Anybody else see Geico/Honda/Associated rider Justin “Bam Bam” Barcia huck it down Henry Hill at Budd’s Creek on Saturday? That boy has a giant set of appendages. For you guys that don’t know about “Henry Hill”, it’s a giant downhill on the Budds Creek track, and it got its name when Doug Henry accidentally stayed on the gas and jumped the entire way down, breaking his back upon landing. If you’ve seen the track in person it boggles the mind to know someone actually hucked it the entire way down and lived to talk about it.
It sounds like the BigSquidRC “Back to Roots” bash went off well on Saturday. Threatening weather kept the turnout low, but those that did show were treated to and ole’ school good time. For those that didn’t attend, the ole’ school bash consisted of meeting up in a park, bbq’n some burgers and dogs, with everybody driving, jumping and showing off their rc cars and trucks. Being a true bash, it didn’t matter if you had been in the hobby for 30 years, or for 30 minutes, if you have 100 cars or just 1, all that mattered was having a good time with good people.
The success of the BSRC bash makes me wonder why there are not more organized bashes around the country. It’s much easier today to organize a group of bashers via the internet than it would have been years ago by running into others at parking lots or a hobby shop. If you are a local basher and are looking for others in your area to hold a bash with- shoot us an email, we’ll do whatever we can to help out.
This week our Tuesday review will feature the Helion Animus 18th scale short course truck. Helion is an exclusive line sold only by HobbyTown USA franchises, and it’s the child of Gil Losi Jr, Jason Corl, and Mike Gillette, one hell of a pedigree. You’ll have to wait till Tuesday to find out if it lived up to its billing, but I will say we subjected the Helion to the most ridiculous torture tests of all time, and we also let our resident hotshot 18th scale Castle/MaxAmps/BigSquidRC factory racer, Tim Mohr, wring it out hard. Did it live when run full speed into a railroad tie? Did it live when held wide open up against a wall? What kind of carnage ensued when we jumped it off the roof of a 2 story house? Tune in this Tuesday to find out.
We didn’t get that much drive time in before posting our Losi SCB Review last week. We drove the wheels off of it for just under a week before posting the review, which for us isn’t very long. We’d rather run a test subject for closer to a month, but due to wanting to get the review out quickly, we kept the actual test time to a minimum. I’m happy to report that after a second week of abuse the Losi SCB still hasn’t broken, it still gathers a huge crowd in the pits, and it still puts a huge smile on our drivers faces. We also removed the stock motor/speedo combo and installed a Mamba Max with Castle 1406 4600 kv motor. This combo yields excellent power, control and cool temps with stock gearing, I highly recommend this upgrade.
I read on one of the “message” boards that a new owner of a Losi SCB was wanting to purchase the TLR tuning kit to turn his SCB into a “racer”. As you’ve probably noticed, most industry people don’t post on the message boards, but I will post here exactly what I was thinking- truth be told, it doesn’t take a “tuning kit” to turn any rc into a racer. Just how can I possibly think that? Here’s why…
Years ago I was at a track when a local kid was racing against one of our country’s top pro drivers. It was a local race, and it was the home track to both the kid and the pro. In the first round of qualifying the “kid” did very poorly, qualifying around 16th among roughly 20 people in mod buggy. The hotshot pro owned TQ after the first round. When the kid came off the track after the first round he was complaining about how it was all his buggys fault he hadn’t qualified higher. I can tell you first hand from looking at the kids buggy that indeed it was a rolling pile- it was an outdated chassis that was completely worn out, with a very poor set-up, and worn out tires to boot. I can also tell you first hand that the pros buggy was brand new, uber, and completely dialed. Anyways, I wasn’t the only one that had overheard the kid complaining about his buggy, the pro heard him as well. What happened next I’ll never forget- the pro told the kid he’d switch cars with him for the next round, and indeed that’s what they did.
The kid went to the line for the second round of qualifying full of confidence, he was grinning from ear to ear and you could tell from the look on his face that he thought he was a lock to put in a new TQ run. The look on the pros face was no different than usual, cool, calm, and ready to get down to business. During the kids qual, he was all over the place (as usual), crashing too much, going into the corners too hot, and even though he was driving one of the best buggys in the country, his second qualifier was actually slower than his first. The pro guy driving the kids pile wasn’t as fast as he was in the first round, but… he was still the fastest driver of the round, finishing his second qual just 6 seconds slower than his first. The conversation between the factory shoe and kid after the second round was epic, needless to say the kid learned a lot that day.
The moral of the story? The kid actually went slower with the non-familiar factory equipment, and the factory shoe was still faster than anyone else while driving a complete pile. Will a “tuning kit” turn a Losi SCB from a basher to a racer? I think not… a tricker piece of machinery yes, but faster? Faster is much more about the driver than the equipment in rc racing.
On a different note…
Brian and I had an interesting convo the other day. We were talking about how impressed we are by the new Thunder Tiger trucks and the question came up “Has Thunder Tiger ever had a hit seller before?”. We both racked our brains (hard for both of us I know… LOL) and while Thunder Tiger has moved a decent amount of units in the past, they’ve never had what either of us would call a “hit”. The Thunder Tiger electric MT we recently tested has left one heck of an impression on us, as we both consider it the King of The Hill for bashing monster trucks right now. I know that’s a big statement, but it has proven itself to us as a great driving machine that can arguably take a greater beating than a Savage Flux or an E-Revo. Thunder Tiger is not an advertiser of ours, nor is Traxxas or HPI, so if you think we’re getting paid to talk good about Thunder Tiger, I can assure you that is not the case. Never in the past would we have considered a Thunder Tiger the best of any genre, but their new MT is that good. Is the TT MT just a fluke? Well… we are currently testing the Thunder Tiger SparrowHawk and it’s also proven itself as one hell of a machine (look for the full test in a couple weeks). Combine excellent trucks with the improved parts availability of being distributed by Great Planes, and IMO Thunder Tiger has officially become a potent threat to Traxxas and HPI’s dominance in the basher market.
That’s it for this week, support your hobby and visit your local hobby shops, tracks and bash spots!
YOUR Cub Reporter