This past Saturday was the Super Drift Championship 2021 Round 6 for the SoCal Region. This seriously had to be the round of the season so far! It seems like every round gets better and better, but this was one action packed event!
This round we found ourselves missing our 3rd judge. Shaine Collins had some family business to attended to at the last minute, and Ted Britt wasn’t able to make it out this round either, so after a brief discussion, Manny decided he would take the zero for the round to ensure the judging was of the level we have always upheld. We all owe Manny a huge thank you for sacrificing the possible points he could have accumulated for this round. He said he was going to win this round, but I guess now we’ll never know.
With all the heavy hitters coming out for Round 6, we knew the qualifying was going to be insane and we couldn’t be more right! There were a lot a good runs. Aydin Angelo (Team Super-G) threw down an awesome 93! The judges were blown away. That was some of the best driving we had seen all season. Then a few runs later, Alfredo Chan III (Team RAZR / Tech1Drift) stepped up to the plate and put down 2 back to back RIDICULOUS runs!!! His first was his best, but also the best we have seen ALL SEASON! Precise, fully in the zones, smooth, no corrections, and with speed that showed Alfredo had full confidence in his abilities. Since Alfredo’s qualifier was early on, both judges pulled back a point just in the event someone were to pull off something even more amazing, but Alfredo’s run proved to be something NOBODY was going to touch! After qualifying was finished, we as judges discussed Alfredo’s run and realized we both wanted to award full points, but pulled back for the same reasons. Officially Alfredo walked away with a solid 98. Unofficially though, he pulled a 100!!! Congratulations Alfredo for winning the Hoonigan Top Qualifier of Round 6!!!! That is an accomplishment to be proud of.
The battles were amazing this round as well. We had a lot of new comers joining us, which is always awesome! After all was said and done, it all came down to Mikko Yang (Team ReveD / Team DStyle) vs. Haoyan Huang (Team WallRide) for 1st and 2nd, and Jason Fordyce (Team Super-G) vs. Christian Gonzales (Team Nemurenai) for 3rd and 4th. First up was Jason vs. Christian. Christian was first to lead and he put down a really good lead. It was a bit on the conservative side, but he did what was needed to put the pressure on Jason. Then it was Jason’s turn to lead and Christian was on the chase. Christian poured on the pressure and Jason was obviously giving it all he had. Jason was putting down a great lead run, coming extremely close to knocking down some markers that would have ended his run, but he pulled it off cleanly. Then it happened, feeling the pressure from Christians chase, he made the slightest of miscalculations at one of the trickiest parts of the track, and made contact with the fence. Christian locked down a hard fought and stressful 3rd Place!!!
Next up was the finals! It all came down to Mikko vs. Hao. Both these guys are no strangers to being in this position. First out was Mikko leading and Hao chasing. Mikko puts down a really good lead and Hao gives a pretty decent chase. Then it’s Hao’s lead and Mikko on the chase! Hao does a great job leading and Mikko does his part on his chase. The judges needed to go to the Super-G Replay System to confirm what they had believed they saw on Mikko’s lead. The replay system confirmed, Hao had made contact just before the finish line, causing his car to bounce and clearly giving Mikko the First Place finish! Hao took home a respectable Second Place, and Christian landed Third Place!
Congratulations to the winners of the. Super Drift Championship 2021 Series – SoCal Region Round 6!
The Sportsman Class was exciting as always! It all came down to DJ Young vs. Mike Ill for 1st and 2nd, and Don Chang vs. Gerald Maugeri for 3rd and 4th. First up was Don vs. Gerald. It was an exciting run, but Don was able to pull off the win and lock down 3rd Place. Then it was DJ vs. Mike. Both these drivers did their best and DJ was able to put together the win and took home 1st Place. Mike locked down 2nd!
Congratulations to our Sportsman Class winners!
JUST REMEMBER, THERE ARE STILL 2 MORE ROUNDS FOR THE SOCAL REGIONALS! If you have not qualified for the finals in October as of yet, A PODIUM FINISH (Expert) will earn you a spot! Regional Champion, Podium Finish, or 4 or more event participation gets you in!
Here at Super-G I am constantly testing tires. We are always on the hunt for the next Spec tire, so I was really exited when a set of the new ReveD tires landed on my pit table.
The first thing I noticed was the unique matte finish when compared to just about every other tire I have used. I was curious as to if this would have any effect on the tire when new. No break-in, quicker break-in, longer break-in, no difference? They looked cool and seemed to be a little lower profile than what I am used to. The ReveD outer diameter measures 60.50mm, when compared to the DS Racing Comp III LF-5 that comes in at 62.50mm so they are indeed smaller.
