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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
WARNING: YOU ARE IN FOR A LONG READ!

Okay, okay... Well, I wasn't gonna write these parts of the review 'cos frankly, I felt sorry for Hornby. They obviously put a lot of investment into the bikes, what with the new moulds and getting in a new motor from Mabuchi. Also, the detailing is pretty darn good, and the drive system is impressive. HOWEVER, since Moped's crack at me...

QUOTE have deliberately not mentioned them for a while as I was waiting for the lotus03 review which has not yet appeared.

I decided to tell the world what I think. Ironic that isn't it moped?

Part 2:

Hornby Sport> This is the part that virtually evenyone was waiting for... so I have swapped it to part 5. Haha.

Hornby Classic> So Hornby Classic becomes part 2.

Following the orginal Carrera testing (see part 1) I was eargerly anticipating the running on Hornby track. I know it isn't the Sport that it was 'designed for', but surely they must have tested it on Classic too? Obviously not.

I have tried it on a home Hornby Classis and a club Classic track. The home track was quiet short but with as wider bends as possible, and the club track had long straights, but a mixture of sharp and wide bends. I won't go into detail, but they don't go around sharp corners. I cannot tell if it it the momentum of the mass of the bike, or the gyroscopic effect of the wheels, or even the lock isn't sharp enough of the guide, but they do not do tight turns. They tend to understeer, and, strangely, stay upright whilst doing it. It looks very odd, they just turn about 15 degrees and stop turning. They carry on across the rest of the track until the hit a barrier or fall off the track.

However, I can remember some cars which have done this before (though not to the same extent), but the worrying thing is, that cars will stop doing this if you back off a bit. The bikes will do this at even low speeds. Not very confidence inspiring. But we have already decided that the bikes prefer wide corners... Anyway, it doesn't really matter, because the bikes tend to have trouble getting to the corners. If they don't wheelie away causing an irritating deslot, they are likely to lift at a minor bump and become an unstoppable weapon of mass distruction. You know the feeling... the car lifts on the straight and you have absolutely no control.

Another point to consider was noise level. On a scale of 0 - 10 (10 being loudest), Carrera was about 3 or 4, and Classic/SCX was about 6 or 7. D'oh!

Basically, not impressed by their running compared to my little Carrera track, with a slightly deeper slot, and smooter surface. One thing to point out though; on Carrera track, the slot has isolating plastic strips inside. This pushes the rails further apart, and conseuently, the tyre wore quite funny. On classic, the rails are very close together, so the tyre is running on the rails only. I didn't notice a difference in traction from the plastic inner and the metal, but I did notice that it was slightly smoother if the back wheel slid, because there was less to bump over.

Conclusion: Rating out of ten (10 being most suitable for running the bikes) Classic = 6. (Carrera = 8)

Part 3:

Ninco Track> Another eagerly anticipated one, as many club tracks are made from it.

Tested on my home track, the super smooth, super big, sweeping Eastcote. Well, some corners are sweeping...

First impressions were as before. Wheelies out of the slot, and can't handle anything below outside radius 2. Not good... However, persistance showed that it was the first track that I could actually complete entire laps on without coming off. After a while, it seemed, dare I say it, drivable (don't get me wrong, it was still rubbish, but it could be driven).

The rails on Ninco are raised quiet a bit and I think this helped in two ways. Firstly, the tyre was only running on metal and when the tail slid, it bumped down instead of up. This meant that if a corner was slightly overcooked, the lip wouldn't throw the bike out of the slot. This makes it a bit more drivable, because you feel that the 'edge' is more clearly defined. Too fast and you are out, whereas on other tracks you must rely on a bit of luck to avoid the lips.
Secondly, only one skid is ever touching the track. This makes it wobble a bit, and could be corrected by adjusting the skids, but I like it like this. It reduces drag down the straight, and seems to make the bike more stable, as the skids aren't always trying to push the guide out of the slot.

Noise factor is about 11, at 'My ears are bleeding now' level. However, see final section for more on this.

Conclusion: Best track that I have tested on yet. Too loud and rough texture will wear the soft back tyre quickly. Overall rating of: Ninco = 8.#

Part 4:

Routed track> I think this was the making of a Moto GP bike. If they can run on a super smooth, consistant track, with flush rails then there may be hope.

