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.
There’s quite a few of us who have been waiting for Futaba to drop their latest servo. In the past few years, Futaba has been making some serious waves in the R/C Drift Scene. When I think of the top electronics for R/C Drift, the Futaba 7PXR Remote, the Futaba GYD-550 Gyro, and the Futaba HPS-CT700 Servo come to mind.
The HPS-CT700 is Futaba’s flagship drift servo and quite honestly is the absolute best servo I have used for drift, hands down. While adjusting the settings via the 7PXR on the fly, I can mimic just about any servo on the market right now, and also do things others can’t. But enough of the HPS-CT700, we are here to talk about his little bro.
Enter the HPS-CT500 Servo. What can I say, I am pleasantly unimpressed. WAAAAAIT UP!!! What? Read on.
The HPS-CT500 Servo is obviously the little bro to the big daddy, the HPS-CT700. As soon as you see it, it has the same size and shape, but instead of the really nice aluminum housing, it has a LIGHT WEIGHT plastic housing. The HPS-CT500 is 10g lighter. The specs are impressive as well. When compared to the CT700, the CT500 is slightly faster at .06 vs. .07, but with less torque at 291.6 oz/in vs. 416.6 oz/in. I personally feel both exceed anyone’s servo needs for drift.
There’s more! The HPS-CT500 is also fully programmable via the S.Bus if you are using a 7PX or 7PXR (possibly a 4PM as well?) With the programming options Futaba gives us, the HPS-CT500 can mimic the other servos being used for drift right now, and can be further tweaked to meet any needs you may have. The theme with Futaba lately has been about customization, and this servo does not disappoint.
Tonight I put in my settings from my HPS-CT700 and it was amazing! When I say I was unimpressed, I meant it. I admit, I am spoiled by my HPS-CT700 servo, and I have come to expect the performance and feel I get from it. Changing to the HPS-CT500 servo, I did not skip a beat. In fact, if someone swapped it out, without my knowledge, I have to say I wouldn’t have even noticed a difference. I did a session tonight and my chassis felt every bit as dialed as it always does. This servo felt “Normal” to me, and that means it feels every bit as good as it’s big bro.
My conclusion. At this moment, I believe the Futaba HPS-CT700 is the best servo for R/C Drift. (IMO of course) The main drawback has been the hefty price tag. The Futaba HPS-CT500 gives you that performance and programmability at a more wallet friendly price point. I personally will still opt for the CT700 as the .01 transition speed isn’t noticeable for me, so I will take that added torque, but I would not hesitate for a second to run a HPS-CT500 Servo. It is easily a close second to what I consider the best servo on the market for R/C Drift. The HPS-CT500 Servo is definitely a winner and a top contender. For anyone weight conscious, this may very well be the top choice above all. At a projected sub $200 MSRP, it really packs a good bang for the buck.
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.
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.
Earlier this year Axon hit the R/C Drift Scene with a new set of dampers, the Axon Revoshock Dampers (Version 1). They had a unique piston design and sealing method. Unfortunately they were plagued with leaking issues. (At least for me and confirmed by many) The dampers themselves felt great, but leaky shocks just don’t cut it for me.
Enter the Axon Revoshock II Dampers. It looks Ike Axon took what they learned from the Revoshock 1s and applied it to the latest release.
Axon Revoshock II Dampers I was excited to test the latest Axon Dampers since the v.1s were great other than the leaking. The first thing I checked was how Axon was going to attack the bottom seal. I was pleased to see a single, larger O-Ring in place of the smaller, double O-Ring system they had previously used. I found myself still a bit concerned as I dug deeper since it turns out they are still using a double O-Ring system. One large one, and an even larger, but considerably thinner one as well. From all my past experience, double gaskets / O-Rings will always leak.
