Tag Archives: Beginner

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/




Which Chassis and Why

Being a shop that sells R/C Drift exclusively, we get a lot people asking which chassis would be the best for them. Since most of this happens in store, we have the opportunity to break it down for them while taking a few factors into account. It’s a little more difficult when we see this same question posted online due to many factors. There is a lot of great advice out there, and there is a lot of bad advice as well. It’s up to you to decide which is credible and which is not. In fact, you should be asking yourself if I am even credible.

We encounter a few different types of buyers and each come with their own unique needs. What we first tell them is, they really need to be honest with themselves. The decision they make on their first setup can greatly affect the amount they spend in the long run. I believe right from the start, the first thing that should be looked at is what type of person are you? Are you the type that is content with just good enough, or are you the type to want all the good stuff? I fall into the later and ultimately could have saved quite a bit if I made the right choice at the start. If you are the type that will have everything upgraded in the next month or two, you should consider the kits that include some hop-ups already. You will save roughly 30% off your upgrade journey.

Although choosing the right chassis seems like a life decision, keep in mind most people seem to change chassis about once a year. Some keep them longer, some have multiple chassis throughout the year, but on average it seems to cycle around the 1 year mark.

If you are new to R/C Drift, (notice I worded it R/C Drift, NOT just R/C) Most likely even your past R/C knowledge will not be enough to get you where you want to be right away. R/C Drift is a different animal than any other discipline of R/C, so it’s not easy to just start out and be the superstar of the track. The main point I always stress is:

Find out what people are running where you plan to spend most of your time drifting, and go that route. There will be a ton of help and you will spend more time drifting, and less time being frustrated. You Will Need Help.

There is plenty of time to be unique later with the ultra rare chassis, but when you are first starting out, it will benefit you to be able to share tips and setups.

When choosing your first R/C Drift chassis, you will hear a ton of advice. Some good and some really bad. Some of the common, bad ones we often come across are:

1. Any chassis can be good. Yes and No.
YES – If you REALLY know what you are doing, AND you are ok throwing a bunch of money at it.
NO – If both of those statements don’t apply to you. If you’re just starting out, this is a huge NO!

We have seen many people make their initial investment in a difficult chassis, struggle alone since there is nobody familiar with their chassis or how to set it up, and finally just disappear and blow out their full setup on Craigslist.

2. The clones are just as good, just cost less.
NO – We have yet to see a good performing clone, Period.

Just don’t. Maybe later down the line when you are well versed in turning and you know exactly what you are after, then try to tackle a project like this, but for now, focus on a good, solid foundation.

Ready To Run (RTR)
Aimed toward the person who needs an entire setup. They don’t own a remote, electronics, etc. They are also trying to start out on a budget of sub $500.

The only RTR we can recommend at this time is the MST RMX 2.0 RTR.

Things to consider:
This is intended to get you going in R/C Drift. The chassis itself is the same as the regular RMX 2.0, with only a couple small differences that can be changed to be the same for a $50-$100.

It comes pre-built and tested from the factory. This means you don’t need to worry about all the small details of setting it up correctly. you just pull it out of the box and you are good to go. The tires even have a little wear on them from the test run at MST.

It comes pre-built, so you didn’t build it yourself. This means when something goes wrong (and it will), you will need to learn how to fix it. If you built it yourself, you would already be familiar with how the car works and goes together.

The RTR electronics are meant to just get you going. There are a lot of electronics out there that are better quality and more pricy. There is a reason why people are willing the drop the extra cash on them. The electronics included will get you up and going, but you will be upgrading soon. This is a key point.

Reality:
You are not really saving money, you are just able to get started for a lower initial investment. It is the cheapest way to get into the hobby.

Base Kits:
Yokomo YD-2E and YD-2S
MST RMX 2.0s
These chassis kits come in “kit” form. This means you build it yourself. We always recommend this route since knowing how it all goes together is invaluable. You will need to fix it on occasion, so either you become an expert from the start, or you struggle every time something goes wrong. All 3 are mainly plastic and are considered Entry Level. All 3 drive excellent out of the box and all 3 can be fully upgraded. Also note, these are all very capable chassis out of the box. That’s not to say the upgrades aren’t needed or don’t make a difference, because they do. It simply means in the right hands, there is no reason you wouldn’t see these very chassis on the podium at your local comp.

