TRX-4 Winch

Is RC’s Greatest Rivalry Back?

Is RC’s Greatest Rivalry Back?

Simply put rivalries add excitement. But, they actually do far more than that. Think of the Red Sox vs. Yankees, or Giants vs. Dodgers for you west coasters. They take what is a game and turn it into a battle. In RC, the greatest and most heated rivalry of all time is Team Associated vs. Losi. During the nineties, these two companies and racing teams were so extremely competitive that it would seem they were each obsessed with beating the other. And, this rivalry went beyond the pro-level. At the local track, you were either an Associated guy or a Losi guy.  In that sense it was just like the classic Chevy vs. Ford. You ran one brand and only one brand. Club level racers rarely jumped ship and would argue the merits of their favorite for hours.

The Associated vs. Losi competition was at its peak when 1/10-scale electric off-road was also at its peak. As the hobby naturally changed and different trends such as touring cars have essentially come and gone, the once hot rivalry somewhat diminished.

It seemed like the good old days would return when these two iconic companies each finally introduced 1/8-scale buggies, but that market is far too crowded to foster a one-on-one. There are literally dozens of 1/8-scale buggies available.

4WD short course racing and an increase in the popularity of 1/10-scale electric off-road racing has, however, shown some real promise for the possible return of this once great rivalry. The all-new, and new from the ground up, Team Associated SC10 4×4 isn’t getting its wins easy. In fact, the Losi TEN-SCTE is proving to be plenty of competition. At the pro-level, a racer from either team better be on top of his game if he expects to win in this class. And there is also some stiff competition at the track from pros running vehicles such as the Durango. At the club level, there are a huge number of Traxxas Slash 4X4’s in the mix. In 1/10-scale electric off-road racing, we also seeing some increased competition from these two teams. Team Associated has what could be considered a stacked team with Ryan Cavalieri and Ryan Maifield, and the A-team has kept its 2WD buggy current and is heading to the upcoming IFMAR World Championship with a B4.1. On the racing side of things, Losi has re-launched itself as Team Losi Racing, or TLR, and unleashed the 22. The 22 isn’t just a buggy–it’s a statement. The statement is we’re committed to racing. With a new name, an all-new race machine and a firm stance on racing, the pressure is TLR to win. Going into the upcoming IFMAR World Championship guess who is most likely to be standing in their way? Team Associated, of course. Is RC’s greatest rivalry back? It sure looks like it.

What do you think? Are the gloves coming off once again? Are these two racing giants about to go at it?

Or, do you believe this is RC’s greatest rivalry?


If you enjoyed this story, you may also like this one on the demise of on-road racing.

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Updated: July 21, 2015 — 5:02 PM


Add a Comment
  1. at my track (leisure hours) you have either a durango, a losi or an ae 4×4 you dont see any slashes ofnas at all so their is still a heated rivalry. but its not that serious. everyone is just trying to prove that their truck ic better than the next mans

  2. Brad, I’m sorry for insulting you . No I’m not pooud of that , please accept my apology . A person should be able to make a point with out insults , apparently I was not smart enough to do that . I’m truly sorry for that . Please forgive me . I was wrong.

  3. Hey Bill “armchair quarterback”,

    Thanks for the usual Pearls of Wisdom.

    As a 11 year racer for Team Associated my opinion differs from yours. Seems like when someones opinion is off the “Bill-mark” they get slammed.

    You must be so proud.

  4. yes there has always been a rivalry…iam on the front lines in so cal u guy dont know what ur talk about…who side are you on.

  5. Back in the early to mid 90’s, my friends and I were all split between Associated and Losi. It was like the Nike and Adidas rivalry. My first RC car was an RC10 kit that I built. So even after being away from the hobby for nearly 15 years, I googled “RC10” to see what was new. Needless to say, I’m glad to see the hobby still running strong. The short course action has grabbed my attention and I’m excited to see if the Losi vs. Associated rivalry will heat up to the levels of the “good old days.”