There is no hope. My bike was made a laughing stock in front of everyone at Preston. This track has huge straights and no corner tighter than R2. Rails are braided and this didn't seem to have any effect of rear end grip which is good. The rest of the track is polyurathane coated. However, the flush braids meant that both the skids were touching the track at once. This obviously raises the guide out of the slot, which means there is less area to hang on to the slot. Not good. Decreased performance around wide corners. A point which amused me was the perfromance of the bikes around the raised corners (not to be confused with banked corners). Obviously not as bad as flat corners, but the bikes still manage to bail out somehow... god knows...

Noise level was about 3 or 4 which is good, about the same as Carrera.

Conclusion: Very disappointed with the performance on routed, because in theory everything should run on routed track. The lack of noise made is seem a bit more realistic, but the handling didn't. Routed = 4.

Part 5:

Scalextric Sport> The long awaited Sport feedback.

Now I must admit, that Moped had me fooled for a bit. I mean, surely Hornby tested these, and it would make sense to test them on their own track. Therefore, it seems logical to expect a reasonable level of performance. It SEEMS resonable...

The Sport layout was the 4 laner of Wrexham, which is quite twisty in places, but also has a few wide corners too.

Basically, it was disappointing. All the same flaws as other tracks, nothing sorted. I just cannot believe that they were tested by racers, as this would not be the end result. I agree that they would obviously go better on banking, but I can't see them becoming 'raceable'.

The close rails are similar to Classic and being absolutly flush presents the smae problems as routed tracks, but provides the advantage of no noticable 'lips' when sliding (up or down).

Sorry I can't say more, but it's all been said. No good.

Noise factor = 5, Conclusion: Sport = 6.

Back in a sec, I'm getting tired and I want to post this before I loose it all. Part 6 aka Final will be around in a minute or two which is about the final tuning of the bikes.

Ask any questions that you want.

Lotus
 

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nice comprehensive performance reviews lotus


Dont suppose you have lap times and lane lengths for any of theses tracks?

cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
erm... unfortunatly laptimes are only any good when they are complete, ie. not punctuated by having to walk around the room to replace it in the slot.

Will try to do some, but I think my bike is now irreversably modefied (see part final, coming soon)

Lotus
 

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Thanks for the torough review Lotus,

I like the fact that u tested the bikes on different track-types!

I won't buy one... that's for sure... unless they will be improved... much... very much...

Greetz

Gunther
 

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Hello All,
Thanks for all the feedback. We have responded with releasing a small modification to the MotoGP bikes by way of weights which fix to the stabilizer wing.
These will be available shortly.
More details on our website. (www.scalextric.com)
Keep up the reviews and feedback: whether good or bad news, we listen and try to act on them all where appropriate.

Happy Racing,
Adrian
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I would appriciate the free mod, mainly because it should have come with the bikes in the first place, and should be fitted to all the bikes in the future.

Feedback from A.N. would be nice.

Lotus
 

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I've just got around to running the bike that I got earlier this week, and I thought I'd share my experience.

I'm by no means an "expert" racer - I'd consider myself to be a below average home racer. The track that I've got set up at the moment is only a basic square sport track, with 3 R2 corners and 1 R3, using standard Sport controllers.

I took the bike straight out of the box, and put it on the track. A very gentle tickle on the trigger and it was flying down the straight. With very gentle pressure applied, the bike went round the track with no problems at all (even managing to outpace one of my cats who likes to try and catch moving slot cars!). A little bit more pressure on the trigger and it's moving even faster.

Now, normally I send cars around the track with the trigger at least 3/4 depressed. If I tried to run the bike around one of the corners at this speed, the guide couldn't turn and it went straight off. As the bike went around, I felt that it needed some help from gravity to keep it on, and I found myself wanting the banked curves on my track.

At slower speeds, the bike stayed on very well, and felt like it was going at a fair old pace. I've got no lap timer, so I can't give any lap times, but it definately felt a lot quicker then some of the low magnet cars that I've got (sorry all you non magnet fans - I'm still racing with them!).

My summary? They're *not* as bad as all of the criticisms that have been levelled at them. I had a lot more success running it then I had with challenger at xmas. I feel that they will improve when the banked curves are released - it's very frustrating that there is a lag between the 2 releases. You also need to be a lot more precise with the thottle with them then you do with a normal car.
 