Pistons One thing that really stood out to me was how Axon approached the piston game. Right away you will notice their pistons look like nothing else in the game. Huge holes, a lot of them. It allows you to have a finer range of damping with the available shock fluids. For example, the difference between 100 weight and 200 weight seems to be considerably less than a 50 weight difference. I also noticed Axon has gone with a 12 hole front and 16 hole rear piston (or vice versa) which I like. I usually run heavier damping on the front, which would allow me to use the same fluid front and rear with heavier damping on the front.
The Build I’m no stranger to building dampers. As far as how many sets I have built over the years, I couldn’t even begin to count, but I always consider myself a student in the learning phase, so I turned to Mikko Yang of Team ReveD and D-Style for any build tips. He recommended to pre-soak the O-Rings for 5 minutes prior to assembly, and then to coat them with O-Ring grease. Of course I listened to the 2020 US Drift King! I also built according to the supplied instructions and rather than to build with my standard push-out, I followed Axon’s recommendation of no push-out and not using the shock vac which I have found myself not using much these days. I also noticed the bladders fit better this time around. No complaints here.
Performance The Revoshock IIs feel just as good as the v.1s. With the piston design change with less holes for the front (or rear) I found them more to my liking. You will notice immediately they are extremely smooth and without the extreme play inherent to the Yokomo Big Bores. The finer adjustment between fluid weights is definitely something not to be overlooked. Probably the single greatest feature of the Revoshock II. They feel great and if you run a softer setup as I usually do, they seem to be right at home without much change.
Conclusion Many may have been wondering why I have taken so long to do a write up on the Revoshock II. I feel for the Reveshock v.1 I was a little quick to give the thumbs up, so I wanted to give these some time to show their true colors. After a few days, I found a small amount of leakage going on. It appears to still be coming front the bottom seal. I DO NOT feel it is enough to be a deal breaker for most, and the benefits may outweigh the downside of needing to rebuild more often. I have heard of people storing their chassis upside down to minimize leaking which is a good preventative measure if that works for you.
Overall the Axon Revoshock II is a winner in my book. Slight leaking although not something I personally am ok with, is really not enough to make this a bad product. Just a high-performance damper that will need a little more maintenance than your average set. I have heard of people using Yokomo Blue O-Rings as an alternative, but that’s really not something I am here to test at the moment.
At this moment in R/C Drift, there are 2 mainstream players dominating the chassis game. Yokomo’s YD2 line is by far the most popular, with the MST RMX 2.0 in a distant second. For most, it’s exciting to be a part of the in-crowd, for others, it becomes a bit boring and they search for an alternative. For myself, I find excitement in both aspects.
The Usukani PDS R-SE Not new to the game, but new to me, is the the Usukani PDS line. More specifically, the PDS R-SE. It has been in my possession for the better part of this year, and I constantly find other projects to give priority to. I will be the first to admit I wasn’t very excited about this chassis. The main reason being, I’m not a fan of Rear Motor Chassis. I have built a few and they just don’t do it for me.
Setup As always, I give any chassis I test the best possible chance of success. For this round I would be using my go to electronic setup. Futaba CT700 Servo, GYD550 Gyro, MC970CR ESC, R334SBS-E Receiver, Acuvance Agile 13.5T Motor (Not pIctured), and the Futaba 7PXR Remote to control it all. I had also chosen some Overdose HG v3 Dampers since I’ve been using them on all my builds recently. Note: The Yokomo DX1 13.5T Type R (Titanium Shaft) motor was being tested when I took the pics. Not my normal setup.
The Instuctions The first thing that struck me as different was Usukani provides the instruction manual on a USB drive. My initial thought was this was a good idea and very trick! I quickly figured out this just wasn’t the business for me as I kept getting messages as I was building and it became a pain to keep going back to open the PDF. It works, but I prefer a hard copy of the instructions. The instructions themselves were good. Easy to understand and I didn’t run into any issues.
The Chassis The chassis itself is really a no nonsense type of chassis. The shape and the appearance didn’t really wow me (good appearance is nice, but doesn’t make or break a build for me), but there were some features that sparked my interest in this build.
