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Posts Tagged ‘ROAR

Cubby with TP199 Truck at TORCComing at ya 52 weeks a year- THE Cub Report, good morning everyone, lets set this incredibly sarcastic look at the week in the rc world in motion.

K-dub retired from Supercross racing last night in Anaheim (I am writing this on Sunday). Kevin Windham turned pro back in 94′ and has been one of the most elite riders on the circuit ever since, making this news a huge loss for the entire sx/mx world. K-dub was known for his incredibly smooth style, the ability to make big obstacles from the inside line (when nobody else could), and his uncanny ability to find traction on hard/slick surfaces. Back in the day, his heel-clickers after a win were epic, more recently, his rider-intro transfers (on the dark stadium floor) were enough to make even the gnarliest of mx’ers cringe. Here’s hoping the best for Kevin and Dottie, they will be missed on the sx/mx scene.

Traxxas keeps on blowing up. By that I mean, they keep getting bigger, and keep expanding their reach into the mainstream. More proof of this can be found from last week- Traxxas being a sponsor of the Barrett Jackson auto auction in Scottsdale Arizona is big news, and their announcement that they are now a sponsor of rookie Brittany Force in top fuel dragster is too. Huge props go out to the Traxxas guys for continuing to promote hobby grade rc to the masses.

But… the biggest rc news of the week was “WireGate”. What is/was WireGate?

The guru’s over at ROAR, with all their infinite wisdom, declared the Trinity D3.5 17.5 turn brushless motor illegal on Friday. Roughly 10 months ago they had declared this motor legal. ROAR deemed the motor illegal because they say the wire used in the stator was too large. A ROAR rep has also stated that the size of the wire in the Trinity motor did not change from when they first approved it to when they banned it. A ROAR rep has stated that they have recently gotten access to more precise testing equipment, and with that new equipment the wire used in the Trinity is now found to be too large.

So what’s the big deal? Since its introduction, the Trinity motor has been quite dominant in stock class racing, from the “biggest of the big” trophy races, to the smallest local Joe Schmo race, if you weren’t running the Trinity 17.5 you were at a power disadvantage. With that being said, owners of the Trinity motor are torqued off at ROAR because they may no longer be able to race with it, people selling the motors, from Trinity all the way down to local hobby shop owners are torqued at ROAR because they may not be able to sell their remaining inventory. Then you have people torqued at Trinity because of their alleged cheating.

And… then you have the public relations train-wreck for ROAR. It’s bad enough that they are banning a motor that seemingly hasn’t changed since they first approved it, but they also have Steve Pond (their former prez, and still on their ex-com) getting on a message board and “threatening” to take screen shots of “false or disparaging” remarks to put in the records over at ROAR. Seriously???? Does Pond not know that making a comment like that on an internet forum instantly makes him look like an 8 year old that just just discovered the net yesterday? The last thing ROAR needs is someone running around the forums spouting off like a little punk.

And… I’m not the only one sick and tired of hearing people from ROAR use the “we are just volunteers” card every time they pull some bonehead maneuver. Hey, I volunteer to help elderly/single/needy women down at the local church change the oil in their cars once every 3 months. The job sucks, it’s dirty, I always end up getting burnt, the women constantly complain about the work we do, yet I keep volunteering to do the job. When I volunteer for that job I don’t complain about how bad it sucks, and I don’t do a bad job just because I volunteered. And I continue to volunteer simply because even though it sucks, it’s the right thing to do. Any moron that raises their hand and wants to “volunteer” for ROAR should know these basic rules of volunteering, but seemingly they don’t.

Anywhos… I have absolutely no idea, but lets just say that yes indeed, the wire in the Trinity motor is too large to meet ROAR specs. IMO, the blame falls on BOTH ROAR and Trinity. It falls on ROAR because they didn’t properly check the wire during their initial certification process, and it falls on Trinity because they know what the maximum size is and did not inspect their own motors close enough to ensure they were legal.

(Hit the Keep reading to see the rest so Brian does not yell at me for taking the whole front page.)
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Cubby Happy Labor Day everyone! I know a lot of you guys check out THE Cub Report from the office first thing Monday morning, hopefully you are check’n it out at home today.

Biggest news coming up this week? Easy- BigSquidRC’s 2wd Monster Truck Shootout! Stampede vs Granite vs Ruckus in a battle to the death (literally). Check it out on our front page tomorrow!

Formula 1 takes 5 weeks off for a “summer break” each year, thankfully they were finally back in action from Belgium over the weekend. For you basher guys that may have never seen how chaotic the start of a typical rc race is you can view the start of the Belgium F1 GP to see the full scale equivalent. When will Johnny Fat learn you can’t win the race in the first corner, but you sure can lose it (as well as ruin several other drivers races)? Words to live by for all you noob rc racers…

Being the curious type that I am, I tossed this question around the office “Who is the number 1 American off-road rc racer thus far in 2012?” Needless to say I got a lot of blank stares, but I guess Brian has heard of Adam Drake before as he was his answer. So ya, the guys around the office were of no help. After all they are typical hard-core basher types and really couldn’t care less who wins in the rc scene. So I then proceeded to fire off emails to my industry amigo’s to get their input. I shot off 5 emails and guess what? I got 5 different answers. Big help those guys are, but really it goes to show that the current “system” does not do a very good job of determining a numero uno.

So who would I vote for as the number 1 American driver of 2012? First, I’d look at the 2012 ROAR 8th scale nitro nats. Ty Tessmann dominated both classes (buggy and truggy) at that event so you’d think that would put him on top for sure, but unfortunately he’s not even in the running. Why? Because he’s Canadian. So who was top American? Easy, Mid-West Horizon/Losi phenom Dakotah Phend. Phend finished second in both buggy and truggy, if I was seeking the number 1 American nitro off-roader he would be the guy.

