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.
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.
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.
You can scroll down to the bottom for the Quick and Dirty Buyers Guide. For those who don’t care to read and learn, but just want to know what to buy. The very bottom has a link for preconfigured packages which make it even easier.
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 recent months the RTR game has changed. Up until then, MST had the RTR game on lock with the RMX 2.0 RTR. Now Yokomo has entered the RTR game with the YD2RTR. These companies took different approaches to the RTR game. I still stand behind my original thoughts on RTRs, but I will elaborate on them in a bit.
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.
Ok, so you read that and you still feel the RTR route is the path for you. Let’s look at the differences between the two:
MST RMX 2.0 RTR MST has taken the approach of providing a TRUE Ready To Run solution. They test each and every chassis to confirm it works correctly before it gets packaged and shipped. (Tires all show wear as proof it was tested) It works well right out the box, but with some limitations. MST uses solid links for all the tie-rods. This ensures it will stay in the correct alignment and will work correctly after taking hit after hit which is common with someone just starting out. Once you get to the point where you want to start adjusting your alignment, you will need to purchase a turnbuckle kit. It’s around $20ish. The electronics leave a lot to be desired, so just know the electronics will only get you by for a short amount of time. Upgrading one component usually leads to upgrading everything. (Just be aware) The great thing about the MST RMX 2.0 RTR is it comes complete with body, wheels and tires. The only thing needed is a battery and charger and you are good to go. TRUE COST TO GET UP AND RUNNING $379 Kit $50.00 (Or more) Battery/Charger $430 TOTAL
Yokokmo YD2 AC (Assembled Chassis) Yokomo has taken a different approach to the RTR game. With the YD2 AC, you are basically purchasing a YD2E which has been pre-assembled. From our findings, it ships assembled, but definitely not tested and the quality control does leave a lot to be desired. We have found a multitude of assembly errors, from upside down arms, shocks not built evenly, gears not even touching, and generally not put together in a drivable condition. That is not to say it’s a bad car, it just NEEDS some cleanup and adjustment/tuning. If you are looking to bypass the building process, Yokomo has provided this, but you will still need some know-how to get it driving well. It comes with turnbuckles, so you will be able to adjust your suspension without any additional purchases. With the Yokomo YD2 AC, the supplied battery and charger are literally just a throw in. I would use it to try the car, but if you want to do any more than just mess around in your living room, I would say a LiPo Battery and Charger are a necessity. The supplied battery and charger are literally obsolete technology, and I don’t even know if you can still purchase those types any longer. The rest of the electronics are about equal to the MST offerings. One huge difference between the Yokomo and the MST RTRs, Yokomo does NOT come with a Body or Wheels and Tires. The benefit, you choose what you want to run. The downside, You still need to paint the body, choose wheels, and figure out tires. Not to mention the additional cost. TRUE COST TO GET UP AND RUNNING $389 Kit $50.00 (Or more) Battery/Charger $110.00 Body/paint/wheels/tires $549.00 TOTAL
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!!!
The Quick and Dirty For those who don’t want to research, but want to know what to get. This is for you!
3 Racing recently hit the scene with their latest offering, the Sakura D5. People quickly began building them and seemed to be really happy with the performance right out of the box. Coming in at what is the cheapest price point for any hobby grade chassis, we quickly saw the D5 become the recommended chassis for anyone inquiring about which chassis a beginner should get. From our experience, initial price shouldn’t be the only consideration, and possibly not even the main consideration, so I decided to build one and see if I would recommend it as eagerly as I have been witnessing over the past month or so.
At the price of just over $100 USD, it’s hard to argue this chassis isn’t a smoking deal. At the same time, the cheapest price doesn’t always coincide with the best deal. I decided to step away from my typical build style and venture into the more budget-minded approach. I chose to go with what I would recommend as a good starting point. Decent servo, mid-grade gyro, motor with adjustable timing, and a ESC (electronic speed control) capable of boost and turbo. This isn’t the cheapest stuff I could find, but more about getting some good performance without going all high-end.
The Kit The kit itself is as good as any other kit. Nothing really stands out to me one way or the other. For someone building a kit for the first time, I can definitely recommend it. The parts are well sorted, instructions are clear and straight forward, and there was nothing difficult.
