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Color0's Micro RC Blog -- A technical brain dump from the mind of yours truly...
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Kyosho 10d Radials -- Impressions

Posted 12-18-2011 at 07:26 PM by color0
Updated 12-19-2011 at 12:30 AM by color0
Hi everyone,

Winter break is finally here for me! So 1) finally there's time to race and tune again and write again, and 2) there's a LOT that I've missed in the last couple months that I should get back to covering. So, without further delay let's get back to business.

About two weeks ago I decided I had enough of schoolwork and took a break to go to Kyosho's Route 241 Raceway (carpet!) for the Fall Classic race, taking with me my MR03 (under the F430 I've been building) and coming back with two MR03's and a setup board. (Shoutout to Kyosho for their incredibly generous prizes ) Anyways, the race was pretty much won by a last-minute application of these:

These are the recently-released Kyosho 10d Radials. As advertised, they're super soft, rather gummy, and they must have some sort of silicone content in them as they don't stick well to the R246 tire tape like other Kyosho tires do.

Long story short, I put on one pair in the morning, dialed in the car, and by the time I had dialed it in, the grip was fading already. I did not have the fastest car in the qualifiers by a long shot, although I managed a fast lap just two tenths behind TQ Ryan C. it was mostly due to 1) pushing the car far harder than is prudent and 2) using the tall ride height necessary to run at R241 (the IC Tag transponder goes under the chassis!) to jump over curbs. I literally hopped up on a curb at least once every two laps -- they weren't that tall and my ride height was nearly 5mm, so hey, why the heck not?

However, I could tell that between the qualifiers I was steadily losing rear grip, to the extent that other cars running Kyosho 20 radials were getting more on-power traction than mine -- and I was running an F430 too, so not expected! By the end of Q3 I managed to keep my 2nd place qualifying position, but there was no way I'd be able to catch Ryan C. if I didn't find more rear traction. So I ripped off the old pair of rear tires and mounted the other pair in the package, pretty much hoping grip. Now the fun begins...

I've gotten much better at reacting to start signals -- normally, because I have less rear grip than other racers and therefore need to not lose position. This time, however, I was completely unprepared for the amount of traction provided by the Kyosho 10's. Right off the start I almost ran into the back end of Ryan's car and barely backed off in time -- I had a ridiculous traction advantage, much more than I could handle! The added traction also made the car push, upsetting the balance I had tuned the F430 for. Coming out of the first chicane, I again almost ran into Ryan's rear and had no space to back off! So I tried to move to the inside but ended up hitting the inside board. And in a chain-reaction of bad luck the rebound somehow sent Ryan into the outside board. D'oh. Anyways, within a minute the understeer went away and I pressed my traction advantage to run away from the field for a bit. Even this faded off by mid-run, the F430 starting to step out the tail more and more as the main went on. In the last few minutes of the main, the remaining traction I had didn't feel much different than a scrubbed-in pair of Kyosho 20 radials.

So: Do they work? Well, on carpet, absolutely -- for the first run or two. I've never launched my Mini-Z so hard before that I almost ran into the guy ahead of me twice. On the other hand, they fade so quickly you can tell the difference between the start of the run and the end of it! I don't mind having extra traction at the start as a safety envelope, but these tires take the fading behavior to an extreme and the traction when new upsets the handling balance of the car (major understeer).

Are they worth the money? I'm not sure. On the one hand, they grip. On the other, they don't grip that much more than Kyosho 20 radials that I could justify using them regularly. For two pairs of Kyosho 10's you could do four pairs of Kyosho 20's, scrub them in to the optimal amount and have consistent traction for four times longer. Furthermore, these are an advantage only at carpet tracks that outlaw silicone -- these tires are too soft and wear too quickly to even consider for RCP, but they're not full silicone tires, so they don't grip like PN and Atomic silicone tires do on the carpet tracks (say, Cruzin' with RCs) that do allow silicone. So for me, it's an expensive proposition I'd only save for really important races that happen on no-silicone-allowed carpet tracks. And while more races like that may occur in Japan, they're rather rare here in the US.


Next week -- It's Xmas! Inside Line Racing Reindeer Rumble short report + my frustrations with the MR03 chassis.
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