But, and there is always a but, while nitro is still hot with the race crowd it is virtually dead with the bulk of hobbyists. Because of that fact I’d start looking at results from the 2012 ROAR Electric Off-Road “Super-Duper-National”. I could look simply at who won the most classes, and that would be Thunder Tiger/Associated driver Ryan Cavalieri. Cavalieri won all three mod UFO classes as well as 2wd Mod SCT, you could basically say he pwn’d the entire event. But… general hobbyists could care less about the UFO classes now days, so lets say we toss them out, leaving him with just the win in 2wd Mod SCT.

So lets look at the most prestigious class at the ROAR “Super-Uber-National”. Just what class would that be? In the old days that would have been 4wd Mod UFO buggy, but like I just mentioned we are tossing UFO classes. So… that would leave 4wd Mod SCT and 8th scale E-buggy as candidates. The Canadian Tessmann won 8th scale E-buggy, and it is a UFO class anyways, so we are tossing it. That leaves us with 4wd Mod SCT as being the most prestigious class. And the winner of 4wd Mod SCT at the “Super-Intergalatic-Nats”? That would be Thunder Tiger/Associated driver Ryan Maifield.

So… does that make Ryan Maifield America’s best rc racer for 2012? Maybe, but unfortunately we will never find out. Our rc racing system does anything BUT determine who is actually the number 1 guy. Is it really asking too much to ask our sanctioning body to give us a single winner? Racers would respect one winner more, Joe Blow consumers could more easily wrap their heads around one winner, and the guys cutting the big checks to market a true National Champ would open up their wallets a whole lot quicker. Just say’n…

Oh… so who is my pick for “Number 1 American off-road rc racer for 2012″? My vote goes to Cavalieri, then Maifield, then Phend. I sure wish I could see those 3 guys compete in a national championship series to really determine a winner… but I don’t see that EVER happening, instead we are left to wonder and bench race about it. Yay.

That’s it for this week, have a Happy and Safe Labor Day, and as always, support your local hobby shops, tracks and bash spots.

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby To start off the “news” this week- we have some big news coming out of our own lavishly decorated BSRC offices. Since we’ve been such slackers the last few months, we are about to go uber-huge- we will be giving away 1 brand spank’n new vehicle Each and Every Week for the next 3 MONTHS. Yes, you read correctly, we are giving away 12 new vehicles. We will be giving away vehicles from ARRMA, to Thunder Tiger, to Duratrax, all the way up to the way-super-dope Durango RTR’s. So…. if you want to win a kick ass new rc, keep your eyes freak’n peeled on our front page for complete info.

But that’s not all, far from it actually. We will be giving away Loads of new Pro-Line product as well. We are still ironing out all the details, but for the next few months we are going to give away an insane amount of really trick Pro-Line gear. We really thank all you guys for reading BigSquidRC, hopefully you guys enjoy all our upcoming give aways.

Oh and…. you probably saw Brian’s post on the iHobby Cleveland show that is coming up in October. Like always, we’ll be giving away a new vehicle to someone in the crowd at each of our demonstrations on consumer days at the show. If you are within an 8 hour driving radius, try making the trip to iHobby, it’s something that every core hobbyist needs to attend before they die.

Also on the topic of iHobby…. we are in need of 2 female models to help out in the booth, give away stickers, and generally just stand around and look hot. The pay is decent, and it makes a nice addition to a resume. If you know of a hot female that might be able to work our booth at the Cleveland iHobby show, shoot Brian an email.

And lastly, seriously lastly, on the iHobby topic… Much of the rc industry is doing quite well right now thanks to all the long hours and hard work they’ve been putting in (and the mainstream advertising, among other things), yet, manufacture support for iHobby is lackluster. Do the manufactures hate the show or the people putting it on? If that is indeed the case I’d hope they would speak up and get things changed to make it a better fit for their company. Do they just don’t want to spend the cash? Geezus, quit being such cheapskates guys, cut the freak’n check, put some people on an airplane and support your own industry (and, get to hang with the most important people in your professional lives, your consumers). If anything, get a booth there so you can harass me for 4 days, I’d gladly welcome all the smack talk for the show to be a success. And no, I have no commercial interest in the show doing well, I only want to see it do well because it is simply good for the hobby (yes my motives really are that simple).

On a mucho different note…

I had a meeting in SoCal on Thursday and Friday of last week with a certain rc company, so afterwards I decided to drop by West Coast R/C Raceways to check out how the prep was coming along for the ROAR Supernats being held this week. I was treated with nothing but rudeness while there, which I normally accept when people know I am “Cubby”, but the people being a-holes to me at WC didn’t have a clue to who I was. As far as they were concerned they were just being rude to some Joe Blow that walked off the street. You’d think that during the biggest event they’ll probably ever host that they’d treat each and every person in the best way possible. What is the use of putting on a “prestigious” event if you just end being douchebags to people? Isn’t the point of get’n a big event is to impress everyone with not only how good of a track you make, but also how good you and your people are? So ya, instead of hang’n around a few days and covering the event, I caught a flight back on Saturday, feeling 100% certain I was not going to miss anything important.

And… don’t even get me started on the whole ROAR “Supernats” topic. What the heck is a ROAR “Supernats”? Well, it’s ROAR holding a “national” level event that crowns 11 different champions over a 9 day time span. In other words, it is everything that is wrong with rc racing. There are wayyyyyyyyyy too many different classes, and the event is wayyyyyyy too long for its own good.

Races are held for two reason- to determine A winner, and to SELL product. How the heck do you determine who the fastest rc racer in America is when there are 11 different classes with potentially 11 different winners? If I was indeed the fastest guy in America, the guy who put in the longest hours wrenching and practicing to become the best of the best, and I had to share the spotlight with possibly 10 other “national champions” I’d be pissed.

On the sales side of things, when you water down a “national championship” by crowing dozens of them each year, consumers can No longer tell by race results what the fastest gear is and what is not. Just how many different press releases are there going to be, by how many different companies, after the “Supernat” (LOL) is over telling the public they are the “national” champion? I can tell ya how many, wayyyyyy too many. So many different PR’s that all those Normal Joes are either going to be too confused to take the results seriously, of so overloaded by the shear amount of different national champions that they simple ignore the results. Certainly the ROAR “Supernat” is going to be a big event, certainly there is going to be a lot of blood, sweat and tears in that building during those 9 days, but sadly it does nothing to truly find out who the fastest rc racer in America is, nor will winning result in a proportionate impact on sales floors. “Sigh”

Oh and, one last note… Traxxas and Stadium Super Trucks?