Quality There are a few areas where I found myself very conflicted. The quality of the D5 kit doesn’t appear to be all that bad, especially when you consider how much heft you still have in your wallet. As I was building the D5 I found myself constantly thinking, “This isn’t bad”. When I think back, I feel I should have been thinking, “This isn’t bad FOR THE PRICE”, because I don’t think I would be thinking this if I had paid the same as a YD2, RMX, or any other hobby grade chassis. I still have to say, it’s not bad.
3 Racing has an interesting design here with the rear lower control arms. I wasn’t quite sure what the reasoning was behind it, but as I’m sitting here writing this, I don’t think it was for any type of weight savings. When compared to an all plastic control arm, I feel the added screws would put these over on the weight. I can’t be certain at the moment, but I can’t see it being weight savings.
As the chassis started coming together, I was able to really see what I was working with. For the beginner, the fiberglass chassis will look great. It has a nice shape to it and resembles what most other chassis look like. It’s not bad, but again this is not a high-end chassis either.
The completed chassis looks pretty good appearance wise. The cantilever front suspension isn’t bad. Being the decks themselves are fiberglass rather than carbon allows it to have a good amount of flex. The shocks went together better than expected for a kit of this price.
If I had any one complaint, I would say I don’t care for the gear box. I feel the gears are a little rough and a bit loud.
With the motor in place, the weight seems to be a little far back for my taste. Again, it’s not bad for the price.
The Test Build For the Sakura D5 I have chosen: Savox Black Edition Servo, Yokomo V.4 Gyro, Hobbywing XR10 Pro 60 amp ESC, and a Yokomo Zero 2 13.5T motor. Everything was built to stock spec and the only thing I changed were the wheels and tires since I was going to be testing it here at Super-G and we require DS Racing FFFF Zero Mark II tires.
How Does It Perform Taking the price into consideration, it drives fantastic! How is it compared to the other offerings? It’s decent. With out of the box settings, it drives. With a little tuning, it actually is surprisingly good.
So Is It Really Is “The Best” For The Beginners? Now I didn’t say that. Since we deal with a lot of first timers, we are very familiar with the struggles they face. I think the best way to look at it is to break it down into a few different categories.
RTR The RTR (Ready To Run) at the moment is only offered by MST with the RMX RTR. It comes fully built with electronics. The electronics from start to end are all Entry Level and if you want to continue with the hobby, you will need to upgrade ALL OF THE ELECTRONICS. However, the RTR RMX chassis is the same chassis as you would get with the RMX 2.0s Kit with a few small differences, but overall is a chassis that can grow with you. Price: $350 approx.
Sakura D5 with Mid-Grade Electronics The Sakura D5 chassis comes as a kit. I always recommend anyone wanting to get into R/C in general to build the kit themselves. It teaches them a lot and you can always make the repairs you will absolutely need to make regardless of what car you have.
As I have tested the D5, it has Mid-Grade Electronics that can carry over into any chassis you may upgrade to in the future. This eliminates the downfall of the RTR in my opinion. So the money spent on the electronics is not wasted. The chassis on the other hand is another story.
The D5 chassis is inexpensive ($120ish) and does work out of the box. HOWEVER, none of the components are anything I would be wanting to take with me on my R/C Drift Journey. At least at the time I am writing this, there are really no upgrades available. So you get what you get. I feel the D5 is a great chassis for the price. I stress, for the price. However, I’m not a huge fan of the gearbox or any of the components for that matter. If you drop $100 into any upgrades, you could have spent the initial $120 toward a YD2 or RMX and would be continuing down a path toward a top quality chassis.
I believe $120 as an initial investment in the chassis is not a bad way to go. The reason I chose to test with the mid-grade electronics and not the RTR equivalent is I feel there would be no point to going that route, and would ultimately be a worse route than the RTR. With the mid-grade electronics, it’s not a bad way to go and gets you in with a minimum investment. You can easily slide into a better quality chassis and your electronics will still be sufficient. Price: $520 approx.
