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:
Round 2 for the SoCal Region has just passed and it was an amazing event! We started earlier this time around and it seemed to make a big difference. I wish we could start even earlier, but it seems just about everyone in SoCal works on Saturdays. For a lot of people, it’s a stretch to get here in the evening.
After a stressful couple weeks leading up to Round 2, we got our second shipment of the new DS Racing – Comp III LF-5 tires. These are the new spec tire for Super-G R/C Drift Arena. We were extremely pleased with the new tires. A little less side-bite and forward-bite, but still extremely well balanced traction. The new tires are considerably more consistent in shape and handling characteristics through different temperatures, and break-in is very quick. Some have claimed 5-10 minutes, I have found after about 5 laps they are good to go.
The judges for the event were the usual suspects, Shaine Collins and Manny Campalans alongside of myself. They did an outstanding job as always. Huge thanks going out to these guys for making it happen.
Qualifying The qualifying for Round 2 had some great runs! Even the beginners were putting down some good runs, but there were 2 that really stood out among the rest, Jason Fordyce (Team Futaba USA / RawFew) and Mikko Yang (Team ReveD / Team D-Style). Jason had pulled off TQ last round, so Mikko knew he needed to really turn up the wick this time. It was so close, we had a tie at 86 points each. We went to a single run tie-breaker. Jason put down a near perfect lap. It was really a mind blowing run! Next up was Mikko and he puts down an equally as impressive lap! Both were pulling off insane 90 deg wall-ride entries that were so close to the wall everyone was holding their breath, waiting to see that bounce that never happened.
This time around Jason turned up the intensity and went hard. Mikko answered back just as aggressively pulling off the same runs again! Unfortunately for Jason, he went a little too aggressive on his run and had some contact, giving Mikko an extremely hard fought for win and one of the most deserved TQs I think we have witnessed to date! It was nuts!
Tsuiso Battles The Expert class came down to Alan Benites (Team Zenshin), Mikko Yang (Team ReveD / Team D-Style), Alfredo Chan II (Tech 1 Drift), and Aydin Angulo (Team Zenshin) for your Top 4.
First up was Alfredo vs. Aydin battling for 3rd and 4th spot. Both put down great runs, but Aydin had some contact on his chase, giving Alfredo the win and 3rd spot on the podium!
Then it was down to Alan and Mikko. Alan was the winner of Round 1 and Mikko being TQ of the day and the US Drift King, we knew we were in for a treat! Mikko’ s lead was what was to be expected, a blistering run, with Alan hot on his door! Both drivers were well aware of what needed to be done in the next run. Alan takes the lead with Mikko on the chase! Alan puts down an amazing lead with Mikko giving him serious pressure! Then at the Scale Reflex Tire Stack (a barrier on the inside of a high-speed turn) Mikko made a very slight miscalculation and gave it a nudge. This was enough to give Alan the win, and Mikko a solid Second Place!
Congratulations to First Place – Alan (Team Zenshin), Second Place – Mikko Yang (Team ReveD / Team D-Style), and Third Place – Alfredo Chan III (Tech 1 Drift).
Sportsman Class was full of exciting battles as well! We all love watching the growth of our newer competitors as they earn their wings and become seasoned experts.
Congratulations to First Place and graduating to Expert Class – Eddie Reyes, Second Place – Dennis Hemmen, and Third Place – Jason Popp!
Round 3 SoCal Region is Saturday, April 10, 2021. See You There!!!
This past weekend we finally kicked off the Super Drift Championship 2021 Series here in SoCal. With 2020 being what it was, and 2021 still falling inline with more of the same, we were sure what to expect. I can say I was surprised and impressed all at the same time.
Since we weren’t sure what the turnout would be, we prepared for a good sized group. We set up designated driving spots around the track at 6 feet apart. We were able to get 20+ driving spots while maintaining social distancing guidelines. Everyone respected this and throughout the day we noticed the group was self-policing themselves. Everyone wore their masks and sanitized often. Great job guys!