That’s it for this week ya’ll, support your local hobby shops, tracks and bash spots (and trade shows!!!) if ya can!

YOUR Cub Reporter

CubbyDays like today are why I believe in miracles. You see Spanish driver Fernando Alonso didn’t have a shot at winning the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Valencia Spain today. Alonso and his Ferrari had a lackluster performance in qualifying on Saturday, putting them 11th place on the starting grid. Certainly Alonso and his Ferrari would work their way into the points (F1 awards points to the top 10), but it was simply impossible for him to stand on the top step of the podium today. The the field in front of him was simply too strong, pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel was too dominant, and there are still questions as to the Ferrari’s true pace. No question about it, Alonso was staring straight at climbing Mount Everest as he sat on the grid. But then the miracle occurred, every brave move Alonso made worked flawlessly and all the chips fell his way. A safety car came out to bunch up the field, then Vettels Red Bull went belly up, then perhaps the only man left standing that could deny Alonso the win, Romain Grosjean, pulled to the side of the track when his Lotus gave up the ghost. After the checkered flag even Alonzo couldn’t believe his win in front of his fellow countrymen, you could see him crying after pulling off the side of the track, and even when up on the podium. An epic drive, by an epic man, in an epic machine, simply incredible. One of those wins people will be talking about for decades to come.

Oh and… Michael Schumacher made it back to the podium for the first time since his return to Formula 1! I think you could tell by the glimmer in Schu’s eyes that the older you get, the sweeter those podiums are. Podiums once came to him in buckets, now I’m guessing he will savor each time it sprinkles. Schu put on his own epic drive, coming from out of the points to the podium in the closing laps. It’s been a long time coming for Schu and his fans, I think that makes it that much sweeter for all involved.

While Alonzo, Schu, and the Iceman were putting on a miracle show in Spain, America’s best rc’ers were going at in in Pennsylvania. I’ve gone on and on about how screwed up rc racing is, but no matter how messed up the system is, our 2012 national buggy and truggy champs were determined today.

Let’s take a look at how the ROAR buggy and truggy champs were determined. Thursday was “practice” day, but it wasn’t really “practice”, as your fastest 3 consecutive laps in “practice” determined what qual you would be assigned the following day. If you didn’t bust out 3 fast laps in “practice” you’d be stuck in a qual with all the spodes, hurting your chances for a fast time in your first qual. The next two days included 4 round of qualifying to determine a “TQ” of sorts, and to determine the order in the euro ladder style of qualifying races that would finally determine who would make it into the “grand” final. The final day finally got down to some “racing”, with the TQ’s having to earn their way into the “grand” final via qualifying through one of the tree/ladder mains. Yes, you could have qualified for two entire days and earned TQ, yet not made it to the “grand” final.

That’s a whole lot of qualifying don’t ya think? And a whole lot of qualifying for the TQ’s not even to earn their way into the “grand” final. Which begs me to ask, what is the big boner ROAR (and IFMAR, and the Euro’s) have with all this freak’n qualifying? It also begs me to ask, why do the racers even put up with it? That’s an assinine amount of qualifying, period, I don’t care how you look at it. In larger, more professional forms of racing, the actual racers simply wouldn’t put up with 3 and a half days of non-sense before finally being able to “race”. At what point does someone finally raise their hand and say “Geezus, can we get down to some F’n racing?”. Just freak’n say’n…. (yet again, for the millionth time)

Have I mentioned how both an 8th scale buggy and 8th scale truggy look more like something driven on the planet Mars than something driven on planet Earth? ugghhhh….

And have I mentioned a national championship should really be determined by a series, not by just one weekends worth of racing? uggghhh….

Yes I do believe in miracles, I honestly do believe that someday, somebody, is gonna have the balls to fix the issues we have in rc racing. To fix the issues so that rc racing can take the next step towards being more professional and being more respected. There are so many people (and companies) that pour there hearts and souls into rc racing (and empty their bank accounts into it) that it is unacceptable that most normal/average hobbyists could care less who wins a big race because even they don’t respect what rc racing has become, let alone all the people outside the hobby that think rc racing is nothing but a silly joke. Rc racing isn’t a silly joke, people devote far too much of their lives to it to be a joke, how fast the elite racers go takes such a vast amount of time and skill, yet because of a few issues with how the racing is done the vast majority of people out there have no respect for the racing or the racers. But while that fact may be sad, it is something that can be fixed.

Anywhos… the young new school guys put the pwn’n on the old school guys at the ROAR nats this year. HPI/Hot Bodies/Pro-Line driver Ty Tessman took the win in both buggy and truggy, with another young gun, Dakotah Phend putting his Pro-Line shod Losi’s into second place in both classes. I think TT putting his Hot Bodies on top once again shows you don’t have to use the most expensive car to win, and Pro-Line going 1-2 in both buggy and truggy shows that arguably the most important piece of equipment for winning any race is tires.

Btw… Pro-Line Blockades won both buggy and truggy, and I hear we’ll be posting a Blockade SC tire review this week. Obviously they jam when used at the most elite levels of racing, but how do they stack up for us average Joe Blows when we hit bash day at the local track? Keep your eyes peeled on the main page to find out.

That’s it for this week. Support your local hobby shops, tracks and bash spots!

