I wrote a piece in February contemplating what 2wd buggies were available on the market today, and promised a follow up looking at what RTR cars are out there to consider for racing.
There are actually more 2wd Buggies available RTR than there are in kit form today. For many years, 2wd buggy was, and has once again become, the mainstay of the buggy world, and the ideal introductory platform for new drivers racing in the stock class with a 17.5t motor limit. It teaches new drivers about throttle control, vehicle dynamics and car setup among other things. As far as the manufacturers are concerned, what better way to start than with a package that is bundled up, built and ready to go!
What are the benefits to a RTR over a kit? normally the electronics are not the top of the line, but do the job, often alloy parts are replaced with plastic equivalents and you obviously get little choice in tyres, esc etc. Some do come with a battery and chargers, some do not.
So let’s have a look at some of the options out there, and which ones you should give close consideration to.
in the RTR line, team associated have the B4.2 RS Brushless RTR. THe first question I hear many saying is what about the B5 twins? well, they are brand new models, and they don’t do a RTR yet, if they do at all, but there is nothing wrong with the B4.2, it is still a world class car. Fitted with a rear mounted motor, 2.4ghz radio, composite chassis, Reedy 3300kV motor and a gear differential. In this package you get a world class platform set up ready to go. Against, it is a sensorless motor and esc, so ineligible to race at most clubs in Australia. It does not come with a battery, and that’s about it really, it is a good vehicle at a good price! How long it is available for with the B5 on the market however will be interesting to see.
Losi / TLR
A little more expensive than the B4.2RS, the 22 Brushless RTR doesn’t seem to be a whole lot different to the 22 kit. Again, now superceded by the new 22 2.0, but that doesn’t make the original a bad investment by any standard. Fitted with a ROAR legal 13.5 brushless (sensored) motor and esc combination, alloy chassis, a Spektrum 2.4ghz radio and gear differential this is one powerhouse package. Cons, well most 2wd buggy racing is 17.5 or open, leaving 13.5 somewhere in the middle, the good news, you only need to add your own 17.5 if you are going to be racing stock. Pros, you pretty much get all the goodies that a kit 22 has, with the exception of a ball differential.
Price wise slotting in between the B4.2RS and 22 RTR, the Ultima RB6 ReadySet is a brand new RTR model on the market following the release of the RB6 kit. Featuring an alloy chassis, 2.4 ghz radio and a 2700 kv sensorless motor combination. Again, problems arise here whereby the motor is not sensored, so not able to race in most places, and if you have to buy a new ESC and motor it kinda defeats the purpose of a RTR as a race car. Admittedly many RTR kits are aimed at the casual basher, but to have a RB6 and not race it would be somewhat of a shame.
Many racers would look at me and say ECX as a race car, really? Well, why not, lets not be brand snobs and look at what options are available. Ok, so ECX is neither know for racing, nor aimed at it, but their Boost RTR Buggy is durable, and race legal, and very affordable! It comes out of the box with a basic battery, a race legal 20t brushed motor and gear differential. If you are starting in the hobby, certainly an option to look at.
We can’t talk about 2wd RTR buggies without looking at the Traxxas Bandit. Available at a range of price points depending on if you want a brushed motor, waterproof, brushless or TQi radio system, the bandid is a long lived platform, that while aimed at the basher, can be used on the track as well. The brushless versions are more expensive, but are sensorless motors, so no good for racing. the basic brushed version however only costs a little more than the ECX boost but comes with the famous Traxxas parts availability at virtually every hobby store, a 12t 550 motor, which does have too many turns for 17.5 racing, and is a 550 can, but it can affordably be swapped for a suitable brushed motor. There is even a training mode in the esc that allows for only 50% throttle to be applied, perfect for the young beginner, and a battery is included as well to get you going right out of the box.
Another brand that is all too often looked over in favour of the big boys, it fits into the same category as the ECX Boost in so far as it is affordable, effective and durable. The Helion Criterion is fitted with a 12t brushed motor which, like the Traxxas has too many turns for the 17.5 class, but can be simply and affordably changed. An ESC that can cope with LIPO and NIMH (including the packaged 7 cell NIMH), even a 2.4 ghz radio. However parts can be a little tricky as with any of the smaller brands in the RC market.
ARRMA is best known for it’s bashing vehicles and twin vertical plate chassis, and their ADX10 BLX is no exception. Fitted with a twin vertical plate chassis instead of the composite bathtub or alloy chassis and side pods featured in the other buggies, this unconventional buggy is another racing alternative. Fitted with a 3600kv motor it is fast, but as with the others, is not a race approved sensored brushless system, so a bit of a bummer there, but that is only one obstacle that is common in many of these kits. These vehicles seem to be available for a good price at many stores so it is an option worth looking into.
What no RTR’s!
Tamiya have a bewildering range of vintage re released kits available for purchase for racing etc, however I am not aware that any are available as a full RTR. Schumacher and Team Xray are another 2 that only sell kits, not any RTR packages. Hot bodies as previously mentioned has no 2wd buggy, although photos of a rumoured one appear from time to time. Whilst Team Durango did have a RTR of their popular DEX210 the release of the 2.0 version means that the RTR has been discontinued, I presume to be replaced with a new version in time.
Remember, there are bargains to be had 2nd hand
As I mentioned in my last article, there are bargains to be had on the 2nd hand market, with used kits with motors, esc’s and radios fitted for less than their new value. Check out your local club’s for sale boards, check out eBay and gumtree, look at the RC tech Australian For Sale section and see what is about. Always remember that it is a case of buyer beware when it comes to any 2nd hand goods, especially electronics. A broken screw or part can be replaced, but electronics are difficult to repair if they can be repaired at all.