Wednesday 29 December 2010

HobbyKing GoKart Driving Impressions

Well finally been able to edit the video and post it online, unfortunately the first and only videoed outing was in a car park where the grip and surface just didn’t do the GoKart justice.

As can be seen it’s a bit of a handful in corners but as it later turns out this was mainly due to the surface.

After this outing I did run it at the Bendigo RC Track which is quite high grip and the handling of the GoKart was transformed, instead of being really loose in the rear it actually under-steered a little and I found myself wishing for more steering, which is the opposite of the first outing.

The extra grip on the track really allowed the rear tyres to work and push the GoKart along very nicely, I think after a few runs you could actually get a setup for these that would allow you to race them quite competitively in a class, which would look awesome.

The only downside of running it on the track was that the steering servo gave up in the end and stripped the gears I’ll be replacing it with this little gem Turnigy MG959 Alloy Digital Metal Gear Servo its way over kill but it’s alloy and blingy, pitty it’s not in the Turnigy orange colour of the out runner motors.

Overall this GoKart is awesome value for money and could be quite and interesting car for it’s own class.

Friday 3 December 2010

HobbyKing GoKart Initial Review

On first impression the Gokart looks fantastic, the scale, the chassis, the driver figure obvious nickname The Stig. The front and rear bumpers as well as the side pods look great although strictly speaking the side pods are not quite the same mounting as a real Gokart it really doesn’t detract from the over all look of the car.

Construction is very good, everything including the steering is setup on bearings which makes it nice and smooth, the orange alloy is quite good a bit different from the other standard alloy colours, the carbon fiber chassis is around 4mm thick and looks quite good. The chassis is setup a lot like an old school pan car with the rear drive train being mounted on a carbon fiber T-piece which is connected to the main chassis via the large diamond shaped block behind the driver seat, adjustments available here are the tighness of the bond between front and rear chassis plus tweek via the 2 screws that go in from the top of the diamond shaped alloy piece.

The motor is mounted on the main part of the chassis and is connected to the rear drive wheels via a belt, the belt and gears appear to be large Nitro Mod1 or 32 pitch type so should be fairly sturdy. Just like a real Gokart this one has a solid rear axle, this makes it fun to drive it makes it easier for the kart to over steer quite easily so a smooth throttle application is needed but this is also an advantage if you can use it to get around corners faster. This becomes less of an issue as the rear tyres warm up and give more lateral grip.

The motor is 380 or 400size brushless motor and quite zippy running on 2S Lipo pack with a TR35A-V2 ESC, initially more power then is really necessary but once a setup is sorted out and you get used to driving it more power could be nice. With the default gearing the motor response was smooth and responsive not even a hint of cogging on the motor which can happen with sensor-less brushless system on cars geared to high.

The servo that comes with the car is ok but with the size of the contact patch of the from tyres a higher torque servo would probably not go astray.

The only downside of the cart seems to be the decal sheet that comes with the car although it looks great before you apply the decals, as you apply them the lamination layer of the decals seems to peel off or lift off in areas making it look cheap and nasty, some good vinyl stickers would have been a much better option.

The whole kart comes fully assembled which is great, you open the box and it looks fantastic straight away, before running it however I would suggest pulling the whole thing apart and reassembly it using some sort of thread lock to stop any screws holding carbon to alloy or alloy to alloy coming undone and falling out as you drive around, not having any real suspension there is a lot of vibration working at the screws to loosen them up. Being quite a simple construction this should not take very long at all, it will also familiarize you with the kart so you can repair things as needed. 

The 2 tweek screws are particularly at risk from comming undone due to vibration here I think using an o-ring on either side of the diamond shapped alloy piece and screwing the tweek screws through the o-rings would hold them in place quite safely.

The test drive was great initially the car was quite loose and required some smooth throttle control but as confidence and temperature in the tyres increased it became easier to accelerate out of corners and reach some good speeds, it was during the test drive that I discovered that I should have pulled the Gokart apart and used some thread lock on the screws, now I have to wait for spares to replace the upper king pin screw on the front steering.

In conclusion this think is awesome the couple of downsides are easy to work around compared to how good this thing is overall and having a field of these running around a race track would be a great sight, hopefully it will happen soon 😉