Kit or RTR, which one is for you?

Jan 28, 2011 17 Comments by

There are a lot of opinions on this subject and I used to be a kit guy all the way. There’s nothing like sitting down and building a vehicle as perfectly as possible and making slight modifications to it as you build it. That was when I had the time to build a kit. Now I am a big fan of pre built or RTR vehicles. I think it’s great that all I have to do is a few minor things to complete whatever vehicle I just purchased and it’s ready to go. What do you prefer? A kit or a RTR?

Featured News, Kevin Hetmanski

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.

17 Responses to “Kit or RTR, which one is for you?”

  1. nitsua eloc says:

    for a basher a rtr, for a racer it doesn’t matter. I love to build a kit, but i don’t like to race alone. we had a new track this year, and about 20-30 new racers. I think all but a handful of the trucks were rtr (all electric). so rtr is increasing the numbers of racers. And obviously bashers like a rtr

  2. Kevin Hetmanski says:

    Besides making my life easy, I think RTR vehicles are great for our hobby because they make it easier for a newbie to get started. I think that the fact that most of the trucks at your track are RTR proves that point.

  3. Randy Saint Anne says:

    I started out with an RTR so I can learn how to drive an RC Car out-of-the-box right away. Now that I am starting to tinker with its chassis, it got me thinking of getting a kit and try to build one.

    I like them both: RTR’s for the instant gratification, Kits for that stress-relieving putting-it-together feeling and pride once it’s fully-assembled.

  4. Kevin Hetmanski says:

    That’s a good way of looking at it. I have a Tamiya kit sitting on my work bench right now and I’m looking foward to building and detailing it when I get a second to work on it. It might take a while for me to get it built but when it’s done, it will be pretty sweet.

  5. Cesar says:

    I prefer RTR for my first car, then I prefer to buy kits, because I have some parts that I can use the other (radio, receiver, battery), and I also love assemble the cars.

    My first car was a RTR Bandit VXL, Slash then I bought a 4×4 PE (i put some liposuction, and my FS-GT3B radio and the receiver) … My next buy Will Be an Associated 4×4 SC10, but i’ll put new stuff

  6. atarit3 says:

    I’m gonna have to vote RTR; great way to hit the track, and fast! Also the nature of RTR’s I seem to be tuning on them a lot less and driving them more.
    Don’t get me wrong building cars is extremely rewarding, but time crunches become more important as I’ve grown. My RC10′s spend more time on the shelves, and my slash’s get pounded every weekend with little maintenance.
    I’m lov’n it!

  7. todd schiano says:

    I am fairly new to the rc world, but just bought my 5th RTR car and having a blast. Now looking for a project to build and learn from ground up. What would be a good kit for a beginner who wants to build a backyard basher?

    • nitsua eloc says:

      i’m not sure about a kit, which is great for bashing. traxxas is most peoples choice for bashing and they don’t offer many kits. Most kits are “race” inspired. for a basher i would choose a rtr, and then “bullet proof” it. However you can choose any kit and bash with it. just be more careful with it. maybe an sc10 kit and then make it more durable with aftermarket parts (rpm, factory team) try to stay away from aluminum parts as they don’t have much “give” to them and will break adjoining parts often. you can always make your own kit, buy everything individually, but can get expensive. check out back issures of rcca, they generally have articles about “ultimate bashers” . Good Luck, have fun

  8. Morgan Muhlestein says:

    I love building kits, but when I started using some Traxxas stuff, I loved the instant use. But I felt that something was missing. But when I started breaking stuff and fixing it, I found what was lost. So now, I like RTR and upgrading the heck out of it!

  9. tony says:

    i done one of each,, love the hands on building,, and i want to build a 4×4 gas truck ,, and good kits out there??

    • Mike M. says:

      I picked up a used Savage that was a kit at one time. It came with the manual for assembly which is how I learned of the mistakes made by the previous owner during the build. If they are still available that way, that would be a great truck to build and then bash. Its got many parts to assemble but then you have a beefy truck that can handle a lot of power and a fair amount of abuse. But honestly, I don’t see any MT’s sold as kits anymore but I could be wrong. Good luck.

  10. jeffrey cherenzia says:

    kits are the best-i love to drive build the car before i drive

  11. Mike M. says:

    Kits or RTR can go either way for me. It seems that Associated creates a better quality vehicle when you buy the factory team kits. The RTR versions are always built with the weakest parts available leaving you to upgrade right away or when stuff breaks. I just picked up a Jammin SCRT10 and before I even ran it, I swapped the motor and esc, towers, braces, etc to create a more race ready truck for my first time out. I didn’t have to but I would have bought it RTR that way if it was available. RTR’s always get tooled on at some point so it all depends on how soon you want to do it. I wouldn’t walk away from a nice truck if it only came as a kit but RTR works fine for me as well. Time is a big factor for me but I make it if I have to.

  12. Adam L. says:

    I definitely prefer kits. RTRs can’t compete with the fun and satisfaction of building a ride from the ground up. Plus I love knowing how it all goes together from the get go. It makes wrenching on it so much easier later on.

  13. todd schiano says:

    so what is a good kit for a beginner?

  14. Doug B says:

    I love kits, and will make the time to build one, like some make time to hunt or read a book. I am not against RTR’s, I like that someone can go buy a vehicle and race it the same day, but part of me hopes that it prompts them to eventually build one from nuts and bolts.

    I am anxiously awaiting the TLR 22, at least partially for the build experience alone.

    I think the manufacturers got it right, offer the cream of the crop in kit form, for the guy that likes it, and offer a good rtr, at an affordable price, for the new guy looking to get his feet wet. The traxxas T-maxx and successors, and the Traxxas Slash and its resulting SCT class goes to show that RTRs rule the roost, from a marketing standpoint anyway. Does Traxxas sell anything at all in a kit form? I don’t believe they do. They arent even a racing company, and can claim credit for the most popular class in RC racing right now.

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