YOUR Cub Reporter

We like Venom lipos around here. Apparently, so does the ROAR, as they have just approved six of Venom’s best selling lipos! Head on over to Venom and check ‘em out! Prices range from $60 to $220! The follow packs have been approved:

Part #15038 – 30C 3S 3200mah 11.1v LiPO Hardcase
Part #15057 – 40C 2S 5000mah 7.4v Sport Power LiPO
Part #15058 – 50C 2S 5000mah 7.4v Sport Power LiPO
Part #15064 – 60C 2S 3800mah 7.4v LiPO Hardcase
Part #15070 – 70C 2S 5300mah 7.4v LiPO Hardcase
Part #15071 – 70C 4S 5300mah 14.8v LiPO Hardcase

Cubby Welcome to yet another exciting week in our wonderful hobby of rc. :)

What was the big rc news last week you might ask? HPI announcing a new gas (not nitro) powered monster truck coming in 2012, that’s what. I guess the obtuse might have just blown right by that PR, but I saw it as the first sign of a big change coming- the switch back to fuel dominance. Our hobby goes in cycles, for years fuel is dominant, then electric takes over. So… right now with electric being king, it’s only a matter of time for fuel to take over. Current nitro engines certainly have plenty of power, what they don’t have is consistency, convenience or life span. Around the office we’ve been expecting the almighty Traxxas to come up (ok- pay for the r &d) with the solutions needed to put nitro/fuel back on top, but after HPI’s press release, perhaps they have beat’em to the punch? Is that a TRX sticker I see on Fonzie’s gas tank? Nawwww, surely not…

Speaking of Traxxas stickers… Traxxas got mad love on NBC last weekend during the broadcast of the AMA Unadilla motocross national. I am still amazed whenever I see rc in the mainstream, and it doesn’t get any more mainstream than NBC on a Saturday afternoon. Btw, the latest Traxxas tv commercial is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen- very professional, and done in such a way as to get my blood pump’n. Good stuff there Traxxas, for both us hobbyists and for those that have never heard of hobby grade rc before.

Oh ya, one more thing about Traxxas… TRX has released “official” info on their new Lipo batteries. The biggest news on their batteries? Their “Lifetime Battery Exchange Program“. To quote the PR, “For the first year ownership, Traxxas will replace any battery found to be defective at no cost.” After the first year (once again quoting the PR), “After one year, any Power Cell LiPo battery in any condition can be exchanged for a new equivalent battery for just 50% of the new pack’s list price, no questions asked.”. Should be some interesting days ahead for the people in the Traxxas return/repair department, LOL.

The most prestigious amateur motocross championships held in America went down last week at Loretta Lynns in Tennessee. One of the news stories out of the race was the fact the fastest lap of the week was busted out by a “B” rider. If you aren’t familiar with moto, the “B” class is considered “intermediate”, “C” is considered “novice” and the “A” class is considered “expert”. So… when an “intermediate” rider busted out a faster lap than anyone else at the event, of course the term “sand bagger” got thrown around a lot (like it is every year at Loretta’s). Which got me to thinking about a recent ROAR national where a former IFMAR world champ won a 13.5 class (for those that might not race rc much, the 13.5 class is considered “super stock”). And as we all know, the original purpose of “stock” classes in rc was to provide a class for noobs to race in.

Anyways, the fact an IFMAR world champ won a 13.5 class at a ROAR nat raised a lot of questions in my mind. Why did ROAR allow an IFMAR world champion in a 13.5 class? Why did that racer even want to race in a “stock” class? Why would a manufacture allow their staff IFMAR champ to race a 13.5 class? Why would that manufacture advertise the fact their former IFMAR world champ won a 13.5 class? Why didn’t any of the other racers at the event have a problem with a former IFMAR world champ running a “super stock” class? Lastly, (and in my mind most importantly) just where is the honor in having an IFMAR world champ on top of the podium in a stock class? Pathetic, lame and outright sad…

That’s it for yet another scrumptious edition of the webs most influential (and satirical) rc column, THE Cub Report. Support your local hobby shops, tracks and bash spots. And oh ya, grow some stones and don’t sandbag (or allow it to be done).

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby Hola rc fans, welcome to yet another scrumptious edition of rc’s most satirical column, THE Cub Report. So… where did “Cubby’s Wheel Of Doom” land on this week? Our lovely sanctioning body ROAR of course. :)

ROAR has a new rule stating that cars/trucks will be required to run headlight, taillight and grill decals where applicable. Sounds great right? Sure it does, as it’s nothing but good for our hobby for our race cars to look like their full sized counterparts. It’s good for ROAR, it’s good for the manufactures, and it’s especially good for people outside our hobby looking in. I’m glad to see this rule come into place, heck, everyone I talked to loved it. But… this rule goes a long way in showing the biggest problem at ROAR- they are obtuse to the big picture. This rule is such an obvious one why wasn’t it on the books 20 years ago? Better late than never, but still…

ROAR also released rules regarding motor size in the SCT 4×4 class. After reading them it makes me wonder if Anyone at ROAR has ever raced the class on a regular basis. When I see a 4×4 SC I see an 8th scale buggy with a parachute on it, ROAR must see something very different. 8th scale buggies and 4×4 SC trucks have nearly equal wheelbases, widths, and weights, so why are their power system rules so different? ROAR allows 4S Lithium in 8th scale buggy, but only 2S in 4×4 SC. ROAR allows a maximum of a 550 sized motor in 4×4 SC, yet they allow larger motors in 8th scale buggy. My view of the 4×4 SCT class is- the power system requirement is even greater than 8th scale buggy because of the huge SC body (and that’s quite obvious if you’ve ever spent a few weeks racing 4×4 SCT).

Has everyone at ROAR that contributed to the 4×4 SCT power system rules raced that class week-in/week-out? Because if they have, their experience must be a lot different than mine, the people writing up the rules must never have a problem with motor temps or making runtime. My experience has been different, one where small motors on 2S like to get real hot in a 4×4 SCT leading to short lifespans. Being limited to only 2S requires a whole lot of current to be yanked out of the batteries, not optimal for the longevity of the batteries, motor, or speedo involved. Popping in an 8th scale power system on higher cell counts resolves that problem, when geared appropriately you end up with the same amount of power, longer run times, less heat, and no more burnt up electronics.

