Choosing the right model
There are many different types of electric off road buggies currently available on the market. Buggies ranging from the basic 2WD Ready To Run (RTR) from the likes of Annsman Racing to the full competition spec 4WD kits from Team Associated and Team Durango, these come in kit form and require building and installing of your own electrics. The key is to buy what you can afford and a model to suit your skill level. Generally 4WD buggies are easier to drive giving better grip, these are ideal for those starting out in the hobby as they allow you to develop your sill level.
There are various different types of batteries suitable for use in 10th scale buggies. The most popular choice for battery packs are LIPO (Lithium polymer). There are various sizes and shapes of battery pack and the type you need is dependant your cars chassis design. Commonly RTR models will come with NIMH (Nickel–metal hydride) battery packs these require more maintenance such as discharging and equalising to keep in good working order.
For club racing a LIPO battery with a minimum of 3200mAh capacity and 7.4V (2s), this will give around two 5 minute races before needing recharged.
The charger you choose will be dependent on the type of battery packs you are using. Some will allow charging of both LIPO and NIMH batteries, but please check before purchasing one that it matches your batteries.
For LIPO batteries it is recommended that your do not charge at more than 1C. For example a 3200mAh battery would be charged at 3.2 Amps and a 4200mAh battery would be charged at 4.2 Amp. As always please follow manufacturers guidelines on charging your batteries.
It is worth noting that most indoor clubs will require you to charge LIPO batteries in a specially designed fireproof sack. These are readily available from most model part suppliers.
Motors and Speed Controllers
The motor and speed controller you choose for your car is probably going to be one of the most important decisions. Skill level will play a big factor in what you should choose as a big fast motor is going to hinder a new drivers learning curve. There is two types on motor on the market today, Brushed and Brushless. It is common for RTR cars to come with the older brushed style motors fitted and while these are great to begin with they do have significantly higher maintenance requirements over the newer brushless motors.
From experience if your car comes with a brushed motor fitted, great come down and run it it will work just as well as the rest, but if your car does not come with a motor then look at getting a brushless version. As the price difference is minimal and greatly outweighed by the life span.
Most companies will produce motor and speed controller combo packages that will easily get you up and running quickly. Also provide all the components needed already wired and ready to go, which is great if you are not an experienced solderer.
Motor Specs Explained
Brushless motors are rated by a numbering system to denote how fast they turn. For a beginner starting at the 13.5 stock level is great. These are slower than full blown race motors, but don’t be fooled they are far from your typical ‘argos’ rc car.
The next step up would be the 10.5 super stock motors, these suit our track brilliantly and other smaller technical tracks.
For a bit more grunt you can move to the modified motors that range from 9.5 down.
When you get into this range it is more about personal preference and driving style that helps you choose your motor. These motors are not for beginners unless you are on a large open track. In general our top drivers will use from an 8.5 to a 6.5 motor in their buggies to race competitively, but this is not a requirement you can use higher numbered motors and still do well.
Two things to remember the smaller the number the faster the motor and just cause your car is the fastest in a straight line doesn’t mean it is going round corners.
Choose a motor to match your skill level and it will always be faster around the track than the fastest motor you can find
Wheels and Tyres
We favour the tyres from Schumacher Racing and have found after alot of testing the perform best on 10th scale buggies both outside and inside. The two most popular tyre variants are Mini Pins and Mini Spikes, both in the yellow compound rubber type with medium foam inserts.
Unlike touring cars (road cars) bare in mind that the front tyres of buggies are narrower than the rear tyres. Also 2WD buggies will have specific front tyres, the rears will be the same as a 4WD cars rear tyres. Most car manufacturers also have unique wheel fitments so remember to buy the correct widths and fitments for your car.