Monday, September 5, 2011

Finally Got My Motorcycle...

As a kid I always wanted to ride motorcycles and I have been obsessed with motor sports in general, F1, MotoGP, and NASCAR and so on; anything with a motor and wheels has my attention. The short version of the story is I did have an opportunity to ride dirt bikes when I was younger, it was for a summer and that was it. So when I saw the Venom GPV-1 it was love at first sight and I had to have one.

I have been in RC for quite some time mostly in the traditional forms of it like off road, touring cars and air planes. RC bikes are new to me and very interesting as to their scale details compared to the 1:1 version. After much research and forum surfing I ordered the GPV-1 last October; I know it is almost October again and I am now writing this...

Ok, when I ordered this bike I know the stock electronics weren't going to cut it so I ordered the Team Novak Mongoose Brushless System and a Venom 2S Lipo battery pack. This setup was selected to keep current with today's RC trends for run-time; low maintenance and I have always had success using Team Novak systems throughout the years. Racing the GPV-1 is not in the cards as there is no organized racing series (or tracks for that matter) in NY for RC bikes, so this will be strictly for the parking lot. 

Testing - Sunny & 70 deg:

Since this is my first opportunity to sample the GPV-1, I am convinced that going brushless was the right move, what a bike it accelerates like a missile with the Novak system. On my second battery pack I made a few adjustments and it was a much better session.

The bike accelerates nice and smooth (after making a few radio adjustments expo, endpoints, throttle speed), and the Novak system is “SWEET” (did I mention this already). The first adjustments were thicker shock oil and 1+ mm of droop. The rear end settled down nicely with more grip in and out of the corners.

The front end has been my challenge; trying the track strait lead to a few adjustments on the steering-link springs. After finding the sweet spot, I gained a much better feel coming off the corner onto the straits. My test track was a clean blacktop with corner dots to make nice infield with two sweeping corners (I should have mentioned this first).

The only downside was changing the battery pack for the next run; "too much work Venom". So since I has the bodywork off I decided to make a rake adjustment to 64 deg. This setup proofed to be great on the sweepers but a little slow on the infield left and right turns.

Overall I am happy with the GPV-1's performance and the fun I had, it brought back that first time RC feeling and "I like that".

My addition for RC bikes is growing and I don't want it to end!


Sunday, September 4, 2011

STRC Slash Conversion, is it a winner?

This entry is for the STRC Slash 2WD conversion kit and it is sweet. I received and installed this kit last October and the installation is easy.

Here's what you need for the conversion:

Slash 2WD Kit (you should have this already)
STRC Conversion
Rustler Lower Chassis
Rustler Upper Chassis
Rustler Battery Hold-Down

With the above you have every thing you need to complete this conversion, STRC also has detailed instructions on their site. I am very impressed with this kit and I recommend anyone racing their Slash in stock class and looking to move into the modified class, give this kit a serious look as it is a winner in my opinion.

From the first pull of the throttle the chassis rolls out low and smooth, ready to attack the track. Jumping with this new chassis setup is also much improved over the stock setup as it flies level and is very responsive to your throttle input while in the air. I was able to get a full hour session on track with this kit and what a difference, there is no comparison to the stock Slash at all. Everyone at the track was was impressed with the quality, fit, finish and drive ability of this conversion. One top racer said "it handles like a pro kit" and to be honest, "I think so too". 

Here are some photos:

So whether you are racing on track or bashing around the backyard, do not hesitate to give this kit a try as it will take your stock Slash and make it a precision machine!

Traxxas goes LIPO

Traxxas has just released a new line of LIPO batteries to compliment their product line. The new LIPO cells will be available in 2-cell (2S) and 3-cell (3S) configurations and a wide range of capacities.

The batteries will come with the new TRX high current connectors and 12awg wire. The one thing i like is that they include a standard JTS plug for balancing your cells. Traxxas has test fitted these cells to their line of vehicles so the question of "will it fit my car" can be answered using their handy battery selector on their website.Traxxas has truly revolutionized the RC industry for the better and these new cells come with the Traxxas lifetime battery exchange program; now that is sweet.

I will post a review on these new batteries when they are available at my local hobby shop, in the meantime if you have these cells please do  not hesitate to post your thoughts...