Electric Has Taken Over But Nitro Will Never Die

Jan 05, 2011 6 Comments by

When I started racing, I was a big fan of electric power. I was young and didn’t know if I could handle the challenge of a nitro engine. The Team Associated RC10 GT floored me when I saw it for the first time and just had to have one. Having such an awesome truck made determined to learn how to tune that engine. I watched the video that came with the truck over and over again and well, still blew up my first engine. After a little machine work and time I moved on to a .15 engine (they called the one I had a big block .15 because the piston and sleeve were housed inside a big block case) and it ran very well. I’ve been running nitro ever since. Well, with the invention of LiPo batteries and brushless power, electric vehicles have more than taken over and I have less people to race with. I think we also have rock crawling and short course trucks to thank for that as well. And yes, I too have been bitten by the electric bug a bit but nitro power will always be on the top of my fun list. I don’t care how advanced electric power gets, you can never beat nitro. The smell of the exhaust is awesome and there’s something really cool about seeing that smoke puffing out of the body. The only time you get smoke out of your electric stuff is when you blow it up and it doesn’t even smell good. I enjoy racing at Pin Shop Hobbies in the summer time and we run electric 1/8-scale with the nitro guys which is a bit of a bummer. If it rains the electric guys are out because their priceless electronics may be damaged by the water so we don’t have a lot of guys to run against when that happens. And since you can’t easily replace a battery during a race our mains area kept short. See, so what does electric power get you over nitro? More speed? That’s not much of an advantage if you ask me. Long live nitro!

Kevin Hetmanski, Nitro

About the author

Simply put, I’m all about nitro. Well, almost. I’m down with electric for crawlers and some indoor racing, but if you really want to get my attention, it better make some smoke and noise. I’m a regular racer and I usually go with 1/8-scale buggy and truggy. When I’m not racing, I am usually fabricating custom parts and even entire vehicles.

6 Responses to “Electric Has Taken Over But Nitro Will Never Die”

  1. SlowSteady says:

    Oh yeah Kevin, I totally agree with you! Long live nitro!

  2. electricdave says:

    Diversity rules! I prefer my classes blended. Let each racer choose his (or her) own choice of power. As an electric racer I do miss long mains but it’s only a matter of time before someone (hint hint battery companies) comes up with a quick change battery system.

  3. TechEE01 says:

    Electric Rules! nitro drools. I can’t wait for the day when 1/8th scale racing doesn’t involve anything with a fuel tank!

  4. Kenny McCormick says:

    Electric may be faster, but ya know what? That ain’t worth much more than some pointless bragging. Who cares if your car can go 0-60 faster than mine can 0-40? I sure as hell don’t. Nitro’s way more convenient, too.

    So yeah, you guys go right on ahead and ditch all your nitro stuff for ten cents a pop. More goodness for people like me.

  5. TechEE01 says:

    Convenient?!?! Nitro? Are you kidding? I don’t see how something that needs to be retuned for every little change in weather can be convenient. Not to mention clutch rebuilding, filter cleaning, glow plug replacments, piston and sleeve replacements, brake replacing… the list goes on and on. In what way is this convenient?

    • BeenThereDoneThat says:

      It’s all about personal preference. I converted a Hot Bodies D8 to electric and liked the fact that I can run it just about anywhere. I ended up selling the whole rig to go NITRO! I tried electric and it’s just not the same…. in many ways. I say GO NITRO!! Now I’m rollin a Losi Eight 2.0. The sweet smell of nitro… I have to agree with Tech on the upkeep.. nitro is plain dirty and requires much more attention, but I’m ok with that.

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