Like I have already said, it doesn't matter if you are 5 or 105, if you love cars and enjoy tinkering with them, then your going to love the fun and excitement of racing radio controlled cars. But if you are a newbie to the R/C world there are a few things to consider before you purchase your first radio controlled car, buggy or truck and head to the race track or dirt track which I would like to outline in this article.
The limits of radio controlled vehicles is being pushed further and further all the time which makes it all that more exciting. The boundaries of terrain and speed are eing broken all the time and it's common now to find modern hobby R/C cars reaching speeds of 60 mph and more. These vehicles feature complex suspension systems that can be tuned in much the same way as those of a real car. Thanks to all the breakthroughs in technology, materials, motors, batteries created for today's radio controlled cars there is a wide variety of different vehicles available.
1. Should you buy something ready-to-run or want to custom build your own car from a kit?
As you can imagine there are many advantages to building your own car from scratch. One being the fact you know your car inside out, which makes it a lot easier to maintain and make any alterations you think will make it better, but this isn't the best option for an R/C car newbie just starting out. This is where the Ready-To-Run variety can be better for younger racers and those newbies just starting out (it's what I purchased first and also what got me hooked). They can be a little more expensive in some cases, but being able to use them straight out of the box (after charging it of course) makes up for it. I know I'll be moving onto my first kit R/C car very soon and it will most likely be a Nitro Buggy.
2. Do you want to drive your radio controlled car on-road or off-road?
Now when I'm talking about On-road vehicles I don;t mean you are going to be driving your R/C cars on the streets. What this means is drving on a smooth surface of some kind and not dirt. Vehicles like this are designed for speed and drifting and the best option if you are wanting to race your car. That doesn't mean to say you can't get fast off-road vehicles for the dirst and grass.
However, if you really aren't that worried about speed and want to tackle some interesting terrain then there are a wide variety of off-road vehicles available to suit all your needs including trucks and buggies. These can provide hours of fun while trying to negotiate rough terrain, obstacle courses and even jumps.
3. Final choice is between an electric vehicle or a nitro powered car?
If you want simplicity then you can't go past an electrically powered vehicle which uses rechargeable batteries. This by far the cleanest and quietest option but, for many R/C enthusiasts, they lack the realism that gives radio controlled car racing its true excitement.
To get the Full-On R/C vehicle experience you can't go past Nitro Powered. This is when you get the sights (smoke), sounds (tuned pipe), and smell (exhaust) of a real car. One draw back to these cars is that they require considerably more maintenance than electric R/C cars, and you must take this into consideration if you are just starting out. The quality of Nitro cars in the past wasn't all that great but, in recent years, technology has improved quite a bit and so has the performance, safety and reliability. Just remember, like any real car they need regular maintenance and some parts aren't cheap. But can you really put a price on ultimate fun?
Having considered the options of ready-to-run or kit cars, on-road or off-road and whether you want an electric or nitro powered car, the next step is to have a look at the cars on offer and read some of our reviews. See if there are any R/C car clubs in your area and visit them during a meet so you can see them in action and ask questions. Send us an email if you have any questions, we are more than happy to help out in any way we can.
Once you get your radio controlled vehicle it will be time for a little practice and then you'll be ready to hit the track.