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Jan 14, 2013, 05:47 PM
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Vintage Kyosho Buggies, why I love 'em so much!

Those that have seen my postings in the cars - off-road section might already have noticed I am fond of the older Kyosho 1/10 scale buggies. Like the Optima Mid, Lazer ZX-R/Sport etc. For those that never heard of these cars, here are some pictures of mine:

Optima Mid (with some after-market hop-ups)

And the Lazer ZX Sport, pretty much stock, except for the wheels and ESC instead of mechanical speed controller

The Optima Mid was my first contact with Kyosho. I already owned another 4WD electric buggy, the Marui Ninja, but although quite an interesting design, was more in between hobby grade and toy grade. For instance the wheels ran in nylon bearings, that were getting much slop after a few runs. I don't know how I was made attentive to the Optima Mid, could be due to catalogs that a hobby shop gave, or a demonstration race where the fastest cars were Optima Mids. Aynway, I collected all my savings, pocket money, etc. and bought it.

During the build I was already amazed at the smoothness and lack of slop in the various mechanical constructions, like the steering, drive train, etc. Metal on places where it really added strength, and not just for "bling" as we nowadays often see on cars. Ball bearings all around, with an option to also upgrade the steering cranks to ball raced as well. Even the suspension arms, being glass-reinforced plastic, had a solid feel about them. The first test runs strengthened this feeling, as due to the lack of gears with it's belt powered drive train, the car more "whirred" around without the characteristic "scream" of most contemporary 4WD cars. Smooth performance all the way. Handling and speed were also much better than the Ninja.

This nice first impression would have been useless if the next drives showed any weak spots, but I couldn't really find any real drawbacks. The car was smooth battery after battery. Maintenance was mostly cleaning up dirt from the car, and sometimes a drop of lubricant here and there. You could see this car was designed to withstand the additional stress of running races, and this occasional running around near my house was not even fazing it, so to say. I kept the Ninja, but after the Mid arrived, it didn't see much action.

But as I already stated before in my introduction blog, just below this entry, I lost interest in RC for some years, and the Optima was shelved, although just after I fitted some hop ups. Mid 2012 I was driving again, but mostly small stuff, like Losi Micro T etc. But I wanted a 1/10 buggy to get doing in some terrain again. First I bought the LRP Blast BX, a car that looks a lot like the Kyosho Lazer ZX-5. Turned out it performed well, but it wasn't as smooth and quiet as I remembered my "Mid" was. More noisy transmission, some slop on the suspension. Not really bad, but it lacked the refinement of the "Mid". A while later I stumbled upon a used Lazer ZX Sport, bought it and started running that. Well, the LRP was running nice, but this Lazer showed clearly better handing, The same smoothness as I experienced on the Mid, and due to the longer wheel base and longer suspension arms, even better handling.

The combination of looks (I just like buggies best), part quality, performance (with very good handling) and low "noise-profile" due to the belt drive, are what I grew to like in these buggies. Although lacking a center diff, like on most modern 4WD competition buggies, you still feel the "racing blood" running though every inch of the car, putting a smile on my face every time I drive it.

Edit: And for those wondering what these buggies look like, "under the hood", here are a few pictures showing just that:

Optima Mid:

And my second Lazer ZX Sport:

The pictures of this one were taken with the old wing still on, a while later I replaced it with a new wing, from the Absima Team C Minion, which came pre-painted in white, for convenience. You can be the judge which looks better, the original wing, that was missing the side plates, or this new one:

(PS) the other pictures are from various cars, like my LC Racing EMB buggy, or are used in the "Electric Power Cars Faq Thread", located here:

Disclaimer: As you may be aware already, not all pictures in this thread are of my cars, like for instance that differently painted Raider Pro, or the beautiful Custom Mid Special. Afaik, all pictures are used with kind permission, and serve no commercial goals.

And sometimes a creative mind can turn an average looking car into a real gem, like this great version of the Kyosho Raider, which I stumbled upon on eBay. I didn't bid on it, as I had to set other priorities, but wanted to save the pictures of it so others could enjoy it after the auction was done:
Last edited by SoloProFan; May 16, 2015 at 02:26 AM. Reason: Added new pictures, because the hosting site that these were on, has been down for a long time now
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Mar 02, 2013, 11:07 PM
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I love the wheels design on Lazer ZX Sport
Mar 23, 2013, 04:45 PM
Nunquam redono !
rotorwrecker's Avatar
Ah yes this brings back memories of years gone when I used to race my RWD Kyosho Meteor and dreadfull FWD Kyosho Maxxis those were the days
May 20, 2013, 09:45 AM
Time For Me To Fly!
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Very nice buggies. I am in the process of restoring a Mid right now as it is also 1 of my favorite buggies ever made. I'll post some pics of it soon.
May 29, 2013, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by lawjie
I love the wheels design on Lazer ZX Sport
These are not the original Kyosho wheels, but these were damaged when I got this car second hand. These work fine, decent grip, low wear, looking nice, and only 10 euros for 4 complete wheels.

Originally Posted by rotorwrecker
Ah yes this brings back memories of years gone when I used to race my RWD Kyosho Meteor and dreadfull FWD Kyosho Maxxis those were the days
I agree, although some of the newer buggies can go faster, these still have their own style.

Originally Posted by fastmax
Very nice buggies. I am in the process of restoring a Mid right now as it is also 1 of my favorite buggies ever made. I'll post some pics of it soon.
Sounds great, looking forward to the pics.
Latest blog entry: For the love of the hobby!
Jul 02, 2013, 07:26 PM
Registered User


Awesome buggies Solo. I to, love the old Kyosho buggies. My interest, however, stems from my first nitro, a USA-1 Nitro Crusher. I still have that one and it looks pretty much like a monster truck should. The Gravedigger body on it is held together by camouflage duct tape from the inside but everything else is stock. I'd love to find a Burns or Turbo Burns.
Jul 26, 2014, 09:15 PM
Registered User

Kyosho Model Help Required

Can anyone please tell me what is the exact model of this Kyosho 2wd brushed buggy. I have been trying to search this from past few weeks but have been unsuccessful yet.

Nov 03, 2014, 02:05 PM
Fan of just about anything RC
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Looks like a Kyosho Outrage, here's a thread about someone rebuilding it:
Latest blog entry: For the love of the hobby!
Jun 30, 2017, 03:47 AM
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ReganATX's Avatar

Nice car!

Many,many years ago I used to have a buggy that look like this, it was called a yokomo YZ10, it was my first real RC, I never did get that thing going, ha!

Very nice!
Jul 03, 2018, 10:43 AM
Registered User

A little A little restoration of Kyosho Raider

I also restored and repaired a Kyosho Raider.

I translated from my blog:
Sorry for my bad translation.

The car was like the picture: dirty, without motor, the speed controller did not work, tires that are loose from the tires, ..

I should clean and change the shock absorbers:

The car needs a motor. Before I must clean and grease:

Cleaning and whitening the wheels with hydrogen peroxide:

In the end, I paint the wheels with the white paint. I also placed a sponge inside the tires:

I paint the letters of the tire with the white paint:

I lubricate the transmission and the gears:

I place ball bearings instead of plastic bushes:

The motor is type 555 rewound by me so that it is faster:

I adjust the 15 teeth pinion:

Replacing front shock absorbers with other oil shock absorbers:

The rear shocks work well (they were previously replaced by the previous owner):

The receiver is Sanwa brand with the old standard; it is valid for an old Sanwa servo but is not compatible for a modern ESC:

I made an adapter for ESC (reversing + and - wires):

The car is already working well:

I will paint the body another day:

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