The tires. As we approached the season opener, there was a surge of tire sales. Most likely due to tracks opening up around the nation. One of our other regions needed tires, and since we had another shipment on the way, we dipped into our stash to make it happen for them. I was tracking our shipment and it would make it to us with plenty of time to spare. As the days passed, I realized it wasn’t moving and it was stuck in Texas. I’m assuming due to the extreme weather conditions there. I contacted Jerell at Desert Hobbies and luckily he had a few sets he could sell us, but we only had a day to get them. (I was panicking). The homie Ted Britt (Team Bubblemilk / T.E.D. Totally Excellent Drifts) lives in Arizona where the tires were. I told him the situation and within hours he was picking up the tires and they were on the way to Super-G! Ted saved the day! Thanks Ted!
For those who are not aware, each of the rounds are separate competitions. Although we keep track of the points earned, they only come into play at the end of the season. So anyone can join the comps at anytime. For the SoCal Region we have 8 regionals scheduled. To qualify for the The Finals in October, you need to participate in a minimum of 6 if you want to qualify by participation. Also, each podium finisher in the Expert Class and the Regional Champion qualify as well.
The judges for the event were Shaine Collins and Manny Campalans judging along side myself. It was nice to get back at it. Huge thanks to Shaine and Manny, as anyone who has judged a comp knows how stressful it can be.
The qualifying rounds went really well and it was obvious during practice everyone knocked the cobwebs off and were back with some serious skills. Even the first timers were doing great! In the first sweeper we have a long zone that spanned the entire sweep, many had a hard time scoring full points in this area, but one person in particular nailed it! With an aggressive entry and riding the wall the entire zone, Jason Fordyce (Team Futaba USA / RawFew) landed TQ (Top Qualifier) with a blistering 95/100. Followed by Shaine Collins (Team D-Style) with a 87/100, and Aydin Angulo (Team Zenshin) with a 81/100. Congratulations to Jason Fordyce for TQ of the event!
The battles were intense for Round 1. If this is any indication of what is to come, there will be some world class drifting going on this season! Even the newer guys have stepped it up to a level that is unexpected.
The Top 4 came down to Alan Benites (Team Zenshin) and Mikko Yang (Team ReveD / Team D-Style) for 1st and 2nd, and Jason Fordyce (Team Futaba USA / RawFew) and Shaine Collins (Team D-Style) for 3rd and 4th.
First up was Jason vs Shaine. These guys threw down some amazing runs! It was really some of the best driving I have seen so far. On Shaine’s lead, he flicked extremely hard into the sweeper, but Jason was able to answer right back and was mere inches off Shaine’s door going in. Shaine’s lead was as close as you could get to a perfect lead, with Jason’s chase being about as good as a chase gets. Then it was Jason’s lead. Jason throws this HUGE initiation into the sweeper and is on the wall well before the sweeper even begins. Shaine was right on Jason’s door, but was unable to get on the wall to match Jason’s chase. The rest of Jason’s lead was as close to Shaine’s as it gets, but how Jason handled the sweeper both on his chase and lead gave him the edge, and the victory!
Then it was time for the finals, Alan vs. Mikko (The 2020 Drift King!) Both Alan and Mikko threw down some amazing lead runs. It all came down to the chases, and Alan was able to lock it down with a better chase and tighter proximity. This gave Alan the win and the lead in points for the SDC 2021 Series!
Congratulations to First Place – Alan Benites (Team Zenshin) Second Place – Mikko Yang (Team ReveD / Team D-Style) Third Place – Jason Fordyce (Team Futaba USA / RawFew)
Congratulations to Gerald Maugeri for taking the win and graduating to the Expert Class!