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In my mind, side-car rigs are really the only realistic way to race motorcycles on a slot car track, until a mechanism that allows the bikes to lean in the bends is developed.

It is laughable to watch a bike go through a set of bend upright trying to lean outwards in the corner.

*shrug*

Then having to wait for banked curves is also a joke - apart from Daytona - there is no where else that bikes are raced on banked tracks anywhere in the world - and even then there is a complex infield.

*yet another shrug*
 

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RC45 - Definitely have to agree with you as to side-cars are the way to go for slot motorcycle racing to look "right"...and handle well too. As someone had pictured elsewhere, they are very good looking machines as well!

That being said..you just know that if they were to be produced, someone would have to say that the "guy" in the side-car doesn't move "around" like they do in real racing
!!!
 

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I've just read on the Scaley website ( www.scalectric.com ) that they're holding a Moto GP event at Donnington to conincide with the British round of the Moto GP.

If anyone's going, it would be interesting to hear your views/feedback - especially on the layout of the track!
 

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Is that for real? I hope Scalex have got some trained 'riders' doing a demo race and that its not open to the public or this could turn out to be a P.R. disaster for them.
 

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How will it?


If I can run a bike without it appearing to have all the issues described by others here then I am confident that the Scalextric team will be able to. The difference between driving a bike and a car (both 1:1 and scale slot versions) is like the difference between chalk and cheese. Different skill sets are required.

Remember how newbies at the Scalextric roadshow run a slot car for the first time? Full throttle and off at the first corner. It will be no different for newbies trying out the bikes but the big advantage is they will not be prejudiced as a result of having run slot cars first.

Just think of all those lucky people who will be running slot vehicles for the first time only it will be a bike on this occasion.

And as a bonus they may well be running the bikes with the new weights on the outriggers. This will allow Scalextric staff to "work the audience" and show them how much fun the bikes are and how the bikes can be "tuned" just like the real 1:1 versions. It fact it sounds like a PR mans dream ticket if you ask me!



Moped
 

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Dear Moped I have viewed your previous posts on the Moto GP bikes which you seem to be very defensive of. But in the main most are of the opinion and I include myself here that while they look great, they just dont stay on the track.

Now I think its great that you wish to improve and modify them and I'm sure that you have more track time with them than the rest of the forum put together; which brings me to my point.

You are quite right what you say about the newbies, however its bad enough watching cars flying off all over the place
when the public get hold of these things but to let them loose with the bikes (which to keep on the track would require hours of practice) will be a disaster!

Just my opinion.

GT
 

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Consider the fact that in the US, a 16yo (newly licensed) can walk into a bike shop and buy a motorcycle capable of going 190mph and ride it away? And you're worried about them crashing a slot bike?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I try not to think about what is going on in America at any one point.

It gives me an enormous sense of anxiety.

McLaren
 

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We have a Dealer Update from Scalextric that the modification parts for this years Turtles (sorry...I mean Motorcycles) will be available as a spare part next month.

The mod is being fitted as standard to the bikes in the sets, explaining why the sets are delayed.

There is no mention of a free update for customers who have already bought a bike.

I did wonder why nobody was allowed to drive the motorbikes before they were inflicted on the public, I suspect if they had the feedback from experienced racers that the bikes have got, it would have delayed release until a modification was found and produced. We can't upset the shareholders my putting things out late now, can we ?

IMHO they look terrific displayed on a shelf. The detail is very good, and the decoration up to the expected standard from Hornby. Personally I would avoid going within 100 yards of a track with one, but I have been driving slots for almost 40 years now......
 

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QUOTE (phipster @ 2 Aug 2004, 13:20)The way they set the bikes up to race is very interesting (someone may need to hold Moped and Mclaren apart for a bit!!)

Is there any sign of the banked curves that are supposed to be the bikes saviours?
Why? What did they say? Can't seem to get through on your link!

The "banked"* curves were in evidence on Mark Scale's table at Sandown on Saturday but they seemed to me to be incredibly erm....... flat! Also in the bag were some grey plastic "banking"* supports which apparently fall off when the track is lifted. So! Nothing rushed to the market place there, then!

Mr.M

*For legal reasons the term banked or banking should be taken lightly.
 
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