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TESTED: Kyosho Ultima SC6

The Decathlete In A Class of Couch Potatoes
Words & Pics: Stephen Bess


When short course trucks went viral in the late 2000’s (2008 for the Traxxas Slash’s release–has it been that long ago?), racing an SC truck seemed a bit like competitive riding lawnmower racing.

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FEATURE: OS Speed B2101 Tessmann Edition


OS Speed B2101 Ty Tessmann Edition

The Exact 2014 IFMAR Worlds Winning Combo


Win the Worlds and dominate the 1/8-scale world for a few years, and you too could have your own limited edition OS Speed engine. It happened for Ty Tessmann, and who could be surprised? I watched Tessmann win the IFMAR Worlds online, I’ve seen his cars and set ups in person, and now, after receiving a little box from UPS today, I have Tessmann’s exact powerplant — spec’d the way he had his spec’d at the Worlds — sitting on my workbench. This is the OS Speed B2101 Ty Tessmann Edition combo, a limited release, collector’s edition engine/pipe set, and it’s rarity makes it something special indeed.


With the Tessmann combo (#OSMG2044), you’ll receive the exact engine, pipe, header and carb restrictor combination used by Ty to win the Worlds. The #2044 item is the only way to get this combination of parts, in part because the odd-size 5.8mm restrictor is not available for sale separately, and the 2002SC long manifold is an optional part that is not included with the 2090SC tuned pipe set. But really, the big deal here is the limited edition markings, the unique silver cooling head and unique crankshaft, all of which are marked with either Tessmann’s autograph, his logo or the “world champion” tag laser etched for posterity.

Mechanically and internally, there aren’t any differences between the standard B2101 Speed and the Tessmann Edition engines. Both are square stroke engines (16.4mm bore/stroke), and both feature low CG cooling heads, a 21J carb, and ultra premium DLC coated and balanced crankshaft. As noted, the Tessmann Edition engine comes packaged with a 5.8mm carb restrictor, which is unavailable for purchase–it is available only as part of this limited edition combo.


You’ll also find the excellent OS 2090SC tuned pipe set, complete with Tessmann’s signature and logos, and the aforementioned 2002SC long manifold in the box. The slightly longer 2002SC header gives the square stroke B2101 a slight bump in low-end torque, and a wider powerband. A P3 super hot glowplug is included, as are the usual gaskets and decals/instructions, plus a cool limited-edition black box packaging with full-color product sticker on the side.


I ran the Tessmann engine with the silver head removed and replaced with a used B2101 cooling head, just so that I could preserve the collector’s edition head without scratching it up. Like the original B2101 I tested a few months ago, the Tessmann Worlds combo is a screamer. Its square stroke design gives it a linear, smooth powerband that’s easy to control with a steady throttle finger but explosive when you need it to be. Fire up the B2101 and send it screaming down the straightaway, and everyone at the track will know you’re running an OS Speed engine–it just has a distinctive sound when combined with the 2090 pipe and 2002SC manifold.

When it comes to value, the Tessmann Edition set seems like a screaming deal at its $630 price tag. When purchased separately from Tower Hobbies (the retail outlet for Hobbico, the official US distributor for OS), the standard B2101 engine costs $499, and the 2090 pipe set is $189. If my math is correct, that’s $688…without the limited edition cooling head, restrictor and 2090/2002SC pipe/header combo. To own a part of 1/8-scale history in a limited edition, uniquely designed package for $50+ less than the standard versions, one must ask one’s self–why wouldn’t I buy this version? You won’t drive like Ty, but at least you can own the same powerplant he uses.

Web: http://www.osengines.com/engines-car/osmg2044/index.html
Part Number: OSMG2044
Price: $630




TESTED: ProTek 2090 .21 Tuned Pipe



If you’ve read our reviews of the short stroke ProTek Samurai engine (here: Protek Samurai Review) and the current IFMAR World Champion OS B2101 buggy engine (here: OS B2101 Review), you probably know how I feel about the 2090 pipe design.  Manufactured by OS Engines as an OS-branded product, this pipe is now also available from ProTek (a division of A-Main) as the PTK-2090.  Priced at $169.99, the pipe set includes a long 2090 manifold, springs, two gaskets and a mounting setscrew.

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TESTED: ProTek Electronic Switch



Continuing with the ProTek testing bonanza, today we have an item that’s easy to overlook but vital to a nitro vehicle’s longevity. Mechanical on/off switches, like anything mechanical, can break…often at the worst time, like when your 1/8 truggy has just hit mach-7 at the end of a long straightaway. 

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TESTED: ProTek Blue Flame Engine Heater



With nitro season quickly approaching, many racers have several months of freezing their rear ends off still to endure. And once it warms up, you’ll need to break-in an engine or two. You have a choice: coddle your nitro engine and pre-heat its internal parts before starting, or cold crank it, start it and rev it to the moon while it’s still frozen. Don’t be that guy. Nitro engine head heaters, essentially tiny versions of F1 tire warmers, came onto the scene several years ago, and they’ve changed the way people start and break-in their engines. 

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TESTED: ProTek R/C Pit Mat


There probably isn’t much I can tell you about the ProTek Pit Mat (#PTK-8151) that will wow you, particularly regarding my “testing.”  I unrolled it and placed lots of stuff on top of it. I cleaned it off several times, and it didn’t disintegrate or burst into flames. It measures 120x60cm (translated to US units, that’s 4ft long by 2ft wide), so it’s big enough to cushion all of your pit gear.  It’s blue, with ProTek’s sleek logo printed onto the lower right corner. And it’s made of textured, padded foam, so screws and locknuts don’t fire off into oblivion when they’re dropped on your wrenching surface. The ProTek mat is very, well…pit matty.

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Review: Factory RC 22-4 battery brace

RCN Factory RC Header

Without a doubt, one of the most popular 1/10 4wd buggies to hit the market this year has been the TLR 22-4. While many were skeptical of it’s resemblance to the 1990’s XX-4 buggy, it has proven to be a race winning buggy in the hands of local Joe’s and nation Pro’s. The ‘hot setup’ for the buggy has been to convert the buggy to a shorty LiPo pack, as opposed to the kit saddle LiPo pack setup. The new setup takes a little home modification here and there, which isn’t hard, but what IS hard is keeping your battery in place. The stock battery strap was not designed to hold a shorty pack in place, therefore many racers (including myself) have struggled to find a secure way to keep that shorty where it needs to be. Factory RC recognized this issue, and released their adjustable TLR 22-4 Carbon Fiber ‘Shorty’ Battery Strap. It just so happens we were lucky enough to get our hands on one, and put it to the test!

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Long Term Update: OS Speed B2101


3+ gallons of testing, racing and wear means our equipment actually looks used, not brand new – particularly the OS 2090 pipe.

By Stephen Bess

Welp, I’ve tested the OS B2101 about as thoroughly as I possibly can at this point, and I’ve managed to squeeze nearly a dozen races (with practice, qualifying and mains included) into my testing for the B2101 Speed engine.  After each weekly race, I followed the same maintenance routine – remove the engine/pipe, clean and prep the clutch, disassemble and clean the head, backplate and piston/sleeve.  Carbon buildup on the button and piston head are lightly removed with 0000 steel wool, and everything is then thanked for running properly, cleaned and reassembled.  Yes, I whisper sweet nothings to my engines to keep them happy.  You don’t?

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