At Axial, our crew members are not just employee’s of the brand, we are enthusiasts! Here is a quick look at some of the custom builds sitting on various desks around the office.
Project: Poison Spyder Wraith – AXL-Staff Built
The vehicle you see above is a custom build that has passed through many hands here at Axial for a very special purpose as this rig will be driven by Larry McRae of Poison Spyder at the Axial RECON Ultra4 G6. Yes, Larry will compete in his full-size rig in the King of the Hammers and then drive this custom built Axial Wraith on Saturday in the Axial RECON Ultra4 G6 at King of the Hammers. Yes, YOU can come out and have fun alongside Larry. Side note, Larry will be rubbing elbows with Erik Miller [2012 winner of KOH] in the Axial RECON Ultra4 G6 after rubbing paint in the King of the Hammers competition!
Below are some more cool projects to see in the coming months via the Axial blog.
Project: 2.2 SCX10 MOA “XRSCX10″ – Andrew O’Bannon
Project: Custom SCX10 “Joncho” – Brandon Coonce
Make sure you subscribe to the Axial Intel as these vehicles are in various states of their build process and we will have blog posts to follow. The sign up is located on the front page of the website in the bottom right corner. See SUBSCRIBE and drop us your email address.
RESERVE THE DATE: June 21st – 23rd AXIALFEST 2013 – We are going camping!
The Axial family would like to once again invite you and your family to come camping with us June 21-23rd, 2013 in the Tahoe National Forest for second annual AXIALFEST 2013!
Axialfest is held in the Tahoe National Forest located northeast of Sacramento and southwest of Reno in the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains. We will be camping at the Cisco Grove Camp Grounds nestled in the Donner Pass.
Axialfest takes over the 406-site campground as many of the annual participants make this a full family vacation, coming early bringing off road vehicles and exploring the campgrounds OHV trail access to 350 acres and the legendary Fordyce Trail that rivals the Rubicon! Yes, this is a LIFESTYLE, R/C is an extension of that lifestyle!
Several highways, including Interstate Highway 80; State Highways 20, 49, 89, and 267; and Forest roads, provide excellent access to most portions of the Forest as well to Cisco Grove Campground.
Bring all your Axial rigs, leave all others behind as this will truly be an Axial only family based event full of fun! This event will provide the most fun possible, the biggest smiles and some of the best prizes any R/C event has seen since our last event and maybe even more!
Now that Axial is the official R/C company of Ultra 4 Racing, I figured it was time to build a proper Ultra 4 R/C vehicle. If you are not familiar with Ultra 4 Racing it basically combines low speed “rock crawling” with high speed “baja” style racing. So, your vehicle has to be able to handle technical rock sections and high speed desert bumps in the same race, on the same day. Most hardcore off-road enthusiasts know a solid axle set-up front and rear rules in low speed rock crawling. And most of those same off-road fans know that independent suspension rules for high speed and jumps. There are a few competitors in Ultra 4 Racing that have been mixing the two set-ups together for a suspension system that works decent in both situations. Shannon Campbell was the first to try this, if I am not mistaken, and he has had great success winning the King of the Hammers crown in 2008 and 2011. Shannon’s rig runs independent suspension up front and a solid axle set-up in the rear. This latest custom build has been dubbed “Project Wrexo” and follows suit with that hybrid suspension set-up. Here’s a little sneak peek at this new build, more details and info to come soon so keep an eye on Axial’s blog and Facebook page.
Most non-enthusiasts have no idea how well engineered hobby-grade RC vehicles are. Take, for example, the Axial Racing EXO Terra Buggy, which has a remarkably sophisticated suspension. To take full advantage of the suspension design, you must understand the key elements.
Modern RC vehicles (and full-size ones too) with independent suspensions most frequently use a design that employs a lower A-arm with an upper camber link. The RTR EXO uses a fixed camber link and can be upgraded with Axial option parts. The kit version includes an adjustable camber link. Camber is a measurement of how the top of the tire tilts toward or away from the vehicle. Camber is most easily viewed from the front of the vehicle. Camber is measured in degrees and when the top of the tire leans in toward the vehicle it has negative camber. When the top of the tire leans out it is positive camber. Zero degrees of camber is when the tire sits perfectly straight up and down.
Camber is used to increase traction during corning. As a vehicle leans to the outside going through a turn, negative with help the tire have a larger contact patch as the tire leans over. As with just about every suspension adjustment, there is a point of diminishing return, so don’t go overboard and dial in 5 degrees of camber. Adding negative camber to the front suspension will make the vehicle less aggressive and easier to drive. Adding negative camber to the front and rear helps keep the vehicle stable when sliding through rutted surfaces as the edges of the tires will be less likely to grab a rut and roll the vehicle over.
Toe is a steering alignment term that describes how the tires, when viewed from above point in or out. When the front tires point in, the vehicle is said to have toe in. When the tires point out, the vehicle is appropriately said to have toe out. If both front tires are completely parallel to each other, when viewed from above, the vehicle would have zero toe.
