ASK Cubby, Version- Your Letters, My Babbling
Hi Cubby. Have you reviewed the Traxxas E Maxx brushless 4X4? I am considering it or the Stampede VXL 4X4. Your thoughts? Thanks
Cubby- Hey ya Kent from Wisconsin, thanks for the email.
The Traxxas E-Maxx is a legendary bash truck. From when it was first produced (around 2000 or so?) it helped set the world on monster truck fire. It was big, burly, RTR, and drove like a beast. It wasn’t without problems of course, the Maxx line had plenty of them, but fixing those problems was part of the fun. The aftermarket took off like crazy on both the E and T-Maxx, leading to the biggest glory years that our hobby has ever seen.
That was then, this is now. Although the E-Maxx has received numerous updates over the years, it is a dated platform compared to its competition. Of course you can still find tons of aftermarket hop-ups for it, but there are a number of other trucks that simply don’t need all those hop-ups out of the box.
The Stampede 4×4 is a newer platform, one that is pretty solid. Yes, it is quite a fun truck but its smaller form factor will keep it from getting over larger rocks and from running in taller grass that bigger monster trucks can easily plow through.
Oh and, to answer your question, no I don’t think we’ve reviewed the E-Maxx, or at least not since I’ve worked here (which has been a Longgg time now). However, you can find our Stampede 4×4 VXL review from 2011 Right Here.
Lastly… I know I’ve railed on Traxxas a lot over the years, but you would think that the biggest name in rc cars and the biggest bashing rc website on the planet could work things out. We aren’t on good terms and that isn’t good for us, them, or the industry. I am extending the hand of friendship right now…. will anyone on the other end do the same?
On Road Racing
Cubby sayeth “… on-road is D E A D here in America …” and so it is written.
With that said, what do you think it would take to bring on-road back to life in the USA? We do still “host” the walking dead, races like the Snowbird Nationals and Reedy Race of Champions where a bunch of the participants fly in from Europe and Japan spend a few days here then turn around and take the trophy’s back home with them. There was what, five Americans and one Canadian at the Reedy?
Some believe us’n mericans just ain’t sophistaked nuff like them thar Uropians fer true road racin an if’n it ain’t happen’ wit dirt mud and rock, it just ain’t gonna happen here. Is it too complicated, expensive, and just too much in general for the average Joe racer to get his mind wrapped around?
Ok Cubby, tell us, what is it going to take to bring on road racing back from the grave? Or is the rotting stench so bad we should just mourn the loss and go bash?
Cubby- Yo hey Terry, great email.
There are a whole lot of people in our industry that would love to see on-road racing prosper in America again. Why? Because they love on-road racing, just like I do, just like you do. However, that is NEVER gonna happen with the way things are now. It is going to take radical change that all the hardcore long time on-road racers hate, to bring the masses back in.
This is how I see the state of on-road racing right now.
The same 100 hardcore guys that race on-road in America hit all the “big” races and race multiple classes. These are the same guys that have been doing this for 15 years, there is virtually no new blood and they make sure the rules are set-up to make it ultra hard for an average Joe to come in and be competitive. Those 100 guys hate to lose, they hate to lose so much that they are willing to kill the sport to remain at the top.
The tracks suck, they are incredibly boring/simplistic. There is a simple formula for an on-road track now days- get the standardized brand of ozite, treat it with traction additive, through down one of about 3 different layouts that is possible in a normal 60 x 40′ area. Done, rinse, repeat. If you haven’t laid down thousands of laps on this exact type of track, you have zero hope of being competitive, which is exactly what the hardcore want, and one of the reasons there is no new blood in on-road racing.
I personally don’t race on-road for these reasons…
1. There are a crazy amount of rules, so many that I doubt I even have a car/power combo that is legal to race at my local track. You have to run X tires, with an X power system, with an X body, with an X type of chassis, with an X type of sauce, and on, and on, and on. If a normal Joe Blow doesn’t even have a car that is legal, they aren’t going to race.
2. I raced on road for years, I am so burnt out on the current track style that I never want to drive on one again. However, if you throw in some scale realism, like different levels of traction, elevation changes, and off-camber sections, you could totally count me in! Perfectly flat tracks with one 2 corner types and one line that is 10″ wide isn’t my idea of fun.
3. Tire sauce, scented or un-scented, makes me nauseous now days. I simply can’t stand to even be in the building. Tire sauce HAS to go if an on-road track wants me to even step foot in the building.
4. I don’t have a problem getting beat, but I have a huge problem when I am getting lapped 3 laps into a race in the slowest class offered by the track. I am not a poor driver, I would say I am above average, but I am not going to come back when I know I have absolutely zero shot of winning, or even staying on the lead lap, without having to spend tons of money and hundreds of hours practicing. I don’t have time to practice, I barely have time to race, and when I race, I do it strictly for fun. Part of that fun is the possibility of remotely being competitive, and that isn’t the case with the state of on-road right now. Either you are a hardcore guy that is dialed and cutting crazy fast laps, or GTFOOTW because you are gonna get slammed ever time you get lapped, which is going to be a lot.
To boil it down… IMO… if the industry wants on-road racing to take off again, you gotta cater to the non-hardcore. This means mandating an affordable class (TRULY affordable, like a brushed Vaterra spec class), more interesting (just read FUN) tracks to drive on, and a whole lot less rules.
So there ya have it, yet another week of ASK Cubby is in the books. Have a burning question? Have something you just have to get off your mind? Simply want to draw attention to a wider audience than typing in all caps on your FB page? Shoot me an email, thecubreportrc at gmail dot com.
YOUR Cub Reporter