ACORA Family Fun BBQ 2016

adventures_acora

October 21st – 23rd 2016

In true family fun attitude, ACORA puts on a BBQ that is supported by family and friends. The event is held at Azusa Canyon (San Gabriel Valley OHV) with approval from the US Forest Service. Vendors from the off-road industry have joined in to support the event and were set to move in Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. The volunteers of the event were also welcomed to roll-in Friday and camp for the weekend.

First up on Saturday was the Renegade Rock Runners RC Club hosting an adventure run that was styled after the best in the west AXIALFEST. Several people showed up to have some fun on the course for the day and enjoy the gates that the club laid down. Later that day the club also hosted a sled pull and sumo fight for the RC cars.

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As Saturday progressed it was time to drop the cones on the course for the full scale amateur rock crawl competition taking place on Sunday. We spent a couple hours getting the preliminary courses set up for each of the classes (Stock, Modified, Open).

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20161022_173551The competition format this year was a simplified version of the W.E. Rock Rules; there is no point violation for reverse. Another change we made this year was to have the competitors run course 1 and then upon finishing head to the back of the line to run course 2. The courses were designed to give them the opportunity to think outside the box to avoid hitting the cones and achieve the lowest score. Once everyone was finished the scores would be calculated to show the top five from each class and they will be given the opportunity to run in the shootout course. In the shootout the 1st guys run the risk of losing the top podium if the other competitor have a better run. This means that you need to have a clean run in order to retain your top standing.

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Stock: (No Shootout)
1st – Jason Konczak
2nd – Jamie Duncanson
3rd – Tyler Soderman
4th – Brandon Burdett

Mod:
1st – Steven Soliz
2nd – Brandon Barberena
3rd – Jeff Chapman
4th – Marclino Sanchez
5th – Adam Mark

Open:
1st – John Rocha
2nd – James Williams
3rd – Chris Miller
4th – James Gibson
5th – Brandon Cortez

We set up a Shootout course for each class and the competitors were ready to go. They got a few minutes to all walk the course and then it was game on. The courses were longer and designed to challenge the driver and the spotter even more. When it was all said and done, the leaders were able to maintain their top spot.

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14691980_10155372860352995_4204352989583091178_oFinal Standings at the ACORA Amateur Rock Crawl

Stock: (No Shootout)
1st – Jason Konczak
2nd – Jamie Duncanson
3rd – Tyler Soderman

Mod:
1st – Steven Soliz
2nd – Brandon Barberena
3rd – Marclino Sanchez

Open:
1st – John Rocha
2nd – James Williams
3rd – Chris Miller

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U4RC Rock Racing – Glen Helen Series Finale

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Race Report: U4RC Staff
Photos: James C. Goad

It’s a wrap for the inaugural U4RC short course rock racing series! And “wow” what a series it was, with tons of never seen before extreme r/c action. U4RC has combined the world of r/c rock crawling and r/c off road racing with a “scale” twist. This exciting new genre of “scale” racing is exploding across the United States, with series either running or slated to start in the near future in several states. And U4RC is very proud to be partnered up with Axial Racing for 2014.

Previous to the start of the last event, the guys at U4RC were hard at work making some changes to the course

Axial Racing’s partnership with U4RC is a perfect match. Especially since one or more Axial Racing rigs are legal in all four U4RC classes. Not to mention they are the overall dominating manufacture at U4RC events. We have had several drivers show up with “box stock” Axial rigs. One of which was a Poison Spyder Customs Wraith that took home a 4th place finish right out of the box!

On to the Finals racing info! With a total of over 50 individual rigs registered to race throughout the 4 classes. This was the largest U4RC event to date.

Heat racing started with the 1.9 Trail class, which is an excellent entry/beginner level class into U4RC racing. The action started immediately at the start /finish line, with driver’s battling for the” hole shot” into turn #1. Most rigs in the 1.9T class are your typical “scale” rigs. Of which consist of 95% Axial rigs, namely; Rubicon’s, Honcho’s, Dingo’s, and SCX10’s, both stock and highly modified. There was tons of action throughout the day in 1.9T, although these rigs are slightly slower than their 2.2 counterparts they are definitely not short of excitement. The 1.9T classes top finishers for the day were James Williams #95 with 1st place, Jerry Ellifritz #88 with 2nd place, both Axial Rubicons and Steve Richardson #90 taking the 3rd spot, with an Axial SCX10.

The 1.9 Competitor class was not short of excitement either. Jason Fletcher’s SCX10 based FB rig had a great showing. And word from Axial Racing Team driver Jake Wright is of a soon to be completed, SCX10 based U4 rig that is guaranteed to take the 1.9C class by storm!

