This is a frequently asked question, what’s the best for someone who’d like to begin in R/C?. A kit or a RTR? Some say it’s better to start with a kit so you’ll be ready for racing in the future and it is more economic on long term. Some others say that it is better to start with a RTR just to make sure you’ll like the hobby and it’s cheaper.
How much cheaper? Who’s right? Both are right. If your budget is unlimited, a kit could be a good option. On another hand, if you are on a budget then a RTR could be the avenue. It is all about the amount of money you have and you wish to invest in the hobby. To find out the real costs of a kit compared to a RTR, I picked two popular buggies from Team Associated, the RC8 Factory Team and the RC8RS Ready-to-Run.
I have tried to keep costs low and to select the most common components found on the market. All prices are from the major online stores in USA.
Team Associated RC8RS
Team Associated RC8 Factory Team
|Radio and Receiver||Included||200||
Futaba 3PM 2.4Ghz with receiver
|Steering and throttle servos||Included||194||Ace R/C DS1015 Super Torque Digital Servo (97$/unit)|
|Receiver pack||27||27||Team Associated 6V 1600mAh NiMH Hump|
|Tires||Included||36||Pro-Line Bow Tie M2 1/8 Buggy Tires with Molded Foams (18$/pair). Wheels are included with the kit|
|Fuel bottle||Included||12||Ofna 750cc Bottle Aluminum Spout|
|Glow starter||Included||15||Racers Edge 1800mAh Glow Starter|
|Battery pack for the Spin-Start||27||Not required||Team Associated Wolfpack 6C 7.2V 3600mAh|
|Starer box||Not required||98||OFNA Truggy Starter Starter Box|
|12v gell cell for the starter box||Not required||30||Racers Edge 12V 7AH gell cell battery|
|12v charger for the gel cell||Not required||12||Racers Edge 12V Gel Cell AC Battery Charger|
|Charger for humppack and battery pack||50||50||DuraTrax Onyx 210 AC/DC Peak Charger w/LCD|
|Air filter oil||6||6||Team Associated filter oil|
|Engine||Included||300||O.S. Max 21VZ-B V-Spec-T (P) Engine|
|Header||Included||20||Team Associated Non-Stick Header (Black)|
|Tuned Pipe||Included||48||Team Associated Non-Stick Muffler (Black)|
|Paint||Not required||6||Pactra Polycarb 3oz|
|Batteries for the transmitter||29||29||Duracell – Rechargeable AA Batteries (4-Pack x 2)|
|Fuel||35||35||Byron Gen2 30% 1 gallon|
As you can see, a kit is more expensive than a RTR vehicle. In fact, the kit is more than twice the price of its RTR equivalent. Of course the components I installed in my “dream” kit are better quality than those found in the RTR but it doesn’t mean the RTR can’t be fun or raced. Don’t be surprised to see RTR vehicles having success on a race track. Today’s RTRs are faster than before, handle better, are better built and share almost all the same parts as their equivalent kits.
The electronics and engine included in RTRs can be qualified as “basic” but they have the advantage of being user friendly. You better have a less powerful basic engine that is easy to tune and that runs flawlessly without flaming out than a 500$ engine that you’re unable to tune correctly! You’ll spend more time to get familiar with your vehicle rather than wrecking or getting frustrated because you can’t make your kit run as you wish.
If you are new to R/C and you wish to enjoy every dollar invested in the hobby, go with a RTR. This is the best way to begin into R/C.