Yokomo YD-2E and YD-2S:
Yokomo is the larger of the 2 companies and as of recent, have really been pushing the development of their YD-2 line. They have been steadily releasing new upgrades. Some feel it’s too often, some like the innovation. The YD-2 line also has a lot of 3rd party support, but keep in mind, not all the 3rd party products are good or even tested. We have seen a lot of “upgrades” actually hurt performance. So buyer beware. If you like constantly changing and upgrading parts, Yokomo is really the clear choice of the two companies I am discussing.

YD-2E:
Based on the original YD-2 design, it has a Low Center of Gravity (LCG) setup, with a standard gearbox and a low mounted motor. It was intended for standard to high-traction conditions.


YD-2S:
It has introduced a tub style chassis and lay-down gearbox. The lay-down gearbox mounts the motor high, High Center of Gravity (HCG) giving it more “Weight Shift” and theoretically more traction for standard to low-traction conditions.

MST (Max Speed Technology) RMX 2.0s:
MST has been a player for a long time and has always put out high quality products. There is not a lot of 3rd party support, but MST always brings upgrades that work really well. They designed the chassis, they design the upgrades, it’s a winning combination. Their upgrades are some of the nicest I’ve seen, but typically come with a price tag to match. If you like upgrading once and sticking with it, MST is the way to go. They typically will release a couple versions of . upgrades, and then they move on. You can count on their upgrades making a difference and also being top quality.

RMX 2.0s:
In my opinion the RMX 2.0s was MST’s answer to Yokomo’s YD-2. The YD-2 S appears to be Yokomo’s answer to the RMX 2.0s. The RMX 2.0s comes with a bevel gear gearbox giving it a more compact design. It also allows you to chose between mounting the motor high or low, giving you a High Center of Gravity (HCG) and a Low Center of Gravity (LCG) setup in one chassis. It’s nice to be able to experiment and find what fits your driving style without having to commit to an entirely different chassis.

Conclusion:
This is based on the many customers who come through our doors here at Super-G. We have worked with many people who have gone about this in so many different ways. We would just like to save you guys the frustration if possible.

For someone just getting into the hobby, the Yokomo YD-2 line and the MST RMX 2.0s are the leading choices. These are the most popular Rear Wheel Drive chassis with the most support and knowledge at the moment. I own both and can recommend them both very highly.

If you stick to these 3 or the upgraded versions, you will be on your way with a solid chassis. What you do from there is up to you, but you can feel confident it’s not your chassis holding you back.
GOOD LUCK!
KEEP DRIFT FUN!

CHECK THEM ALL OUT HERE:
MST RMX 2.0 RTR
MST RMX 2.0 RTR (Bodyless)
MST RMX 2.0s (LCG/HCG)
Yokomo YD-2S (HCG)
Yokomo YD-2E (LCG)
The Full Line Up

Never Mind the Tuning! It’s all Chassis.

This past week has been an interesting one.
I suppose there have been a lot of opinions brewing and it took a single post to ignite strong emotions in some people. I must admit I needed to walk away for a moment, then try to find some sort of humor in the post, but the fact remains, there were more than a few people who were bothered.  The DMs have prompted this post.


MST RMX 2.0s

I have been thinking about how to approach this, and I have decided the best way is to address this head on. This past week someone posted in the Super-G Group and called the Yokomo YD-2 SX a Cheater Car / Chassis and went on to defend the statement by saying it holds more speed and angle EASIER than the others. Basically implying there is some sort of unfair advantage attached to this particular chassis. I am choosing to believe it was meant as a joke, but somehow people got caught up. I have to admit it rubbed me the wrong way. It was further fueled by trying to defend the statement and in turn calling the RMX 2.0s a “good beginner car”. I personally do not agree with this statement in the least. In fact, it was a bit of a bummer reading that. I believe the RMX 2.0s is a great chassis and very capable for even the most experienced drivers.