Ackerman Adjustment Usukani has used servo mounts that allow the entire servo to move front to back for quick and infinite adjustment of the Ackerman. No more going back to the pits and adding spacers. Just loosen two screws, move the servo, and you are back in business. It looks like my mount is slightly crooked, but since I only use one side to keep track of the position, it doesn’t really change anything. For tuning, this is a great feature that I really came to appreciate.
Servo Lever I absolutely love this servo setup! Usukani’s included Servo Lever is awesome. When I was putting this together, I quickly realized I didn’t need to center my servo before assembling the steering. They provide a splined insert that fits onto the servo, which is smooth on the outside. Then the actual lever clamps to the insert. Zero out your trims, center your steering, and tighten up the clamping screw. Perfect setup! The lever length is also infinitely adjustable which is also nice. Talk about options! One thing I really like about the CT700 is the ability to program the center point. Not even necessary with this system.
Knuckles Previously, I had heard about there being some issues with quality with the front knuckles on the PDS. I found no issues at all, and in fact found them to be on par with any of the mainstream chassis kits available. They are aluminum and come with aluminum wheel hexes as well. Initially I didn’t care for the way Usukani did their steering stops, but after using them, I found I actually prefer them to the solid posts used by other manufacturers. I can get them exactly where I want them with ease. This is a good example of function over form.
Front Suspension From my experience, only Overdose has made a cantilever suspension that I feel works as well as shocks mounted directly to the arm and tower. All the others have some sort of binding or drag and that translates to not working very well. Usukani now makes it onto my short list of cantilever suspension that I feel works well. One thing I felt didn’t sit right with me when I built this kit was the Front Upper Control Arm being supported on only one side. Interestingly enough, both the PDS and the ReveD front end utilize a one-sided support for the UCA with no issues. I still prefer both ends of the hinge pin being captured, but if it works, I guess why fix it.
Rear Mounted Motor The PDS R-SE is the PDS Rear Motor version and it comes with an open 3 gear transmission. It uses all YD2 compatible internals, so there is no issue with parts. It comes supplied with a solid spool, but since I always use a gear diff, it was only fitting I dropped one in to make sure I get a good comparison. The fit and finish is excellent. No complaints here. I also used a Kamikaze Battery Holder since I decided mounting my battery sideways would be better suited for what I was trying to accomplish. The supplied battery holder mounts the battery inline with the chassis, and is very minimalistic. I was disappointed I was not able to use it as it is extremely lightweight and functional. There are many mounting holes for the battery, so adjusting weight bias is a breeze.
Weigh In The PDS R-SE is a light weight chassis with a 30/70 front to rear weight bias (As I have it setup). An interesting side note, my ReveD/Yokomo MC-1 and my PDS R-SE both weigh EXACTLY THE SAME at 1173g, but my MC-1 has a 35/75 front to rear weight bias.
Driving Impressions So, how does this thing drive? Not how I expected. I always try to come into any type of test with an open mind, but of course there will always be some sort of predetermined thoughts going on. I was already thinking it was going to be rear-heavy with a strong pendulum effect going on, just like all the other Rear Motor chassis I have had. I couldn’t be more wrong.
The first thing I noticed was it has great corner exit speed. Something very familiar to any rear motor setups I have driven. What was missing with the heavy pendulum characteristic. In fact, the transitions and overall driving of this chassis doesn’t scream Rear Motor at all. It is a well balanced driving chassis which really does agree with my driving style. I had received a tip from my homie, Karlo, suggesting going heavier on the rear shock fluid to help with the heavy rear setup. So rather than my normal setup of lighter fluid in the rear, I started out heavier and happened to be just right. (OD 6 hole pistons with #15 Front and #20 Rear, stock springs all around.)
