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THURSDAY TESTIMONIALS: Team Associated B6.1D Team Kit

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Main Photo: THURSDAY TESTIMONIALS: Team Associated B6.1D Team Kit

By Mike Garrison
LiveRC.com 

Whether it's wheel nuts, wings, tools, tracks, trinkets and/or anything in between, the LiveRC staff gives their testimonial and review of each every Thursday morning! 

Product Info:
Team Associated RC10B6.1D Team Kit

90021 | $319.99
www.rc10.com

I would like to start this article by making something very clear – I DO NOT DID NOT LIKE 2WD BUGGY RACING. I have never been good at 2wd buggy, I have never found a buggy that I feel 110% comfortable with, and I enjoy the power and handling of a 4wd buggy far more than 2wd buggy. When I was approached by Team Associated to review the B6.1D buggy I was a bit skeptical, and honest with them that chances are I am not going to like it – just like any of the other 8+ different 2wd buggies I’ve tried over the past decade of racing. It doesn’t have anything to do with the brand or the buggy, it’s simply I don’t like 2wd. Regardless, they insisted I at least give it a try, so I agreed and built myself my first Team Associated 2wd buggy since owning a B4.


(The last time I drove an AE 2wd buggy - 2010)

The Build

When it comes to building a car for a product review, I don’t believe in using team setups, option parts, and/or modifications to the car right out of the box. The point of a product review (in my opinion) is to see what it is capable of box stock, built to the kit specifications, and then see what is necessary to make it work to my liking from there. So, despite the numerous different setups available, I built the Team Associated B6.1D exactly as instructed in the manual using only the parts, oils, and setup provided in the kit. 

The B6.1D went together very nicely without any issues. No screws were stripped, no parts were sanded down to make it fit, holes in the plastic fit the screws without pre-drilling, and the manual was very clear and easy to follow. 

The Test

While I was very impressed with the build quality of the B6.1D, I was still not looking forward to driving 2wd buggy again to test it on the track. I decided that if it was going to go bad, it might as well go bad on a grand scale, so therefore I finished the build the night before attending the 2018 JConcepts Winter Indoor Shootout and Invitational at Fastlane Raceway. For a middle of the road test I decided to race it in the 13.5 2wd buggy class (faster than 17.5, but not quite mod). 

Upon arriving at the track with multiple AE team drivers in attendance, they were all eager to help me get the car dialed in. All their setup tips, changes, and advice made perfect sense to me, but I held true to my word and kept the buggy box stock. To my surprise, I really enjoyed the buggy in practice on Friday, and considering it was a 2wd buggy I even felt comfortable with it on the track. There is a difference between feeling comfortable and competitive, and the true test came on Saturday when qualifying began. 

My main focus for the weekend was Mod 4wd Buggy, which is the class I truly came to race. Despite zero attention being paid to the car (aside from washing tires) my biggest success came with the B6.1D instead. I found myself finishing in the top 3 for every round of qualifying, close to TQ pace if it weren’t for driver errors/crashes, and most of all enjoying myself with a 2wd buggy.

As main day came around, I still made zero changes to the box stock car and had done no maintenance other than washing tires and making sure screws were tight. The A-Main started with me 3rd on the grid, and as the finish tone sounded, I found myself in a heated battle across the line battling for 2nd place. I would finish .126 seconds back in third. I left the drivers stand with a GIANT smile on my face, as it was perhaps one of the most fun races I’ve had in a long time, and the most fun race I had for the weekend. 

Handling

The B6.1D jumps very consistent and flat. The car does not roll to one side or the other mid-air and feels very balanced on and off the ground. The box stock setup does not have gobs of steering, however, with a few changes to setup (which I have done since the review) steering is easily tuned in as needed. Using a lightweight body, the buggy weighs in JUST above the ROAR legal limit right out of the box, which is ideal for stock class racing as it is not necessary to buy to expensive lightweight options to be competitive. 

Maintenance

Although I did ZERO maintenance to the buggy during the weekend of racing (which is not recommended, but worked well for a product test), when it did come time to do maintenance on the buggy afterwards, I was very impressed. The new design to remove the rear diff makes that process incredibly easy, especially compared to the last AE 2wd diff I changed in my B4.2. The molded rear inserts for shock mounting on the rear arms are very unique, and while it may not be quite as simple, I feel as though it does allow for far more fine tuning as well as being more durable design – rather than the tradition design of screwing directly into the a-arm. The ability to raise and lower the rear diff height is a nice addition as well, especially when racing on various traction levels. Many people are using the optional laydown transmission in the B6.1D, however, after driving with both I preferred the layback that comes stock in the kit. The car is less aggressive and perhaps a bit slower throughout corners on high traction surfaces, but overall the layback transmission provides a more consistent, stable, and predictable feel on wider variety of dirt surfaces. Tuning, gearing, and various options are included with the kit and explained thoroughly in the instruction manual. 

 
(Photos courtesy of Team Associated)

Durability

Durability with this car was tested to the MAX, as open practice during the race weekend saw more than one “attack” from oncoming short course trucks and other buggies. I was even so dedicated to testing the B6.1D’s durability I jumped into the building’s metal support pole not once…but twice (that may also be a lack of skill, but we’ll pretend it was on purpose). No damage was done at the time, and to this day no parts have been broken.

Setup / Support

The other selling point to this car (as with most Team Associated vehicles) is the amount of setup help and support there is at nearly any race you attend. Between a plethora of online setup sheets and team drivers around the country, if the box stock setup isn’t to your liking, finding one that is shouldn’t be too hard.


(Just a few of the AE drivers in attendance at the JConcepts Winter Indoort Shootout offering setup and support.)

Overall

The box stock Team Associated B6.1D gave me an entirely new view of racing 2wd buggy again. The buggy performed very well on the track as it was very stable, very predictable, consistent, easy to drive, and fun. Since the review has been completed, I have made a few setup changes which includes different shock springs, slightly stiffer oils, and various other little things recommended from local AE drivers. The changes have only made the buggy better, however, this is not to take away from the fact of how well this buggy works built box stock.

Test Equipment Used:

  • Location: Fastlane Raceway – Blue Springs, Missouri
  • Track Surface: Dirt – Medium to High Traction with Light Dust
  • Motor: Tekin Gen3 Spec-R 13.5T
  • ESC: Tekin RSX
  • Battery: Venom 4500mAh Shorty LiPo
  • Radio/Receiver: Sanwa M12S / Sanwa RX-482
  • Servo: Spektrum 6240
  • Wheels/Tires: JConcepts Mono Wheels / JConcepts Dirt Webs (Gold Compound)

Pros:

  • Exceptional handling and performance with box stock setup (no additional parts or setup options needed).
  • Very stable, neutral feeling, and easy to drive and enjoy.
  • Instruction Manual is easy to read and understand.
  • All parts fit together easily and require no modifications for smooth operation.
  • Maintenance is very easy - especially for the rear diff.
  • The buggy offers a wide variety of tuning options, many of which are included and/or explained in the instruction manual.

Cons:

  • Wheels not included.
  • My wife drove my buggy and liked it so much I had to buy her one too...

Final Word:

I came into this review very jaded towards racing a 2wd buggy, however, thanks to the Team Associated B6.1D I have an entirely different outlook. I enjoyed it so much, I am looking forward to racing 2wd buggy more often (which is something I haven’t said in many, many years). In my opinion the Team Associated B6.1D is excellent choice for 2wd buggy racers of all skill levels as it is easy to build, works fantastic out of the box for those looking to get going quick, and yet still provides all of the tuning, support, and setup options that a top professional needs and desires. 

Rating: 5 out of 5

 

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