Finishing the package
So, any 1/10th car is going to need a few things to finish it up, and my Kyosho wound up being a bit of a 'fan-boy' special. Motor-wise, I'd been wanting to try an Orion motor for a while, and so ended up fitting a nice new VST 6.5 motor in the car, BRCA legal and all ready for a season of regional and local racing. I know a few people have had issues with the cases on these motors stripping threads, but in the last year mines been as good as gold and not missed a beat. It certainly fast, too!
Speedo wise, I started with the very popular HobbyWing 120A v2.1, which I'd run for a while in my Durango. It's a a great speedo, but really I wanted an Orion R10 160A to go in there to continue the theme started with the motor. When a great deal came up on the R10 and programming box, I just couldn't help myself. PayPal took a battering, and two days latter I was soldering a very nice, grey speedo into the car. The R10 is a really quality piece of kit, with some great design features. Of particular note are the dual sensor ports, ensuring a neat wiring job is as easy as possible, and the fact that the programming box plugs in via the spare sensor port. It's a lovely bit of kit, although I did have some compatibility issues with my radio gear to start with (see below).
In the battery department, it was Orion all the way, with a couple of their 90C saddle packs that I;ve had since they were released. They've been used on a weekly basis, but handled with suitable care are still in great condition and have almost as much punch as when they were new.
Steering duties are handled by a metal geared Savox servo, hooked up initially to my Spectrum radio kit - and unfortunately that's were things came unstuck. The first regional of the year, at Stotfold, saw the car suffering from brown-outs when hitting full throttle out of the corners. Troubleshooting at the event didn't show any problems, so a quick web search when I got home was order of the day. I soon managed to confirm that Savox/Spectrum/Orion don't play well together; Savox servo's a pretty juicy, the Spectrum Rx has a very sensitive fail-safe and put's a big drain on the ESC's BEC. The BEC on the R10 is obviously not quite strong enough in all conditions to cope with this, and so momentarily drops the Rx into fail safe. My solution? Trade up from my Spectrum equipped Sanwa M11 to an M11x. Job done!
|All set for it's first outing at TORCH|
So, what's it like to drive?
Well, very well actually, straight out of the box! It's a very neutral chassis, quick and accurate but very forgiving. I found it made me faster straight away as it suits my style of driving far more than the massively aggressive DEX410, I think the ball diffs have a lot to do with this. That said, the car is certainly quick enough out of the hole, and shows a good amount of pace at the top end.
Steering is good, but not outstanding. I must say it suits me not to have too much steering especially as the grip comes up in the summer, but I know some find it a weak area of the car. A number of after market steering links are now available, I'll take a look at my choice in a future update.
Performance from the shock package is very good, the shocks don't leak and have a very consistent and smooth action. They're excellent at soaking up the larger ripples, and landing after the big jumps, but in stock form are may be just a little bit lazy and slow to react over higher frequency ripples. This has been a common complaint from drivers, and whilst it was not much of a handicap to a driver of my limited talent, I have made some changes in this are that I'll discuss in the next post.
The car has plenty of adjustments that can be made to set up, and responds as expected to any changes made. Whilst not an overly set up sensitive car it is equally nice to be able to feel the effects of changes as they are made. I started with the kit set up for my first few races, which was certainly a good place to begin, but later moved over to a base set up provided by team driver Tony Evdoka. This was certainly a worth while move, and I could feel the benefits of his experience straight away. Tony has an excellent website that you can find here, and is always posting set ups and advice for Kyosho drivers.
Durability and Quality
Durability is very good, not much breaks and when it does it usually due to user error! The most common breakages seem to be shock towers and bulkheads, usually as a result of heavy landings or impacts, and rear lower wishbones, especially if running the newer NCG arms. There's not a huge amount of meat on them, and whilst it does take a good whack to snap them, they are probably weaker than some other brands. Temperature also seems to make quite a difference, with substantially more breakages in colder weather; I suspect the high composite content of the reinforced plastic parts means they can get brittle as the temperature drops. All that said, I don't feel I've broken more parts on this car than any other I've owned, and certainly haven't felt the need to carry a huge number of spares with me.
As for Kyosho quality, well after a year of heavy use the drive shaft pins still look new, all of the gears in the drive train are original and look like new, and I'm just starting to think about changing the balls in the differentials. The only real 'consumable' has been bearings, the stock items are certainly high quality and very free spinning but I'm not convinced by the very light seals that are fitted. I've replaced them all with Answer RC bearings with metal/teflon seals instead which seem much more durable - for me the trade of for a little more friction is well worth it.
So, after a year of running I can safely say that this is probably my favourite RC car. It does eveything I need, and I feel it certainly flatters my limited abilities. My results have picked up considerably since moving to it, and I don;t feel that can be a coincidence! In the next article I'll give you a full 'under the skin' look at my car.