Final Thoughts What can I say, the Usukani PDS R-SE really surprised me. There are so many things I like about this chassis, I need to ask myself what took me so long? I have always heard great things about the PDS line, but it was always followed by some of the downfalls of the kit. I addressed some of the issues before even getting started and it seems to have given me great results. I was warned the ball ends the kit comes with don’t last, so I replaced them with Yokomo ball ends (just the cups). I have been told the dampers are “decent” but knowing myself, I would most likely upgrade them anyway, so I did. Added a gear diff and titanium turnbuckles to top it off, which I would do anyway. I’m just missing my titanium screw kit, and it will be setup the way I like it.
Probably the best way I can end this is, during the past 2 weeks I have had 2 new chassis on my pit table. The PDS is the one I have been drawn to every day. It will most likely be my main chassis for the foreseeable future (Which in my case is usually not very long in all fairness) To add to this, we have dozens of YD2s, MC-1 conversions, and Galm v2s in stock, but we don’t have any PDS R-SEs at the moment. So you can believe this is not a sales pitch.
This past week has been an exciting one for me here at Super-G. The much anticipated Reve D MC-1 conversion kit for the Yokomo YD2 had landed. I had to finish another project before digging in, so I must say it lit a fire under me for sure. It was Friday afternoon and I had a few hours before we opened, so I got to it.
Being as there is a lot of hype surrounding this chassis, everyone has been quick to put their reviews out. So rather than to just give a rehash of what everyone else has been posting, I decided to just touch on some key points I have found on my MC-1 build.
The build went really quickly. In about 2.5 hours I was ready to hit the track. Since it’s a conversion kit, it uses parts from the Yokomo YD2 kit to complete the build. Specifically, it uses the entire front end and the rear suspension blocks out. The MC-1 is basically the lower chassis, upper deck, a couple braces, gearbox, rear shock tower, propeller shaft, spur gear holder, battery holder, and rear esc mount. I decided to use my SXIII as a donor chassis since I view this as an upgrade.
The conversion is impressive. Everything fits well and there is plenty of attention to detail. The beveled carbon parts are a nice touch and gives it more character. I was pleased to find a aluminum open gear box. It goes together well. Something I have always wished Yokomo would do. There is something about their molded plastic gear box that has always bothered me. I guess it’s because it reminds me of the old RC10 Stealth Transmission gearbox from years back. So this in itself is a great improvement. Using the idler gear shafts as part of the structure is just efficiency at it’s finest.
The motor mount is a very unique design. It is infinitely adjustable and is held in place by a big locking nut. Reve D supplied a thin wrench to make adjustment easy. I had questioned if it would be able to support the motor with all the torque being applied to the mount, but after a hard night of driving, it didn’t seem to even be phased. Reve D had announced the spacing on their mount for the motor was not correct, so knowing this ahead of time, it did not bother me. It was a bit on the tight side, but it worked. I have had worse fitting parts from other manufacturers in the past. I’m glad to see Reve D got ahead of this and let everyone know. It’s useable with the Acuvance Agile motor in case anyone is wondering.
Another welcome addition is Reve D’s battery mount. It is a very good design and really straight forward. Simple and effective, just the way I Iike it.
Including a channel to run the esc wire through is nothing short of awesome! I’m always in search of a better way to do my wiring, and this just made my life a whole lot better! Great job on that!
My Setup Electronics: Futaba CT700 Servo Futaba GYD550 Gyro Futaba MC970CR ESC Acuvance Raiz Capacitor Acuvance Agile 13.5T Motor Chassis: Full Reve D front end conversion (Upper and lower control arms and knuckles Reve D MC-1 Conversion Kit Overdose HG v3 Dampers #15 F/R
Ok ok, so how does it perform. Since I had my SXIII set up to my liking, I didn’t mess with the settings other than to increase the rear preload slightly and lengthen the rear shocks a bit to compensate for the added weight in the rear. On my first lap I felt my body was on crooked, so I brought it in and found it was just fine. I put it out again and again it looked strange. Then I realized I was just getting A TON of roll going on. Not just side to side, but all around. Very reminiscent of the DLike Re-r. I would say it’s almost like an Re-r on steroids. (Not a bad thing IMO) It has a lot of traction, and although there is a lot of weight in the rear, I didn’t notice any type of pendulum effect going on.