First Place – Gerald Maugeri Second Place – Jose Juarez Third Place – David Sissum III
Addiction does it again with another amazing body! This S15 is the Naoki Street 2020 version. Has a very aggressive street look! Comes with the realistic 3D Wrap Up Next Lenses, and TONS of accessories! We only were able to secure a small amount, grab one today:
Addiction does it again with another Pandem! This time its the infamous R35! We were able to get a small batch of them (check link below). The detail is quite nice! It even comes with WRAP UP NEXT 3D Decals for the headlights and tail lights. It really brings the body to the next level!
We can’t wait to build one of these and add it to our fleet!
Usukani for years has been one of the most under-rated manufacturers in the R/C Drift Scene. In talking to various people, it seems to stem back from when they were first getting their start a few years back. There were a couple products that just didn’t hit quite right and seems to have put some off a bit. At the same time, I have known people who own Usukani chassis, and they have always loved them. I had finally broke down and gave the PDSR-SE a chance and was instantly won over. Usukani has just released their latest version of the PDS, the PDS MIX. I grabbed one and got to building.
From everything I had seen about the PDS MIX I thought it was going to be a mid-motor version of the PDSR-SE, that ended up to not be the case. One thing I have always been told about Usukani is they are always evolving and improving. This seems to be the case, as there were a couple things I felt could be improved on the PDSR-SE, but nothing worth noting. When I started building the PDS MIX, I was pleased to see they were addressed.
The first thing I noticed was the chassis deck itself was very different than I expected. The trend recently has been ridged decks. The PDS MIX chassis was noticeably thinner than most and flexible. The rear section where the gearbox and rear suspension mount to had been cut narrow deep into the chassis itself. This reminded me of back in the CS days where people were cutting their chassis for added traction. Engineered flex, this has really sparked my interest. With the top bracing added, there is no flex front to rear, but there is noticeable twist.
The front end for the most part has not changed in regard to functionality. It’s a design that really agrees with me since I’m a fan of the no nonsense approach.
Previously the upper control arms were only supported on the front side. It never caused me any issues, but it just never felt right to me mentally. The PDS MIX addresses this with the addition of a rear supporting brace. Minimalistic, but effective. It has put my mind at ease if nothing else. They have also changed the fastening for the front lower control arm assembly. Now instead of using a through screw, they are using a notch and set screw. I believe this will eliminate the chance of it loosening over time.
I have installed the optional IFS (Inboard Front Suspension) since I have become accustom to this system from the Overdose Galm and the PDSR-SE. I have grown to prefer this type of suspension. Being able to adjust ride height independent of shock length and preload work well for me. Not to mention having the added clearance up front doesn’t hurt. The Usukani IFS works really well, so I see no drawbacks.
One of my favorite features, the adjustable servo mounting position. Quick adjustment of steering geometry.
While we are on the subject of servos, those of you who wish to use the ReveD servo may run into issues. It’s a well known fact the servo is taller and has been having issues in some chassis. The PDS MIX is one where it’s not just a drop in. It appears it can be made to work with some shims, but I’m not quite sure how well since it will lose the positioning provided with the Usukani servo mount.
The PDS MIX front steering knuckle is very light weight. It has 0, 6, and 12 degree KPI options. Note the steering stop. It is easy to adjust, light weight, and effective.
Closed gearbox with inline gears. Usukani now has a gear diff that utilizes straight gears rather than bevel gears that are traditionally used. It seems to work well, but time will tell how durable it is.
The battery holder is very light weight and effective at the same time. I am definitely a fan of this.
The PDS MIX can be configured with the motor in the high or low position, as well as many different battery placement options. This should appeal to both the high and low motor people out there. I always gravitate to the low mount (Low Center of Gravity) setups since it fits my driving style better. I can drive both ways, but always prefer low mount for some reason. I have built 2 PDS MIXs to compare, and again have found the LCG setup to my liking.