Yokomo YD2 or MST RMX 2.0s with Mid-Grade Electronics If you decide to purchase what most would consider the Entry Level Yokomo or MST chassis, you would get the YD2E or YD2S, or the MST 2.0s chassis. These are priced about $100 more than the Sakura D5, but are proven chassis and are very capable in their stock form. Their components will carry throughout the time you stick with any of these chassis, and all can be upgraded to fully upgraded versions of the respective chassis. This has been my recommendation to anyone just trying to get into R/C Drift since it is ultimately the most budget friendly route. Each component in this equation ends up being a stepping stone or investment toward a fully hopped up setup with nothing needing immediate upgrades. Price: $620 approx.
Conclusion The 3Racing Sakura D5 isn’t a bad chassis for the price. It works well and for most of us with multiple chassis, time into the hobby, and tuning tricks up our sleeves, it’s a great additional chassis. It’s fun, it works, and it’s affordable. It has strong rear motor characteristics, and the build quality isn’t the best. It can be tuned to be a real performer, so overall it’s a winner. I can say it’s definitely a fun chassis.
So the big question, is it the “Best” chassis for the person just getting into the hobby with no prior experience? I don’t think I can say it’s the best route, but it’s an optional route, and not a terrible one at that. It now gives that middle tier between the RTR and the base models with the mid-grade electronics.
In my opinion it’s pretty clear now, if you are looking to get into the hobby, (not just try it out) while spending the least amount possible. Based on being new and on a budget:
Recommended Starting Point: Mid-Grade Electronics with either a Yokomo YD2E or YD2S, or MST RMX 2.0sPrice: $620 approx.
Second Best: Mid-Grade Electronics with a Sakura D5 Price $520 approx. Total cost to get to “Recommended Starting Point” $720 approx. Parts needed = New Chassis such as YD2 or RMX
Most Affordable Starting Point: MST RTR RMX 2.0 Price $350 approx. Total cost to get to “Best Starting Point” $800+ approx. Parts needed = Servo, Gyro, Esc, Motor, Radio System, Misc. chassis parts.
Keep in mind, this is only my personal recommendation for someone basing their initial purchase on budget. There are many other aspects to take into consideration if initial cost isn’t a huge factor. This is all based on the experience I have had with people just getting into the hobby.
MST (Max Speed Technology) has been offering the RMX 2.0 in a RTR (Ready To Run) package. What does this mean, and is it for you?
Over the past few years, we have sold many MST RMX 2.0 RTRs, as well as the RMX 2.0s, Yokomo YD2, Overdose Galm, and other kits. Since we also have a track here at Super-G with plenty of traffic, we are in the unique position to be able to observe how certain products are used and what kind of longevity people get from their various components. This knowledge has proven invaluable time and time again. The RMX 2.0 RTR is no exception. As always, I will give it to you straight.
Is the RMX 2.0 RTR the same chassis as the Kit Version RMX 2.0s? The short answer is yes. The more accurate answer is, it can be.
What most people will tell you is, the RMX 2.0 RTR is the cheapest way to get into R/C Drift. It can be upgraded to run with the best of the best, and the electronics aren’t the best, but they will get you going. All this is true, but in my opinion doesn’t tell the entire story. Read on.
Here is my complete answer on the RMX 2.0 RTR: The RTR setup is the cheapest way to get into RC Drift for about the first month. As soon as you start upgrading, (which you will most likely start doing within the first month or so) you will start to break even with piecing a kit together (Kit Version with electronics purchased separately). So if you are on a strict budget and want to get started at the price of the RTR, then that really is your only option and there is nothing wrong with that. If you and your buddies are going to bash around in a parking lot or garage, there’s nothing wrong with the RTR. Just be aware piecing a setup together is generally a couple hundred dollars more on the lower end, but will end up costing less in the first couple months on average from what I have seen. You will also have some options, so you can choose where to spend a little extra if you want.
The Differences: Although the chassis itself IS the same and MOST of the components are shared between both the RTR and the Kit, they are not outfitted exactly the same.
The first difference you will find, if you want to adjust the toe on your steering, or camber front and/or rear, the RTR has Solid Links. This means you need to buy turnbuckles to adjust anything. The kit comes with turnbuckles stock.
The next difference you will find is the RTR comes with a Spool (Solid Axle) In some cases people prefer running a spool, but for the most part the Ball Diff is more desirable and comes stock on the kit. In addition, when you find you need to change the bevel gears inside the gearbox, the arbor that holds the bevel gear is also different and must be changed at this time as well.