The fit was spot on as expected from ReveD. Easy to install, but snug enough to stay on. I had one tire start to come off during our testing, but with any tire, wheel size and foam thickness and condition also play a factor. I attribute this to user error, not the tire’s fault. The shape is true and consistent as well.
The way I always test tires is to compare to our spec tire at the time (DS Racing – Comp III LF-5) here at Super-G. This makes it easy to spot any and all differences in a tire’s characteristics. I installed the ReveD tires on my personal car and set out to session with Team Super-G Driver, Nick Lepisto. Our tunes are extremely close and I could count on him to put down some consistent laps, so this would provide an excellent baseline. Our surface is Polished Concrete.
Without as much as a single lap on the new tires, I started running laps with Nick. His tires had already been broken in and so his speed and handling would be as consistent as possible. Immediately I was almost identical in speed. The forward traction was definitely something I was familiar with. I felt comfortable pushing it with one lap in. Sideways traction was also very similar to our spec tire as well. A very nice balance.
At about the 10 minute mark the ReveD tires began to increase in traction. I began to inch away from Nick on the straights and in the sweepers. I was also able to drive more aggressively on initiations and in the tighter transitions. They had a nice forward to sideways traction balance.
At around 20-25 minutes into the break-in period the tires really came on line and seemed to reach their true traction potential. I found I was able to pull away from Nick at will. Putting the power down in the sweepers allowed me to increase the gap or slam the gap closed if I was on the chase. On the straight I could easily gap Nick if I was leading, or push him the entire straight if I was chasing. The balance remained good, and the handling was excellent.
Looking back on our previous tire testing, I would say the new ReveD tires are very similar to the Comp III LF-3 tires both in speed and handling.
High Traction and Standard Wheels – ARGH!
I have made an error while testing the new ReveD tires. I am posting my findings despite my mistake since I think this still gives a good indicator of where these tires fall when compared to other known tires.
I normally use Topline High-Traction wheels. For this test I mistakenly mounted the ReveD tires on Topline Standard wheels. That being said, the ReveD tires would be a little faster and have some added sideways traction at every point in this test if tested on High-Traction wheels. This would only increase the difference in the comparison for those concerned with the speed of the tires.
The new ReveD tires are definitely a high quality tire. The shape and consistency is some of the best I have seen in a R/C drift tire. The smaller diameter provides more fender clearance, but also reduces your ground clearance. I did not notice any type of difference with the matte finish other than it looked cool and different. Break-in was about as standard as it gets, with the times being very close to the other tires available today. With the contact surface being very flat, and the corners being sharp, this tire will find a lot of speed right out of the gate. The forward speed to sideways traction is good and comparable to the other tires in that traction range. I suspect they will find themselves being slightly slower than the Yokomo DRC, but don’t quote me on that. That test is for another time.
The Super Drift Championship Round 5 Regional for SoCal is in the books, and what an amazing event it was! With everything opening up, a local track (Sky Hunter Hobbies) having their Grand Opening, graduations, and vacations hitting hard this month, we were expecting a smaller than usual turnout. Surprisingly, the turnout was more than expected and Round 5 turned out to be an action-packed comp.
This round we were missing a lot of the regular heavy-hitters, but in exchange we were honored to have some of our out of town fam come in to throw down. I want to give a huge thanks to Bret Trevino, the owner of Slidelines R/C in Las Vegas, Nevada and Tech1Drift Team Driver, Ryno Degala from NorCal (Limited Traction), David Wessel from Arizona (Team Bubblemilk), and Ted Britt from Arizona and Team Bubblemilk! All of them made this round one of my favorites.
This round we were missing one of our regular judges, but luckily Ted Britt decided to come out and sub for Shaine. Ted has proven to be an effective judge and has a very strong understanding of the Super Drift Championship rules. He, along with Manny Campalans and myself were the judges for the event. Thank you Ted and Manny for stepping up. We know how difficult it can make the comp days, and we couldn’t do it without you guys.
Qualifying Round 5 was met with a different type of layout than what we normally run here at Super-G R/C Drift Arena. This time around we decided to have the type of line that puts the competitors skills and timing to the test. Setting up and hitting zone 1 at the correct speed and angle was essential to hitting zone 2 correctly. Not surprisingly, all the competitors took to this right away and it was business as usual.
Qualifying was interesting to say the least. With the new layout we weren’t sure what to expect, but the scores were coming in pretty consistently when compared to the previous rounds. Haoyan Huang has been taking the season off, but decided it was time to get back at the comps. Haoyan threw down a blistering qualifying run and landed Top Qualifier for Round 5! Hoonigan has stepped up and sponsored our Super Drift Championship Series and donated prizes for the Hoonigan Top Qualifier! Congratulations to Hao for taking TQ with a score of 90!