Increasing front toe in helps a vehicle track straight. The vehicle wont drift as it’s driven straight without steering input. Toe out usually helps a vehicle with initial turn in. A vehicle with toe out will have quick reacting steering and dive into corners better. Too much toe—in or out—will scrub speed.
Like front toe, rear toe can be viewed from above and is a measurement of how the tires point in relation to the centerline of the vehicle. Like front toe, rear toe in will help a vehicle track straight and makes it easier to drive. While rear toe out is never used, less rear toe does help a vehicle rotate better in the corners.
Caster is a measurement of how the front tire’s vertical steering pivot point or axis leans forward or back. Positive caster (negative isn’t used) described how the steering point leans back, so that it isn’t actually perfectly vertical.
Increasing caster helps a vehicle track straight as the positive caster helps straighten the wheels out as the vehicle moves. Adding caster does, however, cause a vehicle to track wide when existing a corner.
Axial’s AR60 axles such as used on the Wraith and Ridgecrest feature an innovative C-hub design that allows for caster adjustments.
Ride height is probably the simplest suspension adjustment to conceptualize. Ride height is a measurement of how high the vehicle sits. Front and rear ride height are separate measurements because they are often set to differently to achieve desired handling.
Ride height obviously impacts ground clearance and increased ride height allows a vehicle to more easily travel over rough terrain. What most people don’t realize is that ride height can influence traction and it does so in a somewhat counterintuitive manner. Increasing ride height raises the vehicle’s center of gravity and actually increases traction because there is more weight transfer. So, if more steering is desired, slightly raising the frontend of the vehicle will increase steering.
Camber Link Position
If you look closely at an EXO you will notice that the upper camber link can be mounted in multiple holes on the outer hub (two on the front hubs and three on the rear hubs) and on the shock tower (four, front and rear). The different holes allow you to run longer or shorter camber links (adjustable links needed) and to change the overall position of the link. It’s working that Axial’s aluminum shock towers offer six mounting positions.
Link length influences what is known as camber change (sometimes called camber rise). To see camber change in action, carefully watch the tires as you compress the suspension by hand. You should notice your camber setting changing as the suspension is compressed. If you shorten the link, camber will increase as the suspension compresses. Longer front links will provide more overall steering. Shorter rear links will help the EXO drive rough, bumpy terrain.
At the shock tower of the EXO, you can raise or lower the link mounting point. This changes the vehicles roll center. The vehicles roll center impacts how much the vehicle rolls to the side during cornering. This is often called body roll. Lowering the inner link mounting locations increases body roll.
Increased front body roll (high roll center/lower inner link position) will make the steering feel more aggressive. Decreased front body roll (low roll center/higher inner link position) will make the vehicle feel more stable. Runner a lower rear link position will add stability over rough, bumpy terrain.
Portland International Auto Show 2013
Thursday January 24th through Sunday January 27, 2013
Words / Photos: Rodney Wills
The Portland International Auto Show started in 1910 and is a family friendly event held annually at the Oregon Convention Center. The four day event is held every January and is visited by approximately 100,000 visitors each year.
Ryan Gerrish, Axial team driver and employee of Tammies Hobbies, and Brett Carlson of Bulu Productions constructed a special demonstration course which showcased the Axial SCX10™ Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon. This is their third year to construct the popular attraction and many guests came back specifically to see what they created. We learned this from overhearing many saying they looked forward to seeing Ryan and Brett’s creation at the show and made sure to find their location. It was great to see all the smiling faces after driving the vehicles on the radical terrain. The feeling of accomplishment was obvious on the faces of both young and old.
Axial had the only radio controlled vehicles displayed at the show, with the added bonus of getting a chance to drive one! At the show, you could drive a Scion out in the cold, damp Portland weather testing its performance within limits, or conversely, drive the Axial SCX10™ Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon inside the show on a specially constructed course that rivals the Rubicon Trail from which Jeep takes their namesake for the special edition Wrangler model.
Jeep themselves were also on hand to display their complete line of vehicles. They gave visitors rides on their indoor obstacle course called Camp Jeep. This is the second year for Camp Jeep; a live demonstration in which professional drivers transport visitors through an obstacle course that showcases the Jeep brand’s technical abilities in ground clearance, traction, stability and articulation. The awesome man-made terrain put passengers eighteen feet in the air on a hill with a thirty-five percent grade up and down! I particularly liked the bed of telephone poles cut to mimic a rock pile as every post was cut at a different height. This was by far the biggest interactive attraction at the Portland International Auto Show and we were stoked to be visited by Jeep personnel who wanted to see what we were doing with the Axial SCX10 donned with Jeep flavor.
From the whole Axial crew, we thank Ryan Gerrish and Brett Carlson for all their passion!
Words and photos by Skeeno
Additional photos by the great Dragonturbo3
Last year at the Axialfest, Brian Parker debuted the EXO Terra Cross, a cross between racing and crawling. Sort of like a rock racing event in the 1:1 world with fast areas and technical crawling sections. The EXO Terra Cross proved to be quite a challenge for some of the regular drivers that were used to following their trucks around and not standing stationary. The audience that day was treated to an epic bash/race that resulted in lots of laughs and smiles from everyone.