The RTR comes with KPI Knuckles (King Pin Inclination) vs. Standard Knuckles (Straight) on the kit. I’m not sure why, but that’s how they have been coming. Not better or worse, but definitely different. If this is your first Drift Chassis, you’re not going to care at this point.
The RTR and the kit also come with different springs. Again, not better or worse, but they are different.
Once you upgrade these components, the RTR is now at the level of the Box Stock RMX 2.0s kit. You have also taken apart the most complicated part of the RMX chassis, the gearbox, so if you bought the RTR to avoid building the kit, you have basically done it at this point.
Electronics – RTR vs. Separate Components: “These will be good enough, right? I mean, I’m not a pro or anything right now. I can upgrade them later, right?” This is the what we hear often. The full answer is, yes, they are good enough to get you going. All the electronics are entry-level and you can use them to learn and have fun, but you will want to upgrade all the electronics eventually. Usually sooner than later from what we have seen.
Servo – The one provided with the RTR is very entry-level. It turns the wheels and is actually useable, but leaves a lot of room for improvement. When upgrading to even a mid-grade servo a lot of improvement in steering and response is noticed. It is also not very rugged, so if you are hitting things often, expect to be changing this out soon.
Gyro – The one provided with the RTR again is very entry-level. It keeps you from spinning and will get you going in the RWD game, but it does leave a lot to be desired. It seems the single most noticeable upgrade is the Gyro, followed closely by the Servo. It’s so close many would say the opposite is true. It tends to have issues losing center sometimes, and often is a bit shaky. Even the available low-end gyros seem to be a decent improvement.
ESC and Motor – Although the ESC and Motor combo that comes with the RTR will get you going, it’s not a sensored setup. It is a pretty low power setup but allows you to get a good feel for what is going on. It’s smooth for an unsensored motor and ESC, but you’re not going to be upgrading one without the other. Again, this is an entry-level setup, so this leaves a lot of room for improvement. A side note: If you run an upgraded servo, you may find it draws too much current for this ESC, so you will need to run a Glitch Buster on your receiver to eliminate some very erratic behavior.
Radio (Remote) – The one provided with the RTR is specifically made for this purpose. Getting a good name brand remote is essential to making your R/C experience a good one. You don’t need the top of the line, but even the lower end radios from Futaba and Sanwa run circles on the RTR remote. As with everything listed here, the RTR remote will get you up and running, but you are going to want to upgrade pretty quickly.
What is the benefit of separate electronics? The simple answer is, ALL the RTR electronics that are included are aimed at the beginner with the sole purpose of getting you started at the lowest price possible. Separate electronics will allow you to choose better quality and better performing electronics, rather than purchasing the RTR electronics and then paying again for the replacement.
We have broken down the electronics into 3 different categories in the attempt to simplify what can be confusing to someone just getting into the hobby.
Keep in mind, base kits are as follows: MST RMX 2.0s – $180 approx. Yokomo YD2E – $199 approx. Yokomo YD2S – $199 approx. Overdose Galm – $349 approx.
The above listed also need electronics added
Minimum Recommended – $360 approx.: Radio – Entry Level from Futaba/Sanwa Servo – Mid-Grade Metal gear, High-Speed Gyro – Basic (No End Point Adjustment) Motor/ESC – 60amp Sensored w/ Boost and Turbo
This type of setup is sufficient to be competitive and covers all the basic functions. It is upgrade friendly. This means you can upgrade any of your components without any issues from the others. Upgrading any of these at the time of purchase is recommended, but not necessary. Each component is slightly more with the exception of the radio which is a decent sized difference in cost.
Ideal Level – $800 approx.: Radio – Futaba 4PM or equivelent Servo – Mid to High-Grade KO Propo, Yokomo, Futaba, etc. Gyro – New Generation with End Point Adjustment Motor/ESC – 120 amp, Sensored, w/ Boost and Turbo
At this level you have full adjustability and have access to the latest technology. Adjustable curves for steering and throttle (If you use that), and the ability to run hotter motors without maxing out the ESC capabilities. At this level, many choose to substitute items from the Professional Level List. Some items are shared between the two and these lists are just a guide to be used as examples.