If that wasn’t enough to make things exciting, new comer, Christian Gonzales (Team Nemurenai) making his comp debut was 2nd in qualifying with a score of 89! Just one point off of TQ!!! Great driving Christian! I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot more from Christian in the future. Maybe even the immediate future.
Tsuiso Battles Expert Class: Round 5 didn’t disappoint with the tandem battles. There were so many good runs, it was clear everyone has been upping their skills. It all came down to the Top 4 – Christian Gonzales (Team Nemurenai) vs. Mikko Yang (Team ReveD / Team D-Style) for 1st and 2nd, and Bret Trevino (Slidelines R/C / Tech1Drift) vs. Hao Huang (Team Wallride) for 3rd and 4th!
First up was Hao vs. Bret. For their first run, both Hao and Bret had contact on their lead runs, callling for a OMT. Nobody was complaining though, cause these runs were amazing! On the OMT run, Hao had contact and then Bret threw down a Ridiculous chase! The secured a solid 3rd Place finish for Bret!
Then it was time for the main event, Mikko Yang – The reining Drift King of the US, vs. Christian Gonzales – debut comp. Both of these guys were on FIRE and we all knew this was going to be a serious battle. Out of the gate, Mikko put down a serious lead. Christian answered back with a decent chase. Then it was Christian’s turn to lead and Mikko on the chase! It had all come down to this! Christian was putting down a good lead and not being shaken by veteran Mikko’s chase. Mikko was applying some serious pressure on his chase, not giving Christian any type of break. Then it happened, in the very last second, the last 18” of the course, a slight miscalculation on Mikko’s part caused contact which caused his car to bounce and Christians to suddenly increase angle. This was enough to land Christian in the Top Podium Spot, and his FIRST win on his debut comp! Not a bad way to start out I must say! Mikko secured 2nd Place on the podium!
Congratulations to the winners of the Expert Class, First Place – Christian Gonzales (Team Nemurenai), Second Place – Mikko Yang (Team ReveD / Team D-Style), and Third Place – Bret Trevino (Slidelines R/C – Tech1Drift)
Sportsman Class The Sportsman Class was full of excitement as well! It came down to Leeway Chang vs. Don Chang for 1st adn 2nd Place, and Eric Canal and Jesse Knapp for 3rd and 4th Place. Eric was able to lock down 3rd spot! Leeway secured 1st, and Don took home a 2nd Place win! This was Don’s first competition!
Congratulations 1st Place – Leeway Chang, 2nd Place Don Chang, and 3rd Place – Eric Canal! Great job guys!!!
This is an important update as we move into Round 5: (Saturday, June 12, 2021)
As per the rules for the Super Drift Championship Series, if you wish to compete in The Finals in October, you must qualify. There are 3 ways to qualify: 1. Finish as Champion for your designated Region 2. Podium Finish in your Region (1st, 2nd, or 3rd in any round) 3. Participate in a minimum of 50% of your designated Regionals
This pertains only to SoCal at the moment. Since we are hosting 8 Regionals this year, there are 4 Rounds remaining. This means if you have not competed yet, and you wish to participate / compete in The Finals, and plan to qualify through participation, Rounds 5, 6, 7, and 8 are necessary. This applies to the SoCal Region only at this time.
There will be NO WALK-ONS allowed at The Finals unless prior arrangements are made directly with myself. If you live further than 200 miles (I believe that is the determining distance) from any regional, you will be allowed to compete if prior arrangements are made.
Again, the purpose of this update is to inform you, if you plan to qualify for The Finals through the means of participation, and you are in the SoCal Region, you need to compete in a minimum of 4 of the SoCal Regionals. There are 4 regionals remaining.
As I’m sure most of us are sick of hearing about COVID, it is still very relevant to what is going on in our everyday lives. With that being said, we need to adjust and update what is going on with the Super Drift Championship Series for 2021. Don’t worry, it’s all good news, but we need to make it official.
To start, if you reside more than 200 miles away from any regional, and would like to attend and participate in The U.S. Finals in October, please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
For the rest of us, there has been a few changes to make it easier to qualify for The Finals.
The requirement for qualifying through participation points has been lowered to 50% minimum participation. We understand that many were not comfortable coming out during the early months this year. Now that the COVID restrictions are being lifted, we feel it is reasonable at this point.
We will be dropping everyone’s lowest score out of 8 events. This means if you missed an event or had an off day, this will not count against you.
We will NOT be allowing walk-ons. You will need to be pre-qualified to participate in The Finals. Track owners, if you wish to participate, please contact me directly.
We still have regions trying to get started. Contact me and let’s get this going. We still have a few months to go.
