April 9, 2021
The RTR (Ready To Run) Game.
This is nothing new to the R/C Drift Scene, let alone R/C in general. Back in the day, Yokomo had their Drift Racer which was a RTR Drift Package chassis. Once things went to RWD, it became obsolete and Yokomo dropped out of the RTR game.
Fast forward to the beginning of 2018, MST (Max Speed Technology) decided to jump into the ring with an RTR version of their current Drift chassis, the RMX 2.0s. They boasted about a RTR that was “Ready To Drift” right out of the box. MST knowing R/C Drift is a little tricky for the beginner, they wanted to make sure each chassis performed right out of the box. A new approach was to test each and every chassis before it went into the package to ship. They even stated each chassis will have marks on their tires from the testing.
Here is our initial run with the MST RMX 2.0s RTR
From January 2018 til early April 2021 MST had the RTR market on lock. With no competition, the beginners have been flocking to the RTR RMX 2.0 for a decent performer at a budget price. This has been the lowest cost path to enter R/C Drift to get your feet wet.
There has long been this attitude from the veterans to discourage the purchase of an RTR RMX 2.0 since for a couple hundred more invested, you could choose between the RMX 2.0s (Kit) or the YD2E or YD2S (Kits) and get better grade electronics right out of the gate.
The main differences between purchasing the RTR RMX 2.0s and going with a kit and separate electronics is a matter of $200-$300 more initial investment and the fact you would be getting better electronics that would get you past the first 6 months in the hobby. The majority of people who purchase an RTR end up upgrading their electronics within the first month whether they want to or not. It’s just the reality of the RTR electronics.
As of April 2021, Yokomo (in the U.S.) has officially entered the RTR market with their YD-2AC RTR. Immediately comparisons were being made. These comparisons were being made before the first kits even hit the shores of the U.S. As much as we would have liked to speculate, we always wait to get products in our hands before passing any type of judgment. You just never know what the actual product will be like.
We here at Super-G received our first batch of the YD2-AC and decided to do a live unboxing. Just as we had done with the MST RTR RMX 2.0s, we decided to approach the Yokomo RTR YD2-AC the same way. We had no preconceived notion of how it would perform out of the box, so we did just as any beginner would. Open it up, throw in the batteries, and see how it goes.
The first impression test didn’t go well. We were live on Facebook, so there was no staging anything. Directly on the box, it clearly states, “Ready To Drift”. Being aimed at the beginner, we were surprised to find it did not come “complete”. Traditionally, RTRs are ready to go out of the box minus batteries. Yokomo has a different approach with the YD2-AC. They supply you with a NiMh 1400mah Battery and a Wall Charger, but no wheels, tires, or body.
Watch the First Impression Video and Unboxing here
We added wheels and our spec tires, DS Racing Comp III LF-5s. Threw the battery in and took it for a spin. The first thing we found was the rear of the chassis was dragging on the ground. The ride height was no correct. Upon further inspection, the preload collars were not cranked down enough to support the weight of the NiMh battery which is considerably heavier than what most people run these days. Another issue was the Endpoints were not correctly set for the steering, and finally the Gyro Gain was not set correctly.
Someone pointed out that we did not read the supplied manuals, implying we did not approach this correctly. We approached it as we did the RTR RMX 2.0s a couple years prior, but fair enough, we headed to the manuals.
The supplied manuals are the standard YD2E manual, and a YD2-AC supplement. The instructions for setting up the Gyro were very confusing for me. I suspect they are instructions for the V.3 Gyro and not for the YD-302 which is provided, but I am not sure. Mixed in with this is also the recommendation of setting the EPA on the control to obtain full lock. I saw nothing about setting the preload on the rear, or how they recommend raising the rear.
Now I know this all sounds negative, but it is not meant to. I am just recapping what has taken place so far. In fact, although the initial experience wasn’t great, that’s not what this is all about. This is about the RTR’s and the options that are now available.
What’s Good About Both?
Ok, so you’ve looked online and you’ve already read how the old guys say get a kit and the new guys say the RTR they just got is the best and you have decided a RTR is the way to go for you. What’s the difference between the two?
This is a pre-built YD-2E. It’s a proven chassis and being Yokomo, it has a lot of 3rd party support. This chassis has been successful for years and for many they have started with this chassis and have upgraded to what they still drive today. You can’t go wrong with a YD-2E.
MST RTR RMX 2.0s
This is a pre-built RMX 2.0s. This too is a proven chassis, but the 3rd party support is somewhat limited. It is growing, but IMO will never be supported like Yokomo. The RMX 2.0s can be as competitive as the YD-2, but you will find less people as enthusiastic about it.