No doubt, Mr. Parker left the Axialfest wondering where in the world he could host another EXO Terra Cross. Luckily, he lives in Reno, Nevada where Traction Raceway and Hobbies’ accommodating track owner, Justin Clark, handed over the keys to Parker for a couple of days.
The Traction track is quite large and is designed for more traditional race vehicles like 1:10 buggies and stadium trucks. This is what it usually looks like.
This clay is smoother than any G6er or crawler would be used to. This stuff would need a little sprinkle of the Parker magic to transform this track into a Terra-X track.
I showed up a little early and caught the RECON crew getting the Terra-X track prepped.
I’m not sure what Stooey was doing over there, but it looked manly.
There were multiple skill sections added to the track. This was the Toyota Hood Jump.
Immeditately following the hood jump was Clickity Clack Corner. Parker was kind enough to block our view with a 37″ 1:1 tire.
After the corner were the Snowboard Kickers and street pylon bases.
At the end of the straightaway was the Mezzanine Climb. The bottom of this was dug out and muddied for the mains.
That dropped into a rocky section. This proved to be one of the harder parts of the track. It turned out that bombing over the rocks was faster than trying to avoid them. Parker used an underlayment of plastic to protect the clay and make the loose gravel and rocks even more slippery.
For the Go Fast class, some skateboard kickers were brought in. You best believe they created huge air.
A few corners later was the Sand Trap. This section also used the underlayment and caught quite a few trucks in its clutches.
This was the Tire Foam Pit with optional bridge line. It is surprising how a little piece of foam caught under your truck can hinder your speed and directional ability.
This is what the completed track looked like before the mayhem started.
Around 9:00, G6ers started to show up to Do Work.
Look, the knuckleheads from Sacto showed up.
Even Fast Eddy made the trip.
This is Gary. Gary lucked out by being stationed at the military base in Fallon, which is about 80 miles east of Reno. He made the drive to compete with his Wraith and EXO buggy.
Once the track modifications were complete, it was time for a little practice.
Here the Blog Honcho practices his cornering ability. I think I’m pulling close to .62 Gs. I couldn’t get the cool tire roll that Wraith was getting.
The clay makes crawler tires pretty to look at.
Chris Meeks heard the mains were 18 minutes long. He wanted to make sure that he had enough juice to finish. He shoe horned in 10,000mah of power under the hood of his EXO/Wraith.
I told you those kickers worked. Here an EXO chills in the air by the Axial banner.
After a little practice, I looked around the pits to see what I could see. Here’s a few highlights.
The first thing I found was the food table. I’ll be back for that pulled pork later.
I found a zombie in a Wraith, probably left over from the Zombies on the Rocks G6.
I found this Ridgecrest with a sweet cage mod.
This G6er was ready for water. That is quite a conglomerate of whatever that is.
Just like a Boy Scout, a G6er needs to be prepared.
Thanks to Werty, these guys looked around on the ground looking for a tiny spacer for 10 minutes only to be found on the work bench under a tire.
While everyone practiced, charged, and wrenched, Mr. Clark came in to help set up the races on the computer. He also stayed to call the races and make fun of me.
As usual. Parker gave us a talking to before the races began. Trucks were divided into three classes, Go Fasts (EXOs and Short Course), Wraith/2.2, and 1.9s. There would be two qualifying heats. Each qualifying heat was 8 minutes long. The top 7 from each class would make it into the main event. Main events were 16-18 minutes long with a mandatory caution/restart to regroup the trucks at the midway point of each main. This kept the racing in the main tight and exciting.
After listening to the rules, drivers swarmed the heat sheets to see when their race was up.
Of course, you can’t start a G6 without the National Anthem.
Trucks lined up at waited for the tone.
Capturing quality pictures of the racing proved to be difficult with the low light conditions and high speed of the trucks. I have a whole new appreciation and envy of those with high end cameras.
The stadium trucks ran with the EXOs. Here one tries to jump out of the track.
Not to be out done, Werty tries the leap frog pass with his EXO on the huge kickers.
Another EXO blasts over the quad. These EXOs are made for racing.
After Stooey watched the EXOs, he had to go check them out. They are now on his list of To Gets.
Here’s a sight that is never seen at a G6, drivers on a driver’s stand.
Tree dwarfs everyone with his 6’8″ frame, but Pham looks like a 3rd grader standing next to him even while utilizing the milk crate.
In between heats, the RECON JRs entertained themselves with Mine Craft.
There’s that pulled pork sandwich I was looking for. The nacho cheese is a Traction Hobbies delicacy.
After making everyone crawl on the ground looking for his spacer, Werty tried to light his truck on fire by not using a hard case lipo. Luckily, he caught it before going full Dan W. in the pits. Consult the Joker’s Wild blog if you are unfamiliar with Dan W-ing. (http://axialracing.com/blog_posts/7798)
OK, back to the action.
The EXOs easily flew over the Foam Pit.
