Review: Team Yokomo YZ-4 by Chris Sturdy

Who better to review the new Team Yokomo 4wd, 1:10 buggy, than one of the people who steers them best, Chris Sturdy.

Yokomo YZ-4 Review!!!

12240202_1088350771175600_7810615531081560751_o

Quality…One word that describes this buggy, The quality of this kit in my honest opinion is second to none.

The Build

The build was perfect, everything went together so nicely. The fit and finish is perfect and feels amazing. As you can tell this buggy is a whole lot different to the Bmax4III. I’ll point out some of the major changes. Lets start with the biggest change and one that a lot of people seem to think makes this buggy worse than the Bmax4III….Yes the belts. But it really isn’t what you think. The way Yokomo have designed the drive train it still has great acceleration and does not feel at all like there is a slight delay with the belts at all. On track the Drive line feels amazing, super smooth through the power range while without loosing any acceleration. The belts are very heavy duty as well and nothing like what i have used before.

Next is the steering assembly. Very different to the Bmax4III, similar design to the YZ-2, In fact it uses the same Bell crank parts. This eliminate the servo saver which on the Bmax4III had a habit of coming loose at the wrong time. This assembly also has 4 extra bearings to its predecessor when using the alloy assembly on the YZ-4. The kit comes with plastic parts (insert Oh No its Plastic jokes here) that are insanely tough and feel very rigid. The same can be said about the plastic suspension mount parts for the rear arms and the plastic shock towers, they feel very ridgid and by no means feel cheap.  Keep in mind how much it costs to make a mould to produce plastic parts before you go saying that plastic parts are cheap especially this high quality. I opted for the alloy suspension mounts as that’s what Yokomo sent me otherwise i would have just used all the plastic parts that came in the kit. One more addition to this buggy is the use of a front clicker pulley. I recommend this for stock as it works similar to a one-way diff in the front of a TC car. The clicker takes drive off the front of the car entering corners allowing the brakes to pivot the car more like a 2wd buggy. For modified I suggest taking the spring out all together.

One negative with this buggy is that due to the belt drive train, is it is harder to remove the gearboxes compared the the BMAX4III but by no means is it difficult, its just abit more work. There is so much more i I could write about new additions to the buggy but would make this article A LOT longer.

Here is a full list of all the Option parts that i recommend getting for adjustability:

  • Z2-300RF – Rear suspension mount (Front side)
  • Z4-300SRR – Rear suspension mount (Back side, for S4 arm)
  • Z4-300FU – Aluminum Front Upper Arm Mount (L / R)
  • Z4-412 – Anti-roll bar set x2

The Drive

The drive was honestly surprising, I didn’t really know what to expect but was honestly surprised with how easy the buggy was to drive. So much easier to turn corners than the Bmax4III and consistent from entry to exit. The buggy hugged the apex’s on low speed corners and didnt slide when I got on the power too early. We actually spent most of the day trying to get rid of a bit of the rear grip the buggy had. A the end of the day we took the wheels off the YZ-4 and put them straight on the Bmax4III and ran the Bmax4III once.  After spending all day driving the YZ-4 I realised how much more edgy the Bmax4III was. I have spent alot of time getting the Bmax4III as good as it was for that track and after 3.5 Hrs testing the YZ-4, the YZ-4 was already slightly faster but so much more consistent and we have only scratched the surface with the setup if even that! All up I think if you thought the YZ-4 wasn’t going to work on dirt all I have to say is…THINK AGAIN!

I would also like to Thank Team Yokomo for their continued support, I’m honoured to be able to represent them!

Advertisements

Has Drifting and Street Racers saved the Touring Car?

Ok, ok, I know that touring car racing is not dead, but there has been a significant increase in the number of cars designed to either cater to those wanting sideways action, or some social street driving or racing.  Much like their crawling cousins, scale accessories and scale detail are also king in this arena of public opinion. However this new brand of on road driver has certainly resurrected some interest in On Road chassis.

Today’s release of two muscle cars from Kyosho on the Fazer platform, a 1970 Dodge Charger and a 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat are further evidence, and while I don’t know how these vehicles are selling, I certainly see a few around the place, and there is certainly a lot of chatter generated by them.  Heck i’d be quite happy with one the the offerings on the Vaterra V100 platform or the new HPI RS4 Sport 3 platform (and I almost forgot the Team Associated Apex cars).  All of these platforms have a number of attributes in common, great looking scale bodies, scale tyres and rims, basic shaft driven platforms and affordable pricing.  This is fast turning into a what RC car to buy for street fun article, but I will resist!