There’s quite a few of us who have been waiting for Futaba to drop their latest servo. In the past few years, Futaba has been making some serious waves in the R/C Drift Scene. When I think of the top electronics for R/C Drift, the Futaba 7PXR Remote, the Futaba GYD-550 Gyro, and the Futaba HPS-CT700 Servo come to mind.
The HPS-CT700 is Futaba’s flagship drift servo and quite honestly is the absolute best servo I have used for drift, hands down. While adjusting the settings via the 7PXR on the fly, I can mimic just about any servo on the market right now, and also do things others can’t. But enough of the HPS-CT700, we are here to talk about his little bro.
Enter the HPS-CT500 Servo. What can I say, I am pleasantly unimpressed. WAAAAAIT UP!!! What? Read on.
The HPS-CT500 Servo is obviously the little bro to the big daddy, the HPS-CT700. As soon as you see it, it has the same size and shape, but instead of the really nice aluminum housing, it has a LIGHT WEIGHT plastic housing. The HPS-CT500 is 10g lighter. The specs are impressive as well. When compared to the CT700, the CT500 is slightly faster at .06 vs. .07, but with less torque at 291.6 oz/in vs. 416.6 oz/in. I personally feel both exceed anyone’s servo needs for drift.
There’s more! The HPS-CT500 is also fully programmable via the S.Bus if you are using a 7PX or 7PXR (possibly a 4PM as well?) With the programming options Futaba gives us, the HPS-CT500 can mimic the other servos being used for drift right now, and can be further tweaked to meet any needs you may have. The theme with Futaba lately has been about customization, and this servo does not disappoint.
Tonight I put in my settings from my HPS-CT700 and it was amazing! When I say I was unimpressed, I meant it. I admit, I am spoiled by my HPS-CT700 servo, and I have come to expect the performance and feel I get from it. Changing to the HPS-CT500 servo, I did not skip a beat. In fact, if someone swapped it out, without my knowledge, I have to say I wouldn’t have even noticed a difference. I did a session tonight and my chassis felt every bit as dialed as it always does. This servo felt “Normal” to me, and that means it feels every bit as good as it’s big bro.
My conclusion. At this moment, I believe the Futaba HPS-CT700 is the best servo for R/C Drift. (IMO of course) The main drawback has been the hefty price tag. The Futaba HPS-CT500 gives you that performance and programmability at a more wallet friendly price point. I personally will still opt for the CT700 as the .01 transition speed isn’t noticeable for me, so I will take that added torque, but I would not hesitate for a second to run a HPS-CT500 Servo. It is easily a close second to what I consider the best servo on the market for R/C Drift. The HPS-CT500 Servo is definitely a winner and a top contender. For anyone weight conscious, this may very well be the top choice above all. At a projected sub $200 MSRP, it really packs a good bang for the buck.
It seems with every round the competition just gets better! This round was no exception. Although it was Mother’s Day weekend and many were out of town, we still had a great turnout.
We had visitors from Las Vegas and Arizona joining us which made it even better. Huge thanks to Bret, the owner of Slidelines for joining us. It’s always an honor when a track owner comes to enter one of our events.
The Layout For Round 4 we decided to change it up a bit. Instead of our usual single straight to sweeper type of layout, we went with a high-speed straight to sweeper, to high-speed straight with a chicane to shake it up a bit. It did prove to make the runs more challenging, but as expected, everyone rose to the occasion and adapted almost immediately.
The Judging For as long as I can remember, 4 years +, I have always had my right hand man, Shaine Collins right there judging with me. I don’t know if I can remember a time in our 100+ comps we have judged where he wasn’t there. Well there’s a first for everything and this weekend he had some really important business to handle. Needing a 3rd judge, I thought about who has asked the most questions about our judging and who has actually displayed a firm understanding of the rules. I had the perfect person in mind, and he just so happened to be coming from out of state this weekend. Ted Britt from Arizona and Team Bubble Milk was my first thought. I consulted with Manny and Shaine and we all agreed he would be a great candidate.
As I am constantly explaining, our style of competition doesn’t have much “judging” going on, but rather spotting errors and being able to assign fault and severity to them. The rules are such, where each call should be black and white. With Ted’s firm grasp of the Super Drift Championship rules, we didn’t skip a beat. Ted knows the rules and how to apply them, and with that, we had our 3rd judge and the show went on without a hitch! Thanks to Manny Campalans and Ted Britt for judging alongside of me for Round 4!