Those tire foams made their way out of the pit and around the track. Here’s one trying to stay out in front of an EXO in Clickity Clack Corner.
An EXO getting on the skinny pedal in the Sand Pit.
Uh Oh, a stadium truck playing dirty? There’s no way an EXO driver could make that error, could they?
The Blog Honcho tried to jump, but an old silver can motor was more about consistency and keeping the rubber side down.
Fast Eddy tries to keep his new JK in the running.
The JKs and Honchos duked it out.
Of Course there was mud. This was Parker designed course.
There was tight racing and quite a bit of bouncing.
Elio tries keeps to hammer down in the Rock Garden.
This Terra-X was a huge success. Thanks to Traction Raceway and Hobbies for all your support. We’re G6in’ and you know it!
You have probably noticed that your Axial Racing vehicle has options for mounting items such as the shocks or camber links. These options allow you to tune for maximum performance. Well, they allow you to tune for maximum performance if you know what each adjustment is and how it works. This is where this post and Part 1 come in. Make sure you read this post and also read the first installment and you’ll be well on your way to understanding each tuning adjustment and having the handling optimized in your Axial Racing vehicle.
While some suspension tuning is subtle, wheelbase makes a fairly noticeable change in handling on a rock crawler. It is, however, a subtle change on most high-speed vehicles. Not to be confused with track width, wheelbase—easily viewed from the side–is the distance from the center of the front to the center of the rear tires.
A longer wheelbase makes a vehicle more stable. A fast machine such as the EXO Terra Buggy has a long overall wheelbase (notice its long stretched-out chassis plate) to better handle rough terrain while traveling at high speeds. Lengthening the wheelbase of a SCX10 will help increase stability while climbing ledges and rock staircase-style obstacles. If your crawler wants to tip over backwards when making climbs, a longer wheelbase may help.
It’s important to note that that a longer wheelbase impacts the cornering ability of both fast vehicles and slow-going crawlers. On the EXO, the wheelbase is adjusted by moving shims (plastic spacers) on either side of the rear hub. This is, indeed, a subtle change. When a longer wheelbase is achieved by moving the spacers in front of the hub, steering response is actually slightly increased as the weight distribution changes and more weight will be on the front tires, which increases front traction. A rock crawler with a long wheelbase, on the other hand, simply won’t rotate around corners as easily as a similar vehicle with a shorter wheelbase.
The main role of the shock spring is to support the weight of the vehicle and return the vehicle to its normal ride height when the suspension compresses. The spring allows the suspension to compress and return back to the “normal” ride height.
A stiff spring will not easily compress for every bump and, in contrast, a spring that is too soft will not properly support the vehicle and will compress too easily and too much.
Stiffer springs help absorb bigger impacts from bigger air. Softer springs help a suspension react quickly to rough terrain. Stiffer front springs are often used to keep a vehicle from spinning out as stiffer springs reduce traction. The key is to find the right front to rear combination that provides the amount of steering you want and the over stiffness needed for the type of terrain your tackling and the weight of your vehicle.
Shock position refers to the different mounting positions on the suspension arms and shock towers.
Changing shock position on a lower suspension arm changes how much leverage the suspension arm places on the shock. Moving the lower shock mount in towards the chassis will create a softer feeling shock. It will feel the same as going to a softer spring. Moving the lower shock mount out on the arm decreases the leverage of the arm on the shock and will make the shock feel stiffer.
Changing the shock position on the tower is a more subtle change. Moving the upper shock out will put the shock in a more vertical position. This creates a linear feel for the spring. Leaning the shock in will create a more progressive feel in which the suspension feels stiffer as it’s compressed.
The oil in your shock is what makes a shock absorber a shock absorber. While the shock absorbs impacts from bumps and jumps so to speak what is really going on is the piston moving through the oil absorbs or transfers the energy of the spring. Otherwise, without the oil, the vehicle would bounce up and down repeatably after each bump and jump.
Thicker oil will slow the piston down and generally feel like a stiffer spring. The opposite is true of thinner oil. Shock oil should be changed as part of routine maintenance (how often depends on how much use your vehicle gets and how dusty the conditions are). Shock oil can also be changed for extreme temperatures. While the high quality Axial Racing silicone shock oil isn’t impacted too much by temperature, running in cold weather during the winter may require thinner oil and hot summer temps may require thicker oil.
Shock pistons come with different size holes in them and/or with different number of holes in them. Whether the holes are in the edge of the piston or in the piston, like shock oil, the size and the number of the holes in the shock pistons control how fast the piston moves through the oil. Large holes allow the piston to move quickly and small holes slow the piston down.
Switching to smaller holes in the piston will allow a shock to offer more resistance to fast movement such as landings from big jumps. Keep in mind that if there is too much resistance, the shock will not properly absorb impact. If the holes are too small and the oil can’t move through fast enough, the shock will essentially lock up instead of move freely. Larger holes matched with appropriately thicker fluid won’t lock up (unless the fluid is far too thick).