Professional Level – $1000+ : Radio – Futaba 7PX / Sanwa M17 (Top of the line models) Servo – Programable / High-Speed / High-Torque, Futaba CT700, Reve D, Yokomo 003, etc. Gyro – KO Propo KGX, Yokomo V4 (Fully adjustable) Motor/ESC – 160-180 amp, Sensored, w/ Boost and Turbo
At the professional level, this the pinnacle of performance. You have full control over just about everything. On the servo you can program speed, torque, holding force, etc. The gyro allows different modes, how much or how little the gyro assists, and endpoints. The ESC is typically smoother with more adjustment. The radio interface and feel is just a lot nicer all around. The high-end radios also allow you to adjust more than just your basics, but the real difference is in the look and feel. Some will argue there is better response as well. Regardless, a High-End Radio just makes the entire experience better.
Final Thoughts: The bottom line is, the MST RMX RTR is aimed at the beginner or someone looking to get into R/C Drift at the most budget friendly price point at the time of purchase. It is NOT the cheapest after you start upgrading (and you will), and ends up being one of the more expensive routes to being fully upgraded. (Difference of about $200 at the end of the day)
Only you know your situation and what you truly value. If you are the type to be content with what you have for a good amount of time, or you are ok to spend a little more in the long run to be able to test R/C Drift to see if it’s for you, then the RTR can be a good choice.
However, if you are the type to upgrade right away, and know you will eventually be upgrading everything, I would strongly suggest taking a look at the other options. If your goal is to be fully hopped up in the end, there are more economical routes. As stated in the opening, It is the cheapest option for about the first month, then the upgrades start coming. Again, only you know what is best for you.
Last, I feel I must also say many of us change even the best equipment often. So it’s not a buy right, buy once type of hobby. For many, it’s buy and buy again and again.
The best advise I can give is, just be honest with yourself. Who cares what others think. In the end it’s your money. I just hope this clarifies things a bit and can help you make the best decision for yourself.
As many of you know, Super-G R/C Drift Arena made the decision to move to a new Spec Tire around a month ago. We know this is a big decision and it’s something to be taken seriously.
This decision was met with some resistance from a few people at our track, but for the most part people understood the reason for the change. Basically, we felt our previous Spec Tire was getting too fast. Yes, it’s a broad statement, but best describes the issue. To expand on that thought, the type of traction they provide was now making our competitions and sessions more of a point to point drag race. The tires themselves did not gain more traction, the tune and driving style just exploited a traction characteristic of that particular tire, so it was time to change. This has happened almost every year since we have opened, so we had been looking for an alternative even before it became any type of issue. Even now, we have a few tires as contenders for our next spec tire.
The difference between our old spec and new is subtle, but definitely what we were/are after. Our findings (Only what we are finding at Super-G) are as follows: Less Forward Bite: Forward bite was the main characteristic that was causing concern on our previous spec. This issue is 2-fold and the main contributor to the style of driving we were seeing. With a higher level of forward bite, it promotes darting out of the corners and trying to get to the next as fast as possible. At the same time, a low speed, high angle drift becomes “less fun” since you need to grab a ton of throttle, or grip up and straighten or dive shallow. Indirectly, more forward bite promotes shallow angle drifts when compared to a tire with less. (Of course everyone CAN grab a ton of throttle to get that high angle and low speed drift such as in a competition when chasing a slower car, but this doesn’t happen naturally and nobody will drive this way all the time. When the natural speed of a tire becomes too fast, for us it is time to change.)
Some have argued they can “hang” with the new spec, even though it has less forward bite. When put to the test, they needed to run shallow angle with minimal wheel spin to keep up. If you enjoy driving with shallow angle and minimal wheel spin to make a point, sure, why not. The reality is, if you continue to drive the same as you have before the change, not trying to prove a point, everything slows down a bit, lines become smoother, angle becomes more consistent.
Less Sideways Bite: The new spec has less sideways bite which has promoted more angle, more consistent proximity, and smoother transitions.
It also has exposed improper tuning which was being masked by an overall grippier tire. Chassis which were tuned to barely get by are now experiencing some issues of spinning or not being able to initiate a drift correctly. In my opinion this is a good thing since it allows the opportunity for the newer guys to grow. Upping your tuning game is never a bad thing. As expected, we have witnessed the veteran guys helping the beginners get dialed.
