Saturday, 26 February 2011

Driving The Alcyon II, a comparison against the Alcyon I

In late 2004, after i learnt about tweak for the Xray T1 setup book, i suddenly remembered i had an Alcyon II that handled poorly before, i suddenly got the bright idea to try it now and set the tweak. So i took all my electronics out from my old car and placed it in the Alcyon II Ex. Then i set the tweak. Used a HPI stratus body with a big rear wing. The car was totally PLANTED, it behaved totally differently than months before, when it was spinning out at every corner, into and out of corners.
It felt like it had more traction especially at the rear, and also just enough steering to get through the tightest sections. At the time everyone used double one ways. The Alcyon II also felt very locked on, very much precise. My Alcyon had a tendency to wander a little at the straights, requiring minor corrections during driving, especially at higher speeds. But the Alcyon II tracked very straight, and responded to mid corner corrections very well, if i was going to slam into a barrier, i could turn in the other direction without upsetting the rear end. If i tried that with the Alcyon, the rear would spin out.

It was easy to see why i was beginning to love this car. I went up against my friends Brian's Yokomo CGM , OSAs X ray T1 Evo2, and Edwin Lee's TRF415, all with positive results. Edwin was amazed i zipped past him in a chicane at Kota Raja track, when the space was very little,i took the risk and punched my throttle and overtook his TRF415 in the corner ! You dont do that with an ill handling car.
There also was a sparring session in early 2005, with many of the top guns at KR track, and in the group was Leonard Kee, the guy who sold me the Alcyon II. He was driving a TB Evo III at the time. When i overtook him in the sweeping corners and left him behind, he exclaimed "Shit, i am beaten by the car i sold !"
I chuckled, that was definitely a compliment !

My Alcyon II after MNC race 2006
Being the stubborn guy i am, i still tried to make my old Alcyon handle well and entered it into races. The last straw was MNC 2006. i Entered the Alcyon in the open modified class, and it was a disastser. the car wandered a little and hit one of the barriers, and the chassis was tweaked, it was impossible to drive well. That was heat 1. So i decided i couldnt continue like this, i took off all my electronics and quickly placed it the Alcyon II that i brought as a back up. Set the tweak, and raced in the second heat. It was totally planted ! I did way way better and clocked better time, i also felt a lot more confident with it, it went exactly where i wanted it to, like it was keyed directly to my brain ! That was when i took the final decision to retire my trusty Alcyon from high level competition. I qualified fifth and in the final i did pretty well, i was giving zahari a run for his money, he was driving the new Yokomo BD, and he was fast, he was on my tail and i let him pass, but after that i was on his tail hounding him. Not bad for a car that was obsolete in 2003. I DNF the race due to a failed spur, but i was kinda happy cause it showed the potential the Alcyon II had. I also found a terrible weakness of the Alcyon II, it was too heavy, with 3800mah Ni Mh cells, it was 1650g ! After the race i changed all the screws and turnbuckls to titanium, luckily i got the tunrbuckles from another brand new Alcyon II i bought that year very cheaply, RM350 + shipping, which is now my parts car.

In 2007, i met a retired racer , Brian's cousin,Raymond, he was our new addition to the gang. But also at the time, i kind of burned out on RC, after every run, i had to clean the diffs, bearings, shocks, reset the suspension, tweak, truing motor comms, change brushes, discharge much work and so much  time involved, so i quit for a year. At the time brushless ESC and motors just came into the market, but we were waiting for it to come down in price before we bought them....

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