Pistons offer the same rate on rebound as they do on compression. An exception is Axial Racing’s dual stage pistons allow you to typically set up the shock for less resistance on rebound. This allows the shock to absorb an impact and then quickly return to normal position, ready for the next impact.
Sway Bar/Sway Bar Thickness
Sway bars are mechanical devices that limit chassis or body roll. That is why they are sometimes referred to as anti-roll bars. The good part about sway bars is that they do not interfere with how the vehicles handles big air.
Thicker sway bars offer more resistance than thinner sway bars. Thicker sway bars also reduce traction. For example, if you added the firm sway bar (soft, medium and firm are offered in the optional sway bar kit) to the front of your EXO Terra buggy, you would have less front traction and less steering. A good starting point would be medium front and soft rear.
Sway bars also work extremely well to control torque twist. If a front tire is lifting off the ground as you attempt difficult vertical climbs with your Wraith, a rear sway remedy the problem. Front and rear sway bars will also improve the high speed cornering of vehicles such as the Wraith and AX10 Ridgecrest as they will help keep the vehicle flat and level in the turns.
You broke it. Now what? You could do what most people do with their full-size vehicles when something goes wrong and pay someone to repair it, but where’s the fun in that? Plus, you’re the one that hit that tree or drove off that ledge, so you might as well be the one that fixes your rig. Fixing broken parts may seem simple and, in general, it is, but there is a right way to go about it. Doing repairs correctly will save you time and money and who doesn’t like the sound of that?
Odds are if you broke your Axial Racing vehicle you were using it in a way that also got it dirty. Step one in the repair process is to clean the vehicle. It doesn’t have to be spotless, but get all the loose dirt off and clean out the screw heads. This will make working on it easier and make the mess created on your bench a whole lot less. An air compressor with air gun nozzle is the best way to make quick work of a messy RC vehicle. If you don’t have a compressor, a cleaning brush and a few paintbrushes will get the job done.
Now that your RC car is clean don’t start just removing parts and tossing them on the bench. Before reaching for a wrench, get a bunch of small parts trays. They sell these at hobby shops, full-size tool and auto parts stores, but paper plates and small plastic bowls work just as well. Having a number of trays to put parts in helps you keep hardware with the component it came with and will making putting your Axial Racing vehicle back together much easier..
ID the Damage
With every separated and well organized, it’s time to access the damage. This will be easy to see with the vehicle clean and with all the parts separated. Grab a piece of paper and a pen and take notes of all the parts that need to be replaced. Some parts will be obviously in need replacement, but check all hardware on or near the clearly broken parts and the parts they attach to. For example, you break a steering hub on your SCX10, also check the C-hub on the end of the axle, the steel axle and all of the hardware for damage. Having a complete list now will prevent the frustration of thinking you have everything you need only to have to return to the hobby store or wait for another order.
Now, we’re finally at the parts-replacement stage (the part most people jump right into). Even though you cleaned your vehicle before, make sure you thoroughly clean the parts that the new parts are being mounted to. Use a toothbrush and a product like WD40 to really get every piece of dirt off. Also, make sure you have thread-locking compound and grease for the hardware and parts that will need it. The thing to remember is to take your time. Install the parts carefully making sure properly seat each part and tighten each screw—do not over tighten parts.
When everything is fixed, don’t just grab the throttle and go. This may seem like common sense, but most people do just that. If the repair was to the steering or drivetrain, place the vehicle on a stand, make sure it’s secure and slowly apply throttle. Performing a quick bench test will allow you to see and hear if everything is working properly. If the suspension was repaired, keep the vehicle off and slowly articulate the suspension. Again, this close and personal test will allow you to make sure nothing is loose, binding or otherwise still broken. Blasting down the street or across the lawn will not give you the viewpoint you need.
Keep your Axial Racing manual handy because it’s one of the best resources you will have for your vehicle. Individual parts are listed in the back of each manual, but it can be hard to identify the correct part by name alone, so look in the manual at the exploded diagrams and on the pages that show how the components are assembled.
Many plastic parts are sold on what are called a parts tree. After you have identified the part(s) you need, check out the front of your manual, which shows all of the different parts trees. The parts tree number you need to order is in bold and also molded into a tab on the parts tree. The back of the manual also lists many option parts, so make sure you check if a heavy-duty version of the part you’re replacing is available.
Another great resource is the Axial Racing website you’re on right now. The website is the most update source of information on option parts for your Axial Racing vehicle. Also, all of the instruction manuals are online for easy access, which allows you to easily cross reference vehicles. You can find manuals for Axial Racing products under the SUPPORT menu button. To find all of the latest option parts from Axial Racing, click on PRODUCTS and then select option parts from the drop down menu. Each vehicle’s page also provides easy to find links to option parts and instructions.