Now… “some” may argue an 8th scale power system is too expensive for the 4×4 SCT class, but… if they aren’t too expensive for 8th scale buggy, why would they be too expensive for 4×4 SCT? Others may argue 4S 8th scale power systems make a 4×4 SCT too fast, but I’d argue if they aren’t “too fast” for 8th scale buggy, then they can not be too fast for 4×4 SCT. Running an 8th scale motor/speedo/4S set-up in 4×4 SCT isn’t done to blow the tires off the rims, it’s done to have the same amount of power that runs cooler and burns up less electronics. Seems someone doesn’t understand that (yet).

To boil it down- if ROAR is going to take the time to make up rules, they should be good not for just the next 2 months, they should be rules that stand the test of time. 2 pole 550 motors on 2S is not a sufficient power system for 4×4 SCT, nor will it be 6 months or 6 years from now. Adding rules for headlights and grills is a great start for making race cars look more realistic, but a truggy with headlight and grill stickers still looks like a freak’n Martian spaceship resembling absolutely nothing in full scale.

And what’s with the ROAR brass getting on the forums and arguing (and talking down to) with the anonymous masses? Geezus, I’ve talked about this before- there is no winning an argument on the internet, but it sure can make ROAR look like idiots. I guess it only makes sense, if they are that clueless about internet forums they can be equally clueless about some of the rules they are making.

On a different note…

Review Tuesday is right around the corner and BSRC will be featuring the Axial Wraith rock racer this week. Brian, Wrench, and Adam “The Intern” literally drove the tires off the Wraith, what verdict did they come up with? You’ll find out on Tuesday. I didn’t get a chance to drive the Wraith, but it sure looks uber and generated buzz wherever we went with it.

That’s it for this week, support your hobby, local hobby shops, tracks and bash spots!

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby Everyone is OCD in some way, shape or form, I’m OCD about market trends.
As much as I’d like to think the same as an “average consumer” does, I know because of my involvement in the industry that I don’t, my views/thoughts etc are epically skewed. Unfortunately for me, my job requires that I am spot-on with market trends. With that in mind, my uncontrollable repetitive behavior pops up whenever I’m at a hobby shop, or at a track- I ask a million questions of the people standing around to attempt to gather data on market trends from average hobbyists. At hobby shops it’s usually something about “What’s the hot seller this month?” to the guy behind the counter, and at tracks my questions range from “What brand of tires have you been running lately?” to “Do you remember who won the ROAR nats last year?”.

Arguably the most important rc race to be held in America this year went off last week in Beaumont California- the ROAR 8th scale nitro off road nats. Even though most of the normal world has switched over to electric, the 8th scale nitro buggy class still seems to have the most prestige. This year JT ended up TQ’d buggy and truggy with his Kyoshos, with Ry-Cav putting TT/AE on top of the hour long buggy main, and TT/AE teammate Ryan Maifield stood atop the podium in truggy. Mega congrats to both of the Ryans for their wins, and to AE for sweeping both classes, nice to see all their hard work pay off.

Most rc’ers have no idea just how much work, time, and money was put in by the teams at the ROAR nats. But even worse, most don’t even care. Back in the day virtually ever rc’er kept up to date on race results and it mattered to them which chassis was on top. Now days, when the ROAR nats get the same amount of media coverage as a local Ground Hogs Day trophy race, many average consumers have simply quit caring who wins what, as it’s virtually impossible to differentiate the truly important race wins from the ones that don’t really mean diddly squat. And on top of that, average consumers used to pride themselves on owning the latest uber chassis, now days they wouldn’t be caught dead driving what’s cool with the snobby race crowd. So while Associateds RC8 platform dominated the ROAR nats last week, average consumer types are still sticking tight with their “intended for bashing” Traxxas and HPI models.

IMO, our hobby is very lucky the chassis manufactures continue to dedicate as much money to their race teams as they do. Back in the late 80′s and 90′s, if you won on Sunday it sold on Monday. Now, because of the deep divide between the race crowd and the mass populous of bashers, that is not the case. If you win on Sunday, you will sell to the small race crowd on Monday, but the vast majority of buyers, the bashers, really don’t care who won last weekend.

Oh ya, back to my form of OCD. So when I ask average Joes (racers and bashers) at a local track “Do you remember who won the ROAR nats last year?” their responses vary wildly. Some say “Is Kinwald still winning?”, others say “Probably Drake cause he’s the best.”, but the guys somewhat in the know respond with, “Which ROAR race are you asking about?”, which is a good reply, as there are a half dozen different ROAR nat races held each year, with dozens of classes. Needless to say that when I specify exactly which ROAR race, the answers are typically wrong a vast majority of the time. Sometimes I think the only people that remember who won last year are the actual winners themselves.

So why is there such a harsh division between the race and bash crowds now days? Is it stoked from the eternal flame wars between the anonymous masses on the message boards? Were too many “casual” hobbyists treated like crap at their local tracks by the uber race crowd? Was it fueled by the jealousy of those not willing to empty their bank accounts on the hobby, or the jealousy of those born without major driving skills? I really don’t know, but it makes me sad to know that it exists and the divide is so wide. It’s such a waste, people who love driving rc cars hating other people who love rc cars. I know it’s quite cliche to say, but “Can’t we all just get along?”. Can’t everyone at least respect the right to enjoy the hobby in any way that makes them happy?

Anyways…

Yes we’ve been slack’n lately on our shootouts. It seems we are always busy with other things, but after a phone call with Brian tonight we are making it a priority. If you are a battery company and want to be in on our next shootout, give Brian an email at Brian at BigSquidRC dot com.

We put on a jump contest last weekend in the epicenter of the rc universe, Champaign Illinois. Huge props to everyone that hucked their pride and joy off the ginormous ramp. Special props to Craig “The Ramp Builder Guy”, Brian, Wrench, Jammin’ Jimmy, Tim and Adam “The Intern” for going big. We had jumps ranging from 60 feet to just under 200, it was an insane day with lots of carnage (read- TONS of fun!). Next up on the BSRC calender is our Chicago Old School bash coming up in two weeks.