Now none of these are what you would call drift vehicles despite being labeled as such and coming with hard tyres.  Yes they do a decent job, but in my mind a drift car has to at least have an optional set of gearing to allow a Counter steer (or CS) conversion.  What does that mean?  Well the rear wheels turn faster than the front ones.  Why?  Because it’s easier to keep the car sideways, and who doesn’t like a bit of sideways action sometimes.  None of the cars mentioned before have much in the way of adjustment either with all having fixed suspension links, but most have aftermarket or factory adjustable ones available to allow for some adjustment.  That said, this keeps the price of these units down, and there is nothing like a car that is fun to drive, a decent price to buy and looks great as well.  Personally I love how the BMW M3 and Subaru BRZ models on the HPI Sport 3 chassis look, but the 1969 Corvette from Vaterra looks amazing as well.

Many of this new breed of street cars also come with waterproof electronics, so even a rainy day isn’t able to keep you off the streets.  About the only feature that I am a little disappointed is still on these cars is the ubiquitous post body mounts.  Yes, they work well, but there are some great magnetic body mounts available today which eliminate the posts and give the car a much clearer look, but are still strong enough to stop the body coming off easily.

There is a whole range of chassis and bodies out there, and there are some offerings from Yokomo, MST and Sakura which are true drift chassis, but expect to be paying more than the cars we are discussing here today.

I guess what I am saying is don’t be a chassis snob, grab one of these budget street brawlers, grab some mates and go outside and have some fun!  And because everybody loves some eye candy, here is a slide show of some of the offerings on sale at the moment.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

PS, yes, I completely missed out on the Tamiya TT-01 and TT02 platforms, I could say I was focusing on new platforms, but the TT-02 is a new platform, Maybe i have a bit of tunnel vision, but check out the Tamiya cars as well as they have a huge range of cars and bodies available.

Yokomo YZ-2 2WD Buggy

We shared some photos from Lee Martin last night, but more details of this new buggy have appeared overnight so I thought I would do a more comprehensive post about this new design.

Firstly the website has all of the details, so that’s not a bad place to start! http://www.teamyokomo.eu/yokomo-yz-2

It certainly is focused on very high traction surfaces with the car set low to the ground, motor and gearbox very low, and somewhat unconventional steering bellcrank arrangement which I have included a photo of below.  I would say of all the 2wd buggies, this would most likely have the lowest centre of gravity of any I have seen.  The spur gear is pretty much touring car height! This is what Team Yokomo themselves have to say about their new design.

Yokomo is introducing the all-new YZ-2, a state-of-the-art 1/10th-scale EP 2WD offroad competition mid-motor chassis kit, engineered from the ground-up for today’s racing environment and designed to deliver leading-edge developments to offroad enthusiasts, all while offering a luxurious feel by featuring black-anodized aluminum parts with chamfered edges for select components.

In recent days, offroad racing has seen a shift toward high-grip surfaces; use of astro, carpet and even high-grip dirt has become more and more prevalent. Last year’s World Championships was held on a dirt track where the surface was covered with sugar water to increase the grip.

With these developments in the offroad racing scene, the YZ-2 was designed from the ground-up to perform its best in today’s high-speed, high-grip race tracks.

By employing a super-low center-of-gravity motor mount and gearbox, the YZ-2 has realized an unprecedented weight balance never seen before in offroad racing cars, resulting in dramatically reduction of traction rolls on high-grip surfaces, and improved overall stability of the car.

An innovative steering design where the wiper swing action is directed toward the rear of the car affords a more direct steering response compared to conventional designs.

The hard-coated, low-friction anodized aluminum cylinders leads to smoother shock absorbing movements which allows better driving characteristics.

Also, quick alignment adjustments can be made without the need of optional parts by replacing the bushings of the front hub carrier and rear suspension mounts, a quality that can be an advantage in adapting quickly to various track conditions.

Everything about the Yokomo YZ-2 has been designed to provide an advantage for racers in today’s offroad racing scene.

Specifications
● Super-low center-of-gravity motor mount and gearbox
● Variable skid angles (0, 2.5, 5 degrees) by replacing the bushing of the front hub carrier
● Variable toe-in and skid angle by replacing bushings of the rear suspension arms
● Newly-designed aluminum steering rack
● Aluminum rear suspension mount
● Aluminum front upper arm mount
● Aluminum front suspension arm mount support
● One-piece aluminum main chassis
● Support for both stick and shorty LiPo batteries
● Carbon graphite battery plate
● Dual-pad slipper clutch
● Aluminum front and rear hex wheel hubs
● 4mm-thick carbon graphite front and rear shock towers
● Low-friction, hard-anodized shock cylinders
● Newly-designed forward-cabin racing body