Qualifying Being a new style layout, there were a few being a bit cautious and with good reason. Then you had some of the more seasoned drivers who can adapt to any situation, and these guys really stepped it up! For the Top Qualifier of Round 4, we had a tie between The U.S. Drift King, Mikko Yang (Team ReveD), and Alfredo Chan III (Team Razr / Tech1Drift). These guys are no strangers to TQ or podium finishes, so it was no surprise to see them in a battle for TQ. Both competitors we given one more qualifying run, and the true TQ winner would be determined off those runs. Alfredo was able to put together a near perfect (if not perfect) run, giving him the decisive Top Qualifier win and title for Round 4! Congratulations Alfredo!
Tsuiso Battles Then it was the time we had all been waiting for, Tsuiso Battles! With the amount of speed that was obtainable, there were some mistakes we aren’t accustomed to seeing. A lot of people we are used to seeing put down clean laps were hitting walls or their opponent. So we knew it was a good thing to change it up and keep everyone on their toes.
Expert Class The Expert Class came down to The U.S. Drift King – Mikko Yang (Team ReveD), TQ of the event, Alfredo Chan III (Team Razr/Tech1Drift), Aydin Angulo (Team Zenshin), and Alan Benites (Team Zenshin). Every single one of these guys are heavy hitters!
First up was Aydin vs. Alan. The battle was insanely close as were all the battles in the top 4. Aydin was able to secure 3rd with Alan having some contact on his lead and chase. Congratulations to Aydin for a hard fought for Third Place!
Then it was time for the big dogs of the night, Mikko vs. Alfredo for first and second! Both of these guys find themselves in this exact same situation often. These 2 were also the 2 who were tied for TQ, so you know they both had firm command of this layout and they both understood what the judges wanted to see. Alfredo put down a near perfect lead run with Mikko hot on his door! Both the lead and the chase were what we would expect from drivers of this caliber. Then it was Mikko on the lead and Alfredo on the chase. Mikko threw down an awesome lead knowing he had to really turn it up to be in the running. Alfredo answered back with a vicious chase, leaving no room to be outdone. The judges needed to go to the replay to check what looked to be contact in Zone 1, and it was confirmed. Mikko had a slight miscalculation and hit the wall, giving Alfredo a well deserved win, and the top podium spot for the night! Mikko locked down a respectable 2nd!
Congratulations to First Place – Alfredo Chan III (Team Razr / Tech1Drift), Second Place – Mikko Yang (Team ReveD), and Third Place – Aydin Angulo (Team Zenshin)!
Sportsman Class This round we had a good amount of first-timers, so the Sportsman Class promised to be some good fun! The top 4 boiled down to Danger Dan Sonner (Handsome Drifters), Mitchel Phillips for first and second. Cody Johnson, and Jaron Gosselin battled for third and forth.
First up was Cody vs. Jaron. Both Cody and Jaron had some similar bumps, which brought us to a OMT (One More Time). This time they were able to shake off the nerves a little. This time around Jaron was able to hold it together and locked down a solid Third Place!
Then it was time for the battle for First and Second! Dan vs. Mitchel. The first battle resulted in a OMT with both drivers making contact on their chase runs. Now they were both warmed up. Dan threw down a solid lead with Mitchel right behind. Mitchel came right back at Dan with a solid lead as well. It came down to the chase runs, and Mitchel was able to lock down First Place with better proximity on the chase! Dan took home a well deserved Second Place!
Congratulations to First Place – Mitchel Phillips, Second Place – Dan Sonner, and Third Place – Jaron Gosselin!
For some time now, there has been a few people who have been using Tamiya gear diffs instead of the Yokomo gear diffs in their YD2s and just about any other chassis that accepts that style. I would say until recently it’s been a pretty well kept secret, but recently it seems to have become really wide spread knowledge. I want to credit Allen Shilun Gu (Sensei) for this helpful tip. I will go on record right now and say he is one of the most innovative tuners I have had the pleasure of knowing.
When using a gear diff, different fluid weights are used to achieve more or less diff action between the left and right rear wheels. The effects of this goes deep enough to to warrant it’s own write-up, so we won’t go into detail here. This is just meant to show the difference between the two.
What most people are unaware of, is the diffs themselves introduce their own resistance just due to the design, materials used, tolerances, etc. The less resistance created by the diff itself will mean the change in fluid will have a greater and more consistent effect on the diff action itself.
Both Tamiya and Yokomo have a very similar design and are interchangeable for the most part. I have only seen 1 instance where it didn’t work, so make sure to check before taking the plunge. The Tamiya diff is about 1.2mm narrower, so I put .6mm of shims on either side before installing the outer support bearings to keep everything nice and centered. I have also been in the habit of using the Tamiya upgraded drive cups with the plastic inserts. It just seems to be the best setup for me. The upgraded drive cups are 2mm shorter than the Yokomo, so this may or may not require you to get longer driveshafts. I personally have not found this to be an issue yet.