We’ve got our Firelands Group Helion Animus in hand and ready for testing. This is an 18th scale short course truck that is being sold exclusively through the HobbyTown USA chain, look for a complete review in a couple weeks. It will be interesting to see if Gil Jr, Mike Gillette and Jason Carole’s new product is as good as you’d expect it to be.

That’s it for this week. Support your hobby, visit your local hobby shops, tracks and bash spots! Oh and, take it easy on each other out there, we are all in this hobby for the same reason, to have fun via rc cars!

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby Boorah rc fans, it’s Memorial weekend and yes, even your beloved Cubby has to work. Ughhhh… the impossibly hard to live life of an internet pundit, now that’s what I’m all about.

Breaking Bad- new season starts July 17th. Just say’n…

Vettel won the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Monaco over the weekend. Ughhhh…. And it’s not that I don’t like Sebastian Vettel, it’s the fact that I would rather not know who’s going to win a race before it even starts. Just say’n…

Ryan Dungey had the big kids class all wrapped up in Texas until his RM-Z450 died in the second moto. The Dung’ DNF’ed a moto in supercross this year, now he DNF’s a moto in the nationals, something strange has gotta be in the water over at team Suzuki.

Oh ya, what about rc?

ROAR has announced they are busy formulating rules for a new Short Course Buggy class. Over on rctech.net one of the ROAR guys was talking about how they are looking at the Kyosho Ultima DB and the Losi SCB to help determine the rules. Ya know, in a perfect universe, instead of measuring the K-car and the Losi, ROAR should be at TORC and LOORS (or is it LOORRS?) events measuring full scale rides. Seriously, if you want the class to get off to a proper start, and you want the class to remain true to its full scale origins, the only proper way to formulate the rules is to go strictly off a full scaler. Is the Kyosho or the Losi even close to being scale? Maybe, maybe not, (certainly not in the tire/rim department) but ROAR needs to quit thinking short term, and start thinking what is best for our hobby long term. If ROAR were to look at the full scalers then determine the rules- the manufactures might have to change some parts here and there to meet regs, but if you are going to make rules they might as well be proper ones, not ones suited to the non-scale product the manufactures chose to put out. Lastly, if you make the rules right the first time, you won’t need to come back and keep changing them all the time, just say’n…

Brian and Wrench have been driving the tires off our Axial Wraith test truck. I’m not a crawler kinda guy, but I have to say it’s one sharp looking truck. How good is the new Wraith? Well the review looks to be going up in the next couple weeks, so keep an eye on our main page.

I heard Brian got all the loose ends tied up for BigSquids first summer bash, look for complete info to be posted in the next few days. If you live in the Chi-Town area and want to meet up and do some hardcore bashing (or heck, be extra cool and make it a road trip!) this event will be for you! Big air, big crashes, and even bigger fun!

This marketing to the masses stuff is paying off, every time I hit a practice day at the track the place seems to be crawling with noobs, which of course is awesome! The more the merrier in our hobby I say. But… many of these noobs are showing up wayyyyy over powered. The first car I got was one of the Cox nitro jobs that wasn’t even rc, you grabbed the front wheels and manually turned them the direction you wanted the buggy to go (this was back in the early 70′s). I got my first “real” rc car in the 80′s. That’s been over 2 decades ago. Amazing how easy it was for me to forget just how hard it was for me to drive a hobby grade rc car for the first time. But… after thinking back about it, I can NOT imagine myself trying to learn how to drive figure 8′s with a 6S Revo, or 4S Slash 4×4, or 4S RC8E. Heck, the Mabuchi motor on 6 cell NiCd power system that I started with felt way over powered the first week I was pulling trigger.

Now I totally realize all the marketing makes noobs want that uber 6S Revo, and I’m not saying noobs shouldn’t buy one of those. I totally think noobs should buy whatever it is that catches their fancy. What I am saying is that for every 6S Revo that goes out the door with a total noob that a brushed Slash needs to go with it. A bone stock brushed Slash is no slouch, yet is a hell of a lot easier (and cheaper!) to learn on than some 1200 watt monster. Once a new driver learns how to turn both left and right going both towards and away from himself, then break out the high zoot Revo. Just say’n this because total noobs can not have a good experience while learning the basics on an over powered land missile (and they are hella dangerous to everyone else while doing so).

That’s it for this week folks. Never forget those that gave their lives for our freedom. And oh ya- hit up your local hobby shops, tracks and bash spots!

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby The season opener of F1 is just around the corner, the cars roll off for the first practice session in 10 days, 17 hours, 12 minutes and 8 seconds, but who’s counting? LOL

Chad Reed pulled the holeshot Saturday night at the AMA Supercross in Indy, then later on the first lap Ryan Villopoto blew by him in a rhythm section like he was dragging a boat anchor. RV2 laid down 20 solid laps and took yet another win, putting him a full race ahead of the entire field in the overall points. Leading by a full race is great for RV2, but has got to have Bubba (and Reed, and Dungey) in full on panic mode.

The Monster/Pro-Circuit/Kawi/Traxxas Lites team had a rough time in Indy. Last weeks winner Blake Bagget got squirrelly while leading and dorked it over the finish line jump, while his teammate Deanooo Wilson has been suffering from a bad case of “WTF?” the last couple weeks. The Monster/PC team rarely struggles for long, they’ll be putting Traxxas back on the top spot on the podium before you know it.

I hear our “Tuesday Review” is going to be some type of Horizon truck. Which truck is it, and how well did it handle Brian and Bills relentless bashing? Tune in Tuesday to find out.

What happens when you hand the controller of the new Venom Gambler Brushless short course truck to Adam “the lead fingered” Intern? Well… just stay tuned, we’ll have the complete test up in a few weeks.

Can you believe it? Brian “Chuck Norris” Kinwald is back with Thunder Tiger/Associated after all these years, and I gotta say he looks damn good in AE blue. Brian is a living legend, here’s to seeing BK at a bunch of events this year under the AE banner. And… he doesn’t even have to win, it’s great PR for AE just to have him under their tent again. Brian won enough for 10 pro careers back in the 90′s, and while it would be nice to see him back on top again, AE are gonna get every pennies worth from the PR and R & D he’ll be delivering to them.