2.2 Competitor class is the most popular class right now at U4RC races. And it’s no doubt why with several Axial rigs (Wraith, EXO, RidgeCrest, 2.2” clad SCX10’s) that are legal in the class. The high flying action started with Heat #1 and didn’t subside till the podium was settled in the Main. The rigs in this class provide a lot of “aired out eye candy” for the spectators and drivers alike. This class was also dominated by Axial rigs, with Rich Boltz #4 taking the top spot with his AR60 rear axled EXO buggy, Derek Gan #711 took 2nd place with his Wraith, and Reed Claxton #4415 grabbed 3rd place with his Poison Spyder Wraith. The rock sections were tough and these drivers and their rigs conquered them without issues.

Last, but far from least is the 2.2 Trophy class. This is what we consider our “U4RC grass roots class”. 2.2T is a builder’s class, with some of the absolute most realistic rigs in any form of r/c racing to date. With a minimum weight and stricter “scale” requirements, it makes for true to life racing action! Several of the custom builds run Axial drivetrain alongside of Wraiths that have been tweaked to meet class weight specs. Don’t be fooled though, these drivers flog their rigs just as hard as the lighter classes. Top honors in 2.2T were handed out to Chris Pickering #01 1st place, Justin Bodewitz #13 in 2nd and Shawn Jones took home a 3rd place finish. All three top rigs were Axial based, with Justin’s rig being a Wraith.

U4RC is excited and looking forward to our winter series, which starts November 23rd at Glen Helen R/C Raceway, with a full race schedule every month going into 2014.

Special thanks to all the competitors and volunteers that help to make this exciting form of racing what it is, we appreciate your support!

U4RC

For more information about U4RC and upcoming events, be sure to visit and like their FB page here.

Project Wrexo – Bender’s Latest Custom Build

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.

What is a RECON G6 ?

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.

RECON G6

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.

General Guidelines:

Stage Format:

- 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.

2012 “King” – Erik Miller – To Run Axial Wraith in Ultra4 G6

Erik Miller is one of those guys that exemplifies the off road life style. His first vehicle was a 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4×4, which he got from his dad at age 16. Once into College, Erik had to balance all of his different interests like all college students, trying to discover his path. His focus back at that time was primarily placed on the aggressive and competitive sport of Ice Hockey. Anyone who knows about Ice Hockey will tell you that it takes a tremendous amount of dedication to master the craft. Erik was also very interested in off-roading, and found himself behind the wheel of a new Jeep, a 2003 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon TJ. In 2004 he accompanied his grandfather to a Jeep Jamboree event in Paragon Adventure park which is what really hooked him on the rock crawling side of off-roading. After that he built up the TJ into a stock/modified competitive crawler and began competing in 2005. His passion for this developed quickly, and like any very competitive individual, Erik excelled in his ventures.

He was hitting the local events and having fun as a hobbyist through 2009 when his first big break came along. He competed at the qualifier for KOH at Rausch Creek off-road park. This was his first taste of the high speed aspect of rock racing and knew this is what he wanted to do. His finishing position at this event was enough to qualify him to run in the 2010 KOH event. After researching the KOH event further, he decided if he was going to be competitive with the likes of Shannon Campbell and Jason Scherer, it was time to build up a proper rock buggy. With his business booming, the team at Miller Motorsports secured a Twisted Creations pro-mod rock buggy named Twisty. Twisty became the center of attention for the team with heavy focus put on development, seat time and testing. These efforts paid off very well for the team earning them a 5th place finish at the 2010 King of the Hammers event. After a slew of victories and an IEC championship in 2010, the team once again contested King of the Hammers in 2011. The Team secured a 14th position finish in 2011 after some steering woes during the event. In 2012 the team was back and more prepared than ever. There are very few times in life when everything seems to click, the 2012 King of the Hammers event was one of those times. The Miller Motorsports team had finally reached the ultimate goal and was crowned the King, winning the extremely competitive 2012 King of the Hammers event.

After the success in the 2012 season, Erik decided it was time to build a new Rock Buggy. They have been working very hard to prepare this buggy for 2013 King of the Hammers. The week at KOH will be a very busy one for Erik, as he will compete in 3 races throughout the week. On Thursday, he will revisit his first vehicle, the 1998 Jeep grand Cherokee, fully built up to compete in the stock class. On Friday he will put his new buggy through its paces in effort to defend his throne. On Saturday he will mix it up a little and compete in the Axial RECON Ultra4 G6 R/C event with a Heavy Metal Concepts built 1/10 scale Axial Wraith.

Erik is very passionate about rock racing, and not afraid to get after the skinny pedal. It is very hard to illustrate this through text, so we rounded up a few photos courtesy of Heavy Metal Concepts to show you Erik in action!