Yokomo YD-2S

Tuning and Setup:
Most of us know tuning and setup are the key to success in R/C. R/C Drift is no different.  Of course there are limitations to the different chassis setups, but ultimately R/C is about customization. We have seen many Frankenstein chassis (parts from different chassis combined into one) perform really well. It just depends how far you want to go with it, and your knowledge of what each part will do to/for the setup. One of our former RawFew teammates, Tyler Watt was the Frankenstein Master in my opinion. His cars always drove amazing, regardless of what chassis he started with. Sprint 2, D3, you name it. A prime example of someone with a firm grasp on tuning. All my cars are in some way a Frankenstein build since I usually experiment with a few different brand components. This is part of my tuning style and I’m sure many of you out there do the same.

Let’s see what the numbers tell us:
We have been running competitions almost every Saturday night for the past 3 months. We get a wide range of competitors with different tuning styles and chassis setups.  Below are the stats grouped by chassis.

First Place Finishes:
4 – MST RMX 2.0s
3 – Yokomo YD-2S
1 – WrapUp Next VX Concept
1 – Yokomo YD-2

The most popular chassis we are seeing here at Super-G at the moment and their Podium Finishes (3rd or better):
13 – Yokomo YD-2S  
6 – MST RMX 2.0s
2 – WrapUp Next VX Concept
2 – MRD WrapUp Next Conversion
2 – Yokomo YD-2
MST FXX-D
Usukani PDS

To keep things in perspective, The majority are running YD-2S, so it’s to be expected to see more on the podium. A typical line up for any given night:
8 – Yokomo YD-2S
4 – MST RMX 2.0s
3 – Yokomo YD-2
2 – Usukani PDS
1 – WrapUp Next VX Concept
1 – WrapUp Next MRD Conversion
1 – MST FXX-D


Last Week’s Podium:
1st Place – RMX 2.0s (Kris). 2nd Place – YD-2S (Mikko). 3rd Place – WrapUp Next MRD (John). 4th Place – YD-2S (Shaine). (I had to use this pic cause it’s too good!)

So what am I getting at:
Because of this past week, it prompted me to take a look at the numbers to see if there was truly a pattern and if the “Cheater Car” statement was valid in the slightest. I have to say my original thoughts are correct and the numbers back it up.

There are many capable chassis out there, and in the right hands they can prove to be a deadly weapon in competition, but there is no guaranteed winner and no easy road to first place. I still hold firmly on my belief that a properly tuned chassis in the right hands can be a winner. A chassis which comes with a great setup sheet out of the box will perform better than a chassis with a poor setup sheet out of the box for it’s initial run. This is hardly an indication of which chassis is superior. It may or may not be a better starting point for the experienced tuner, but for the beginner a good initial setup is definitely a less painful path to take.

The original poster has made the mistake of comparing tunes on different chassis, and believing it’s the chassis making the difference rather than the tune. I really wish they would have started from the setup that came with their new chassis, rather than to discount the countless hours of research, trial, and error that went into the setup sheet they were given. If they had gone that route, maybe they would appreciate a solid setup and realize it’s really not that easy and a good driving chassis isn’t always just handed to you by the manufacturer.

Ok guys, BACK TO THE FUN!!!
Forgive and forget?

Final Breakdown / Entry Level Chassis Part 5 of 5

Three
In closing, I hope this write up can help some of you sort through the complicated online opinions you have no doubt come across. I have no loyalties to any of these companies, and I own all 3 of these chassis. I wanted each one of them to work well, since it would make my life easier, but like everything else in life, not everything is equal. Trust me, if I could say they were all great, I would. As they say, variety is the spice of life. Each of these chassis have a very specific place in terms of the beginner. My obvious choice is the MST FXX-D ISF, followed by the Yokomo Drift Package Type C w/ RWD Conversion Kit. Both have a great upgrade path and both are top performers.

