Mähän Sanoin – Kyosho Setup Changes After 27 Years?


I have become numb to people talking about copying. Oh he copied this, he copied that. If someone makes a pillowball car it is inevitably a Mugen, C-hub it’s a Kyosho. I used to get mad at these people but realised that there is no point in even trying to explain anything to them because they don’t know what they are talking about. If it looks similar it is the same. That’s generally what people think. I do admit though, that I can count the companies that actually design and develop their products on one hand, and I don’t even need all my fingers.

Anyway, today I feel like I need to brag a bit. Just a bit. What an arrogant dick I am. Just as a sort of tip of the hat to these knowitalls from all these years. For the past couple of years or so I have been going on about high links, low roll centres, and camber change. I learned to understand theory, applied it in practice, and saw that this was the direction I should develop my car.

Now the Kyosho setup has been the same for the past 27 years. Kanai and the team always had the links in the same place. No matter what the track it seemed like the links were always the same. To me, with my newly discovered theoretical understanding, the setup, and the rare changes some drivers made to it in certain conditions didn’t make sense. I questioned my conclusions. I tried figuring out why this Magic Japanese car did not follow my theory. What the hell was going on? I couldn’t figure it out, so I began helping Kyosho drivers. Even team drivers (you know who you are). I had a number of different drivers change their setup to what I thought would work better. It was hard to convince these conservative magicians to do it, but I managed after a while.

Basically the point was, raise your links, and adjust camber after raising them. This was just the first basic step. Unbelievably the Magic Japanese car improved in the hands of my test subjects. I had improved on a 27 year old setup without driving the car. Based on my findings I now understood why Ronnefalk had been so dominant at the Worlds Warm up in Argentina, with his whacky rear link setup, and punched driving style. It all made sense again. I returned to my cave and waited.

This summer it finally happened. Kyosho released an update, a higher link position than what was previously possible for the front. Also, the former 3 top rows of holes on the rear tower, which previously had been there mainly as a cosmetic detail, began being used. Kanai is testing higher links, he is heading in a direction that I understand. What will he conclude? How many years will it take for the team to make the necessary changes to their standard setups to reap the benefits? Time will tell.


9 thoughts on “Mähän Sanoin – Kyosho Setup Changes After 27 Years?

  1. Hannes says:

    I have been wondering when somebody would finally apply solid engineering practices to rc car setup (instead of guess work and shouting the loudest). It’s starting to look like as if it will be be you 😛 If now we would have even the slightest clue as to how these tires work (compare this to the understanding we have on modern road tires), I doubt any rc car company has ….
    Reminds me on your comment on “The thing is that pulling the trigger and spinning the wheels was slower.” from a previous post. Looking at road tires of course this is well understood …
    Rock on.

    • jqproducts says:

      We have two limitations that we have to remember when we design cars, tyres, and shocks. Tyres basically make our cars easier to drive, but are slow. A lot of deformation and ballooning. Wheels also flex a lot. All of that makes us slower, but at the same time make the cars easier to drive. The lack of adjustment in our shocks means that the car needs to be a a lot more of a compromise. We have to make it slow, so us humans can control it. With better shocks we could do it with the shocks instead. I haven’t even began looking at tyres, wheels and shocks yet because the basics need to be learned first, the car. And that is a lot harder than people think, and takes a long time. 99% of people KNOW everything, when in fact they just assume and guess, and understand very little. It is very hard to truly understand when we have hardly any data acquisition and there is no information out there specific to our cars. That’s why it takes a long time. There is no one single right answer, but there are some general truths which are worth following, and I am only at the stage of discovering them. I could have copied the best car on day one and been done with it, but that’s not why I am doing this.

      • Hannes says:

        I agree with not copying the best car, you picked the more interesting route. However, I think it needs to be considered that many adjustments we make on the car are only worth making because there is a certain way the tyres behave (which we don’t really know for these weird rc car tyres). Many factors like ride comfort can be entirely disregarded, so maximizing accellerations over the course of a lap is the only goal we have, besides being able to control the thing from afar, agreed. Maximizing accellerations by keeping the power/brakes the same is then only a function of tire forces, which you can influence by a number of chassis adjustments.
        Look for example at camber or anti-roll bar adjustments, on full scale road cars you would increase or decrease camber to optimize the contact patch in corners or while accellerating/braking, optimizing the maximum forces the tire can take in the situation. Anti-rollbars are based on the validated assumption that there is such a thing as a non-linear, degressive part in the tyres capabilities. The list goes on. Maybe we can assume the same/comparable behaviour of rc car tires, maybe we can’t. If I had an rc company, I’d be looking into that at some point 😉

  2. Michael says:

    Grats JQ. Well deserved realization. Keep making cars I can drive! And keep up with the conceptual constructs so simple people like me can understand them and apply them successfully.

  3. Nicolas Maurel says:

    It is really difficult to compare full scale from rc. Scale make things really different.For exmaple 1/10 dimension (m) are divided by 10, weight (m3) is divided by approx 1000, speed is divided by 3. In full scale tire have pressure in, they have reinforcement belt to get structure. In full scale toe have regular value as 10´ per side (rc tire use 1.5°). In race full scale tire camber are between 2 to 3°, camber is use to get temperature to get grip. In damper side, full scale is divided in different phase: slow speed (handling), medium speed (small shock), high speed ( big shock like jump). Damper are pressurize to avoid cavitation due to volume rod. In rc damper are quiet prehistoric technology. I think a good rc driver is always correct the default of his car.

    • twistedneck says:

      Nicolas, that is not the case. you are forgetting that scale has a much greater effect at the micro and even smaller level… example, a model 747 wont fly if its built exactly like the big one – the air does not scale! same with tires, rubber molecules behave differently when in contact with the dirt, whos particles are also different and do not scale. there are many many other things. I have a program called CAR-SIM. I can put the kinematics of my entire RC car in there – but the values I get don’t add up – because its built around a full size car.

  4. Dan Cripp says:

    JQ are you talking about links in relation to arms, parallel etc? Otherwise link hole changes dont mean much i mean they could already have been drilled higher than other cars from the first design etc

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