The factory supplied dampers. I will be the first to admit whenever I see sandpaper included to sand any burrs off, it’s a quick pass for me. This was no different and I jumped immediately to my personal setup to test the chassis itself. However, when it came to testing the kit as it comes, I had to take the time to build them and see for myself. The dampers are not that bad, in fact, they are very smooth and more than acceptable. There are worse aluminum dampers out there. There are small burrs that need to be removed from the side of the pistons, but if done correctly, the results are really good. It took maybe 2-4 light swipes directly on the burr itself and it was perfectly smooth. I didn’t go by sight, but by feel. If I could feel it by running my nail over it, it was still there. When it was not detectable, then I knew it was smooth. For a plastic shock, they are surprisingly good. I have no issues with them.
I have 2 setups to test, High Motor and Low Motor. I am always very partial to low motor.
For the Low Motor setup I chose the Futaba CT700 Servo, Futaba GYD550 Gyro, Futaba MC970CR ESC, Overdose/Acuvance 10.5T Motor, and paired it up with my Futaba 7PXR Remote. This is my go to setup and one I am very familiar with. For the High Motor setup I chose the same, but with a Acuvance Xarvis ESC and Acuvance Agile 10.5T.
Enough talk, so how does this thing slide?
The first thing that I noticed was there was a lot more side bite than I had expected. Not just from this chassis, but any chassis. I believe this is due to the added flex in the lower deck. I would say it is safe to assume this was the intended result from the chassis design. The LCG setup was definitely to my liking and I found myself impressed with the agility that comes with this setup. The optional IFS setup worked as it should and I found myself not wanting to stop driving since I was enjoying the feel of this chassis so much. I should disclose the setup I used was what I have come to use on the PDSR-SE and not the setup from the instructions. The testing this time around was more about how well will this chassis performs rather than how does it drive out of the box.
The HCG setup felt like the typical High Motor chassis, with the added side grip. It drives as expected and is definitely a solid chassis. For those who are accustomed to the HCG chassis, I’m sure you will feel right at home.
Overall, this chassis really agrees with me and my driving style. Coming in at just over $300, this may be the best Bang for the Buck! The necessary changes I would recommend are using different ball cups (I used Yokomo), as the Usukani ball cups leave a lot to be desired (you have been warned), and possibly dampers at some point, but not really necessary. Some may argue there are good chassis available at $100, but definitely not at this quality. Full carbon and aluminum with decent shocks and gear diff. Even at the $200 price point, you are barely getting into a plastic chassis. Since I have built the PDS MIX, quite a few people have been able to test drive it. I will just end this by saying the Usukani PDS MIX has been flying off the shelves here.
You have seen the videos, you have kind of checked a few groups on Facebook, and you have visited you local hobby shop. Now you are ready to pick up your first Drift chassis.
WAIT! DO NOT BUY ANYTHING UNTIL YOU READ THIS! Especially an AWD Chassis that “You Want to Convert”
Whatever you do, do not run out and buy what your local hobby shop tells you until you make sure they are up on the latest trends in R/C Drift. I’m not saying don’t support your local hobby shop, what I am saying is make sure you are picking up the right stuff. If they don’t have a decent supply of CURRENT R/C Drift Chassis and accessories, please do more research. It’s not like it was years ago where you buy a good touring car chassis and throw plastic tires on it. That’s not where R/C Drift is at any longer.
R/C Drift isn’t about Touring Cars with Plastic Tires R/C Drift has evolved into it’s own segment of R/C, and just like On-Road, Off-Road, Touring Car, Drag, etc. they all have their own purpose built chassis. Picking up an older AWD (All Wheel Drive) Touring Car and wanting to convert it to drift, is like picking up an Off-Road Buggy and wanting to convert it. Yes, you’ll have fun, but will you be competitive in the end? The simple answer is no, and you will live to regret your purchase. You will be left with 2 choices, buy a dedicated Drift Chassis, or quit. You may hear differently, but of all the people we have seen go this route, we have yet to see them stick with that particular chassis only.