The Final Breakdown:

$165 – 3Racing Sakura D4 with Gyro.
Pros:
Cheapest Price

Cons:
Difficult and costly to get working
Build quality and materials are sub par
Tuning options limited in stock form
Proprietary parts make upgrading difficult

$175 – MST FXX-D IFS with Gyro.
Pros:
Best Bang for the Buck (Within $10 of the cheapest of the 3)
Highly Recommended
Beginner to Expert
Works Extremely Well Out of the Box
Designed to be RWD from the ground up
Can be converted to VIP Version
Many Upgrades Available
Great Aftermarket Support
Instructions In English

Cons:
Some upgrades needed to make solid
Plastic not as ridged as it could be

$435 – Yokomo Drift Package Type C + Yokomo RWD Conversion Kit with Gyro.
Pros:
Highly Recommended
Intermediate to Expert
Works Extremely Well with Tuning
High Quality Materials
10+ Years of proven performance
Many Upgrades Available
Great Aftermarket Support
No upgrades necessary

Cons:
Price (Highest cost of the 3)
Doesn’t work well without RWD Tuning knowledge
10+ Year old design
Instructions in Japanese Only

MST FXX-D IFS / Entry Level Chassis – Part 4 or 5

FXX-D Side

MST (Max Speed Technology) – FXX-D IFS Version
MST (Max Speed Technology) FXX-D is a RWD ONLY chassis. This is one factor that separates the FXX-D from the others featured in this entry. It is a purpose built and designed RWD Chassis. MST is extremely popular in areas other than SoCal, but with good reason. We have had many visitors bring their MST Chassis to Super-G, and we have always been impressed with the build quality and their performance. MST has always been a company that produces many upgrades for their chassis, which translates into upgrades that work and fit well. They keep their chassis affordable, but always offer a VIP version of their chassis, which is a fully upgraded version. This is one thing we really appreciate about MST, they offer an affordable entry to their top of the line chassis. Before going any further, I will say up front, this chassis wins my vote for Bang for the Buck, and Most Recommended for the beginner.

Build Quality – The MST FXX-D is basically the plastic version of the FXX-D VIP. With the exception of a few pieces, the entire chassis is supplied in plastic form. The plastic MST uses is considerably softer than that of Yokomo. As I stated in the Yokomo section, their plastic is what all other plastics are compared to, and MST plastic is not what Yokomo is. This being said, there are a few upgrades which we feel are necessary to make this a solid chassis. I would say MSTs use of plastic in these areas wasn’t the best choice, but it does allow you to get into this chassis cheap, and get some runs in before having to spend more on upgrades. Overall, the build quality is good and once the “necessity upgrades” are done, the chassis will be solid.

**Necessity Upgrades – We have a list of what we consider “Necessity Upgrades”. These are replacement parts for the weakest points on this chassis. The aluminum Reduction Gear Housing, and the Metal Drive Gear will provide a rock solid drive train. Aluminum Steering Wipers will eliminate the small amount of flex in the plastic steering wipers. This will provide very precise steering control. Turnbuckle Set – Yes, to keep costs down, the kit comes with Solid Links. Not a good thing if you want to do any type of tuning. These upgrades add up to about $100 on top of the cost of the kit, but ensures a solid platform.
FXX-D Front

Out of the box impressions – MST FXX-D where have you been all my life? I suspect due to the fact this chassis was never designed to do anything other than be a RWD chassis, everything was designed around this. Even with the solid links installed and using the supplied Gyro, the FXX-D is a solid performer. I found I could do laps without much to complain about. It wasn’t EXACTLY as I would want it, but it wasn’t bad. It will get the beginner up and running without any issues, as long as the chassis has been built correctly and the supplied measurements for everything is used. The IFS which stands for Inboard Front Suspension utilizes a cantilever suspension system which cleans up the front end and allows for max steering angle, works extremely well, and looks trick while doing it.

Performance – After the addition of the Aluminum Steering Wipers and the Turnbuckle Kit, I was able to get down to some tuning fun. What I found immediately was this chassis responds well to any adjustments. I was able to get it to my liking in one short tuning session. I did end up adding weight to the rear to balance out the slight front heavy feeling it had. This is due to the Front Motor design. Overall, I feel this chassis is the easiest of the 3 to tune and agrees with what I look for in a chassis.

