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Old 06-05-2011, 09:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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school me on getting in to desert racing and x18s?

ok this is kind of a two part question. i am brand new, dont know shit about desert racing. i have been doing a little bit of research on all the different classes and bitd, more, snore, etc. i wanted to build a koh car but i am switching jobs so i can stay at home more with my family so i am reconsidering for something a little cheaper. i know racing isnt cheap. what would be the best class to get into for a new guy? i have been looking at class 3000. i have also been looking at these cars.

http://www.predator-offroad.com/index.html

mainly the x18s. how would these be for a guy who has a little money to spend but doesnt want to spend 60k+? i can do all my own prep/work. it would also be used as a toy for the wife and i to cruise around jv, pismo, dumont etc. she also is interested in racing the powderpuff races. any suggestions or info would be greatly apreciated, thanks in advance.
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Old 06-06-2011, 07:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If you want to go off-road racing the first thing you need to do is get on a race team and see what it is like.

I would think about going racing if I didn't have at least $60,000 to blow on it.
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Mike has good advise. If you want to go off road racing, volunteer on a race team. DO NOT go out and buy a car and start a team without knowing what you are doing.

My opinion is, a KOH car is a way better investment than any off road race car. Mainly because you can use a KOH car for other things (weekend wheeling, Rubicon camping, Dunes), An off road race car is typically soo purpose built, it's worthless for anything else.
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by bushauler View Post
ok this is kind of a two part question. i am brand new, dont know shit about desert racing. i have been doing a little bit of research on all the different classes and bitd, more, snore, etc. i wanted to build a koh car but i am switching jobs so i can stay at home more with my family so i am reconsidering for something a little cheaper. i know racing isnt cheap. what would be the best class to get into for a new guy? i have been looking at class 3000. i have also been looking at these cars.

http://www.predator-offroad.com/index.html

mainly the x18s. how would these be for a guy who has a little money to spend but doesnt want to spend 60k+? i can do all my own prep/work. it would also be used as a toy for the wife and i to cruise around jv, pismo, dumont etc. she also is interested in racing the powderpuff races. any suggestions or info would be greatly apreciated, thanks in advance.
3000 is a great class to race. but racing is high $$$ no way around that.

As far as the predator they are a fun toy/race car but they are not very compedative and the ruber band drive seems to give them some problems.

I have never bought one but I have an Idea that ready to race is a bit more $ then what is listed and compedative is going to be even more if it is even possible.

Join a team, come throw some gas cans or tires and see if it is something you really want to do. The powder puff is the most fun race of the year you can hang out with us if you want.

wayne
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:45 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I had never been to a desert race until I built a car and entered one. 7 years later I can say I have no regrets. Loved every second of it. GO FOR IT!

I would stay away from anything that has a centrifical clutch like that little thing does.

Lots of great deals on RDC right now.

A race truck is not useless just because its not a rock crawler also.
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Old 06-06-2011, 09:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Just my opinion but I wouldn't want to be in the mix with big horsepower trucks and cars in a vehicle that small and underpowered. If you haven't worked on a team and experienced the level of hard work, long hours, cash outlay and dedication it takes just to put a car on the starting line, I would not spend a dime until I knew what I could afford to spend moneywise and timewise. Just owning a vehicle does not make a race team. You need a whole crew willing to commit to the hard work and long hours too.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:33 AM   #7 (permalink)
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If you are looking at a Predator, talk with the three or four teams racing them now in the 3000 series. Our next race is July 16th in Barstow. Here is a link to the class website: http://www.class3000.org/

IMO a great budget/bang for your buck class to start off in is Class 9. They have good car counts at the MORE/SNORE races; they are fairly cheap to pickup (don't build one, there are plenty available used); and most importantly, you can really "learn" how to drive in the desert. If you become addicted , Class 9 will serve as a great base to move into the class you want down the road.
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Old 06-06-2011, 01:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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3000 is a great class to race. but racing is high $$$ no way around that.

As far as the predator they are a fun toy/race car but they are not very compedative and the ruber band drive seems to give them some problems.

I have never bought one but I have an Idea that ready to race is a bit more $ then what is listed and compedative is going to be even more if it is even possible.

Join a team, come throw some gas cans or tires and see if it is something you really want to do. The powder puff is the most fun race of the year you can hang out with us if you want.

wayne
thanks for all the great info so far guys keep it coming,

wayne thanks for the invite. i am in the sandbox for work until august or october, not sure yet. when i get back il definetly get in touch with you.

in the mean time i will keep researching and looking at cars/options. thanks guys
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Old 06-09-2011, 08:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I just started desert racing (only two races SF250 and Baja 500 as driver) and own a Predator X18.