To clarify, this is NOT to demonstrate how to get the freest spinning gear diff. This is to show if you are tuning, the diffs introduce their own resistance before you even get started. For example, you can still tune a Tamiya diff with lower viscosity fluids and still control the amount of resistance you have, where as with the Yokomo you will find it no longer makes a difference at a certain point. If you start taking out gears and O-Rings and such, everything is out the window. An old trick to get a free spinning gear diff is to remove the O-Rings. You will lose the ability to tune your diff with fluid since it will all leak out, but it will be more free. Removing spider gears will also make it more free spinning. Again, this is not what this is showing. If I find the sweet spot with a Tamiya gear diff with 2500 fluid, I will not be able to get that same setting with the Yokomo gear diff since the Yokomo effectively stops at approximately 10,000 in the Tamiya. Is completely free spinning the best? Hmmm.
Rather than to try to show the difference with a series of pictures like I usually do, I have made a short video clip to explain here. I built both diffs the same and I used the same light grease I always use on both.
The RTR (Ready To Run) Game. This is nothing new to the R/C Drift Scene, let alone R/C in general. Back in the day, Yokomo had their Drift Racer which was a RTR Drift Package chassis. Once things went to RWD, it became obsolete and Yokomo dropped out of the RTR game.
Fast forward to the beginning of 2018, MST (Max Speed Technology) decided to jump into the ring with an RTR version of their current Drift chassis, the RMX 2.0s. They boasted about a RTR that was “Ready To Drift” right out of the box. MST knowing R/C Drift is a little tricky for the beginner, they wanted to make sure each chassis performed right out of the box. A new approach was to test each and every chassis before it went into the package to ship. They even stated each chassis will have marks on their tires from the testing. Here is our initial run with the MST RMX 2.0s RTR
From January 2018 til early April 2021 MST had the RTR market on lock. With no competition, the beginners have been flocking to the RTR RMX 2.0 for a decent performer at a budget price. This has been the lowest cost path to enter R/C Drift to get your feet wet.
There has long been this attitude from the veterans to discourage the purchase of an RTR RMX 2.0 since for a couple hundred more invested, you could choose between the RMX 2.0s (Kit) or the YD2E or YD2S (Kits) and get better grade electronics right out of the gate.
The main differences between purchasing the RTR RMX 2.0s and going with a kit and separate electronics is a matter of $200-$300 more initial investment and the fact you would be getting better electronics that would get you past the first 6 months in the hobby. The majority of people who purchase an RTR end up upgrading their electronics within the first month whether they want to or not. It’s just the reality of the RTR electronics.
As of April 2021, Yokomo (in the U.S.) has officially entered the RTR market with their YD-2AC RTR. Immediately comparisons were being made. These comparisons were being made before the first kits even hit the shores of the U.S. As much as we would have liked to speculate, we always wait to get products in our hands before passing any type of judgment. You just never know what the actual product will be like.
We here at Super-G received our first batch of the YD2-AC and decided to do a live unboxing. Just as we had done with the MST RTR RMX 2.0s, we decided to approach the Yokomo RTR YD2-AC the same way. We had no preconceived notion of how it would perform out of the box, so we did just as any beginner would. Open it up, throw in the batteries, and see how it goes.
The first impression test didn’t go well. We were live on Facebook, so there was no staging anything. Directly on the box, it clearly states, “Ready To Drift”. Being aimed at the beginner, we were surprised to find it did not come “complete”. Traditionally, RTRs are ready to go out of the box minus batteries. Yokomo has a different approach with the YD2-AC. They supply you with a NiMh 1400mah Battery and a Wall Charger, but no wheels, tires, or body. Watch the First Impression Video and Unboxing here
We added wheels and our spec tires, DS Racing Comp III LF-5s. Threw the battery in and took it for a spin. The first thing we found was the rear of the chassis was dragging on the ground. The ride height was no correct. Upon further inspection, the preload collars were not cranked down enough to support the weight of the NiMh battery which is considerably heavier than what most people run these days. Another issue was the Endpoints were not correctly set for the steering, and finally the Gyro Gain was not set correctly.
Someone pointed out that we did not read the supplied manuals, implying we did not approach this correctly. We approached it as we did the RTR RMX 2.0s a couple years prior, but fair enough, we headed to the manuals.
The supplied manuals are the standard YD2E manual, and a YD2-AC supplement. The instructions for setting up the Gyro were very confusing for me. I suspect they are instructions for the V.3 Gyro and not for the YD-302 which is provided, but I am not sure. Mixed in with this is also the recommendation of setting the EPA on the control to obtain full lock. I saw nothing about setting the preload on the rear, or how they recommend raising the rear.