The trail ahead has an off-camber turn with a mix of some large rocks and loose dirt—a bad combination. You have to side hill precariously while turning to the right. To the left is a drop off that will be impossible to climb back up. Two similar trucks try the same obstacle. One makes it and one doesn’t. If you’ve attended a competition or have even just been out crawling with some friends, you may have noticed some drivers make it look easy and others are left scratching their heads wondering what went wrong. Most people almost always turn to their rig, thinking they need new tires or a whole new setup or more hop-up parts. Odds are it isn’t your vehicle. Odds are, it’s you. No worries. There’s no need to give up. Follow these tried and true driving tips from the full-size off-road world and you’ll soon be the RC king of the hill.
There’s just driving along and there’s driving with purpose, or more specifically, a strategy or plan. When you’re on the move, where you look makes a big difference. Most people instinctively look right at the vehicle with a point of focus that is usually the hood. However, the more we move the focus forward of the vehicle and expand our field of vision, the better we can plan our route. Full-size off-road instructors routinely teach new drivers to look ahead. Look ahead and pick your line. When a driver looks ahead he can see and account for obstacles as opposed to trying to figure out what to do when you’re on top of trouble. One type of driving is proactive and the other is reactive. Proactive off-roaders are successful off-roaders.
When an obstacle such as a rock is encountered on the trail, most people understandably don’t want to hit the rock and carefully straddle it when there isn’t room to go around. This makes sense, but is actually not the correct approach. While it may seem counterintuitive to some degree, it’s far better to place a tire on an obstacle and slowly roll over it. This ensures you won’t smash the low hanging differential portion of the axle right on the obstacle. As the tire goes up and over the rock, the solid axle also raises. Just like full-size off-roaders, RC rock crawlers frequently make the mistake of straddling obstacles and end up getting high centered.
The throttle on your Axial Racing vehicle is proportional for a reason. Sometimes wheel speed is needed, but the key word is “sometimes.” Too much speed usually results in less precise driving and that is the exact opposite of what you want when driving to conquer difficult obstacles. When driving off camber along the side of a hill, a super slow approach will often be the only way to keep the vehicle from rolling to the downhill side. Don’t be afraid to creep. While far more practical than pinning the throttle the whole time, going super slow isn’t always the right move. When the ground is rough, a slow and steady approach will maintain momentum and help you cruise over the terrain. It’s not about going fast, but instead, the idea is to use just enough throttle to keep a consistent speed and not have a stop and go action. In full-size off-roading, too much speed often leads to broken parts or, worse, rollovers. It’s the same in RC. If you want to keep your vehicle in one piece and keep it all four tires on the ground, slow and steady is the way to go.
What is a RECON G6? If you have ever been to one of these events, the veterans will tell you, “It is whatever Parker wants it to be”. For those of you that are new and interested in these events, we take a look at the ins and outs of this revolutionary R/C scale event series.
2013 Rules & Guidelines
The RECON G6 is an r/c scale adventure that will test a driver’s ability and their r/c scalers capability. A driver will navigate their Axial vehicles through a stage marked with trail markers and perform mandatory skill sections and complete driver challenges along the way.
Goal: Finish all predetermined stages and complete all mandatory skill sections and driver challenges while maintaining a drivers log book and having fun.
Classes: There are several classes to choose from. A driver may only challenge themselves in more than one class if time allows and the second class is a different tire size. Each class will offer a driver different levels of fun with different challenges and guidelines.
-Adventurist 1.9 – This class is for drivers of 1.9 scale vehicles who enjoy a challenge. The Adventurist will demonstrate driving ability with more skill sections and more stage challenges and contend with the ever present break out time. This is the class for the driver who realizes that finishing the adventure is the goal. Drivers may use natural winch anchor points or be assisted by other Adventurists by a tow strap, winch, or another drivers shoe laces. The Adventurist may partner up with fellow Adventurist or several to experience the stage as a group and help each other reach the goal of finishing.
-Adventurist 2.2 – This Class is the same as the Adventurist 1.9 Class. Wraiths and Wronchos are at home in this class.
-Ultra 1.9 – This class is for drivers of 1.9 scale vehicles who take their scale challenge to the next level. An Ultra Driver will have to complete class specific stages and tasks and mandatory skill / driver challenges in the quickest time possible. This class is a more like a rally cross style stage with a quicker pace and more difficult mandatory challenges. Drivers of this class must use natural winch anchors points only or be helped from another Ultra Driver. Any outside assistance will result in a Stage DNF. There are no time restrictions for the Ultra Class Driver and a pee test for doping may not be mandatory, but highly recommended for any Ultra Class Driver who isn’t sweating.
-Ultra 2.2 – The same as the Ultra 1.9, except 2.2 tires are used.
-RECON G6 Teams – This Team Challenge is for 1.9 drivers who share one scale vehicle. This could be two friends or two family members that drive and maintain one scaler. Each team driver will be required to drive half of the total stage or any configuration of the stage as the Driver or Team Captain deems. If a stage is 200 trail markers, each driver will be responsible for driving half of the trail markers then handing the driving duties over to their teammate to complete the stage and finish. Keeping your vehicle together is part of the team challenge. While one team member is driving, the other will be their stage buddy. A Team driver may winch off their stage buddies shoe lace.
RECON G6 Scale Vehicle Requirements:
The rule of thumb here is simple; is it scale?