Our Experience: Ever since we opened doors here at Super-G, the tire chase has been real. I will be the first to admit I thought it was ridiculous that everyone tunes to be faster, so we change tires to slow down. Then the process starts all over again. My argument which I strongly believed in was, it was not a tire issue, but rather an issue of the people always trying to be faster. We tried to get people to just not drive as fast, or slow down and change their style of driving or tune, but it NEVER worked. You end up with that ONE guy who drives fast, and the next thing you know, EVERYONE is going fast again. It’s the nature of the beast. I finally needed to let my original beliefs go, and just accept the fact that it will always be like that. Tuning styles change, technology changes, chassis designs change, etc. It’s all in pursuit of better and more efficient performance and gaining as much traction from what little we have.
We have found the DS Racing FFFF Zero Mark II to be what works at the moment here at Super-G. It is giving us a very consistent slide with enough forward bite to get us going, but not so much where it’s promoting a drag race out of every corner. Someone brought up the point that when they are new (not worn in) they have some imperfections. We are aware of this, but once they are worn in, they perform as any other tire we have used. This is a case of compound/performance over appearance. They also have a longer break-in period. Our previous spec tire took about 15 minutes to break-in, our new spec is closer to 45 minutes. This is to be expected with a harder compound tire.
Results After 1 Month: The speeds and driving style has shifted from trying to be as fast as possible to more emphasis on clean driving and style. We are still seeing some good top speed on the straight, but it takes more skill to navigate the sweeper at the end. We are seeing more angle, better proximity, and smoother driving overall. The feedback has been great and our customers have really taken a liking to the new spec. We are very pleased with the tire choice and results.
In conclusion, we hope everyone understands we are not saying Tire A is better than Tire B. For us it’s a matter of which compound works best for us. For this round we tested over 15 (Maybe more) different tire compounds before deciding. For anyone doubting the evolution of the speed of chassis and tuning, throw on a set of MST Gold Dots and give it a try. This was our spec tire before DRCs. The current round of chassis raised the average speed and forced the switch to a slower tire. Every tire has it’s strengths and weaknesses, but if we never took the step forward and changed tires, we would still be running on T-Drifts.
In this article we will show you how to fine tune the new curved slide rack for our award winning YD-2 drift chassis series. Team YOKOMO developed a slide rack that gives optimal steering characteristics using the latest drift settings. As well as the arc movement of the rack, giving better Ackerman control and feel, it is mounted at an angle that matches the movement of the suspension, helping to almost eliminate bump steer. We have only just released it and already it has earned high praise from many drivers over a short period of time.
It will be installed as standard on the new drift chassis kit the “YD-2SX II” which will be on sale soon.
Y2-202 SRE Curve slide rack set for YD-2E series ¥ 17,600 (excluding tax)
Y2-202 SRS YD-2S Series Curved Slide Rack Set ¥ 14,200 (excluding tax)
The movement of the steering rack is adjusted by rotating the bearings on the supporting rail and the bearing posts are an eccentric cam design. Here we will inform you of some helpful tips to further improve the new steering racks accuracy. We recommend assembling the slide rack itself but leave the bearings and posts loosely to begin with. Please ensure the adjustable bearing posts are temporarily tightened in this position.
There is a mark on the head of each bearing post that are made into an eccentric cam, the side with this mark is thickest and the clearance becomes tight if you turn the mark toward the rail side. Since the clearance is fully open in the image above, first rotate the posts B and C and tighten the screws so that the mark is closest to the rail. If B and C are not symmetrical, a left and right difference will occur in the movement of the rail, so be sure they are symmetrical.
Finally post A needs to be adjusted to remove any additional play. From here, gradually rotate the A post to take up the play, but please operate the rail by hand before and after adjustment to check that the movement is still smooth on the bearings, if it’s set too tight it will damage the bearings and the rack. Although our manufacturing tolerances are the closest they can be the adjustment range may differ and it’s possible to have slight differences in the parts. Most of the time the position of the posts on the top image is the optimal position for the slide rack. After a while the clearance may change due to dust ingress and wear. Metals also expand slightly with changes in temperature, so before driving your chassis we recommend removing the servo link and confirm that it still works perfectly with no binding or excessive play. The bearings we use are of the highest quality and will work for many cycles if set correctly with no binding. Adjustment of the bearing posts can take a lot of play from the front and back of the rail but there is also a slight clearance in the vertical direction. This is there to ensure that your new steering rack operates smoothly right away and does not cause premature wear of the aluminium or carbon parts.