What we have observed – For the beginners, this chassis has proven time and time again to provide the best experience for the people who are new to R/C and / or R/C Drift, mainly due to the fact that it performs right out of the box and gives a solid starting point from which to grow from. The number of upgrades and the quality of what’s available is quite impressive. We have seen great performance from many beginners, and we have seen some serious sliding from the more experienced. Fully upgraded, this chassis is quite impressive, but holds it own with a few simple, inexpensive upgrades. It’s rare to see someone struggle with this chassis. It happens, but it’s rare.

Recommended – As stated earlier, this is by far the best bang for the buck. It comes highly recommended without reservation for the beginner to the expert. If you are looking for a chassis to get you into the R/C Drift game on the cheap, or if you are looking for a chassis you can upgrade to the moon, this is a great route to go. It works right out of the box, but responds well to tuning. So if you are the type to who just wants to build and go, or you love to tune and tinker, you will be right at home with the FXX-D IFS. It comes with a gyro that works well, which is an added bonus. It’s hard to find negatives for this chassis, especially given the price point. If you are just getting into the hobby, you will be doing yourself a huge disservice by not at least considering this chassis.

$175 – MST FXX-D IFS (Includes Gyro)
$100 – Necessity Upgrades
$275 – Total (Plus Electronics)

THE FINAL BREAKDOWN (PART 5 OF 5)
FXX-D Top

Yokomo Drift Package Type C / Entry Level Chassis Part 3 of 5

DP Side

Yokomo Drift Pacakge (Type C) + Yokomo RWD Conversion Kit.
This is one of the most popular routes to go when first getting into R/C Drift. There is no arguing with Yokomo quality and their Drift Package line has been going strong for over 10 years. Yes, the same basic chassis design for 10 years!!! This is the more expensive of the 3 we are reviewing in this entry. People who chose this route usually want quality and a clear path for upgrading. This chassis is the most supported chassis for the after-market segment of R/C Drift. Most upgrades are universal, but whenever there is a chassis specific upgrade, the Drift Package is usually included in the line-up. There are even full chassis conversion kits which require a Yokomo Drift Package to complete the build. This chassis comes All Wheel Drive standard (50/50), but with the addition of the RWD Conversion Kit, it becomes a full on RWD chassis.
**We have chosen the Drift Package Type C over the Drift Basic due to the fact the kit comes with actual oil-filled shocks (instead of spring holders) and a unique rear suspension setup which allows more precise adjustment.

Build Quality – Although you may hear the Drift Package comes with a plastic tub chassis, don’t let that deter you. The plastic Yokomo uses is really second to none. It is the material all other plastics in the R/C world are compared to. It’s very durable, ridged, and very high quality. The Type C kit comes with full aluminum shocks which explains the higher price, as well as a unique, infinitely adjustable rear hub setup, which allows for very precise adjustment of the rear toe. As always, I am very pleased with the build quality of the Yokomo Drift Pacakge Type C. Without any upgrades, you should be good to go.

**RWD Conversion Kit – This is a necessary addition to the Yokomo Drift Package kit to run RWD. There are two kits available, Plastic and Aluminum. Both kits are identical with the exception of : Upper Control Arms, Front Shock Tower, Rear (Front) Suspension Mount. The Plastic version provides these parts in plastic, the Aluminum kit provides them in Aluminum. The Aluminum kit provides more adjustment for the UCA. More mounting points and Caster Adjustment. Price difference is about $50, Aluminum being the more costly of the two.
DP Front

Out of the box impressions – I have always been a fan of the amount of adjustment Yokomo gives you. The Type C with the RWD Conversion Kit is no exception. I was very excited and had high expectations of the out of the box performance, since Yokomo was very specific with lengths of the links and which holes to use. Well, I was able to get around the track, but there was definitely some tuning needed to make this a well performing car. That was not really an issue, but it would have been nice if it was decent since I took the time to follow exactly what Yokomo specified. Then again, it is a 10+ year old design which has a conversion kit.

Performance – As with all the chassis we build, I spent a good amount of time with the Yokomo Drift Package with the Aluminum RWD Conversion. I was able to tune it to my satisfaction without any additional upgrades. One thing that can be said about this kit is, with no upgrades, it can be tuned to be a winning setup.

