How fast can the car or truck go?
The top speed of the car will depend on the motor and gear combination used. With a stock motor and the kit gearing, a typical out-of-the-box sedan car can go 30-40 kph. With a powerful modified motor, the electric sedans can reach speeds over 60 kph.
The Nitro cars can go about 50-70 kph out of the box with the kit engine. The actual speed depends on the kit; some come with a larger engine and ball bearings. Ball bearings help make any R/C car go much faster!
Apart from the Kit… what else do I need?
If you buy as a "package deal", this will include a 2-channel Radio Set, battery pack and charger.
You'll also need the proper tools to assemble them, which always includes a #1 and #2 Philips head screwdriver (you may know them as the "small" and "large" Philip head screwdrivers!). Some kits require a flat-head screwdriver also. Needle nose and small slip-joint pliers will come in very handy too. A hobby knife such as an X-acto blade is also necessary, and sharp plastic snips will help take parts off the trees also. Any experienced R/C racer will already have these parts in their toolbox, so it never hurts to have these already!
What do you mean by "Nitro"?
"Nitro" actually refers to the nitromethane content of the glow fuel used to run the Nitro RS4 kits. Commonly used is a 20% Nitro blend. If you use a lower percentage of nitro fuel, you will not see the performance potential of your car, and you will wonder why you get passed all the time when you race. If you run you car in higher altitudes you should try 25% or 30% nitro fuel to compensate for the lower oxygen levels in the air.
NB: "Nitro" cars are also called "gas" cars by some hobbyists.
Should I get an electric car, or a Nitro-powered car?
This basically depends on the person who will be receiving the car. The electric cars are easier to operate on, require more equipment to start with, and are much quieter than any Nitro car. For many people, it's easier to find a street or track to run electric cars at (mainly because of the noise). The startup cost is a bit higher than Nitro cars, because in addition to the kit and radio, you will also need battery packs (we recommend three or four packs to start with) and a battery charger. Electric kits are good for any age driver at any experience level, since they don't release any fumes and are very easy to clean up and get running.
Nitro cars are a little dirtier after you finish running them, but the startup equipment is a little cheaper than an equivalent electric car (all you need is a kit that includes an engine - like our Nitro RS4 kits - and a radio, plus the fuel), they can't be run indoors, they are much louder than any electric car, but the payoff is that they can go WAY faster than just about any electric car! Nitro kits are generally best for teenagers and older, because of the speed potential, hot parts and fast-moving rotating parts.
What does the kit come with?
In general, kits come with all the parts necessary to build a complete "rolling chassis". No electrics are included (some electric kits supply a Mechanical Speed Control device), and the larger tools needed for assembly are also not included. Kits often do include the smaller tools that are needed to finish the kits, such as L-shaped Allen keys and a cross wrench that fits the wheel nuts, ball ends, small nuts and ball cups.
Can I fit other company's bodies on my kit?
There are several companies that make R/C car bodies, and most will fit with little problem. As long as you choose a body with the same width as the car you want to fit it on, you shouldn't have any problems. For example, a 'wide' sedan car will accept only 'wide' sedan bodies, but since a 'narrow' car is narrower than a wide car, a narrow car can accept either narrow or wide sedan bodies. It may sound confusing, but it's not that hard to figure out once you have the body and car in front of you!
Mini cars come in one width only, but the wheelbase can be changed from 225mm to 208mm, which shortens the wheelbase of the car quite a bit. If you buy a replacement or extra Mini body, be sure to note the wheelbase of the body so you know whether you have to change the wheelbase of your car before you can fit it on! Rally and Nitro kits can accept any 'wide' body.
What kind of place can I run these cars?
Most kits will do fine on any street or parking lot. But some are meant for racing on prepared asphalt surfaces or carpet tracks only. They won't handle very well on a dirty, dusty neighbourhood street!
However, any of the four-wheel-drive kits will be great on just about any paved surface. Off-roads can run on dirt, gravel, short grass and other surfaces, so it's one of our most versatile kits.
Where can I run my car with other cars and drivers?
Ah, now you're talking about racing! The true calling of any experienced R/C driver! Running your kit by yourself up and down the street is fun, but chasing the neighbourhood cats, dogs, kids and cars can get boring after a little while. It's twice as fun when you have another car or truck to run against! Some R/C hobbyists have a friend or two that get together every couple of weekends, but some folks get bored of this and want official, organized racing!
The easiest way to find racing in your area is to ask any other R/C car drivers that you know if they know anything about racing, and where you can race against other people. If they don't know where you can race, ask your local hobby shop - they may already have a race program in place! If there isn't any local racing, do a search on the internet to see if there are any clubs, hobby shops or race tracks around that you can join and participate in.
How durable are the cars? How much crashing can they take?
The plastic used in kits is a tough but pliable type of high-impact nylon that won't shatter under pressure, but will bend to absorb impacts. This prevents most crashes from resulting in anything but a scraped body.
It takes an extremely hard crash to actually break anything on almost every R/C car kit. Most of the time, you will be pleasantly surprised to see a car continue on its way after a big hit!
But if you still manage to break them, replacement parts are readily available and should not be very expensive.
How long can I run the car? (Or) How long will a battery charge or tank of gas last me?
In general, a battery will last from four to ten minutes, depending on the motor, car and batteries. The basic rule of thumb is:
the lighter the car, the longer the run time;
the more powerful the motor, the shorter the run time; and
the higher the milliamp output of the battery, the longer the run time.
The gearing of the motor plays a major role in the run time - the higher you gear the motor the shorter the run time will be but the car will have higher top speed. Also, the use of ball bearings will extend run times.
A tank of fuel (75cc) in a 1/10th car should run for between 5-10 minutes. Best of all, for continuous non-stop fun, simply top up the tank regularly and the car will keep going. Larger engines will consume fuel at a faster rate and thus not run as long per tank.