Check out this Heavy Metal Concepts video of Erik and the team getting after it!

To check out the latest Rock Buggy build for the 2013 King of the Hammers “Two Twisted”, click here.

To learn more about Erik Miller and his motorsports efforts please visit his website here.

To stay up to date with the Wraith build for the RECON Ultra4 G6 at KOH please like and follow Heavy Metal Concepts Facebook page here

For more information on the Axial RECON Ultra4 G6 at KOH, click here

As always thanks for checking out the Axial blog and sharing it with your friends!

Axial Day in Italy

Robotronics, [Axial's distributor for Italy] recently hosted a single day event catered to Axial customers and potential R/C newcomers. The event took place on Sunday, September 30th. Even though it rained for the few days prior to the event, the rain held off long enough on Sunday for the event to go off without a hitch. Attendees were treated to a custom built scale trail run that featured many different obstacles, both man made and natural. The course had a little of everything built in from hill climbs, to rock crawling sections, bridges, mud, sidehills and even trials type obstacles. There were two different classes to be run based on tire and wheel size, the 1.9 class for SCX10′s as well as the 2.2 class for the AX10′s and Wraith’s that attended. Drivers spent the morning practicing on the course to get a feel for the layout and the obstacles. After lunch the competition started for both classes, and the top 3 for each class were crowned. Numerous prizes were handed out during the day as part of the giveaway that was going on as well. So, a lucky few walked away with free R/C gear on top of a great day of R/C trail running. Looks like a great course to crawl on, especially with the mud and water holes. We are a little jealous!!

A few highlights from the event. An overall group shot.

Competitors checking out the goods!

Practice.

SCX10 climbing out of a mud hole.

Axial display.

SCX10 on 2.2 wheels and tires attempts a man made hill climb.

A Wraith climbs out of another mud hole.

A future 1:1 offroad enthusiast in training.

The full event report and photos can be found here.
http://www.robitronic.com/it/news/reader/items/axial-day-acqui-terme.html

All in all we would say it looks like a lot of fun, congrats to the winners!!

Axial visits 2012 Easter Jeep Safari – Highlights Video

We finally found some time to edit a highlight video from the 2012 Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah. Highlights include trail runs with Rebel Offroad on Hell’s Revenge, Poison Spider Mesa and Metal Masher. Also shot some footage at Area BFE with the R/C’s. We even found a little sand to play in for the Formula Offroad vehicles and the EXO.

Enjoy!!

Tire Cutting 101

When it comes to scale trail runs, mud bogging, competition crawling and racing, tires are one of the most important aspects of your vehicle. Without proper traction it can be tough to hold your intended line in the rocks or around the track. Having multiple sets of tires in your arsenal is always a good idea in order to be prepared for any and all conditions. But, for the budget crawler, basher and racer having numerous sets of tires and wheels isn’t always a feasible option. There are ways to improve your existing tires and wheels though, and all it requires is a little time at the work bench. For this tire cutting article we will show you a few ways to get more traction out of your stock or existing tires, with little to no money out of your pocket. There are numerous ways to cut tires for better performance. Siping, read cutting, tires is a technology used in the 1:1 off-road world for everything from rock crawling to baja, mud bogging and even full size monster trucks. Tire cutting can be used to get better forward bite, better lateral bite, and even help to avoid mud from packing into certain tread patterns. You can also cut the side wall lugs to soften up the overall feel of the tires carcass as well. There are many aspects to this technology/art form.

A good example to start with for the scale crawlers is the stock R40 compound Axial Ripsaw tires that are original equipment on the RTR Wraith and new RTR Ridgecrest. These tires have a great tread pattern with aggressive lugs for hardcore off road terrain. But, the compound on these is quite a bit harder than the softer R35 Axial Ripsaw tires. Here are a few different methods you can use to get the most out of your stock RTR Ripsaw tires. Only tools needed are a good pair of small wire cutters, a Dremel with a cutoff wheel and a little bit of your time.

Wire cutters used.

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Dremel and cutoff wheel used.

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A stock uncut tire before we get started.

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First thing I wanted to improve upon was forward bite, and the ability to clean sticky mud out of the tire lugs. The tires I am using for this article will be bolted up to a 2.2 scaler/rock racer which will see a wide variety of terrain. I started by cutting the smaller rows of lugs completely out of the tires for a super aggressive tread pattern that will have the ability to shed mud and wet dirt, using a small pair of wire cutters. This cut will also soften the carcass up and allow for more forward bite in technical rock sections, similar to airing a 1:1 tire down for more grip and better ride. If your wire cutters are too small to span the entire lug you are trying to remove, you can cut half of the lug and slide the cutters along the base of the lug for a second cut as needed. I had to use this method on the biggest lugs.