  6. I think the rivalry exists for those that were around during the heyday of it. It certainly seems that a lot of attention is paid to it at big races when losi 22’s and AE B4’s are in the top spots. I agree with many of the posts that there are too many other players for it to ever get to where it was and that is good. Kyosho, Losi, AE, Schumacher, TQ, Durango, etc… Lots of good choices for capable vehicles.

    I personally drive what I like, what fits my budget, and what I feel fits my driving style the best. Currently a Kyosho RT5, AE B44, FTSC10, and Losi 22. I love them all and I am so glad I have so many choices for this great hobby. I take pride in all my cars by keeping them clean, working on their set-ups, doing my own paint, improving my electronics installs, etc. Although I do get some flak at the track about running multiple brands.

    I also don’t root for drivers based on their sponsors or car brand. Almost every brand has a driver or two that I love to watch. And even more, I love to watch the drivers compete! TLR’s 1/10 race team has been doing a great job of helping the Losi RC community by being available on forums for help so I have found myself rooting for them. HRH was so much fun to watch Cav, Evans, Truhe, and Tebo duke it out in 2wd buggy!

    So for me there is no rivalry, but it is present in the industry. I hear about it, occasionally see it, but not like it used to be. I think there is a lot of brand loyalty with drivers, but it is more based on what they like to drive. In newer classes like SC, 4wd SC, I see people switch based on what is hot and what works better. In more established classes like 2wd buggy where most companies have a race proven platform, I see people sticking with their brand.

  7. going into the ifmar worlds i think Tamiya may be the one to upset them both.

  8. Is the rivalry back?

    I don’t think so, at least not to the extend it was early to mid ’90’s. The main reason is that there are many other options that people can choose from. It’s no longer a two horse race anymore. That is both good and bad depending on how you view it. With the age of the internet, many other cars/trucks became available to those that didn’t have access to them. With that the prices also became a little cheaper to get something other than AE or Losi.

    At the top level, I’m sure that the team guys still want the win over the other team, but peobably not for the same reason as it once was.

    I’d love to see some of that rivalry from the ’90’s return, but I don’t see that being too likely.

  9. Well brad , I thought we were talking about rivalries which comes from brand loyalty and if one company has excellent customer service and the other doesn’t , it means the company with excellent customer service believes in their product and probably makes a better product then the one that doesn’t have good customer service . W hen it comes to racing its more about the driver then the car thats why you are not a professional driver .

  10. My first hobby grade RC car was the Losi Jrx2 and I loved that car. Over the years I have owned many cars from many different companies and I have to say the Losi and Associated have been the cream of the crop. I have nothing personal against Losi but I will be an Associated guy till the day I die. I feal that the put a little more thought into the choice of materials than Losi. I say that because I have recently owned the TenScte4x4 and Losi let me down but cutting corners on the hardness of the metals used and for months there were no replacement parts available anywhere. I have since switched to the Sc10 4×4 and have had no problems and I can order spare parts from my local hobby shop and online hobby shops at any time. Go Associated. Sincerly the proud owner of a RC8BE, SCT 4×4, B4, and a TC5. GO Blue.

  11. Back in the day (93-95) when i was a mad keen racer I avoided both brands, not because there was anything wrong with either, but because I wanted to run with the underdog, Shumacher!
    !st a Cougar2 team car then Cougar 2000. I blew the doors off everything in my class and got club champion 2years running before I stopped racing for 17years.
    Now im back to try again, still have my schumacher cars but i have found a Losi XXX buggy for the right price. Lets see how good Losi is 🙂

  12. Hey Bill,

    Are we not talking about racing?

    Service staff, how is that relevant?