How many times have I mentioned that a sanctioning body really only has two major responsibilities- 1. make rules and 2. to provide officials? Over the past 2 years I’ve probably mentioned that a dozen times. Well, it seems the head cheese at ROAR thinks that getting on internet forums and looking like a vitriolic idiot is also a priority (hey, that’s my job!). I mean seriously, didn’t ROAR get the memo about how internet forums work? I guess they didn’t, so ROAR, here’s two free lessons (next time I’m charging, so pay achtung!)-

Lesson one- nobody EVER wins an argument on an internet forum. You can be Steven Hawking, LosiDude420, or freak’n Thomas “Neo” Anderson, and you will never win a forum argument. If you are a sanctioning body, your time is better spent making rules and providing officials than doing something you can never win.

Lession two- while there can never be a winner, it is very quite possible that there can be a loser. How can that be? Well… if you take a person with a real name (the better known they are, the worse it is for them.. LOL), and put them against the anonymous hordes, the person with the real name will Always be the loser. They will always end up coming across as an @sshole during a forum argument. Hell, even the “real person” taking the time to respond to the anonymous hordes comes across as a loss, no matter how right or wrong they may actually be on the subject matter. To boil it down, it’s better to stay off the forums entirely than come across negatively.

On to better news……

What’s in the water over at Horizon/Losi? Must be something good, as their new Losi 1/10th XXX SCB short course/scale buggy is exactly what the market is looking for right now. The Losi XXX SCB isn’t the first entry into that genre, as the Kyosho Ultima DB (desert buggy) has been out for quite some time, but it takes a name like Losi to cement in consumers minds that it’s a class worth having.

Anywhos- what exactly is the XXX SCB? Scroll down a bit to see photos of it on our main page, but essentially it’s a 10th scale 2wd electric buggy (off a XXX platform) that looks very scale. I suck at predictions, I was the guy that said the Slash would never sell, and that the HPI Mini-Trophy truck was the next big thing, but I really like the SCB (perhaps the kiss of death for it? LOL). I hate Horizon/Losi with a passion, but I REALLY want an XXX SCB. Around the office people are split, half REALLY like it, the other half think it’s just a bit off the mark, leaving the door open to competitors who put out an even more scale appearing buggy. Does it have what it takes to do for the buggy class what the Traxxas Slash did for truck? Looks like we’ll find out this summer, can’t wait to drive/race/bash one!

Dear Associated, here’s your official memo about the 10th scale desert/short course buggy class- you need one, and fast. Associated- you are late to the party again. (Where’s the Associated that we all remember and love who were ahead of the curve, not two years behind it?)

I’ve run out of satire for this week. Thanks for reading, get out, support your hobby, and hit up your LHS, tracks and local bash spots!

YOUR Cub Reporter

Most Amercians could car less about Formula One racing, but being the most elite motorsport on the planet I can’t resist watching it. Todays F1 race was in held in Brazil at Interlagos. If you are an rc road course designer, your dreams should be filled with thoughts of emulating that track. The elevation changes, the multiple apex corners, the off cambers, the Senna S’s, make Interlagos an absolute road course nirvana. Sadly the idiots running on road in rc think a perfectly flat piece of ozite is what a road course should be like. Anyways, the Red Bull team locked up their very first world constructors title today with a 1-2 finish by their drivers Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. Red Bull has thrown mountains of cash into their F1 effort, and knowing how Red Bull likes to associate their name with only the best of the best, todays title must be ridiculously sweet for their team. Congrats to the Red Bull team, and like most F1 fans, I can’t wait to see who wins the worlds drivers title this weekend in Abu Dhabi.

So… Steve Pond was recently elected the new president of the largest sanctioning body in our hobby, ROAR. If you’ve never heard of him before, he’s best known for his work over at RC Car Action magazine, and more recently for what he’s been doing over at Kyosho. IMO, this is the most important reign a ROAR pres has ever had. Why? Because there has never been a time in our hobby that has seen so much manufacture money being used to market to the mainstream. Traxxas has seemingly endless Brinks trucks lined up to market to the 1:1 crowds in short course, motocross, monster trucks, and rally crowds. Associated, Horizon/Losi, and others, have also been cut’n the big checks to cross market. If there is ever going to be a time when the hobby grade rc market busts out huge into the mainstream, NOW is it.

But… rc racing, as it currently stands, is a train wreck, plain and simple. It’s not set-up to deal to with noobs (it’s set-up to cater to the core racer that’s been in the hobby for years), and on top of that, its system for determining a true national champion is a farce. Today, when the hobby is primed to take the next big step to the mainstream, we can NOT afford to have the racing segment hold us back.

So what should be the focus points for the new ROAR pres? Here are what “should be” the top 3…

1. Fix local racing. Nearly every local track uses ROAR rules as a template, unfortunately these are like kryptonite to noobs. IFMAR qualifying has never been fun, and never (ever) will be. When was the last time you came off the stand with a ginormous smile on your face because you had soooo much fun in an IFMAR qualfier? Never, that’s when. Would someone PLEASE kick IFMAR qualifying to the curb. And I’m one of the guys in favor of 1 hour qualifying. This is an idea that’s been out there forever, where the track surface is open for one hour to qualify the racers. As a racer, you come out any time during that hour you wish, and run as many laps as you like, but only your fastest 3 laps count. If someone hacks you, no big deal, scratch that lap. If you break, no big deal, fix it and come back out. If you get behind a moving roadblock, no problem, abort the lap. Don’t like your tire choice, pull your car back in and change’em. But the best part is one hour after it starts, qualifying is over, and racing can begin.

For those that might not know, a “typical” race day at a local track includes something like three 5 minute IFMAR quals, and a single 5 to 15 minute main. But people show up to freak’n race, not screw around with qualifying all day. Additionally, the technology has existed for a decade to have over 10 minute long mains, yet the average main is still 5 minutes. It’s time for less qualifying, and more racing. Run the one hour qualifying, then a pair of 10 minute mains (or 15, or 20). The racers end up with more track time, but they don’t have to spend the entire day at the track, a win-win situation.