What we have observed – The Yokomo Drift Package Type C with the Yokomo RWD Conversion Kit (Either Plastic or Aluminum), it takes some tuning and know-how to really get this chassis dialed. Once it’s set up correctly, it’s definitely a top performer. Beginners and experts have had good luck with this chassis, but be prepared to put in some tuning time. If you are new to R/C in general, beware, tuning is not as simple as one may think.

Recommended – Although we have seen beginners through experts have great success with this chassis, I would tend to recommend it to the intermediate to expert R/C Drifter. That’s not to say the beginner should not consider this chassis, it’s simply due to the fact that it will definitely take some work to get it working satisfactorily. If you are the type who enjoys shopping for upgrades, this is a great platform. The price is also the highest of the 3 chassis we are featuring, so keep in mind, with the added cost, the other chassis can be upgraded.

$250 – Yokomo Drift Package Type C
$150 – Yokomo RWD Conversion Kit (Plastic)
$35 – Gyro
$435 – Total (Plus Electronics)

NEXT – MST (MAX SPEED TECHNOLOGY FXX-D ISF (PART 4 OF 5)


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3Racing – Sakura D4 / Entry Level Chassis Part 2 of 5

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3Racing – Sakura D4
This is by far the most requested chassis since it’s release. The main focus seems to be the price. To get a dedicated drift chassis, the Sakura D4 appears to be the cheapest to get into. At $130-$145 it’s hard to argue with it. However, that is not the entire story, and people new to R/C often times have a hard time seeing past this. This is why I feel this entry is so important. More on that later. This chassis comes either AWD (Counter-Steer Ratio of 1.8 IIRC) or RWD. We recommend the AWD regardless of the application. It comes with a Gear Differential for the rear which is an upgrade for RWD, but it cannot be purchased separately at this time. So the only way to get it is to purchase the AWD Kit. To make it the same as the RWD kit, you only need to add some steering wiper extensions which we always stock. They are only a few bucks.

Build Quality – For those who are familiar with 3Racing, you know they are NOT known for the best quality. The Sakura D4 is no exception. The kit comes with a black fiberglass main chassis, upper deck, and shock towers. Plastic shocks with pretty pink aluminum caps and some matching aluminum parts such as the motor plate and some washers come standard. For those who are not aware, fiberglass is not the same (not even close) to carbon fiber. It is very flexible and prone to breaking. There have been many reports (at our shop and online) where the shock towers broke during assembly. I was not impressed with the build quality of this kit in the least.
D4 Front

 

Out of the box impressions – The Sakura D4 if built as specified by 3Racing is in a word, Impossible. After building our kit, there was no way I could even hope to do anything decent with it. Quite honestly, I was shocked it was as bad as it was out of the box. I did not expect a perfectly tuned chassis, but I did expect something drivable. This was just not the case. I confirmed everything was built to spec. Basically, this chassis is impossible to drive without some serious tuning. Not just R/C car tuning, but serious knowledge of R/C RWD Drift setup. That being said, keep in mind this is not a full on review of these chassis, this is for the beginner. Telling a beginner to swap out the front UCAs and LCAs and knuckles is an easy task is very unfair to them, and very misleading.

Performance – As with all the chassis we build, I spend a good amount of time with them, to figure out all the ins and outs of each one. Every chassis I have built, I have been able to get it to perform to my liking. Of course some are better than others, but for the most part, I have always been able to get them to work. This was NOT the case with the Sakura D4. The design is such that there is very limited adjustment on the front-end. This is something imperative to successfully tuning a RWD chassis.

What we have observed – This is where I feel we can share our knowledge and provide some valuable information. I have not seen a single person successfully tune / drive the Sakura D4 in stock form. (Remember the price that was such a deal?) In fact, we have seen many people turned off of R/C Drifting completely after purchasing this chassis. If the price is what got you in, be prepared to be frustrated and / or ready to make a healthy investment in upgrades to make it perform slightly decent. I’m sure you have read online about this guy who did this or that and it works great. That’s fine, we are only stating what we have observed.

Recommended – We recommend this chassis for anyone who believes what the read online and is looking for a real challenge. The very experienced RWD R/C Drifter may be successful with this chassis, but that is not something we have seen up to this point. Even with all the aftermarket upgrades available, this chassis still appears to fall short of the average.