Now I know this all sounds negative, but it is not meant to. I am just recapping what has taken place so far. In fact, although the initial experience wasn’t great, that’s not what this is all about. This is about the RTR’s and the options that are now available.
What’s Good About Both?
Ok, so you’ve looked online and you’ve already read how the old guys say get a kit and the new guys say the RTR they just got is the best and you have decided a RTR is the way to go for you. What’s the difference between the two?
Yokomo YD-2AC This is a pre-built YD-2E. It’s a proven chassis and being Yokomo, it has a lot of 3rd party support. This chassis has been successful for years and for many they have started with this chassis and have upgraded to what they still drive today. You can’t go wrong with a YD-2E.
MST RTR RMX 2.0s This is a pre-built RMX 2.0s. This too is a proven chassis, but the 3rd party support is somewhat limited. It is growing, but IMO will never be supported like Yokomo. The RMX 2.0s can be as competitive as the YD-2, but you will find less people as enthusiastic about it.
What Isn’t So Good About Both?
The electronics they come with. I won’t sugar coat this. I do not care for the electronics in either of these RTRs. The servos will need to be replaced after a few good hits. For a beginner this can be 10 minutes or 10 days, but most likely not 10 weeks. The ESCs and Motors are meant to get you started. You will want to replace these sooner than later. We see them getting upgraded usually within the first month. Both Gyros work, but they are entry level and will most likely be on the list to upgrade as well. The remotes are the same with difference decals.
The Main Differences
RMX 2.0s needs a battery and charger to be functional. it comes with solid links which I am a fan of for beginners. This means the chassis can take a hit and remain “tuned”. Learn the basics first, like learning how to control the car, then let’s start making adjustments to the suspension. Let’s face it, beginners will hit stuff and they will hit stuff hard. The solid links are a good thing and for about $15-$30 they can be upgraded to turnbuckles when the time is right. Cost to be functional: $379 – RTR RMX 2.0s $30 – Battery $40 – Charger $449 – Total
Pros: Runs great out of the box. For a beginner with no experience, this can be the difference between enjoying the hobby and becoming more involved, or not. Solid suspension links. Can take a hit and not come out of adjustment. Can be upgraded to adjustable links for a minimal investment. $15-$30 Includes wheels and tires Includes painted body. Most budget friendly path to get into R/C Drift
Cons: Not as much 3rd party support Limited choice of the body Electronics are not ideal and will need to be replaced sooner than later
YD-2AC needs wheels, tires, body, and paint. I will also say the NiMh battery and charger are worthless and not even worth considering. So I will also say a battery and charger should be added as well. The ESC that is included is LiPo compatible. It comes with turnbuckles so it has good adjustability right out of the box. Cost to be functional: $449 – RTR YD-2AC $30 – Battery $40 – Charger $18 – Wheels $20 – Tires $50 – Body $14 – Paint $621 – Total
Pros: One of the most popular platforms in R/C Drift at the moment Fully adjustable right out of the box Large 3rd party support
Cons: Does not work well right out of the box. Some prior experience would be helpful, if not necessary to set up before first drive Does not come with Wheels and Tires. For the beginner, this may be a confusing purchase Does not come with a body. For the beginner, it’s hard to know where to start Body must be cut out and painted. For the beginner, this may not be a simple task
Conclusion If you are set on purchasing a pre-built chassis, these are your 2 choices. The MST RMX 2.0s or the Yokomo YD-2E. The argument of which is better is as old as the Nissan vs. Toyota, Chevy vs. Ford, Mercedes vs. BMW. There are people passionate on both sides. Both have their pros and cons and no matter how you cut it, neither is really right or wrong. Just people’s opinions.
At the end of the day, you need to ask yourself at what point is it worth just building a kit and getting better electronics from the start. For $650 – $700 you can get a RMX 2.0s or YD-2E or YD-2S kit and electronics that will last you well into the hobby. Or you can chose one of these RTRs and upgrade the electronics that come with the kit in a month or less and end up spending an additional $300+.
My personal opinion (Which I always try to leave out) I feel it is ALWAYS best to purchase an unbuilt kit and learn to build it. You will need to repair parts at some point, so it’s always good o know what goes where and what does what. You will pay a little more initially, but will actually be saving money and be further ahead in your first 1 – 2 months in this hobby.
The MST RTR has it’s place as the easiest and most budget friendly way into the hobby.