This is for the person just getting into R/C Drift If you jump on Facebook and ask, you will get a lot of information. Like anything else, you will hear good and bad. Being a beginner, how do you know which to listen to and disregard. You really don’t. My objective here is to break it down into the simplest terms. I will try to keep it as beginner friendly as possible, saving the technical side of things for later so it doesn’t get overwhelming. We get beginners here at Super-G daily, so I understand the challenges you are facing.
Where Do I Start? The first thing you need to do is set a realistic budget. Starting is at about $400. Any less and you may want to reconsider R/C Drift. It is probably the cheapest of all the R/C disciplines to be into, but don’t mistake that with being able to do it without any type of investment.
Buying Used There is nothing wrong with buying used gear, but as with anything else in this world, you really need to know what you are buying. More times than not, the people selling used on Offer Up and Craigs List are off loading what hasn’t worked for them. For the more experienced R/C Drifter, there are some deals to be had, but for someone with little to no knowledge, there is a good chance you will be buying something you will regret sooner than you realize. From what I have seen come to our track, I really wish more people would just buy new and get something they can use. I’m not saying buy from us, I’m saying a solid foundation makes for a more enjoyable experiences. Nobody likes feeling like they threw their money away. Sadly we get people coming in telling us “This is a good one right, it’s Yokomo”. It was good about 6 years ago, but now it’s obsolete. I can’t stress this enough, You need to know what you are buying.
RTR (Ready To Run) In the RTR game right now, it seems MST has the market cornered. This looks like it will be changing soon, but at the moment, this is your only choice.
For someone just getting into R/C Drift, I would only recommend going the RTR route for 2 reasons: If your budget will only allow you spend $400ish to get in, AND you don’t see the available funds increasing in the next month or so to allow you to get a kit and separate electronics. Or you are not serious and don’t want to spend more than around $400 to get a car to drift around.
Other than that, I would strongly recommend getting a kit and better electronics. The electronics that come in the RTR kit are the very basic components to get you going, but nothing you will use to continue your journey into R/C Drift. You will replace ALL of the electronics sooner than you would like to believe. You would have basically spent $200 on electronics you will never use again.
You will find a lot of “Stuff” for sale out there. Some of the hobby shops that have been around for awhile aren’t in tune with what has changed in the R/C Drift scene in the past few years, so they might try to sell you a AWD “Drift” car. That’s not something you want to pick up. The trend for the past few years has been RWD (Rear Wheel Drive) and they are designed for R/C Drift from the ground up.
What are Low Mount, High Mount, Rear Mount Motors What is the difference and why do you care? This is something that has a lot to do with personal preference and it seems overtime people form strong opinions. What works for some doesn’t work for others. This is something you will actually need to figure out for yourself after you become a proficient driver. As a beginner in R/C Drift, none are easier or harder to drive, despite what you may hear.
Low Mount Motor Low Motor or Low Center of Gravity setups are the more traditional type. They have the motor and battery set low on the chassis. The tendency is for quicker transitions and the need to “force” the rear end to stay out.
High Mount Motor High Motor or Weight Shift setups are where the weight of the motor is put up high. It causes the weight of the motor to transfer to the outside as you transition. In theory providing more traction on the outside wheels. It has a tendency to “keep moving” once the transition has begun. At least more so than the Low Mounted Motors generally.
Rear Mount Motor Rear Motor setups can be both high and low setup. Since the weight is over the rear of the chassis, and behind the rear axles, it typically puts more weight on the rear wheels which translates into faster exit speeds. It has a tendency to have a “pendulum” effect where the rear wants to swing more and typically has slower transitions. They can handle similar to the Low and High motor setups with the correct tuning.
Again, as a beginner these probably wont make a huge difference in your driving. Most beginners adapt to what they have since they haven’t had the experience that provides them with any type of style. If you have a local track you plan to drive at, the best advice I can give is to go there and see what everyone there is driving. Having the same chassis as the majority of the people you will be driving with will make your entry into R/C Drift so much easier.