-Axial Vehicles or custom vehicles with Axial transmissions, Axial axles, Axial chassis or a significant amount of Axial products only.
-Your Axial based scale vehicle must be 1/10 car / truck with a scale chassis or custom tube scale chassis.
- Wheel sizes may be 1.55, 1.9, or 2.2, Tires that fit these wheels must be a licensed manufactured tire or knock offs. Tires must resemble the real thing and can only be siped or grooved. No other alterations may be made.
- A minimum of 5 scale items must be attached and remain attached to the vehicle. This may include mandatory scale items that may be used on stage for recoveries. The number of scale items may vary from event to event.
- A tow strap is mandatory on all vehicles at every event. A tow strap may be used to assist or recover other drivers on stage.
- All scale recovery items/tools, must be attached to the vehicle and after their use, be placed back on the vehicle. This includes sand ramps, tow straps, and hi-lift jacks. The only exception is lug wrench or nut driver. Real tools may be on the driver.
- All classes are allowed to use dig and 4 wheel steering on their scalers if they choose.
RECON G6 General Rules:
Rule #1 – NO HAND OF GOD. (HOG) A RECON G6 is all about driving. In keeping with the essence of the r/c scale scene a driver may not assist, stop, catch, or kick his/her vehicle. There are no penalties for electric winching or using your tow strap with help from another competitor or for reverses, so DRIVE SMART! The penalty is a DQ for hogging your scale vehicle. Performing on course repairs or having to touch your vehicle for recovery purposes is not hogging. Picking your vehicle up out of water, mud, sand, or rolling it over onto its wheels with your hand is all examples of hogging your vehicle, thus resulting in a disqualification. If this happens, log the HOG incident in your drivers log book and report it to G-Central.
Here is a brief video explaining this particular rule….
Rule #2 – A driver can not drive through a trail marker and reverse back through it to avoid trail obstacles. This will result in a DQ. A stage is directional and a driver must maintain the intended direction of travel. Reversing through the trail marker in the intended direction is ok and may be required during mandatory reverse skill sections.
Rule #3 – Mandatory skill sections are just that, MANDATORY! They will be located throughout a stage and will have an entrance and exit. There may or may not be a trail marker at a mandatory skill section. This does not mean you can bypass the section. Each class will have a mandatory skill section(s) and it will be marked with a class specific color boundary. A driver must drive their class mandatory skill section(s) only.
Rule #4 – HAVE FUN! The RECON G6 is the premier scale adventure event in the World. Each class has different parameters that must be met, but you are only cheating yourself out of one of the best experiences you will have with your r/c scaler by not driving with integrity and the willingness to perform each challenge in the spirit of scale r/c.
- A RECON G6 Main Stage will consist of a stage. The stage will take a driver through various terrain conditions and return them to G-Central where a driver may pit for repairs, eat lunch, or full fill a mandatory pit stop. Some drivers may choose to continue on with the stage, but all vehicle break downs that happen on stage, must be repaired at the spot of the breakage or return to G-Central or their pit and make the needed repairs. Then they can return to the area of the break down and continue.
-Trail Markers [1 min+/-] – Trail Markers are numbered and different colors to mark the stage route and direction of travel. The red trail marker is always on a driver’s right and is the intended direction of travel through the trail marker. The left trail marker denotes the stage a driver is on. A driver may not straddle a trail marker. A driver must get all 4 tires through the trail marker. If a driver dislodges a trail marker or steps on a trail marker, that driver is responsible for putting that trail marker back in to position. All trail markers must be traveled through. Missing any trail marker will result in a DNF. Any trail marker hit or dislodged will result in 1 min penalty to be logged in the driver log book.
- Stage Boundaries [5 min+/-] – There are several types of stage boundaries. A sponsored stage boundary is a boundary that displays G6 sponsors and is the only boundary section of a stage that multiple drivers can be in at the same time. All other boundaries are one driver at a time inside the boundary. A Pink boundary is always a time bonus; whether it is a driving section or a driver task, pink = time bonus. Orange ribbon marks 1.9 mandatory skill sections. Yellow ribbon marks Ultra Drivers mandatory skill sections. Blue ribbon marks the Wraith and 2.2 skill sections. All of the above mentioned boundary markers, if touched by a driver’s vehicle is a penalty. If a pink ribbon is touched, no time bonus will be awarded and the driver must finish the section and mark his/her boundary penalty.
- Mandatory Skill Sections are marked with the appropriate boundary ribbon and must be driven. A mandatory skill section may be driving through mud, water, snow, sand, or a taco stand. A driver may be asked to drive up or down a steep grade, handle a tarmac track or hook up to a pull sled and attempt a full pull. A mandatory skill section is designed to test the driver’s ability and his/her vehicle’s capability.
-G-Tags [15 min+/-] – G-Tags are additional placards on a trail marker. Think of a G-Tag as a check point. G-Tags will be placed along a stage and will be in a specific order. A driver that misses a trail marker with a G-Tag will receive a time penalty.
