Racing an RTR
It has been tough to do much with the site due to the Covid19 situation so I thought I'd update it with my exploits on racing the Kyosho MP9 Readyset (RTR) buggy. I have done a few videos on this (links below) but realised I haven't even posted it on my own website.
I used to race buggy a lot and have owned a few Kyosho MP9 prokits before so I knew what the MP9 is capable of. I also knew the car inside out and have a box of spare parts for it, It was around this time when A-main Hobbies posted their videos on racing the MP9 Readyset. They however mentioned that you need to hop it up to make it racey. I wondered about this and it piqued my interest on how good the RTR car is compared to its prokit older brother.
I settled on the TKI3 version of the car as it was the one that I was most familiar with. I also made it a point to keep the car completely stock to get the full RTR treatment. If it was good I will endorse it. If it was bad I was gonna live with it. I planned early on to keep it in stock configuration until I figured out everything I needed to know about this car. This will be as honest as it gets.
Chassis - We will start off with the kit itself. Build quality is top notch as expected from a Kyosho offering. The diffs only come with two spider gears and is filled with grease. You can add two more spider gears to beef it up but I have been running it in its stock form with no issues. I did fill the diffs with different oil weights to make sure it runs the way I want it to. The shocks will also have to be rebuilt as it was only half filled with oil out of the box.
Electronics - RTR radio systems are known to have issues but mine worked without any glitching or range issues. A search online however shows that there are quite a few complaints on stock Kyosho radio systems so this is something to be wary of. The servos are not the fastest but they do a decent job. They are just strong and fast enough for you to enjoy racing.
Engine - The KE21r is surprisingly fast and easy to tune. Break in was pain free and I have had no issues with it after four races. This equates to about two gallons of fuel thus far. The stock pipe does hold back the low end torque of the engine so I would recommend a pipe upgrade if you can get it.
Tyres - The tyres do a good job on our track which comprises loose sand, grass, cement and clay-brick sections. They however came unglued in the first race. Grip was good... glue job wasn't.
Durability - I was worried about the shock towers as they were made from thinner material than those used on the prokit cars but I am happy to report that nothing has broken or bent on the car after four races. I did break the pull start though...
On to the races
My first race with the car was a learning experience. At the time I wasn't familiar with the characteristics of the engine as I had only completed the break-in process the day before and I wasn't used to the speed of the servos (it was slower than what I was used to so there was a learning curve). I only participated in one qualifying heat of said race to get a hang of driving the Readyset. After the qualifying I had to rush away for work but it was a good first outing considering nothing broke.
My second race saw me finish dead last in the B-main. I missed all of qualifying due to work commitments and had to start in last place in the C-main. I made up some places and did just enough to qualify for the B-main. Unfortunately work called again so I had to abandon my B-main race. I was still unsure about how hard to drive the car at the time but this race experience gave me confidence that I could push it and give it some abuse.
The third race was probably the toughest challenge for the Readyset to date. It was raining throughout the day so we had to race in muddy conditions. This put a lot of stress on the car, electronics and engine. One advantage I had was knowing that the servos of the car are waterproof so I did not worry as much when I drove through puddles. I did a full round of qualifying and made the A-main. I started dead last in the final but gradually made my way up the ranks. I was sitting comfortably in third when two consecutive flame outs (ran out of fuel) saw me drop to my finishing order in fourth.
I achieved my best finish in the fourth race. I had no prior practice so I wasn't sure how the car would drive but it was very consistent throughout the day. I was definitely not the fastest driver but the car was easy to drive and very consistent. It was truly a case of slow and steady wins the race... or wins you third...
While doing routine servicing on the car after its fourth race, I decided to tear down the entire car and rebuild it with the prokit parts I had lying around. Not because there was anything wrong with the Readyset but I felt that it has already proven itself after four races and deserved upgrades as a reward. Parts upgraded include shocktowers, universals all around, knuckles, and various light weight parts. I also upgraded the steering servo to a high speed and torque offering from Savox and switched out the stock radio system to my usual Futaba set up. Unfortunately I haven't been able to race it since due to the Covid outbreak.
This is an RTR built to race. There is no question about it. This platform allows you to unbox the car, break in the engine and immediately join your first race. The only thing I would suggest upgrading out of the box is to get longer fuel lines and a starter box. Pull starts just don't work for racing. Tyres are good enough but you can always do better with tyre upgrades. I also recommend upgrading the pipe to produce more low end torque, this however is not a necessity.
Nothing from the Readyset broke or needed fixing throughout the four races. The pull-start malfunctioned but this was because I was impatient with it... You can see what happened in the videos below. Engine was stable and fast enough to keep the racing fun. I had one phantom flame-out during the entire four races. Fuel consumption is not the best. I had to refuel every five minutes while six minutes were the norm. After two gallons of racing, the engine is still performing well and has good compression.
The car in its RTR form exceeded my expectations in every way. I definitely recommend it for newcomers looking to start racing or for former racers looking for a cheaper way to get back into the action.
I've also documented the entire journey on videos. Check them out below.