The image above is from the side of the slide rack, since the thickness of the aluminum rail is larger than the thickness of the bearing, there is a slight clearance above the bearing. This is there to absorb any individual differences of parts etc. but if when you assemble the steering and find there is a lot of play you can also remove any up and down play if you require. Simply add a shim between the bearings on the posts to reduce the clearance until any play has gone. Once you have done the following please check the movement is still smooth and be aware that decreasing the clearance may have a negative effect on the wear rate of parts or cause binding if it is done incorrectly.
The shim we recommend is 4.0mm ID stainless steel precision cut (ZC-S40S 450), 0.05mm, 0.1mm, 0.2mm thick shims supplied as a set. Team yokomo measured many different parts and found the thickness of the rail was about 6.0mm and the thickness of the two bearings was around 5.9 mm, so theoretically there is no clearance when using a 0.1 mm shim. We suggest to try using a 0.1 mm shim first and check if this is good with less free play.
The response of the steering will change by adjusting the slide rack to have minimal play. In some extreme cases the gyro can over compensate (malfunction) if there is excessive play in the steering affecting the stability and feel of the chassis. We believe careful assembly will lead to better chassis performance.
Please also remember the tolerances inside the bearings can change, especially with precision parts adjusted to give optimum performance this makes it difficult to keep smooth without any play at all. For future maintenance and smooth operation please check the steering regularly for any binding.
Being a shop that sells R/C Drift exclusively, we get a lot people asking which chassis would be the best for them. Since most of this happens in store, we have the opportunity to break it down for them while taking a few factors into account. It’s a little more difficult when we see this same question posted online due to many factors. There is a lot of great advice out there, and there is a lot of bad advice as well. It’s up to you to decide which is credible and which is not. In fact, you should be asking yourself if I am even credible.
We encounter a few different types of buyers and each come with their own unique needs. What we first tell them is, they really need to be honest with themselves. The decision they make on their first setup can greatly affect the amount they spend in the long run. I believe right from the start, the first thing that should be looked at is what type of person are you? Are you the type that is content with just good enough, or are you the type to want all the good stuff? I fall into the later and ultimately could have saved quite a bit if I made the right choice at the start. If you are the type that will have everything upgraded in the next month or two, you should consider the kits that include some hop-ups already. You will save roughly 30% off your upgrade journey.
Although choosing the right chassis seems like a life decision, keep in mind most people seem to change chassis about once a year. Some keep them longer, some have multiple chassis throughout the year, but on average it seems to cycle around the 1 year mark.
If you are new to R/C Drift, (notice I worded it R/C Drift, NOT just R/C) Most likely even your past R/C knowledge will not be enough to get you where you want to be right away. R/C Drift is a different animal than any other discipline of R/C, so it’s not easy to just start out and be the superstar of the track. The main point I always stress is:
Find out what people are running where you plan to spend most of your time drifting, and go that route. There will be a ton of help and you will spend more time drifting, and less time being frustrated. You Will Need Help.
There is plenty of time to be unique later with the ultra rare chassis, but when you are first starting out, it will benefit you to be able to share tips and setups.
When choosing your first R/C Drift chassis, you will hear a ton of advice. Some good and some really bad. Some of the common, bad ones we often come across are:
1. Any chassis can be good. Yes and No.
YES – If you REALLY know what you are doing, AND you are ok throwing a bunch of money at it. NO – If both of those statements don’t apply to you. If you’re just starting out, this is a huge NO!
We have seen many people make their initial investment in a difficult chassis, struggle alone since there is nobody familiar with their chassis or how to set it up, and finally just disappear and blow out their full setup on Craigslist.
2. The clones are just as good, just cost less. NO – We have yet to see a good performing clone, Period.
Just don’t. Maybe later down the line when you are well versed in turning and you know exactly what you are after, then try to tackle a project like this, but for now, focus on a good, solid foundation.
