Power up your e-gyros! It’s time to make history and organize some rc dirt bike races. It doesnt have to be serious or organized, but lets finally move this hobby forward and have some fun. The benefits of racing are just as important as with full scale races. If we want the hobby to improve and grow then we have to do this! Countries like Italy, Germany, Austria, and Japan have active rc dirt bike owners that gather for some fun racing each year. In Europe race events are organized with classes and timing gates like the Alpen Cup Series. In the UK, a race took place for fun but for charity too. Finally, in Japan, it appears to be informal gatherings with whatever bikes they own on open fields. So here in Part 1 I will show some real world examples of races and real world benefits. Part 2 maybe I will give some ideas on how we can get this moving forward.
So to start, what does the ARX540, the Alpen Cup rc bike race series, and e-gyros all have in common? Could it be they all have a shared history with an rc dirt bike racing series in Germany? About a month ago I posted a gallery of photos from the German RC Ricky Race Series that dates back to 2006. The bike available at the time was the Radioshack Ricky Carmichael 1/4 dirt bike with a mechanical gyro in back wheel. I dont have many details on the events itself, but I know the owner(s) of AR Racing ran Ricky bikes in those races. AR Racing started by making hop-ups for the Ricky bike, like USD forks, to get Ricky to perform better. The ARX540 was release in 2007, followed by the release of the e-gyro to help improve performance for these bikes. Also, from that German racing series a bigger race series emerged called the Alpen Cup, which is a 3 race series starting in Germany, then in Austria, followed by Italy. Look at how many good things come out of getting together for some fun racing. New products, better ideas, and more importantly new friends are made!
The UK has shown that the Anderson M5 / Duratrax DX450 1/5 scale drit bike has the ability to race with its stock mechanical rear wheel gyro. Numerous motard races have taken place but for me the best and only (so far) example of motocross style racing was an event back in September 2009 called the Schumacher MX Challenge. It was held on a grass track with some great obstacles including a triple jump and step-up jumps. All proceeds from the race went to a local Air Ambulance. The Brits have the ability to do this before and theres a good chance it may happen again in 2013 (good luck JB).
Finally, I try to read (translated by google) blogs of rc dirt bike owners in Japan who have gathered for the day to run bikes. Just recently a video was posted of such a group running on an empty field with some corner markers and a homemade wood jump. No fancy lap counter, no marshals, and no driver stand. It did not matter! They even started the race with a full straight lineup just like real motocross racing. I dont think it makes for a clean start but was fun to see for sure. What I do see are some very active rc dirt bike owners, creating hybrid bikes that use combination of parts from various bikes together, or owners making homemade e-gyros.
So the examples are out there and the benefits are real. AR Racing still makes and improves on the ARX540 and paved the way for other bikes like the Atomik MM450 to include an e-gyro and take it a step further with advancements like tire inserts. Now it is the owners turn to take the next step and drive the hobby forward. Its like Dad just handed you the keys to drive his car for the first time. Are you going to drive it in the backyard all day or go show it off and join your friends?
Thanks for reading! John