Now as much as I enjoy playing around with RC drift cars myself, I’ve all but given up on trying to further learn how to do it properly. I actually haven’t touched my RC car since last fall, ever since that feature I did on the custom RWB Porsche body that Russ over at RE-Xtreme built for me. Lack of spare time, combined with the extreme intimidation I get when attempting to drive at an RC track in Japan, has kind of put me off. But when Johnny at Weld called me the other week, telling me of this big RC drift event he was organizing at the Max One track in Tokyo, I got rather excited and decided to stop by.
The event was held over two days and combined a display of all the latest parts from all the big RC Drift brands, a great way to pick up discounted hop-ups for your car and other miscellaneous gadgets. Johnny rented the second floor to a brand new building opposite Oiimachi station in Tokyo…
…and had all participating companies set up their displays inside. Here is a nice selection of bodies from Pandora…
…as well as RC-Art who had a lot of Origin and Eau Rouge drift car replicas.
These two where by far my favorites though, the R35 and R34 front end Stagea bodies! See, this is another reason I’ve tried to avoid this potentially very expensive hobby! It’s just so hard to resist to pic up all sorts of different bodies…
…and wheels, which were on sale by most vendors at very reasonable prices.
And on the subject of wheels I found this pretty impressive. Guild N One, the same people that create the Celica-front conversion for the JZA80 Supra and run a car in D1, make tons of cool parts for RC cars including these billet-aluminium wheels! These will set you back $76 for a set of 2!
It’s actually quite incredible how so many shops involved in real drifting, have begun creating products for RC drift cars. Weld’s own brand, Overdose offers a ton of choice for the HPI chassis and these were two fully loaded examples of what you can achieve if you go full out.
Kazama-san of Kazama Auto was also there, one of the first D1 shops to venture into the miniature side of drift. Here he is modeling a Speedhunters sticker!
Kazama Auto has two RC drift tracks and an ever-expanding line up of products, from billet and anodized knuckles…
…to new 2-piece wheels!
However it was this carry bag that got me very excited! This was done in collaboration with Bride and is upholstered in the same fabric as used on their seats. Seriously, how cool is this!! You can fit two cars and a few tools in there,
T&E have been in the RC drift game for a few years now and on top of their own track down in Yokohama they have a vast line up of parts like these titanium springs.
After checking out all the cool parts I stepped outside the building…
…walked 1-minute across the street…
…and arrived at the entrance of the high-rise where Max-One is located. It’s quite strange as it’s a regular high-class office building in central Tokyo, yet if you take the elevator up to the seventh floor…
…you are greeted with this sight!
There I finally met up with Johnny from Weld who was busy commentating on the action via his portable PA system!
Max-One isn’t exactly a big track, but what it lacks in outright size it more the makes up in character with extremely accurate scale model details recreating the looks of Tokyo’s roads and industrial area where real street drifting still goes down every once in a while.
When I arrived everyone was busy piloting their respective cars and just as I thought…
…the actual level of skill was simply awesome. Most of the time the top drivers engaged in up to seven or eight car tandems that lasted for a few laps before someone messed up. It’s pretty mesmerizing to watch, as it all seems to happen in fast forward!
On one side of the converted office space is where members can set up their miniature pits. During the lunch break it’s also the perfect place to relax for a bit, wait for the batteries to charge and slurp some instant noodles purchased at the 7-11 outside the building.
It’s always cool to see the variety of styles that some go for, this GP Sports 180SX a good example! It was one of 3-4 cars of Team “AKB 48,” named after an extremely popular teenage girl group that, you guessed it, is made up of 48 girls! AKB stands for Akiba, or Akihabara, Tokyo’s electronic town and base for the girl group.
Bodies vary from the more usual drift car choice like an AE86 Levin…
…to curious wild creations like this custom trash truck!
It looked quite funny out in action!
It might look like overkill but if you have ever attempted to play around with an RC drift car you will know what a difference suspension settings, geometry and overall wheels alignment can make. It’s not uncommon to see springs being swapped or fine tuning of toe and camber angles.
I spotted this nice pink 180SX…
…which as the owner pointed out was wearing some custom made Speedhunters stickers. It was actually very humbling to see so many of these cars sporting Speedhunters logos, meticulously cut out by hand in most cases! Thanks for representing guys!
I tried to check out the on-track action from a variety of different spots, and this was one of my favorite angles as it combined the realism of the track and cars themselves with a background view of the drivers on the side, piloting away with their top of the line remote controls.
Nice FC getting some good angle in the mid-field transition.
Some pro drivers were also invited to show their skills and it was a true pleasure to watch them in action.
Some triple tandem runs were going down here. These little cars are so hard to frame and shoot my head was beginning to spin! Talk about instant change of direction!
And of course who ever said that RC drifting is a boys-only hobby” This little girl was ripping the track up with her 370Z and was joined by a few more ladies there to practice their skills.
It would be a pity not to take a little closer look at some of the custom creations that stood out the most. It turns out the owner of this slammed zokusha S30 drives a very nicely tuned Datsun 510 so I’ve arranged to shoot his ride down in Daikoku PA one of these nights!