I recommend them for a few reasons:
1: Most parts are in stock and just phone call away.
2: Very easy to drive with the CVT
3: With the stock Eco-tech and CVT the car can be used as a "play-car" and not just a racecar.
4: Yes the CVT belts do break however they act as "fuse" and keep you from breaking expensive parts like axels, CV's and transmissions. We get around 200 race miles out of a belt and they take 2-3 minutes to change (We now do it at fuel stops). We have stared with a new brand of belt and have yet to break one yet.

The only negatives I run across are the fact that SCORE class 4 will be combined with Class 10 next year. It seems like the Class 10 cars with the longer wheels base are much faster than the X-18.

We did not finish the 500 last weekend (broken rod-end combined with a radiator leak and lack of spare tires) but I am very happy with the car. While we may never win an event in the car it is a great car to learn in and takes alot of stress of the sport compared with some other cars.

BTW get the upgraded shocks...we use Kings.
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Old 06-10-2011, 05:32 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Question on the belt. You say that you get about 200 race miles out of one, what happens as the belt gets more miles on it? I'm guessing it's a toothed belt and they wear down.

What happens if you are doing a climb like Simpson's on a belt that is at the end of it's race life? Does the belt just start slipping causing a gradual power loss, or does it just quit working completely?

I've got a buddy at work thinking of getting an X-18 as a play car.
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Old 06-10-2011, 09:17 PM   #11 (permalink)
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We did not finish the 500 last weekend (broken rod-end combined with a radiator leak and lack of spare tires) but I am very happy with the car. While we may never win an event in the car it is a great car to learn in and takes alot of stress of the sport compared with some other cars.

BTW get the upgraded shocks...we use Kings.
Get the steering fixed so that it doesn't have 4" of bumpsteer and you won't break as many parts. Your Kings could use some valving work also.........

They are neat little cars, but they could use some definite refinement.

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Old 06-10-2011, 09:20 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Question on the belt. You say that you get about 200 race miles out of one, what happens as the belt gets more miles on it? I'm guessing it's a toothed belt and they wear down.

What happens if you are doing a climb like Simpson's on a belt that is at the end of it's race life? Does the belt just start slipping causing a gradual power loss, or does it just quit working completely?

I've got a buddy at work thinking of getting an X-18 as a play car.
Belts are simi sorta V-belts. When they go they snap or shred resulting in instant loss of drive.
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Old 06-11-2011, 06:53 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I like the 3000 class but bang for the buck its hard to beat a class 9. The class is very competitive at a local level and you can get some great deals on cars/spares right now. For about 10K you can get into a a setup and be racing! This is also a great class to get your feet wet in. MORE puts on good races and is local here in socal.
I also agree get involved with a team and see what its about. It is alot of work but it is alot of fun!
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Old 06-11-2011, 02:25 PM   #14 (permalink)
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well i got a invite to go help at the baja 1000 in november but since i am switching jobs hopefully i can make it down there. i should have a better idea soon.

i would also like to volunteer for the last couple more races that i will be home in time for so if anyone needs help let me know.
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Old 06-12-2011, 08:35 AM   #15 (permalink)
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well i got a invite to go help at the baja 1000 in november but since i am switching jobs hopefully i can make it down there. i should have a better idea soon.

i would also like to volunteer for the last couple more races that i will be home in time for so if anyone needs help let me know.
We can always use help out there! Feel free to PM me when your back we will be running the rest of the MORE season hunting for a class 9 points championship...we are also on face book http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kavema...06954672679441

Also another great way to get into is volunteer as a course monitor/road crossing with MORE

Last edited by Polarcub; 06-12-2011 at 08:39 AM.
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Old 06-13-2011, 01:27 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Any tips on how to fix the bump steer? I noticed it for sure but being so new to Off-Road cars im not sure what a "good" bumpsteer number is. Move the rack, redesign the knuckle, both?

FYI we broke the rod-end that is used at lower ball joint. This is screwed into the control arm and gets loaded in bending with every bump, not a good design for streghth or racing but as an automotive engineer i understand the design compromises when designing a car with a target price. It will be simple enough to replace them every "X" races. Checking after the race we noticed that the non-broken one was slighlty bent also.

We spent 3 weeks trying to get King to meet us to revalve the shocks...we will get them done before the 1000.