Ready To Run (RTR)
Aimed toward the person who needs an entire setup. They don’t own a remote, electronics, etc. They are also trying to start out on a budget of sub $500.
The only RTR we can recommend at this time is the MST RMX 2.0 RTR.
Things to consider:
This is intended to get you going in R/C Drift. The chassis itself is the same as the regular RMX 2.0, with only a couple small differences that can be changed to be the same for a $50-$100.
It comes pre-built and tested from the factory. This means you don’t need to worry about all the small details of setting it up correctly. you just pull it out of the box and you are good to go. The tires even have a little wear on them from the test run at MST.
It comes pre-built, so you didn’t build it yourself. This means when something goes wrong (and it will), you will need to learn how to fix it. If you built it yourself, you would already be familiar with how the car works and goes together.
The RTR electronics are meant to just get you going. There are a lot of electronics out there that are better quality and more pricy. There is a reason why people are willing the drop the extra cash on them. The electronics included will get you up and going, but you will be upgrading soon. This is a key point.
You are not really saving money, you are just able to get started for a lower initial investment. It is the cheapest way to get into the hobby.
Base Kits: Yokomo YD-2E and YD-2S MST RMX 2.0s These chassis kits come in “kit” form. This means you build it yourself. We always recommend this route since knowing how it all goes together is invaluable. You will need to fix it on occasion, so either you become an expert from the start, or you struggle every time something goes wrong. All 3 are mainly plastic and are considered Entry Level. All 3 drive excellent out of the box and all 3 can be fully upgraded. Also note, these are all very capable chassis out of the box. That’s not to say the upgrades aren’t needed or don’t make a difference, because they do. It simply means in the right hands, there is no reason you wouldn’t see these very chassis on the podium at your local comp.
Yokomo YD-2E and YD-2S:
Yokomo is the larger of the 2 companies and as of recent, have really been pushing the development of their YD-2 line. They have been steadily releasing new upgrades. Some feel it’s too often, some like the innovation. The YD-2 line also has a lot of 3rd party support, but keep in mind, not all the 3rd party products are good or even tested. We have seen a lot of “upgrades” actually hurt performance. So buyer beware. If you like constantly changing and upgrading parts, Yokomo is really the clear choice of the two companies I am discussing.
Based on the original YD-2 design, it has a Low Center of Gravity (LCG) setup, with a standard gearbox and a low mounted motor. It was intended for standard to high-traction conditions.
It has introduced a tub style chassis and lay-down gearbox. The lay-down gearbox mounts the motor high, High Center of Gravity (HCG) giving it more “Weight Shift” and theoretically more traction for standard to low-traction conditions.
MST (Max Speed Technology) RMX 2.0s:
MST has been a player for a long time and has always put out high quality products. There is not a lot of 3rd party support, but MST always brings upgrades that work really well. They designed the chassis, they design the upgrades, it’s a winning combination. Their upgrades are some of the nicest I’ve seen, but typically come with a price tag to match. If you like upgrading once and sticking with it, MST is the way to go. They typically will release a couple versions of . upgrades, and then they move on. You can count on their upgrades making a difference and also being top quality.
In my opinion the RMX 2.0s was MST’s answer to Yokomo’s YD-2. The YD-2 S appears to be Yokomo’s answer to the RMX 2.0s. The RMX 2.0s comes with a bevel gear gearbox giving it a more compact design. It also allows you to chose between mounting the motor high or low, giving you a High Center of Gravity (HCG) and a Low Center of Gravity (LCG) setup in one chassis. It’s nice to be able to experiment and find what fits your driving style without having to commit to an entirely different chassis.
This is based on the many customers who come through our doors here at Super-G. We have worked with many people who have gone about this in so many different ways. We would just like to save you guys the frustration if possible.
For someone just getting into the hobby, the Yokomo YD-2 line and the MST RMX 2.0s are the leading choices. These are the most popular Rear Wheel Drive chassis with the most support and knowledge at the moment. I own both and can recommend them both very highly.
If you stick to these 3 or the upgraded versions, you will be on your way with a solid chassis. What you do from there is up to you, but you can feel confident it’s not your chassis holding you back. GOOD LUCK! KEEP DRIFT FUN!