Adam Drake talks Novarossi Articles

Adam Drake talks Novarossi

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Adam Drake talks Novarossi


Since many years, Novarossi is synonym of high performance engines and top quality craftsmanship. In the last years, Novarossi have suffered of having too many “similar” engines in their lineup and this was confusing potential buyers. Now, the lineup is much simpler and people are coming back with the Italian manufacturer. In spring 2009, Novarossi has surprised the R/C world by signing Adam Drake, the most known professional R/C racer in the world. Adam has graciously accepted to answer those questions.

Adam Drake talks Novarossi Articles What method do you use to break-in your new Novarossi engines?
Adam Drake: The break-in method for the Nova Rossi engines is simple. I start by heating the engine with a heat gun to 170-180 degrees. Then start the engines and adjust the idle. You may need to lean out the low speed needle a little from the factory settings, but you want the idle pretty low. I then wrap the head with a 1/10th scale truck foam insert to keep the engine at temp. Then let the engine idle for 4-5 tanks, but make sure you clean out the engine (open the carb) every 4-5 min. Once you hit the track you can set the low speed needle to race tune, but make sure the high speed needle is rich. Over the next 5 tanks you can slowly lean out the high speed needle. When do you consider a new engine to be completely broken-in and ready to be raced?
Adam drake: A new engine takes a full gallon of fuel to be completely broken in. This might sound like a “basic” question but I frequently see people arguing about air filter oiling. Some people oils the inner and outer filters, some only oils the inner one and others only the outer filter. What do you recommend?
Adam Drake: I oil both the inner and outer foam filters. Keeping the filters clean will make tuning easier and increase engine life. What is a good operating temperature for the 21 Plus 4, Toro Nero and 21-7 FMS?
Adam Drake: A good operating temp for Nova Rossi engines is 235-255 degrees. Novarossi offers many of their engines with a turbo glow plug or with a standard glow plug. What difference a turbo plug makes? Do they perform best on specific tracks or conditions
Adam Drake: I use Nova Rossi turbo glow plugs all the time. Turbo has increased power and runtime. We frequently hear people talking about “flush” needles settings. Do you have a tip to quickly adjust the carburetor or at least to set it back to the factory settings?
Adam Drake: With the Plus 4 the low speed needle should be flush to 1mm out from flush. The low speed needle on the Toro Nero should be 1mm to 2mm out from flush. The high speed needle should be flush to 1mm in from flush on both the Plus 4 and the Toro Nero. The Novarossi 21 Plus 4 engine is well known for its fuel economy. What is the average runtime you can get out of this engine?
Adam Drake: Fuel economy depends a lot on the track conditions, but I can usually get 11:30 to 12:00 min with the Plus 4 in buggy. What do you recommend to increase fuel mileage?
Adam Drake: The Nova Rossi pressure line cooler and driving smooth. What tuned pipe and header do you use?
Adam Drake: Nova Rossi 9901 pipe and Nova Rossi 41021 header. The clutch setup is an important part of the engine’s performances. Do you have to change your clutch settings foreach engine?
Adam Drake: The Nova Rossi Plus 4 has more power then engines I’ve used in the past. This has allowed me to run lighter clutch springs which increase the life of your clutch. The Novarossi 21 Plus 4 engine has a street price slightly under the 300$us and you race this engine, with success, against engines twice the price. What does make the 21 Plus 4 such a good engine?
Adam Drake: The Nova Rossi Plus for is the best engine I’ve run. It has great power, easy to tune and unbelievable fuel economy. Nova Rossi engines have a lot of attention to detail. Besides the 21 Plus 4 engine, what others Novarossi engines do you race?
Adam Drake: I always use the Plus 4 in buggy. In truck I usually start with the Plus 4, but sometimes go to the Toro Nero if I need more mid to top-end power. Do the engines require special maintenance?
Adam Drake: No special maintenance is required. You have joined the Novarossi team in April 2009. How is it to be with one of the most legendary engines manufacturer? Did you have to learn Italian? LOL
Adam Drake: It’s been an unbelievable year. I’m very grateful to be working with such great companies as Losi and Nova Rossi. Fusion Motor Sports is the exclusive importer of Novarossi engines in North America. You have to work closely with Jim Hottinger and Chris Nunez. These two guys have more than forty years of experience in building and modifying engines. What influence these guys have on you and on your recent race results?
Adam Drake: Jim Hottinger, Chris Nunez and the entire Nova Rossi team have been great to work with. Since you have signed with Novarossi, the popularity of Novarossi engines has dramatically increased in North America. Have you ever thought that you have such influence in the R/C industry?
Adam Drake: Nova Rossi makes great products and has a great team. Together we have made a big impact not only in North America, but worldwide. It’s a team effort! You have participated to a “Tuning your Novarossi with Adam Drake” session in collaboration with Fusion Motorsports. Does the support to the end users is something important for you and Novarossi?
Adam Drake: Supporting the end user is very important. I try to do what I can on the message boards and at events to help everyone. Here is the traditional question but so much important for the racers, who are your sponsors?
Adam Drake: Team Losi Racing, Nova Rossi, Pro Exotics, Spektrum, Airtronics, Hitec, Lunsford, JBL, UpGrade RC, A Main Bodies, TKO, and Pro Motion.

Once again, thanks for your time Adam. Your time and collaboration are greatly appreciated.

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Sylvain Lafrance

Sylvain Lafrance

Hello, my name is Sylvain Lafrance and I am the man behind I have bought my first hobby grade RC in the early 90s. With years, what that started as a simple hobby, quickly became a strong passion. I am so much passionate about R/C that I have created in 2006 to share my experiences with R/C products that I use for racing and bashing. Follow me !

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8 thoughts on “Adam Drake talks Novarossi

  1. I have a novarossi p5 and i have about 10 tanks in and it still has alot of pinch i let it idle for 5 tanks and put it on the ground and drove it around for 5 more what do you recommend

  2. Mu kyosho v1rrr has a noca 12 witb a racing clutch,but its very slugish on pull away if i flor it it takes about 4 sec befor it pull away is there a setting for the clutch

  3. My kyosho v1rrr has a novarosi 12 with a racing clutch,but its very slugish on pull away if i flor it it takes about 4 sec before it pulls away is there a setting for the clutch

  4. I have a Nova Plus 21-7fms, piston has small pressure crack in skirt. You happen to know where I could find a new piston for this thing? I’ve been looking and haven’t had good luck finding one. If you could help, I’d greatly appreciate it.

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