Base, Mid-Range, Fully Upgraded As you step into the chassis game, you will find there are many different options. To make it simple, you have 3 levels. Each step up gives you better performance and a good savings on the upgrades they come with. Everyone in the hobby is constantly upgrading for the most part, so if you are looking to save a bit, you should take this into consideration. Just to give you an idea, if you start with a base model YD2S and upgrade individually to a YD2SXIII, you will spend approximately $300 more than if you would have purchased the YD2SXIII initially. The mid-range kits offer a little more value and will get you started in the right direction.
Base Of the above listed chassis, the 3Racing Sakura D5 (Rear Motor), MST RMX 2.0s (Low and High Adjustable Motor), MST RRX (Rear Motor) and the Yokomo YD2E (Low Motor) and YD2S (High Motor) are your base models. These are all mostly plastic and the shocks will get you by. Most people start upgrading these chassis almost immediately. 3Racing Sakura D5 MST RMX 2.0 MST RMX 2.0 (With Body) Yokomo YD2 E Yokomo YD2 S Price Range: $100-$220
Mid-Range In the Mid-Range category we have the Yokomo YD2 E+ and YD2 S+. These come with Carbon Fiber Decks, Aluminum Shock Towers, and Upgraded Shocks. These provide better value for your money as you will save on the upgrades you will most likely do right away if you purchase the base models. The shocks they come with are the same ones that the fully upgraded models come with which is a definite plus. Yokomo YD2 S Plus Yokomo YD2 E Plus Price Range: $370-$400
Fully Upgraded The Fully Upgraded chassis are the most bang for the buck as you typically save at least 30% when compared to starting with a Base Model and doing all the upgrades. The Yokomo YD2 EXII and Yokomo YD2 SXIII are the latest Yokomo has to offer. These are basically 80% upgraded with Carbon Fiber, Aluminum Parts, Upgraded Shocks, and also include the upgraded steering system (Slide Rack) which most prefer. Also in this list is the Usukani PDS. This chassis kit is only available as a fully hopped up kit. I would recommend upgrading the shocks for the full package since the included shocks do leave something to be desired. Usukani PDSR-SE Usukani PDS-MIX Yokomo YD2 EXII Yokomo YD2 SXIII Price Range: $550-$600 (Yokomo) $350 (Usukani)
The radio system you choose will most likely follow you around through many different chassis. Most people change chassis often (once a year or more) and most people will keep their radio for 2-3 years, depending on which one they have. Once they get to the top of the line remote, they are usually content, but then again, there’s nowhere left to go. A good rule of thumb is, You get what you pay for. This isn’t more true than when it comes to your radio system.
Just remember, this is the only link between you and your car. A poor radio system can ruin the experience for you.
Entry-Level For the entry-level remotes, I would not recommend anything less than the Futaba 3PV or the Sanwa MX-V. I would go as far as to say I would not recommend any other brands. Flysky and Spektrum have been proven to be problematic and lead to issues a beginner just doesn’t need to contend with. I have seen both the Futaba and Sanwa entry-level radios on the podium here at Super-G many times. At this level, anything less and you are not saving much. You will be far better off saving that extra $50 to get one of the recommended entry-level radios listed here. Futaba 3PV Sanwa MX-V Price Range: $95-$130
Mid-Range In the mid-range category you will find the Futaba 4PM and the Sanwa MT-S. Both of these radios will have all the functions you will need in R/C Drift. The feel is typically better than the entry-level systems and work well. Futaba 4PM Sanwa MT-S Sanwa MT-44 Price Range: $290-$380
High-End The high-end radio systems are the cream of the crop. Here you will find the Futaba 7PXR and the Sanwa M-17. Both of these are extremely nice setups and have very fast reaction speeds. They can do everything you need for R/C Drift and a whole lot more. Color Touch Screens, Telemetry, and the ability to make changes to your car on the fly are just some of the extras that make the high-end radio systems worth it. Futaba 7PXR Sanwa M-17 Price Range: $550-$600
Forget what your common sense tells you. R/C Drift has been evolving and if there is one thing that confuses people just getting into it is the motors. R/C Drift is a game of traction or lack of it. So everyone is trying to milk every last bit of traction out of their tires. Imaging you are driving on ice. Do you want the fastest engine, or the most controllable? If you are just spinning your wheels as fast as you can, you will have no traction at all. Same with R/C Drift. Unless you are on carpet, then that’s a different story.