Versatile I was lucky enough to be able to be testing alongside of Mikko Yang – Reve D Factory Team Driver x Team D-Style and Shaine Collins – Team D-Style for their maiden voyages on a track as well. Three different setups, three different styles of tuning, and all 3 of us had great results. Even though everyone was wearing masks, it was clear there were some big smiles going on!
Overall, I have to say this is a very impressive conversion for the YD2. I really liked my SXIII, and this was an improvement all around for me. I can’t wait to get a few tuning sessions with this chassis. I’m sure it’s only going to get better. I’m certain this one has found a home in my stable. Highly Recommended.
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.
The Futaba CT700 Servo (Application: Drift) For the past couple months I have been “testing” the CT700. It was supposed to be a just a few weeks, but since I ended up liking it as much as I do, I had a hard time replacing it with the next test servo.
The CT700 is a programmable, full aluminum cased, Low Profile servo with some pretty impressive specs. Speed: 0.09 sec/60 deg @ 6.0V 0.075 sec/60 deg @ 7.4V Torque: 42.0 kgf/cm , 583 ozf/in @ 6.0V 49.0 kgf/cm , 680.5 ozf/in @ 7.4V source – futabausa.com
The CT700 is programmable via S.Bus and S.Bus2 systems which means if you have a transmitter with S.Bus you do not need anything else to be able to change the settings on this servo. I know the 7PXR, 7PX, 4PX, 4PM and others are S.Bus compatible. This feature is huge for myself. Gone are the days of lugging around a computer and dongle to tweak a couple settings. I wish I could directly access the settings through the Futaba GYD450 Gyro, but unfortunately at this time is it not possible. Still, it’s more convenient than using a computer. If you don’t have a S.Bus compatible transmitter, no need to worry. You can still do it using the conventional method of a PC in combination with the CIU-2/-3 USB adapter.
Settings There are many settings you adjust on the CT700. I found there were a couple that were necessary to adjust, but the others were fine as it came from the factory.
Neutral This is HUGE for me. My OCD really kicks in when I need to use sub-trim to center my servo. Thankfully Futaba allows us to set the center point perfectly, regardless of your application.
Damper This controls how much or how little the servo is allowed to over-shoot the end point. Depending on the load applied to the servo, you may need to increase it. I liken it to how strong the brake is when it reaches the endpoint. I found the factory setting of 56 was too low. The steering would end up shaking. Anything above 105 on the Damper value seemed to keep things smooth and solid.
Stretcher This is basically a torque setting that affects how much torque is applied to return / hold the target position. It is used to stop hunting and also how well it holds position. A lower value = Weaker holding force, a higher value = Stronger holding force. Factory setting was 1.500, but I found a value of 4.000 gave me the feel I was looking for.
Boost This is minimum current applied to the servo motor. Too low the servo won’t immediately start moving if small input is given to the steering. With a higher value the servo will start to move immediately. The torque level is also increased. Too high of a value and the servo operation becomes rough.
Speed My preference has always been toward the faster servos. Recently there has been a trend toward the slower servo speeds. It seems to be a preference thing. Rest assured, you can go from extremely fast, to a crawl, and everything in between.
Final Thoughts The CT700 has been the servo I have been searching for. Keep in mind, I prefer the faster servos, and my opinion reflects this. The fact it is one of the fastest and strongest on the market, and is fully programmable, means it will most likely agree with just about everyone’s preference.
The flexibility in torque and speed has allowed me to dial it in to just what I like. No shaking issues, and plenty of torque to keep my steering right where I put it. I can even experiment with the lower speeds and lower torque settings when and if I ever feel the need.
The only drawback I see is the price tag, but then again it is coming from one of, if not thee industry leader in R/C Electronics. The CT700 is easily the choice for my personal chassis.