Price:
$130 – 3Racing Sakura D4 Kit
$35 – Gyro
$165 – Total (Plus Electronics)

NEXT – YOKOMO DRIFT PACKAGE TYPE C (PART 3 OF 5)

D4 Top

I’m taking out my front CVDs and going RWD. Not so fast cowboy! (Part 8)

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Since RWD (Rear Wheel Drive) has become popular in recent months, there are more and more people who want to jump on the RWD scene. Many think all the have to do is take out their front CVDs, take off the front belt, or remove the driveshaft, and they will be good to go. Sorry to say it doesn’t quite work that easily. RWD chassis are designed around being RWD. The main difference is in the steering. To simplify this, if the steering is not designed for RWD, it’s probably not going to work unless YOU make some changes. If you don’t know what you are after, it’s going to be an uphill battle.

Below are some of the stock front ends compared to the Yokomo RWD Conversion Kit for the Drift Package. As you can see, there is definitely a difference in the amount of angle you will be able to achieve, not to mention the lack of adjustment. Keep in mind, these steering angles are the maximum you will get with the kit in stock form. To gain any more angle than this, you are gong to need to do some sort of modification. It’s usually not a simple cut here or grind there.

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Yokomo Drift Package with Yokomo RWD Conversion Kit. Note the angle the wheels are capable of. Also the Ackerman adjustment rod connecting the steering wipers.

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3Racing Sakura D3 AWD CS 2.14 Note the maximum angle the steering setup can achieve.

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Yokomo DIB RS. AWD 50/50. Note the maximum angle the steering setup can achieve.

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Yokomo Drift Package Stock. AWD 50/50. Note the maximum steering angle.

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HPI Sprint 2. AWD 50/50. Note the maximum steering angle.

If you know what you are doing, as the saying goes, “where there’s a will there’s a way”. Yes, it can be done. It’s just not as simple as taking the front CVDs out and tossing a gyro in the mix. There’s a lot more to it. If you’re a little shaky with your tuning, it may be best to just invest in a purpose built RWD chassis. Talk to people at your local track and see what they run and why.

First Chassis – 4. High-end Platform? Decisions Decisions (Part 7)

  1. I’m not sure this if for me. I just want to get my feet wet for the smallest investment.
  2. I can’t enjoy the activity if I can’t be competitive, but let’s keep the cost minimal.
  3. I’m the type who believes in investing early on, and saving in the long run.
  4. I’m the type who wants the best of the best. 

At least one of the above statements seems to apply to most of our customers. I would suggest being honest with yourself and at least use this as a guideline. We see people come in all the time and sell themselves short, only to reinvest in the correct equipment within days or weeks of their original purchase.

Again, just be honest with yourself and you will save a lot of time and grief. We see it ALL THE TIME.

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This category is basically pick your poison. You know you are going to start modding it, you know you are going to spend money doing it. You know you want the best of the best and you want to end up with something to be proud of. If this is you, then get ready for some fun. There are so many different ways to go about this, there’s really no right or wrong approach other than choosing a layout that appeals to you.

Once you have your base chassis, you can start adding parts from other vendors which may add a different function or feature the stock kit doesn’t provide. Or it may just add some “bling” to your already nice chassis. A few vendors who make quality parts to hop up your chassis are: Overdose, D-Like, Active, Mikuni, MST, Oxygen, Kazama, WrapUpNext, TN Racing, M’s, DS Racing, RC Art, and Vertex RC. There are quite a few others, but this is what I can remember off the top of my head at the moment.

img_5944.jpgD-Like Upper A-Arm Links, Active Steering End Links.

In addition to different control arms, you can also choose different steering knuckles, rear hubs, Bagi suspension, mono-shock setups, shock caps, shock bodies, shock pistons, shock shafts, shock ends, shock mounting plates, ball ends, titanium turnbuckles, steering systems, etc. The list goes on and on.

