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What's new: Monday, May 2nd, 2011

I think Acer sent an email with something about a ball bearing kit for the Tamiya F104/F104 Pro.  And I think that email said something about them being Acer’s high-end ceramic bearings, which Acer says offers better performance than your typical steel bearings.  But really, I don’t know, because I got distracted by the Acer Chicks (NSFW) section of their web site.  Hold on, let me look again…

Ok, yeah, Tamiya F104/F104 Pro Ceramic Bearing Kit, now available for $79.99 with free worldwide shipping.  Check out the Acer website for more info.

Now, back to the Acer Chicks section…

Team Associated has a whole load of new Factory Team upgrades for their popular RC8B 1/8 scale buggy.  The A Team says that all of these parts are based on ideas and designs used in various big-time races like Motorama and the IFMAR Worlds in Thailand.  Some of the parts include a new, thicker chassis, light-weight outdrives, upgraded front and rear suspension arms, aluminum steering posts, redesigned shock towers, and a ton more.

All of these hop-ups vary in price from about $5.00 on the low end, up to $99 for the chassis.  They should start hitting store shelves in June.  Check out the Team Associated website for more info.

Cubby Thank goodness AMA/Monster Energy Supercross was back in action over the weekend. I attempted to watch some NASCAR on Thursday night, but that was Not hit’n the spot. Cue Supercross on CBS Sunday with big jumps, mud, and some bump-and-grind racing action.

James “Bubba” Stewart threw away his shot at winning the 2011 Supercross title Saturday night in Utah after a low-side spill and an endo (resulting in a 10th place finish). RV2 took the win in the premier Supercross class, nearly locking up the title with just one race left to go. Chad Reed put in a solid ride for second, but unfortunately for Speedy Reedy a solid ride wasn’t good enough, he really needed a win to close up the points to Villopoto. Fly’n Ryan Dungey also put in a solid ride, but just like CR22 he needed a win to get close enough in points to make next weeks final in Vegas interesting.

The real fireworks over the weekend at the Salt Lake Supercross came in the Lites class, with Monster Energy/Pro-Circuit/Kawasaki/Traxxas rider Josh Hansen throwing away his title chances after a failed T-bone on Geico/Hondas Eli Tomac. Tomac went on to win, while Hansen worked his way up from dead last to 13th.

The final Supercross of the 2011 season will be held this Saturday in Las Vegas Nevada. The East Coast Lites class is pretty much locked up by Geico/Hondas Justin Barcia, but the West Coast Lites class should be a good race with Broc Tickle leading Eli Tomac by a scant 2 points. The elite Supercross class might also be a good show with Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto leading Two-Two Motorsports Chad Reed by 9, and Makita/Suzuki’s Dungey by 12. Coverage is LIVE on Speed tv this Saturday night!

Immediately after the Utah Supercross aired, CBS had coverage of the Lucas Oil short course race from Arizona. It’s been a while since I’ve seen one of the Lucas Oil events but the racing was Awesome! The Pro 2 class was especially good with Brian Deegan, Jeremy McGrath and Rob Naughton racing hard but clean for the top spot on the podium. Naughton ended up with the win, with MC second and Deegan third after making a couple of minor mistakes. Attendance looked good on the tube, the crowd looked super stoked, and it was cool seeing the Associated rc banners around the track. Traxxas even got a little love on one of the in-truck cams. The next Lucas event is May 21-22 at Glen Helen in San Bernardino California (also home to Americas single FIM world motocross championship round on May 15th). If you are in SoCal, Glen Helen is the place to hang in May.

Oh geezzus, almost forgot this is an rc column….

In rc news… Not many cars/trucks hit our doors here at BigSquid that really make a commotion, but when our test Thunder Tiger MT4-G3 (brushless 4wd monster truck) arrived everybody around the office got to talking. The TT MT4-G3 (ok, the name sucks) looks to be a real contender for monster truck bash supremacy, and that’s a big deal. Why is it a “big deal”? Because there are a lot of units sold in that product category. Just look at the Traxxas Revo and HPI Savage series trucks, there have been a zillion of those sold, and both reign supreme at the majority of bash spots. Brian and Wrench got some trigger time in with the TT over the weekend and so far it’s an animal! Is it better than a brushless E-Revo or Savage Flux? Guess we’ll all have to tune into the full review to find out. Look for it in a couple weeks on the main page.

