Review – Caster Racing ZX-1R Factory Kit


First of all, I’d like to thank Caster Racing for their trust. In fact, Caster racing is the first major car manufacturer to believe in MyRCBox.com. They understand the impact of a review on my web site. They trusted me and I thank them.

If you visit Caster Racing’s website, www.casterracing.com you’ll find some interesting products like the ZX-1R Factory race buggy. The ZX-1R arrived 80% assembled with a painted body and tires. All you have to do is to glue the tires, assemble the shocks and install your favorite engine, tuned pipe and electronics. Diffs are filled for you according to Caster Racing’s race setup, 3000/7000/500 (f/c/r). Also included, a well detailed instruction manual, decals sheet and many extra small parts to keep the buggy in good shape. Everything is well packaged, well identified and looks professional, I like it.

Review - Caster Racing ZX-1R Factory Kit Reviews   The Caster Racing ZX-1R Buggy

Specs

  • Item No.:ZX-1R Factory Team Kit4WD 3Diff.
  • 24pc Precisely Rubber Sealed Ball Bearings
  • Durable Front/Rear/Center CVD
  • Steel Competition Diff. Bevels 18T+10T
  • 4 Hydraulic Constant Volume Shock Absorbers with Dust Proof Boots
  • ABS Dual-disc Brake
  • 3-Shoe Competition Style Clutch
  • Strong Front & Rear Sway Bars:2.3mm+2.8mm
  • Low CG,Water&Dust Proof Radio Box
  • Adjustable Nylon Rear Wing
  • 125cc Duarable Fuel Tank
  • CNC 7075-T6 Al-alloy Countersunk Chassis
  • CNC 7075-T6 Al-alloy Shock Towers with Multiple Mounting Holes
  • CNC 7075-T6 Al-alloy Front&Rear Toe-in Plates: F-1D+R-3D
  • CNC 7075-T6 Al-alloy Steering Plate
  • CNC 7075-T6 Al-alloy Center Diff. Mount Plate
  • CNC 7075-T6 Al-alloy Radio Plate
  • CNC 7075-T6 Al-alloy Rear Lower Arm Holder

SuspensionReview - Caster Racing ZX-1R Factory Kit Reviews

 Review - Caster Racing ZX-1R Factory Kit Reviews

Review - Caster Racing ZX-1R Factory Kit Reviews

On the bench:

Big bore shocks and two sets of shock springs (red and blue) are included with the kit, two sets of pistons (1.4mm and 1.3mm)are also included. For my buggy, I picked the 1.4mm. I assembled and filled the shocks with 40WT diff oil (as recommended) and I choosed the blue springs. The shocks operate smoothly even if I was able to feel the piston rubbing lightly against the shock’s body. This is because shocks were new and after few runs, the shocks have been broken in and the rubbing was gone. Shock’s shafts are protected by rubber boots to protect them from dirt and others elements. Thick aluminum shock towers are used on both ends and have multiple shock mounting positions to fine tune the suspension setup. Front suspension is pivot ball with a 2.3mm sway bar while the rear one uses conventional knuckles and a 2.8mm sway bar. Overall the suspension is well done and well built. E-Clips are used to retain the hinge pins, they do their jobs but I prefer captured hinge pins.

On the track:

On the track, the suspension feels very smooth and absorbs small and big ruts with ease. The big bore shocks are nice; 40wt shock oil and the blue springs seem to be a good basic setup. Taking off the jumps and landings were also smooth. In the rough section of my track, the shocks kept the buggy well planted on the track and the buggy never got out of shape. Body roll was like I like it, sign that my shock setup was perfect. It’s easy to find the correct suspension setup with the ZX-1R, this is perfect for quick suspension setups when track conditions change during the day.

Body and tiresReview - Caster Racing ZX-1R Factory Kit Reviews

On the bench:

Tires, inserts and white wheels are included with the kit. The tires seem to be medium compounds and inserts are soft. The white seven spokes wheels look nice. The body is painted and trimmed from the factory. I only had to drill holes for the body posts and for the tuned pipe’s stinger. The paint scheme is nice looking too, way better that what I can do myself ! I had to install the wing mount and the wing. Talking about the wing, the plastic used for the wing and for the wing mount seems to be a little bit on the thin side. I’m not sure it will be tough enough to sustain heavy off-road action.

