Saturday, September 15, 2012

What is RC Drift these days?

Drift in RC has been about replicating the real car's sideways motion. So has that evolved too?

The original drift package did this for about 2 years with limited success as the 4wd drifting of an Evo Lancer is what was replicated, but the bodies were what drew everyone in. The cars in those days actually didn't get too sideways though, so was it real?

Then the Ketsukaki / FCD (full counter drift) / CS (counter steer) drift took over adding realistic sliding behavior. It looked real, the front one way bearings allowed for rear handbrake style slides and this really caught on and challenged the competition / fun direction.  If you want a fast chassis or a stylish realistic chassis. The two are not always compatible.

A whole swarm of parts were created for optimizing the individual's needs in favour of style.

More recently, the thirst for realism has seen many small business with innovative ideas and decorative additions. making the cars look even more real challenging the eye. On a diorama circuit, the reality is mistakable.

These small companies ideas have recently been copied furiously by the limited IP ethics in the country of manufacture. Some have even improved upon the originals. You only have to look at the Type C drift package from Tabao to know that. The gear case is unique.

In Japan, there's always a craze in RC. That's what keeps these companies in business. The Japanese love seasonal activity and crave new things. You see, the magazines promote something one month and then they promote something else the next month. The wave never ends. It sometimes even contradicts itself, but popularity transforms.

Anyway these days the main 257mm chassis market segment is so saturated with products, even manufacturers can't decide what to do. They just build everything. Front Motor / Mid Motor / Rear Motor / Shaft Belt and hope someone buys something. they are all similarly priced with no real differentiation. For a beginner, these options are simply overwhelming. DRB, DIB, DPM, DPC, etc etc OTA-R3R etc etc
Nobody knows what is best because they are in the end all the same. Most top competitors mix and match components anyway. so you end up with a DRBCMR3RODCS.

But they haven't really mastered the look, with front wheels spinning way too fast. Recently the emphasis on realism sees a little more direction split in the RC Drift world that may even bring about different classes of competition other than just carpet and asphalt.The search for markets.

1. ML 275-290mm Wheelbase.
This is a new wheelbase spec by street Jam to literally extend the sales of the OTA series chassis.
the target is the huge VIP market in Japan. Big 4wd sedans don't adequately replicate in 1/10 so this will open the market to others. Street Jam are pretty good at identifying markets and the Pick up truck bodies have been a success, so this should be too. But it may also be ignored, just like the 250mm Tamiya chassis. You will need a bigger track for these also.

2. True FR 2wd Drift is one such option that may never compete with 4wd CS Drift for speed but maybe for style. There are a lot of of compromises to get something on the same level as a 4wd. One of these is traction. The lack of front traction really effects the speed of drift when using the same tyres. The  style component matches D1 cars recently that have special front arms that allow near parallel wheel angle. The FR drift car needs this same angle. But when I look at it used in RC, it just doesn't look right. seeing your car drift with the wheels at near 90 degrees is a little weird at first. maybe it will catch on. My 2.2CS TA-06 was like this...

Does this picture look ok?

So what will be my next chassis. An ML capable chassis or the full FR experience.

I was thinking about an OTA-R Zeon shaft drive with about 2.0 CS. It gives me the option of the ML chassis later.
or the FR-D.

Looking into pricing. The FR-D will cost a LOT more than the Zeon to get to the same level of cool!

Fr drift seems good on paper, but what is the reality of getting into an FRD.
No friends to drift with. I doubt anyone else will have a similar chassis for a while, so it could be a complete waste of money.

Maybe I like wasting money... haha.


  1. Rwd drift, for some reason does not look real at all. Not what i saw(

  2. The ZEON is nice, but without that large lump between the front wheels that the FR-D has... I don't know.

    I'm sure StreetJam or Yokomo will try to put a motor between the front wheels some time soon.

  3. I was pumped about these,,, but i've stepped back and looked again...

    I think I'll save my cash and wait. Then go Full Tune on something perfect.

    I sold all my chassis and I like my DRB just the way it is. but there's always something new you want to try. DPM has appeared and Sakura which I'll be able to try next week.

    Wait for the reviews...

  4. hi,why are you mentioning the front tires for 2wd drift?you wrote they have no traction.isnt that desirable?

  5. It is if you want to drift with other people in 4wd cars. My point is, unless the craze really catches on, you'll be drifting 2WD alone.

    I love the battles and side by side, so there is an issue.

    A bit like trying to play with 50:50 drifters with a big CS number car. you are always pushing and reducing angle to keep up.

  6. I'm agree with you Russ.50:50 better go for rally nowdays.Cs car can rub the front tire on the lead car body during tandem.That make cs drift more interesting..

  7. Personally, I'm a bit torn between the DRB and ZEON, and not sure which would be a good combination of daily drifter and possible future FR 2wd chassis.

    It's a bit of a tricky market at the moment, even without ML.

  8. DRB gives you a proven chassis with an array of battery configurations. You can even do in line short battery with a single cut to the centre bulkhead.

    ZEON is good because you can bling it to insanity, The only thing I don't like is the maintenance of any shaft drive chassis.
    To change a gear set is a MAJOR operation. Especially the front.

    it's the main reason I didn't like my awesome TA-06. the rear housing was a nightmare.

    DRB belts wear out. But that's a minor concern, they are cheap and every chassis has its weak points and fixes.

    I know the main ones by now. I think I'll stick with DRBs for a while.

    I'm preparing to de-blue and polish my DRB. gotta go silver.
    Maybe I can get a certain someone to sell me his Silver DRB... Hmmm.


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