As far as the belts go,when they do break when they snap with no warning. The car has no parking brake either so you really dont want to break one on a steep narrow climb. Im pretty confident that changing the belts every 200 miles will ensure we never break one during a race. The "old" belts we keep and use for non-race use.
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Old 06-13-2011, 09:35 AM   #17 (permalink)
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best bang for the buck is UTV class. BITD utv is very competitive. you can get a real nice used race machine with 60+ hp for under $15k. you will note that the utv class is not much slower than the 4400 class. i raced in a utv twice last year. its a blast. my little bros teryx does 75mph in the flats. his r1 powered race rhino does over a hundred and the r1 powered machines are cheap. most speed for the money is in the utv. prep is cheap too
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Old 06-13-2011, 10:42 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I would urge you steer clear of the these vehicles and support your local talented fabricators. The vehicle was not designed in the US, and the chassis and arms where fabricated over seas. Go talk to other 3000 builders if you want to race or even play, its amazing the deals that people are giving away right now. . .
Please support the local race economy . . . To race the X-18, you need to deal with the SCORE technical advisor, Bill Savage. As far as I know he is the only one allowed to finish these vehicles to meet score rules.
In the end, you can tell they where not built or designed by people who know how to build competitive off road vehicles.
Great play-toys, but not race cars!!!
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Old 06-13-2011, 12:38 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I would urge you steer clear of the these vehicles and support your local talented fabricators. The vehicle was not designed in the US, and the chassis and arms where fabricated over seas. Go talk to other 3000 builders if you want to race or even play, its amazing the deals that people are giving away right now. . .
Please support the local race economy . . . To race the X-18, you need to deal with the SCORE technical advisor, Bill Savage. As far as I know he is the only one allowed to finish these vehicles to meet score rules.
In the end, you can tell they where not built or designed by people who know how to build competitive off road vehicles.
Great play-toys, but not race cars!!!
yeah i have decided against the x18 right now. seems like they are a good play vehicle but for the money in race trim id rather spend the same or a little more on something else because there are so many good deals right now.

im still torn on finishing my ultra 4, which will cost 60k total im thinking, or buying a used class 10 or class 3000 car. if i buy a class 10 im going to race snore and or more the first year then hopefully race baja when i get some experience and maybe bitd. i really like the class ten cars though and the class seems like its getting big.

if i finish the ultra 4 im going to race the ultra 4 series and id like to try to do a more race or two just for practice/fun since there so close. it really seems like a wash price wise. i just cant decide which id rather do at this point.

thanks for all the good info so far
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Old 06-13-2011, 03:29 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I would urge you steer clear of the these vehicles and support your local talented fabricators. The vehicle was not designed in the US, and the chassis and arms where fabricated over seas. Go talk to other 3000 builders if you want to race or even play, its amazing the deals that people are giving away right now. . .
Please support the local race economy . . . To race the X-18, you need to deal with the SCORE technical advisor, Bill Savage. As far as I know he is the only one allowed to finish these vehicles to meet score rules.
In the end, you can tell they where not built or designed by people who know how to build competitive off road vehicles.
Great play-toys, but not race cars!!!
Predator happens to be my "local talented fabricator"...I live in Taiwan and work in China and Taiwan.
I agree that its a great play car, but it seems like a good race car also especially the CVT. I had plans to replase it when we were shopping for the car. Now its one of my favorites parts of the car.
Keep in mind my race career is only races deep. So I know next to nothing about desert racing so far!
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Old 06-13-2011, 06:27 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Any tips on how to fix the bump steer?
Yup, bring it to Me, shop rate is 65Hr.............
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Old 09-10-2012, 06:17 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Hi Please could you help me ! My name is Evan hutchison I race off road cars in South Africa I want to Purchase an X18 Preditor second hand but can't find one on the net please could you contact me evanh@motorite.co.za or send me your details so that I may contact you. www.motoriteracing.co.za Regards
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Old 09-10-2012, 06:52 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Old 09-10-2012, 11:40 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Old thread that was bumped, but I agree. UTV's for just starting out.

I have had the most fun racing my little Rhino and even got my first KOH finish this year...after 3 attempts in my crawler!! This year was also the most fun KOH to date in terms of enjoying everything else that goes on that week and bullshitting with everyone. Stress level was zero, and when they break, they are easy and cheap (comparitivley) to fix.


Of course, there was that phone call to my dad........


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Old 09-11-2012, 07:06 AM   #25 (permalink)
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be VERY wary of these cars....supposably OUT OF BUSINESS.....factory in china DONE with them and euro and dubui distributors also done with them....BEWARE......
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