Word on the street is Craig “The Uber Ramp Guy” and the BigSquid crew are putting on another big jump contest dubbed the “Mega-Slaughter-Huck-A-Buck Jumpfest“. This is an event held here in Champaign Illinois that is a long jump contest featuring one of Craigs huge ramps. It sounds like there are two classes this year- Open and 2wd. Shoot me an email if you want more info- Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com.

Sounds like the RCX Chicago show is having a little trouble gaining momentum. While I’m not privy to all the manufactures that may be signed up, to the best of my knowledge it’s under ten. That makes for a couple of hard sells- 1. getting more manufactures to show up, and 2. to get consumers to actually pay to get into the show. Will we see the RCX Chicago show get cancelled? So far no, but there has got to be a drop-dead date rapidly approaching.

Speaking of trade shows… the 2011 iHobby show is rumored to be the last in Chicago. Word is the Rosemont Convention Center just keeps raising their rates, raising them high enough to where it is no longer feasible to hold the annual hobby show there. I hear to save some bucks the iHobby people aren’t even going to put carpet down in the isles this year. So…. if iHobby does happen to move, where might it go? I’m vote’n for Indy- still a close drive for Hobbico and Horizon, a huge motor-sports town, nice central location off of I-70, and the rc fans in Indy are rabid.

The BigSquidRC crew is really stoked about doing a 4wd short course shootout, but we haven’t started because we’ve been waiting on the Thunder Tiger/Associated SC10 4×4 to be released. I mean, you’d think they’d be a major player and should be included right? Well sounds like the SC10 4×4 is still a few weeks out, and Brian reports that AE isn’t too stoked about us testing it, so at this point I highly doubt you’ll be seeing it in the shootout. Which would be a shame of course, but is a sign of the times.

The rumor mill around the office says our Tuesday review is another Traxxas truck, this time the Stampede 4×4. The 2wd Pede is one of the most popular bashers in history, does the 4×4 uphold the tradition? How high did Brian, Wrench and the rest of the crew huck it? Does it break? Tune in this Tuesday to find out…

BigSquid’s annual Bash-A-Palooza event didn’t go down at all in 2010, so what about 2011? Sounds like it might happen this year at RCX Chicago, or perhaps at another uber indoor venue in the Chicago metro. If you are a core basher and want to see Bash-A-Palooza go big this year, shoot Brian an email at Brian at BigSquidRC dot com.

One last shameless plug… I know you are on facebook, if you get a chance give BigSquidRC a “Like”! I’m not an uber social networking person myself, but it’s nice getting BigSquid updates on my smartphone via a Facebook app.

Holy smokes you’ve come to the end of yet another way-super-dope edition of THE Cub Report. Have a blast in our hobby this week, and hit up your LHS, local tracks and bash spots if ya can!

YOUR Cub Reporter

What's new: Sunday, May 1st, 2011

shockAnyone who crawls with a stock Losi Mini Crawler knows that the truck needs a lower center of gravity. Most of the times you can just buy some droop shocks that pull the axles up instead of push them down lowering the truck. This can be achieved with barely any money spent! A freind of mine has a mini crawler so we decided to make some. We took pen springs and put them in the same way they are in real droop shocks. The pen springs work perfect! The truck sits a lot lower and will climb steeper hills and is all around harder to roll over. Here are a few more pics on how to make them.

What's new: Saturday, April 30th, 2011

Photo of the Week:

Hard Right
by Travis Batton

Nerdgasm: Building a rock crawler demo platform for NASA. It’s a long, cool story with a build log of a 1/5 scale Killer Krawler from RC4WD.

Not just for racing: Here’s some ideas for competitions and fun to have with your r/c vehicles and friends.  Or just come to one of our bashes, we do this stuff all the time.

Reviewed: XTM XTe2 @ Ultimate RC, Redcat Rampage XB-E @ RC Universe

Video of the Week:

What's new: Friday, April 29th, 2011

lucas oil racelucas oil race

We have recently been reminded about the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series that is sponsored by Team Associated. If your looking to catch some full size SC trucks in action, the next date is May 21-22 in San Bernadino, California, at the Glen Helen Raceway! There is usually a Team Associated tent there with plenty of RC to check out as well! Hit the Lucas Oil Site for more details and info!

