Tuesday January 6, 2003:

The sun was shining, but it was quite cold. What best opportunity to take the TT for a spin?! So, we loaded 5-6 charged batteries and with Mrs. Wife as camera-woman we headed to the local 1/5 R/C car track.

This video is MPEG1 format. duration: 33sec, filesize: 4.9mb.

Second video: 108_0888.avi, which is 24sec, 5.2mb. (unedited)

Third video:

AVI format, 18sec, 3.3mb. (unedited)

This video is MPEG1 format. duration: 1min 02sec, filesize: 10.7mb. (excerpt from the video Mrs Boss filmed!)

Finally, an offroad excursion!
This one is MPEG1, 13sec, 2.2mb. (excerpt from the video Mrs Boss filmed!)

One more video, from Bsixmiguel from Holland: 1.45mb, mpeg-format, 18sec. Shows his TT complete with a fast 12x1 motor! Wow!
Update Jan 25, 2004: John Veal's latest creation:

Wonder why is this man cheering with an electric NF in his hands?!
One of the most outstanding r/c bike videos ever! Trust me!
This video has been copied to my site, with John's kind permission.
The new link is: http://www.steliosh.net/rcmoto/fm1e/video/jumps.wmv
It is 2.9mb in size and 45sec duration.
To view the videos, right click on each link and press "save as".
And how did the bike run?!

It was magic! This time, after some really careful tweaking of the steering linkage at last it turned right and left with the same ease. A little tweaking was also done to the lexan that goes over the frame, specifically to the front of the "gas tank". When I was moving the steering from lock to lock, I realized that the steering linkage was binding (that word, again!) against the lexan. So, I made a larger opening there, after some trial and testing. Now, the linkage moves without ever touching the gas tank.

I ran the bike at my local 1/5 R/C car track, at Stamata, on Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2004. The day was not really warm, but it was sunny, at least. There were a few guys with 1/5 and 1/10 cars, so I had to wait for the track to be somehow empty to try the FM-1e. First battery run went perfect and lasted about 20 minutes (maybe more, not sure here!). It was a Team Orion Sport pack 2400 nicd. The steering response is quite slow, but this suits me just fine, especially now that I'm kinda learning this bike. Even with some Trinity 1200's it would run nicely for more than 10 minutes!

One thing that was most obvious this afternoon, was that driving the FM-1e has nothing to do with driving any r/c car of any scale. It will not accept abrupt throttle or brakes so happily, not to mention instant steering demands. Actually you have to "prepare" the bike a bit before the turn comes. This is most obvious when entering a series of esses, where you enter the first turn tightly, then manage to be in the middle of the second turn, but by the third turn you're way too wide! Most of all, however, one must be patient and smooth, exactly like you would do on a real sportbike. Also, it pays to be standing on the rostrum, so you have a wider view of the whole track scenery, not just a few meters away from your eyes. When driving the bike and standing on almost the same level with the bike, it becomes very difficult to have a wide perspective, especially on a track that is so wide. I just couldn't afford it, since there was noone eager to do some marshalling for me. In case of a shunt, I'd have to run the whole width of the track to put the bike back in track.

I also decided to change the castor angle a bit, just to see what happens. So, I turned the grub-screw two full turns clockwise, and it immediately showed a tendency to fall into corners quite easier than before, making for quicker steering response, but certainly not abrupt. So far, with the new spring settings of the steering linkage, I have left the ATV adjustment of the steering servo to the full. I only made sure that the bike tracks straight by means of the steering trim. I was confused after some 20 minutes of continuous running, that the grubscrew was again out fully... It probably needs some threadlock so it stays at the desired adjustment. The problem with the instructions is that there is no mention of the relation between turning the grubscrew and the change of the castor angle. So, I guess it's really trial and error, here!

I have been doing my homework, reading quite a lot, all these days since I got the bike in my hands: Team MMPerformance, Team Benwell and John Veal's rcbikes.co.uk among others are a must if you want to setup your bike well. It's known to every TT owner that the manual leaves quite a lot to be desired, something that seems to have been somewhat corrected with the introduction of the TT Ducati 999R. Understanding how a real motorcycle works, helps here too!

This is an aerial view of the FRT track. I drove the bike mostly within the red-marked circle! (Photo courtesy of www.frt.gr )