comes with the RTR will get you going, it’s not a sensored setup. It is a pretty low power setup but allows you to get a good feel for what is going on. It’s smooth for an unsensored motor and ESC, but you’re not going to be upgrading one without the other. Again, this is an entry-level setup, so this leaves a lot of room for improvement.
A side note: If you run an upgraded servo, you may find it draws too much current for this ESC, so you will need to run a Glitch Buster on your receiver to eliminate some very erratic behavior.

Radio (Remote) – The one provided with the RTR is specifically made for this purpose. Getting a good name brand remote is essential to making your R/C experience a good one. You don’t need the top of the line, but even the lower end radios from Futaba and Sanwa run circles on the RTR remote. As with everything listed here, the RTR remote will get you up and running, but you are going to want to upgrade pretty quickly.

What is the benefit of separate electronics?
The simple answer is, ALL the RTR electronics that are included are aimed at the beginner with the sole purpose of getting you started at the lowest price possible. Separate electronics will allow you to choose better quality and better performing electronics, rather than purchasing the RTR electronics and then paying again for the replacement.

We have broken down the electronics into 3 different categories in the attempt to simplify what can be confusing to someone just getting into the hobby.

Keep in mind, base kits are as follows:
MST RMX 2.0s – $180 approx.
Yokomo YD2E – $199 approx.
Yokomo YD2S – $199 approx.
Overdose Galm – $349 approx.

The above listed also need electronics added

Minimum Recommended Radio – Futaba 3PV

Minimum Recommended – $360 approx.:
Radio – Entry Level from Futaba/Sanwa
Servo – Mid-Grade Metal gear, High-Speed
Gyro – Basic (No End Point Adjustment)
Motor/ESC – 60amp Sensored w/ Boost and Turbo

This type of setup is sufficient to be competitive and covers all the basic functions. It is upgrade friendly. This means you can upgrade any of your components without any issues from the others.
Upgrading any of these at the time of purchase is recommended, but not necessary. Each component is slightly more with the exception of the radio which is a decent sized difference in cost.

Mid-Range Radio that has all the functionality needed – Futaba 4PM

Ideal Level – $800 approx.:
Radio – Futaba 4PM or equivelent
Servo – Mid to High-Grade KO Propo, Yokomo, Futaba, etc.
Gyro – New Generation with End Point Adjustment
Motor/ESC – 120 amp, Sensored, w/ Boost and Turbo

At this level you have full adjustability and have access to the latest technology. Adjustable curves for steering and throttle (If you use that), and the ability to run hotter motors without maxing out the ESC capabilities.
At this level, many choose to substitute items from the Professional Level List. Some items are shared between the two and these lists are just a guide to be used as examples.

Pro Level – Color Touch Screen, Telemetry, Adjust Select ESCs from Remote – Futaba 7PXR

Professional Level – $1000+ :
Radio – Futaba 7PX / Sanwa M17 (Top of the line models)
Servo – Programable / High-Speed / High-Torque, Futaba CT700, Reve D, Yokomo 003, etc.
Gyro – KO Propo KGX, Yokomo V4 (Fully adjustable)
Motor/ESC – 160-180 amp, Sensored, w/ Boost and Turbo

At the professional level, this the pinnacle of performance. You have full control over just about everything. On the servo you can program speed, torque, holding force, etc. The gyro allows different modes, how much or how little the gyro assists, and endpoints. The ESC is typically smoother with more adjustment. The radio interface and feel is just a lot nicer all around. The high-end radios also allow you to adjust more than just your basics, but the real difference is in the look and feel. Some will argue there is better response as well. Regardless, a High-End Radio just makes the entire experience better.

Final Thoughts:
The bottom line is, the MST RMX RTR is aimed at the beginner or someone looking to get into R/C Drift at the most budget friendly price point at the time of purchase. It is NOT the cheapest after you start upgrading (and you will), and ends up being one of the more expensive routes to being fully upgraded. (Difference of about $200 at the end of the day)

Only you know your situation and what you truly value. If you are the type to be content with what you have for a good amount of time, or you are ok to spend a little more in the long run to be able to test R/C Drift to see if it’s for you, then the RTR can be a good choice.

However, if you are the type to upgrade right away, and know you will eventually be upgrading everything, I would strongly suggest taking a look at the other options. If your goal is to be fully hopped up in the end, there are more economical routes. As stated in the opening, It is the cheapest option for about the first month, then the upgrades start coming. Again, only you know what is best for you.

Last, I feel I must also say many of us change even the best equipment often. So it’s not a buy right, buy once type of hobby. For many, it’s buy and buy again and again.

The best advise I can give is, just be honest with yourself. Who cares what others think. In the end it’s your money. I just hope this clarifies things a bit and can help you make the best decision for yourself.

Feel free to email us at SuperGdrift@gmail.com for more information and help with different options.
More information here:
http://supergdrift.com/store/which-chassis-and-why/