If you’re looking for a little more “beef” for your HPI Savage X? HPI Racing has some new orange anodized parts that will work on your Savage X. The Upper Arm Braces, Lower Bulkhead Plate, Lower Arm Braces, and Steering Post are all precision built to be an exact factory fit for your truck. Plus the orange adds an extra degree of style.

Be sure to visit HPI for all the details.

Brian tipped us off on these bad boys a couple weeks ago, and now it’s official! HPI Racing has announced their new officially licensed Falken Tire and Monster E10 Drift RTRs! Justin Pawlak’s and Vaugn Gittin Jr.’s 2011 Ford Mustangs have been scaled down in every detail to a true 1/10 scale E10 drift car. Both vehicles include a 2.4GHz radio sytem, officially licensed tires, wheels, and all the stuff you need to be running right out of the box. Even the AA batteries! The E10 is full-time 4WD, has independent suspension, and specially designed tires to make it easy to drift on paved surfaces. The cars are powered by a SC-15WP ESC and 27T Saturn brushed motor. The body posts are a standard design which means you can fit any body in the HPI touring car line on the chassis, and if drifting isn’t your style, you can convert the car to a touring/street car without adding any addtional parts.

The cars look great! The scale look even applies to the psuedo-brake pads and rotors by the wheel hexes! I can’t wait to see these cars in person, as they should be avaliable soon. Make sure you check out HPI Racing’s website for updates on these awesome new drifters!

If you’re wanting to get into the the short course craze, or at least looking for another truck, but already have the internals in mind or on hand, Losi has you covered by offering their XXX-SCT 2WD in a Rolling Chassis! The truck comes with all the standard features and parts of the XXX-SCT, but needs a 540-sized motor, ESC, servo, and 2-channel radio system to complete. You’ll also get a clear body to paint up any way you like. The roller should be avaliable in Mid-May for around $180.

Be sure to check out Losi for all the details.

HPI Racing has some new clear bodies if you’re looking to customize the look of your 1/10th scale touring car, Savage X 4.6, or Baja 5 SC.

The Toyota Sprinter Trueno Coupe AE86 body fits most electric touring cars, comes with decals and window masks, and dimple marks for easy drilling and fitting to your ride. The HPI Savage X GT-3 body comes with the same features as the Trueno, but obviously made to fit the Savage X. The same goes for the 5 SC body. Just remember they come clear :)

Make sure you visit HPI for more details.

HPI Racing has four new RS32 1/32 scale kits for all the micro on-road fanatics out there. Each one of the kits includes a 2.4GHz radio, 4.8V 150mAh NiMH battery, C32 quick charger, and offers a drive time of around 15 minutes per charge. The vehicle features t-bar rear suspension, a rear axle gear diff, and swing arm front suspension with adjustments for spring rate and travel. Lastly, the molded rubber tires give good grip, long life, and can be ran on concreate, wood, or short-pile carpet. Best of all, you can grab one of these little guys for right around $100.

I really dig the micro stuff, but the fact that these look so scale is just awesome! I can already see some serious indoor road courses around the office for those rainy days! Be sure to check out HPI’s website for more information.

What's new: Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Were you shopping for an ESC?  Perhaps you were casting an eye towards Novak‘s GTB 2 Sportsman for it’s price and features, but then said to yourself “Nope, not that one, the heatsink is just too big…”  Novak has agreed with you and now they are introducing the GTB 2 LP.  As you might expect from the name, this new version of the GTB 2 shares all the features of the original version, but includes a much slimmer heatsink for mounting in tight areas where body or top brace clearance might be an issue or where the lowest possible center of gravity is necessary.

The GTB 2 LP has a MSRP of $99.99 and should start hitting shelves in May sometime.  Check out the Novak website for more info.

Since the subject of sales seems to have been a popular subject this week, I suppose it’s appropriate to fill you in on one that’s coming up.  Traditional and Online retailer, Hobby People, is holding a “Warehouse Inventory Blowout” sale this Saturday, April 30th.  If you are in or near Fountain Valley, CA, where their warehouse is located, this might be a great chance to score some good deals on things you’ve been needing.  According to Hobby People, the sale will start at 7:00 a.m. and go until the sale items are gone.

Check out the Hobby People website for more info and here’s a link to their location on Google Maps.