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Next cut the smaller center lugs out on the same row.

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Here is how that same tire looks when the first round of cutting is complete.

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A profile shot after the first round with the wire cutters.

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A photo of all the lugs removed from the 4 tires.

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Next I want to improve the tires performance on the rocks in off camber situations. To do this I will use my Dremel and cut the existing tire grooves in the center lugs down to the tire’s carcass. Here you can see it grooves before I modify them.

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Position the Dremel over the lug to be cut and follow the existing groove to make it deeper.

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Keep your RPMs on the Dremel high enough to cut the lug without bogging the motor down. Gently apply pressure until the cutoff wheel cuts the full depth of the lug. Be careful not to go too deep and cut all the way through the tire, take your time and be patient. You can also do this to the outer lugs if you find you need more bite, or sidewall flex. Another way to get more flex out of your tires is to open up the breather holes in the wheels. I drilled out the existing breather holes in these wheels to twice the stock diameter.

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Finished tire

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Here’s a few shots to show the overall look on my “Project Backyard Basher Ridgecrest.” These tires really give it a lot more aggressive look, similar to what you would see on the “Rock Bouncers” from down in the southeast.

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Following these tips will improve overall performance on the stock RTR Ripsaw tires as well as other tires on the market, especially if they are molded in a firm rubber compound.

Bender’s AX10 Ridgecrest Project Backyard Basher

Now that Axial’s new Ridgecrest is readily available I wanted to show one of the Ridgecrest projects I have been working on. For this project I just wanted to build a do it all trail runner/crawler/basher. The Ridgecrest is the perfect platform for this type of build in my opinion, because of the stout AR60 axles and the well tuned suspension geometry. The purpose of this build is to have a rig that can handle a lot of various situations from sandy hills, to rocks and roots, a little water, and possibly some urban bashing. This project will also probably be a loaner vehicle on occasion as well, so I want it to work decent in all situations. Here’s a rundown of what I changed, and why.

A couple shots with the body removed. I swapped the electronics and battery trays around so the battery now sits in front for better weight distribution.

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Swapping the two trays around was easy, the only thing required was a servo extension wire. The steering servo wire lead on this rig was a bit too short for me to reach the receiver after swapping the two trays around. Servo extensions can be found at most hobby shops and online retailers for less than $5, so it is a cheap and easy solution.

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Here you can see the junction where the servo wire and the servo extension meet. I used the stock wire guide to keep the wires out of harm’s way. Also notice I moved the on/off switch to the opposite side of the chassis, just to keep wires cleanly tucked away.

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I stretched the wheelbase on this Ridgecrest to help on big rock obstacles, and hill climbs. A longer wheelbase usually helps a rig’s capabilities in these situations. So, I installed our 106mm grey links, part number AX30516, to replace the old stock plastic lower links. Then, I used our grey machined high clearance links, part number AX30469, to replace the stock upper links. In order to stretch the wheelbase as much as possible I used our long curved XR10 rod ends on all the suspension links, part number AX80057. You will need 4 of the rod end parts trees total to complete the conversion, as well as M3 threaded studs to secure the rod ends to the links, part number AXA0187. You will need two packages of the threaded studs to complete the conversion. My wheelbase now sits at 13 1/2″.

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A shot of the link set-up.

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Here you can see I also installed our new AR60 machined link mounts, part number AX30830, on the axles as well. These link mounts are cool because they have multiple mounting points, which will help you fine tune wheelbase, ride height and shock angles as needed.

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Another modification that I made was the jump to XR10 beadlock wheels, part number AX08061, and R35 Ripsaw tires, part number AX12015. This mod is one of the best you can make, the difference in traction between the stock RTR Ripsaw tires and the better R35 compound tires is night and day.

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Last thing I changed was the springs on the shocks. The stock springs were a bit too stiff for my liking, so I swapped them out for our purple comp springs, part number AX30224.

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A few shots with the newly cut body.

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So far these few mods have really transformed this vehicle into a super capable basher/trail runner, that is extremely fun to drive. Keep an eye out for my next few Ridgecrest installments covering how to convert your Ridgecrest into a capable comp crawler.

Jake Wright Takes the Win at ECC 2012

Team Axial driver Jake Wright made the long trek down to Alabama from southern California with his XR10 for the 2012 East Coast Championships, aka ECC. ECC usually brings in drivers from all over the US to compete for the east coast crown. After a long hard fought battle with talented drivers from around the country, Axial’s very own Jake Wright managed to take the win and the cash prize back to California with him. Congrats Jake!! We are proud to have you on the team!!

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Photos courtesy of Ryan Bean.