ROAR has two main functions as a sanctioning body, to make rules, and to supply race officials. The time has come for a set of rules that make sense at the local level.

2. Fix the national championships. Why are they a joke? Because there are too many of them, and the ones that are held, come down to a single race day, not a good thing if you flame out, get hacked etc. The fix? One national champion determined by a series. One, 1, Uno champion, not dozens. Also, this champion needs to be determined over series, with a big check waiting for him at the end. Yes, a check with at least four zeros in it (at least $10,000 not $100.00 ya smart a$$es). If you have proven yourself the best rc racer in America, you have earned some decent bank. A total re-boot of the nationals are in order, and have been for a very long time. The world has changed, rc racing has not, it’s about time we catch back up.

3. Secure a major series sponsor. ROAR’s job isn’t to sponsor races, but sometimes even they don’t realize that. If ROAR were to acquire Monster/DC Shoes/Red Bull/Pepsi/Spy Optics/Fox Racing/Toyota as a title sponsor it would ad legitimacy, afford them the money to cut decent checks to the winners, and help pay for better marketing of the series and upgrades to venues. The bigger the sponsor, the better the series can become.

Now, I’m quite certain none of the 3 items above will ever be addressed by ROAR. Unfortunately they will carry on business as usual, squandering a golden opportunity. They’d rather debate rotor sizes and speed control timings, than what matters at the end of the day. Such is the way the world turns in rc.

That’s it for this week folks. Support your local hobby shops, tracks, and bash spots!

YOUR Cub Report

How are tracks keeping their doors open now days? Have you looked at weekly attendance at your local tracks? More likely than not, your local track is getting 15-40 entries on a weekly basis, hardly enough to keep the lights on and rent paid. Well, I’ll tell ya how many tracks are keeping their doors open, big “trophy” races. Many tracks depend on trophy races to bring in enough dinero to keep from going under, without them, they simply could not make it.

Depending on trophy races to keep your doors open is not how a “fun” hobby should operate. A “fun” hobby should depend on building up a base of local/not so serious racers that come out religiously every weekend. Having a strong “fun” local base makes noobs feel more comfortable, creating a snowball effect, one that encourages first time racers to come back every weekend, giving a local track a steady growth of new blood.

Walk into an “average” track now days and you’ll find the same 20 hardcore racers you would have found there in 1996. Hundreds of noobs have come, felt uncomfortable and/or totally uncompetitive, and never came back a second time. Those 20 racers are the ones that will go out of their way to win at any cost- from cursing, to not sharing common set-up information, to hacking, to flip’n out on marshals, to generally doing anything to run away potential challengers to their spot as local fast guy. But, these few local hardcore guys (the ones that are willing to travel to race) are the ones keeping most tracks open. Out of their pockets come the $30-$150 entry fees for all those trophy races that keep tracks open. The real question is, how much longer can our hobby keep milking these guys dry every year before they start asking themselves is it really worth it? At what point will the local hardcore guy see that he spent 15k last year for a few plaques and a couple of partial sponsorships? Was spending 15k and missing his kids grow up worth those plaques and partials? Those guys are hardcore, but they aren’t stupid (perhaps a bit obtuse), and many of those aging hardcore guys have just about had enough.

Not helping are some track owners. I’ve talked to several new track owners lately who just can’t wait to hold big races. They see “big” races as the only way to make any money. They see big races as the only way to establish their track as being a “good” one. They really could care less about what their local noobs want, they only people they seem to listen to are the hardcore racers on RC Tech who live 50 miles away but swear they’ll support their track (well, if the makes the rules and the track the way they want them).

Also not helping is ROAR. ROAR gave up on local racing years (decades?) ago, seemingly now only caring about nationals (upon nationals, upon nationals). After seeing dwindling membership year after year, they seemingly came up with the brilliant idea of holding as many different national races (and classes) as possible. They seemingly think the only way they can make more money is via entries to their national events, so they hold a ridiculous amount of them (anything for a buck eh? no matter how much it devalues their winners). If you race full scale motorcycles in the USA (dirt or street, it does not matter), you are most likely an AMA member, as nearly all local Joe Blow tracks in the country require an AMA card for even the most basic of events. It seems like ROAR is all about the money these days, funny that they don’t understand the real money is to be had at the local level.

Ok, to finally digress- the most important people in racing are the noobs, the guys that show up with the Stampedes, Red Cats, and T-Maxxs. Yet, while we all know that, nobody caters to them. We see it every single day. We see the future of the racing side of our hobby die a little each time a noob walks out the door never to return.

Enough of this racing talk, I could go on, and on, and on, so……

On to a different subject, we’ll be starting our 4S 8th scale Lipo shootout in mid September, and will hopefully be publishing the results the first week of October. On board so far is Thunder Power, Ace, and Checkpoint. Rumors still abound around the office that MaxAmps is IN.

Speaking of shootouts, our high zoot editor Brian says he has a boner to do a 2.4 Ghz transmitter shootout, lets say Futaba 4PK vs Tactic vs Spektrum DX3R vs one of the affordable alternatives. If you are a manufacture up for the challenge, fire off an email to Brian at BigSquidRC dot com, and if you are a consumer who thinks such a shootout would be cool to see (and what some of the criteria should be) send an email to that same email addy.

Ok, I’ve gone wayyyyyyyyy too long this week. As always, thanks for reading my drivel (sarcastic English butchering rants), and get out from behind that tube (ok LCD screen) and hit up your LHS, local tracks and bash spots!

YOUR Cub Reporter

News from Team Novak is that a bunch of their speed controllers just received ROAR approval. The following are approved for the sportsman division.

* Kinetic Racing Brushless ESC (#1740)
* Kinetic 1S Racing Brushless ESC (#1741)
* GTB Racing Brushless/Brush ESC (#1710)
* Havoc Pro SC Brushless ESC (#1745)
* Havoc 3S Brushless ESC (#1733)

For any more info and details, just hit the Team Novak website.