Side Note I found adjusting the Stretcher setting to it’s lowest value, and adjusting the Speed to match, the feeling is extremely close to the Reve D RS-ST Servo (Not a good or bad thing, just an observation) Review coming soon.
I will also be revisiting the KO ProPO RSx3-one 10 Ver. D since it is also programmable. Review coming soon.
Disclaimer The Super-G Drift Team, The RawFew are part of Team Futaba USA. I can assure you this has no impact on any of my reviews. We pride ourselves on providing unbiased reviews and that will never change. Our reviews and opinions can not be bought as a few companies have already learned. Our policy still stands, if we cannot give a product a good review, we will not publish it. We are not in the business of bashing products, but rather bringing you products we feel are worth looking at. It is also worth noting, I will always write my reviews from my perspective, so your mileage may vary.
Grab your very own CT-700 Premium Futaba Servo today:
On my never ending journey of testing products for R/C Drift, I have come upon the new Axon Revoshock Dampers. They have proven to be a different type of animal for sure.
The most noticeable feature that seems to catch everyone’s eye is the number of holes in the pistons. There are 16 to be exact. In addition to the unique piston design, Axon also uses 2 O-Rings of different sizes. The dampers come as a add-on for the Yokomo Big Bores as they are not supplied with any mounting hardware or lower spring perch.
Quality and Construction Right away it’s clear these are some very precision dampers. The quality of the materials is top-notch. The pistons all fit together snuggly on the shock shafts. When I measured the pistons and the shock bodies I was impressed to see their tolerances were high. Bodies – 2/4 (11.52mm I.D.) 2/4 (11.53mm I.D.) Pistons – All 4 (11.50mm O.D.) These tolerances are what I have been finding with the Overdose HG Dampers and if my memory serves me correctly, the clearance is also the same as the HGs.
The instructions recommend a 1mm hole in the shock cap. I usually rely on the pressure from the bladder to provide more rebound, but after following their instructions I found them to have plenty of rebound relying solely on the bladder. I had pondered this decision for a while before finally deciding to do it. In hind-sight it wasn’t that big of a deal, but I had left venting the cap a good while ago, and contemplated if this would still be an apples to apples comparison.
My Experience The surface here at Super-G is polished concrete so we are considered to be a low-traction surface surface. Most people here tend to run their dampers on the lighter damping side, many running no shock fluid. I found the Axon Revoshock Dampers with their unique 16 hole pistons and their ultra-low resistance have given me a level of tuning I was not able to achieve with any other setup.
Prior to using the Revoshocks I would be forced to choose between running No Shock Fluid, 50wt, 100wt, or 150wt. Anything higher than that and it would be too much damping and performance would suffer. Keep in mind this is for the way I tune and I am in no way saying this is the best.
With the new Revoshocks, 50wt is very close to no fluid. I am tempted to say overall there is less resistance than my Big Bores with no fluid. Most likely due to the dual O-Ring design and better, consistent manufacturing. Basically what this translates to is, the Axon Revoshock Dampers allow you to have a wider usable range of fluids and more fine tuning. Presently I have settled on 150wt front and 250wt rear, but I can see even as high as 450wt or more being in the usable range for a light damping setup.
If I had one complaint, it would be the fact that the bladder is slightly too large and does not fit into the cap easily. This forced me to assemble the dampers differently than I am used to, making it a little more difficult to get the results am accustomed to “easily”. Not a huge deal, but definitely not ideal for myself.
Overall, I give the Axon Revoshock Dampers top marks. Placing them along side of the Tamiya TRF. I cannot comfortably put them in the same category as the Overdose HG Dampers as I feel they are a different animal with quality and design that is unmatched. However, for the time being, the Axon Revoshock Dampers are the damper of choice for my personal chassis. Take that for what it’s worth.
Los Angeles R/C Drift Track, Hobby Shop, Online Store, Drift Blog
NEW HOURS/DAYS! (CLICK ABOUT US) - ALL ORDERS ARE PROCESSED IN 1-3 DAYS. Dismiss