10.5T, 13.5T 10.5T and 13.5T are the most popular motors at the moment. Basically the 10.5T is a higher revving motor and the 13.5T is lower revving, but more torque. This is a preference thing, but generally the 13.5T will be less touchy and easier to control wheel speed/spin. Keep in mind, a faster motor does NOT translate to a faster car. Let me repeat that, a faster motor does NOT translate to a faster car.
Adjustable Timing The lower-end motors are usually non-adjustable timing, and the higher-end motors are usually adjustable. This means you can give the motor more or less “umph”. It allows more fine tuning and is very helpful as you progress.
This is the one place where the beginners tend to underestimate what they will ultimately want from their first setup. There are many different flavors out there, and they all have their place. The big misconception a lot of beginners have is Boost and Turbo is for advanced drivers, so they don’t need it “right now”. I would say usually in the first month or so they start asking how they can get “that sound” and they start on a mission to get an ESC with Boost and Turbo.
Boost and Turbo Boost and Turbo are the electronic method of advancing the timing on your motor. Boost works off of RPM. When your motor reaches the RPM you choose, it starts to advance your timing and makes the motor spin faster. This allows you to have a mild motor in the lower RPMs where you are trying to maximize your traction, but giving you more RPM up top when you may want to spin your wheels. Turbo is trigger activated. When you want to get that extra wheel spin, you pull full throttle and the timing will advance and you will get an instant increase in RPM. Helpful when you want to get the back out more, or hold angle but slow down. ESC’s with Boost and Turbo have their advantages and you will wish you had it if you don’t get it.
Amps Amp rating let’s you know how much the ESC can deliver. For most applications it solely based on how much the motor itself draws. In R/C Drift people run Boost and Turbo, as well as various light kits and anything else they can think of. Also, the higher the amp rating, the better they are at dissipating heat. The best way to look at it is, you can have a car that is capable of 80 mph max compared to a car that is capable of 180 mph. If you run both of them at 80 mph, the car capable of the higher speed will run cooler and with less strain. Anything over 60 amps will be fine with whatever you throw at it in R/C Drift, but it doesn’t hurt to have more.
Capacitor All ESCs come with a stock capacitor. The capacitor stores energy and can quickly discharge it when needed. So if your battery cannot discharge fast enough to supply the motor with the power needed, the motor will slow, lights will dim or flicker, and in some cases the ESC will reset or turn off. Since all the power comes from the ESC, a power-hungry servo, lights, and such can all exceed what the battery can provide. This is when you want to run an upgraded capacitor. I always run a good quality capacitor that keeps my car on for a few seconds after I unplug it. This ensures my power delivery wont be interrupted.
There are many different servos to choose from, and they all have different characteristics for the most part. Presently there are 2 different approaches, Slower moving and Quicker moving.
Slower Servo The recent trend has been for a few companies to release “Drift” servos which have a slower movement. This reduces shaking and twitchiness. Some feel Drift doesn’t need fast servos, where as others prefer being more in control of what the car is doing. Some slower servos are: Yokomo SP-02 D, SP-03 D, and the ReveD RS-ST. Presently, the ReveD RS-ST seems to be a favorite among the people who prefer the slower servo type. As a beginner, your preference will probably be determined by which servo you start out with.
Quicker Servo If you are from the old school, you will most likely feel more at home with a quicker servo. I have found for myself, when I need the servo to turn slower, I naturally turn the wheel slower to “Drive” the front wheels, but there are instances where I rely on the reaction to be snappy. I know a good amount of people who feel this way as well. So it really all depends on preference. The Quicker servos are the KO Propo RSx3 One-10 Ver. D, Savox 1251MG, Futaba CT500 (Not Released) and CT700. Again, as a beginner you will probably become accustomed to which ever you start out with.