There is also another layer to this. There are companies who sell chassis conversion kits. Basically, the company produces a kit with their key components, but require a donor chassis to complete the kit. For example, you can purchase the Bianca kit, but you also need to purchase a Yokomo Drift Package to complete the kit. From 2 kits, you form one. There is also a kit from Kamikaze for the Yokomo DIB which makes a RWD conversion for the DIB. These kits tend to be nice, but make sure to do your homework. A big thing to consider is parts availability. If you break a component, you can get a replacement?

Most people who remain in R/C Drift for any length of time usually end up in this category eventually. It’s just a natural progression. Once you find the chassis you really like, you tend to want to jazz it up a bit and start to add new parts here and there. The next thing you know, you have this awesome R/C car that is one of a kind, and it’s all your doing.

First Chassis – 2. RTR or Not? Decisions Decisions (Part 5)

  1. I’m not sure this if for me. I just want to get my feet wet for the smallest investment.
  2. I can’t enjoy the activity if I can’t be competitive, but let’s keep the cost minimal.
  3. I’m the type who believes in investing early on, and saving in the long run.
  4. I’m the type who wants the best of the best. 

At least one of the above statements seems to apply to most of our customers. I would suggest being honest with yourself and at least use this as a guideline. We see people come in all the time and sell themselves short, only to reinvest in the correct equipment within days or weeks of their original purchase.

Again, just be honest with yourself and you will save a lot of time and grief. We see it ALL THE TIME.

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2. I can’t enjoy the activity if I can’t be competitive, but let’s keep the cost minimal.
This is where the majority of you will fall when you are first getting started. The mindset is simply, you want to keep up with the guys you see on the track or on the videos. You want to enjoy the competition side of it if you get the urge, but it’s not on the top of your list at the moment. The basic idea is to get some decent equipment and have a good time.

In this area, we would highly suggest looking past the RTR (Ready to Run) kits and get yourself a kit you need to build. This serves a few purposes. First, it lets you know exactly how the car works, you will be putting in each and every part, screw, bearing, etc. This means you will know where each part goes, what it does, and most importantly, you will know when it’s not working correctly and how to fix it. Even if you are a beginner, you will be surprised how much this teaches you and how it’s not as bad as it looks. It can seem intimidating, but trust me, you can do it. Usually R/C Drifters are always willing to help a brother out.

Most of the kits in this range will be plastic for the most part. Don’t be fooled, the plastic chassis are more than capable to take the podium at any event. As long as the set-up is correct, you will be a force to reckoned with. There are many brands and models in this area, to list a few you might want to consider: Yokomo – Drift Package, Drift Package Type-C, and DIB RS. MST – FXX-D. 3Racing – Sakura D3 and Sakura D4. Of these listed, the Yokomo Drift Package and Type-C have the largest aftermarket support BY FAR. Followed by the Sakura D4.

Of the above listed, if you want to go RWD (Rear Wheel Drive), Yokomo sells a RWD Conversion Kit for the Drift Package and Type-C for an additional $150-$200. The Sakura D4 has the option for either RWD or AWD depending on the kit you choose. The FXX-D is RWD only. For AWD (All Wheel Drive) the Yokomo DIB RS comes 50/50 and is easily changed to CS by changing the rear spool and belt. The Sakura D3 comes CS (High CS Ratio 2.14) Which means it is a little challenging to drive for the beginner, but there are ways to make it more forgiving or even convert it to 50/50.

So in this range we have the following chassis and set-ups:
RWD:
Yokomo Drift Pacakge w/ RWD Conversion Kit
Yokomo Drift Package Type-C w/ RWD Conversion Kit
MST FXX-D
3Racing Sakura D4 RWD Kit
AWD:
Yokomo DIB RS
3Racing Sakura D3

Keep in mind, just about any chassis can be made to run RWD. Some are easier than others, but it can be done. Just know going into it, it takes some experience and know-how to successfully convert a chassis not designed to be RWD.

Also, because these are not RTR chassis, they do NOT include all the electrics, battery, charger, or control. This is actually a good thing. Total cost to get a complete set-up where you can be up and running is in the $500 range. However, for the additional couple hundred you spend over an RTR set-up, you end up with something you wont be outgrowing in a month. You also get to choose where you want to spend the extra and where you want to save. For example, you might want to spend a little extra to get a nicer control and/or steering servo. You also get to choose which body you will be running.