This GDB was sporting a very USDM look, with Fatlace logos on each side of the body.
And here is more USDM detailing going on, this 180SX sporting a custom roof rack and tiny little BMX bike!
With so much effort and detail put into each car, it’s no surprise they look as good stationary as they do sliding around on the carpet track.
Drift-spec Toyota sedans always look good, both in full size and in 1:10th scale as this maroon JZX100…
…and flake green JZS161 Aristo show us.
Does this S30 look familiar? Well it probably should as it’s modeled after Rocky Auto’s Tokyo Auto Salon demo car from this year!
If I had to pick the most original car there it would definitely have to be this little wide body Suzuki Alto Works! Look at this ting, had a short wheelbase and all.
Small competitions were run throughout the day…
…like giving each driver three chances to drift around the central section of the mid-field…
…and then try to slide in the car as straight and as close as possible to the magnetic cones that were put down in the little parking area. Here is Yamada-san (in the middle), the owner of Max-One, going for a try.
This RE-Amemiya FD took the win with an awesome parking job.
It was a fun couple of hours checking out some RC drift action at Max-One, seeing how this tangent on the whole drift scene continues to grow and develop. Certainly makes me want to get the “RWB Speed Hunter 34″ out for a quick play!
-Dino Dalle Carbonare
whoa! even akb48 rc drift cars looks like the feel the need for speed....I'm a AKB48 fan and sometimes I use there songs as a custom soundtrack while playing nfs(inclding most wanted)
Wicked write up dude :D I posted this link on our South Afrcan RC website as a MUST SEE!
Big Up to you and much respect :D
CPT South Africa
awesome writup Dino, I've been into RCdrifting for 5 years now but I really see it growing more rapidly every year!
Yeah, loving this feature! I've been into rc drift since way back like a few others here I'm sure. Would be cool to see some other Japanese tracks/shops featured.
Just when I get over wanting to get an RC drift car, a post like this comes around and makes me want one all over again.
I'm glad to appeared speedhunters!
I made BOSOZOKU STYLE Z for this day:-)
Please take a picture of my DATSUN 1200coupe next time!:-)
I am blown away by the skill and craft.. Honestly, my desire is to build more so than race, but I wouldn't mind drifting my creations around some mini streets, haha, awesome! Where would be a good place for me to start?? anybody?
This post makes me feel bad that my HPI Pro-D sits on the shelf. I should sell it to someone like these guys who can put it to good use...
that's very....japanesse. So, if every thing develops normaly, in 10 yers this should also be big in Europe :))))))))))))
Great article man. I get a huge grin on my face when I see RC drift posts on Speedhunters. I can say, that settings play a huge role in this "childish", as a lot of people in Russia think, hobby. WHen I was at the D1-10 Open European RC drift championship, I understood that precise setting is a key to winning. Since all participants have the same powered motor and same tyres, the only way to show your skills is to make a perfect set up, which includes refilling shocks with different weight oil, changing springs, adding 0,5 extra degrees of camber, or increasing suspension travel. I never attended events like that before, and it was a huge surprise for me, that I could (and had to) spend the whole training day, constantly making small changes, so my car ran perfectly.
Thank you for cool photo!
is like a dream appear on the home page of speed huntres!
Waiting for coverage of GDB
It's a pity I couldn't be there Dino on that day as i run with these guys all the time.
I ran on saturday night.
Imo-san (black hachi ) has a full tun GDB that he runs at Fuji. It's fast! These guys all love real drift too!
Jin-san is running the pink 180. He is semi-pro sponsored by RC926 (a real D1 team)
Ishida-san is in the Red S14.
Masa's white FC is my tandem RX-7 nutter mate. We often run FC Rx7 side by side all day.
The scene here is amazing. It's getting more competitive in the parts world too with manufacturers doing some real development.
Soon there will be a real FR drift machine instead of the current 4wd beasts.
so RC is getting nuttier.
See you all at the track.
I <3 the pink 180SX, both S30's and the Greddy RX7!! Man I need to finish building my HPI Datsun 510 cup racer now!!! Thanks for sharing!
@MichaelLenoch Just FYI Many of these guys have both! And run on the circuit regularly. Pointless comment. You can't even appreciate that real drift teams are involved. Do you think the REAL weld jzx100 needs more doing to it?
@steveburr I am considering offers! ;)
@super moses Each company has their own website:
Guild N One:
@greenroadster Remember its 1/10 scale so it only took a year to catch on lol
@greenroadster It IS big in Europe
@Dwright I had a pro guy adjust my crappy base chassis one time and I was shocked the difference it made! More adjustability and precision however comes from more upgrade parts so you need to keep tuning!
Yeah too bad you couldn't make it. It was pretty surprising how things are evolving! I'm quite intrigued on those front motor set ups, seems superb for weight distribution! I need a proper chassis, my crappy base Yokomo is just ancient in comparison to these cars!
@crazybiscut Lolz.. me too also.. :)
@Dwright Is it really? That's good to know!
@speedhunters_dino depends on what you start with
Drift package chassis is sound. But there are about 40 alternatives that keep getting cheaper all the time.