What Isn’t So Good About Both?
The electronics they come with. I won’t sugar coat this. I do not care for the electronics in either of these RTRs. The servos will need to be replaced after a few good hits. For a beginner this can be 10 minutes or 10 days, but most likely not 10 weeks. The ESCs and Motors are meant to get you started. You will want to replace these sooner than later. We see them getting upgraded usually within the first month. Both Gyros work, but they are entry level and will most likely be on the list to upgrade as well. The remotes are the same with difference decals.
The Main Differences
needs a battery and charger to be functional. it comes with solid links which I am a fan of for beginners. This means the chassis can take a hit and remain “tuned”. Learn the basics first, like learning how to control the car, then let’s start making adjustments to the suspension. Let’s face it, beginners will hit stuff and they will hit stuff hard. The solid links are a good thing and for about $15-$30 they can be upgraded to turnbuckles when the time is right.
Cost to be functional:
$379 – RTR RMX 2.0s
$30 – Battery
$40 – Charger
$449 – Total
Runs great out of the box. For a beginner with no experience, this can be the difference between enjoying the hobby and becoming more involved, or not.
Solid suspension links. Can take a hit and not come out of adjustment.
Can be upgraded to adjustable links for a minimal investment. $15-$30
Includes wheels and tires
Includes painted body.
Most budget friendly path to get into R/C Drift
Not as much 3rd party support
Limited choice of the body
Electronics are not ideal and will need to be replaced sooner than later
needs wheels, tires, body, and paint. I will also say the NiMh battery and charger are worthless and not even worth considering. So I will also say a battery and charger should be added as well. The ESC that is included is LiPo compatible. It comes with turnbuckles so it has good adjustability right out of the box.
Cost to be functional:
$449 – RTR YD-2AC
$30 – Battery
$40 – Charger
$18 – Wheels
$20 – Tires
$50 – Body
$14 – Paint
$621 – Total
One of the most popular platforms in R/C Drift at the moment
Fully adjustable right out of the box
Large 3rd party support
Does not work well right out of the box. Some prior experience would be helpful, if not necessary to set up before first drive
Does not come with Wheels and Tires. For the beginner, this may be a confusing purchase
Does not come with a body. For the beginner, it’s hard to know where to start
Body must be cut out and painted. For the beginner, this may not be a simple task
If you are set on purchasing a pre-built chassis, these are your 2 choices. The MST RMX 2.0s or the Yokomo YD-2E. The argument of which is better is as old as the Nissan vs. Toyota, Chevy vs. Ford, Mercedes vs. BMW. There are people passionate on both sides. Both have their pros and cons and no matter how you cut it, neither is really right or wrong. Just people’s opinions.
At the end of the day, you need to ask yourself at what point is it worth just building a kit and getting better electronics from the start. For $650 – $700 you can get a RMX 2.0s or YD-2E or YD-2S kit and electronics that will last you well into the hobby. Or you can chose one of these RTRs and upgrade the electronics that come with the kit in a month or less and end up spending an additional $300+.
My personal opinion (Which I always try to leave out)
I feel it is ALWAYS best to purchase an unbuilt kit and learn to build it. You will need to repair parts at some point, so it’s always good o know what goes where and what does what. You will pay a little more initially, but will actually be saving money and be further ahead in your first 1 – 2 months in this hobby.
The MST RTR has it’s place as the easiest and most budget friendly way into the hobby.
The Yokomo YD-2AC finds itself in a hard spot since it has all the drawbacks of the MST RTR at a considerably higher initial investment, as well as additional work and setup that may not be simple for the beginner. I found the instructions confusing and I needed to call on my experience to get me through. (Keep in mind, not everyone has access to online help)
RMX 2.0s vs. YD-2E or YD-2S – I like all 3 chassis and believe all are good platforms. All work great and are competitive when setup correctly. None are are my favorite, but I would take any one of them without thinking twice.
I have said this even prior to the YD-2AC being announced, I would ONLY recommend an RTR if your budget was the limiting factor of getting into the hobby or not. This means, you are limited by funds and cannot spend more to get anything nicer. I still maintain this opinion as I don’t feel paying for the RTR electronics is ever the way to go. The YD-2AC pricing to get going is so close to a kit with decent electronics, I have a hard time recommending it for anything other than if you just want a pre-built Yokomo YD-2E and are willing to pay the extra for it.
Initial Test Run of the MST RMX 2.0s RTR
Unboxing and Initial Test Run of the Yokomo YD-2AC RTR