Programable Servos The latest trend is for the servos to have the ability to be programmed (Tuned). This allows the user to change different parameters such as speed, torque, as well as many other settings. Keep in mind, each servo has it’s limits, so just because you can program them, it doesn’t mean they can all perform the same. I have found the CT700 can mimic just about all of the servos since it has such high speed and high torque, but that comes with a steep price tag. You will also need some considerable knowledge to be able to take advantage. I would suggest leaving any programming until you are really proficient at R/C Drift.
Servos are one of those things where they can be as cheap as $12 and as much as $250. Metal gear and higher torque usually means a more durable Servo. Torque above 110g and Speed faster than 11ms is about the minimum I would recommend. Servos less than $40 tend to be more problems than they are worth.
Yes you need one. The gyro is one of the main components that will affect the way your car drives. There are a few different options, but again as a beginner, as long as it works well, you should be good to go. Not all Gyros are built the same, so it’s not as simple as just picking the best looking one and going for it.
Entry-Level The earlier Gyros were very basic in the way they work. They are preset to keep you from spinning and you add more or less as needed. A lot has changed from the days of this type of Gyro, but there is really nothing wrong with them. There are better performing options out there now days, but as a beginner these will get you going. The D-Like Gyro (Both metal and plastic housing) and the Yokomo YG-302 seem to bet the standard. There are other branded versions of these same Gyros with little to no difference in performance from what I have found. None of these have End Point Adjustment with makes them entry-level. Onisiki High Stability Gyro D-Like DL159 D-Like Premium DL182 Yokomo YG-302 Price Range: $40-$75
Mid-Range The Mid-Range Gyros are the generation where they introduced Endpoint Adjustment. This means the Gyro wont try to slam your servo to 100% left or right every time it feels the need to do so. Now you set where the Gyro will stop. This also allows the Gyro to operate in the correct range. Some of these mid-range gyros also have different modes such as Assist or ACVS mode. This is a different type of mode and a different style of driving. Some recommend that for beginners, others say to stay away from it, yet even other seasoned drivers use it. So you need to decide for yourself. The KO Propo KGX, Yokomo V.4, and the Futaba GYD450 are all popular Gyros. Power HD G1 Yokomo V.4 (Black)V.4 (Red)V.4 (Purple) KO Propo KG-X Price Range: $50-$75
High-End Recently Futaba released their GYD550 Gyro. This gyro has created its own class since it has put the ability to program just about every parameter into the users hands. To take it a step further, Futaba made it programable from your remote, as long as you are using Futaba’s 7PX or 7PXR. I would not recommend this as it is a advanced option and without knowledge of what you would want, this will no doubt create issues for any beginner. I am simply listing this so I can say this is something you may consider in the future, but as a beginner should be passed for now. Futaba GYD550 Price Range: $130
For the beginner I recommend something in the Mid-Range area. Yokomo V.4 or Futaba GYD450 are great choices. The KO Propo KGX is a little more of an advanced Gyro, but still falls into the same category.
Conclusion In the world of R/C Drift, there are as many variables as there are opinions. The needs of a beginner are a little more in-depth than just what is the best? As with any hobby there are entry-level to super advanced options. Sometimes it’s not the best route to get everything high-end since sometimes it takes experience to be able to utilize what the advanced equipment has to offer. There are a lot of times we see beginners leading beginners and taking them down the wrong path with them, and as a beginner it’s almost impossible to know who really knows and who doesn’t. The purpose behind this article is to try to give the beginner some sort of understanding of what they are getting into and not blindly trying to sort their way through all the accurate and not so accurate information floating around out there. The quickest way to become discouraged is to buy a bunch of equipment, only to find out you need to scrap it and start over.
SEE YOU ON THE TRACK!!!
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