On the track:

As expected, the soft tire inserts are too soft for my driving. The tires offer good forward and side traction but harder inserts will make them even better. To complete my race track, I installed two fresh pairs of Pro-Line Crime fighter with hard inserts and they confirm the need of harder inserts. At higher speed, the wing maintains the rear of the buggy on the ground and gives to the buggy good traction. After few crashes, the wing still in top shape.

Review - Caster Racing ZX-1R Factory Kit Reviews

SteeringReview - Caster Racing ZX-1R Factory Kit Reviews

On the bench:

The steering is composed of dual bell cranks supported by bearings. A servo saver is integrated to the bell scrank to protect your steering servo in case of a crash or hit. Adjusting servo saver is easy with the thumb screw. Out of the box, the servo saver is correctly adjusted and I didn’t have to fine tune it. Adjustable turnbuckles will make steering geometry (toe) easy to adjust. Thick aluminum steering drag link with three ackerman positions is well done too. All steering components are slop-free and operate freely with no binding. Pivot ball front suspension is a nice addition, it makes steering more precise in rough terrain condition.

On the track:

As expected, the steering is very precise and responsive. The buggy has a good turning radius which is great for tight race track. On and off power steering is also excellent. The buggy still neutral when the buggy enters or exits from tight turns. No major sign of oversteer or understeer unless I pushed the buggy too hard for the track condition.

 Review - Caster Racing ZX-1R Factory Kit Reviews

Review - Caster Racing ZX-1R Factory Kit Reviews

DrivetrainReview - Caster Racing ZX-1R Factory Kit Reviews

On the bench:

Flywheel, clutch bell, clutch shoes and springs are included in the kit. I’d like to see aluminum shoes in a Factory kit instead of standard clutch shoes. CVD’s are used for the front and drive shafts and for the front and rear axles. All the drive train spins very smoothly with no slop on rubber sealed bearings. The drive train is tough enough to support all the stress of the high performance engines.

On the track:

To test the ZX-1R I installed my Novarossi N21B-2001BF (Read review), this is the engine I run in my current race buggy. The ZX-1R surprised me by how well all the power is delivered to the ground. Even if they are not aluminum, the three shoes clutch make the buggy accelerate straight with no hesitation and with enough power to clear all the jumps. The buggy also exited tight corners with great accelerations. Good drive train !

 Review - Caster Racing ZX-1R Factory Kit Reviews

 Review - Caster Racing ZX-1R Factory Kit Reviews

What I liked

  • Good racer
  • Robust design
  • Big bore shocks
  • 80% assembled

What could be improved

  • Tires inserts are too soft for racing
  • Wing mount and wing seem brittle
  • Hinge pins use e-clips

Items used for the track test

  • Novarossi N21B-2001BF .21 engine (Read review)
  • Pro-Line Crime Fighter tires
  • Team Associated Factory tuned pipe
  • Futaba 3PM 2.4 GHz transmitter (Read review)
  • Trinity 30% Monster Horsepower fuel
  • Team Associated DS1015 Servos
  • Reedy 1600NiMh humppack

Conclusion

The Caster Racing ZX-1R buggy is solid performer out of the box. Racers looking for a good and affordable buggy can put the ZX-1R on their buying list. As stated above, the buggy only has few weak points which are the soft tire inserts and the thin plastic wing mount. They are minor upgrades and eventually you’ll change the tires and the wing so it’s no big deal ! Drop your favorite engine and electronics and the buggy will be ready for hot track actions. The buggy is well built and its design is simple and easy to work on.

If you don’t know Caster Racing, this is time for you to visit their web site. If you ever need more information or you’d like to exchange with few of their factory racers, check their forum, there are some guys that will be glad to help you.

For more information, visit www.casterracing.com

Sylvain Lafrance

Sylvain Lafrance

Hello, my name is Sylvain Lafrance and I am the man behind MyRCBox.com. 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 MyRCBox.com in 2006 to share my experiences with R/C products that I use for racing and bashing. Follow me !

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