Penalty Winch [3 Min+/-] In the case that there is not a competitor there to help you with a pull strap, or you do not have a working winch, then you may employ the penalty winch. The penalty winch is a scale tow strap, lanyard, or winch line that you would operate with your hand acting as another vehicle to extract your stuck rig. The idea is to act as though your hand is another vehicle and pull the stuck or rolled over vehicle out of its situation in a “scale manner”. You must mark the use of the penalty winch down in the driver’s log book. It is always best to use an onboard working electric winch, or use a tow strap with the assistance from another competitor. Use of either of these methods does not result in a penalty.
Once a penalty winch (self used tow strap) is employed, it will be necessary to mark this down in the G6 driver’s log book.
- Driver Log Book – RECON G6 works on the honor system. All Drivers will be on stage, driving at the same time. The driver log book must be maintained and the necessary information must be logged or the driver will receive a time penalty for an incomplete log book. G-Tags, boundaries, and time bonuses are examples of what a driver will track in their log book. Filling out your log book correctly and accuratly could result in a time bonus.
- Driver Challenges are tasks that the driver must complete. A driver never knows what he or she will have to do, but rest assured, it will provide spectators (and organizer, Brian Parker) entertainment. Some examples of past tasks have been hop scotch, airsoft target shooting, or reaching into a bucket of guts for a time bonus. Driver challenges are random, and come from the depths of Brian Parker’s brain.
- Stage Challenges have drivers keeping their eyes wide open for objects of desire. A stage challenge that a driver completes may net them a time bonus or even swag. These challenges often include picking up extra cargo along the route. Returning this cargo to G Central is rewarded.
- “Not Mandatory, but Highly Recommended”, is a phrase often used to describe an event specific task. As stated, these tasks are not mandatory, but highly recommended and would behoove a driver to participate in this task.
- Stage etiquette should be adhered to at all times. Make 3 attempts at a trail obstacle and then winch or receive assistance from a fellow G6’er. Drive smart. There is no penalty for winching or having a fellow G6’er assist you. Faster drivers have the right of way.
- All scale items must remain attached to the vehicle. If sand ramp has to be used, it has to be replaced back on the vehicle. The mandatory tow strap must start attached to the G-Ride. After its first use, a driver may keep it in his/her pocket. All other scale items must be replaced after they are used. The number of scale items may change depending on the G6. In addition, a specific scale item may be required. A driver must meet these changing requirements.
- Time Bonuses [5 min+/-] – There are two types of time bonuses that a driver can earn. First, a driving time bonus must be completed cleanly to earn. If a driver has to assist their vehicle in any way or a boundary marker is touched or crossed by the vehicle, no time bonus will be awarded and the section may or may not have to be completed before a driver can move on, even if this means winching out of the section or being pulled out by a fellow G6’er. The second is a driver’s challenge. A driver must successfully complete the task to earn the time bonus.
- Driver’s Meeting Challenge is an online challenge that a driver must successfully complete to receive a time bonus or swag at the driver’s meeting.
- Pit Repairs -[No Penalty] – Every G6’er knows that sooner or later, no matter how much preparation went into their G-Ride, something is going to break. In the G6 Challenge, any breakage that happens on stage, must be repaired then and there. If the repair cannot be made on stage, then a G6′er may make a Pit Repair. Naturally, a driver may find a flat spot near the breakage spot that is out of the way of fellow G6’ers, that is perfectly ok, but if a driver needs to make the repairs in the pit, they need to head straight to the pits. After the pit repair has been completed, the driver must return to the spot where they removed thier scaler from the stage and continue. There will be no penalty when a driver removes his/her scaler from the stage for a Pit Repair. A driver’s time will not stop for Pit Repairs. A driver must finish with the scaler that they started with. No switching of scalers, if a scaler cannot be repaired, the driver must immediately inform G-Central of their DNF.
Battery reccomendations- Every G6 event will be different, therefor the required battery power for each event will differ. The average G6 event will last 3 hours, so make sure you have the battery power needed to go the distance! Pay close attention to the G6 intel specific to the event to make sure you have the mAh to do the job. Do some homework to know the economy of your rig. You can count mAh rating on the battery versus your run time and know what you will need based upon the estimated time for the event.
RECON G6 brings pure adventure, but with all fun adventures, things are always changing. Drivers need to read the intel thoroughly, because each RECON G6 is different in one way or another and that will never change. Pay extra attention to the statement, “This is not mandatory, but highly reccomended”, this is especially necessary if you want to have an advantage going into any RECON G6 event.
If you love driving your r/c scaler as much as we do and you breathe adventure, then light the lipo’s and come get your scaler fix…
…in a RECON G6!
The next G6 on the Calendar is the RECON Ultra4 G6 at King of the Hammers, this is the last event on the 2013 KOH schedule starting at noon on Saturday, if you own an Axial R/C, come out and get your fix in this historic RECON Ultra4 G6. For more information on this event, click here.
For more information on RECON crawlers, and to see past G6 events, please visit their site here.
To see more about the G6 on the Axial Blog, click here.