  13. Hello All,
    I hope that you are all doing well. Matt, How are you?
    I would just like to put in my two cents. I started out in this Hobby with a touring car. But I wanted to do more than just bash. A freind sold me his RC10GT and that was the beggining of so much fun, there are not enough words or space to tell you all what I felt. With very little effort. I had the vehicle running circles around every single vehicle that we came against. From Monster trucks to truggies. This was about 7 years ago when truggies were still in their early stages.
    Fast, smooth and very controlable. On one occasion Derick and I spent the whole day beating on every one who came to the track at Dirt Runners N.J. with our RC10GT’s. Then there was T4 and the B4 Then I bought a RC8T. I stuck with what works for me and staying loyal to Associated has paid dividends. I have some trophies and lots of friends now since I strted racing 6 years ago.
    Derick swaps out with what ever he feels like driving. But I am sticking with the winners…Associated. I just need allot more practice to get better at racing. Now I have two SC10’s a 17.5 and One for the modified class. Most importantly…Have Fun. Thats what its all about. Blessings. Help Me! gil

  14. Does losi & associated have great customer service & stand behind there products the way Traxxas & Venom does ?

    1. I would say they do. I have seen Horizon’s customer service setup and they look to be built to serve

  15. I’ve got to say growing up when and where I did in this hobby starting in the 90s I had a associated gold tub my uncle John had all the fancy losis xx4 was the ONE I wanted still want but my tastes have changed a little and this and that’s changed ae is now owned by thunder tiger losi is owned by horizon and before then the competition was fierce but now I still run ae ft is a requirement nothing less then the best for me and my rc8t I don’t race anymore but knowing that the same truck I drive has been piloted to many victories at the top of the competition level makes me feel better I’ve driven both losi and ae but in the end I’m always gonna bleed blue for ae regardless I will wait 12 years plus for a legitimate associated product (b44 even though the class is dead) then buy some sub par product (traxxas) but in the long run once you drive a pro level ride it’s minute differences between the vehicles and then it’s merely who do you like more?

  16. i think that nowadays the real rivalry is kit vs rtr.

  17. I’m Racing a B4.1 FT. I picked that because I’m a former T3 FT racer. However, my first truck ever was a Losi XX-T, so I have nothing against them. I picked AE for my buggy because i got a great deal on ebay. The Losi 22’s are just still too expensive.
    In the Short course trucks, there are also alot of HPI Blitz’s out there too, so don’t count them out!
    Anyways, if there is a rivalry still going on… Keep it up! It’s good for the hobby to progress. Always finding new ways to bring new people to the hobby, as well as keeping people IN the hobby.

  18. ahhh… the 90’s. i like to think of it as RC’s heyday. manufacture loyalty was like gang loyalty (minus the violence of course)

    unfortunately the rivalry done and dead and i doubt it will ever return. to many other manufactures got involved. the racing scene has changed it’s attitude. what was once fierce (but still fun) competition has been watered down into an everybody participates fun run. the diehards that made up the majority who would spent countless hours building, setting up and tuning to try to not just win but dominate are now thought of as ass holes who take the fun out of it.

    hobbyists have changed. nobody wants to spend the time to build and perfect a kit to put up against the competition. RTR, box stock and spec classes have taken over. hobbyist don’t have the pride in their machines they once did because there isn’t any of themselves in it. and manufacture pride has suffered because of it. nobody is loyal to anybody anymore.

    mix that with the Horizons apparent inability to figure out what they want to do with the Losi brand name (losi or TLR. same car. 2 build options, 2 different names. wth?) and i don’t think there are any diehard Losi fans anymore.

  19. I think their rivalry is definitly in the short course area. At most race track you hear a lot o talk about whose better out of AE and TLR but the Traxxas Slash always out numbers them both.

    1. There’s more Kias on the road than there are Porsches.. Doesn’t mean the Kia is better.

  20. When the Losi family owned Losi and the Husting family owned Associated, it was a rivalry.

    But right now? Pick between a hobby distributor owned company and a one part of a Chinese conglomerate?

    For all we know, the modern iteration of Losi and Associated’s car might be produced at the same sub-contractors’ factory in China.

    Hobby King vs. Hobbypartz – -now that’s a rivalry for RC’s modern age!

    1. I’m not sure who owns the companies really matters.

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