orion_part2

After an unpredictable European spring and summer finding the perfect conditions to test an engine has been anything but easy. With much assistance from the iPhone’s weather app we found a perfect day, borrowed an Inferno MP9, and headed to the track. Twenty six degrees celsius and a clear sky: perfect conditions; a cooler temperature would be too kind to our engine, whilst everything above the 24-25° means a fair challenge for any powerplant.

“It’s a powerful mill with Championship-winning pedigree that instantly reacts to skillful inputs.”

After installing the Orion CRF RS ABI engine in the car (thanks to TeamOrionShop.com), we started with the break-in by performing a ‘Japanese style’ procedure for the first 5 tanks with our Runner Time fuel.

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The Japanese break in consists in burning 4 or 5 tanks of fuel on the starter box, the throttle fully open and the tuning so rich that the wheels spin slowly doing it this way, the engine has less stress as it doesn’t have to carry around the weight of the car, and you can constantly check the temperature moreover, the very rich tuning allows for a copious lubrication of the parts.

It has to be said, though, that to complete the break in procedure it is important to complete at least other two tanks of fuel on track, refining the tuning each 2 laps, until obtaining a satisfying tune and slowly reaching the working temperature.

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The engine was pretty tight when brand new, but despite that, the engine fired right up without need to start it again time after the time. Once we completed the Japanese part of the break-in, we decided to go for another two tanks on track with a very rich engine. By very rich we mean that for the first tank of fuel you shouldn’t be able to clear the jumps, during the second tank you can start leaning the engine every two laps. Once finished, our engine was ready to be tuned, so we let it cool off a bit and then restarted it again.

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Tuning this engine was quite easy; our suggestion is to never run this engine too lean. It burns the fuel very well so leave it a tad on the rich side, especially on the lower end needle. Once tuned, the sweet sound of our RS began to reveal itself like music to a racer’s ears.

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The decision to test this engine in a Kyosho MP9 doesn’t only come from being a famous package, but also because the Japanese car provides a high amount of traction, which tests engines to their full potential. On the track, our first reaction in the first few laps was absolutely positive, the bottom end seeming to be among the best Neo stig ever tested.

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With a 7mm restrictor, the top end was pretty good as well, but it seemed like the power was being wasted, resulting in excessive wheel spin and poor fuel mileage. The 7mm restrictor provided the best high end amongst the three options, but that is not quite the aim of a racer. What you want is to optimize the power so that your car transfers all of it to the track, without any waste of fuel and tires.

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So we decided to go from one end to the other. Using the 6mm restrictor the engine lost power, but the operating temperature went up. Due to the loss of power we were forced to pull the throttle more, and mileage didn’t improve much. We suspected this would be our results as the engine’s father, Adrien Bertin, suggested not to go below 6.5mm restrictor. For this is a test, however, we wanted to try it anyway.

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We then moved on to a 6.5mm restrictor. We adjusted the carburetor accordingly to optimize power and fuel consumption. The engine now had the right amount of power and was excellent on the bottom end, however, the top end wasn’t quite comparable with the top end of an OS Speed.

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The Orion engine allowed us to use the power we needed, without being too brutal, out of control neither slow. It’s a powerful mill with Championship-winning pedigree that instantly reacts to skillful inputs. The mileage was also improved, going past the 9 minute mark with a top result of 9:23 using 123cc of fuel. Although the idle was not particularly stable – this maybe due to the engine still being very new – we were happy to encounter zero flame outs during the day. As long as it had fuel to burn, the RS never stopped, even in the long race simulation where we pitted between 8:30 and 9:15 minutes for a 45 minutes long test. Highly impressive for an engine without too much fuel through it.

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The RS edition came to market celebrating Orion’s one, two at the 2013 Euros and in the hands of David Ronnefalk last month in Germany, title #2 arrived. Back to back victories at the highest level don’t happen by accident.

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This engine is good. So good that you could easily fall in love with it’s powerband, and you can feel it’s ‘supercharged’ design thanks to its ‘CRF’ system. It’s no surprise that it has allowed so many team drivers to obtain so many victories all around the world!

See Part 1 of the review

Thank you to TeamOrionShop.com for providing the engine for review.

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