“A Year In Review”
It was only one short year ago we began our search for a new engine partner. It was almost happenstance that we came across Mike from the newly purchased RCMAX.
The new owner, Mike Taylor and I spoke on the phone after touching base briefly online. I felt an immediate connection and kinship with him. He seemed genuine, enthusiastic and shared the same passion for these RC cars and engines that we all have. This wasn’t about making money but restoring a great brand in the market and gaining pleasure from developing the product to new levels. I knew immediately this was a great fit for the company and I.
RCMAX wasted no time addressing the needs of the market and listening to customer feedback about the previous engines. The CAD models for all engine components were modified and improved based upon this feedback, as well as having a fresh set of experienced two-stroke eyes.
Step One. Manufacture the iconic RCMAX46 engine again but even better than before. Mike went to work on the dyno. He revised port timings, case transfer flow, cylinder head design, enlarged crank seal and tightened tolerances, the Race Ported 46 edition was born.
Next, RCMAX designed and tested a high performance clutch spring that could withstand the punishment of these insane big bore engines, the first successful super-alloy RC spring. Engine Number 001 was shipped and the results can be seen on YouTube today. A 46cc platform that pulls wheelies in a 4wd Losi! Determined to have the best looking billet reed case, RCMAX used only state of the art 5 axis CNC equipment and 3D milling programs to carve the case to precision. The result was a polished, cleaner and lighter crankcase with consistent fitment for every platform.
The next evolution was the iconic billet head that you see on the engines today. Customers asked for it and it was delivered with stunning results. Unlike many other attempts this head was designed and tested for optimal cooling as well as the bling factor, with fin thickness, spacing and depth all made to dissipate heat as efficiently as possible.
Determined to offer something exclusive and fresh, RCMAX came up the Titanium pipe. When we heard about this, frankly I thought maybe they were crazy. I was wrong of course and RCMAX pushed forward with this idea. Never offered before, we now had a Titanium pipe that matched the stunning machine work of this impressive power plant. With 35 percent less weight and a beautiful deeper exhaust note, the TI pipe was a perfect fit for the brand.
To continue the line up, the elusive and beloved 65cc was born again. With RCMAX’s new revised port timings and attention to detail these engines actually surpassed the older 65s with a stronger midrange curve without sacrifice of the mind blowing RPM and power that rivals its 71cc big brother.
During this time the 1/5 scale platforms grew as well. Kraken was now making a complete 1/5 scale vehicle, the Vekta .5. This impressive vehicle was begging for a bigger heart to push its beefy stature. RCMAX got straight on with this task and made adjustments so that their engines would fit, a custom made billet intake and pipe prototyped by Olimat. Vekta owners rejoiced that they could now get a high performance big block in their vehicle without any modifications to the car.
Now the line up seemed complete but RCMAX didn’t stop there. After much testing and tweaking a new king of the range was born. The 90GT engine was something only an insane RC enthusiast could dream up. Mike harnessed the power with a simple yet brutally reliable 70mm sintered steel clutch and Blackbone bell. After early testing produced a motor that was too much all at once and undriveable, a revised port layout within the customized cylinder offered a broad useable powerband. The result was a engine that would rev much higher than its size would make you assume yet had that brutual midrange you should get from a monster like this.
As I got to know Mike better, it was clear that his focus was always on a more scientific level with lots of dyno time and time spent on the math behind the engines. This has created some doubts from the usual individuals, who critiqued he should be spending more time producing bashing videos to showcase his work. However once I understood him, I had total faith that when he told me something would work, it would work. The new RCMAX55 is a great example of this, I believe it’s a truly special engine and once some of the new owners get a chance to complete and run their builds on video, we will see the best 50cc class engine in the world.
Like every good manufacturer, always looking for a competitive edge, RCMAX went to renown reed valve company Moto Tassinari and explained his needs. The new RCMAX custom reed system was born. RCMAX and Moto Tassinari Designed this new Reed Cage fit the engine perfectly and the reed pedals were born from dyno testing a number of options that Moto produced based on feedback about their VFORCE Scooter reeds.
It must be said that not all was perfect at RCMAX. Supply problems and manufacturers changing spec made it challenging to keep putting more power to the ground. The Clutch, which had been performing quite solid at first began to show signs of strain. The problem was traced back to a change in manufacturers specification of the clutch shoe.
RCMAX determined to make sure his customers had the best money could buy, developed from scratch, using expert advice, his own sintered steel formula and clutch shoe design. With larger bite area, more leverage action and made from a material that was designed to withstand extreme punishment. Most manufactures would have just moved forward with no thought to their customer but this is not the RCMAX way. A new clutch shoe is now available to every owner of the 62mm clutch free of charge.
Already we have customers with nearly 2 months of hard use on their RCMAX clutches, no visible signs of wear and the feedback seems to be consistent that the more you use the clutch, the better it gets. Zero adjustment needed, zero maintenance, true reliability. It seems sometimes going bigger isn’t the right answer, using modern material science and good design can offer results to be proud of. RCMAX engines now have the solid clutch they deserve.
As well as the time spent perfecting and producing the RCMAX engine line, there is also a growing line of top draw RCMAX upgrade parts. The RCMAX Diff Cup has been a complete success for one. With a close relationship to Doug at 7075RC who recently took on the Outlaw hybrid project, RCMAX we honoured to be asked to take over the production of the PRO-AM Range as he was too busy. I have to say im totally shocked by the results that we see today, these have to be the most attractive, yet truly functional RC parts available on the market, period.
On a personal note, I am so proud to be a part of the RCMAX family and see the evolution of Big Bore engines on the market. I know that every customer that purchases one of these engines will get the best performance and looks that money can buy and that’s a mark worth leaving in the RC Community. Its incredible that only one short year has passed. We can’t wait to see what’s next!