The Yokomo YD-2AC finds itself in a hard spot since it has all the drawbacks of the MST RTR at a considerably higher initial investment, as well as additional work and setup that may not be simple for the beginner. I found the instructions confusing and I needed to call on my experience to get me through. (Keep in mind, not everyone has access to online help)
RMX 2.0s vs. YD-2E or YD-2S – I like all 3 chassis and believe all are good platforms. All work great and are competitive when setup correctly. None are are my favorite, but I would take any one of them without thinking twice.
I have said this even prior to the YD-2AC being announced, I would ONLY recommend an RTR if your budget was the limiting factor of getting into the hobby or not. This means, you are limited by funds and cannot spend more to get anything nicer. I still maintain this opinion as I don’t feel paying for the RTR electronics is ever the way to go. The YD-2AC pricing to get going is so close to a kit with decent electronics, I have a hard time recommending it for anything other than if you just want a pre-built Yokomo YD-2E and are willing to pay the extra for it.
What a weekend!!! Super Drift Championship SoCal Region Round 3 is in the books! This was an amazing weekend for sure! We had 40+ competitors and all the driving was on point! As things begin to slowly open up here in SoCal and more and more people are getting the vaccine, it seems people are becoming more comfortable coming out.
We were lucky enough to have Alec and his girlfriend, Jasmine visit us all the way from Arizona to share Alec’s birthday with us! It was such an honor to be a part of their special day! Thank you guys for coming out! It made Round 3 that much more special!
A Few Changes This round we implemented a few changes which were suggested during our Special Super Drift Championship Meeting we had a couple weeks prior. We held an early Driver’s Meeting to go over the line that would be expected and scored. Normally we do this at the Driver’s Meeting just before qualifying, but this made a lot more sense. Even with 2 Driver’s Meetings there was still some confusion with someone regarding the line. Just goes to show you can’t have too much information. We also went back to our fluorescent orange markings for the Clips and Zones. Thanks for Jelani for some great suggestions at the meeting!
The Judges for the evening The judges for this round were the usual suspects. Shaine Collins (L) and Manny Campalans (R). After our Special Meeting, the competitors who attended we able to realize how the judging works here at Super-G, and most importantly, how there cannot be any bias since there are really no “Judgement” calls. All the rules for the Super Drift Championship Series are black and white. No grey area left for judgement calls. These 2 deserve a lot of credit for pushing the scene forward. Their job of being part of the judging panel makes every comp stressful work for them. They were both willing to sacrifice driving to preserve the integrity of the series. I insisted they drive, and have made it a goal of mine to spread our style of judging. Once everyone understands how it works, they will be able to make the calls before the official word is given.
Qualifying Qualifying this round was intense! We had gone with a line very similar to what we had in Round 2, but with a different start and a slightly different line. The competitors were vicious this time around! It seemed everyone stepped up their game and were in it to win it! In the end, Mikko Yang the U.S. Drift Kiing (Team ReveD / Team DStyle) threw down a blistering run and easily snagging Top Qualifier of the day! Mikko was on fire and was seriously the King of Smooth out there. Congratulations Mikko for a well deserved TQ!
Tsuiso Battles Then it was time what we had all been waiting for, the Tsuiso Battles! With 40+ competitors, we knew we were in for a treat, and they did not disappoint! The earlier battles were existing as always, but this round, the Top 8 was INSANE! These guys weren’t playing. As judges we got to observe the competitors playing and joking, but as soon as the lights started to count down, the game faces came out! It all boiled down to Nick Lepisto (Team Futaba USA / RawFew) vs. Aydin Angulo (Team Zenshin), and Alfredo Chan III (Tech 1 Drift) vs. Jason Fordyce (Team Futaba USA / RawFew).
First up was Alfredo vs. Jason for 3rd and 4th spot. It was a really close battle, but in the end it was Alfredo for 3rd place on the podium with a cleaner run!
Then it was time for the Final, Nick vs. Aydin! Both these guys were on fire all night! This had to be the most intense battle we have seen this season. Both drivers had contact cancelling them out and it was all about a OMT! The OMT was NUTS! Nick on his chase was right on Aydin’s door the entire run. This was the closest run this season! Then it was Nick’s turn to lead, and in zone 1 Aydin fell back just a bit. Nick was on a winning run, then it happened, Nick made contact right after Zone 2, giving Aydin the win! Aydin was killing it all night and definitely earned the win!
Congratulations 1st Place – Aydin Angulo (Team Zenshin), 2nd Place – Nick Lepisto (Team Futaba USA / RawFew), and 3rd Place – Alfredo Chan III (Tech 1 Drift)!
The Sportsman class was exciting as always! Great job Guys!
Congratulations 1st Place – Braxton Strickland, 2nd Place – Michael Gray, and 3rd Place – Gerald Maugeri!
Official Point Standings for the Super Drift Championship Series – SoCal Region:
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